When I was 16 I built my first arcade cabinet, it wasn't a nice cabinet and way too big for my room at the time. I've always said: If I buy a house, I'll build an arcade cabinet for in my living room.
That time has now come, I've got a house, now just the arcade cabinet. The first step is to make clear what I want. I did not want to go for a RetroPie install, instead I wanted to use a PC. A PC is a lot more powerful than a small Raspberry Pi and I had enough parts lying around to build one.
My goal was not to have a flashy cabinet in the living room, it should match the interior. I chose for a slim design. Using Fusion 360 I designed a CAD model. First of the side panel and then the rest of the cabinet piece by piece.
This is the side panel sketch that I created.
After that I went on creating the inner panels and eventually I ended up with a design I liked.
The goal here was a two player control panel with trackball and spinner. I found some joystick and button dimensions online and then added the trackball and spinner.
On top I have a start button for each player, a pause button and an exit button.
Eventually I ended up with this:
I've decided to put the two coin buttons on the bezel.
Under the control panel I am going to put some buttons for miscellaneous actions.
For the most part this is going to be a fairly standard arcade build, except for the Marquee.
For the marquee I was inspired by Pixelcade but that would cost too much. Luckily for me, I have done another project that includes these panels, the Pixel Art Frame So I am fairly familiar with them.
So my plan is to use two 64x32 P5 panels for the marquee, use the hardware of the Pixel Art Frame and modify the software to fit in with the frontend.
I still had all the buttons and two joysticks from my previous build. They are kind with the zippy type switches which make a loud click.
I plan to use a ESP microcontroller and two relays to handle powering on and off the cabinet. I'd like to integrate this with MQTT so that I can turn the cabinet on/off from Home Assistant.