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Author Topic: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!  (Read 4161 times)

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romshark

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Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« on: April 10, 2016, 10:49:17 pm »
This build has been completed! Here's a couple pics of the build. There's a lot more pics of the finished cabinet, as well as the build process, in this topic. Hope my methods (and mistakes) help out others in their builds. Enjoy!




Original starting post below this line.
--------------------------------------------------------

Heroes in a Half-Shell! Turtle Power!

Please note that I'm working 48 hours a week these days, and have other stuff that may need to be done too. I may go a week or so between any progress or updates.

I grew up as a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I watched the cartoon ((the one that started in the late 80s), the movies, and had various action figures, the party wagon, the Turtle Blimp, and more. Imagine my surprise the first time I saw a TMNT arcade machine! I couldn't play it at the time (we had to get going), but I did play it a week or so later on my 8th birthday, at Chuck E Cheese. I've seen TMNT units since then, but I spent more time playing the NES version, until I learned of MAME.

Fast forward to current day. I came into possession of an arcade CRT monitor (with board and bezel) a few years ago, and it's been taking up space. When figuring out what to do with it, I decided to build a cabinet for TMNT (something I've always wanted.)

Initial research started last year, back in October I think. I compared the Jakobud plans with Classic Arcade Cabinets. I even did an overlay of the plans over the other to see how they matched up.


(black is Jackobud, red is Classic Arcade Cabinets)

In the end, I decided to go with the Jakobud plans, since they have measurements I can use. I did add some stuff from the Classic Arcade Cabinets image, like the rounded bottom edges and a slight cutout on the bottom (even though I'm not using a bottom fan intake system.) The pics of cabinets I can find online have these features.

I don't have access to a real TMNT for reference (or any other Konami game that used the same basic cabinet design), so I'm going by the plans, and what I can find on the Internet. I'm primarily using Malenko's award-winning (literally) TMNT Cab Restoration poject, Bakushan's TMNT restoration over on the KLOV forums, and Szabo's Arcades Youtube videos on restoring a Simpsons arcade machine. I want my cabinet to look just like the big versions, at least externally.

So...where does the "Half-Shell" part come from? Well, the CRT is only a 14-inch unit, from what I can tell. So I figured the cabinet is going to be about half the size. I looked up the monitor used in the original cabinet (WG K7000. Source: KLOV). I carefully discharged my CRT and removed it (I had tested it before to make sure the thing even worked. This whole project is doomed if that thing stops working), and compared the listed K7000 dimensions with mine. I calculated that the measurements need to be multiplied by .565 to get the size I want. The monitor and cabinet should fit perfectly together...except the tube depth. More on that later.

I want the cabinet to look just like the full-sized version. There are a few things that will have to be different, though.
* The size. Of course.
* Only 2 players. I'm not sure I can cram 4 player controls into such a small space. Maybe if anyone knows of half-size controls that actually work well, I can buld a second control panel for it. Only if the controls work well and aren't just to make my cabinet a "novelty / display item."
* 3 buttons per player. For compatibility with X-Men and other 3 button games.
* No coin door. There's no room. I like having coin doors, but I'm going to forgo it on this build. I'm instead using Coin Drop Replacement Pushbuttons from GroovyGameGear.
* No coin door means the standard control panel release option won't work. There's no opening to reach through to get to it. And I'm not going to try to get my arm around the CRT from the back. I've thought about varous ways to hold down the control panel, but I think I'll secure it to the control panel box with screws from the bottom. Some way so I can still open the control panel when I need to.
* The back. Besides the power switch being on the bottom back instead of the top of the cabinet, I'll have to build the back door with a hump for the CRT and Neckboard. You see, my crt is about 2 inches longer than if I really somehow shrunk a WG 7000 down to the same picture size. So my choices are a hump in the rear door, make all measurements on the cabinet bigger so the back of the tube fits (but the picture would be small relative to the cabinet), or strech the sides further back to match the tube (but that would destort the side art.) So I decided to go the hump method.

Also, I plan to use real Jamma boards. I already have TMNT, Turtles in Time, X-Men, and the Simpsons. I plan to play them all in this cabinet.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2016, 10:26:28 pm by romshark »

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 10:50:06 pm »
So, the first thing I did was figure out the dimensions (multiply by .565) and sketch them on wood (the sides are using 1/2 inch MDF.) And then I re-checked my measurements. And re-checked. Overall, I had around 4 days before I could cut, so I changed and adjusted the measurements.



Finally, over the weekend, I started cutting. I cut it out with a scroll saw first (outside the lines).




Then used a flush trim bit and a flat piece clamped to the bottom as a guide. The edges came out nice and smooth. Man, I wish I had my router and flush trim bits back on my first cabinet.



My only real screw-up is around the marquee area of one of the sides. The flat piece I used with the flush trim bit moved, and I cut into it. I still managed to finish the rest of that side off, and used it to cut out a second piece for the other side (without the imperfection). I cut off the damaged peice and wood-glued a new peice. The next day, I carefully routed it using the second side as a template with the flush trim bit.

