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I've always wanted my own arcade cabinet. One of my dreams is to own an arcade at some point. After diving into the realm of Raspberry Pi-based emulation for a previous project, I decided I would take it up a notch and build a bartop arcade cabinet. I'm glad I did, because the final build exceeded my expectations by far!

Overview

The cabinet itself was constructed by me and my dad from a sheet of plywood, but if I were to do this again I would pick a better material. Don't get me wrong - it looks good - but the grain of the plywood is unappealing to me (not a huge deal with full coverage graphics) and drilling holes was more trouble than any other part of the project. That being said, for the price and weight it makes a lot of sense.

The software is run through a RetroPie Pi image using the Emulation Station frontend, run on a Raspberry Pi 2.

The audio is routed through a usb audio adapter (fixed a distortion bug with the Pi,) into an amplifier, routed to a set of Kicker DSC35's with the volume controlled by a 1k potentiometer. The amplifier is powered by one of the 12v 5a 60w power supplies.

The video is sent from the Pi to a 19" computer monitor with an HDMI > DVI cable.

The main LED buttons are powered through the USB encoder board that came with the kit, and the marquee LED strips and 12v triangle LED buttons are powered through the barrel jack with one of the 12v 5a 60w power supplies.

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<p>Is there anyway you can repost the decal templates? This build is awesome!</p>
It's amazing! &lt;3
<p>How did you attach the marquee?</p>
<p>the first thing i thought when I saw this is &quot;I need to build this!&quot;</p>
<p>Wonderful project!</p><p>Thanks for sharing it with a great guide.</p>
<p>Could you send me the decal sizes or the template files? I tried the links and they didn't work, Very Impressed</p>
<p>Would you be willing to share the full sized image files you used for the decals? I didn't see them above. Flattened is fine.</p><p>It looks very impressive!</p>
<p>Thanks for the kudos! I can't pass the art along, but I can give you template files if you would like.</p>
I would like the templates!
<p>Here are PSDs of my working template files as well as an AI file with the pieces broken out into separate artboards. </p><p>**Make sure you adjust the monitor window on the screen bezel to match your specific build, as well as the position of the joysticks/buttons. </p><p>**The sizes on the joystick/buttons in the template are to scale for the set I purchased referenced in this instructable.</p><p>**Bleed is added into the &quot;sides&quot; PS template, but not referenced with a layer.</p><p><strong>Photoshop files:</strong></p><p>Control board: <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/9kb4b7o5c2i5yo1/zeldaCabinet_controlBoard-template.psd?dl=0" rel="nofollow">https://www.dropbox.com/s/9kb4b7o5c2i5yo1/zeldaCab...</a></p><p>Marquee: <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/x1d2eh7kqz8uo16/zeldaCabinet_marquee-template.psd?dl=0" rel="nofollow">https://www.dropbox.com/s/x1d2eh7kqz8uo16/zeldaCab...</a></p><p>Screen Bezel: <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/5x0x2aizg2rt784/zeldaCabinet_screenBezel-template.psd?dl=0" rel="nofollow">https://www.dropbox.com/s/5x0x2aizg2rt784/zeldaCab...</a></p><p>Sides: <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/pnl0h5d2twz68qb/zeldaCabinet_sides-template.psd?dl=0" rel="nofollow">https://www.dropbox.com/s/pnl0h5d2twz68qb/zeldaCab...</a></p><p><strong>Illustrator file:</strong></p><p>All: <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/ueg673rcsi2h7zc/zeldaCabinet_decals-template.ai?dl=0" rel="nofollow">https://www.dropbox.com/s/ueg673rcsi2h7zc/zeldaCab...</a></p>
<p>Hello, i'm gonna to build my own Bartop and i can't believe how amazing is yours!! I'm in love about The Legend of Zelda since i'm a kid (long time ago :/ ) and i really would like to be able to use the coverage decal that you did. Unfortunatly the link for the Photoshop files are dead :/ So could you, please re-upload them? The child inside me would be very happy there^^</p><p>Thank you and really good job for that dream Bartop :D</p><p>p.s: sorry for my mistake in English, i'm not thaht good with this language :P</p>
Nah, that's alright, thanks anyway!
<p>Looks fantastic, I just have one question, you may have mentioned it but I couldn't find it anywhere, what are the dimensions of the plexiglass piece for the marquee?</p>
<p>I measured the marquee plexiglass after the cabinet was assembled. I didn't want it to be off if I placed the bottom 'shelf' of the marquee incorrectly.</p>
<p>Ah, got it, thanks for the reply. :)</p>
<p>Do you know the full cost to build ones of these?</p>
<p>~$500 depending on materials. </p>
<p>Oh wow, that's definitely within my budget. Thanks for the response! My second question would be, are you willing to make more for some extra cash? :p (Serious question though)</p>
<p>I tell you what - my dog needs surgery and I started a GoFundMe campaign. I have an offer for a build on there if you wanted to go that route. Not only would you get a cabinet but you would make a serious contribution to my dog's opportunity for continued living. http://www.gofundme.com/ze2jx78</p>
