Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day 1

Building has officially begun. Went on a Home Depot/Lowe's marathon run today, and made the first cut around 5pm. We got the first sheet (out of 3) of MDF cut into pieces, resulting in one of the cabinet sides, the monitor shelf, and the control panel. We have plenty of scraps around for practice routing for the T-molding, and are going to try to have the control panel up and running tomorrow (just two players, for testing). Hopefully we will get the rest of the cutting done tomorrow as well. Back to Home Depot in the morning for some drill bits and other misc. items.

Friday, January 30, 2009

On the drafting table (read: kitchen counter)

Button mock-ups to get a feel for spacing. CP measurements done! Read Alex's detailed post below.

Mock Draft

Last night we really finished up most of our planning. After finally having all the pieces in hand, we sat down and starting to seriously look at dimensions. We're almost certainly going with LuSiD's plans for the cabinet. (Judging from the research I've done, I bet 75%+ of MAME builders use these.) However, we're going to freelance a little bit on the control panel, since we're going to have 4 players.

For the CP stuff, Talking Octopus' site was a huge help. In the end, we decided on 47" for the length and mocked it up (below) in a piece of cardboard.

CP Mock

I'm so glad we decided to do this, because seeing the sticks and buttons in person really helped. We also did some research about taking the case off and discharging a tv. There are mixed reviews about it to be honest, with some people saying it's not big deal, and others saying that it shouldn't be tried under any circumstances. After some careful consideration, we're going to do the smart thing and discharge it. As Dan said in a previous post: /gulp. He'll be following this post with another pic of the CP too.

Tonight is reserved for the kick-assery that is AC/DC, but tomorrow the cutting begins...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Box O' Buttons

All the buttons, joysticks, and quick connects, as well as the screen bezel, arrived today! The interface would have been here, too, but DHL doesn't like to orphan their children on patios riddled with bags of trash (for shame, UPS, for shame). The buttons have a nice action to them, and although only the "1 Player, 2 Player..." buttons are concave, they all feel like the real deal and will definitely hold up to their fair share of mashing. Also, the joysticks are much heavier than expected. The better to wreck you with, my dear.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Let the Madness Begin

Alex nerding out with two computers and three monitors working on the software. The TV we acquired seems to be perfect for a MAME, the key specs being 27" w/an S-Video in, and the ability to turn back on to the same input after being unplugged. Now let's just hope we don't kill ourselves taking off the case and discharging it with a screwdriver. Gulp.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Controls Panel Pieces Have Been Ordered

I had a nice spreadsheet with links and pricing information made up, but since it had been a while (5+ months) since I really researched it all, I've spent the last few days making sure of what I wanted again. Today I finally got the stuff ordered. Here's a quick rundown:

An Ipac4 interface:

Happ Competition Joysticks x4:
(In red, blue, green, and yellow)

Happ Competition Pushbuttons for controls and admin:

Happ Players 1-4 Pushbuttons:

I'm stoked now, because this is really going to come together quick it seems. I still have about 15gigs of roms to sift through on the computer, but it'll be worth it. If anyone has a suggestion on a front end, let me know. Right now I'm leaning towards MAMEWAH, but that could change.

Next up: buying the hardware and starting to make some cuts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Ordering buttons, joysticks, etc today and getting the process going. Construction is tentatively planned to begin on Super Bowl weekend!