Monday, January 27, 2014

Oh how the irony hurts!

So!  In my overly enthusiastic rush into this hobby, and scoffing, YES! scoffing at other who failed to immediately start construction on their cabs, stating excuse after excuse, and delay after delay... It seems that I too, have had delays, and a trove of excuses!

Here's a quick bullet list of the past SEVEN months:
  • Ongoing hardware problems
  • Remodeled half of my basement into a family room
  • Got laid off from my job of 7 years
  • Intense search for independent work/contract work
  • Started a fantastic new job! (January 6th)
  • Basement flooding due to warm spell during winter causing a rush of water against our foundation
  • Ensuing flood cleanup, water removal, dry-out, tear out damage, insurance/contractor dickery.. etc
Mix in with those highlights various regular life tasks and you have yourself a static blog and no arcade cabinet!

So now that things have sort of settled down again and income has once again stabilized, I hope to trudge forward and pick up where I have left off and intend to post weekly...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Update on the Horizon

After stepping back and finishing up a basement reno project, the track has shifted slightly.  New design, new tv, 2-player layout... more to come soon.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Layout V1

Right now I'm pretty comfortable with this setup.  My only hesitations right now are the angled player 3 and 4 joysticks, and the trackball location.  I don't feel like I will require a spinner or dedicated 4-way.

I've heard many theories about angling joysticks, but unfortunately cannot test thing out for myself just yet.  It seems to make sense in my mind to do it, but I've read that this is very disorienting to player not having the joys aligned parallel to the screen.

The buttons will be illuminated by single dedicated colored led's with the exception of the trackball which I plan on having a RGB Led setup.

I'll be working on a 3d model of the cabinet and CP next, and see if the angled 3 & 4 player controls are ok and their visibility to the display won't be blocked.  I plan on having the TV fairly close to the front for the cab... but we will see.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hasta la vista

Yep, took the GeForce card out and used onboard video with no hitches.  On the hunt for a soft-15Khz compatible card now.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

PC Wrastlin'

I've been struggling with an old Acer T180 that will be the brains of this operation over the past few evenings.  Its been locking up 10~15 mins after booting up.  I thought I had it nailed down to a bad DIMM but after installing a few emulators it's been locking up again...

Going to try the onboard video just to see if I can eliminate the video card as the problem, and then start updating drivers like a madman.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Great Custom Layout

So in my many hours foraging through the forums over at, I've come across a design that is nearly perfect.  It was created by forum member jarrett and was inspired by the fictional game Space Parinoids.  You can check out his project blog here.

I really like the front section, where the player one and two control are extended out for easy pinball play, mounting one or two buttons per side for flipper or tilt control.

Originally I was leaning toward the space saving Konami style CP layout.  I think this might be a bit better for the third and fourth player positions and still be nicer than the undesired Mame "surfboard" or "wing" look.

I was toying with the idea of having the coin reject button below the CP actually be the coin insert buttons.  But i'll need to check into the tech a bit more to see if it is feasible or not, I have not see that done in any of the projects I have seen to date.

Yes, a quick post at Arcade Controls verified it is indeed possible to rig up the reject buttons as coin insert buttons.

Display Acquired

I was able to hunt down a 32" Sony Trinitron CRT to be the display for my cabinet.  This 165 lb monster will push the limits of the width of the cabinet as well as my back.  I also just realized that my cabinet will need to have a maximum width of 29" (with removable 4-player control panel) if I ever want it to leave the room it will be built in.

I'll need to take off the plastic housing and measure the width to make sure it'll be narrow enough.  From my rough estimates, it'll be a pretty minimal bezel area if it works out.