For a long time I have thought that Mame cabinets where cool and dreamed of having one. However the cost, required storage space of a full upright cabinet, and tools and space required for construction made the practicality of me constructing one in my apartment impossible. However, I have recently done some more research and discovered there is a way I can do it.
The solution has two parts. First, instead of a standard upright arcade console, I will be building a sit-down "cocktail" style cabinet (imagine the Pac-Man console that you sit down at and look down into). Second, instead of buying an old authentic cabinet (expensive) or building one from scratch and plans on the internet (requires carpentering skills and tools which I lack), I am going to purchase a kit from Arcade Depot which will supply me with precut wood which I can assemble (the easy part).
I will be posting copious updates here (as comments) as I progress on this project as a method of organizing all the pieces of the project and with the thought that the lessons I learn and mistakes I make may be valuable to someone else embarking on this same endeavor.
Oak cocktail cabinet kit (pre-cut wood and hardware from) Arcade depot with extra side controller panel (allowing it to play standard horizontal games)Wood treatment:
Some manner of sealant and stain (with the help of Chelsea)Top glass:
Probably untempered (cheaper) glass custom cut from a local glass shop.
A custom (by my dad) made board which will translate pushed buttons into keystrokes on the PS2 portEach Player:
(each player will have two complete sets of controls, one on the end for vertical games and one on side for horizontal games) Six buttons, an eight way joystick and a credit button (emulates a coin being inserted)Cabinet buttons:
One player and two player start buttons, and an "exit game" button.
Old(er) computer which is currently acting as a file server for my music and a unused Super Nintendo Monitor:
Huge old 21 inch monitor (which weighs about 300 tons) from my dad. This assumes that it will fit in the cabinetSpeakers:
Computer speakers and amplifier (yet to be acquired)
Ubuntu LinuxUser interface (used for selecting games):
WahCade (a linux clone of MameWah)Emulators:
Jukebox (playing mp3s and the like):
- Mame: Xmame
- SNES: Snes9x
- NES: ?
- movies previews
- Get Nintendo USB game pads working
- Get PS2 button controller
- Find optimal six key layout (and which buttons are which)
- Find jukebox software
- Discover how to have WahCade launch jukebox
- Discover how to exit jukebox with "exit emulator" button
- Make it so that the action buttons cannot combine to send meta (exp: ctrl+key) key combos
- Pare down the game list
- Find a way to adjust volume
- Find out why games run fast... FIX IT
- Figure out how to properly search for games with wahcade (currently you have to type the whole name of the game)
- decide which button should be select for wahcade (acton 1?)
- Operating system with working sound and wireless keyboard
- WahCade working (with xmame and snes9x
- xmame working
- xmame displays vertical games rotated
- Snes9x working
- Working prototype joystick in cardboard box using temporary USB keyboard hack (keyboard hack to be replaced by custom made board)
- Find out how to have button which closes emulators but does not close WahCade (as Esc does now)