DIY Arcade Cabinet

Finally a big dream of mine has come true. I built my own retro arcade cabinet!

It all started with a 3D model in Google Sketchup. I wanted to have a machine that you could play for two and that you could hang on the wall. It should be screwable and have a maintenance hatch. The logo should be illuminated and the image for the logo should be interchangeable.
Finally all parts have arrived. Test setup with an old little monitor. It works!
The heart of the machine is a Raspberry Pi 4 mini computer with 2 GB of memory on which the RetroPie solution is installed (manually, since the RasPi 4 is not yet officially supported by RetroPie). The housing is printed with my 3D printer. The CPU is cooled with a noctua fan.
The housing consists mainly of cheap spruce wood. The board with the controllers consists of a strong MDF board with acrylic glass.
I cut the side panels with a jigsaw. When grinding, I clamped them together so that they are congruent.
The side parts, control panel and front panel are decorated with adhesive foil. The self made design contains the logos of my favorite arcade and Amiga 500 games
The housing with the logo is illuminated on the inside with LED strips. It can be opened and the acrylic glass can be changed with another logo. Later I drilled 5 large holes in the small bar at the back so the warm air can escape from the housing.
The machine is slowly taking shape. Most boards are screwed together with 5cm long screws. I drilled about 35 holes freehand. The board with the monitor is attached with special cabinect connectors.
The case is very compact. There are different angles to consider. The 3D model differs somewhat from the real model
completely screwed together . Now unscrew it for painting
I painted all boards with black paint. I sanded the wood just a little so that the grain of the wood is visible.
The acrylic glass broke somewhat on the first try, so I created a new one. The sides are taped with adhesive film so that no dirt gets under the glass.
The joysticks are screwed tight with 6 screws each. A joystick is turned 180 degrees. That caused problems later. I simply cut the connecting cable and swapped the cable strands to fix it 🙂
The monitor (Eizo Flex Scan S2100) has an aspect ratio of 4:3 so that the old games can be displayed without ugly black borders. A 4mm thick acrylic glass pane protects and beautifies the picture. The corners are taped with adhesive film so that no dust gets between the monitor and the acrylic glass plate.
I designed a simple locking mechanism for the maintenance hatch and printed it with the 3D printer.
I used a hand milling machine to cut a groove in the edges of the side parts for the T-molding. Unfortunately i had not enough T-molding. But is hardly noticeable when the machine hangs on the wall.
All electronic parts are attached to the back plate with screws and hot glue. Volume, bass and treble can be adjusted on the mini amplifier. The video signal is processed through a scanline generator. This enhances the poor resolution of the old games and makes the picture look similar to an old tube screen.
Finally finished! I attached the machine to a wall made of wooden panels in my basement. I reinforced the wall on the back with thick wooden beams. The machine hangs on a hanging rail for furniture. The system starts automatically when you press the main switch next to the maintenance hatch. The sound quality is better than I expected. After a few settings in the software, the system runs stable and can be operated completely without a keyboard. Most games run at 60 FPS with occasional screen tearing (due to the analogue video signal). You can also play pinball games with the buttons on the side. I’m very satisfied 🙂 Even my wife found interest in computer games 🙂
The illuminated buttons come out well in the dark. The color of the logo lighting can be adjusted with a small remote control.

The whole parts cost about 700 euros. Since I am only a hobby craftsman and only have simple devices, it took a long time to set it up (3 Month in total). I gained some experience in woodworking. It was exhausting but it was worth it! Now it’s time to play some of my favourite retro games with my son and my friends.

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