The replacement part is bigger than the damaged area. That way, I could put a clamp on part of the new area and route out the other side perfectly (without the router ripping the new part off). I cut the troth to fill in later. I've heard people sing praises about Automotive Bondo, so I'm gonna give that a shot.



This odd leftover piece is going to hold my CRT (it bolts on from the front). I'll trim off the weird top part later. This part won't normally be seen anyway (behind the bezel). Just getting it cut so I can spend time measuring and marking it for cutting. If it doesn't work, I can use it as a template for a good one.



That's all I have for now.

n3wt0n

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2016, 01:28:19 pm »
The concept is interesting to me. I look forward to seeing this come together.

yotsuya

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2016, 01:37:33 pm »
I commend you for knowing the limitations and not trying to cram 4 players on that. Good job! :cheers:

sealcouch

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 02:30:59 pm »
I'm excited to see this completed. I love the shape of the konami 4 player cabs.

Slippyblade

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 05:50:37 pm »
Hide a couple USB ports somewhere on it.  That way, if you DO every have 3 or 4 folks wanting to play you can just plug in a gamepad.

Aceldamor

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2016, 06:10:42 pm »
Hide a couple USB ports somewhere on it.  That way, if you DO every have 3 or 4 folks wanting to play you can just plug in a gamepad.

Good idea. Only caveat would be will only work if the side panels don't block LoS to the monitor for players 3 and 4.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a woman!

dmckean

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2016, 06:34:33 pm »
Good idea. Only caveat would be will only work if the side panels don't block LoS to the monitor for players 3 and 4.

Four guys playing on a 14" screen is never going to happen.

yotsuya

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2016, 09:26:19 pm »
Good idea. Only caveat would be will only work if the side panels don't block LoS to the monitor for players 3 and 4.

Four guys playing on a 14" screen is never going to happen.
:cheers:

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2016, 12:46:51 pm »
Looks like the people have spoken, and 4-player on a small cabinet/screen would completely ruin the ability to play. So this unit will stay 2 player max at all times. Glad my TMNT board is equipped with the 2-player chip set already (still need to get the 2P chips for Turtles in Time, or buy a chip burner and burn my own. However, that's a different topic for another time.)


Hide a couple USB ports somewhere on it.  That way, if you DO every have 3 or 4 folks wanting to play you can just plug in a gamepad.

That would be kinda difficult. I'm planning on using Jamma boards, not a PC (for now, anyway). That said, in theory, it might not be impossible. I'm thinking an Arduino microcontroller could read some xBox 360 controllers. It could then make specific outputs go low, which could be connected to the pins on the Jamma board, and look like an active switch.

Such a system would have problems, though. Possibly input lag. Also, the characters would be bound to the controllers for most of my games (Leonardo and Michelangelo would have to be operated from the arcade controllers, Donatello and Raphael would have to use the gamepads.) Even on a MAME computer, this would be an issue, unless you re-configured the inputs every time, or had some neat utility that configured it on the fly for you ("Player 1: Press START on the control set you wish to use.")

yotsuya

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2016, 02:16:20 pm »
Looks like the people have spoken, and 4-player on a small cabinet/screen would completely ruin the ability to play. So this unit will stay 2 player max at all times. Glad my TMNT board is equipped with the 2-player chip set already (still need to get the 2P chips for Turtles in Time, or buy a chip burner and burn my own. However, that's a different topic for another time.)


Hide a couple USB ports somewhere on it.  That way, if you DO every have 3 or 4 folks wanting to play you can just plug in a gamepad.

That would be kinda difficult. I'm planning on using Jamma boards, not a PC (for now, anyway). That said, in theory, it might not be impossible. I'm thinking an Arduino microcontroller could read some xBox 360 controllers. It could then make specific outputs go low, which could be connected to the pins on the Jamma board, and look like an active switch.

Such a system would have problems, though. Possibly input lag. Also, the characters would be bound to the controllers for most of my games (Leonardo and Michelangelo would have to be operated from the arcade controllers, Donatello and Raphael would have to use the gamepads.) Even on a MAME computer, this would be an issue, unless you re-configured the inputs every time, or had some neat utility that configured it on the fly for you ("Player 1: Press START on the control set you wish to use.")

Why overcomplicate it. Keep it at two players and your guest will be happy.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2016, 02:39:44 pm »
Oh, I'm not planning on doing it. I'm just saying how I think it could be done. No worries.

Slippyblade

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2016, 05:43:09 pm »
Didn't realize you had PCBs.  Never mind.


romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2016, 03:00:39 pm »
I did some stuff today, so here's the update.

I picked up some Bondo (Automotive body filler), and decided to use some to fill in that gap from my previous mistake. That way, I can sand it down during some down time over the next few days (time that wouldn't be long enough to break out all the power tools and such for the major construction.)

