Hey Everyone,

I’ve been tweeting a lot about this arcade project of mine for quite a few weeks now (or maybe months actually) and intended to put a dedicated site up about the build.  Well, me being me and never having 5 mins spare, I decided to throw a quick blog post up instead.  There will eventually be a site, but just not quite yet.  For now, here’s a few piccies of the project during the build and the final finished shots will be posted up very soon.  I’m just tidying up the edges at the moment.

Step 1 – Shopping!

Ok, so initially I started ordering in all the parts, which was just going to be…

  • Bare cabinet
  • Monitor
  • Controls
  • Jamma wiring
  • Power supply
  • 1 jamma board, most likely Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition

Well that didnt quite go to plan, as my games collecting madness took control and I decided to order a few things more…well…a lot more.  This is when a few of the large boxes started arriving…

Before I knew what had happened, I’d gone and blown my budget on the following games…

  • R-Type Leo
  • Golden Axe
  • Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
  • Street Fighter Alpha 2
  • Darkstalkers
  • Vampire Saviour 2
  • Super Street Fighter 2 X
  • Metal Slug 2
  • King of the Fighters 2001

…Ooops.

Any arcade geeks out there will also spot that I had also gone had grown the complexity of the job 4 fold, as this was no longer just an old school Jamma cab, but also a Capcom CPS2 cab, a Neo Geo MVS cab and also a Sega System 16 cab.  Now I really had blown my budget, by a further 50%! Time for another oops.

Step 2 – Jazzing up the rusty old 4-Slot Neo Geo MVS motherboard

It looked nasty, and I wanted it looking pretty.  A clean up, black powder coat and some lovely SNK decals later, it was looking super sexy!

Step 3 – The CGA monitor and the bare cab

Finding true arcade CRT CGA monitors is damn hard these days as nobody makes them.  I wanted true classic CGA goodness, as there is nothing prettier than those damn fine scanlines! Forget HD, forget scaling up to large res LCD monitors, nothing compares to CGA!  I was lucky enough to find a seller on eBay called Digital Systems Design that had bought all of Pentranics CGA stock when they went bust, so he had 100’s of brand new, old stock monitors in stock! RESULT!

The bare cab arrived soon after (Which was made by a cool company in Wales who sell them via eBay)and was ready for building! You’ll notice my other machine in the background, that one is a MAME machine, which is great, but I wanted to a true Jamma classic machine, original boards and 100% true to its roots.  I cant express the warm glow I have knowing I own original 1980’s arcade boards!  These things have been shipped around the world for over 20 years, played by probably 100’s or even 1000’s of people and are now being loved by me :)  Oh, you also need a very understanding wife and spare room ;)

Step 4 – Testing the purchases!

I enlisted the services Barry Parsons from www.gamesroomservices.com to do the build as I already knew Barry and knew his skills were unrivalled, the guy is a pure genius when it comes to electronics and arcade/pinball building.  So, we started by test wiring everything up and testing the monitor and each game board.  This was rather exciting :)  I was especially excited about seeing Golden Axe in all its glory, as I never actually saw this in the arcades back in the day, and had only ever played it on the Megadrive.  It looked SOOOO AWESOME!

Step 4 – Testing complete, time to build!

With all the the games tested, it was time to build everything in!

Wires, speakers, boards, its arcade heaven!

Monitor in…but oh no, it doesn’t fit! The cab turned out to be too shallow, DOH! Some modding was required to the back panel, but nothing too major.

The CPS2 motherboard was mounted on the right side and the MVS on the left, with the Jamma on the shelf above.  Barry had done a truly first class job planning this baby out!

Step 5 – The artwork.

Ok, so this step isnt photographed as yet, I need to tidy the games room up, sort everything out, finish of a few lose edges and get some photos taken :) Watch this space!

I hope you enjoyed the article!

Mike.