Another Arcade Machine





Introduction: Another Arcade Machine

I got this old arcade game cabinet from a friend and decided to restore it.

I haven't added the screen or joysticks yet, but the pc running 'Mame' emulator is already in place.

Step 1: Materials


- Perspex  2x 500x500mm sheets
- Paint colours (I chose orange, black and blue)
- Base coat paint
- Varnish
- Wood filler
- Steel brackets
- Florescent tube fitting and bulb
- Speaker
- Wood
- Joystick - Buttons- usb Connector controller interface - keypad
- Laptop/pc
- Screws
- Glue
- Wire
- Turpentine


- jig saw
- Paint Brush
- Screw Driver
- Printer
- Pliers
- Drill

Step 2: Filling Holes

- Fill the holes in the wood with wood filler, then sand down the edges so its smooth.

I wanted to keep the retro veneer, but there were too many scratches and chips that there was no way of saving it.

- Paint a base coat to cover the veneer. (at least 2 coats)

- Measure the Marquee areas and cut perspex sheets to fit over. Once printed, the marquee will be stuck onto the perspex and lit from behind.

- Drill holes through the perspex sheets at their corners so that they can be screwed into the wood.

Step 3: Marquees

- Download a hi resolution Marquee from the net:

A google search will bring up many results, but make sure the image can be blown up to a large size without pixelating.

I chose a Tron Legacy Image and printed it over two A4 sheets.

- Stick them together at the seem, and glue the edges only to the perspex, not the centre, or you will have unclear parts on the perspex.

- Repeat with the second marquee.

Step 4: Base Coat & Missing Pieces

Majority of the Cabinet is going to be black, therefore I decided to do the second base coat in black and cover the entire cabinet.

- Cut any missing pieces out of the wood.

the Button board was missing from my cabinet, so I cut some super wood to size, later I will drill holes for the buttons and cover with an Image and perspex.

Step 5: Paint Job

I decided to go with bright colours in stripes:

- The masking tape provides the paint lines, once the paint is applied between the tape and then dried , remove the tape to find a perfect line.

Even with all the masking tape I still needed plenty of touch ups, I used a roller brush for the large areas, and a smaller paint brush for the  hard to reach places.

Step 6: Lighting

- Glue/Screw the bulb fitting in place and run the wire down the back of the cabinet.

- Screw in the screws around the corners of the perspex marquees to cover the bulb.

- Do the same with the lower marquee.

Step 7: Electrical

There was already a speaker hole so I placed a speaker cover over it.

Best to use computer speakers and plug them into the pc.

I removed the cover on the laptop to expose the power button. Then solder a wire to either side of the Moment switch. this will be attached to the main power button on the outside of the cabinet.

PC Settings:

- Download "Mame" (this is an emultaor which alows you to play arcade games)

- Download "Mala" (this is the front end so that it looks like an arcade)

- Download  various 'Roms' which are the games that mame runs. these roms are to be placed in the rom folder of mame, in their zipped form.

- set your pc to bypass login screen.

- Set the power button to hibernate, not sleep or power off.

- in power management, make sure the computer never sleeps, only hibernates.

- if you want it to power off, place the mame.exe in the windows startup folder so that mame runs as soon as the pc turns on.

- Run 'Mala' and point to the mame directories, this should start up the Layout screen.

- If you are using a laptop, make sure when you close the lid it does not effect the pc.

- when running a game in mame, press 'tab' which will bring up a menu, in this menu you can assign the USB keypad keys to various actions , such as 'insert coin' , 'start player 1' , 'start player 2'...

- Bend the 5 "L" brackets into more of a "U" shape, this will hold the laptop in place.

- Drill holes for the brackets and screw them in place.

That completes the bare cabinet, only the screen and joysticks to be put in place from here...

* Still to be completed ...soon

Step 8: Screen



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    Looking Good, I have been checking for Arcade Builds on the net for years and yours is a great Instructable, And I too would love to see the end result.
    Take care and Enjoy

    Wow, great job! Can't wait to see the rest of the components installed.

    Thanks, busy looking now for some joy sticks and buttons on ebay...