Mini Bartop Arcade Cabinet




Introduction: Mini Bartop Arcade Cabinet

I have allways dreamed to have my own fully functional 1980s style arcade cabinet, soooo....

After a lot of tinkering with original cabinet blueprints and old pc parts i had lying around , i have came up with a suitable scaled design that would fit some basic principles:

- Would not take a lot of space in my apartment;
- Preserved the lines of arcade cabinet of that era;
- Blend with the rest of my furniture;
- Mixed type cabinet ( it is bartop type but has a stand
making it full cabinet )

Step 1: Planning...

Nothing starts without a plan, so here it is!
I also saved by using wood i had stored from an old clothes cabinet,(i also wanted to recycle - that applyes to wood also)

Firstly i drew only the bartop portion, the whole hardware would fit into it, then i realised i did not had any place to put it on top of, so i drew a stand to acompany it ( this part is hollow )

Step 2: Test Fit Assembly

Starting to take shape,i made the parts from the laminate i talked about, secured the sides, top and bottom with pine boards from the inside with wood bolts, i also drilled some holes from the inside in order to place wooden pegs - these would secure the wood board that will receive the controls.

The top of the barcade would have an oppening for the marquee and the bottom top board would securo two small 6cm speakers for the sound.

Step 3: Control Assembly

A PC-XT Keyboard was scrapped for the encoder cirquit, and the controls mapped for certain keys, wiring was soldered direct to the encoder.

An old Commodore Amiga joystick was scrapped too, to be used as main control, only the board and stick was saved ,and wired directly to the encoder

Openings were carved on the wooden control board, metal sheet coverings made out of 1mm thick steel sheet were added, as support for the stick and buttons (to ease the replacement of faulty controls )

Step 4: Core Assembly

An AMD 350MHz was used as the core for the arcade (again recycling..) packed with a Matrox 400 Videocard, and a SoundBlaster16 as the sound source.Testfitting was a must - an AT power supply was added to the inner right side, and a 1Gb hard drive was fixed to the left side.

The encoder was fixed to the bottom beneath the monitor.

Step 5: Side Finishings

Functional tests were made, if the games were playable, to setup the vertical monitor , to add the game labrary and to configure arcadeos ( Plain Msdos 6.22 here )

Then it was disassembled again and the contours of the side boards were covered with bolted rubber strip at intervals of 5cm.
At this time the stand had been built also - it received the same rubber treatment.

Everything was assembled again to test fit without monitor and core system

Step 6: Marquee

The system was assembled along with the controls,the monitor.

The marquee was assembled, it was made out of a plain printed paper sandwished between two layers of plexy , an old scanner lamp served as light source
A reflector was made from a cardboard tube cut in half over it´s lenght, aluminium foil was glued on the inner side of the cardboard tube facing the plexy sandwish
The hole thing was bolted together and hot glued to the oppening on top of the arcade, power was derived from the pc psu,and a small switch added to turn on/off the marquee light.

A plastic grill 5 1/4 bay covering from an old server was cut in two sanded , painted black and added as covers to the oppenings for the speakers.

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    11 years ago on Introduction

    Bad A$$!! Wish I knew how to do all that electrical/programming work. I would be all over this.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Would it be just easier to mount a tv inside of the cabinet and plug in one of those plug in play tv things and cut a hole for the joystick to make it look like a real arcade cabinate?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    it would, but thats not nearly as much fun


    14 years ago on Introduction

    Man this is great I love it. I looks so cool. Good Job.