Picture of How to build a Nintendo arcade
This Instructable will show you how I built my Nintendo arcade. It is a bartop cabinet that plays original Nintendo game. The arcade is completely self contained with one power switch for everything.

You can see a video of the arcade in action at Youtube, here.

Things you will need:
1 sheet of 4'x8' 1/4" MDF
1 sheet of plexiglass
1 set of joystick and arcade buttons
1 posterboard
several cans of spray paint
an older PC
an LCD monitor
1 USB keyboard
soldering equipment
nes controller ports (ripped from a four score)
DB-25 connector
2 cases of Diet Coke :)

Inside is an old PC and a 17" LCD monitor. The back of the cabinet has two USB ports and two NES controller ports. You can connect regular, un-modded NES controllers and play with those or use the joystick and buttons on the control panel.

The front end is a simple VB program that auto loads when the PC boots. You never need to connect a mouse or keyboard to load your games. The VB program gives a list of games installed. Using the joystick, you can select the game you want to play.

Also, you can connect a keyboard and mouse to the USB ports in the back and use the set as a regular PC. It has wireless internet built in.

Step 1: Building the cabinet

Picture of Building the cabinet
Draw out the arcade shape onto 1/4" MDF. Cut it out with a circular saw, jig saw, etc... Measure and cut out the remaining parts. My cabinet is 24"x18"x 24" (H x W x D). Screw all the pieces together.
mikeypc made it!10 days ago
My completed cabinet! Using a raspberry pi as the computer
russm313 (author) 4 months ago

Just wanted to share my latest arcade build with everyone who liked this Instructable. http://imgur.com/a/xrHcZ

oakleygear4 months ago

Great job on the colors and the size of this - only thing missing is the chapter on allowing my wife to let me leave it on the kitchen counter.

ldblogan made it!6 months ago
the Simpsons live in Illinois
ébrisson10 months ago

Can you add the angle of the cabinet? It would be great!

Crafterkid12311 months ago

You should make an updated one with a wii running emulators inside :D

 How would you make it 2 player?

google "raspberry pi". Its a tiny ARM computer that can run 2 player easily. Plus the emulators are easy to install on it.

russm313 (author)  AnimalCrackersRGood5 years ago
I have NES ports on the back of the machine.  Just plug in an original NES controller and you can use it as the second player controls.
x-muts-x4 years ago
But if you're using an LCD or Plasma,
You won't be able to play Duck Hunt...
Which is the best game ever...
And you can't put an old screen in there. They're huge..
Im sure the screen doesn't matter if its LCD/Plasma.

nope. You need a CRT to use a zapper or even super scope.

It does matter; you need scan lines to make shooting games work (old CRT televisions), for the original NES anyway. Sames goes for the Sega Master System.
Most emulators allow you to add scan lines to whatever game you may be playing. Plus I'm sure you can use a mouse!
fms891 year ago
I used an Ipac 2 as hacking a keyboard was a nightmare lol.
fms891 year ago
I finally made it! It runs NES, SNES, MAME, NINTENDO 64 and GAMEBOY ADVANCE using the Atomic Fe program. A lot of trial and errors, a lot of dead ends but for a girl I think I've done pretty well :p.
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i made this with the ideal form here i runs over 600 NES games i didn't make the cabinet i found an old arcade machine and gutted it.... added an old Gateway PC and an Acer 19' monitor.... painted some things.... re-soldered the power button to the cabinet and power button to the pc on the front put two USB ports on the front.. i cheated and used a Arcade DIY Kit Parts No Delay USB Encoder + 10x Push Button + Joystick i found on ebay for $39.00 ........ used windows XP and added a usb wifi adapter inside.... i wrote a VB script but with 600+ games I've decided just to rewrite it to load the emulators NES,SNES,Gameboy,N64...ect. the joystick works as the mouse the A,B buttons are the R,L click of the mouse...and tap a button and the joystick reverts back to the controller.... if anyone need help just email me at fgramelspacher@me.com i can help with the VB script and show u where to get the program to use the joystick as the mouse.....

henpup1 year ago

Where did you get the buttons, and the joy stick

fms892 years ago

I am looking to make this but I am having trouble with all the wiring and stuff. I am a girl and this will be a massive challenge for me to build but I am no good with all that fidly bits like wiring or computers/programs. Is there any way you could give me a step by step instructions on all the wirings and stuff? I would appreciate it so much!

I love your idea and I would love to make it.
fms89@outlook.com :).

This is probably the one answer you don't want to hear, but if you want to build something like this so that it works and works well, it would be best to learn up to it. If I were actually there and could walk you through the steps by pointing out various things, doing the more tricky parts, and answering on the spot questions, I would, but I cant. I probably can't give you all the details you need in this comment, so let me point you to some excellent resources.

If you want to find good mentors you can look for some Hackerspaces in your area (hackerspaces.org). You don't have to join, but you could probably find some people who know their stuff. If that doesn't work, you could start working on it and when you come across a problem or confusing part ask questions on various forms. We have the great Q&A here on Instructables for almost anything, Stack Overflow (stackoverflow.com) works great for programming queries, Super User (superuser.com) for computer related questions, and Electrical Engineering (electronics.stackexchange.com) if you need an electronics Q&A.

They already have thousands upon millions of questions already asked and answered. You can join and ask your own questions, but I never have had to. If you can't find what you need there, just Google what you want you are having problems with and a few keywords, then follow the instructions they give you.

I should tell you, this isn't something a novice can just build in a week on and off. If a seasoned maker had all the parts they might be able to pull it off in a weekend. I should tell you that need to get ready for some frustration and dead ends. They'er just an unavoidable part of the game. I don't want to scare you away from doing this, though. It's an awesome feeling I get whenever I finish a difficult project and it works. I wouldn't want to keep anyone from that.
Nice job, i think i will make something like this built out of my old NES, PS1 and maybe get a SNES. Great job on this. i'm not going to sacrifice a computer though. rather just hack an old console.
Your measurement from front to back is really 2ft? My dad and i sat at the pc trying to figure this out forever because 2 ft just seemed a little small lol so just wanted to clarify this ! And i bought a 4x8 board and it seems like i have enough mdf to make two of these cabs
tygersrule2 years ago
Hey, planning on building this, can you tell me how much plexiglass you used and where you go it from? Also, what did you use for the secondary buttons, and where did you get them from.
russm313 (author)  tygersrule2 years ago
I got the plexi from Home Depot. The secondary buttons are just momentary SPST buttons from radioshack. Good luck!
For my one I'm gonna use my NES and my small tv and a NES advantage.
trosenau3 years ago
I know this is really late but almost a year ago I said I might do this for my senior project? I did :)
jackflash3 years ago
I was wondering how much everything costs to build this ?....

Awsome job btw. SAL
cfoster153 years ago
Im just going to use a nes system to do this. I know I can't save games but that seems a bit more like a real arcade anyways. I will defiantly use this design (with some modifications obviously) to make a nes arcade machine. Then a Snes arcade machine. Thank god for parents with tools or I might have to buy my own!

now all i need is some diet coke.... oh yeah and all that other stuff
cc673 years ago
Do you need to install an operating system for this???
That thing freaking rocks!!!!!, I'm tinking of versions for other retro systems & include all the games that we all grew up w/.
Is the diet coke have to come in later on or is it used for something?

