Building a tiny arcade cabinet from a Game Boy Advance

building-a-tiny-arcade-cabinet

[Jani 'Japala' Pönkkö] found a way to make his old Game Boy Advance exciting again. He poured a ton of time and craftsmanship into building a miniature arcade cabinet. He did such a good job it’s easy to think this is a commercial product. But when you open the back of the case to switch games one look at what’s crammed inside let’s you know this is custom work.

What’s most surprising to us is that he didn’t draw out a full set of plans before beginning. He simply measured the circuit board and LCD screen from the Game Boy and went with his gut for everything else. The case itself is crafted from baltic birch plywood, which was primed and painted before applying the decals. There is also a screen bezel made of acrylic with its own decal like you’d find on coin-op machines. These were made using printable sticker paper. The electronic part of the build involves no more than extending contacts from the circuit board to buttons mounted on the case. But he did also replace the stock speaker for one that produces better audio.

Tiny MAME cabinet built from Raspberry Pi

It’s been a while since we’ve seen [Sprite_tm] pull a project from thin air, and we haven’t seen him do anything with a Raspberry Pi yet. All things must pass, and finally [Sprite] has unleashed his tiny, pocket-sized MAME machine to the world.

The build uses a Raspi for all the Linux-ey and MAME goodness, but [Sprite_tm] didn’t want to fiddle around with the HDMI or analog video output. Instead, he chose to use an SPI-controlled TFT display that is only 2.4 inches across. This isn’t a new hack for [Sprite] – he figured out how to connect this display over GPIO pins with a Carambola earlier this year.

To make his cabinet portable, [Sprite] opted for using old cell phone batteries with a cleverly designed charging circuit. When the power supply is connected to +5V, the batteries charge. When this power is removed, an ATtiny85 provides 5V of power to the Raspi and display.

No arcade cabinet is complete without a marquee of some sort, so [Sprite] used an extremely tiny 128×32 white OLED to display the logo of the game currently being played. Everything in the Raspi is set up to be completely seamless when switching between games, automatically configuring the controls and marquee for the currently selected game.

You  can check out [Sprite]‘s mini MAME booting straight into Bubble Bobble after the break along with some gameplay footage and finally switching it over to Nemesis. A very awesome build from an exceedingly awesome maker.

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Building the most offensive video game ever

[Autuin] created the most offensive video game ever. Inside a small cocktail arcade cabinet, he installed his own video game that recreates the experiences of the Space Shuttle Challenger and her crew on their last flight.

The build started off by picking up an old cocktail version of Space Zap from The Hackery, a neat little recycling place that turns old computers, monitors, and even old arcade machines into something useful again. After [Autuin] lugged his arcade machine back to his home base at Free Geek Vancouver.

After drooling over the 30-year-old circuitry, [Autuin] disassembled the old machine and installed a mint condition 19″ VGA monitor where an ancient black and white CRT once resided. The control panels replete with their comically large buttons were refurbished and connected to an Arduino and the whole shebang hooked up to a slightly outdated computer.

The real magic happened when [Autuin] coded his game. He created a few sprites from NASA archival footage and made a game where a shuttle takes off and is controllable by each player. As the most offensive video game ever, the space shuttle blows up shortly after launch, declaring ‘game over’ for both players.

[Autuin] will be showing off his new arcade game with a new bezel and cabinet graphics during Vancouver’s Eastside Culture Crawl this November. The game will probably be updated by then; we suggested editing the ‘time to explosion’ to T+73 seconds, but [Autuin] said he’s thinking of ways to make it even more awful.

Diablo 3 is an arcade game, apparently

MAME cabinets are simply awesome. They’re a great way to relive the stained and sticky fluorescent carpets, loud noises, and Neon signs and blacklights of old arcades. If there’s one problem with MAME cabinets, it’s that gaming has moved on from the quarter-eating cabinets of yesteryear. It simply doesn’t make sense to put Starcraft, TF2, or other popular games in an arcade cabinet.

[Dave] grew up playing Gauntlet in the arcade, but the various console ports never lived up to the experience of playing it with a joystick and buttons. When Diablo 3 came out, [Dave] knew what he had to do. He built a Diablo 3 arcade cabinet, fully playable and faithful to the dungeon crawlers of yore.

Thankfully, an old cabinet wasn’t gutted for this build; a month before the game came out, [Dave] picked up a few pieces of plywood and built himself an arcade cabinet. After applying some very nice graphics and installing buttons and a joystick, [Dave] had a fully functional Diablo arcade game that doesn’t even require quarters.

Recently, we’ve seen our share of builds that turn traditional game controls on their head, a trend we hope continues. You can check out [Dave]‘s demo video after the break.

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Classic game cabinet becomes a drivable car

[Garnet Hertz], a professor and “artist in residence” at UC Irvine, built a drivable Outrun arcade cabinet for an experiment in augmented reality.

The old fiberglass and wood cabinet was hacked up and the motors, wheels, and drive train from an electric golf cart were stuffed inside. The original steering wheel and pedals were used for the controls. Although the top speed of the in-game car is about 180 mph, that was brought down to a reasonable 13 miles per hour.

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Hackaday links: Sunday January 24

Everyone Remembers Free day right? [The Ideanator's] Bus Pirate came in such a nice red box – he decided to make it his permanent case.

[Chico] is in the middle of making a CNC, but decided to make some music with the steppers in the mean time.

What looks like an old wooden box is actually [Ludvig's] super sweet retro arcade cabinet. Complete with a giant emergency stop red button.

Who says Legos are dead? [Carl] used them to create a simple and cheap diffraction grating projector. Including video!

[Torchris] used an Ethernet shield exactly as it was designed, sending data over Ethernet. Still a nice hack for those needing help working with Ethernet shields and Arduino.

Finally [Robert] let us know about a friends Arduino Binary Clock. But we think his elegant use of tape and a sand blaster to engrave glass is cooler.

Neo Geo mini arcade

neopocket

[Pocket Lucho], the builder of mini arcade cabinets, is back with another build. This time it’s a miniature Neo Geo arcade machine (translated). The build is very compact and neat. He attached the control panel and the PS one display using magnets to make the wiring more accessible. It has video out and second player input too. You’ll find an assembly video embedded below along with a trial run. [Read more...]