Thursday, 24 September 2015

Dellcade Compact Arcade Machine Build Part One : Design and Conquer

This wasn't my first rodeo building an arcade machine to relive the 1980's, a time when 10 pennies gave me 3 lives on my favourite game Gyruss. My first bar top style was rather heavy, clumsy and hard to transport. I aimed to rectify with a lighter and more transportable version to be enjoyed with friends reliving their youth!

With the Raspberry Pi version 2 featuring more RAM and horsepower, a true MAME
experience was at hand... time to design a more compact, lightweight bartop with a twist.



When I say compact, I am referring to a usable sized arcade machine which gives the user a feel of a much larger machine. The Raspberry Pi 2's compact yet powerful form factor, allows for greater flexibility in your design, as shown below with these clever wall hangers.



The Design Brief..


  • Unique design with all the features of a full size arcade machine
  • Compact and lightweight, yet sturdy
  • Adjustable aspect through portrait and landscape orientations
  • Use's a cheap Dell monitor with DVI 
  • EG. Dell UltraSharp 1708FP 17" , Dell UltraSharp 1908FP 19" 
  • Dell P170S 17"  Dell P190S 19" 
  • Customisable play field graphic insert
  • Integrated  Dell stand (quick release VESA)
  • Good sound quality
  • Easy Maintenance and access
  • Room for future mods
  • Premium quality finish "looks like a bought one" ;)




Time for some Solidworks...



The Base


 12mm LG Hi-Mac  is my usual material of choice for a professional finish. I took a slight risk by not making a prototype from  MDF first, given the material costs!





Monitor stand riser plate



Using scale printouts as templates an optical centre punch was used for marking.


Using a 6mm rod, the base and monitor riser sections were locked using their centre holes. This was done prior to drilling the hole for the Dell monitor stand mounting screw holes.


Once the holes where drilled, the monitor riser was held in place with hot glue, using the off cuts to form a jig.


To cut the circular rebate, I used my home-made adjustable circle router jig, which came in very handy. A major additional advantage of using the circle jig is its' ability to cut a chamfer around a rebated edge, where, the use of a bearing guided router is not possible. I have been collecting many tradition type arbour hole saws, I find that you just cannot beat the ability to cut any size hole cleanly.


Once the router jig alignment pin was located in the centre hole of the work piece, we were ready to cut the circle to the desired size.


Forming the circular rebate.


A hole saw removed the remainder of the material.


LG HI-MACS machined really well, almost looks CNC'd...


Forming the Upper enclosure.


The Sides


Rebates were cut on three sides of the part to form an half lap joint.



The Front Panel




The front panel top and bottom were angled at 5 and 10 degrees to give a more pleasing aesthetic to the overall design.

The I/O Rear Panel Mount


Raising the saw through the material saved a lot of time removing waste material accurately.


Next was a quick clean up of the inner sides in the router table .



A roller guided rebate router bit was used for the relief to accept the I/O panel later.



The rear panel came out great, over all I am pretty happy with the design. Due to the number of pictures the article will be spread into multiple parts.

RGB Buttons...

 Part Two...