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Thread: Non traditional stand/cabinet

  1. #1
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    Default Non traditional stand/cabinet

    Finally got posting access so that I can post my vanity shots....

    Started off using a monitor arm to hold the monitor in portrait mode, along with a 3D printed controller with side flipper buttons + top "nudge". That fairly quickly morphed into a "fixed angle monitor stand" with a keyboard tray modded as the controller, and then finally into a desktop "cabinet" with a full width wooden controller cabinet that's easy to attach / remove.

    Full build can be seen here....

    https://hardwarecanucks.com/forum/th...ler-box.81834/

    And I'll post up pics once I gather them all into an imgbb album.

  2. #2
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    Playing Surface.jpg

    This was the first "proof of concept" that cabinet mode would look decent enough on a portrait mode monitor

    Samsung Monitor.jpg Samsung Monitor Tucked away.jpg

    Which led to mounting on a gas shock monitor arm that could be easily tucked away, and a separate keyboard on a laptop stand. Worked well enough, but still very much kludged together and in the way of my main PC.

    Full Controller-9737.jpg full machine-.jpg

    Next generation involved the printing of a dedicated pinball controller, moving the whole setup to another desk, and mounting a second backglass monitor to the wall. The 27" ASUS monitor in this pic was purchased to replace the curved samsung I'd used previously, but a better deal came along for a 32" LG so it was returned. This was working well enough, but the extended gas shock mount tended to shake so it wasn't ideal.

    Overall Front no monitors.jpg

    Overall Front main monitor.jpg

    Overall Front both monitors.jpg



    At that point, I decided to create a fixed angle mount out of wood with 3D printed shims (also incorporated a mount for the backglass monitor). It's by no means perfect (mistakes were made... ) but the final build is solid as a rock.

    Final install seated config.jpg

    Final install standing config.jpg

    This is the "final" config of the monitor stand with the controller on a height adjustable keyboard tray that worked great while seated, and if a person were to raise the controller off of the desktop (i.e. with a box) it would work as a standing cabinet.

    And apparently there's a 10 image limit / post so I'll carry on in the next post....
    Last edited by sswilson; 09-06-2020 at 02:14 PM.

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    Ledge inside ledge installed without keyboard.jpg

    Ledge inside ledge joystick extended.jpg

    Next addition was a keyboard tray since the stand was too deep to allow for a keyboard to rest on the desk and I was getting tired of swapping the keyboard and controller on the tray.

    Keyboard Tray Controller wires managed.jpg

    Keyboard Tray Controller Flipper button.jpg

    Keyboard Tray Controller upright lights.jpg

    Keyboard Tray Controller Full Game.jpg

    And finally.... why bother moving the controller back and forth when I can just mod the keyboard tray itself into a controller. Aside from being some kind of monster material that really didn't like having holes drilled in it for the controller buttons, the only extra parts I needed were 3D printed flipper buttons (fourth pic). This particular keyboard tray can be raised up to a point where the tray itself butts up against the mount (under the desk) thus fixing it in place fore/aft.
    Last edited by sswilson; 09-06-2020 at 11:41 PM.

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    And of course, not being the kind of guy who's ever really satisfied with Version 1 of anything the next obvious step was to create a standing controller cabinet....

    Wooden Controller Cabinet frame no top.jpg

    Wooden Controller Cabinet frame with top.jpg

    Basic cabinet designed to be somewhere between 27 and 28" wide to simulate a real pinball cabinet.

    controller stand hidden shelf.jpg

    controller cabinet rough on unpainted stand.jpg

    I then built a pedestal for the controller cabinet around the previously build keyboard stand.

    leg brace full leg installed upside down Carriage bolt closeup.jpg

    leg brace full leg installed upside down.jpg

    Next up was a 3D printed leg brace designed for a stock 2X3.

    AB with trim.jpg

    XY installed.jpg

    Trim and button panels 3D printed, and apparently I'm at my image limit so onto the next post...
    Last edited by sswilson; 09-06-2020 at 02:49 PM.

  5. #5
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    Into the end game.....

    main wiring.jpg

    Back Lid on.jpg

    Because the cabinet controller was so much wider than a standard controller I had to splice the wires that came with the (amazon ordered) arcade button kit.

    Joystick trim.jpg

    palm trim cropped.jpg

    Small bit of trim for the joystick on top of the cabinet, and a corner trim with rounded edges for the palm rests.

    Completed front cabinet.jpg

    Wide angle eye view.jpg

    And there's the completed project. The second image is a wide angle view of what the player sees.