Ples explain
some people dont get the joke
it is for all the energy. caffiene
qneuhalfen4 years ago
Would it be possible to make a Sega arcade the same way
As you have your pc , you are free to do anything with it , just add more buttons!
Krayzi993 years ago
Is there a way to get the VB script from ya? still a extremely beginner vb programmer
download an emulator
For Windows XP-Vista-7:
1, click start
2.Click all programs
3.Click STARTUP (folder)
4.put a shortcut to an emulator here
kulak3143 years ago
what are the measurements for each piece of the box?
depending on your system , for him , he use 4x8
How can i make that VB program, so that it runs on system boot up??
For Windows XP-Vista-7
1, click start
2.Click all programs
3.Click STARTUP (folder)
4.put a shortcut to your application here
5.The application must be a pre-made VB program or an emulator
Yeah mann dats really easy...
Bt i want dat VB prog???
make a button that does this action : start "[emulator name here].exe" "[rom name and location here].nes"
I may code it for you!
go make it yourself its easy!
Derek Vigil3 years ago
How much money would this cost overall?
I have a question please reply to me @ thethiny@ymail.com
I have found the Ground and Open for all my buttons , now I have everything ready except for one thing, how do I connect them?
I have the buttons and the pins , please tell me step-by-step how-to?
should I get a wire and connect it to the button and open-pin ,then get another wire and connect it to the button and ground-pin? So it would look like this:
Ground Pin --------| | --------Open Pin
please help I wont waste my 350$!!!
Unless I'm missing something (which is completely possible since I've only been skimming), wouldn't it be easier to use a pcb from a pc-compatible usb controller? They're really cheap, you can find them anywhere and are much easier to modify than a keyboard.
awolf13 years ago
Very cool.... Go to fav list.

But Diet Coke??? really?? I think soda is better. ^^

promotions3 years ago
Wow, this is an awesome instructable it really does show how to create a state of the art nintendo arcade.

Nintendo Repair Shop
sboekelman3 years ago
can i use a nes advantige controler for it?
T_T_ sboekelman3 years ago
not without this Chip
trosenau4 years ago
Im hoping to do this for my senior project, so in the upcoming next months :)
couldn't you just get an old tv,NES,and NES advantage controller?
how big is your monitor and extra side room so i can adjust the size some
cooltool4564 years ago
Can you use an old mac?
yes yes you can
Probably not unless you can find A: a compatible emulator program and B: a way to start it on bootup.
Ekloef4 years ago
I have one word... WOOOOOW! O_O

I have to do this some day! the relssy great part is how easy it word be to use the same machine with various emulators!

You made my head spin with inspiration! Thanks a lot =D
Krayzi994 years ago
it would be easier to get a joystick with buttons and use joytokey to configure it to keys
orangeguy816 years ago
Cool job. I did notice you attached the joystick on the top of the panel. You are supposed to put it under the wood. Otherwise, awesome.
i think it looks awesome like that. looks retro
I am thinking space dictated this design, rather than aesthetics... I personally like it looking like that, as it reminds me of a old-school arcade where they were exposed like that. Kudos!
russm313 (author)  Spokehedz6 years ago
Actually, it wasn't space. I wanted it to be an all in one bartop arcade.
Nono... I meant installing the joystick on top of the control panel instead of from the underside.
russm313 (author)  Spokehedz6 years ago
Oh I understand what you mean now. No, it wasn't a space issue. There is plenty of room below the control panel. I honestly just screwed up and put the joystick on the outside. This is the first arcade I've ever built. I am fixing it this weekend, though. I'll post updated pics once the repairs are done.
is there a way to install a driving wheel? theres a game that has 1 button a driving wheel and a joy stick its a really awsome game and i want to play it all the time thanks
russm313 (author)  orangeguy816 years ago
22,000 hits and you are the first person to mention that. I thought for sure, when I posted this, I would get eaten alive because of that screw up! I didn't notice it until after I had finished. I am actually redoing the control panel this weekend. I will be fixing the joystick and adding a thicker piece of plexiglass.
ha ha.. I only noticed that because I am building my own stand up cab. awesome job!
Wowee this is pretty cool. Like I've seen cool things on instructables but this just like tops the scales
Good job I would like to see what else you have made:)
HurcanDewit4 years ago
i love this. a lot.
craig34 years ago
Is it possible to get a drawing of the measurements for the side of it? or even possible all the pieces of it? sides, back, top and the piece underneath the tip hangover?
jackman274 years ago
did you guys know that it is illegal to play roms with a copyright on them, even if you do own the game? look at this website http://www.nintendo.com/corp/legal.jsp
Well they aren't exactly going to encourage it. It would be hard to run down to Walmart and buy one of these NES games. How are Nintendo or the makers of those games profiting on no sales of the NES game cartridges?

BTW, it doesn't say it is illegal to play or have the ROMS, it says it is illegal to download them. It actually says that you CAN have them with restrictions.
d1ndian4 years ago
Hi i always wanted to make a portable arcade system outta an old laptop. Putting a laptop and doing a few modification to your control system would make it very lightweight portable all in one laptop + arcade machine. Now how to setup everything in place is the only tricky part.
jceason4 years ago
how much does the stuff cost?
jceason4 years ago
Could you send me the pdf? jce2875@gmail.com
chance3134 years ago
This is just great!
how can we shut down the arcade without a keyboard??
mcaliber.504 years ago
i would make it so you could switch games, like the original nes
zeroblood4 years ago
correct me if im wrong but the VB program brings up a list of roms to choose when the computer boots right? here is a way to do that with a batch file
put all your roms into a folder ("nesroms" in this case) put them in your C: folder then open notepad and type:

cd C:
start nesroms

then save it as .bat and put it in your startup folder and that should do the trick. just 3 simple lines. great project by the way
How would i go about adding more buttons?
hey so im making something similar, except im simply placing a sega genesis inside the box. how can i convert the av cables so that the game can be played on a dell computer screen?
what program u use
Foxfur4 years ago
Does anyone know of a good MAME or other emulator tutorial? I never have been able to use an emu or get one working. Also where one can DL a MAME excecutable for winders 7? I found uncompiled ones @ MAME's site. Kick me if I'm lame but along with the kick an answer would be much appreciated.
Thanks russm313, great project!
jackman274 years ago
i cant get the sticky key trick to work, any help?
i found out you use mouse keys
andrewn14 years ago
This arcade looks really great, but for the time and material cost, buying one makes more sense to me. I bought one a few months ago from a company that makes them here in the US, shocker. Here's the link to the Xtension Mini Arcade I bought from Rec Room Masters.

