The Willow Cab-

I bought this cab from a fellow BYOAC'er, Build Your own Arcade Controls, this is the definitive site on the internet for building arcade controls to connect to your PC. Thorn's write up of his former cab is located at- 3-D M.A.M.E.. I purchased it minus the tv and pc. Except for the tv and pc it was a complete working Mame cabinet. Origanelly this cabinet was Mortal Combat. It was then converted to Tekken. I received it with the Tekken control panel on it authentic right down to the cigarette burns. It also had 5 extra buttons across the top that were previously used for administrative buttons. I knew this wasn't going to work for me so I took the panel off, made a box around it and sold it to my brother. Then I started from scratch to build my own.

This is a picture after I got it and put a 21" PC monitor in it. It barely fit since the monitor was so deep. I want to put a 25" tv in it like Thorn had but I haven't come up with the cash yet. Origanelly I used black poster board for a bezel but I didn't like it. I made some other improvements to it. I wired the coin door lights to the pc power supply. I also added a pc shut down button to the side of the cab. Under the overhang of the control panel I installed credit buttons so that you wouldn't have to use the working coin slots.-

I didn't like the poster board bezel so I took it out and painted the back of the glass with a semi glass black paint. This is a great cheap way to make a bezel. It was a lot easier than trying to cut the posterboard. The only problem with this that I had previously painted the monitor case with flat black. Its always the little details that bug you later-


I rebuilt the control panel and added a trackball that I purchased off ebay. I really like this control panel layout. I also made a few mistakes here. I mounted the trackball without a mounting plate. You can see the edges of the trackball houseing. When I eventually redo this panel I'll fill the edges of the trackball and sand them flush. I also forgot to drill the holes for the trackball buttons before I overlayed it with vinyl, so they weren't as smooth as I wanted.I recomend making all your buttons different colors, this helps when new players play on your cab you tell them which button does what by color, trust me it really helps.-


When I built this control panel I used a keyboard encoder called a Ipac from Ultimarc. I purchased most of the buttons, the trackball and the joysticks from ebay. I also used a db25 serial extension cable to make the control panel easy to remove. I plan to build additional control panels. The next one I want to build will be using SNK rotary joysticks. These are what were used in Ikari Warriors cabinets. I found them at Videoconnect for a good price. Down the road in order of importance to me, I want to do a Tron panel with spinner, a 360' steering wheel and a 270' steering wheel.-


I replaced the marquee with one I bought off ebay. I don't like the Willow game but my Daughters name is Willow so this cabinet is named after her and the Marquee seemed appropriate.-


Here is a picture of the completed cab (complete but never finished).-




This page was last updated January 21, 2003


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