Now, I've never used Bondo before. For some strange reason, I thought it was going to be like silly putty or Play-Doh. So I put a little in my (plastic gloved) hand, added some of the hardening stuff, and tried kneeding it together. That...failed miserably.  :P

Now realizing that it's more like cake icing, I got an old clean cream cheese container. Mixed a bit of the Bondo up in that, and used a putty knife to put it where I wanted to. And wow, the stuff really hardened fast. The little bit I had left over turned to stone in the mixing container in no time.



I know, I probably used too much. I'll work on portion control in the future. I think it's probably hard by now, but I'm gonna wait till tomorrow to start smoothing it out.



Next, I worked on the front bottom panel. Most of the front, rear, and top paneling will be made of 1/8 hardwood, with some strips of 3/4 mdf inside for structural stability. Got that cut out, then I cut out the openings for the coin up buttons.



Finally, I cut out these pieces to hold the coin button in place. If you look, the coin button extends beyond the front panel wood. So I took some 1/2 mdf, drilled some holes for the buttons, routed out some clearance space, and cut into nice size to hold the coin buttons. I'll probably glue them into place in the future, but I'll leave them loose for now. I'll be using the front piece as a size reference when building the other panels.

And that ends this update. My next planned part is the monitor part. I think the original used a monitor that bolted to a shelf under it. My monitor bolts on from the front (mounting holes near the edges of the tubes viewing area.) I originally planned to use a leftover section of 1/2 mdf, but I decided to go with some 3/4 mdf for stability (and add more area I can screw into from the sides.)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 03:04:31 pm by romshark »

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2016, 09:30:49 pm »
Got some work done today:

I cut some 3/4 MDF to bolt the monitor to (it bolts in from the front.) Test fit the monitor, and glued wood strips to perfectly center the monitor (at the mounting brackets). I then drilled the holes for the actual bolts.






I then cut out the board for the monitor bezel, based off the broken and oversized one it came with. Used a router pattern bit to make a perfect replica of the opening. Tested with the actual plastic bezel part.





Also cut out a part for the base (no picture) and sanded smooth the bondo-repaired areas on the main side parts (also no picture).

An edit to the last post- I found out the wood I used for the bottom front panel is really 3/16 hardwood (leftover from the old days.) The 1/8 hardwood I just picked up is too flimsy for the other panels (the ones other than the side panels). I kept one for the bezel board, but returned the unused one. Home Depot no longer stocks 3/8 hardwood, so I instead picked up 1/4 birch plywood for the panels. Haven't cut any yet.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2016, 07:49:30 pm »
Today, I did a mock setup of the monitor and bezel. I already calculated the front offset and monitor glass distances. I think that, in the original machine, the monitor glass rested on the bezel part. I can't do that, since the monitor tube front actually sticks out a bit through the bezel. So I had to figure out how far back to put the tube. I used a special interlocking building material (LEGOs) to hold up the back end of the tube.



Actual woodworking started with cutting some strips of of MDF battons to hold the panels together. However, they came out...not square (a table saw would be nice here, if I had one.) I had planned on using them anyway, but then I saw the battons Zinger used in "Yet Another Donkey Kong Scatch Build." So I plan on heading to Home Depot and picking up the same dowel rods. They should work better than my homemade ones.

Then, I started working with the plywood for the panels, starting with the rear top panel and speaker panels (as they had sections that needed to be cut out). I first cut out the speaker openings and vents using a new 1/8 router bit, which came out nice. Notice the lines next to the cutouts? That's the radius from my router to the cutout. So clamping a wood board against that line makes a guide for my router to make a straight line cutout.





I then cut the panels to fit between the side panels (width). I'll cut the length when I get closer to putting it all together; I want to make sure they'll fit perfectly.

Over the next week, I plan on installing the battons (although with the smaller 1/4 and 3/8 panels, I might not be able to get away with only using screws from the inside. I'll check Home Depot for screws that might be the right length. Otherwise, I'll just use screws from the outside and some Bondo). I also need to start planning out my control panel and its box.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 08:06:10 pm by romshark »

Slippyblade

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2016, 06:20:46 pm »
Good job so far, keep up the updates.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2016, 12:42:11 am »
Update time!


First, I routed the slot for the T-Molding. I wasn't sure if the original had T-Molding on the back, but I decided to go ahead and put it on the back on mine. I'm going with green T-Molding. T-Molding.com carries green T-Molding in 1/2 size, which I don't believe they had when I checked back in fall of last year. Maybe it's a sign that this cabinet was meant to be. :)


I did check online to make sure I put the blade on the correct direction (as I do every time I use it.) A topic in the Reviews part of this forum used to be my reference (that posted the dangers of mounting the blade backwards), but the pictures in that topic have since become broken images. So here's the right way to mount the blade (for my own future reference, as well as other people).