    Overall I was really happy with how the project turned out in the end. It went through 5 or 6 versions before being complete, but now I've got what is essentially a standing desktop arcade pinball cabinet. It plays well and the only thing really missing is a physical nudge sensor (I have nudge buttons on top).

    This is (obviously... ) mostly a vanity thread to get the pics of my build out there, but comments (including constructive criticism) are welcome, and I'm more than willing to answer any questions folks might have. hopefully this will inspire other folks to take their virtual pinball to the next level...
    Last edited by sswilson; 09-06-2020 at 08:56 PM.

  6. #6
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    Wow, your cabinet looks really cool! Thanks for sharing the process of your cabinet building, that is a perfect example how you can get to a unique cabinet from a monitor! We wish you a nice time playing and many highscores!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linne_Zen View Post
    Wow, your cabinet looks really cool! Thanks for sharing the process of your cabinet building, that is a perfect example how you can get to a unique cabinet from a monitor! We wish you a nice time playing and many highscores!
    Thanks. It was a fun build, and gave me a chance to put my 3D printer to work as well.

    Latest (and more than likely last) addition.....

    Coin Door installed.jpg

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    It's a good way to combine hobbies and interest. Looking good. My process to cabinet making was very similar. Mock it up in a Frankenstein build then refine it. I went over the top with buttons at first then after game play realized which buttons I really needed then rebuilt controls and cabinet again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AcadDude View Post
    It's a good way to combine hobbies and interest. Looking good. My process to cabinet making was very similar. Mock it up in a Frankenstein build then refine it. I went over the top with buttons at first then after game play realized which buttons I really needed then rebuilt controls and cabinet again.
    I think I've only got 1 "spare" button out of the lot. So far I've got:

    L/R Flipper and nudge
    A / B / X / Y for Enter+Launch/Back/select/table view
    and then "Start" for exiting/pausing mid game

    Anything I'm missing?
    Last edited by sswilson; 09-08-2020 at 05:05 PM.

  10. #10
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    Make one to turn on the PC. I ran a wire straight from the PC On/Off switch to turn on the PC.
    I then had to add a couple for volume up and volume down. You probably don't need any of those if the PC is not enclosed in a cabinet.
    I made a cluster of 4 directional buttons for up down left right to help navigate the menus. and have one of those as the powerup that I can reach with a thumb while still being able to activate flippers. So if I need a quick rewind in normal mode I have that in reach. I have a second plunger button near the other side to activate for tables like High Speed to shift gears while not leaving the flippers to hit the plunger. If you can activate all those type events without adding anymore buttons then you are in good shape. It all comes down to personal preference and what you want. I wanted a trackball to use as a mouse so I put one on my cabinet. It makes the lockdown bar area wider but I am really liking it and don't mind my front lockdown plate is 7 inches wide. I am not going for true scale. I am going for what I enjoy. I built my cab two years ago. I play that cabinet every week. (you'd think I would be an expert by now, but sadly no.) I think it was money well spent for a hobby. So the jist of my rant is, if the buttons you use are there and accessible the way you want then just leave them as they are. "You do You!"

  11. #11
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    Cool.

    I use my setup as a "peripheral" to my main PC (as opposed to a stand-alone unit) so the PC controls are either not required, or covered by the wireless keyboard/trackpad I keep on top of the control cabinet.

    Thanks for the mention of "switch gears", I've played that table a couple of times but had no idea what they were expecting me to do when they were yelling that at me....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
    Cool.

    I use my setup as a "peripheral" to my main PC (as opposed to a stand-alone unit) so the PC controls are either not required, or covered by the wireless keyboard/trackpad I keep on top of the control cabinet.

    Thanks for the mention of "switch gears", I've played that table a couple of times but had no idea what they were expecting me to do when they were yelling that at me....
    There are other tables that have a plunger button trigger. Monster Bash has skill shots that use the launch button to help in complete modes faster.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AcadDude View Post
    There are other tables that have a plunger button trigger. Monster Bash has skill shots that use the launch button to help in complete modes faster.
    I play that one fairly regularly. I suppose I'll have to take the time to look through the table guides sometime in the near future in order to see what I'm missing. Hopefully having "launch" and "A" tied to the same button won't interfere with that, but I do have an unused button in my current setup that I could map either the launch or "A" button to.

    No super high leaderboard positions for me, but I do have several in the mid 100s so I think I'm doing something right... (Nothing but single player classic for me).

    I haven't been at this very long (only started playing fx3 in late June), but one thing I've noticed is that even with the better control I think I'm getting with the cabinet, the key to higher scores is sticking to one table for at least a few days. "Memory muscle" response to ball movements are critical and are different from one table to the next.

    Anyways, thanks for the tips, I'll look into those table guides.

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