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Project: Mamey goodness (custom pc #19)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by MrDT, 15 Jan 2004.

  1. MrDT

    MrDT fapfap

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    Ressurection!!!!

    Hehe, it's been well over half a year and this project never came to fruition :lol: oh well, i'm sure i'm not the only one...

    I noticed that another bit-techer has started a mame cab project, which kinda sparked a little enthusiasm in me. So here goes:

    Since moving into my new flat I've felt that the kitchen is going to waste. It's much larger than our living room, but isn't being used very much. We've had a party or two recently, and cramming more than twelve people in the living room is an absolute nightmare...

    Me and my housemate have decided to kinda transform the kitchen into a second living room. Since all the cupboards cooker etc are all along the one wall we can quite conveniently hide all that crap (along with our unwashed dishes :worried: ) behind a supersized curtain type thing that we're gonna construct. I may treat it to its own project log, showing you how to hide the fact that you're a lazy sod if say a new lady comes round... I'll call it 'project supersized curtain type thing'. Anyway, i digress. (just a bit lol :hehe: )

    Anyhow, this would simply leave us with a big ol' empty space. Not great for entertaining tbh.

    We'd need a sofa, coffee table, some beanbag type jobbies or stools or something and maybe i could whack my homemade projector into the mix as well.

    Coffee tables are dull though. Functional, but very dull.

    How about this then?

    [​IMG]

    Hmm, still dull eh?

    Ok, heres the other side

    [​IMG]

    yay!

    Ok, so I know it's about as far removed from the original mame project as things get, but it'll still be mame. One player will be more than adequate for me to get the hang of construction etc, then i can move on to something bigger later on.

    The table will only be 1 1/2 foot tall, 1 1/2 foot deep, and 3 1/2 foot wide. Shouldn't be too imposing, will be functional as a table, and also very groovy in the fact that it's a kitchen mame machine that doesn't make you look too geeky :D It will also be groovy in that it will be ufo lit from inside (colour suggestions would be nice btw, i was thinking either green or uv?)

    Another idea is to get the thing to also play mp3s in a jukebox type program using only the joystick and buttons as inputs. Some intense jiggery pokery will be required for that i'm sure, but i reckon it'd be pretty cool to have the table play our music and maybe some kind of milkdrop vis on the screen without having any extra clutter in the room (no need for a stereo even :)).

    I guess I'll need a keyboard and mouse somewhere to control media player if we decide to use the table-pc to play movies through the projector though, unless anyone has any incredibly bright ideas that might help control media player/power dvd via joystick and buttonage?

    Anyway, taht's the revised plan, cheers for looking. Maybe in another 6 months the damn thing will be finished :lol: (Well, actually, I've started buying parts now, so construction should start soon... shame i ain't got a digital camera :()

    Any comments on the changed design are welcome btw

    Oh and heres a sketchup of my kitchen when all is finished (note the curtain thing wont be a gay transparent blue, i just did that so you could see my gorgeous windows :worried: )

    [​IMG]


    edit: i can't spell too well at 4:53am :duh:
     
    Last edited: 3 Aug 2004
  2. JavaDog

    JavaDog What's a Dremel?

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    Kitchen?
     
  3. BronTTu

    BronTTu What's a Dremel?

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    i think this one is better :thumb:
     
  4. toyomatt84

    toyomatt84 What's a Dremel?

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    This would be one heck of a good way to make use of a boring kitchen. Put a nice projector in there and you'll have one awesome party room. Big white curtains make great projector screens. :D
     
  5. Frink

    Frink What's a Dremel?

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    Very intersting concept, however I have one suggestion. If this is meant to be a machine for entertainment, why not have 2 players? If you extend the table/control panel a bit it wouldn't be too difficult to insert another players worth of controls. I'm not talking about an incredibly massive or complex setup but with the room arranged the way you do now (with the mame table in front of the couch) competition would be a ton of fun. Especially if you could project the image onto the curtain via the projector.

