Adding digital game indicators to a Neo Geo arcade cabinet


[George] is a Neo Geo aficionado, and among his collection of paraphernalia, he has a MVS-Mini game console. His mini “Multi Video System” is a 2-slot model, meaning that it can hold two game cartridges at a time, which are indicated by plastic cards inserted in the cabinet’s face plate. Instead of swapping those cards out each time he changed cartridges, he thought it would be far cooler to install digital displays instead.

He scoured just about every retail store he could before finding a handful of small 5” digital picture frames that looked to fit the bill. After some careful cabinet modifications he had them wired up and ready for display. The frames don’t hold a ton of pictures, but they do support the use of SD cards. [George] says that he’ll likely just buy a ton of small SD cards, swapping them out whenever he changes games, though over time that might become as tedious as swapping out the plastic cards.

We would love to see [George] take his new digital display up a level, so be sure to share your ideas in the comments. Perhaps we can persuade him to automate things a bit.

Mame cabinet springs to life from Ikea furniture

[Jed] built a MAME cabinet into some flat pack furniture (translated). For the housing he chose an Ikea Ramvik side table. This is a perfect piece of furniture for the project for several reasons; it’s cheap, coming in at under $70, it’s a reasonable height to use while sitting on the sofa, it has a built-in drawer that will hide the guts of the system, and it was designed to use a piece of glass as the table surface.

The electronics are pretty straight forward. A notebook computer runs the MAME frontend, with an auxiliary screen which is framed nicely under the glass. Controls are standard coin-op type buttons soldered to the contacts on the PCB from a USB joystick. The brushed aluminum bezel added to the surface of the table keeps the modern finished look that one would want with a showpiece like this one.

We always like to keep our eyes open for hackable items when visiting Ikea. Make sure to check out their As-Is department (preferably as soon as they open) to find hackable furniture on the cheap.

MeggyCade: when handheld pixel gaming isn’t enough

[Bomber Punk] built his own arcade cabinet, but you won’t find any MAME games here. He made the enclosure to house a Meggy Jr. 8×8 pixel graphics game console. Proper coin-op buttons and a joystick replace the stock tactile switches that come with the kit. [Bomber Punk] has also added a lighted coin slot. A three-cell battery pack powers the beast, with a programming port to one side so that different games can be loaded from a PC. We’d like to see a processor upgrade that would allow multiple games to be stored on a stand-alone system.

Take a look at the video after the break, it’ll bring a smile to your face.

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Mini pinball is all-pixels

You won’t find those familiar steel balls inside this mini-pinball cabinet. That’s because [Luis’] latest creation is a fun way to play virtual pinball. The playing field is a 10″ LCD screen with an accompanying 8″ screen in the marquee. Inside the well-crafted case you’ll find a mini-ITX motherboard running HyperPin, a frontend software suite for LCD-based virtual pinball. He’s also using PinMame for the score board that was often provided by a gas plasma display on newer mechanical machines. There’s video after the break, and take a moment to check out [Luis’] other mini-cabinet builds.

What’s that you say? No substitute for the real thing? That’s exactly what [Ben Heck] thinks too.

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All that’s needed is a retro paintjob, miniMAME

[Tim’s] miniMAME‘s construction follows the “light and cheap” approach, using foam core board and hot glue. Sure it won’t last a nuclear attack, but at least it’s light enough to carry to a friend’s house.

With a removable netbook at the core, CCFLs, speakers, trackball, and mini arcade fighting stick, the project completely surpassed our expectations. For those looking to build a miniMAME, [Tim] includes lots of pictures, details, and plans allowing anyone to make their own in about an afternoon.

Mini racing cabinet

Here’s another small arcade cabinet. This time around it’s the racing simulator Daytona USA. [Pocket_lucho’s] cabinet work has been featured before and he did some fine work with the control interface on this build. The wheel is from the controller of an RC car and the gear lever from a heavily used toy. He fashioned two pedals using gate hinges and a couple of leaf switches. The guts pack quite a punch with a mini ITX motherboard running the show. This will look great next to Ms. Pac-Man. Check out the video after the break.

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Propeller arcade

This arcade cabinet has been saved from a gruesome death. [Oldbitcollector] picked the broken rig up for $50 and is building a Parallax Propeller based arcade machine. This began back in October and he’s just dropped in a newly painted control panel to replace the NES controller seen above. He pulled the replacement screen out of an old 19″ TV and found it to be a perfect fit. We didn’t find a complete list of available games but we know he’s got a menu system to choose the game and have seen Donkey Kong, Frogger, Defender, and at least one other in the videos. There’s less choices than a MAME cabinet but who needs more than a handful of the old 8-bit gems anyway?

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