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Arcade Cabinets - Buying, Building, Modding & Repairing


Tomdominer
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As suggested by people in the retro gaming set-up thread, this is a discussion thread for all things arcade cabinet related.

 

I've had a dream for a long time to have my own arcade cab. I've ordered a second DE-10 nano (which has been on order from Mouser Electronics for 10 months now) which I dreamed of putting inside some sort of sega candy cab. I also have always wanted to own an original (reconditioned) Donkey Kong, Defender, Point Blank and Xybots cabinet to complete the collection.

 

Some people on here have already mentioned owning real cabs, and also some replica offerings, including the popular Arcade1UP cabs (which are also supposedly good for modding) and other more expensive options that have full windows PCs inside and offer everything from old arcade games right the way up to Street Fighter V etc.

 

So, please, forumites. Post pictures of your own cabs, speak about the highs and lows of owning your own arcade machines. Discuss the difficulties in repairing these old machines? Is owning a CRT cabinet really worth it? Does anyone own reconditioned original machines? Has someone owned cabs, and then decided to sell the lot as maintaining them was too much effort?

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1 hour ago, Tomdominer said:

Would you guys recommend getting a horizontal and vertical MiSTer set-up, so you can enjoy old school shooters then?

It depends on what you are using. In the machine above it’s got a PC in it running Groovymame and the monitor is a VGA arcade screen that I got out of a quiz machine. So it can run vertical games but obviously they are not full screen where the horizontal games are.

 

My new cab that I picked up last week still has the full Jamma harness in it so I’ll just stick a 60 in 1 vertical pcb in that for now. It also has an LCD screen which I’ll be swapping out as I prefer CRT’s.

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I had the same as @Swainy and about 25+ PCB's. I bought that plus a fruit machine and a fussball table for an absolute deal before the market got crazy.

 

My advise would be to get a generic cab and stick a good multigame board in. You can then decide if you play it enough to warrant going down the rabbit hole of getting dedicated cabs. 

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I always fancied an Astro city cabinet before kids came along but I never had the space

 

Now that I’ve got the space where’s the best place to buy one?

 

Is shipping a killer for arcade cabinets? I’ve got a box trailer for my car so could be tempted to travel to collect 

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1 hour ago, Nutcasey said:

@phillv85 I'd be happy to take the Blast City off of you in maybe a years time or so if you still have it? I'm desperate to get one once I move. 

 

Where did you get one? Know of any good places?

 

Thanks


I’ll try to bear you in mind if it’s still kicking around and I decide to sell.

 

I got this one from Rklok, a guy in Holland who imports them from Japan and ships them worldwide. He’s a reliable seller, but I don’t know how many CRT cabs he gets these days as even Japan is running dry now.

 

There’s a couple of forums worth signing up to, Arcade Otaku and UKVAC. Blast’s come up every so often on both forums and there’s a wealth of knowledge on them both.

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11 hours ago, Tomdominer said:

Is owning a CRT cabinet really worth it?

 

Yep. I'm slowly working towards one day building my own custom cabinet out of exotic woods and a PVM tube. All I need is the wood and the time, the time being the blocker right now. 

 

Get a MiSTercade in there as you already have MiSTer experience.

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Here is the album for the machine I designed and built - https://imgur.com/a/1liQLz8

 

uR8g40H.thumb.jpeg.6af52a4ff70eb20818542220a753c496.jpeg

 

Id go for a CRT where possible, although a decent plasma is better than an LCD still and pretty cheap if space is tighter. This is under 50 cm deep and goes up to around the equivalent of a 27" 4:3 depending on orientation (it contains a 42" screen rotated vertically).

 

 

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20 hours ago, Swainy said:

Here is my horizontal one:

 

9BaS659.jpeg

 

I’ve just bought another which isn’t in as nice condition which I’m going to use as a vertical set up.


Mine is basically the same cabinet with a different colour scheme. It’s got a 21” PC CRT monitor in, and an old MAME system running on XP. 
It doesn’t get used much as it’s in the garage but as and when I move house I’ll find a better home for it. Will add photos later. 

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This is the other cab that I bought last week.. 

 

MYQZziM.jpg
 

Its the same height as the other BAS cab that I’ve got in my kitchen but the profile is slightly different (curved at the top rather than angled).

 

As you can see, some idiot has stuck this crappy home made bezel on the glass and have unfortunately stuck it on the original artwork. Despite heating up the home made bezel, it started to peel the original artwork off when I tried to remove it so I’m either going to have to try and get a replacement glass bezel or get some universal artwork from Olly at https://www.arcadeartshop.com

 

Got to replace the player 1 joystick too, as it’s not the original.

 

Its currently got a nasty LCD screen which I’m going to swap out with a CRT from the quiz machine that is next to it.

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10 hours ago, Swainy said:

Got to say, arcade games play so much better in a fairly dark room.

 

Completely agree. I always had my machines in a conservatory, and it was a poor playing experience. So much better having machines indoors. Somewhere you can pull the curtains.

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So, I have a de-10 nano on order, and was hoping to buy some sort of Sega candy cabinet to put it in. What are the things I need to know? Should I buy an astro city? Do they come with jamma boards, or their own proprietary sega internals? If I wanted to install a mister, do I need a mistercade adapter to interface with the arcade cabinet, or are there other choices available?

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Default config for Astro and New Astro is JAMMA, default for Astro City 2 (which is really rare) is Sega Model 2.

 

Astro’s and New Astro’s are two of the most common candies, so are reasonably priced comparatively and there’s plenty of spares around. They also come as standard with a Nanao MS8 (most Astro’s) or MS9 (late Astro’s and New Astro’s) which are superb 15khz monitors.

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I bought a Scramble machine, a cocktail table cab and it was exactly what I wanted because it was an original machine from back in the day. Sadly it seems lots of these machines had very difficult lives and of course they're all 40 years old now.  The result was very temperamental reliability, but also the inside of the machine had old style 10p coins, beer mats and got knows what else in there.  An attempt at cleaning the machine inside caused a massive earth hum from the screen which was previously silent.  Even being gentle a nudge of a chip unseated it from the holder and snapped some legs off.  I gave it up as a bad idea and stuck it back on eBay where an arcade supplier bought it for more than I'd paid.  I looked out for another machine but this seemed to coincide with the resurgence of interest and there was nothing anywhere near what I'd paid, even those horrible cabinets with the hand drawn mario/space Invaders characters on (think of the crappy Disney characters on Ice Cream vans, you know what I mean) were going for a thousand pounds.  Apart from the Pachinko I've never owned an Arcade Cab since, and I keep thinking I should sell the Pachinko as one day it will break down and I won't have a clue how to repair it. 

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Judging by the bits you’ve already got it looks like you’ve done your research.  
 

Sure you’ve already figured that if you’re lucky it’ll just be plug and play with the Naomi mobo. 
 

There are various folk who could help you diagnose/fix your monitor issue, depending on what type it is. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Tomdominer said:

 

I googled Rklok and it seems to take me to holding page that links to an ebay store that is empty? http://www.rklok.com/

 

Am I missing something?


he used to send out emails of machines that were for sale (by signing up to the newsletter). Haven’t seen one for sale for a long while thinking about it. 

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