Monday, April 16, 2007

What the cabinet parts are called

Ok, Im thinking that if you are new to this arcade building stuff, it might help if you know what Im talking about when I say something like "coin door panel".
Here is a very general layout of "Adam's Arcade."

You can click on the image to enlarge it. Hit your Back button to get back here.
I am using "Adam's Arcade" as an example.
Other cabinet designs may vary from this designs part placement, but they all should pretty much have these parts.

Cabinet Top: The panel on the top. It covers the top of the machine. On this design, it is removable to gain access to the marquee light and the speakers.

Marquee: The marquee is the lighted sign that attracts people to the machine. It's an advertisement of what the game is. Most marquees have a light behind them, to allow the marquee to glow. This machine uses a 2 foot fluorescent light. A marquee is not really necessary. It does not help the operation of the machine at all, but in my opinion, it either makes or breaks the "arcade feel". On this design, the marquee is printed on computer paper and sandwiched between two pieces of plexi-glass. It is removable so the marquee can be changed.

Speaker panel: The speaker panel is below the top, and forms the bottom of the marquee.
It also has two speakers attached to it. You gotta have speakers on an arcade machine. And this is about the best place to put them on this design, i think. I mean, they are right at the players' heads, giving the best sound without having to be turned real loud.

Monitor bezel: This is the part that covers the monitor and any mounting methods you use.
It has a hole cut in the center the same size as the viewable area of the monitor.
You can buy these ready made, but they are a little pricey I think, plus you may have to modify it to fit your cabinet. I went with black foam poster board and a thin sheet of plexi-glass over that. (Plexi-glass covers the monitor too. It looks pretty neat.)

Monitor: the screen that shows the game.

Control panel: The panel that all the player controls attach to. This panel is removable to allow servicing the controls, if ever needed. The top section is covered with plexi-glass. This adds a remarkable touch to it, and protects the wood from scratches.

Player 2 controls: Joystick and 6 action buttons. (Other designs may have more or less action buttons.)

Control panel front: On this design, it has the machine controls attached to it. It is not removable and does not have plexi-glass over it.

Trackball: This is nice for some games.

Machine controls: The buttons that perform functions for the machine, such as machine on, machine shut down, player 1 start, player 2 start, and game escape.

Coin door panel: This panel is part of the structure of the cabinet. It supports a lot of the cabinets weight, so it is not removable. It has a hole cut out that allows the coin door to be mounted.

Coin door: The coin door allows the players to insert coins to play the game. This is strictly optional. You can mount two pushbuttons that simulate coins being inserted, but I think a coin door is like the marquee, it makes or breaks the arcade feel. The coin door is removable.

T-Molding: T-molding is a plastic strip that covers the edge of the wood panels. MDF board has a rough edge to it, so this is pretty much a necessity, I think. You can get the T-molding in a wide variety of colors. Most common is black. The MDF board has to have a slot cut in it that allows the T-Molding to be inserted. The slot is cut with a router.

Cabinet side panel: This panel makes up most of the cabinet. It supports the weight of the stuff inside. It will most likely be the first thing people see. There are of course two sides.

Not shown in this picture:
Back: This design has three backs, a upper, the door panel, and lower. All are removable to gain access to the computer and the monitor.
The door panel has a door opening cut in it, the door is hinged, to allow one to gain easy access to the computer, to insert floppy disks or cd's.
The lower back has a fan in it, to allow cool air to circulate through the cabinet when the arcade is turned on. I think this is very important, because computers and monitors put off a lot of heat.
The upper back has a hole cut in it to allow the hot air to escape. A speaker grill covers the hole to keep dust and insects out. The fan has a removable filter on it, to catch dust.

What I didnt put on this design, but would be pretty neat: Cup holders.

-Thats all for now-

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