Well I've always wanted a cocktail style arcade machine, I saw some great examples on here using the Ikea Ramvik so kept my eye out on my local selling sites and managed to snap one up for £20 off Gumtree! I had some hardware ready to power it, I knew I wanted controls at either end in the drawers but I also wanted dual display - mirrored so we I could play games with my mates without having to worrying about both seeing the same screen.
Step 1: The Hardware
Luckily I had access to a laptop which no longer powered it's onboard LCD panel, spec was pretty decent and more than adequate for what I wanted it to run - the newest being Gamecube & Dreamcast. It was running an i3 @ 2.4GHz , 4GB ram, I swapped out the standard mechanical drive for a 120GB SSD for Windows to sit on, everything else would be on a 3TB usb external hard drive.
The external display worked fine from the laptop so I opted to just use the d-sub on the laptop which went to a USB powered VGA splitter. Audio came from a set of Logitech 2.1's I had lying about, these would be fitted under the coffee table and provide plenty of volume and good bass for listening to music and of course playing some Street Fighter!
One thing which turned into a bit of a pain was getting an external power switch for the laptop setup, the points were tiny to solder on to so in the ended I managed to solder onto the power ribbon itself with some small gauge wire (left over from the wii modding days).
Step 2: The Screens
I had access to quite a few old TFT screens but struggled to find any with a good viewing angle, then just as I was about to give up I found 2 old 19" 4:3 Neovo monitors with excellent viewing angles, job done!
I cut out two identical holes at either end of the table top the same size as the actual panel on the monitors then routed as deep as I dared large enough for the monitor to sit from the underside, I was really happy with how they slotted in, some careful measuring and equal amounts of good fortune! When it came to mounting the monitors I had some spare rack mount switch brackets which did the job perfectly, these were screwed into the table top and then I used some nuts & bolts to secure the actual monitors.
Once all seated I cranked up the laptop and powered the screen's up for the first time in situ. As with the laptop I needed a way of powering the screens up using an external power switch, thankfully these old skool TFT screens had huge solder points for me to get on, I then cabled both monitors up to a single switch
Step 3: Assembling the Table
The dismantling and reassembling of the Ramvik is really straight forward, if you've done the whole Ikea flat pack thing before you'll have no problems whatsoever. I had a 4 way gang adapter attached to the center support of the table and as the other end was a detachable 5 meter power cord - although this is just wound up and put under the table when not in use so it doesn't really need it but seen as I had the parts to hand I thought I may aswell use it.
The Ramvik coffee table comes with a clear glass top, I wanted this smoked a little so bought some smoking film off ebay, I went for 35% light smoke , I probably would have gone for a little darker if I was doing it again. Fitting this was a pain, with the help of the missus and several swear words later it turned out pretty well, I'd recommend getting twice as much as you need - My first effort was a mess so thankfully I had enough left to go at it again.
Step 4: The Arcade Controls
I ended up getting a complete set of arcade controls including a USB controller, in retrospect although I like the zippy sticks i'd probably have paid a little extra when it came to the buttons, but for the price you can always do what I did then upgrade down the line.
The control panels for p1 & p2 were identical apart from the player 1 controls having a few extra buttons for controlling hyperspin, I marked out the layout I wanted and drilled them out using a pillar drill. For a quicky I just used some plain white gloss 3M to cover the control panels, at some point I will print some custom vinyls but I just wanted the panels in and usable.
Wiring up the buttons and sticks looks far more complicated than it actually is, the instructions are pretty straight forward and don't take long to do, the spade connectors that came on my wiring loom weren't great so I had to tighten some of them with a pair of pliers to make a better connection. Due to my 2nd player control panel being a good distance from the USB controller I had to extend the wiring loom that came with my arcade controls, not difficult just a pain.
I really wanted to have some fancy draw mechanism like some of the other project's I'd seen based on this table but due to lack of skill I found fitting the panels a couple of inches into the drawer meant the drawer would still close aslong as the ball top was removed - this then lead me to using the ball tops as drawer handles, when you want to play you unscrew the drawer handle and screw it back on to the stick.
Step 5: Finishing Touches and Playing!
Well that pretty much sums it up, the laptop powering it all simple sits under the control panels which are currently sat on wooden ledges so are removable, later down the line I'll fix these in more securely while still allowing me access to the hardware for maintaining.
The control panels need finishing off, would ideally like to wrap the whole table and a few finishing touches but overall it's 90% complete.
Youtube clip http://youtu.be/Sw3uXuRbLpA
Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone else who's ideas I borrowed and adapted.