my take on the "mame cabinet"


north west south west
so i have had this idea in my head since 1998 or so when i first saw roms. though then i was in middleschool and had no source of income. now though i am married and can final build what i have been planning out these last 10 years.

anyway my plan was simple, i didnt want a cabinet design as i want to also be able to sit and enjoy the home console games. i decided on a coffee table. this seemed to be the perfect idea. however though the cost of such a project, and the fact that i live in an apartment with limited space led me to this decision.

this was made by johnny boy over at

im basing my project off of this guys design, basically its a smaller mame all in one.

anyway the construction has begun, i have bought the arcade controls,(2 joysticks and 24 buttons, $40 dollars counting s&H ) and this wednesday my marquee wich i will place behind the control panel comes
(20x30 print made at wal-mart for $16 dollars:happy: )

i will update as more falls in place, this project will also include home consoles in additon to mame. (mame being the smaller focus).

here is a mock-up i did in photoshop, basically this is the plan for what it will look like when its done. i'll post more as it comes;)


Controller Man
Staff member
Looks pretty nice. I assume this is gong to attach to TV via vga to hdma? The box design looks good. Are you going to slide a computer case in there or build everything in to the box? Well cant wait to see it progress, keep us up to date..

BTW: What is the bazaar looking thing in the lower left corner? ;)


north west south west
just bought the plywood today, 3 pieces of 3/4". not doing anything with them till the weekend though, i worked 11 hours today and i have to work 12 tomorrow so im taking it easy.

the plan is to build everything into the box placing the screws into the bottom so they wont be noticeable from the outside.

your right i already have a tv-out cable. so 27" monitor ( or 15" if my wife is trying to sleep and i have to play downstairs) thats another great advantage of building it this way, arcade to go!

lol im sure you wouldnt know what that is :laugh: its my mockup of your blissbox snugly secured in its home:happy::happy::happy::happy:

couldnt buy plexi today like i planned they blocked off the plexi isle and wouldnt unblock it for me.....damn home depot.

more pics will be added this weekend:happy:
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north west south west
small update, i just got my 20x30" poster print that im going to use for the background (behind my arcade buttons)...
i also recived 4 buttons extra that i now have to find uses for.

not being able to post pics is f-ing lame. dont worry though a whole load of them are coming.;)

sorry i cant add more right now.


north west south west

well i got off to a late start today, my father in law was out in the woods taking a walk for most of the afternoon and it was pretty cold out, so we didnt get started. tommorow looks better. warmer, sunny. he said he would call if he was available for helping me.

anyway here are a couple pics, not much to look at right now but hey its better than nothing.
first here is my prototype control panel. i cut myself a 20x30" piece of cardboard which was very easy to come by as i have an unlimited supply.
i think the control is very intuitive
2 sets of 8 buttons, 2 joysticks, 2 coin buttons, 1 and 2 player start, pause, reset, exit, and console buttons.
this is my current supplys. 3 sheets of 24x48" 3/4 plywood ($40) and a sheet of 1/8 25x35" plexiglass ($13).

and here is the last:happy: my control panel decal that will lay under my buttons and joysticks and will be covered with plexi to protect it.

its a 20x30" poster i got at walmart. it only cost me $16 and took one week to get it. in fact i ordered it on my own at the photo kiosk.:happy:

well i hope to have more productive posts soon, im only $30 bucks away from ordering my motherboard and cpu. its a work in progress but im very happy with it so far.;)
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north west south west
well i got alot done yesterday. we put the box almost entirely together. i have lots of progress pics. :happy:

first you can see in this one the slope of the box. i noticed most people who make mame cabinets seem to forget that arcade control panels are sloped. i wanted to recreate this in my project. in this picture you can see the angle that it slopes. this should provide much greater comfort for playing and give the ability to play for hours more.

in this picture you can see the box assembled. all that is missing is getting some piano hinge to attach the top, which is also a lid.

and you can see in this last image my cardboard mockup placed on top. my father in law is holding one of the joysticks up. ;)

more to come as time allows. what do you guys think?


north west south west
me to lol. i plan to finish up the control panel tommorow. it wont be wired yet but i dont want to wait for my board. ill add pics of the wiring to once i do it.

hopefully another update is coming sunday.


north west south west
lol that would be great, actually my wife and i had wanted to open one here. doubt there is any market for it though. you know what that means don't you. if you open one there and us one here....franchise:p


north west south west

so sort of a smaller one. the control panel didnt get finished yet. the guy at the hardware store gave me the wrong screws. i do plan to have it done this week though. im also planning on sanding and primeing this week as well.

as for the update, my pc parts came in!!!
the shots below feature my equipment.

this first one is showing the control panel. you can see where we cut the holes in the plexi for buttons. once we run the pilot holes for the screws i will be able to assemble this part completely.

