Jimmy's Arcade! Old School Style!
Well, due to the remnants of Hurricane Francis I've had a few set backs with the old arcade. Due to the 6 inches of rain we got here on Wednesday night, we had some flooding in the basement where The Arcade is kept. Luckily I acted fast enough to get all the electronic parts out of it and lift it up on to a few 4X4's. However, the water was raising rather fast, so I had to transfer the cabinet two feet higher. Luckily, the water never got quite that high, so everything was spared. The only damaged part was my IR receiver that I fried when I was hooking everything back up and I used the wrong power supply with it. 9 VDC is NOT the same as 9 VAC! Don't ever think it will be either! So the moral of this week's lesson is this: If you're building a plane in your garage, make sure the wingspan is not greater than your garage door's width!
On a more arcade note, I started designing a new control panel. This new one with have a piece of plexi-glass over it to avoid splinters, and will have an extra, fifth joystick that is only a 4-way due to the fact that old school games like Pac-Man and such are just a dog gone pain with an 8 way! Pac-Man and the Ms. just don't know how to go diagonal! This extra joystick will be connected to the same inputs as the 8-way player one joystick. Also, I ordered all LEDs for the coin mech and power lights. First of all, the light they give is just cleaner, and I don't have worry about them burning out!
So it's been a very
long time since I've blogged on this last. Though it's been a very long time since I've worked on the old arcade. This weekend I decided to dust the old boy off and take 'er for a spin! I've been playing on the arcade for quite some time. I finally got some plexi-glass to cover the monitor frame. What I wound up doing was attaching 2X2's to the insides of the cabinet side panels and then screwing the monitor frame, and plexi-glass cover into those. It worked out great! I attempted to make an IR extender but after 2 failed attempts, I just sucked it up and paid the money for a good one.
I drilled a mounting hole in the speaker panel for the IR receiver and than ran wire to the splitter box for the unit. The splitter box allows me to extend IR receivers to 4 different devices. Allows keep expansion in mind. From the splitter box I ran an IR transmitter to the TV that basically just sticks right over top of the TV IR receiver. So now the TV remote works excellente and I can turn it on and off without that awkward hand curl I got used to doing.
Finally then this weekend I cut a hole in the side of the cabinet for the PC front the stick thru. This allows me to insert CD's and other media and USB devices easily without having to stretch around back.
It may be worth it to have a good jigsaw. So out to the store and spend a little cash on one that won't struggle to cut thru 3/4" thick plywood and then tear it all up. A cheap one will still work, but in the time it would take you to go to the store and buy a good one, come back and cut your cuts, you still wouldn't be finished if you were using that old one.
Wow! It looks like it's been over a month since I've done anything on The Arcade. Well, I haven't been home for a weekend in a long while. It was nice to get back to work. Moving on to arcade stuff. I sanded a little off the keyboard drawer so now it slides much easier. I attached the front of the draw with cabinet door snaps for now. You can't open the drawer with the front or you pull it right off. I can either make the drawer still slide easier, or attach the front in a more permanent way. Don't know the resolution quite yet.
I also added a power button on the side near the top of the unit. I used the light-up push button for this, so it looks pretty cool when you turn it on, and from the side you can easily see that the PC is indeed on. Also I wired the lights on the coin slots to the power of the PC. It makes it easy since the light-up push button and coin slots take 12V DC, I just used the 12V DC coming right from the PC power supply.
Finally I received the monitor frame a few weeks ago and I cut it to fit today. I'm not sure how I'm going to turn the TV on once I mount it, but I'm thinking of extending the receiver on the TV so I can use the remote.
Oh, I also mounted the marquee light. Let me tell you, my marquee better be close to black because this light is about as bright as the Sun. Use the same precautions, don't stare into the light!
I finally made the keyboard drawer today. Since the monitor stand got in the way, I decided to put my drawer sliders on their own 2X2. This involved the least amount of cutting and actually made the drawer look quite good. I just used nails and some wood glue to hold it together. Since people will be looking inside the drawer, I didn't want to have metal brackets and stuff holding it together. I put the handle on the front of the drawer but I have yet to secure the front of the drawer on the rest of the drawer. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do that. I would like to be able to make the front fold down, but that might be out of the question due to drawer location, which was due to the stupid monitor stand. Anyway, all I really need to do beside secure the drawer front is sand a little off of the 2X2's that the sliders are mounted to. This should allow the drawer to slide almost effortlessly.
Today I screwed on the speaker grills. I wasn't too sure if I was going to use them because you could sort of see right thru them, but I do like how they look and if the see-thruness really bothers me I can always get some really black mesh to block the view of the square speakers that lie beyond.
I soldered up the coin slot to the 9-pin connector. Well, actually I used those crimp on ones and I was quite disappointed. Next time, I'll be using the soldering ones once again. But the coin slots do work. I tested them out and everything looks good. I'll have to figure out some way to make the wire look a little neater, but that's miniscule stuff.
Today I bought serial connector ends that I will use to connect the coin mech to the IPac keyboard emulator. I could just wire it straight in, but if ever want to take the control panel off, it would be a huge hassle. This way I will just plug the coin mech into the back of the control panel which will be connected to the IPac. I'm used to soldering connector ends, but the ones I bought are crimp-able. I don't know what I use to crimp them, but I may have to find out. If you've ever tried to solder your own 9 pin, or 25 pin connectors it's a real hassle. I usually wind up melting some of the black plastic and that always smells good.
I hear you want to see how my new arcade building project is going. Well my friend, you've come to the right place. This should keep you up to date!
02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004