Thread: MAME Cabinets
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Old 05-31-2005, 06:29 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chaoyang, Beijing, China
Posts: 826
Default Re: MAME Cabinets

I built mine about two years ago. Buy an</a> for your control hook-up — trust me. I was trying to hardwire everything into the keyboard matrix. One wrong wire and you fry the keyboard port of your motherboard so it won't boot up again. Set me back a long time losing that board.

Basically I demoted my old desktop to my machine. It's an Athlon 850MHz with 128MB RAM and an All-in-Wonder-128 card. Not the most powerful machine around — in fact with how great the Midway driver is, it can't even play Mortal Kombat. But it runs every SNK and Capcom game perfectly and that's what I wanted. Internally the cabinet is a load of parts from all over.

The monitor is a 21" 1989 Toshiba television set I got for $19. It had degaussing problems. When you're dealing with a screen 7 inches from your face, that's huge enough. I went with an actual TV monitor instead of a CRT because I like scan-lines, the games were made for them, and trying to emulate scan-lines is a total joke (it's not at all as simple as drawing black lines).

The sound system is an old Sony receiver that the headphone jack broke on back in 1996. I had it laying around so I put it to good use. I think the speakers I used were 7" woofer, 3" mid-range and 1.25" tweeter on right and left sides. The computer and everything else is wired up to a series of switches on the top-back end along with a volume dial (which I actually need to repair this summer, the POT blew a while back so I've been having to reach inside the cabinet through the coin door to adjust sound.

The front-ends available all stink. Just write your own.

It's by no means going to be an easy project but if you build one, even with less than ideal parts you can still have a lot of fun. Controls</a> and</a> are your friends.

And something I learned the hard way ... AVOID USING BEHR CRACKLE PAINT ON A VERTICAL SURFACE! Also, if you find yourself needing to drill Plexiglas, you have two options:
1. Don't. Buy lexite (or maybe it's lexon, the unbreakable fake glass stuff) instead.
2. Get a new hole saw from Home Depot for $4. It's worth it to not use an old one. Go very very very slow.

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