Ideas for a DIY ‘Mini-Mini’ Mame arcade cabinet.

Sparked on by my trip out to the coast the other week and finding all those lovely vintage arcade games, I’ve since been enjoying some of the classics these past weeks either via MAME or on a variety of my consoles, handhelds and iPhone/iPad.

I’m talking about some of the real old school classics here like Asteroids, Defender, Galaga, Breakout & Frogger, were reflex and button mashing is the order of the day.

The other night, I dusted down an old Atari 2600 Galaxians cart and popped it in for a go. As you can see from the screenshot below, it looks terrible….yet I couldn’t put it down and had one of those ‘one more go’ moments that lasted into the early hours 🙂

I have my (almost completed…hopefully soon) full size Mame cabinet in the garage but want something on a smaller scale to have in my study. Something a little more portable yet still provides that touchy feel of a arcade cabinet rather than a desktop PC.

At first I thought about building myself a Mame Bartop cabinet similar to one owned by the Retro Computer Museum (for more details please visit – which is a great homebrew cabinet built by Richard and James but it’s still a little too big for my needs. I’m wanting something I can throw into a cupboard when I’m not using it.

I guess I’m looking sizewise something comparable with my MB Vectrex – shown here when I had it set up at my work place the other day for some some lunchtime Mine Storm gaming 🙂

I’d also like the vertically mounted screen so I can play all of those classic shooters like Space Invaders, Pheonix and Galaxians.

Here’s the totally brillaint iCade arcade cabinet for the iPad which really looks the business and is just the thing i’m looking for.

However, the downside is that the iPad doesn’t have nearly the number of classic games that I’m wanting to play. Sure there’s a few hits from Atari, Taito and Capcom (and I’m simply loving the 30th Galaga anniversary app) but there’s many more that are missing which I’d really like to play. O.k, I could install Mame4all on my iPad but this would require me to jailbreak it which isn’t something I want to do at the moment.

Still, the iCade case has given me a lot of inspiration and it’s this design that I want use as a base for my own DIY mini ‘mini’ arcade cabinet.

I was thinking about using spare laptop/netbook components and screens and such when it hit me – I already own the perfect bit of kit that would make the whole process that little bit easier (and quicker so i can get my game on!).

I have a netbook that can convert into a thin (-ish) tablet computer. I would be able to mount it into a mini case and attach a USB iPac based arcade controller that I could build –

Sorta like a miniature version of the one I’ve built for my full size cab (see blog post

Time to get out pen and paper and start sketching some cabinet planes…but first time to test the netbook.

Here’s a video I’ve uploaded to YouTube.

Here’s a few more photos –


2 responses to “Ideas for a DIY ‘Mini-Mini’ Mame arcade cabinet.

  1. That’s a great bartop mini mame cab you’ve got there. Very impressive, thanks for sharing!

    I love the virtual jukebox and especially the artwork on the control panel. Really really nice!

    Kind regards


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