Saturday, October 27, 2007

Monitor installed...

Later this afternoon, I got the L-brackets installed for the monitor shelf... I also followed Saint's book advice and drilled from the outside cab sides into the support braces and put in a substantial amount of screws to keep those braces from falling... and the monitor.

Monitor is installed, but...

1. Speaker shelf is too long... will need to trim it quite a bit.

2. The monitor needs to be angled upwards a little... will need to experiment with placing some scraps wood underneath the front of it.

Got my monitor...

I've been having trouble deciding between an LCD or a monitor. Add to that the fact that the width of the inside of my cab is 26" and all of the 27" TVs I've found are slightly too wide. So, I decided to go a little smaller. Turns out that 25" LCDs are difficult to find in 4:3 Ratio... they all seem to be widescreen format these days.

Some more digging on found me a 25" Sony monitor. This thing is a monster... very heavy. The dimensions work (I'll have to cut some of the back off my speaker shelf, but no biggie) and the picture quality is outstanding. I connected my laptop and ran a few games on it to see and I'm definitely happy with this choice.

Now, I've got to reinforce the monitor shelf some more... did I mention this thing is HEAVY?!

It remembers its settings when power is lost and has just about every type of video input on the back (see image). No speakers built-in, but that's what the Klipsch 2.1 system is for...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Speakers arrived... and grills

Since I'm going "by the book" on this project, I ordered the Klipsch 2.1 speaker system. It comes with a subwoofer and 2 side speakers. A removeable volume and woofer control also comes with it (with a long cable so it can be located anywhere - trying to figure out where to mount it so it's hidden but easy to access). Got them off of eBay - they're normally around $150.00 but I got a perfect system for half that (shipping included!) and they work great.

I also ordered 2 of the 5.5" x 9" speaker grills from They just arrived and look really nice.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

More work on the cabinet, part 2

Today I did the work required to mount the speaker panel and monitor panel. I installed the support pieces (hot glued to the side and pre-drilled before gluing them in). Those are visible in the first photo. They follow the angle of the that top edge.

The speaker panel was a tight fit and required some serious sanding to get it to fit.

Next, I printed out the templates for the Klipsch 2.1 speaker system - these templates are for mounting the two smaller speakers above the monitor (the subwoofer will sit inside the cabinet on the floor base).

The most difficult part here was just checking my measurements to make certain I had the templates placed properly. There's a limited amount of space for mounting the speakers so they don't interfere with the glass screen protecting the monitor.

Cutting the holes out with the saw wasn't difficult at all. You can't really see them in the photo but there are also screw holes at the four corners of each large hole that will hold the speakers to the panel.

Used a large drill bit to drill starter holes in each corner so I could get the saw blade going.

And the cabinet so far... the speaker panel and the monitor panel are only sitting on their supports and not screwed in yet - I'll need to remove them to paint and attach the speakers when that panel is finally ready to go in.

Need to buy a small flourescent light to mount inside the marquee area at top and start shopping for the monitor/LCD panel I want to put inside.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

More work on the cabinet

Well, I've managed to get the back panels and the back angled panel installed. It's really starting to look like an arcade cabinet now.

The clamps in the picture were being used to hold the upper back panel in place until I could properly connect it to the sides of the cabinet (see picture below for notes on this step).

The gap you see there will be for access to the computer and inner components of the arcade cabinet. I haven't decided if I'll hinge the front door of the cabinet or not. There are some advantages and disadvantages.

What you're seeing here is a closeup of the mounting of the back angled panel and the upper back panel. I used these small pieces of wood as braces. I use a hot glue gun to attach them after I've pre-drilled them.

Everyone does things a little differently, but what I do is pre-drill the pieces first - I drill 2 or 3 holes in the side and these will allow me to place screws into the sides of the cabinet. I also drill 3 or 4 holes in the edges and these allow me to place screws into the angled panel and back angled panel (see next image for closeup).

Here you can see a closeup of the screws that will go into the upper back panel. I've already screwed the bracing piece into the sides of the cabinet.

Pre-drilling works for me because it's very difficult to drill those holes after gluing the piece in place. My electric screwdriver is small enough for me to get in there and tighten the screws down but the drill is too bulky.