Step 10: Cabinet - Building It All
You could go and build your own, that would be cool. But you can also be a bit lazy and still have good quality stuff. Go search around on eBay or wherever and maybe someone wants to get rid of one.
I found one in Belgium just over the border. The guy gave me two real arcade monitors (both broken sadly), a big box full of spare parts an about 12 games, including a working original tetris (might even be worth a lot of money :-P ). A total of € 40,-
So you have a cabinet, now what? We just need to put everything together. We are going to empty the cabinet from it's old inhabitants. Remember to save everything, it might be useful or worth some cash!
But first check the monitor. If it still works then maybe you can easily connect it to your graphics card. It is rare that someone sels you a cabinet with a working PC compatible monitor but hey it wouldn't be the first time. If it doesn't have any suitable connections just get it out of the cabinet, it will save you a lot of headaches. Instead put in a nice 17 or 19 old CRT monitor, it'll do the colours really good and your computer will automatically recognize it.
If the old mount points from the old monitor are still there the i recommend that you use them. It will save you a lot of work and the monitor will be at a nice predefined angle. I had to do it a bit more primitively but it worked. I had to install a board to hold the monitor up and used kitchen rolls to stabilize it. The monitor i have installed now is a 17 HP monitor which will remain there until I can find a bigger one.
Next I removed the old controls which were horrible and installed my own. I used a very long hinge to secure it at the bottom so if something goes wrong I can fix it fast an easy. I glad i did that because i needed to do it three times already! The board was wide enough to stick between the two side and needed considerable force to pull it back so no need for locks or something.
Then the coin slot door was removed and i put my computer there on the side held in place by a couple of wooden beams. Not very pretty so my dad made a nice cover for me from zinc with a hole in it for the power button.. I still need to find a big button thing to turn my computer on. My monitor is behind glass and so are my computer speakers which i simply laid on top of the monitor and taped them tight until i find some better ones. But because they are behind glass i can't turn them on so they are always on. It's a good thing they have toggle buttons.
For power I just used a power cord with multiple outlets, three in total running out through the back.