and that cabinet costs 250 bucks with NO controllers or guts. Also this site is called instructables, for people who actually take pride in building things themselves. When all is said and done someone could do this build on their own for under 300 bucks, buying it all would run you around 500. I know I don't have 500 bucks to blow.
jporter-24 years ago
can you use a 20"
you can use any size he probably just had a 17" laying around
where did you get you joystick and buttons?
Drandula4 years ago
And this have been collecting dust for long time, 'cause I am too lazy to wire keyboard or install computer inside.
mrsocky5 years ago
where did you get your software to open the games and was there any aditional programming?i realy would like to do this but thats the only problem.
russm313 (author)  mrsocky5 years ago
I wrote a VB code to act as a menu for opening the games, however, I have now discovered that it was not the best way to do so.  You can download a "front end" for emulators.  A good one I found is AtomicFE , you just point it at your list of games and it opens them for you, letting you choose which game you want.
The "front end" I use in my arcade machine is called RockNESX and you can download RockNESX here http://www.rom-world.com/file_emu.php?id=48.
For the NES roms I get them from rom-world.com.
where did you get your games?
Do all the switches use the same ground?
russm313 (author)  recordmasta0015 years ago
Yes, I used one common ground for all the switches
is their a site dedicated to consoles turned into stand up arcades?
The Y4 years ago
This is so freaking difficult. How many people can do this...:$
andrewn1 The Y4 years ago
Irock1484 years ago
can thatthing emulate wii or DS games or basicallysomething along those lines I just wanna play mario but who doesn't
bigboss1724 years ago
Hiya! Any chance of getting some source code from the vb program you used?
hey do you use sticky keys for a secondary mouse mode ?
How Can i do this. Which prosser do u have. I have intel inside pentium 4.
trete4 years ago
whats the paper you have? And how exactly would connect the wires to the pins and all?
ben108864 years ago
Where did you find the big nintendo logo? Is it a sticker? I built my own and I need to figure out how to get the large nintendo logo on the front like you have.

Great Job by the way!

russm313 (author)  ben108864 years ago
It's just an image I printed from my PC. I cut it in half in photoshop and printed each half on 8.5x11 paper. I then cut out the logo and glued it to a piece of posterboard that was cut to fit the marquee.
itjmiller4 years ago
I was hoping you could elaborate on the NES ports in the back. I am just starting to try this pro'ject out and most of it I understand. The NES ports, however, I'm having a hard time with. I see that you said you used a four score and created a NES to parallel port cable. Could you elaborate on that process or point out what site you got that from? I've see guide for ONE NES port to parallel, but not more then one. Actually.. how many are in the back of yours?
The "BRD-4NES4SNES" seems to be the best way to go, I'm just wondering if this is the route you went. Although, and extra $20 will bring that $100 budget up a bit...
crafty4694 years ago
do you have any drawings of the dimensions you used for each part? Prettey sweet
Love it. Very well done. would go nice with the trunk i made. Here.
russm313 (author)  thisissafety4 years ago
I've seen this, great job!
And will that work on Windows 7?
Dude, an older PC (such as the one you would use here, say a PIII-P4) won't run Windows 7 in the first place. You can get an overstock PIII almost for free in several universities, schools or at your workplace, or try fishing one on eBay or in a garage sale. Or even try to do a MINI-arcade cabinet, with an older laptop, using its screen as LCD! Anyway, in either case, Linux and/or Windows 98 are your friends. Don't be overkill with the OS; it's a NES emulator, not Metal Gear Solid 4 in HDMI... ;-)
bah! get linux
Drandula4 years ago
My arcade's case is ready.
I am learning how to solder, then the buttons can be finished. Its now basically just that and installing parts in case.
rosenred4 years ago
Great work man, loved it. If you have a bar, it makes a hell of a bar top! I was thinking that had you added an extra set of controls, it would be wide enough to allow for a stand alone cabinet... Also the mouse mode idea was brilliant! In this case, even if you do not have a front end like yours, you can pretty much control any emulator without the need of programming a large number of keys.
SonicX 224 years ago
lucky for me i have the exact same computer :D
Mate thats awesome!! thanks heaps for the great instructions. One thing though, with the rocker switch that turns on and off the power to the surge protector, did you dismantle the surge protector and just extend off from the existing switch. I feel competent with electronics and electricity however if I can get away with it I would prefer not to delve into changing or hacking into any of the mains power stuff. For that reason I used an existing pre mounted fluro and I actually found a powerboard with the male pc style adaptor already on it (they are used for server style UPSs). I guess I can always just switch it on and off from the wall as I can't think of any other way to do it without hacking the surge protector itself. In any case this is an excellent project thankyou heaps!!
Alex Dee5 years ago
this is very good its brilliant im only 14 and i know where the keyboard controler is lol? im an  IT champion at my school ( basicly i know  alot about computers) and ive made one its so powerful .im even amazed. il try and get a picture. (sorry for changing the convorsation around) soon maby tomorow.

         Congrats russm313 keep building
hintss Alex Dee5 years ago
and I'm turning 14, linux user, use a dvorak keyboard, and can do CAD, rendering, and stuff at a reasonable speed on a netbook with 400MB RAM. and I spent days tweaking the configs to make it that much prettier.
yes i'm 10 and an IT genius i'm gonna give this a try.
F-175 years ago
This is really the coolest thing i'v ever seen and you made it in a week, even better, and it looks so official, but how did you make the marquee?
ryandean98 F-175 years ago
Try Ebay
You can google search for supplies and things needed and that is pretty darn cool Thats awsome man,thats awsome
chewbaccaa5 years ago
how do you wire the stick :(
Drandula5 years ago
Well, about year ago I bought joysticks and had plans making arcade. I didn't make one because I didn't have any tools or material (or will to do). But yesterday I started making it :) Its still pretty rough, no holes for buttons, no bezel etc. I haven't hacked keyboard yet and you don't see some parts of arcade in these pictures. My arcade will emulate NES and GB/C games, and with external controller also SNES and GBA (gotta test power if it can handle N64) Also with external controller you will be able to use 2 player. Those are my plans for now.
I forgot add the measurements: 43.6cm * 40cm * 40cm

The monitor is 15" TFT (one dead pixel :/ ). I see almost everyone keeps their monitor casing, and that uses more space. I took the casing off to fit monitor in.

Motherboard is 17cm * 17cm Intel D945GCLF2 Intel Atom 330

After I have made all cuts, drill etc. I will disassemble arcade and paint all parts. 
Drandula5 years ago
Oh yeah, I totally forgot: How thick wire should I use for connecting buttons and keyboard chip? I thought buying 1.5mm I might buy computer controller what I will hack instead of keyboard.
How much does everything cost?
ebubbula5 years ago
Awesome!!!!! I love what you've done! Do you know about how much it cost?
hey russm i used dsl (Damn small Linux) and wine (windows emulator) mine boots in seconds and has a full library controlled by no switching from mouse and keyboard
russm313 (author)  electronic boy5 years ago
that sounds like a really great idea. What do you mean by "no switching from mouse and keyboard"?
it just uses the joystick input to control a menu of games and emulators so no OS gets involved with the mouse
Where can you get the software to run the games?
LOL just get an emulator, search off google i like the web site emulator zone i have a nes sega gennesis and others i just use it sometimes
Danielzxzx15 years ago
Cool but will this work if I use a windows 98?
russm313 (author)  Danielzxzx15 years ago
sure it will.
there are many different nes emulators so yes u probably can run windows 98
could you please post a link to the matrics... or anything i need about this keyboard since i have the same exact one to cut time... great instrucable by the way!
kissmaniac5 years ago
Excelent job!!!
Thank's for the instructable, Please i can have the vb software to download please?
on megaupload or similar? i can´t make one, im tottally noob for programming.
... (Sorry my bad "English", I'm Brazilian!