Picked up a plywood blade. My plywood still splinters a bit with it, but not nearly as much. If I can get satisfactory results, I might build future cabinets out of plywood instead of MDF. Requires more research into the "MDF vs Plywood" topic too.


Cut a panel out for the fan intake and the power inlet / switch. The fan was from an old CPU heatsink unit. The power inlet I got from Amazon.com. The fact that the power switch is green (and lights up) was actually a coincidence, but it'll match the cabinet theme and T-Molding nicely.


Installed the batons. I used guide pieces (wood cut to the offset depth) to put the batons in.

You may notice that the left side has extra batons mounted horizontally along the middle and bottom. These batons (the longer parts) have a groove cut in them. What is the purpose of these?


These rails allow me to install a plywood board with the jamma game mounted to it. Then, I just have to connect the jamma harness, and it's ready to play. No unscrewing a jamma board from the cabinet wall and screwing in a different game.
The mounting boards for the games I have are as long as the top rail. That slightly different color baton beyond the bottom rail is solid. The smaller plywood boards stop there and fit very nicely.
I did make some boards for future use that run the entire inside of the cabinet. I just cut out a notch in the lower part to avoid the solid baton. This allows for any games or systems that require a longer board to mount to.
I really like this rail idea. I already cut another set of rails for use in a future full-size cabinet (so I can use the same mounting system [and games] between my cabinets.)
Hopefully with this cabinet, I can expand my jamma board collection. I'd love to get a Ninja Baseball Batman, or Bubble Bobble (with a jamma adapter, of course).


I finally started mounting the base and CRT mount. Used wood glue and screws (once the glue has some time to set). The CRT frame is securely screwed in by both the frame itself (from the outside), and again from batons secured on the sides right behind the mount. I want to make sure the CRT is going to stay in place.


Here it is, with both sides mounted. Finally, it's starting to look like a real cabinet!


Added some wooden square dowels (are these still called batons here?) across the top back and top forward. This should keep the sides at the same distance apart, from top to bottom, and make sure my panels can easily be cut to fit.

--------------------------------------

Next to do is to figure out how to mount the other components, like the monitor chassis board. I'm going to try to mount it to the side wall of the cabinet if I can. My best bet is to bring the cabinet in, place the CRT in it, and figure it out from there. I also need to figure out where to put the electrical box (it was supposed to mount inside the right side upper back, on that vertical baton that doesn't exist on the left. However, the monitor frame blocks my from mounting the box there. I'll probably put it along the bottom somewhere.)

I've done a little bit of planning for the control panel, but nothing finalized.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 12:46:43 am by romshark »

harveybirdman

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2016, 10:19:10 am »
Cool project!  Love your Jamma board slide.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2016, 02:25:21 pm »
Finally time to update!

First off, thanks for the compliments everyone has posted! Progress has been really slow lately (it's been raining or on the edge of raining for the last week.)

After the last post, I noticed three problems: The cabinet wobbled (I could fix that later with leg levelers), the monitor was too far forward (requiring dissasembly), and I had sanded too much off the side I had repaired, making it noticeably thinner.



Yeah, turned out the sandpaper I was using was 60 grit. Way too rough. So I had to decide what to do. If this was an original cabinet, I'd possibly try to thicken the wood up with Bondo or something. Try to preserve as much original cabinet as possible.


In this case though, I decided to just make a new side and use the good parts of the old side for the control panel or something. Hey, I had to disassemble it to mount the monitor further back anyway. And I know this would end up bugging me now that I know about it, so might as well fix it now.

During the rebuild, I also fixed the wobbling problem.

The monitor bracket I moved way back. I realized I could use washers with the mounting bolts to move the monitor closer to the screen as needed. I also mounted it higher than before.

Another thing I corrected was the angle behind the top of the control panel. The Jakobud drawings didn't have the right angle (based on Szabo's Arcades Simpsons Arcade video 6. About 9 minutes in.) So I corrected this on the existing good side with Bondo. This was before I cut the replacement one.



Again, weather has been bad, so no major cutting or anything. I did mount the bracket for the monitor chassis. I also couldn't help myself. I hooked my jamma board up and installed the CRT.



 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

Now, there's no sound or controls, so I'm in no danger of "it's playable, I'll finish the cabinet...some day." But for now, I'm enjoying the attract mode. Hopefully weather will be good on my day off tomorrow, and I can continue working on it.

I have some issues with the monitor (getting it to center), so I'm going to post over in the monitor forum later after work. Forums are running too slow to do it now.

opt2not

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2016, 03:32:38 pm »
Really liking the progress here, and commend you for going the real PCB route.  :applaud:

harveybirdman

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2016, 05:58:30 pm »
 :applaud: Looking good

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2016, 11:36:44 pm »
Weather was...OK for most of the day. A few points of rain, but mosty clear.

To start the day, I first discharged the CRT, after leaving it off overnight. Then I had breakfast. Then another CRT discharge. Then ran to Home Depot and Walmart. Then one more CRT discharge. I wanted to make sure the tube is completely safe to remove. I never heard the "pop" sound. I'm guessing I have a newer monitor that self-discharges, but no sane person would trust their life to that.


