MAME Arcade Machine

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MAME Arcade Machine
MAME powered arcade machine constructed from Time Crisis arcade machine carcass

Day One
Gun mount detail

In January of 2017, I purchased a Time Crisis arcade machine carcass. First problem was getting it into the house (It did not fit through our front door - a hammer soon made short work of that).

The aim of the project was to have a multi game cabinet that could play the largest number of games, and support two players. This meant it needed at least seven buttons per player, and if possible arcade guns and a trackball.

The control surface is made using four laser cut layers - three of 3mm plywood laminated together, and one of 6mm acrylic. These were designed free cad, and lasered on Mr Laser. (This is the reason I joined So Make It). This enables the ply to be cut so as to let the joystick mounting be recessed into them, and means that a router is not needed - you can use the precision of Mr Laser to get perfect placement.

The main electronics are Arduino pro micros, running as HID game controllers. I purchase arcade buttons, joysticks, and a USB trackball.

The guns are Aimtrak arcade style USB guns, that use an infrared source for calibration. I designed gun mounts in OpenSCAD, and lasers those using Mr Laser. I then bolted the layers together to form the mounts.

Internally, there is a generic lenovo all in one PC (Core 2 Duo, 4 Gigs RAM, 500 Gig HDD) that amazingly had display port output, which made it ideal for this project. It is running Xubunutu 17, with MAME running. The Aimtrak guns have a weird behaviour under Linux, in that they have a centre line that they 'stick' to. Large thanks go out to Macaba who generously donated time to solving the problem, which involved finding a tool that would send fresh configuration to the Linux kernel to make the centering behaviour disappear. I have used attract mode as the front end, which enables nice logos and videos, which makes the machine sit there playing the intro sequences from the games, and making a lot of noise, when it is not in use.

There is also an off the shelf PC speaker set screwed into the frame, and a 32inch supermarket TV fitted.

The cabinet was dissembled, and modified at the space to be shallower, this involved cutting the sides and top down to size, and re drilling dowel holes to enable reassembly. This enabled it to fit through doors. It was also refinished in black furniture paint, to give that authentic 80's arcade feel.

The machine was then carted around in my car back and forth to the space for iterative work. I had no experience in modifying an arcade machine, so much was learned on the way. Including planning where screws will end up.

Finally, the machine was finished with new fixing hardware, giving all the bolts a nice shiny new look, which really made the whole machine aesthetics pop.

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