Mark's X-BOX MAME Arcade Cabinet

This webpage is produced to show off my arcade and to give other people ideas should they wish to make their own.

Disclaimer: Although I show construction details this is not a tutorial, I do not guarantee the accuracy or suitability of my methods defined, nor do I believe copyright infringement is a good thing (this cabinet was built purely for educational purposes and as a proof of concept). In fact, I made it so that I can play the games after such time as I acquire the corresponding arcade ROMS legally, thereby exercising fair use by playing roms. Furthermore, I do not guarantee the accuracy of this disclaimer.

my completed arcade cabinet
Here's the cabinet as it is now, playing Street Fighter Alpha 2.

here's the cabinet i bought for $50 AUS ..after i ripped out the crappy coin slot and patched up all the hacks taken out of it.

here's the crappy coin slot that ended up at the tip.. i don't feel bad - even when it wasn't rusty it looks like a piece of crap

a metal shiny sheet for my joystick.. woo !!

trying to imagine how sexy it will all be.. oh yeh...

xboxes don't come with 'plunger power' so .. to make it work from mains (so everything can turn on together) ..i decided to bridge the on button into a switch

this stays down all the time, but i had to make it a switch (rather than just a cable)

wiring up the back of the controls.. (those screw in things are great)

hacking a dodgy old xbox controller, i used an official s-controller for p1, some 3rd party for p2.. i couldn't get the trigger buttons working on the 3rd party one but (thankfully), i only needed it for one of the players (p2 has: A,B,White,X,Y,Black,Back,Start,and the D-pad)

i don't care too much about interior appearance - otherwise i may've used something other than an old video case and cable ties to secure the controller (care should be taken in this step, if any wire gets pulled it could rip the track from the pcb and screw everything up)

spray-painted panel with buttons attached, i didn't have any p1 and p2 start buttons so i decided instead to colour code it (looks awesome, huh?) problem with black gloss paint is that finger prints are easily visible

T-molding for the edges of the cabinet, this crap was hard to find - bunnings swaid they didn't stock it but i found it in their shop anyway as a discontinued line - got it for 70c a metre

there's what my spray painted sides look like (with t-molding added).. i used gloss spray paint

the original black made it look like someone had rubbed chicken all over my panel so i red-did it with white gloss, looks much sexier anyway

my insert credit lights needed 12V at 1A, xbox (yellow cables) happen to provide 12V at 0.8A so.. woo !! all taken care of

here's a (very blurry) photo of my light up credit buttons, i made the designs in paint and printed them on transparencies (which were then stuffed into the buttons).. i really like this solution cos it looks a lot like insert coin areas at the arcades - without the hassle of actually putting coins in

here's my tv being supported, it was damn hard to find a tv with 'AV memory' that is, one that when you switch it off and on again, will turn on into AV if that's what it was on before. Also, this TV has S-video which i wanted. (AV cable on the right is not used, but i made it in case i ever need those inputs (as i can't reach it)

the tv's wedged in pretty tight, i really didn't want to uncase a tv (due to the danger of being electrocuted etc..) also, i bought a cheap ass light to put in the marquee compartment - using a low wattage bulb with frosted glass covering that spreads the light evenly.

i spraypainted the tv, but even then, it just looked like a spray painted tv - to make it look like an arcade (and to reduce glare) i got some glass - spray painted the back of it black.

i want to be able to change volume so.. i soldered off from the board..

there's my nice little remote hack (i could have just busted the front out of the tv but.. i'd rather not)..

there's the insides, the power board is intercepted by my power switch (at the top right of my cabinet - you'll see it on the completed pic)

another inside shot, the box on the bottom left is the xbox multi-out box, allowing me to use s-video

the back of the controls (looks a bit messy), also - notice the superbly duct-taped mounted remote.. it's actually much more stable than it looks

there's the control panel pulled out - i built an additional panel above it to house the buttons for 'load state', 'save state', 'pause', and volume controls.. these are actually p1-L-trig, p1-R-trig, p1-L-analog-click and the remote hack wires. (these buttons work for the emulator obviously and needed to be configured).. as for controls, i made configmenu=pause+p1start+p2start, and exit rom=p1start+p2start+p1back+p2back (the back buttons are the insert credit buttons)

my power switch to turn everything on is just a plain light switch.. i wanted the soft-reset to look the same, so i just melted a hole out from the light switch wide enough. also, i wired up the soft-reset to be p1back + p2start + p2-L-trig + p2-R-trig (using diodes as to not mess up the original inputs)

decided to spray paint both black, but leave the actual switch white.. looks damn nice.. well, you'll see

some artwork by alvin lee, took me ages to find large enough scans (and then combine them all in photoshop) but it's worth it.. got it large printed and contacted, and whacked some perspex in front and behind it

here's the mamedox menu (i still haven't sorted out favourites and clones etc.. because i have too many roms) thing about using an xbox and not a pc - no messing around with drivers and booting, and (the biggest one) i can have sf3:3rd strike !! (a cps3 game which no-one has yet emulated)

One final addition, is that i added 2 ports for players 3 and 4 (which are used for my numerous emulators. The screenshot below is of tmy n64 emulator with the 2 joysticks. I bought a light gun (made by 4gamers) .. and that's pretty damn nice (too bad only one great lightgun game came out on xbox - house of dead 3). The light gun support for mame on xbox isn't all that hot right now.. but people are working on it. The ports also now allow me to play 4 players simultaneously for 4 player arcade games like ninja turtles etc.

I can be contacted by email at:
my email address: ecks, underscore, underscore, zero at hotmail dot com

©2006 - Mark


MAME cabinet
Neural Pacman


CIG paper 2006
CIG paper 2007

External Links

CSSE homepage Link for evil bots