Due to our very poorly cat, I’ve had to extend my time off work as we look after him and visit the vets etc. Whilst he (Smokey) had a nap, I thought it be an opportune moment to spend a little more time on my mini-mini Mame cabinet.
Yesterday, I had all the various panels ready for assembly and so I spent the first half hour giving them all a good sanding and ironing out any blemishes. I’ve put a slight rounded edge to side panel fronts to simulate the t-moulding you used to get on full size arcade cabs. I’ll decide later on if I want to paint this ‘t-molding’ a different colour.
Here’s a photo after I’d attached the two side panels and back panel using the large fixing batons and three screws per side panel.
With this done I attached the front panel and according to my initial plans I intended to have it flush with the side panel front edges. However in the end, I thought it looked much better and more like a full size cab having it recessed by a little.
I’ve also been musing over how to semi affix the Control Panel as I want to be able to easily remove it should I need to check the wiring and also to make it easier to insert/remove my netbook.
As an experiment I though I might try some of those small magnetic door catches. The magnetic part is attached to the cabinet side panel and a small metal plate is attached to the underside of the Control Panel. Getting them to line up correctly was a right pain but in the end, it all seems fit really well and ensures the Control Panel is secure without sliding about but can be easily removed if required.
Although they work really well, they are magnets after all, and therefore am concerned what this might do to the control panel or netbook components. They aren’t very powerful magnets and are a fair distance away all the electronics but I’ll certainly be keeping a lookout for problems once I begin gaming (I mean testing 🙂 )
It’s starting to look like a mini cab now!
The cab roof was an easy fix and attached to the back panel via a small hinge. I’ve placed two small screws at the front of the cabinet for the front of the lid to rest on. In time, I’ll swap these out in favour of those small metal shelve plugs you can get (I think this is what’s used on the iCade as well).
On the underside of the lid, I’ve attached a small baton to prevent my netbook from falling out if the cabinet is tipped forward.
The netbook screen mount was probably the most challenging part of the build and I had to change my initial plans quite a lot on the fly. Using more batons attached to the side panels affixed at slight angles to tilt the screen just wasn’t working out very well. I guess if I was fixing a separate LCD panel that was the same thickness all around then it wouldn’t have been a problem. However my netbook (Acer1825 PTZ) was thicker and heavier on one side due to the battery pack and it didn’t seem to look right to me.
After trying out various other methods throughout the afternoon, I opted for fixing metal ‘L’ shaped brackets to the back panel to help support my netbook at the correct position. Fixing them in the correct position was trial and error but I think I’ve got there in the end. All I need to do now if fix rubber padding to the metal support to help grip my netbook and prevent it from getting scratched.
Smokey was starting to wake up so that’s about it for today. Just before packing away, I test fitted my Netbook to how things are looking so far.
So far, I’m really happy with it, my netbook is secure in the cabinet and nothing appears to be rattling around or feel loose. I might need to make a few minute adjustments to the mounts as the screen looks a tad too low in the picture above but at the brackets are made of thin metal, they’re easily bent into different positions.
Next comes the fun bit, wiring the controls and giving it a test 🙂