I am happy to say I finally got around to finishing my cab. I used the plans over at Arcadecab.com, and a picture of my completed cab is viewable in the 'Visitor's Cabs' section. These Ideas are more for people in the planning stages of their cab process. They could also be implemented in your next cab..


Marquee Retainer

 

When you buy a Marquee retainer from Happ, you get 10 feet of it. That's a bit more then I needed... I used the extra marquee retainer to hold the glass (bezel) in place. I have seen a bunch of arcades that looked great, but didn't have a good solution for keeping the glass in place. I cut a small notch out of the monitor shelf, and routed it so I could put a small strip of T-molding in it. Then I cut 2 pieces of marquee retainer that would hold the bezel in place. Some cabs use the monitor as a support. I elected to use 2 L-brackets near the top of the bezel. I wrapped the L-brackets with some of he adhesive I bought from Happ that I used to line the inside of the cab with. This prevents the L-brackets from scratching the bezel.

notch     under monitor shelf     L-bracket

These pictures illustrate the design I used. The marquee retainers are installed with 3 screws under the monitor shelf and are very easily hold the weight of the bezel. The notch is there so you can lift the glass up out of the groove and pull it toward you then slide it down from the top. The L-bracket is also shown.


1 Button On..

 

After reading about the smart-strip over at Retroblast.com, I knew it would be the solution I needed. I wrote Kevin and told him he saved me from surely electrocuting myself. So now the smart-strip does the job, turn the PC on, and everything else comes on. But I wanted to move the PC on-off button to the outside of the cab. I bought a pushbutton from Happ and installed on the top of my cab. I took a front panel power switch connector w/jumper attached from an old PC I had lying around (I'm sure most of you have an old PC lying around..) and cut it from the front panel. I extended the wiring so it would reach to the top of my cab. I wired it to the pushbutton, and then put the jumper end on the proper jumpers on the motherboard.


Speaker System

 

I don't think many people give this much thought. But I wanted to also control the volume externally. I found a 3-speaker set on the net for under $20 (Creative 3 Piece SBS 2.1 350 Speakers). It came with external volume and power on one tiny control. I cut out a notch on the top of my cab and placed it up there. Because of the wiring structure, the volume/power box was designed to go between the speakers and the PC. I had to go to radio shack and pick up a 6' stereo extension to right the wrongs of the factory limitation. It's nothing revolutionary, but it's worth the extra effort you put into it when your building your cab. Both the PC power and speaker power/volume are on the top of my cab, out of sight. This makes for easy access, and it stays out of the reach of little ones.

speaker - power

This picture shows the speaker power/volume and power pushbutton from the top of the cab.


Routing

 

This is one is more of a "learn from my mistake". When you are ready to route the grooves for the T-molding. LAY YOU CAB DOWN! Don't try to route it while it's standing up. I did this for one side and thought at one point I had ruined the cab. You don't have the required leverage to stop the router from kicking when the cab is upright. I had to do a lot of work after the fact to fix this mistake.


Backside

 

Most Cab designs leave part of the back exposed to allow for air flow. Since I have pets I decided to go with pegboard. It allows for airflow while keeping the wiring unchewed. I didn't need that big of a section. After I cut out the piece I needed, I mounted the leftover 3/4 of the original piece in the garage. Two birds..

 


Marquee

 

I made a Matrix style Marquee in Photoshop. When I got it from the printers and put it up to the light, the black was really washed out. It was my own fault for making the graphic in a low resolution. Anyhow, I decided to make a cut out so only the word MAME would light up. Not this took a while to do, but I think it was worth it. First I traced the  outline of MAME onto paper, then I put the paper over cardboard and traced it with a pen, making sure I went through the paper onto the cardboard. Then with an exacto, and something under the cardboard (so you don't cut into the table below) I cut along the lines I made from the trace. It's a really neat effect, since you can see the MAME in the design before you turn the cab on..

 

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