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
The ebay listing can be found on ebay here below
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the sound I would use a cheap pair of USB speakers like this
For the marquee you will want an led backlight, I just picked up a usb led light from poundland, something like this would do
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.
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
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
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
That’s it! Here’s the full shopping list, it’s surprising how much it adds up!