I installed a workbox for the electrical outlets. This monitor can plug directly in without an isolation transformer (the original bartop it came out was from Target or a warehouse club or something.)



I made and installed the supports for the monitor glass. The bottom has a notch cut out for the retaining plate (which still needs to be made.) The top support has a blocker to keep the glass in place from the top.
(And yes, I mistakenly wrote "cathode" instead of "anode" on the monitor frame, to note which way to mount the frame and monitor (this was before the frame was installed. But I know what it means.)


Here's the monitor glass, cut from plexiglass (seen here with the protective covering still in place). I'm betting someone out there is mortified at me using plexiglass for the monitor instead of real glass, but this is easier for me to work with at the moment. I can replace it with real glass in the future, once I can get it professionally made. But that's sometime after the cabinet is completed. I built it to accommodate up to 1/4 width glass. Seems like tinted glass is recommended. Any input on this?


I put some batons on the back of the coin door panel. One of them is used to keep the coin buttons straight and level. The other is just to mount the terminal block for the connections.



I trimmed down and installed the parts for the speaker and top vents (the ones I made a few weeks ago.) I had to move the top vents back further back than the original cabinet, due to the placement of the marquee lighting. The marquee lighting is the LED lighting system from GroovyGameGear.com. Placement of those lights requires placing them at least 6 inches away from the marquee.

That's it for today. Not sure if I can get much done tomorrow, as working on the cabinet all day on Mother's Day would not be in my best interests.

I picked up some Kydex from Amazon.com for the marquee retainers (as used by Vwalbridge, in the mini-Q*bert build). It was mentioned that a heat gun might be able to be used to bend the Kydex, so I might try that (I should have enough.) If that fails, I can score it like Vwalbridge did.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 11:58:21 pm by romshark »

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2016, 11:07:29 am »
Here's what I did this weekend:




Built a new panel for the power input, intake fan, and volume control (audio amp). Yeah, I know most arcade boards handle audio amp themselves, but I want to be ready for any that don't (like my Sega Naomi, or a MAME board.) Besides, in a home environment, an external volume control is desireable (in case I need to lower the volume in a hurry, without opening the cabinet or resetting and accessing the test menu.)

I bought fan grills to fit the cooling fan. I plan to paint it and install it.

This panel is built out of 1/2 inch mdf, and doubles as a baton for the back door (to keep it from falling into the machine.)



Secured the remaining top panel and top back panel. It'll take some sanding and Bondo to make the top match. The hole on the back is for a button for future expansion.




I cut and made a back door, and test-fitted a lock. The lock secures perfectly to a square dowel in the cabinet I mounted before.



I put in the CRT tube and boards (so I can connect the flyback board) and cut an opening in the door. Don't worry, everything is disconnected from power and discharged.





I built a "hump" on the back. I think it looks good. Some Bondo, sanding, and painting, and it'll look great.

I plan to put electrical tape on the screw heads on the inside, to keep from any accidental electrical shorting. Especially around the monitor (in case it gets bumped on back door install or removal.)


That ends the rough construction of the main cabinet. Still needs Bondo, sanding, and painting, but the rest of the "heavy duty" building should be the control panel.

Speaking of which...



Cut some of the wood for it. I didn't cut the back end of the control panel top yet. I hope to use it to figure out the spacing and layout of the controls.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 11:11:35 am by romshark »

harveybirdman

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2016, 11:15:05 am »
Take note BYOAC'ers


Pics hosted at the forum? Check
Uniform theme that makes sense?  Check
Doesn't try to do too many things? Check
CRT? Check
Original Hardware Support? Check
Lots of progress pictures? Check

Great job romshark, I'm really enjoying your build!

 :applaud: :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2016, 11:39:48 am »
Thank you harveybirdman  :)

Progress has been slower than I'd like (due to work and weather), but I hope the cabinet is better for it. Besides, planning on how to do certain things (like how I plan to secure the control panel, or how to do the power /fan area) helps keep my mind occupied at work.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2016, 11:26:50 pm »
Time for another update! Here's what I did this weekend.




These are the parts I cut last week. Before gluing or otherwise attaching any parts together, I carefully marked on the Control Panel part where the side walls attach. This way, I can figure out the boundaries of my controls. I marked the location of the walls from the outside on the bottom of the control panel, and marked an inside line based on the wall thickness (3/4 on the sides, 1/2 along the front.)



Here's where I marked the control panel for the holes to drill. Note that this is the BOTTOM of the panel, so the controls will be normal in the finished version (joystick on the left, buttons on the right.)



I drilled pilot holes, then went at it with my handy button-drill-bit (a 1 1/8 inch wood bit). Best practice is to go partway with the big drill bit for a bunch of holes, flip the panel over, and finish the holes from the other side. Makes a nice, clean hole. I did that...after the first few holes.