Best Regards,

You can download software and games from www.atomicfe.com/EN2/download.php.
 does atomicfe run automatically when the computer turns on?
Thank's qazwsx755!

But my question was about the simple visual basic program (Menu) of russm313(author), not the Frontend ...

Thank's anyway!
russm313 (author)  kissmaniac5 years ago
I'm afraid my VB program would not help you.  I am not a programmer, so I did not really know what I was doing.  The program only works on that particular machine due to the file structure.  Your best bet is to use atomic fe.  Sorry, I couldn't be of help, I wish you luck.
Thank's! no problem :D
Keep makin'  the fantastic stuff like this arcade!


Just get an emulator and run it off windows.
hankhill345 years ago
Would A Old Fashioned Computer Monitor Work?
russm313 (author)  hankhill345 years ago
zack2475 years ago
you know, i just have too many p4 motherboards lying around... if i can find something to construct the cabinet out of this will be one of the many out of place cases for my mobos!

great instructable! i can see that it has insired many!
itstaylorr5 years ago
Just thought I would let you know, you inspired yet another person to take a shot at building the Nintendo Arcade.  I fell in love with yours the moment i saw it, so I am pretty much attempting a carbon copy of what you did (note the diet coke in picture 2).

Mine is coming along quite nicely!  I'm really trying to take my time with the cabinet portion of it, I have very little experience working with wood.

I will post updates soon
russm313 (author)  itstaylorr5 years ago
This is looking great!  I can't wait to see it finished.  Nice work!
dffmmm5 years ago
Great instructable, just finished mine.
I wanted more options so it,s a little bigger, it did gave me some problems though.

Tip: if you want multiplayer, get ready to hack 2 keyboards. I had just 1 at first but the microcontroller overloaded so if player 1 just pushed enough buttons, player 2 coudn't do anything.
russm313 (author)  dffmmm5 years ago
Very nice!  Thanks for the tip about the keyboard controller.  I will be sure to take that into account when I build my next one!
funnyfoo05 years ago
i am thinking of building a touchscreen cabinet great instructable
bensfolks5 years ago
where is the home stuff
dylanlarson5 years ago
im not very familiar with what a vb or visual basic program is do you think you you could post a link to the one you used or if you wrote it give me some info
mrsocky5 years ago
where did you get all of your games ? how much did this project cost?

shimmel5 years ago
Ok, so i saw this instructable, and it looked GREAT! AWESOMEjob!
I have been working on this for the past month (wife NOT HAPPY); and it is
certainly challenging. I thought i would add a few comments:
this project is expensive,(easily 300.00) esp if you don't have the right tools. 
a variety of skills utilized - carpentry, wiring, finishing, computer savvy
be careful when drilling plexiglass (use a hole saw- 1 and one eigth inch for buttons- this is very precise)
make sure you have fans/vents built in to your design or you will overheat
plan your computer layout carefully, you do not have a lot of room
have not completed hacking keyboard yet
i used hinges on the top and bottom panels
I will post some pics, but still needs lots of finishing work.

 when i did all the math to see how much this would cost i estimated $150?? but it looks like you did alot more with your design mayb thats y :/ also i used the site ultimarc.com to get my supplies :D
 I've all most got my arcade machine finished and I've only spent about $10 on mine even tho it's 20' x 30' x 72'. But that is because I either had the stuff or got it from friends.
 It's gone to just $100 now that it's done.
russm313 (author)  qazwsx7555 years ago
That's a sweet looking machine.  Awesome job!
habzbah5 years ago
 where can i buy the nes controller/keyboard thing pre-built?
vexerr habzbah5 years ago
google: i-pac
yo man5 years ago
crazy cool man!
turtleshane5 years ago
where did the mother board come from? and how do you program the machine?
russm313 (author)  turtleshane5 years ago
The motherboard is the motherboard for the computer that is running the emulator.  Not sure what you mean by "program the machine"
what i mean by how do you program the machine is how do you get the emulator and games onto the motherboard?
im sorry if im asking to many questions haha
He has a full computer in there. Hard drive and all.
theres an old pc inside the machine that runs the emulators if im not mistaken
Onkei5 years ago
This is really cool. I might try it sometime. But right now we are low on money, but maybe soon. I do have an old computer I could use, but not an extra lcd monitor I'm willing to give up. Might just go with crt and make the case a bit bigger. Since the crt I have is a flat screen not round. The only thing is I'm not good with electronics to do all that game pad building. My brother is great with electronics, right now he is going to college to become an electronic engineer. But that's the problem to is he has like no time on his hands. Anyway I might be able to pull it off. If I can get the parts.
aheusdens5 years ago
Great work! How did you setup the speakers in terms of wiring/connections? Thanks.
russm313 (author)  aheusdens5 years ago
They are just PC speakers plugged into the speaker output port on the computer.  Just as you would connect any speakers to a PC.  The only difference is, I took the speakers out of the plastic housing.
666irock5 years ago
whats the coke for???????????????????????????????
russm313 (author)  666irock5 years ago
I like coke.
nicolo865 years ago
Hello I have some hard time understanding what parts of the keyboard you used how you made the prototype circuit and how did you connected the control panel to the prototype circuit great Instructables 
Thanks for the cabinet design. i was thinkin about doing this to my old imac g3.
russm313 (author)  henrykins1115 years ago
No, problem.  iMac G3 should work very nicely for a project like this.  Let' see some pictures when you are done!
XWXAXDXEX5 years ago
russm313 (author)  XWXAXDXEX5 years ago
trunkar5 years ago
Hey .... Nice Intructable...her is some picture of my .. trying to finish...
russm313 (author)  trunkar5 years ago
Very nice!  great work.  I'd love to see some more pics when you are done.  Congrats on a great piece of work.
Chromatica5 years ago
Did you Copy you
First off, amazing job, it really came out well, but I'm starting to make one of my own and I'm having a little trouble with the vb.  Can you enlighten me very quick on some of this.

private File as String, Path as String

code inside button

       File = "E:\downloads\Nes Roms M\Megaman2.nes"
         Path = "C:\Users\Tommy\AppData\Local\Temp\nestopia.exe"
        Shell(Path + " " + File, vbNormalFocus)

i get the application to run, but it does not start the rom, so if you see and error, something I'm missing or even if you did it a completely different way,  i would be very grateful for the help.(and all the paths are right)
Radke225 years ago
hi was wondering if you could send what must we take the computer and send to my email and lara.tmr @ hotmail.com

ah. its arcade and other if you can answer I will wait
BadrEddine5 years ago
            Great work Man i wiish that i can do it 2 but i will try but i dont have skills working with bsoldering
Aaamazzara5 years ago
 I have A couple of Questions???
Would it work on Windows 98?
Could I use A Atari Joystick?
Where Could I buy the JoyStick and Buttons besides online?