    Regardless though, incredibly interesting project that I'll be certain to watch.
     
  6. TekMonkey

    TekMonkey I enjoy cheese.

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    I agree. Since you have such a big table area, you should try to make it two player. Also, a bigger screen to fill up all that table area :naughty:.

    P.S. Will that doulbe as a place to sit and eat? :D
     
  7. ¿þŘΩĐĮĢΫ?

    ¿þŘΩĐĮĢΫ? What's a Dremel?

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    looks like crap though if they are NOT seemless, cause then you got this line going your character to who knows where
     
  8. toyomatt84

    toyomatt84 What's a Dremel?

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    True, but compared to a wall, I'd rather have a curtain.
     
  9. TekMonkey

    TekMonkey I enjoy cheese.

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    Why? I'd think a white wall would work better because it's flat.
     
  10. toyomatt84

    toyomatt84 What's a Dremel?

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    Not when you have cupboards all over it. :D
     
  11. TekMonkey

    TekMonkey I enjoy cheese.

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    Oh...right. :p
     
  12. MrDT

    MrDT fapfap

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    Yep indeedy-do :D

    I'm hoping to keep it as cheap as possible, so one player would cut the cost dramatically (by about £60). If we wanna go multiplayer I'm thinking of having access to the usb sockets for extra joypads... I'd be using the big arcade style ones naturally :D (note: I've designed the cp to be swappable, so if i ever fancy upgrading i can :))

    Also, the image will be displayable via the projector :) I'm working on a way to use it as a media pc too. The system will run myHTPC for music and video, as i can customize it to work by only using the joystick and buttons on the panel :hip: Sadly I'm having a little trouble programming my frontend :( (any good programmers feel free to help, I'll probably start a thread in programming soon)

    You knows it ;) Safe as f... :clap:

    Would you believe me if i said there's less than an inch of space between the monitor and the edge of the table? The perspective of the sketchups may be a little misleading, but it's modelled pretty acurately, so you'll have to trust me :)



    Anyway, my controls (ie joystick and buttons) arrived yesterday, and I've been toying around with the apps I'll be using (genecyst, zdsnes, mame, myhtpc). Woodworking isn't my strongpoint, and the tools I'll be using are at my parents house, so until i can be bothered making my way over to their house and getting my good old dad to help with construction i'm gonna be working more on the setting up and programming side. Updates as soon as there's anything to report :)
     
  13. MrDT

    MrDT fapfap

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    Well, i said i'd check back after making some progress, so here i am :)

    I've ordered an i-pac afterall, as eventually i intend on building replacable control panels, so the i-pac is really the easiest option. It cost £35 inc vat and p+p from andy at ultimarc, and will probably be worth every penny if the stories i've been hearing are true.

    Sadly, no construction as yet as my dad's away on holiday and i need him around for three things:
    1) So i can take advantage of his car and buy some massive sheets of wood
    2) So i can pilfer his power tools :hip:
    3) So he can help me construct the damn thing :D

    However, I have been working on the frontend in the meantime. Here's a little screenie of what I've got so far:

    [​IMG]

    Not quite as groovy as some construction pics I know, but as it's a project log i may as well document everything including software.

    This app will basically launch at start up, and accepts the keys w,a,s,d and 1 as input. Everything else is ignored. The keys will be assigned to joystick movement and p1 start (ie select) via the i-pac, and basically move you around the 4 options in the 'menu'. Pressing start will launch that application.

    Since the program is so small, i'm gonna have it run in the background constantly. Meaning as soon as you exit an app, it receives focus and you can use the menu to select the next app you want to use.

