A long time coming.

Over 2 years in the making and just now receiving an official web presence! Let’s see if I can actually finish this thing before the next ice age. All updates included here so far have actually happened in the past, so feel free to click the Updates menu at the top to see what has happened so far.

The new home

Some more updates… First and most important, the cabinet is now in its final resting place (for now). Because of this I have been able to get to work getting everything assembled and installed. So far the coin door, lexan, joysticks, buttons, TV, hinges, speakers, speaker covers and marquee have all been installed.

Obviously nothing is wired yet, that is my next job. Also need to get the t-molding, marquee light and temporary monitor bezel installed. After that it should all be computer and MAME stuff. Yay.

More painting

So took another trip down this weekend and mostly finished up the woodworking. Got a new piece of lexan cut and also was able to have someone help me use their lacquer sprayer for the cabinet and control panel. I think it ended up with around 4 coats of clear lacquer, but due to not sanding between these coats it didn’t end up the most smooth. I think it is fine though and it really is more for protection of the paint.

So since it was all painted and lacquered, I ended up taking the control panel back with me. No way my small little car could take the cabinet, so that will have to be moved some other weekend. But for now, I can try to work on the control panel by getting the vinyl fitted, installing buttons/joysticks and wiring it all. Also forgot to paint the bottom of the control panel top, so I might end up doing a small amount of painting in the apartment.

In any case, the panel is now in its new home.

Priming, painting and issues

So have actually made 2 trips down since my last post. One about a month ago and another this last weekend. The oldest one allowed me to finish up my last coat of primer.

With that done this last trip was to get the thing painted. Since I decided on using latex paint I was able to wait less time between coats. I ended up with 3 coats, with minor sanding between each. It ended up being a pretty smooth paint job and I am mostly satisfied with it, especially for my first time really ever painting something. I also plan on possibly doing a coat of spray lacquer to give it some extra shine.

However, I was not so satisfied with the last thing I attempted before leaving, drilling holes in my sheet of lexan. I had been putting this off for fear I would screw it up, and you know what? I did. Things were going along great and the holes were coming out really good.

Then I got down to my final 6 holes and noticed that at some point my lexan had shifted positions despite being clamped and having my entire body weight on top of it when drilling. I re-aligned it, re-drilled and hoped it was minor enough that the edges of my buttons would cover the difference, sadly this was not the case.

So now I have a perfectly cut piece of lexan except for 6 messed up holes. In my opinion this won’t fly, so it looks like I will be buying another roughly $60 sheet and getting this cut again. Of course, this also requires going to the shop where I did all my cutting before and I don’t know when I will be able to get down there next.

The only good thing to come of screwing up the lexan? I will have enough extra to re-do my marquee sheets. At least the painting is done, after this lexan situation is resolved it will be time to move this beast up to Seattle and get started wiring it. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later, but who knows at this point.

Productive update

Nice 2.5 month break since my last update… Unlike other trips down to work on this though I actually completed nearly everything I was hoping to.

First, finished bondoing up some of the holes in the side. Due to some other issues with drilling later in the weekend I ended up making several batches, but this stuff definitely saved me several times. Love it.

Also got my hinges installed on the control panel top and base.

I know that my joysticks will probably end up hitting the screen this way, but didn’t really have anything to hinge it on for a front swing.

Of course, once I got to this point I couldn’t resist throwing some buttons on there.  🙂 This thing is definitely a frankenpanel. If I had to do it over again I think I would get rid of some of them admin buttons on the secondary panel, but oh well, no going back now.

Everything seemed to fit fine so I moved onto the last stage of my weekend work, PRIMING! Only did one coat since I used oil-based and it will take awhile to dry, but next time I go down I plan to sand it off a bit and do another coat. After that, hopefully will be ready for the paint.