Here's how I plan to secure the control panel to the cabinet. Remember, I have no coin door to reach through, and I don't want to go in from the back, getting past the monitor neck and boards.
The bottom of the whole control panel assembly will secure to the cabinet with toggle bolts. The control panel surface, front wall, side walls, and smaller rear walls will be secured together. This whole upper assembly will be held to the bottom plate by black socket cap screws (they go in flush, and takes a hex-wrench [Allen-wrench]).
Seen here are the insert nuts on the bottom of the side walls. These are what the cap screws secure into. Also the reason I went with 3/4 inch MDF for the sides.



Button and joystick holes cut out of the plexiglass, and partially trimmed from the sides. You may notice, on the left, are two old arcade buttons. These are just in there to keep everything lined up while routing. I don't want everything shifting.
Using a router made things a metric ton easier than my first cabinet. This time, I had flush trim bits, and a 45 degree bit with guide bearing. I first used a regular small bit to make a decent-sized opening for the buttons and joysticks, then the flush trim bit to make the hole match the button opening perfectly. I worked on one hole completely, secure a button in it, and then start on one in another part of the board. Of course, I also had the plexi clamped to the board with multiple clamps.

The sides I trimmed with the 45 degree bit. Gives it a nice angled surface.

My first cabinet, I used a moto-tool with grinding wheel. The router was 100% better.



Here is the plexi all done (still has the protective film on it, in case it looks all marked up in the picture.) I purposefully offset it from the panel for the picture, so the holes can be seen easier.


But wait, some of you may be saying. Isn't your control panel supposed to have 3 buttons per player? Don't you have an X-Men jamma board (which is a 3 button game)? Well, there's a reason for that.


I'm making two controllers at the same time. Both are the same dimensions, and the side and front walls have already been created too. I even made a second bottom to house the unused panel, with the holes drilled in the same spots for the socket cap screws. The unused panel can then be used with any of my other arcade equipment. It also is easier to make the 2nd panel at the same time, rather than down the road.

(No, I'm not going to make a 4-player control panel).

So how can I connect the controller up? Well, a long time ago (before my first cabinet), I devised a common connector system for my stuff. Using 15-pin D-Sub connectors (like this one) I can connect a joystick, 7 buttons, start, coin, and ground. The leftover pin is used for admin stuff (player 1 connector is Test, player 2 is Service.) My cabinet uses it. My external Naomi setup uses it. My external WinPac, Supergun, my standalone arcade controllers, all conform to this standard. Half-Shell will be no different.

So yeah, a 6-player swappable panel and some talk of putting a pc on a jamma slider board may seem to be straying from the "authentic" aspect. But don't worry. Half-shell is a jamma cab first. And when I show my friends, it'll always start off as a 2-button, TMNT jamma board machine.

----------------------------------------

On my list of tasks for the cabinet is assembling the control panel units. That is, secure the sides, front, and rear parts to the control panel surface. As you can see from the last picture, I have the panel clamped together as the wood glue dries, securing the sides to that panel. This is the perfect task for the work week, as it gives the glue plenty of time to cure.

Next part to do is...test the monitor bezel. I never checked to see if it needs to be trimmed, or if I have to add another panel right above and below it.

Also, I need to build the switching panel. Nothing fancy, just some switches to control the marquee light, coin buttons light and functionality, and some of the controller stuff.

After that, I can finally start prepping the cabinet for paint. Which means Bondo. Lots of Bondo. There are holes on both sides, on the control panel (the holes around the joysticks are for screws that will be covered up. I'm not doing exposed carriage bolts.) Even the "coin door" panel is a little short and will need some Bondo to square off the bottom.

It's almost time to order the artwork from GameOnGrafix. Planning on going with replicas of the original cabinet artwork.

A few month ago, BYOAC member dheck offered to share with me his original file to make my own layout. I wish I would have gotten the file, as his is a more complete version of the panel (GameOnGrafix version is only the buildings, dheck included the streets too. I could have also shrunk the logo down to keep buttons from overlapping it (although, based on my measurements, it shouldn't happen with the GameOnGrafix version anyway, even with the 6 button panel.) I messaged dheck asking for the file, but he hasn't been on since early April. I'll hold off a bit more before ordering, hoping he can get back to me.

One final thing: I'm making a copy of this thread and all the replies, in case the BYOAC server issue requires a complete data wipe. Probably won't, but it's just in case.

DarthBS

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2016, 11:24:28 pm »
Nice work so far. Tmnt was the west arcade I ever played.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2016, 12:16:56 am »
It's been a while since I updated. Between work, computer problems, and the weather, I didn't work much on the cabinet itself prior to today. I managed to get out there today, though.



Here's the cabinet with control panel, monitor, bezel, and monitor glass test-fitted. I figured out to mount the monitor so it was close, but didn't touch the monitor glass. Then, I figured out where the bezel will sit, and mounted small peices of wood to hold it. Even though the glass and CRT will keep the bezel in place, the wood will keep it evenly spaced in on both sides.



