The Willow Cab-
I bought this cab from a fellow BYOAC'er, Build Your own Arcade Controls http://www.arcadecontrols.com, 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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