    The program is almost (95%) complete. I'm having a little trouble with highlighting the selected app on the frontend, and have a thread for it here (http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=65678) if any java gurus fancy taking a look. The thing is totally functional though, it keeps track of keyboard presses and launches programs no problem :)

    The code for this app will be totally open source, so when it's finished if you have a use for it you can tailor it to your own needs ;)

    Anyway, i guess that's all the updating i can do for now. Can't wait to start building the table itself :duh:
     
  14. bootupbuddha

    bootupbuddha grunge modder

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    One of these is one my 'todo list' or rather my 'wish list'. consider me subed. I think there are a few things we will learn from your thread. that said, get to work! :dremel:
     
  15. Hiren

    Hiren mind control Moderator

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    Hi Darren good to see this project coming back from the dead. The plans look ace! Can't wait to see you actually start constructing the thing.
     
  16. simon w

    simon w What's a Dremel?

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    Once complete, I will of course be required to thoroughly test into the early hours of the morning :p

    PS - Why not just use myHTPC as your front end and use that to run Mame, etc?
    (actually, can't mame be integrated into myHTPC?)
    edit: http://www.meedio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1433

    Or are you just after extra bragging rights once it's finished? :rolleyes: :D
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2004
  17. MrDT

    MrDT fapfap

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    Cheers for the tip si :)

    Didn't cross my mind that myHTPC could launch my mame stuff alongside the music and videos. Seems like a more elegant solution, so as soon as the resits are over i'll get down to tinkering with the internals of the app.

    Still, not much kudos to be gained from simply molding an app to my needs when compared to writing my own custom app... :D
     
  18. djengiz

    djengiz Pointless.

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    Good luck man! Your the second that I have read today that is starting on a mame box!
     
  19. MrDT

    MrDT fapfap

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    Not really an update

    Well, i've bought the wood for construction, so all that's holding me back now is the tools...

    I'd like to mention that whoever named MDF such as it's "medium density fibreboard" is a ****ing liar. More like HDF tbh, that stuff's heavy! 4* 2ft x 4ft @3/4in is an absolute nightmare to transport without a car :waah: Still my arms are slowly recovering.

    My lack of digital camera is a big problem really, as some WIP pics when construction actually starts would be nice. I'm thinking of just getting a crappy £2.99 disposable camera for pics and then scan them, but that would mean no images til the project (or the film at least) is done :(

    I'm still toying with the software side, but i'd say that side of things is about 95% done. The computer i'll be using has been assembled, though i'm currently trying to scrounge a better soundcard for it. I've programmed the i-pac, and made a test assembly to make sure it works ok and that my control panel layout is comfortable to use. So, it's just a matter of building the table/case now :)

    //probably no updates for a while now, and the images will be temporary ones from my camera phone to start which i'll then replace with proper ones
     
  20. MrDT

    MrDT fapfap

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    Progress :) Hurrah! :clap:

    I've borrowed a whole bunch of tools and construction has begun :D

    So far i've only injured myself once, which ain't bad going for me :worried: Nothing serious, just managed to drill through my hand a bit :blush:

    Anyway, check out some dodgy camera phone pics of the table so far:

    [​IMG]
    [back]

    [​IMG]
    [front with cp fitted]

    [​IMG]
    [front with lid open]

    Apologies for the horrible quality, but what can you do eh?

    Anyway, the table is fully functional as, well, a table... I've mounted the monitor and i'm pretty happy it ain't going anywhere so that's put a smile on my chops :D

    Basically all i need to do now is cut out a rectangle on the top panel so the screen is actually visible, find some plexi for the top layer, mount the computer gubbins in there, paint the damn thing, wire up the i-pac, and finalize my software setup... Hmm, quite a lot left to do really...

    Oh, and I've come up with a slight design change. Instead of cutting the lower part of the panels as in the sketchups i'm gonna dot a load of 1inch diameter circular cutouts in a line along the bottom, partly to keep the table nice and sturdy, and party cos it'll look nicer when i've set up the lighting (which i've decided will be 4*12" green ccfl's btw)

    Anyway, feel free to comment on the work in progress and moan about the crap pics :p
     

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