Drakeler5 years ago
I may try doing this sometime in the later future. i miss playing on the ole NES
tabby8225 years ago
Where did you get the marquee?
russm313 (author)  tabby8225 years ago
It's just a sheet of plexiglass.  The nintendo logo is printed on 8.5x11 paper and then cut out and glued to a poster board.  the poster board was cut to size and the plexiglass was put over it.
jeddotcom5 years ago
Which emulator did you use -- FCEUX?

russm313 (author)  jeddotcom5 years ago
shimmel5 years ago
Let me first say that this is a brilliant instructable.  I finally finished the project, although mine turned out to be more of a mame arcade; but also running nes, snes, zinc, and daphne emulators.  Have fun with this instructable.  It was great!  Thank you to the author for the inspiration.
russm313 (author)  shimmel5 years ago
Great work!  I'm glad my instructable was able to help.  I started to make mine a full blown mame cabinet with all emulators as well, but then I decided to make it NES specific.  The next one I make will have everything.  Did you use "sticky keys" as I did in the instructable?  I'm curious as to how well it works for you.

Since I've made this cabinet, I've built a base for it, so it's more like a full size stand up arcade now.  I moved it into my sons' room and I ripped some dvds onto and now they can use it to watch movies too.  I added the dvd titles to my games menu, so all they have to do is click the title of the DVD they want to watch.  We still don't keep a mouse or keyboard connected to it.
 This is so cool :D

I know what to do with my computer when I get a new one this Christmas XD
Fashim5 years ago
This is probably the Coolest thing ive seen for a while.. But with some more Experience of Coding and a couple more buttons you could make your own OS and have differant Emus but 5/5
wassap5 years ago
What angle is the control panel at? like 20 degrees?
Drandula6 years ago
I had ordered joysticks and buttons, but I dont understand this. Please, could you do step-to-step? So I could check what I must do before I can even connect them.
Dont need anymore, I finally understood (couple days ago really). Ordered two joysticks for two player :)
russm313 (author)  Drandula5 years ago
Awesome!  Let us know how it goes.
Nah, not going very well. I don't have plywood so I can't do the cabinet :/
But I have already those controllers made and I had tried make some
simply coin slot, and software for forking. Keyboards Leds shows how much playtime you have left (All three on=more than 5 minutes, one is blinking=4 minutes, two on=3minutes etc.). Also I have games already but my computer, what I would used, smashed up :I

So like that its going. I am more working on fangame project:

Games forum topic:

Oh and I also am making chainmall(arh, will not be ready for Halloween) and Kalevala comic.
 i checked the zelda game out it looks sick :D im still not getting how you put the emulator and download the games and make sure the program is the first one to open :? i should know this to!! i used to do all this stuff and i still in my free time build gadgets and robots haha
turtleshane5 years ago
 i really want to do this but im confused and have some questions haha for starters where did you get the keyboard controller
russm313 (author)  turtleshane5 years ago
I built my controller from a USB keyboard.  However, you can buy one premade.  Just google ipac
alrite so i googled ipac and found the controller but im still not getting what exactly is goin on at that part.  The ipac controller and the keyboard controller are different.
nevermind did some research and now im starting to get all of this, but if i use the ipac then how do i program buttons such as select, mouse mode, exit, reset, mouse click, and hide/show menu?
russm313 (author)  turtleshane5 years ago
You have to turn on Sticky Keys inside control panel.  This allows you to use the arrows on the num pad as a mouse.  (8 is up, 2 is down, 4 is left, and 6 is right.)  The number 5 key is your mouse click.  Also, the num lock key disables and enables Sticky keys, so, the num lock key would be your mouse mode switch.  Start and select can be any key, you just set that up inside the emulator, just as will set up A and B buttons.  For the exit button, I assigned it to the F4 key.  And since I assigned the Select button to the control key.... when I press Select and Exit, it's the same as pressing Alt+F4 on the keyboard, thus exiting whatever program is open.  Reset was connected to the R key because inside the emulator, pressing Alt+R resets the game... so pressing select and reset, resets the game.  I hope this helps.  Please let me know if you have any other questions.
but that is for if you were to use a keyboard right? Or for the ipac do you use the switch that is the r key on a keyboard for example.  here is the link for what im talking about.
turtleshane5 years ago
what kind of switch are the secondary switches? tactile?
russm313 (author)  turtleshane5 years ago
They are SPST switches.  They are also called toggles or On/Off switches.  any Single Pole Single Throw will work as long as it is not a momentary switch.  You can get them at Radio Shack.  The associate "should" know what you want if you tell him/her SPST not momentary.
alrite i got what you are saying thanks
nesko1565 years ago
I have a question. If you were to actually unplug the unit how would you turn the monitor back on since everything is all closed up?
russm313 (author)  nesko1565 years ago
The monitor turns on when it detects power, just as the PC does.  So, turning on the toggle switche, applies power to the entire machine, thus turning on the PC and Monitor.  The monitor just sleeps until then.
It's not as complex as yours, but I'm just about finished with the cabinet! Awesome Instructable!
russm313 (author)  DinosaurzFTW5 years ago
What's the update... how's the project coming?
russm313 (author)  DinosaurzFTW5 years ago
Looks great!  Good work!  Can't wait to see a finished pic.
Where did you get the super mario rom, I have been looking for one but can't find it.  I found super mario bros with shellcreeper, but I can't find the one that is being played in the pictures (its my favorite)

Thanks in advance
it might be against the rules to post a link, just google it, it is everywhere
You can post links, and I found a downloadable (non-rom) game, but it doesn't look like the classic view (which I would rather have.  Also I have found roms but they haven't worked (a lot of the roms on the website don't work with mame 32.  I found one that you can play on the internet that has the classic view, but you can't download it,  Oh well, I'll find one that works eventually.
look in the torrents, look for nes roms (the ones that have a lot of roms). there are some mario hacks, but also the original one.

if not.: http://romhustler.net/rom/nes/863/mario-bros

Thanks, now that I think of it I haven't actually tried that one, I downloaded it but never tried it.

It's frustrating that some roms don't work with some versions of mame.

Thanks again for the help
Just go to yoyo games and download a free version of anything basically!!!
Nice job
goeon5 years ago
 can you attach the software porfavore?
LoboNR5 years ago
Hi man
congratulations you're so great
but i've some questions
did you use HD on your old computer??
How did you get the visual VBprogram??
i've an old computer and wanna make my own nintendo arcade

could you passme the VB code?? or the complette instructable to mye-mail adress??
my e-mail adress is   lobo.alirog13@gmail.com

thankyou and another time congratulations!!
luigi1123445 years ago
how about i pay you to make one of these? the same amount it took to build it
mnbouchet5 years ago
 Possibly the coolest thing I have seen in a while. Great job, keep it up :)
kathynv5 years ago
This is incredible. Great job.
russm313 (author)  kathynv5 years ago
How much did it cost?
russm313 (author)  StarWarsSteampunker5 years ago
I already had the computer and monitor.  So I spent less than $100.00
Conexion5 years ago
Beautiful work man. Some day, I will make something like this! I really need to get my workbench started!
Lizander5 years ago
I'm voting for yours even though Mine is only a few votes behind yours lol, cause this is so sweet!!!! I'm going to make this as soon as I wire up my room...... :D
ugee4675 years ago
Could you send me or display the VB code you wrote for this system?
where did you get the joystick and buttons
russm313 (author)  therealdragon6 years ago
I ordered them from arcade emulators. Just do a google search, there are quite a few websites that sell them.
djr67895 years ago
duuuuude (H) this is so cool .youve just had my vote
russm313 (author) 5 years ago
I've answered a lot of questions about this project both on and off this comment thread. I would really appreciate the votes for this contest. Thanks! And as always, I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have if you choose to build one of these.
Great job and well thought out! You got my vote! The details are what I really like about this project and this is something anybody from 8 - 80 years old could enjoy!
smartrobot5 years ago
can you put the software on this instuctable
what would you say the price range for this project was?
Where did you get the games (roms) that you put in your arcade. I want to build one, but I don't have any games to put on it. Also what software did you use to control it. Thanks in advance!
You can download them here:

