Saturday, 4 June 2011

Busy busy busy

Been really busy on the arcade cab this week, took the ageing laptop out and replaced it with a vintage dell machine I had hanging about. Much better spec and the games are playing much more smoothly. Mounting it in the cab took a bit of effort but its worth it. I decided not to use the original case but being a Dell the cables were a bit short to say the least. A bit of thinking and many screws later...

Since the new PC is working I decided today to start the next big job: replacing the control panel and adding the new buttons. Getting it out and stripping the original plastic cover off wasnt too difficult:

Its a bit rusty so I'll probably have to get it sanded and resprayed (hammerite?) but next I drilled out the new 30mm holes for the additional buttons. I was gonna go with the classic 6 button layout but after drilling the holes it seems I have room for 7 per player. Much drilling, filing and swearing later:

Its a bit of a tight fit in places but all the buttons fit and its time to get some new decals made up. Trouble is that most of the templates you can get online include the actual locations of the buttons. I couldnt find any pre-made templates for a 7 button control panel overlay (CPO) that match where the holes are on mine.I've started fiddling around with a scanned paper template and the GIMP, will post some pics as soon as it starts taking shape.

In other news - I bought a load of stuff from Maplin for the cab. A small amplifier DIY kit - which it turns out is unnecessary, the sound card in the new PC seems to have a bit more oomph. Also bought and fitted 2 cold cathode lights into the marquee which worked fine.. for about an hour, then the inverter died and I have to get it sent back :(

Oh  - one last thing which I'm quite happy with is a new power switch for the PC. Didnt fancy having to open the cab to turn the power on/off so soldered a cable to the existing microswitch and connected a small push button switch hidden in the coin return box. Sad but I like it.

Told you I have been busy ;)

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