Make £2000 a month risk free!

Shopping list for building your own Arcade Machine

It can be a lot of work to build your own arcade cabinet, but it can also be a lot of fun! I still have not finished mine completely, as the base still needs painting! I’m sure i’ll get around to it at some point. You can see my progress last year from my past entries here

arcade_richbartoparcade.jpgI purchased mine as a MDF flat pack from eBay by a seller called richsbartoparcades. I would recommend them. I choose the compact bartop and pedestal combined version here for £125.99.

The ebay listing can be found on ebay here below

BARTOP/PEDESTAL ARCADE MACHINE 2 PLAYER DIY FLATPACK KIT

It does not use up to much space and you can also just move the bar top section. Handy when my Nephew is over and I don’t need to bring the whole machine downstairs!

When it arrived, the flat pack was a little confusing. It was a bit of guesswork at first, but got the hang of it after a while. I assembled it using plastic fixing blocks, as recommended.

I got them from ebay too, something like the link below.

MODESTY BLOCKS WHITE PLASTIC FIXING JOINING CORNER BLOCKS PACKS OF 4 TO 4,000

Once all assembled, I undercoated it, lightly sanded, then painted using a small roller with a black gloss paint.

I then used 12mm silver self adhesive car trim on the edges, see photos in my blog. This was from ebay too. Something like this link.

Durable 8m Silver Car Chrome Styling Decoration Moulding Trim Strip Tape 12mm

For the monitor I used a 19” LCD from ebay. You will need to make sure it is 4:3 proportions. Widescreen would probably be too wide for the cabinet, and the dimensions would look odd for the old games. I purchased mine from a seller called skytech-outlet, he still sells used monitors for £24.99.

CHEAP 19" INCH COMPUTER TFT MONITOR MIX BRAND HP LENOVO IBM HANNSG IIYAMA ETC

Once the monitor is all fitted, I measured the size required for the acrylic screen and the marquee. I got this cut to size from a site called acrylic-online.co.uk. I went with the 4mm clear acrylic. This cost £18.42 inc postage. More details of this can be found on my blog here.

arcade_controls.jpgThe cabinet will fit the standard arcade joystick and Happ buttons. You can get a button and joystick pack for about £30, like the link below.

2 Player Arcade Control Kit - 2 Ball Top Joysticks, 14 Buttons - MAME, JAMMA

If you have the same cabinet as me you will need to buy 5 more buttons for the front and sides. Have a look around there is a lot of choice, different colours etc.

28mm Round Concave Happ Style Arcade Button & Microswitch (Black) - MAME, JAMMA

For the sound I would use a cheap pair of USB speakers like this

USB 5.0V POWER SPEAKER FOR EMACHINES G420 G730 G730G

For the marquee you will want an led backlight, I just picked up a usb led light from poundland, something like this would do

Portable Flexible USB LED Light Lamp Torch For PC Notebook Laptop Computer Black

At this point you have a choice on how to play the games. The most common way to do this is using a PC and run some software called MAME that supports 1000s of arcade games. Or you can use a JAMMA board. Both options have their advantages, and disadvantages. I’ll try and list them so you can decide.

Computer route

GOOD if you have an old PC you can use
GOOD have much more flexibility on what games you can install etc
BAD computers can be unreliable, could spend more time fixing them than playing!
BAD can take a while to setup emulation software, frontends, etc - I can help you with that :)
BAD slow boot, maybe?
BAD can be expensive if you need to buy the computer

If you go the computer route you will need to get an interface card that allows the arcade buttons to control the computer. Something like this

2 Player USB Arcade Controller Interface for 2 Joysticks & 22 Buttons - MAME

JAMMA routearcade_pandora.jpg

GOOD boots instantly
GOOD cheaper then the computer option if you don’t have an old computer you can use
GOOD much more reliable
GOOD would be able to run original roms
BAD fixed number of games, can’t be changed unless you buy a new JAMMA machine


If you go the JAMMA route, you will need to get a JAMMA game board. This is like a mini game console. I would recommend something like the Pandora Box’s 3, it’s about £50 and has 520 games from the 90s like Street Fighter 2, King of Fighters, Turtles, Final Fight, etc. Something like this one

Game Box 3 jamma 520 in 1 arcade cabinet multi kit video games board for VGA CGA

You will also need to get a JAMMA harness to connect the game board to the controls. Here:
Arcade JAMMA Harness 56 Pin Wiring Loom 2 Player Joystick & 6 Buttons Per Player

And lastly a power supply for the game board like this Arcade Power Supply Jamma switch mode power pack 5v+ 12v+ 16amp

Almost forgot, you will need to get a speaker instead of the USB PC speakers mentioned above,  something like this

Arcade Machine Speakers x2

That’s it! Here’s the full shopping list, it’s surprising how much it adds up!

BARTOP/PEDESTAL ARCADE MACHINE 2 PLAYER DIY FLATPACK KIT  £ 125.99 
MODESTY BLOCKS WHITE PLASTIC FIXING JOINING CORNER BLOCKS x 50 £ 2.49
Undercoat, B&Q?  £ 10.00 
Black Gloss Paint, B&Q? £ 20.00 
Durable 8m Silver Car Chrome Styling Decoration Moulding Trim Strip £ 6.28 
CHEAP 19" INCH COMPUTER TFT MONITOR MIX BRAND HP LENOVO  £ 24.99
Custom acrylic screen and the marquee cut to size £ 18.42
2 Player Arcade Control Kit - 2 Ball Top Joysticks, 14 Buttons £ 29.99
28mm Round Concave Happ Style Arcade Button & Microswitch (Black) x 5 £ 10.25
Portable Flexible USB LED Light Lamp Torch For PC Notebook Laptop Computer Black £ 0.99

Sub total


£ 249.40

Parts needed if using a computer  
USB 5.0V POWER SPEAKER FOR EMACHINES G420 G730 G730G £ 2.99
2 Player USB Arcade Controller Interface for 2 Joysticks & 22 Buttons £ 2.99
Computer £ ?

Total computer build (minus cost of computer)


£329.77

Parts needed if using a JAMMA game board  
Game Box 3 jamma 520 in 1 arcade cabinet multi kit video games board for VGA CGA £ 45.00
Arcade JAMMA Harness 56 Pin Wiring Loom 2 Player Joystick & 6 Buttons Per Player £ 9.99
Arcade Power Supply Jamma switch mode power pack 5v+ 12v+ 16amp £ 15.99
Arcade Machine Speakers x2 £ 9.39

Total JAMMA build


£ 272.38

 

#arcade #gaming

 

Comments

Back to blog