Custom Arcade Cabinet Scratch Build

 · 1 min read

I accumulated a lot of old hardware over the years. Much of it still works and is too good to throw away. I wanted to give new life to my hardware so I decided to build my own custom Arcade Cabinet.

I used my old AMD Athlon 64 PC with 3000 Mhz and 1GB Ram from 2005 which is capable of running video game console emulators from Commodore 64 to the Playstation. I have an old 2.1 PC Speaker System from 2003 and an 20 inch Samsung TV from 2006 with an resolution of 640x480 which is good enough for games from the 90s. To get the input from the buttons and sticks I used the controller boards of three old USB Joypads. Each Joypad has 10 buttons and a four-way cross.

On the software side I decided to use an old Ubuntu 9.10 installation which was still installed on the computer. I installed different emulators for various video consoles: Mupen64Plus for Nintendo 64, ZSnes for the Nintendo Entertainment System, SNES for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, GENS for the Sega Master System and so on. The emulators worked very well even in 2010. As a front end I used Wahcade which is Open Source and Python what makes it easy to modify. To map inputs from the buttons on system events, for example to exit the emulators, I used the Gizmo Deamon.

From design to Cabinet
The 4:3 Flatscreen and the Sound System I used
Screen and Speakers mounted, painted the first parts
Mounting the buttons
One of the inexpensive Joypads I took the controller board from
I soldered the buttons on the USB controller
The result


Sebastian Glahn is a Senior Software Engineer living in Cologne. He writes about Software Development, 3D-Printing, Robots and other stuff. He is also a maintainer of several open source projects.

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