Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'm back.....and I've got a project !

I'm back.....and I've got a project I'm working on.
It's been along time coming. I've been busy... and honestly just don't play enough to make these things a priority.

I picked up a bartop cabinet from Rick @ Gameroom Designs.
Rick is awesome! You can check out his site here : http://gameroomdesigns.ca/

I picked up the "contender" model of Rick's bartop kit.
This thing is awesome, it will look soooo good in my Nintend-ROW.
(that's what I call my row of Nintendo cabinets in my man cave.)
The bartop cabinet is actually modeled after a Nintendo cabinet, just smaller.
I'll post a pick later to illustrate the scale of the cabinet.

For this project I'm trying something new.
The cabinet will be finished in black and I'm going with a "Punch-Out" theme.
I got the artwork printed up locally and with the help of some awesome members
over on the BYOAC site I have some great custom artwork.

I'll be using a Raspberry Pi 2 for the brains of the unit.
I've never gone the Raspberry Pi route, but the fact that you can download the image online eliminates a ton of work. All I need to do is move over my ROM files and some minimal set up.

I'll be using my BLOG to post progress pics of the project and track the spending.
I'll post links when applicable.

Hopefully this will be a fun read.

Thanks all.

Monday, January 27, 2014

More Jukebox

I need to make some changes to my Popeye cabinet.
I sold the CRT monitor with the hopes of replacing it with a larger LCD monitor.
Sadly I missed the boat on Boxing Day here in Canada.
A nice 23" CRT monitor (clearance model) for $70!!!! F**K!
With that said I'm leaving that project for now taking on something that will require less work.
Enter the jukebox (as touched on earlier) !!!!!!!!!!!

Things have been crazy around the house with a six month old daughter.
I have far less "me" time, and when I do have "me" time I confess I don't always have the best time management. I still have not picked up the All-in-1 23" touchscreen PC. I am 100%...........I REPEAT 100% committed to that PC!

We've had one heck of a winter here, and we were hit with another storm yesterday (Sunday Jan 26th).
That was the day I was supposed to pick up the computer. None the less I've contacted the seller to let him know my intentions. All be it he probably thinks I'm a real idiot and he's heard it all before.

However I'm still messing around and trying things out. I'm playing around with Splashtop...........LOVE IT!
My Belkin router however is blocking the connection causing Splahstop to not connect.
When I unhooked the Belkin router (which I was using to give my network more range) I had no connection issues. This issue will need to be sorted out at a later time, for now I can't be bothered.

For now I'm working on properly tagging my music. Making sure my album art is all in check!
I'm also using MP3 Gain to adjust all my levels..........BTW I love that program also!
I've said it before (broken record) but if all goes well I'll get the PC this weekend.
The tablet is all set up and really cool to use as a remote.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Jukebox

I'm proud of my man cave. I think all things considered (room size, budget, etc) it turned out really well.
I have my machines (that still need some TWEAKING), some really cool artwork, my foosball table, some cool sings, and even a gumball/candy machine.

I can actually say that I've crossed off many of my wants from my list. The one project that has evaded me all these years has been a jukebox. And perhaps not a jukebox in the traditional sense, but some cool means of showcasing and interacting with my music collection.

Years ago I had purchased 4 17" ELO touchscreen monitors, the good ol CRT type. Plan was use these for a jukebox project in connection with "Uncle T's Jukebox." Uncle T's was a great free program distributed years ago on various coin-op related sites. Only issue was that with my limited skills and lack of tools I would have needed someone to build me the jukebox itself. All things considered it simply wasn't worth the cost involved. To this day I still have the PC configured with a custom skin and featuring Uncle T's jukebox.

When my basement got done it was clear to say space was of a premium. Not everything I wanted I could have. The jukebox idea kinda fell onto the back burner until recently. I was looking for a suitable option that would allow me to access my music via my tablet. I won't get into too much detail about this, but in the end I found no suitable options.

Forever on Kijiji I came across some "All-in-1" PC's. I had tracked down an HP model with a 27" touchscreen monitor. It was located about 90 minutes from my home and I had enlisted the help of family to pick it up. The price was super low, about $200, but the machine was "as is." Seller was an older gentleman who was told the PC needed a new hard drive ($100). I figured for $300 this was worth a shot, sadly as busy as I was with my newborn daughter I was unable to pick up the PC. Any my aunt and uncle whom I asked for help were sooooooooooo paranoid they declined to pick it up in a timely manor. As it goes the item was SOLD !!!!!!

Needless to say when I missed this unit I was PI$$ED. But the silver lining was I was made aware of these all in 1 type PC's. Fast forward a few months and I came across a "Gateway ZX6800" with a 23" touchscreen monitor. As it turned out the seller had one with some slight corner damage for $200. I went to his place, saw the PC, gave a verbal promise to buy it and he was to configure it with Windows 7. It was my birthday that day actually, and as I was out for my birthday dinner I got a text from him. "Sorry to tell you the PC isn't responding to touch. I can offer it to you still for $200, or $250 for a working one." He had offered me a $50 discount and I had asked for an additional $25 off....................he didn't budge !

