I got this old arcade game cabinet from a friend and decided to restore it.
I haven't added the screen or joysticks yet, but the pc running 'Mame' emulator is already in place.
Step 1: Materials
- Perspex 2x 500x500mm sheets
- Paint colours (I chose orange, black and blue)
- Base coat paint
- Wood filler
- Steel brackets
- Florescent tube fitting and bulb
- Joystick - Buttons- usb Connector controller interface - keypad
- jig saw
- Paint Brush
- Screw Driver
Step 2: Filling Holes
- Fill the holes in the wood with wood filler, then sand down the edges so its smooth.
I wanted to keep the retro veneer, but there were too many scratches and chips that there was no way of saving it.
- Paint a base coat to cover the veneer. (at least 2 coats)
- Measure the Marquee areas and cut perspex sheets to fit over. Once printed, the marquee will be stuck onto the perspex and lit from behind.
- Drill holes through the perspex sheets at their corners so that they can be screwed into the wood.
Step 3: Marquees
- Download a hi resolution Marquee from the net:
A google search will bring up many results, but make sure the image can be blown up to a large size without pixelating.
I chose a Tron Legacy Image and printed it over two A4 sheets.
- Stick them together at the seem, and glue the edges only to the perspex, not the centre, or you will have unclear parts on the perspex.
- Repeat with the second marquee.
Step 4: Base Coat & Missing Pieces
Majority of the Cabinet is going to be black, therefore I decided to do the second base coat in black and cover the entire cabinet.
- Cut any missing pieces out of the wood.
the Button board was missing from my cabinet, so I cut some super wood to size, later I will drill holes for the buttons and cover with an Image and perspex.
Step 5: Paint Job
I decided to go with bright colours in stripes:
- The masking tape provides the paint lines, once the paint is applied between the tape and then dried , remove the tape to find a perfect line.
Even with all the masking tape I still needed plenty of touch ups, I used a roller brush for the large areas, and a smaller paint brush for the hard to reach places.
Step 6: Lighting
- Glue/Screw the bulb fitting in place and run the wire down the back of the cabinet.
- Screw in the screws around the corners of the perspex marquees to cover the bulb.
- Do the same with the lower marquee.
Step 7: Electrical
There was already a speaker hole so I placed a speaker cover over it.
Best to use computer speakers and plug them into the pc.
I removed the cover on the laptop to expose the power button. Then solder a wire to either side of the Moment switch. this will be attached to the main power button on the outside of the cabinet.
- Download "Mame" (this is an emultaor which alows you to play arcade games)
- Download "Mala" (this is the front end so that it looks like an arcade)
- Download various 'Roms' which are the games that mame runs. these roms are to be placed in the rom folder of mame, in their zipped form.
- set your pc to bypass login screen.
- Set the power button to hibernate, not sleep or power off.
- in power management, make sure the computer never sleeps, only hibernates.
- if you want it to power off, place the mame.exe in the windows startup folder so that mame runs as soon as the pc turns on.
- Run 'Mala' and point to the mame directories, this should start up the Layout screen.
- If you are using a laptop, make sure when you close the lid it does not effect the pc.
- when running a game in mame, press 'tab' which will bring up a menu, in this menu you can assign the USB keypad keys to various actions , such as 'insert coin' , 'start player 1' , 'start player 2'...
- Bend the 5 "L" brackets into more of a "U" shape, this will hold the laptop in place.
- Drill holes for the brackets and screw them in place.
That completes the bare cabinet, only the screen and joysticks to be put in place from here...
* Still to be completed ...soon