Step 2: Plan Your Design and Layout

Coming up with the design and layout was a bit more intensive than I thought it would be.  After a lot of research on several arcade forums, I came up with a layout and spacing that seemed right to me.  If you're still at all unsure of how you'd like your layout, you can always install your controls on some sort of cardboard box to test out the feel of them.  Many people suggested a shoebox for testing the joystick/button layout.  I followed my plans, and the controls feel very comfortable to me.

Plans for the box enclosure are pretty straight forward.  I definitely made the box a bit taller than it needed to be, in order for it to sit at the right height at home.  Play around with different dimensions until you find what's right for your application.  Again, cardboard is a quick and cheap way to mock everything up and get a good feel for how it will look.
do you think this would work for four players. I thinking that I would have to change up the measurements of the box, right?
<p>I was thinking the same thing. Maybe building a second unit that housed extra accessories instead of the computer. Just have to figure out the simplest was to add the extra controllers to the configuration.</p>
Did your ever think about making this wireless so it could work with consoles
just what the doctor ordered,a simple place to play arcade games but not as complex as making a cab&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;nice!
Thanks so much, and I'm glad you enjoyed the instructable!
no,thank YOU for giving me an inspiration on my controller,couldnt even wire mine,not till i find yours!cheers!
I love your version where as my husband bolted the electronics for a gauntlet underneath the coffee table to keep it out of the way and then the controllers were stowed away till time to use. It was very popular for many years.
Haha! I love those old 'cocktail style' arcade machines! Best of luck keeping the new coffee table safe from harm... err... awesomeness. :D
I don't mind the fun projects, it keeps life interesting.
Oh oh! My new coffee table has a removable glass panel..ummm he just read this instructables over my shoulder and ah...Honey??
IMPORTANT: MDF dust is extremely bad for your lungs - wear some kind of filter protection!
Fantastic point to make. Using the circular saw in particular kicked up a TON of dust. While we're on the subject of safety, eye protection is a must as well.
MDF is great to work with, but the dust is really pernicious - it generates microfine dust, which isn't so good for you to begin with - but since MDF is made with urea-formaldehyde, it will goof you up.
While technically it's portable in the sense it isn't a huge arcade cabinet, this still seems like it's quite heavy to me and not that portable. How heavy did this turn out to be?<br><br>I like it though.
Just weighed in at a svelt 37.5 lbs. About a large bag of dog food... It's definitely more bulky than heavy.
Wow. Not bad. It does have the look of it being much heavier than that. Handles would probably be a good idea to make it easier to carry, like you mentioned.
It's very manageable. I've had to make lots of adjustments to it since taking the initial pictures, and also to add the coin button to the front, so I've carried it through the house several times over. I've definitely considered adding handles though...

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