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Pinballs, Arcades, and MicroControllers, Oh My!

March 3rd, 2015 No comments

Did I not post anything in 2014???  Apparently not.  Well, it was a busy year.  Not only did I attend my first IJA convention 20 years but the basement now houses 2.5 pinball machines (Fire Power and Spirit of 76) and a Pac Man.  I’m still on the lookout for more at a reasonable price.  I spent a fair amount of time building a video pinball machine but didn’t quite get it finished before the weather turned cold.  It WILL be done in 2015.   I’ve also been working with Arduino microcontrollers and Raspberry Pi’s.  I also got my YouTube channel off the ground.  It will really take off in 2015 with HD video, edited video, a theme song (yep), bigger projects, and much more (really!).  Check it out at:



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Just In Time For Christmas

December 5th, 2013 No comments

My Thanksgiving break was a productive time.  The arcade cabinet had languished for weeks.  Having a large block of time helped me get rolling again.


1.  Wired the control panel

This was a lengthy process of cutting, terminating and crimping wires to every button and joystick for both the positive lead and ground.

2.  Mounted the monitor

In addition to the securing the monitor to the cabinet this included using a Dremel to carve out some space on the back of the bezel to give some room to the power and other buttons on the front of the monitor.  I also drilled a small hole in the bezel to give “paperclip access” to a the power button on the monitor.

3.  Wired the speakers to the amplifier.

This was the easiest job.  It was just a matter of twisting the lead wires from the speakers to some speaker wire going to the amplifier.

Still to go:

1.  Screw in a small 2×2 to the back of the front door to help support the weight of the front door.

2.  Re-attach the back panel to the back of the cabinet.

3.  Mount the smart switch power strip.

4.  Mount the PC inside the cabinet.

5.  Secure the amplifier inside the cabinet.

6.  Configure the USB wireless adapter on the PC.

7.  Transfer the games to the PC.

8.  Configure the HyperSpin menu.

9.  Send the marquee artwork in for printing.

10.  Mount the marquee.

Although there are a number of tasks to go, they are relatively short and simple.  There should be gaming by Christmas!

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The End Is In Sight (almost)

August 19th, 2013 No comments

It was a productive weekend on the arcade cabinet to say the least.  The marquee light and speakers have been installed, the joysticks and spinner have been mounted, the buttons and their microswitches have been installed, and the iPac has been mounted on standoffs.  The wiring should be pretty straightforward.  The only problem is that I seem to have misplaced a bag of microswitches, which could be a problem for the freeplay coin switch but I’m sure that they can’t be far away.  Here is what it looks like so far:


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Progress is Progres

April 5th, 2013 No comments

It’s been a long cold winter and as the promise of warmer weather arrives so does the promise of an end to the arcade cabinet.  Since the last post here’s what has happened:

1.  The painting has been completed.

2.  The cabinet has been moved inside

3.  The keyboard drawer has been re-installed.

4.  The t-molding has been installed (both on the cabinet edges and the keyboard drawer).

5.  The control panel board has been attached.

6.  The speakers have been mounted to the overhead panel.

There’s still a lot of work to go but it’s starting to look like something.  The task now is to get it to ACT like something.

More to come…

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Dobo Mini Giveaway

April 5th, 2013 No comments
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Cold Weather = Little or No Painting

January 25th, 2013 No comments

The cold weather has slowed down the painting on the arcade cabinet.  The thing is, there’s not that much left to do.  We have had a day here and there that’s been warm enough.  Cross your fingers for an early spring!

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Painting Underway!

November 12th, 2012 No comments

It’s amazing how much prep work there is for painting.  On Friday I got the final sanding and priming done.  On Saturday the weather was beautiful but I was gone all day so no painting got done.  Sunday I started getting some color on the cabinet (if you consider black and grey colors).  I did get the front panel, key drawer face, and prototype control panel painted red.  It’s going to take a couple of coats for everything.  It’s also starting to look like red T-molding will look better than black for the edges so I’d better get that ordered soon.

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She’s Ready For Paint! (well, almost…)

October 29th, 2012 No comments

The principle cabinet construction is complete (i.e. no more cutting, sawing, drilling, etc. needs to be done).  I do, however, need to use wood filler to cover the screw heads and fill some holes, sand everything, and then it’s time to prime.  The latest changes include

  • Cutting speaker holes
  • Routering air ventilation slots on the back of the cabinet
  • Drilling the front door key hole
  • Constructing a monitor post
  • Routering slots in the cabinet edges for the T-molding
  • Cutting the hole for the power module on the back

Time to start packing up the tools and cleaning up the garage.

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It’s Getting There…

October 14th, 2012 No comments

It looks like major construction is nearing completion.  I took a vacation day on Friday and over the long weekend I got the hinge mechanism for the control panel installed, a keyboard drawer built and installed, the supports for the monitor bezel installed, and the monitor bezel cut out, fitted, installed, and a hole cut for the monitor.  Whew!

Here is the cabinet with the keyboard drawer and bezel before the hole was cut in it:


Arcade cabinet with the bezel and keyboard tray installed.

.   Close up


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Progress is Progressing

September 17th, 2012 No comments

Cabinet construction is well underway.  Things got started on Labor Day (September 3) when I got the sides cutout, sanded to be identical, and the base cut and built.  Since then I’ve added casters to the base and ledger boards to attach the back and front pannels.  Over the weekend the sides were attached to the base and the back pannel attached to the ledger boards on the sides.  It’s starting to look like something!


More to come…


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