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Building your own bartop arcade machine

arcade bartop retrogaming

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#1 GeektaM



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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:41 AM

Hi there !
I'm new on this forum and have not found out where or if there is a thread to present oneself, sorry !
Maybe I haven't looked too thoroughly :)
Anyway, as I see that there is a DIY thread on this forum, I may as well present my own hobby.
I have always been interested in arcades, have not the space in my flat or the cash to buy an actual full-size cab nor a Japanese candy cab, so I decided to build my own.
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Notice that all the invaders on the build are ceramic tiles assembled in a mosaic pattern, painted and varnished for UV resistance.

This is a vertical shmups bartop. There are only arcade shoot'em ups on it, nearly 230, never had thought there were so many ! :)

Anyway, I have also created a forum for bartop enthusiasts, I think it's the first and only one of this kind.
If you want to visit and hang around there also, you're welcome. We're very few, it's just a place for the kick of talking about our builds and whatever, but of course you're free to join us, even if you don't plan to build a bartop. :)
Be careful, though, it is a very addictive hobby :)

#2 SpleenBeGone


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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

That looks pretty cool. I assume you have cheap computer parts running an emulator inside?

#3 GeektaM



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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:56 AM

Yep !
Generic Dell pc gutted to get a P4 mobo with 1 GB ram. Installed a 15 " lcd screen inside... But the controls are very good quality : Sanwa joystick with leaf-switch buttons to reduce fingers tiredness when you hit that fire button a million times :)

I also have a scanline generator inside, which transforms the lcd screen image by adding old-style TFT screen scanlines and boosting the RGB canals as well. Pretty awesome little device...
Bartops are so cool to build I am already planning my next one... :)

#4 Matty_poo



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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:03 AM

Lookin rad there friend. How long did it take you man?

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#5 GeektaM



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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

Hi, thanks ! :)
Took me the better part of 6 months, with pauses to take a rest and some holidays and fixing all the mistakes I made.
And I like to take my time, too. Moreover I was not really decided on the design, artwork...
I mixed my time searching for info on arcade sites and trying to figure out how to configure the front-end to launch games
and all that stuff.
Pretty time-consuming, I guess, but hey, the feeling of joystick and buttons on games like DoDonpachi, Strikers 1945 and others
is rewarding enough for the time spent ! :)

#6 Fox The Cat

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:24 PM

I like the cool cup holders on the top!

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you innocent... fucking... fox... 

#7 DeadChannel



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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:58 PM

whoa man, thats freaking awesome. Might there be any way we could see some video of it in action?

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#8 HemoGoblin



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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:55 PM

Anyone thinking RasPi for one of these? I presume it could handle the load, though I've yet to muster that cash to buy one. If you could get that sort of setup running, I feel like a template/instructable is the next logical step. 
Get measurements for basic sidewalls etc, best hardware for the screen, Software downloads, whole 9 yards.


Oh and SWEET WORK dude, almost forgot your props for doing the damn thing.


Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: arcade, bartop, retrogaming