<p>I have ocarina of time on my 3Ds and I was trying to get Majora's Mask So if this is only Ocarina of time could you tell me how to program majora's mask into this</p>
<p>Any chance you can provide your emulation station theme?</p>
Ezeisel - USB over SD because there is a much lower chance of a USB drive frying than an SD card. I personally have burned out a few SD cards on other projects and I wanted this to be as stable as possible. Also, you can get much larger USB drives than SD cards, so if you plan on adding a few hundred gigs of roms you will want a larger drive. <br><br>11 buttons for each player to support a N64 controller setup.<br><br>2 USB encoders are for 2 separate players. That is just how the kit I purchased is setup. Some sets only have one encoder.
<p>If you really want durability use an external HD. Most USB drives/sd cards aren't built to survive a ton of read/write cycles.</p>
<p>Thank you! What do you recommend -- I am going similar 2 person joystick and button setup, but want to add 2 usb ports to be able to have Makey Makey controls plugged in. That would use up all 4 Raspberry Pi 2 USB ports to have 4 players. Can I get away with using an SD card (was going to add heat sink and a small Pi fan) or is there a workaround?</p>
<p>You can use a powered USB hub to add USB slots to the Pi. I think this is another item where you don't want to go cheap unless you are prepared to replace if it craps out.</p><p>I would recommend the USB over SD, unless you are prepared to replace SDs if/when they go bad. Decent USB drives have a considerably less chance to fail on you. That being said, if you aren't using an incredible amount of drive space for your build then a (relatively) small SD would be affordable to flip if it ever crashed. Just make sure you make an image backup when you get your system in order!</p>
<p>I love your project. When I made mine I went with a lexan covered monitor. I ended up removing the lexan and cutting out the monitor hole because the glare was terrible. Unless the room is completely blacked out. Any light source made it difficult to see. I have one question because i was going to make one from an N64. How does it play without an analog stick? I assume those are regular joysticks and not analog controls?</p>
<p>Yes, they are regular joysticks. I think it plays well for what I have played. N64 emulation on the Pi is hit-and-miss without adjusting settings and trying different emulator builds, so I haven't got all the kinks worked out to play more than a few games yet.</p>
<p>that is really amazing work, would it be possible to get the graphics files for it as well? I am handy at building stuff but.. not so much with artwork.</p>
<p>Thanks for the kudos! I can't pass the art along, but I can give you template files if you would like.</p>
That would be great, maybe see what some of the talents i know can do.
<p>See above for links!</p>
<p>Fantastic work, and it's nice to see an arcade cabinet which has been made using small hand tools rather than a big CNC or laser cutter. Love the refactoring of the shelf from the thrift store too, very imaginative. I'm hoping to build a floor standing cabinet soon with a Raspberry Pi Mame installation, will be following many of your techniques. Thanks!</p>
<p>Thank you and agreed! I don't have access to those fancy machines, so I make due with what is available.</p>
<p>Ocarina of Time? How do you control the camera with only one analog stick?</p>
<p>Check out this image for how the buttons are configured for N64 play.</p>
Interesting, thanks! You know what, I forgot that the N64 controller had only one analog stick, must have been confusing it with other games I was playing in the same era.<br><br>I will admit, I needed to look up a manual to get my memory up to speed: http://gamesdbase.com/Media/SYSTEM/Nintendo_N64//Manual/formated/Legend_of_Zelda-_Ocarina_of_Time_-_1998_-_Nintendo.pdf
Wow! <br>Amazing work!
Plywood is still the best option, you shoukd look into plywood with &quot; one side good&quot; which is any plywood with a vaneer (sp) maple probably would have been the cheapest.
Also called G1S (good 1 side)
<p>Excellent, I have not heard of that before but will look into that in the future!</p>
<p>That's amazing! You should be proud! From one Zelda fan to another! :D</p>
<p>That is fantastic. Amazing work! It looks so professional. :D</p>
<p>Yeah...half inch MDF would have been fine for a project like this. The MDF would probably have needed to be sealed with something like an epoxy sealer coat, or something similar that is stable. I agree that that particular plywood you used is too grainy. Budget can't be helped sometimes though. Excellent project. Nice work.</p>
Would MDF boards be better?
<p>MDF is insanely heavy, but looks smoother...</p>
<p>MDF would definitely work and is what the original plan I went off of recommended. </p>
<p>I &lt;3THis game i play it all the time</p>
<p>this is high quality work right here</p>
<p>One word 'AWESOME'</p>
I would love to have one of these! I just don't possess the skills or the equipment to Do it.

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