But I cannot answer to another question, so wait for answer.
migueIII5 years ago
i need!help please! can you send me a step by step i have the key board apart but i just dont understand

That would be helpful, its pretty simply when you understand it.
devsfan18306 years ago
An update on my front end development: Halted. I found a FAR easier solution, use someone elses! It by far beats the pants of what I was making. I also added a 4th emulator to the mix: MAME. Click this link for a video of what the result is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT2NajjkPxc
any chance you cna link to that front end?
MaLa Frontend: http://www.malafe.net/
MaLa setup guide(hosted by me, made by someone else, .doc file):
u removed the video after 2 days.. y.......
KnexFreek6 years ago
faved and subscribed good job!!!!! i gave it 5 stars!! suprising only 50 out of 50,000 people rated it
MattyGroch6 years ago
So what kind of screws did you use for it? I've decided to go with 1/2" MDF, instead of 1/4" only because it was much more easy to find. Did you use wood glue at all? I was thinking about using L brackets on the inside of the cabinet to give it some extra durability.
ephenclark6 years ago
where do you get the VB program
D.L.H.6 years ago
This is completely and utterly awesome
ktalex6 years ago
cool but the ports would be beatter in the front.
tech_al3x6 years ago
Great Job! Keep up the Awesome Ideas, I'm sure to copy, hehehe!!
Samdrag16 years ago
can you send me a step by step instructions to my email?
dthaller136 years ago
is there any way i could get a copy of the VB exe so i can run it....also the games?? I dont know how to make one and all the ones i found are to complicated
CNet6 years ago
I am unsure of what you installed/created for the auto start of the emulator. Can anyone clue me in?
russm313 (author)  CNet6 years ago
I wrote a very basic code in VB. It just displays a list of games and when you click on one, that just opens up the file in the emulator. You could accomplish the same thing in Word using hyperlinks, it's that simple. Then I put the exe file in the windows start up folder.
that sounds good fun and easy
CNet CNet6 years ago
The question I'm really asking is at what point in Windows start-up does the VB script auto-start itself.
russm313 (author)  CNet6 years ago
Once windows is fully loaded, it looks in it's own "start up folder" anything inside that folder is kicked off at that point. All I did was add the program I wrote to that folder. So it starts the VB program once windows is completely loaded.
I believe he said he used Visual Basic Script, but you can do it in other languages too. I used C# (see vids above)
themanpear6 years ago
How do you get the PC to power on from the main power toggle in the back without a PC power on-button? Also how tall did you make the marquee, gonna attemp this this weekend drawing up my designs now. Great Job!!
russm313 (author)  themanpear6 years ago
In the bios you can set the PC to power on after power failure. Enable that option, then anytime it detects a power source, (switched being turned on), it powers up the PC. I'd love to see pics of what you come up with.
You can write new bios that have the nintendo logo for fun:)
I'm probably gonna increase the width of the thing to 24" to accomadate a 2nd player arcade style controls. Also not sure if I'm going to stick with a Ninetendo layout or go for a Super Nintendo one and put all the extra buttons in.
russm313 (author)  themanpear6 years ago
The next one I build will definitely have two player controls and have 6 buttons to accommodate any system emulator. With this one, I wanted to emulate an original NES as much as possible. I wanted it to look like something Nintendo would have marketed had they made one of these. For two player functionality, I added the nes ports in the back. My son and I play Tecmo Bowl all the time like that :)
I was looking to get a Baseball Stars Tournament going on mine
russm313 (author)  themanpear6 years ago
:) That is my favorite NES game ever made! I would rather play BBS all day than play one of the new realistic baseball games.
russm313 (author)  themanpear6 years ago
Oh, sorry. I missed the question about the marquee. I think it is about 4" tall, I know that it is 18" wide. If you need exact, I can measure it when I get home today.
WhatULive46 years ago
For those people who wouldn't want to try and figure out how to make the original nes controllers work, I would recommend http://www.retrousb.com/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=28.

Instead of hacking up a keyboard, I would use an actual joystick and use Joy2Key as a mouse.
very cool project. For anyone looking to do something similar, go check out arcadecontrols.com. that site is dedicated to poeple building their own arcade cabinets. the forums have hundreds of examples of different cabinets people have built. most of them are built to run actual arcade guns using the MAME emulator, but many of them also have console emulators. writing your own vb script is pretty cool. there are also alot of great front ends that already exist that work with lots of emulators. you can set them up with fancy graphics and a fully customized gui. one that works great is MALA. as for where to buy controls, there are lots of places.. groovygamegear.com, ultimarc.com, and lizardlick.com are a few of the well known ones. very cool project though..i'd love to build a bartop at some point. i'm personally in the middle of restoring an original Donkey Kong cabinet that will run MAME and play most of the great classic arcade games. the arcadecontrols.com forums are by far the best resource on the net for this type of project. congratulations on a great build
How did you write the front end in VB to access the emulator and games? Or what did you write exactly?
russm313 (author)  InfectedDead6 years ago
I wrote a very basic code in VB. It just displays a list of games and when you click on one, that just opens up the file in the emulator. You could accomplish the same thing in Word using hyperlinks, it's that simple.
eyobin26 years ago
dude i give u props dat is da sickest looking arcade station i have seen, im gonna give it a shot im a mid 80's guy, NINTENDO all da way.. wooohoooo
russm313 (author)  eyobin26 years ago
Thanks, if you build one, I'd love to see it.
Oroka6 years ago
Wow, this is inspirational! I have a miniATX computer I am willing to part with, and even a NES I would be willing to cannibalize to make it even more authentic... I just need the time and a monitor.
russm313 (author)  Oroka6 years ago
I was originally going to use a mini ATX motherboard and a 7" LCD. I still plan to in the future...
moratmarit6 years ago
Woow..this amazing. thanks for share
impressive to say the least, this has inspired me to make my own just like this with a few minor changes. That being a different paint job and putting almost every system on there, NES, SNES, SMS, GEN, GB, GBA and Mame. How difficult would it be to make an 8 button top,instead of the two button you have configured? And instead of NES ports id use these usb to Playstation controller adapters that i bought from Radio Shack a few years ago that i currently use to play games now with. Once again awesome job!
russm313 (author)  VegaTheChosen6 years ago
Sounds awesome! I'd love to see pics when you are done. 8 buttons wouldn't be any harder.
Please give any suggestion to the "Instructables the Movie" at http://www.instructables.com/community/Instructables-the-movie/
ReCreate6 years ago
I imagined that this used a computer...but i thought it was a laptop >_< Just a quick paint.net'edit...
russm313 (author)  ReCreate6 years ago
Looks like a laptop would have worked well. But no, it was a Dell GX270
Nice :) Well, Neat i'ble though ;)
devsfan18306 years ago
Just thought I'd share some progress on my version of this arcade. The following is a youtube link to a screen capture of the ROM launcher i'm working on. once i get this done i'm gonna build the controls, using a I-PAC board. I dont have the patience, nor the extra keyboards to try what russ did :P

Vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XkbDMKDZJQ
russm313 (author)  devsfan18306 years ago
That is an excellent Frontend! What did you write it in?
Wrote it up in C# using Visual Studio 2008. The code is pretty much the basics just a TON of repetitive code. So it becomes really tedious, but I don't really know how else to do it. If you want, i can send ya the code file when I'm done. The roughest part is getting all the game arts, I just finished getting art for over 500 Genesis games, theres over 100 NES games there. Still have 770 SNES roms to go (i expect to thin it out, lots of hacked unofficial ones i wanna weed out).

I just updated it again with some of the sega arts, and a tweak to the SNES mode. Realized they made SNES art in wide boxes rather than the tall ones like the others, so I improvised a tenative interface change when you switch to the SNES library. : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCuf8j3MvF4
daweinst6 years ago
Pretty sweet. It looks great. I made a similar project, but put everything in an NES console that connects to a TV. It's a fully functioning computer in an NES case that works as an NES/Genesis/Arcade/N64 emulator.

I detailed the build here:
russm313 (author)  daweinst6 years ago
Very nice!
jtsage6 years ago
As a side note, using quick disconnects (the little metal spatula shaped things) on the microswitches and pushbuttons is not a bad idea. they don't go bad very often, but you'll save yourself a lot of hassle in the swap out if you can remove them quickly. It's also very handy for when you forget exactally which wire was which from the previous step. Very nice job overall!
russm313 (author)  jtsage6 years ago
Yes, that is an excellent idea, I just didn't have any at the time of installation.
would you mind giving an approximated amount that you spent on this project?
russm313 (author)  bombshellbuttons6 years ago
Minus the PC and monitor... I spent less than 100 bucks.
froggyman6 years ago
now you need to add a coin slot switch, so people are forced to put money in before playing a game with it. What you could do is have the coin slot wired to a keyboard key, and then not allow the program to start a game until the slot is switched That would of course be the simple way of doing it. You could always add the functionality of it saving money entered in and deducting money after playing a game
russm313 (author)  froggyman6 years ago
Great idea... of course I'd just be giving my kids money all day to play it :)
russelljwr6 years ago
Great project!!!! You inspired me to do my own. Could you tell me what size screen you used?? Thanks Jesse
russm313 (author)  russelljwr6 years ago
It was a 17" LCD
icedturtle6 years ago
How old was the desktop that your ripped the motherboard out of?
Compaq Evo P4 motherboard i guess 2004 ish?????
russm313 (author)  theghoul1006 years ago
It was a small form factor Dell GX270
russm313 (author)  icedturtle6 years ago
It was about 3 or 4 years old. It's an old P4, with 512 mb of RAM.
Absolutely beautiful! Nice work.
ronmaggi6 years ago
The Idea of this i'ble is great, but there is a lot of missing info. There is no reference as to where to find the VB Nintendo emulator. Also, where to find the joystick and buttons is omitted. Goblin shark 123, don't take the film off of the Plexiglas until you are actually mounting it or painting it that way it stays scratch free. You could try to salvage what you have with Flitz metal polish.
I have used arcade controls like these on a number of projects, and I usually get mine from http://www.happcontrols.com/ (but they can be found at many other places as well).
russm313 (author)  ronmaggi6 years ago
The emulator is not VB. You can use any emulator that exists out there. I wrote a front end in VB to access the emulator and games so no keyboard or mouse was needed. I did not want to endorse a certain emulator, so I left that I out. I figured anyone building this would already have a favorite emulator. The joystick and buttons can be found by a quick google search. There are several companies online that sell them and again I did not want to endorse a certain one. They all pretty much work the same. And I think Goblinshark123 was just joking... Thanks for reading my instructable :)
dmhjah russm3136 years ago
was the emulator a hardware piece or software? I ask because if it is hardware then did you have to, I don't know, write some sort of device driver for it?
russm313 (author)  dmhjah6 years ago
The emulator is software
how much would you charge to build me one since you know what youe're doing it should be quicker and easier. I love the Nes system and i love all the games, i have about 2000 roms, but it's not the same on a pc this looks like it would do the job.
theghoul1006 years ago
Hi - this is a quality project - i need to see more - can you tell me wheree you housed the psu and hdd for the pc? Also - i can't find a lot about wiring my nes ports in to the serial ports on my pc - any ideas? - appreciate any further help or pics especially if you have any. cheers
russm313 (author)  theghoul1006 years ago
the psu is on the floor of the cabinet, directly behind the monitor and in front of the motherboard. The hard drive is mounted to the side wall just like the motherboard is mounted to the back wall. In one of my pics, the yellow notes square denotes where it is going to be installed. The nes ports get wired to your parallel port, not serial port. a google search will bring up a lot of snes conversions. The nes is exactly the same way, just check the pinouts of each and match the wires. I don't have any other pics, but I will be happy to answer any other questions you may have.
psikic6 years ago
Where did you buy the plexiglass? How thick was it?
russm313 (author)  psikic6 years ago
I bought it at hobby lobby and it was only about 5 bucks. however, it was very thin (about as thick as a piece of posterboard). It looks kinda cheap and I'm actually changing it out this weekend with thicker plexi. You can buy it at lowes or homedepot for about 20 bucks.
jgeekw6 years ago
in your pictures, I didn't see a power source for the motherboard. Were the pictures at such an angle that it couldn't be seen? Did you use a standard PSU to power the motherboard itself?
russm313 (author)  jgeekw6 years ago
It is the standard psu that came out of the computer. It is mounted on the floor of the cabinet, directly behind the monitor.
Where do you download the game files from?
Seeing as it isn't exactly legal I'm not going to suggest any particular site. You should probably just do a Google search for nes roms. They are everywhere.
theSWIT6 years ago
This is really cute !No way Im trying out this..but Im saving up for a Wii (off topic but..) Good job !<:
What is the weight of unit fully built? Why is the nes port needed?
russm313 (author)  carolinasled6 years ago
It weighs about 50 pounds. The NES ports are so you can play with real NES controllers if you choose to.
Cool, Thanks.
IG-886 years ago
Not a bad looking bartop but I have to ask; Why go with that VB script when you could of easily used and of a number of beautiful, free front ends out there that install in minutes? Why 1/4" MDF instead of ply or at least 1/2" MDF? That thin stuff is sooo much harder to work with and the strength is very low. Also, I understand that you like to build things yourself but I've made several of those keyboard hacks. They will bite you in the @$$ later on. (read fail) You'll end up buying a $20 encoder anyway. You've certainly heard that, no? I will give you kudos on the sticky key solution. Simple and smart. Great tip! All in all nice job. Ever thought of adding SNES on it?
russm313 (author)  IG-886 years ago
