So it all started when I decided to buy my then fiance a Ms. Pac-Man Arcade for her birthday (she is an addict when it comes to the game). I did some research and found that good condition arcade cabinets are actually pretty expensive. So what is a hardcore geek to do ??? Well after a little Googling, I found my answer – Build my own!!! After all, if I can build my own waterbed, night stands, and a Car PC how hard could an arcade be ?
A quick FAQ:
- How long did it take to build ? Roughly 2 or 3 weeks, mostly weekends, but also week nights after work.
- How much did it cost ? The computer was made from spare parts, so all I had to buy was material for the arcade, and all the joysticks, etc. Total cost to me was around $1,200. A small price to pay for every Arcade game out there…
- How does the computer recognize the joysticks/trackball ? All the joysticks and buttons are official arcade style parts. Which means they are just “switches”. They are wired into a controller provided by Ultimarc. The controller registers as a usb keyboard to the computer. The trackball hooks into a similar device, and registers as a usb mouse.
- Does the coindoor actually work ? YES! The coindoor, as well as all joysticks, buttons, the trackball, even the speakers are authentic arcade style parts, and can be purchased through Happ Controls
- Are you affiliated with either Ultimarc or Happ Controls ? No. I just found what I needed through them, and want others to be able to find them as well.
- How many games do you have, and where can I find them ? There are 3382 games on my arcade. They can be found all over the internet if you search for them.
- Can you give me the ROMS ? No.
- Do you have any shooting games / How do you play them ? Yes, I have plenty of shooting games. Until I get some Light Guns, I can use either the joystick, or the trackball to move a crosshair around the screen.
- Where did you get the plans for the cabinet ? Well, I started by looking at this cabinet, and went on to find many many examples. In the end, none of them were exactly what I wanted. So, I had to design my own, basing it on designs from around the ‘net.
- Where are your plans ? On scraps of paper mostly. Some day I might take measurements and put them online.
- Are you running Windows ? No. I am a hardcore Linux enthusiast (Gentoo specifically). Therefore everything has to be Windows free.
My TODO list:
On to the pictures!!!