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More About the Arcade Machine Project - Jarrett Heather — LiveJournal
Jarrett Heather's Journal
More About the Arcade Machine Project
My dad called me yesterday and was asking me questions about my arcade machine project. I mentioned that I am currently in Phase I, but I figured I could provide a quick breakdown of what each phase entails.

Phase I: Computer & Controller Configuration
I have a spare computer that has been set aside to become the brains of my arcade machine. It's going to take some effort to get all the emulators set up, because ROMs aren't terribly easy to come by. I dug up a torrent that supposedly contains the complete set of ROMs, CHDs and extras for the current version of MAME, but the file is 28 gigs. Currently that file is downloading at around 20 KB/s, which means the download will take between two and three weeks to complete. But here's a list of the games that ought to be in these files, so it seems worth the wait.

(If you have a faster Internet connection than me, a BitTorrent client, a DVD burner, and some time to waste, the file is broken into these seven DVD images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.)

Of course, the computer I'm going to use only has a 20 GB hard drive, which is woefully inadequate. I found a nice 120 GB Maxtor at Fry's for only $60 (on sale for Labor Day).

Hopefully I'll get the computer set up just in time for the control panel to arrive. SlikStik says it will ship 3 or 3½ weeks from now, then I'll be able to connect it to the brain and start tweaking the control settings in each of the emulators.

Phase II: Cabinet Construction
This phase will likely be the most expensive, but also the easiest. Despite Mike's objections, I'm probably going to order a SlikStik Arcade. While it is a little pricey, there's no way Mike or I could ever construct something this nice from the raw materials.

Phase III: Display Installation
I had pretty much settled on getting a Wells Gardner 27" D9200, which has become the "standard" for MAME cabinet displays. It's a "hybrid" montitor: it's VGA compatible, but also can display almost any arcade mode (much lower resolutions & scan frequencies).

However, I've read a little about a company called Betson Imperial that sells a 27" Arcade/VGA display that may be superior to the WG D9200. The display is manufactured by some company called Kortek. Product info is a little hard to find, so I'm still doing some research on this one.

Phase IV: Finishing Touches
This basically invoves designing and applying graphics to the cabinet, installing lights behind the marquee and coin slots and under the trackball, as well as installing speakers. Tom says he can help me with getting the graphics printed, but a panel that covers the 36" x 72" side panel would cost around $300. I've also considered just keeping the cabinet black, but it will be a long time before I have to make any of those sort of decisions.

I'm also trying to figure out what to name the machine. Most of the cabinets I see online just read MAME in the marquee, others come up with cute names like MAMEFRAME, MAMESTATION or something like that. I know I don't want it to say MAME on the cabinet, but I haven't yet thought of anything better.

Of course I'm open to suggestions regarding any phase of the plan.

Current Mood: excited excited

5 comments or Leave a comment
cru From: cru Date: September 8th, 2004 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

how about J-MAME


or how about THE MANGLER ? alright I'll shut up now

From: chrysus Date: September 8th, 2004 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm gonna start my own MAME project.

I may name it Eat My Ass Jarrett.

The only phase of your project I probably won't match will be the the slikstik controller.

jarrett From: jarrett Date: September 8th, 2004 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
What good is an arcade cabinet with no controller?
From: chrysus Date: September 8th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
By match I meant it may not be the same quality, remember I'm shifty with electronics. And I probably won't be able match the monitor.

I guarantee my cabinet will be cooler though.

However, other projects take precedent at the moment, like retiling my bathroom, reflooring the library, and landscaping the pond.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2004 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I got interested in building a MAME arcade a while ago and I had a link somewhere but unfortunately I can't find it now. If you do some sniffing around the different MAME websites and BBs you will find a link to a group of people who do a sort of MAME exchange.

These guys are all over the country and they have every ROM imaginable and you can send them either blank CD's or in some cases the guys will take cash to buy blank CD's and they will burn you copies of all their ROMs. Apparently it works very well and they make sure that you understand that no money is exchanged for the ROMs just blank CDs or funds to cover the CD costs.

I was going to give it a try but I have too many things on my plate right now. There are also some great sites with kids building their own arcades. Good stuff.
5 comments or Leave a comment