The Arcade Gaming Machine


Project History :

Well, after 1 year of dreaming and about 10 hours of work, my dream is a reality. My very own arcade machine. The idea came across my mind when I was surfing the net looking for some info on old arcade machines. As I worked my way through many web-pages, I came across an emulator called MAME. I downloaded it, along with a 'sample' rom. From that moment on, I was hooked. I then began surfing the web for information on roms and emulators and came across a very interesting site called This was the spark the lighted the fire. I saw many pictures of converted cabinets and I just knew I had to build one of these bad boys. After about a year or so of pondering the idea and stock piling some parts that I knew I would need, I made a call to a local amusement company looking for used cabinets. The shop manager invited me to take a look at the junk they had in their warehouse. There were many cabinets to choose from, some where almost destroyed and would take quite a bit of work to repair, and they were too heavy to carry up-stairs in my apartment. He then showed me a mini-cabinet from a video poker machine. It was dusty, and been beat on the front. He told me this would be perfect for my project. We started to strip the old parts out the cabinet, but it was back in the corner under a lot of junk parts. He told me it wasn’t worth digging it out and he would let me have a 'new' cabinet that had never been used for a good price. He also gave me the control panel from NBA JAM that had 4 joysticks and 16 buttons. He told me this would be enough parts to get me started. So we came up with a price of $175.00 for the new cabinet, 4 joysticks and 16 buttons (used), along with delivery (he even helped me lug it up the stairs).



I decided not to use a full keyboard but to hack one apart. I pulled the circuit board out and began to solder my own connection. I used a Radio Shack project box along with European style barrier strips for my connections.


This is the circuit board from an old AT keyboard. (sorry for the blurry image)

The completed control panel interface. Each wire is soldered to the pins on the circuit board.


What a mess! Here is the interface after all the connections were complete. This took me about 6 hours to complete.. not thatit was hard or anything but I was taking my time and had my PC in DOS mode and had to figure out what pin combinations produced what keystrokes. I had some trouble finding the left shift key, So I loaded up Quake, set the primary attack for the key and went from there.


Another picture of the completed control panel and interface.


Since I work on computers as a hobby and request the old parts from system upgrades, I was able slap together a decent gaming machine.


Case: Generic AT Mini-Tower w/250 watt power supply

Main Board: Generic AT/ATX board capable of 300mhz with USB. $30 Computer Show Special

Processor: 200MHZ MMX Pentium that is overclocked to 266MHZ. I added an extra case fan to help keep it cool, surprising enough it doesn’t run hot anyway. I tested it with Quake Demo for 2 hours without any signs of failure or excessive heat.

RAM: 64 meg

Video Card: Generic 2 meg. PCI (24 bit true color)

Hard Drive: 2 gigabyte

Sound Card: Inexpensive Yamaha PCI

Network Card: Generic 10/100 PCI (for loading software from my server and for multiplayer gaming)

Monitor: Refurbished 17 inch ACER SVGA

Speakers: Generic powered speakers

Keyboard (hacked): Generic AT

Mouse: Microsoft PS/2

Software: Win98, MAME, and NEORageX


UPDATE: I now have a new motherboard and an AMD K62 500mhz only clocked up to 400mhz because of the board limitations and 196meg PC133 DIMM Memory

Control Panel:

The CP consists of 2 joysticks and 15 arcade buttons.


Special thanks goes out to a guy by the name of Tom (last name unknown). He was building a deck on my parent's house, and took time to help me drill out the holes. If you look closely you can see where the formica covering chipped around the holes. I will eventually paint the CP with FleckStone paint.. Available at Wal-Mart or any other fine discount stores.

Notice the coin door hole, I leave it open so I can reach in to adjust the volume on the speakers and use the mouse. (needed for NeoRageX)


Completed Gaming System.

This bad boy runs MAME and NeoRage without any problem, Quake runs great on it as well.