I started filling my millions of holes with Bondo. Here's the one side, sanded with course sandpaper. You can also see some of the bezel holders here.



Also used some Bondo to level off the bottom of the "coin door" panel. Took a few Bondo sessions  to build it up enough to be even (let one layer dry, then add to it).


Both control panels have been Bondo-ed to cover the joystick mounting screws and other unwanted visible holes. (Coarse sanding also done in this pic.)


Here's the cabinet after fine sanding. I still have to wipe it down, but I might be able to start painting soon.


Both control panels, the control panel bottoms, and the back panel are also fine sanded, ready for wiping and painting. Unless I find something I need to fix.

Still no word from dheck, so I'm going to just go with the unmarked TMNT panel at GameOnGrafix. In fact, I'm about to order the marquee and side art too  (edit: ordered all the artwork while waiting for the forums to be usable). I also picked up some paint already (Behr black semigloss primer+paint indoor. Primer+paint seems to be all Home Depot has.)
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 12:18:58 am by romshark »

harveybirdman

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2016, 12:25:02 pm »
Can't wait to see it with some art applied.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2016, 03:24:55 pm »
I've been working on the cabinet every day this week, but couldn't post because of the forum hard drive issue (of course, it was working a few times when I checked from work on my phone, but I can't do these large updates from my phone). So, here's the update:

Monday
I forgot about the T-Molding. Figured out how much I need, and ordered it (T-Molding.com. 40 feet of green 1/2 inch size.)
Sanded the cabinet. Used coarse, then medium, then fine sandpaper. I used a power sander, and also did it by hand in the corners that the power sander couldn't reach.
Next, I gave it a wipe-down with a damp rag to remove the sawdust. Not too wet, since there's a lot of water-sensitive MDF here.
I put protective tape over the T-Molding groove. I later realized I probably don't need it, since my paint is primer-paint combined. I didn't use it on the T-Molding groove on my control panels, as the tape is wider than the wood, cutting it is annoying, and it was just falling off anyway.
Finally, I gave the cabinet it's first coat of paint.






Remember, that's just the first coat of paint. Bondo patches are visible. Hopefully they'll disappear with more paint and sanding.

Tuesday
Added another coat of paint.

Wednesday
Sanded the paint using medium sandpaper.


After that, I patched some areas up with Bondo that need it. Let it dry, and sanded the patched areas down.
Then, I wiped the parts with a damp cloth again, and painted. The areas I didn't need to recently patch look a lot better now, so the older Bondo holes are fading away. I'm sure the patched areas will look nice too after more painting and sanding.

Thursday
Did some sanding, and painting. Had some lunch, and added another coat of paint.
Received my T-Molding, and got the email that my artwork has shipped.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So that gets everyone up to speed on what I'm doing. Just patching, sanding, wiping, painting. I probably won't post much more about this until the final coat of paint, since it's the same thing.

I'm trying to work on it everyday, since it needs time to dry between coats. So I can just go to work while it dries. We've also had good temperatures (mid 70's to lower 80's Fahrenheit), but it's supposed to go to the mid-90's on the weekend.

I still have some flat black paint from my other cabinet. I'm thinking of using it on the sides and control panel top (so I don't just throw it away), since those will be covered by artwork. Visible parts will remain semi-gloss.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Can't wait to see it with some art applied.

Same here! GameOnGrafix just shipped my art today. I won't be ready to install it when it arrives though. Once the cabinet has it's final coat of paint, I'm going to let it dry a couple days in the garage, then bring it in for a few days to finish curing (the AC should help it). I had a problem on my big cabinet with the CP artwork bubbling (not at the T-Molding, like others have posted, but all through it.) I don't know if it was because the paint was still giving off gas (I let it dry a day or two after the final coat of paint), or if it's due to my rushed painting (I never sanded between coats or anything.) So this time, I want to look right.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2016, 02:53:35 pm »
Still painting and sanding. I think I'm happy with most of the parts now, but I want to give some more attention to the cabinet itself, and the control panels.

However, the big news is that I received the artwork from GameOnGrafix. And it looks gorgeous.



However, there is one (or rather, two) issues with the artwork:



The control panels are the "full artwork" version. Characters, button labels, "how to play." The ones I ordered are the no characters version. I did check my order history to make sure I ordered the right one (wouldn't be the first time the mistake was on my end), but I did order the right one. Though the two versions are so similar, I can understand the mix-up.

I put a support ticket in, so they should get back to me by Monday or so (not sure if they operate on the weekend). Since I'm still painting, and want to give the cabinet a week to "breath" before putting any artwork on, I'm not in any real hurry.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 02:56:03 pm by romshark »

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2016, 02:01:13 am »
It's an update!

Over the last week, I worked a bit on the electronics part. No pics of that stuff.

