Week Seven - Part One
Saturday 16th March 2002
At this moment in time, I had me a working arcade cabinet. Not finished, but working enough to install something on it. My choices of poison were the following, but go to the last page if you wish to find out what I am running now:
- Windows 98 Special Edition
Here you can see the full cabinet, although it still lacked a few major important finishing touches.
You can make out the lighting unit, which also houses the speakers, and notice that there are now key locks on the coin doors, sourced from ebay.
The next job was to fit the coin mechanism, which was very easy. Well actually it turned out to be harder than that, as I had one that came with the cab, and it appeared to work, but after a bit of fiddling around it burnt out. Perhaps I had the wrong voltage connected up to it, who knows.
Anyhow, I'd got one really nice and cheap off ebay, which electronics guru Yves kindly helped me not only get working with the correct voltage being fed off the PC's own power supply, but also used his mad multi-metering skills to work out how we could connect it to my I-PAC.
These things are really funky, and having one that detects 10p, 20p and 50p coins just rules. It really adds to the authentic feel, chucking in the coins and having MAME churn out the credit sounds.
The black box is the mechanism that measures various properties of the coin, and the green PCB is what decides (configurable with dip switches) the number of credits, coins accepted, etc. Put in a duff bit of metal (say a 2p coin) and yes it is rejected properly!
Now for the monitor glass, which I got from a glass shop, suprisingly enough. I mean't to get it with those safety edges, but somehow didn't, but only managed a minor cut from the experience despite taking it back to my car without gloves.
Anyhow I was very careful with the measurements, and thankfully careful enough. After masking the area that the monitor screen was visible through, this got the same treatment that the control panel got, only in reverse. Fleck paint on first, then after a few coats, grey primer.
With the mask removed, all it needed to do was dry and onto the cab it would go. Arcade cabinets are very nicely designed, so pieces are easily removed and slot into place. The glass slides under a lip at the top, beneath the speaker area, and then rests on a ledge at the bottom. When the control panel is clamped into place, it holds the bottom of the glass snugly, with a rubber strip preventing dirt and fingers from getting down into the cabinet, and of course drink too.