Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The M.A.M.E. Cabinet - 'INSERTED COINS' - Part 1

Profile o' the cab...


– The ‘M.A.M.E.’ adventure of one completely incompetent fool…
SEE 'Part 4' for picture of the completion of...



Just after ‘Thanksgiving’ in 2005, I got my hands on an old video game cabinet from the fella’ at 'Back Through Time Arcades' who happens to live not too far from me.

Before #1

Original ORIGINAL...

The cabinet was formerly a 'Rad Mobile' (mirror at '').

I always knew if I ever managed to actually get a hold of an arcade cabinet, I would ACTUALLY build a ‘M.A.M.E.’, machine/cabinet/behemoth/wife annoyance.

Then, I found out why I subconciously put this off for so long. While it wasn't a personal flaw that I was unaware of, it effectively crippled me for a while in terms of proceeding forward with the build. You see, I am a carpentry idiot.

The PC part, no problem. The monitor, no problem. Eventually purchasing and wiring the control panel electronic components, no problem.

I could have really used some carpentry assistance. However, after trying to locate someone in my area who could and/or would help me…I was alone in my trek through the world of building/converting a ‘M.A.M.E.’ cabinet. I even offered beer and pizza and had no takers – well, at least no one who had actually worked on a M.A.M.E. cabinet before.

M.A.M.E.’ stands for ‘Marsupial Aluminum Migratory Eclairs’ ‘Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator’, by the way…in case you didn’t know that or didn’t do a search on the web for the term before getting too far into this article.

I just needed some direction, some instruction, and perhaps someone to make fun of me but got none of that…well, except from my wife who has no problem making fun of me at all.

I wasn’t looking for someone to do the work for me. I was really just looking for someone with some experience with modifying large pieces of wood who could have helped to prevent me from removing a limb while trying to make effective use of the cabinet I had. In the end, I was able to pull this off myself…which was surprising considering the number of times I’ve injured myself in my life. As an example, the last time I tried to build something, I put a drill bit through my right index finger. THAT was pleasant.

So, I had this cabinet and what I thought I had to do was make a cut so that there was effectively an 'L' where the steering wheel used to sit. It's sort of, pointy part.

The thing I couldn’t figure out or convince myself that I could do effectively at the time was to determine how to cut that part so that there's a level space to mount a control panel both vertically and horizontally.

It may sound silly but I didn’t have the slightest idea of how to make sure that the cuts were even, level, and accurate so that they matched up on the left and right sides.

I threw out some ideas on various forums, ('Build Your Own Arcade Controls' forum), ('MameWorld' forum), and got nothin’.

So…I stewed. I’d go out and stare at this thing. I’d measure it. After a while I would start to drool. Eventually, I would fall over. I know better than to lock my knees when standing for that long but yet I still do it.

There were these pieces of wood affixed to the interior sides of the cabinet, right where the ‘pointy’ parts were, for support of the original steering control panel.

Those pieces, which I initially thought were screwed to the sides of the cabinet, were stapled and glued to the frame and were frustratingly removed with a hammer and flat head screwdriver.

Then…I walked away from it for a week or two.

Continue on to the other parts o' the M.A.M.E. adventure...if you DARE!
Part 2a - Part 2b - Part 2c - Part 2d - Part 3 - Part 4 - Dismantled - Random Statements Home