Thursday, March 6, 2008

I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs. I play video games, which I think is a far superior addiction to any of those other ones.

Making real progress now. I'm almost at the point where I can call the project 'done'. The only major thing that's left, is the artwork. My albatross. My white whale.

Here you can see the 25 cent stickers and the admin stickers applied. All of the admin buttons are wired and functioning now.

One of the things to be aware of with the small momentary contact buttons is that they're very shallow. I had to route out quite a bit of the backside of the 3/4" panel I had. Even then the nuts didn't seem to want to hold all the time.

Wider shot of the admin buttons.

The power button, when unlit, seems hardly noticeable with the labels in place.

This shot shows the labels reflecting off the glass. Again, the glass is so dark that you don't see these types of reflections unless you're hitting it with a camera flash.

Nice close up of the 25 cent vinyl. Looks much better than just a plain black button.

The more I look at the admin buttons, the more I'm glad I went with the smaller momentary contact buttons as opposed to a regular push button. They just look ... more admin.

What would any project be without some pimping here and there. I decided to spice up the inside with some cold cathode tubes. It also helps if I'm doing some work inside, as opposed to using a flexible work light.

The edges of the cabinet now have this eerie blue glow to them. It's also a nice effect when opening up the coin door.

Managed to take a stabilized shot without the flash so you have a better sense of the lighting.

Just a reminder that I was able to get the vinyl admin buttons from Pongo in the BYOAC forums. It's a great resource for artwork and other arcade related goodness.

Monday, March 3, 2008

What's worse, thinking you're being paranoid or knowing you should be?

So I took the admin panel from J's garage and brought it home to mount the buttons. I originally went out looking for a 3/4" nut for the Bulgin Vandal power button. I should have been more observant, because it already comes with a half height 3/4" nut on it.

Lots of driving around wasted on that.

After mounting the admin buttons and the power button the paint ended up getting scuffed up, and the paint had some indents in it from behind handled.

Sanded it with a 120 grit sand paper, put a few more coats of enamel paint on it (after taping off the buttons. It's now nice and shiny.

Very difficult to get a good shot of the button. The button doesn't come with the 'power' symbol on it, I ended up getting a sheet of vinyl decals from Pongo in the BYOAC forums. I'm very happy with the results.

I had originally planned on 2 inch spacing between the buttons, but I was concerned about the vinyl labels overlapping. I increased it to 3 inches and I'm very happy with the results. All the buttons are vertically aligned and the net resulted is a very appealing look.

J came over to look at the progress I was making, and I managed to leverage him to help me install the glass. The L brackets I was using were too large, so we ended up putting a slight bend in them so they wouldn't cover the control box bolt holes.

I'm very pleased with the results. The glass, as you can see, is quite dark. It adds that missing element of 'arcade feel' to the cabinet.

The challenge with taking a picture with a dSLR is that it's constantly trying to increase the light levels. The net result is light reflections off the glass, when in reality there is very little reflection at all.

Here is the heart of the machine. Motherboard on a Lian-Li motherboard tray, with a Vantec hot swap drive case, and the power supply. I used some beefy panel clamps on the top and bottom and they hold very securely.

Another angle.

I need to practice taking more shots with my camera. This is with the ISO turned up and the flash turned off. The effect doesn't quite come out like I wanted, but you get the idea.

This is the back of the control box with the admin panel securely mounted. I used 4 x 1-1/2" L brackets.

A picture inside with the motherboard mounted securely. Looking much more tidy now.

The admin panel serves to fill the gap at the top of the control panel, and add that little bit of polish.

I can't wait to see the control panel with some artwork applied.

My Pac-Man 4-way reunion stick came in. Now I can mount it, and use it on the games I need to, rather than trying to struggle with an 8-way.

Unfortunately the mount is slightly different from what I had routed. As you can see there's some damage to the wood that requires some bondo to repair.

I finished the afternoon by taping the underside and applying bondo liberally to fill the holes and the notched areas. I'll drill new holes tomorrow, and securely mount the 4-way.