MAME cabinet, odds and ends

In an effort to finally push my MAME project to completion, I decided to start by working around some odds and ends that have been pending for _way too long_. This is actually more of a catch-up post, as the all stuff presented here has been completed earlier (f.ex. during one of the Granny Cruiser sessions). Painting and cabling were completed way before, of course. Alone, either of these would’ve not made much of a topic for a post :).

Anyway, let’s start with a quick rundown about the front panel and it’s work phases.

The paint finish on the front panel turned out rather so-so. First, the red spray paint I used on the cabinet ran out so I had to go shopping for one more can. With a bit of my luck, the paint wasn’t available anymore in the exact same shade of course. The new one comes pretty close, but the difference in shade is still visible.

Second, what little spray lacquer I had left, the can had it’s nozzle partially clogged up. So, after a while of spraying it started sprouting these small flakes of lacquer on the front panel. F-U-C-K-I-N-G great. Figured I can’t be arsed to redo the whole thing (starting from sanding chores) so I just completed lacquering watching the flakes fly :). Thus, the now has a nice rough surface.

Front plate ready for installation.

I had no clear plans for the lower supports of controller console (minus using a L-bracket), so I just improvised with whatever dug up from the junk boxes. These were a small strip of aluminium, a piece of wooden furniture  feet and a L-bracket.

The alumium works as a installation stopper/guide on the bottom of the console. With these, you can simply lift up the console “as high as it goes” during installation and fasten the screws. The could also work as a installation surface if I decide to install a service hatch to the bottom of the console. Threaded through-holes can be then added for installation screws.

The wood bits were needed to allow using longer fastening screws. The inner & outer ends of the console are maybe 3-4cm thick in total, so using a screw that small didn’t seem like the sturdiest solution ever.

The right side lower support for controller console.

Like said, I completed the console cabling (minus 1p/2p start) way earlier. Not much to write about, but well worth a couple of pics anyway..

Side view of controls cabling. All the cables will be routed next to the door hinge once I install some kind of a cable clamps.

Bottom view of controls cabling. Still missing the spinner!

There are two buttons on both sides of the console: The black ones are wired up as ‘add coin’ whereas the red ones double ‘button 1’. This should allow for using the cabinet for pinball emulation PLUS any ‘joystick + single button’ games can be played with either hand configuration (1p is left-handed and 2p right if using top controls only). As ‘button 1’ will see the most action next to joystick, maybe having ‘back-up’ button doesn’t hurt either..

In order for the volume dial assembly to fit in, the cutout on the door had to be enlarged and the extending monitor repair support removed altogether. Without these workarounds, the front panel wouldn’t fit correctly nor the door wouldn’t close completely.

The opening needed to be enlarged for the volume dial. The way it was prior to cutting is visible a couple of pictures up.

I’m thinking of making a separate storage mount for the monitor support inside the cabinet, but let’s see.. The monitor support weighs around couple of kilos, so the storage mount would have to be rather sturdy and keep the support from loosely swinging inside if the cabinet is transported.

I also decided to install the original jack / volume dial board from the computer speaker set. This way, headphones can be used too and connecting them will disable the loudspeakers. Albeit, the connector is in a relatively tricky spot: you can plug in the headphones by reaching deep under the controller console ;)

The original jackboard installed.

The switch on the left side of the volume dial (picture above) will become the power switch for the PC housed inside the cabinet. Just need to add the cabling. The opening on the front panel for this switch was originally used for the coin return actuator. This had a long aluminium shaft with a locking clip protruding through the opening. I removed the locking clip and cut the shaft shorter in order for the switch to fit in. Despite the locking clip is left out, the actuator seems to stay put pretty well even without it. The actuator will of course fall off if the cabinet is tipped, but I’d assume that’d be one of the last issues to worry about in such a scenario ;)

Next up, a bit of monitor business.

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