The Space Station

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Within the hardware section lies the obligatory computer and monitor in addition to the main hardware components of my control panel.

T.V. will rot your brain...

I ended up going with a 27" Panasonic Television (Model #CT-27C8) with S-Video out for my monitor. It was less expensive than a true arcade monitor and looked better in my opinion than any computer monitor. The S-video out looks far better with regard to the look of the games versus a typical composite out. At first I thought that the 27" size was going to be too large, but I soon realized the whole damn cabinet is too large so the T.V. is about right as well. Just make sure your cabinet is wide enough to accomodate the television in your planning. I added a 27" monitor bezel from Happ. I also covered the monitor and bezel with a piece of smoked plexiglass custom cut from a local glass shop. This was an expensive addition but completely worth it. That, along with the bezel, hides the fact that a television is back there and gives the games a nice look. It also allows the image to appear as if it is floating, making it impossible to tell you are missing some screen size when playing vertical arcade games.

I hate it when people call them "rigs"...

My computer was an older Dell Dimesnion 8100 I had sitting around. I decided to add a second hard-drive (80 GB), a bit more memory (128 MB) and a different video card (one that supported S-video out) to the system.

Computer Specs

Dell Dimension 8100, 1.3 GHz Pentium III
20 GB Western Digital Hard Drive
80 BG Western Digital hard Drive
ATI Radeon VE7000 64 MB Video Card w/ TV out
512 MB Memory
8x DVD Drive
V.90 56 K Modem
3.5" Floppy Drive
Dell Std Keyboard and Mouse

I think it is time we interfaced...

Again there are a couple of interfaces you can use assuming you don't intend to hack a keyboard. The main ones being the Ipac from Ultimarc or the Keywiz from GroovyGameGear. I went with the Ipac from Ultimarc. The spinner from Oscar Controls and the 3" Translucent High Ball trackball from Happ Controls connect to the computer via USB.

Speaking of speakers...

I hacked an old pair of computer speakers for this job. Had to cut a few wires to get the speakers out of the casing but I was able to solder it all back the way it went leaving intact the volume control knob and power-on light. I mounted the "naked" speakers inside the cabinets behind the two 3" diameter holes I cut in the top of the cabinet overlooking the screen and control panel. On the outside of these two holes I mounted two 4" black speaker grilles I purchased from Happ.

cabinet back           enlarge

ipac                   enlarge

 trackball    enlarge          spinner  enlarge

speakers      enlarge

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