Future Plans:


Add a 10 inch subwoofer to the underside of the cabinet with a small power amp, tweeters in the top and mids in the middle. Replace the 2 gig hard drive with a 4 gig. Install WinAmp and some MP3's from MP3.Com and ones I rip for backup purposes

Movie Theater:

Add a DVD player for movies

Control Panel:

Paint the control panel with FleckStone paint, Add a trackball and a steering wheel on a removable bracket


Try to figure out how to put a lighted marquee on the top… (maybe impossible with this cabinet design)

UPDATE: 7/13/01 I added a 10inch woofer and 2- 3inch tweeters along with a 80watt (total power) car stereo amplifier and a crossover. This thing ROCKS LOUD! for what it is.. I also added a 3.5 gig Hard drive and a 4 gig hard drive. and mounted all of my equipment to the sides of the arcade cabinet..

Here are some pictures.. THANKS goes out to Zakk over at Massive Mame for doing a little picture editing for me.. If you havent seen his work, go check out his graphics and killer


7/28/01 Updates: In the process of making a marquee. I purchased an 18 inch flouresent light. Printed out a MAME marquee and got all the measurements to make the marquee box. I also bought 2- 6.5inch woofers to add to the front of the cabinet. I am also going to add another amplifier to power the 10inch woofer and use the smaller amp to run the mids and the highs

8/3/01 Updates: Added the 6.5 inch woofers in the front.. almost done with the marquee I am building.. Tried to install a 2nd amp but there was no room left in the cabinet..darn. I am working on re-doing this site..

8/08/01 Updates: My wife let me buy a digital camera. Its a Kodak DC3200. It does a decent job.

8/11/01 Updates: Replaced one of the control panel pics with a better one. Having problems uploading my new images. Working on a NEW Project and No I am not finished with NEO-Mame..I bought me a NEO-GEO MVS full size system for 25 dollars off of a guy who didnt know what he had :) I had my good friend Brian borrow his dad's work van to haul it away.. and it is HEAVY!! It has a 25inch monitor (No Burn In) in it, along with the 4 cart. mother board (no carts though). One side needs new sideart and it needs cleaned up. I tried to power it up but it was only giving me 5.6volts instead of the 12v out of the power supply. It is located in my climate controlled indoor storage unit and it may be a while before I can get her working.. I want to restore it back to the way it was when it was new.. Here is a couple Pics.

Update: 8/15/01 Ordered a TV/FM Tuner Card for NeoMame, It should be here next week.. New Pics... Caution, May take a while to load.. I am going to try to shrink the images in a few days.

Here is a picture of my friend Brian getting ready to play Galaga.

Here is my newly discovered jukebox software. I found this a couple days ago while on Zakk's webpage Massive Mameand decided to give it a whirl.. Arcade Jukebox written by: Mark Schwarts. It does a good job and uses arcade controls and you can customize them to your setup!! This is EXACTLY what I was looking for.. THANKS MARK!!!!!!!

I found out that Mark's page has exceeded its bandwidth for the month, So I decided to have his Jukebox version 3 available for download here..

Arcade Jukebox Version 3

This is version 2

Update: 8/16/01 I NEED to learn HTML.... Found a new site the other day.. Its the MAME ROOM.. Check it out

Update: 8/19/01 Added a D-load for Arcade Jukebox 3

Update: 8/20/01 Added a Car Stereo install How To for download: Get it here Car Stereo Amp Install Guide Version 1.3

Update: 8/21/01 Installed my TV/FM Tuner card. It does a nice job.. still need to make an FM antenna. I bought a "F" plug Transformer (300ohm-75ohm convertor) quick connect adapter at Wal-Mart. I am going to use this to connect my antenna to the FM input on my card (it's a coax input). I am going to get a car stereo antenna and mount it on the backside of the cabinet where it will be out of site.... I still gotta learn some html, this site is starting to look cluttered...

Update 1/03/04 HAPPY NEWYEAR EVERYONE!! I know its been a while since I have updated this site, but I have been very busy working on other important things, such as bass fishing.. hehehe. My wife and I plan to buy a house in a couple months, then I can start working on that NeoGeo Machine that I have in storage. If I can't get the thing to work with the original parts and if the parts are to expensive to replace, heck, I'll just throw a PC in there (i have many just laying around) and run NeoGeo Emulation only.

Any Questions email me…

Here are some Pictures of my wife and I on our wedding day..

This site has been viewed Counter times since May 2000. Last updated: 1/03/04