Pacman Arcade Cabinet

This Pac-man cocktail cabinet has been built from scratch. It is based on dimensions fron the original Pacman console, but includes a number of modifications to allow end-to end as well as side-by-side play of arcade games.

The console cabinet is made from 18mm MDF (medium density fibro), and a router is essential to get the correct finish.

I avoided using the T-molding on the edges, opting instead for a clean routered finish.  This has come up really well with the use of oil based primer and top coats.

The console uses an i-pac controller from Ultimarc. I did look into keyboard hacking but there are issues with keyboards, and the maximum number of keys which can be pressed at once.  The i-pac allows you to plug a keyboard in as well, which is what I did, for maintenance.

The top of the cabinet is made with toughened glass. I used some custom made L shaped clips to lock it down.

Other modifications allow quick access to the keyboard, through a top fold-out just under the side-by-side controls. There is another of these in the bottom half, which gives me access to the PC.

My goal was to keep the PC in a PC case.

If you have a close look, you will see that the monitor is actually put in upside down.  I wanted the room at the front for the keyboard, so I strapped the monitor to the back of the case. The monitor was modified using a technique called

Yoke Flipping.

As for the software, I run the whole thing under DOS – it boots quickly and it is difficult for kids to destroy.  I actually used a hack to Windows ME which allows it to dual boot like Windows 98. I can use Windows for configuration if necessary.

The emulator I chose is AdvanceMAME. It is the best DOS emulator as it provides all the fancy graphics smoothing modes under DOS.

The system boots to AdvanceMENU. I designed the PAC-MAME frame, however AdvanceMENU does the rest. The PC I used is a 1.2GHz AMD, with a 10GB drive.  This drive has about 1000 games on it, emulated exactly to the original. The green button on the side of the cabinet provides coin credits (no, I chose not to put is a coin mechanism. It is too bulky, and would not get used anyway).

AdvanceMAME has all the smarts to allow games to be played side-to-side or head-to-head. As with the originals, games played on the “short edge” are rotated to face player 1 or plater 2. AdvanceMAME lets you configure how each game is played.

1 comment on this post.
  1. Someone:

    Great work!

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