I contacted Scott at GameOnGrafix last week about the wrong control panel overlays. He promptly sent out corrected ones. Superb service, and still arrived before I had planned on doing any of the art installation. :)


Here's the cabinet (at least the parts that get the artwork), all painted and ready. I brought them in on Tuesday, and let them finish drying out in the air conditioned house. As mentioned before, I had a problem with major bubbles in my control panel artwork on my first cabinet. I wanted to give this enough time to let the gases and stuff out of the paint. So they sat inside for five days.


Here's the first side, with the artwork applied (before trimming.) I had help lining it up and holding it in place while I pressed the other side. It helps that I used to be a manager at a Taco Bell for 9 years, and did the POP (Point of Purchase: the menu board, big decals on the windows, and other sales stuff) almost all the time. So that "big decals on the windows" part really helps here. I even used the same tool to smooth out the bubbles (a stiff plastic spatula-like tool).


Trimmed this side with an Exacto knife I picked up from Walmart.


Here's the other side, also trimmed up.


Here's the (correct) control panel artwork, applied to the two control panels.


And here they are, with the sides trimmed and holes for the controls opened up. I'm happy that the "Start" buttons and other controls don't cover the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo.


Added the T-Molding. Also put the control panel base and 2-button panel in place for this photo. Even without the monitor, controls, marquee, and what-not, I think that looks pretty darn close to the original machine. Someone could probably mistake it for a full-sized cabinet from just a picture.


My 6-button panel, also with T-Molding added.

--------------------------

So, what is left to do? Plenty, actually:

-Wire up the cabinet. This includes the power switch, speaker, amplifier, JAMMA harness, coin-up buttons, and more.

-Wire up the control panels. They'll use the same connector standard as my other arcade stuff. I know I mentioned it in a previous post, so look up there for more info.

-The marqeee. I have the artwork, but I need to make the retainer brackets. I'll try bending Kydex sheets with a hairdryer first. If that fails, I'll just make them the same way as vwalbridge did in his Mini Q*Bert build.

-Monitor glass retainer. I plan to use a metal plate that I got with a small Radio Shack project box back in the day. Some drilling, and some time on my anvil (to bend to a 90 degree angle) should create a nice retainer.

-Get the monitor adjusted. As noted a month or so ago, I have issues getting the monitor to center, despite what I do to the monitor adjustments. I'll probably have to poll the monitor forum gurus for assistance with that.

-More stuff that I'm probably forgetting.

As much fun as this is, I'm glad I'm almost done. Starting July, we're going to be working 6 days a week. For how long is anyone's guess.

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2016, 03:24:06 am »
Love this build.  The thing I like the most is that I was reading through it thinking "this is a scratch build, it's gonna be another chinese board or a mame cabinet", and wham you start putting original arcade board (although you do mention attract mode, which puzzled me as this is usually something you get on multiboards or mame)  in it and authentic arcade parts.  You don't see so many scratch builds with arcade boards in them, because usually people have hundreds of games they want to play when they start these things out. It impressed me even more when I realised you were fitting multiple control panels, confused as to why, but still impressed that you'd gone to that effort. 

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2016, 11:29:37 am »
:woot


Looking great romshark!

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2016, 12:11:59 pm »
Thanks for the kind words, guys!

(although you do mention attract mode, which puzzled me as this is usually something you get on multiboards or mame)

I've actually never seen or (knowingly) used a Chinese arcade multiboard, so I don't know what the attract mode looks like. To me, attract mode is the sequence the game displays while waiting for someone to play: intro, title, game demo, high scores. I was usually unsuccessful in getting any quarters from my parents to play arcade games as a kid, so the attract mode makes up most of my memories (although, to be fair, I did have a lot of video game systems and games at home. My Dad even surprised us with the NES version of TMNT Arcade on day, which was not a cheap game on release. Believe me, we played the heck out of it over the years). In fact, I really liked the Street Fighter 2 machines' attract mode I saw as a kid, but I don't think I ever played it until MAME came out.

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2016, 01:04:05 pm »
I've got a 13" CRT and a Simpsons PCB laying around... this gives me ideas...  hmm

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2016, 02:09:13 pm »
I've got a 13" CRT and a Simpsons PCB laying around... this gives me ideas...  hmm

Doooooooo it.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2016, 02:29:07 pm »
I've got a 13" CRT and a Simpsons PCB laying around... this gives me ideas...  hmm

If you do this, make sure to plan your controls out. Even fitting 2 players was a concern. Also make sure you can fit in the power supply, pcb, and other stuff. Although if your cab is similar in size to mine, it shouldn't be a problem.

To figure out cabinet scale, compare the original WG K7000 monitor dimensions (here (the 25V monitor) to your 13" monitor. That should give you the scale you need. Like mine, you may have the back of the tube stick out further than the cab, and need to build a "hump" on the back door.

mourix

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2016, 06:36:14 am »
This is one of my favorite builds on here lately. Lots of attention to details that others would skip and top notch results :)

  
 

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