Introduction: Bartop Arcade for Dell Rotating Monitor

About: Hi, I am Richard, Father of 1 son + 2 step sons, so we have a house full of Lego. I have had lego for decades, including Lego mindstorms. I like to make things. In my little garage I have a large CNC machine,…

I always see all these cool Arcade projects fly by on facebook, but never convinced myself before to also make one. I did not want to make a full size Arcade, because where would I put it ??? :-(

As the Raspberry PI 3 is now available, I think it is finally powerful enough to play the easier mame / atari 2600 games, so I can re-live some of my childhood moments and show some history to my touch screen addicted kids :-)

Ok, let's make one!!! First choice to make; do I make one for landscape (Atari 2600; Hero, River-raid, Decathlon) or portrait (Arcade Games like PacMan, Galaga & Donkey Kong). I could not decide :-( It's like choosing between your kids, Atari or Arcade... I decide to make an bar-top Arcade machine based on a Dell FP1707 monitor. This was a very popular office monitor and has build-in support for 90 degrees rotation (portrait / landscape). So ideal for this project!

Step 1: Designing and Creating the "box"

As I have a CNC machine, I designed a model that can easily be machined. I used 9mm multiplex birch plywood that I cut on my cnc machine with a 2mm bit. Of course you could also use a laser cutter, or some old fashion manual labor to manufacture. it.

I design all my 2D work with a program called Draftsight, it is free and easy to use. I save my files as DXF files and then use my CNC cam software (cncgraf) to work out the paths for my CNC machine.

In the DXF/DWG file, there are 2 layers that I designed specifically for my 2mm bit, these are "direct" paths, so no tool correction. All other layers you would have to apply your own tool correction on is you use an CNC.

The box is designed to be tightly fit to all pieces, so screws needed, at best some wood glue. I did not glue the bottom plate, so I can easily do maintenance in case that is needed.

Step 2: Assembly

So the biggest part of the assembly is the main base plate, which will hold all the components, except for the power supply (this is mounted against the side plate).

I used 10mm M3 standoffs, that I hammered into the pre-drilled holes for a tight fit. Then you can crew the Raspberry, iPac2 board and audio amplifiere into those standoffs.

Here the components used:

- Arcade buttons from (4x normal, $ button, 1player and 2 player button)

- Sanwa balltop joystick

- Ipac2 controller board

- 12 M3x10mm standoffs

- 12 m3 6mm screw

- 1 Sheet birch plywood (1200mm x 610mm)

- Audio amplifier (max9744)

- 2x speaker (57mm diameter) (not sure where i got these from)

- Meanwell RS-25-5 Power supply (for rasperry and amplifier), a bit poverpowered, but o well :-)

- panel power switch fused

- and of course some cables to connect it all

Step 3: Let's Play!

So after putting it all together, it is fairly easy. I used Retropie which offers a fully pre-installed SD card image for the raspberry so you are directly up and running. All you have to do is configure the button in emulation station (just follow the wizard) and setup the keys in Mame (just start any mame game and hit <tab>)

Enjoy and have fun!

My favorite games:

- Pac Man (mame)

- Donkey Kong (mame)

- Galaga (mame)

- Hero (Atari 2600)

- Decathlon (Atari 2600)

- Riverraid (Atari 2600)