I emailed the seller back a couple days after but he was still unwilling to go down to $225. In the end I agreed to pick one up configured with Windows 7 for $250. Soooooooooooooo I'll actually pick that up this weekend.

 Gateway ZX6800 with the following specs :
  • Processor Type Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200
  • Processor Speed 2.33GHz
  • Processor Cores 4
  • RAM 4GB DDR3
  • Hard Drive Capacity 500GB
  • Optical Drives 8X DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti
  • Graphics Integrated Intel GMA X4500HD
  • Screen Size/Type 23" touchscreen LCD
  • Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n
  • Card Reader Multi-In-1
Here is the concept :

I'll use the PC as is moving my music collection to the internal hard drive.
The PC will be networked with my existing home network so music can be easily added/removed.
Via the software I can even point the jukebox to music collections on other PC's in the house.
I'll add a Bluetooth transmitter to the PC. I have two as is, I've tested them and they work well.
My existing AV set up (5.1) and additional "in wall" speakers will be hooked up with a Bluetooth receiver.
I picked up a copy of the great "TouchJams" software and created a custom skin for it.

Simply put I'll set up the PC downstairs, install Touchjams, and set up the Bluetooth pair.
The PC will boot right up into TouchJams (and perhaps contain other touchscreen friendly games), users will be able to navigate my music collection selecting a playlist. The music will then be sent via wireless

existing system. I'm excited !!!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Final Few Touches....

Managed to find some  time for myself today to get outside and do some of the final little things on my cabinets. I installed the t-molding on both cabinets and got the cold cathode tube installed on Bad Dudes.
This is such a cool modification for $10, really gives it a cool look.
I'm kinda pi$$ed I broke one of the tubes during the install. Now just the front glows....either way it's neat.

I blacked out the monitor surround on Bad Dudes and with the backdoor on it makes the monitor pop.
I was a little concerned that the monitor looked dim on Bad Dudes, but it was the smoked plexi and light getting through that gave that appearance.

I still need to secure the monitor in Final Fight from the back and cover the monitor logo and power LED.
I tried doing it without removing the shroud, that was stupid, I can't get my fat paws in that small space.
I'll get those two small things done tomorrow, perhaps even adding RGB LED lights to the base of Final Fight.

The cold cathode tubes run you about $10 on eBay shipped for 2 x 12" tubes.
The RGB LED lights with adapter and remote run you about the same thing.
Both plug into your switching power supply.
You can pick up a power adapter for the RGB LED lights.
I think in some way the LED lights are better as you can have them fade from color to color, or just use a solid color. They are flexible with is really cool and self adhesive.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Project Updates

With little baby girl now in my life "me time" is few and far between.
Since in reality I don't play my games very much I figure there really is no point to hang onto this excess inventory. I've started to sell off extra parts, decide what are "must do" changes I'd like to make to my machines, and what are "not such big deal" changes.

I've pretty much finished my Bad Dudes project, it just needs minor cosmetic things done.
Add the t-molding, a bezel (or blackout) around the monitor, and I think that's all.

I've also got my Final Fight 98% done, needs a little more trim added around the monitor and the t-molding installed. I'll add the mini-SLG (scanline generator) to give it a retro look and it will be done.

I'll keep these for a bit I'm sure, but since they will never make it into the house they will get sold.
Such is this hobby I guess.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Primed And Ready!

I'm not sure if this cabinet had been painted with oil based paint. And being me I didn't look online to see of any tests I could do prior to painting. Instead I just primed it with some extra paint I had kicking around.
The paint seems to have taken will, all be it when I scraped off some highs spots they came off perhaps a lil too easy! So I decided I' leave it for a week so the paint could really cure. Depending on the weather here just east of Toronto, Ontario Canada I may or may not paint this weekend.
I'm actually confident I'll make the deadline I set for this project!


  • Finish painting cabinet sides (front, coin door, and plastics all done)
  • Clean up the base area, either adding a base, or modifying the feet on the cabinet.
  • Install base cold cathode lighting
  • Install coin doors, board, jamma harness

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Painting Prep

July 1st long weekend here in Canada.
A time for celebration, family, BBQ, and for me arcades.
Today was a busy day for me, however I was lucky enough to get out to Home Depot and pick up some paint and my marquee fixture.

I picked out a nice bright red called "Chilli Pepper." I think it will look great with the reds, oranges, and yellows in the Final Fight art work.

Today I managed to install the marquee fixture and start to spray on the black paint. I'll need to do a second, even third coat tomorrow. It's not covering the drywall patching compound very well to be honest.
If I can get a couple coats in early in the morning I'll leave the cabinet outside in the sun for awhile, letting it bake on. Returning later that day to roll on the red paint.

Once painted I think it will come together quite well...and fast. My VGA adapter I expect in about 10 to 14 days. However I'll do the Jamma wiring, even installing the monitor early if needed.

I'm going to use the existing marquee and even the monitor shroud, I'm hoping it works out well with the LCD. My concern is part of the image cut off when finally put into place.