Once I had finalized my digital design, I transferred the measurements from the 3D model to the wood, and began cutting the side panels for the cabinet using a router. To provide for the axle of my rotating control panel, I drilled a 2" hole thru both panels, then routed a slot into the right side panel, that the wiring would later pass thru. After sanding the edges and rounding the corners, I laminated the panels with yellow Wilsonart laminate (D341-60 Marigold) and installed the t-molding on the edges, to prevent damage to the corners.
To prepare for connecting the side panels together, 3" sections of 1x1 were glued with polyurethane glue and screwed into pre-drilled holes in the panels, then cross-screwed into the four 25 1/4" 2x4's that form the frame of the cabinet. #8 x 1 1/2" screws were used.
Next day, after the glue had set, I assembled the base of the cabinet, which consists of 2 plywood sheets screwed into the bottom set of 2x4's, one sheet above (forming the floor of the cabinet) and the other (shorter) sheet below. This left enough room for the front swivel casters to turn. The front and rear kick-plates and casters were then installed.
At this point, all the various panels could be joined to the cabinet, starting with the monitor shelf to give a bit more strength. All panels were joined to the cab by first marking the side panels, then glueing and screwing 1x1's to the sides, and then gluing and screwing the smaller panels to the 1x1's. (I used over 300 screws in the construction of the cab!)
I added the back door by carefully hanging it from the two holes cut for the cabinet "dolly" handles, using clamps to suspend and level it out. Four hidden hardware cabinet hinges were screwed in from the inside of the cab. Once the door was secure, I added four 5" PC case fans to the inside, complete with screens to minimize dust inside the cab. I ended up only connecting the two fans near the outside edge of the door, as four fans proved to be too noisy. The two remaining fans are more than enough blow out all the hot air, with cool air being sucked in thru the unused fan openings. The fans draw power from the PC's 12V power source. Note the slot cut into the back kickplate, which allows several cables to run out the cab (for power, networking etc.)
As soon as I put the front access door on, I found an unexpected visitor had taken up residence... I just turned around, and there he was! This guy was always waiting to steal a bolt, climb up on the monitor shelf, or get a taste of the polyurethane glue! Daddy's little helper indeed...
I added the coin door, using four carriage bolts, and a bread pan for a coin box (hey, it worked for Pong!) In order to keep the doors from pushing too far into the cab, I fashioned some stops from some spare L-brackets. Adhesive felt pieces were added to protect the doors and allow them to close quietly. An additional bracket was added as a latch for the door locks to grab onto. At this time I also discovered it was necessary to add a metal rail along the bottom egde of the coin box shelf. This keeps the somewhat long/skinny front access door from being pushed downward by the control panel when everything is closed up.
After buying all the controls, building materials, tools, and printed artwork, the money finally ran out for this project. The cabinet was originally designed around the 27" Wells Gardner D9200 VGA arcade monitor, but I ended up putting off that purchase temporarily. So for now, I just have to make do with my old Panasonic 21" TV. An RF modulator converts the GeForce's composite signal for the TV, which only accepts a coax connection. It's not the greatest picture, but with the sharpness and brightness cranked all the way up, it looks decent! A couple of wood blocks hold the TV in place, so it doesn't slide when the cab is being moved.
I've made a temporary monitor bezel of black foamcore, held in place by friction with the sides of the cab. This will eventually be replaced by one of Happ's 27" bezels when I replace the monitor. The monitor glass (actually 1/4" Lexan) is held in place by a set of three window screen clips, screwed into a length of 1x1 pine, which is attached at the back edge of the speaker panel. Note the marquee light, just above.
Finally, I installed the speakers & Radio Shack speaker grilles, marquee light, and a temporary marquee. I added a Happ pushbutton on top of the cab as a remote PC power button, and soldered a relay into a cheap power strip. The relay is wired to one of the PC's 5V power leads, so when the computer goes on, everything goes on! (Well, everything except the TV, which has to be powered on by the remote, thru a small hole in the bezel...) Then I quickly jammed all the guts inside for my first MAME party!
The day of the party, I still hadn't gotten the rotating control panels built, so I hooked up the old test panels. No one seemed to mind, though, and everyone was impressed with my machine! It ended up playing much like a showcase cab, but with a small screen. Here are two of the 10 or so partygoers having a blast on TMNT! We also had a PlayStation 2 running the latest Gran Turismo 3 and Grand Theft Auto on the home theater, and lots & lots of pizza! Thanks to all the Luma crew for coming!
The information on this site is for the purposes of education and entertainment only. The owner of this site makes no warantees as to the accuracy of the information, and takes no responsibility for any damage or injury sustained due to the use of information herein. The design of the Pac-Mamea cabinet and all photos, computer renderings, drawings, schematics, and printed information relating to such are Copyright © 2002-2004 Robert Meyers. No ownership of other copyrighted material found on this site is implied.