this shows the case fans i recived. i placed my order at portatech. i would definatly recommend this site. they have a VERY easy to use order form. plus i got these 2 case fans and the fan in the next pic for FREE. because i filled out one of those survey thingys after my order. it was worth it since it took less than 5 minutes for the both of them.

here is the heatsink/fan i recived. (*luigi not included*). if things dont work out with this project i can at least use it to keep my whole apartment cool in the summer:p (sprry for the blur)

this is my motherboard out of its box, with my 2 - 1gb ram sticks in my hand there. this system should own some pac-man;)

and here is the last one. my mobo box next to my processor

system specs:
1.7 ghz dual core processor
2gb ram
radeon 9600xt gfx card

i think that should prevent ANY possible lag that could happen in a game. plus gives me the ability to hook this up to my tv.;)

except for the remaining body work i think this is in its concluding stage.

my last remaining major purchases are:

1-KeyWiz-ST (board for my arcade controls)
1- blissbox (ulalulao!!!!)
1- 1tb hdd

after that its all screws and fan grills. nothing more than 10 dollars an item.

more to come....
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north west south west
okay got some work done this weekend. i couldn't go to my in-laws and do alot of what needs to be done, i will be down there this week though. in the mean time i did "finish" the control panel. it still needs paint on the edges and i have to wire it but i think the progress so far is good.

(click the thumbnails to enlarge)
here is one with the holes cut in the wood and plexiglass.

here is after i worked on it with buttons, labels, joysticks added.

sorry for the mess;)
feedback is appreciated!!!!


New member
I thought about doing the emu-arcade thing for a while, a couple years back.. Dunno how you'd go about securing all the rights to do it legally tho.. Unless you have loads of cash


north west south west
I thought about doing the emu-arcade thing for a while, a couple years back.. Dunno how you'd go about securing all the rights to do it legally tho.. Unless you have loads of cash

thats pretty much it, unless you do it illegally.

further with a progress update!

literally just finished painting the edges of the control panel.

im currently placing my pc parts inside to measure screw holes and how it will all fit.

cutting holes this weekend for speakers and fans. then painting the whole thing and assembling it.

pics to come. make sure to check back!!!


Controller Man
Staff member
I thought about doing the emu-arcade thing for a while, a couple years back.. Dunno how you'd go about securing all the rights to do it legally tho.. Unless you have loads of cash
True, but damn it would be cool....

Good news Genome, Keep it going!!

BTW: I finally got my new chip in and I'm able to write my units now. I'll be posting an update soon..


north west south west
BTW: I finally got my new chip in and I'm able to write my units now. I'll be posting an update soon..

now thats how you start your morning!!!

thats great news!

as for my project im about to assemble the pc and test it.

i will post updates this weekend.


north west south west
spot of bad news to start.

it seems when i was repairing the pc that is to go into my arcade device, that i got screwed once again by microsoft/emachines.

the machine was origionally an emachines desktop. when i replaced the fried motherboard and cpu i found out that i could no longer log into windows. i now have to confirm a cd key, and the one i already had is "invalid"

i talked to the rep for emachines and she said that the motherboard is hard wired into the operating system that came with the emachines install cds. so once my pc doesnt recognize that old motherboard it doesnt work.

i tried running through a list of cd keys i "acquired" and they wernt working.

she said i basically have to buy another copy of windows xp for this to work. :fuckyou:

all this wouldnt be a problem since i am replacing windows xp with windows xp media center edition. IF my entire rom collection wasnt sitting on that disk and i currently have no way to move the information somewhere else to reboot that disk.

a small hiccup perhaps but right now its pretty daunting. :(

the worst F****** part being that i DO own a legal copy of windows xp and the only way those assholes said i can fix it is to buy ANOTHER copy.
god i hate microsoft.

i even tried linux and the machine wouldnt work with it for some reason.
to come:
hopefully paint!
cuttin' some holes
a working pc?

i also just checked the update on ulalualos page and it looks like the blissbox project is back up and running. which is great news for me because his project is going to be integrated into mine enabling controller support.
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north west south west
the holes have all be cut. im going to put some trim around the edge of the speakers for looks.

the first coat of paint went on last night.

as soon as i can get the hard drives to work i will be ready to pretty much wrap this up.

i will host some pics in a few days.

i want to get a little farther before a pic update though.


Controller Man
Staff member
an emachine is not a good choice for a project like this... Shame shame shame Genome ;)

emachines try very hard to keep you out of the system, they instill the m$ paradigm in any way they can. If you were not f#$% now you would have been further down the line. I know they are cheep, but you dont want that. stick with asus MB, geforce VID, and spitfire ram. You need a good engine for you firebird not a golf cart..