The MAME cabinet has been painted

Finally, I have painted the arcade machine (black) and got it back together.

Here are some pics of the first black coat going on.

Here are some pics of the arcade machine after the final topcoat went on. It took exactly 1 litre of black semi-gloss to do the two coats of black. It was really way too hot to have been painting.

And finally, here is a pic of it getting it’s first series of use in the “production” environment:

//TODO: Proper marquee lighbox reverse-printed on perspex

//TODO: Bezel to cover TV

//TODO: T-molding on base

//TODO: Holsters for light-guns

//TODO: Reinstall operating system, emulation software and get drivers for dual lightgun working

MAME Update – The Top Is On

I had a big session in the garage the other day and managed to get the top mounted, with the top shelf and speaker shelf attached.

I also managed to get a grill attached to the rear of the base to allow a little bit of air flow for the PC (and keep out little fingers, and cats).

I’ve have managed to get the base door attached (finally). I was originally intending to use hinges you find in your kitchen cupboard, but was having some dramas with them, so I fell back to using steel piano hinge. Really glad I did as it has worked better than I thought. It looks nice and is really sturdy.

Here is what I’ve got so far:

Left Side front Right Rear

Here is a view of the mounting bolts, from the outside and inside:

The mounts viewed from outside  Router Bit used to countersink the mounting screws mounts viewed from inside

The mounting bolts are 10mm thick so for the countersinking I had to resort to using my router as my standard countersinking bits were not deep/wide enough. With six of these one each side the left and right panels are not going anywhere.

I had to cut the speaker wires from the tv to mount the TV in the cabinet. I am planning on rigging up some kind of quick disconnect so that if I ever need to remove the top I don’t need to cut and resolder the speaker wires again.


  • Raise the tv by an inch
  • Attach rear panels on the top half
  • Solder the speaker wires to plugs

TODO Later:

  • Get a marquee printed and attached
  • Sort out the plugs and soldering for the control panel
  • Figure out how to mount the control panel to the base so it does not move, but is still removable.

Arcade machine progress – top half going on

Cleaned up the garage – now have enough room to move about in there. Decided I’d better get cracking on the top half of the mame cabinet. Here is a pic of one of the top sides going through a test mounting.

mounted top half

I used some tiny corner braces to hang the top sides on the base so I could step away and get an idea of how it will really look.


  • Looks like I will need to straighten up the top half (rotate a few degreees anti-clockwise in pic) to make the back edge truly vertical. Once I’ve sorted out exactly where the top half will go relative to the base I will mount it using the fancy-pants mounting screws I purchased ages ago.
  • Change the mounting screws for the monitor to move the monitor back a few centimetres. To give more room for bezel/glass.
  • cut and splice the wires from the TV speakers to extend them so they can be mounted in the speaker panel below the marquee.

MAME update – trimming excess t-molding

I’ve always wondered how I would trim the excess t-molding that pokes out above and below the edges of the timber. I tried using a really super-sharp chisel on the control panel and it worked, but you could see the marks for each different cut. Not too happy with the result.

I just did some searching and I found a tool called an “edge trimmer”. I am going to have to get one.

[UPDATE: Couldn’t help myself – I just ordered one from mcjing about 5 minutes after writing this blog entry]

Edge Trimmer

Looks like they are available from a variety of places:

Arcade machine update – t-molding and monitor

I got a few hours to myself this afternoon so I got a few things done to the arcade machine that I have been dying to do for ages.

T-molding on control panel: Managed to get some t-molding attached to the control panel.

galaga control panel with t-molding galaga control panel with t-molding (part II)

T-molding on top half sides: I really worked hard on taking my time doing this as I have learned from experience that cutting the slots requires a bit of concentration to ensure that the slot-cutter does not wander from the centre line. You can see that I did not concentrate hard enough – I had to use a bit of duct tape to fatten up a small section of the t-molding to ensure a snug fit.

close-up of slot borked slot

Tools to cut slots for t-molding

Tools: You need a few tools to get this right:

  • ear muffs: so the router doesn’t make you deaf
  • rubber mallet: to bang the t-molding into the slot. I once tried it just by using the heel of my hand – not a good idea – hurts too much the next day. Followed that up with a standard hammer – not a goo idea – marks the t-molding. Get a rubber mallet.
  • clamps: to stop the timber moving when cutting slots and banging in t-molding
  • gloves: to protect my dainty hands from splinters
  • pencil: mark out where the starting point of the t-molding. When I pull it out to paint the timber I know the exact point to put the t-molding. Yay for thinking ahead.
  • t-molding: to make your timber pretty and comfortable.
  • router: to cut slots. My router is adjustable from about 22,000 rpm to 32,000 rpm. Cut slots as slow as possible – otherwise flaming timber is the result…
  • chisel: I needed this to help bang in the t-molding on the internal corne. (In the pic the corner I am talking about is between the duct tape and the utility knife). The handle of the chisel had a diamater that matched the curvature of the corner, and was also coated in rubbery material that would not damage the t-molding.
  • duct tape: if you make your slot to big you can use some duct-tape to fatten up the bottom of the ‘T’ to make a snug fit.
  • screwdriver: toaid in the removal of the t-molding
  • utility knife: cut little wedgesfrom the base of the t-molding so going around corners does not crimp the t-molding.

cut a notch to go around hard corners

Removed speakers from the TV:  It took me ages to pull the back off the tv, remove the speakers, av-inputs and back-plane and chop off the speakers from the sides of the TV.

trimmed the speakers from the sides of the TV I can see your insides!

I am going to lengthen the wires from the tv to the speakers and mount them above the TV – behind or below the marquee.

Mame cabinet progress

I managed to get some really great nuts and bolts to fix the top half of my cabinet to the bottom half. I have no idea what they are called. They will allow me to screw the panels together without taking up any significant room on the inside. This is quite important as there is no room to spare – the TV will be taking up all the internal space.

funky nuts and bolts

I’ve also managed to re-build the control panel section in it’s entirety. It has working hinges so now maintenance can be done on the inside wiring without pulling the whole thing apart. More pictures on that later…

MAME cabinet update

MAME Update

Ages ago I had my first attempt at routing the slot for the t-molding. It went OK but I stuffed up the slot for one of the side panels.

I spent some time the other night fixing up the MAMe cabinet. I pulled the entire thing apart and cut out a new side panel, and routed it with my new router – a cheap Ozito. Did a better job this time round – still not perfect.

I have learned that cutting slots at 32,000 RPM is too fast for plywood. The smoke and the embers helped me figure that out pretty quick.



Portal is awesome. Got a copy the other day and played it non-stop for maybe 10 hours. The wife had to drag me away from the PC at about 4am. If you have never heard of it’s an action/puzzle-solving game. You are given a gun that creates two portals (blue and orange). If you walk through the orange portal you come out of the blue portal (and vice-versa). One puzzle room might require you to cross a moat. Shoot at a wall on your side of the moat to create the blue portal. Then shoot at a wall across the moat to create the orange portal and you can walk through the portals avoiding the moat completely.

It gets more challenging when you have to use portals with physics/momentum laws on the more difficult levels:

portal momentum

Guitar Hero

Played the Nintendo Wii version of Guitar Hero at a mates house after losing a poker tournament. It’s fantastic. Those playing Guitar Hero provided a nice soundtrack to those still competing in Hold’em. The concept is great. Play guitar, whoever hits the most correct notes wins.