Project 8 MAME Invaders!
I finally decided it was time to re-do my MAME cabinet. Actually I decided it was finally time 6 months ago but just recently decided it was finally time to finish this project. My cabinet had Silent Scope sideart on it. The reason I used Silent Scope
is because I wanted sideart and it was $10 on ebay. I never really liked it but also
could not find anything else I did like to replace it. I am going to replace it with
the recreation space invaders sideart from classicarcadegrafix.com My cabinet was a test case for this new sideart set so I was the first to have it :-)
The bezel I had was a generic looking fighter. It was just filler because I needed something other than a black bezel.
I also decided it was time to fix the control panel. I had a generic kung-fu overlay which I
still like but I was tired of it, it did not fit into any theme for the cabinet, and I had to replace it to re-do the panel
anyway. I have been using a microsoft
easy ball childrens trackball in place of a real trackball. Since I originally used this
cheap fix the price of trackballs that can be used with a computer has dropped. I found
a translucent blue at happcontrols.com for $185.00 3". The easyball also had become less
attractive and does not move smoothly like it did new. I also wanted a spinner. You
just do not get enough control with the joystick for games like omegarace and tempest.
Although I do not have my Astron Belt game with me at the moment I also picked up
an Astron Belt marquee. My plan is now to restore the original cabinet to look
like the original astron belt while still being a mame machine. Watch for a project 9 someday.
On to the Mame Invaders Story..................
Here is the application fully on before I trimmed the edges, it is actually easier to apply sideart on an upright cabinet.
This is what happens when you cover bolts with sideart. It is called tenting. The instructions clearly said not to do this and you can see why.
This is my control panel and happ trackball. It is a blue translucent type. The plywood was too thick to mount the trackball so I cut out the center of the CP and put a thin board in it's place. If I had it to do over I would use a piece of thin metal and be careful to cut the hole perfectly round. I had to hide the rough cut edge(rotozipped freehand) so I used one of those rings that are put in countertops and desks where people run wires through them and then put the little cup on the top so it does not look like a hole. I just tossed the inside piece and trimmed it to be narrow enough to fit. It looks good but I think the normal way to do it is to take a larger disk that has clean cuts and use the trackball mounting screws to hold that in place.
This is the finished cabinet beside the old look. Look at the before and after. And it only took 6 months to finally decide to finish it.
This is a closeup of the final control panel. Notice the real trackball, not an easyball mouse, and the Disks of Tron type spinner from OscarControls. The CPO is from ClassicArcadeGrafix.com. The buttons, well read the below story for those. A local arcade shop, vintagearcade.net helped on filling out the buttons I needed. I thought the 1 P and 2P buttons would be too close to the trackball so I opted for smaller buttons, I think they look better anyway now, although I also now see I could have used full size ones. The underside of the CP is a very tight fit. All of the buttons were leaf type so they had the big arms. I had no space to spare. The CPO image is a combination of the sideart and the original background art from space invaders. Unfortunately I had to cut a lot of it away because my panel is so small but it looks great to me.
Now, were'nt you wondering why I chose those clear buttons and a translucent ball?
I put a Light Stick flourescent light directly under the panel. This is what the panel actually looks like in low light, like the low light of an arcade. Very cool. I still have to connect the LED lights for the p1 p2 buttons but it looks great.
I decided that my 8way joysticks were not as good as I had hoped. The old problem of maze games was too much
for me to deal with. MsPac never knew where she was going. I swapped out the joysticks with some
selectable 4way/8way ones I had. I set P1 to 4 way and P2 to 8way. Using this layout I can play games like
mspacman/mrdo without the character being confused about the 4 directions. I can also play
games like robotron and still shoot diagonally. It is a good tradeoff and if I decide there is a
game I must have 8way joysticks for I can always open the CP and move the selector plate to 8way.
I also added a new PC speaker system with a subwoofer mounted to the bottom of the cabinet. Sweet.........