I am really new to the arcade/mame/emulator stuff. Honestly, I didn't know about any frontends, so I just wrote my own. I used 1/4" because originally, it was going to be a LOT smaller. I was going to use a 7" LCD and an ITX motherboard. The only problem I see with the keyboard hack is that a solder point might break off, in which case I will obviously know which button has failed, so I only need to check 2 wires to see which is broken. I have it labeled and all, so it would be very easy to repair. Honestly, I don't see that happening, though. It's soldered together pretty good. I had thought of adding SNES. This project was a proof of concept for me. The proof that I could indeed build it, so I kept it as simple as possible. The next one (currently in planning), will have all the emulators.
Creativeman6 years ago
Excellent instructable. Good job! Cman
SpecEd6 years ago
pperseo6 years ago
are you left handed?
russm313 (author)  pperseo6 years ago
brunoip6 years ago
Can you upload a template?
russm313 (author)  brunoip6 years ago
A template for the keyboard pinout?
No, fot the cabinet
russm313 (author)  brunoip6 years ago
I don't have one. I drew it up by hand, so there are no plans for the cabinet. The hardest part is drawing the first side. After you get that done, just use it as a template for the second, then cut the back, bottom, top, etc to fit. Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but I rarely follow plans, so I didn't draw any up for this one.
cant you at least give us the measurements? for the cabinet (angles length etc...)
russm313 (author)  apr16946 years ago
It is 18" wide, 24" tall, and 24" deep.
dmhjah6 years ago
I have got to say that this is so very cool. Great job.
darthstupie6 years ago
Great job. Now I want to build one, but maybe with a Super Nintendo. I do have a couple suggestions: 1) put the controller ports on the front of the machine, so that it would be easier to plug the controllers in,. 2) since the pc inside has wireless internet, you could make the folder that contains the rom files a "shared folder" so that all you would have to do to put more games on it would be to copy it to the shared folder on your network. Also, to those looking for plans on how to build the cabinet, I have seen a few websites that have free plans you can download for both table top and full cabinets. I don't know what any of them are but should be easy to search for.
ths6 years ago
you can use this frontend if you dont know how to program on vbhttp://www.atomicfe.com
devsfan18306 years ago
Am I correct in assuming that one lead of the multimeter is on the key location and the other is run along the pins of the sheet until u make a connection
russm313 (author)  devsfan18306 years ago
Yes, that is correct. you keep the film plugged into the controller, then when you find the connection, you know which controller pin is associated with which keyboard switch.
devsfan18306 years ago
ok nevermind the coding help request. i worked out something in Visual C#, only catch is ill probably hafta mount a trackball mouse to my cabinet to do the selection of games. However i would like to know if you can give a closeup show or step to wire the rocker switch and that pc psu style plug to the pwer strip. I dont exactly wanna go poking around inside a surgeprotector without knowing what to do.
russm313 (author)  devsfan18306 years ago
I was thinking I would have to use a trackball as well until I discovered sticky keys. if you go to control panel and look under accessibility, you will find an option to turn on sticky keys. When it's enabled, the num pad 8,2,4,6 keys act as up, down, left, and right movement for the mouse cursor. You wire your joystick up to those keys. then when you press num lock, it enables or disables sticky keys, thus turning the joystick into a mouse and back. Just be sure to wire a button up to the num lock key, this becomes the "mouse mode" button. Oh, and the number 5 becomes the left mouse click. Send me a private message with your email address and I'll send you a schematic for wiring up the rocker switch. I can't attach a picture here, and it's too hard to explain. Also, I'd love to see your cabinet when it's done.
McGrep6 years ago
Incredibly well-made for something almost entirely custom. Awesome job, if I had the materials I'd totally do it.
Wow. This absolutely took my breath away. I am envious of your skill and your machine.
yokozuna6 years ago
I've been working on a full size cabinet for a couple of years for an old atari (using an actual modded 2600 as the guts) but I guess you just kind of beat me to it. :) Very clean design, well done, 5 stars. A couple of small suggestions- 1.) as others have touched on, I think you should tell more about the emulator and how it works, and 2.) I would move your youtube link to the last step and imbed the video instead of just linking. Still, five stars, greatly enjoyed!
devsfan18306 years ago
WOW, i MUST make one. Small question tho, can u provide a link or suggest search terms on how u made the VBscript loader? Or the basic ideas behind making one. I'm not schooled in VB, but i DO know C# coding in Visual Studio. So an outline of the coding would suffice as a starting point.
lemonie6 years ago
I'm impressed! L
ronmaggi6 years ago
Wouldn't it have been easier to mount the monitor with the vesa 100 holes on the back? That way you wouldn't have to worry about the monitor shifting when you move it around.
russm313 (author)  ronmaggi6 years ago
better? yes. easier? no. The monitor is bolted to the bottom of the arcade. I have moved it several times trying to find a permanent home for it. And it has not shifted once.
l3owzaaaah6 years ago
You see I followed the step by step instructions and stuff, but mine just didn't turn out right; the wood was uneven, the plexiglass scratched, the paint rubs off on my hands, and two of the vb scripted games won't load.
kabeza6 years ago
Hey! That's awesome! I've got one question... How do you do when you want to load more or change games in the hard disk? What could be done so you don't have to dismantle the cabinet each time you want to add games? Thanks, PS: hope to get things here in Argentina. I'll build one
russm313 (author)  kabeza6 years ago
Easy enough, there are 2 USB ports on the back of the cabinet. Connect a keyboard and mouse and now you have access to everything you need. Just go into the games directory and add or remove the games you want. You could connect a USB flash drive to one of the ports to add files. Not to mention it does have wireless internet as well. So you could email the games to yourself or download them or connect to your home network and transfer them from another PC.
kabeza russm3136 years ago
Wow You're right, I've seen the youtube video... and you mention that on it. Great work !!
russm313 (author)  kabeza6 years ago
Thank you. I wish you luck finding the parts you need in Argentina. Let me know if I can help out.
zwild16 years ago
well done! I'd love to give it a go, but the level of electronics work is beyond me. keep it up!
emellqui6 years ago
This is fantastic!
camb006 years ago
Where did you get that Nintendo sticker?
russm313 (author)  camb006 years ago
It's not a sticker. I printed it on 8.5x11 paper, then just cut it out and glued it to a poster board. then I cut the poster board to the size of the marquee and sandwiched it between two sheets of plexiglass.
smilee6 years ago
Super this is awesome!
seamster6 years ago
This is really cool, plus it demonstrates a great variety of skills. Nice work!
sharkh2o6 years ago
brunoip6 years ago
Excellent work !!!
daulef6 years ago
cool very professional looking.
Berserk876 years ago
Beautiful, and completely professional looking. This looks like something that should be in an instructables contest.
NavySWO916 years ago
Impressive! Good work.