Making of a 14.5" CRT "Vertical" Bartop Arcade Machine

Making Of / 02 May 2024

Hi everyone! I came with another bartop arcade cabinet making of. But this time it has a "vertical" screen!

Single screen arcade games are mostly designed for horizontal screens but there are also many games that designed for vertical screens as well. Most of them are shoot em ups but there are also platformers and puzzles too. Most of the iconic vertical games are Pac-man, Donkey Kong, Raiden, 1942, Esp. Ra. De, Frogger, Aero Fighters etc. 

Playing those games on a horizontal screen is also possible with today's emulation technology, but if you're playing on a CRT screen, emulation screen is resized from 240p to 576p which means 2x more scanlines, you get black bands on both sides and also you lost details of pixelart because of the shadowmask of the screen. Detail loss is also caused by the direction of the scanlines. Because the scanlines supposed to be vertically since the graphics are designed by the aspect.

The following image shows the detail loss of a rotated image represented on the same screen.      

I'm not a super fan of vertical games but I really wanted to make a cabinet to play those games as they are supposed to be played.

I bought a 2nd hand 14.5" CRT screen which is the same model with my previous bartop project.

The tv is a Premier brand 14.5" CRT TV. since it's not a generic design, I took measurements of the TV to create the design. 

Since it's a all design, I put the all the models I've created so far together to realize the form factor better.

I created a cut list and ordered some laser cutting service around.

Meanwhile, I made a roadmap for the interior electronic assembly. I was going to use RGB-Pi Jamma product (, which is the best arcade solution for extraordinary refresh rate suport for any arcade game. Also it supports screen rotation for vertical screens.

This was main electronic assembly idea I've planned for following. I also put some pinout references to solder the cables correctly.

 The first important thing about this cabinet was the "jamma to scart" cable conversion. I started labeling the cables and soldering them to their corresponing pins.

I've tested the video output and itworks great!

Now it's time for the button cables. I've used classical concave arcade buttons with mechanical switches.

And all the pins are soldered to the Jamma Connector.

I've used terminal sockets to easily swap the switches.

This is the interior cables so far. There is a DC-DC stepdown module that reduces 12 volts to 5.25 volts which is needed to operate the Raspberry Pi4 that I'm going to use. I used a temporary board to fix the buttons and the joystick and tested them.

Finally I've received the cut panels that I've ordered and whole system was ready to assemble!

I fixed the laths to the panels for all of the 90 degree connections with the screws.  

Pretty primal approach as I drill a hole for the fixing point and tighten a  screw through there.

I finally placed anbd fixed the screen to the screen frame.

I fixed the TV motherboard as well.

This is how it looks so far.

I designed a marquee. Actually I'm continuing the legacy of the title of the cabinet that I bought some years ago which is named as "Delta II". I think they were popular in early 90s. This is called Delta V this time where the V is stands for the "vertical" as obvious :) 

Since the width is 32cm, it wouldn't be possible to print it to a A4 with my printer. So I printed two parts of it and aligned them and cut them together. After that I taped them together. This approach reduces the seam between the prints. 

I made the controller part design with Substance Designer which is always a fun.

I applied the same approach since I can't print out this as one part too.

I started applying sticker folio. I think these are used on cars. I ordered a blue rough folio with some carbon fiber texture on it. It's not perfect but since I've used the same on on the previous designs, I didn't hesitate to continue using it.

I added a vertical board to the top to hold the electronic content.

Cabinet is looking nice alreay. But the screen frame needs to be covered too. And there is a gab between the screen frame and the controller board which I will try to solve on later stages.

I added laths for the screen glass (which is also a plexiglass panel) and covered that laths with black folio as well.

Next,I used corner protector rubbers on the edge of the screen glass. These are sold for covering furnitures with sharp corners to prevent any harm to the little kids that newly walking.

Looks really nice with the balck frame around the screen!

I fixed the power switch and the 12v power supply to the back panel. So I distribute 220v AC to both TV and the PSU.

I fixed a led strip back to the marquee and connected it to the 12v output of the PSU. It was strange that 3 of the LEDs were not working so I cut a 3 LED piece and re-soldered it.


Next, I fixed the jamma connector so the cables and the solders on them won't get damage on movement.

This is how the top compartment looks.

Previously I mentioned about the gap between the controller board and the screen frame. I sed PVC for closeing the gap there.

Worked perfectly!

I 3d printed some stands fur rubber feet. So the cabinet stands better and sticks to the ground.

And finally added stickers for the front buttons and called it finished :)

QC passed by my son Atlas!

Some final shots of the cabinet:

And of course some gameplay. I hope you like the process, and as always thanks for reading!

Two Years of Environment Design for an Unreleased Tactical Shooter Game - Part 3

General / 19 February 2024

1st Part:

2nd Part:

I've been contracted as an environment designer for 2 years by a game company for a tactical shooter game which is unfortunately cancelled before it's released. Here I'm dropping some of the parts I made for the game and putting some in-game footage of the pre-alpha version.

We worked on Unreal Engine 4, and I used Modo, Substance Painter, Substance Designer and Zbrush. 

5. Constuction Yard

Two Years of Environment Design for an Unreleased Tactical Shooter Game - Part 2

General / 18 February 2024

1st Part:

I've been contracted as an environment designer for 2 years by a game company for a tactical shooter game which is unfortunately cancelled before it's released. Here I'm dropping some of the parts I made for the game and putting some in-game footage of the pre-alpha version.

We worked on Unreal Engine 4, and I used Modo, Substance Painter, Substance Designer and Zbrush. 

3. Props that I've made by High poly to Low poly baking workflow on a 2k single Atlas.

4. Additional Various Places

Making of a 10" CRT Bartop Arcade Machine

Making Of / 17 February 2024

Hi everyone. A while ago I bought a second hand 10 inch CRT TV from a seller. Considering the size of it, it was looking great to make a CRT arcade cabinet with that one. 

  1. My Previous Cabinet Projects

Previously I made a cabinet with an 8" LCD screen. That was a portable, small, 1 player good cabinet. Only downside of that one was it has LCD screen, not a CRT.

Next I acquired a 13" CRT TV and made a cabinet with that screen for 2 players.

The new one is the middle one on this render:

2. 10" TV and the Idea

The TV a got is a 10" Schaub Lorenz with a SCART input. I heard the name for the first time.

The most important feature of this TV is that it is a multy-sync TV that supports refresh rates  from 50 hz to 60 hz. This is important since many arcade games have variated screen refresh rates like 54hz, 57hz etc.

Since it has a small size, the phospor pattern is so visible but as a good news, scanlines are less recognizable. 

3. Making of the Case

Before getting into wood panels (actually I use MDF panels) I disassemblied the TV and quickly measured the outer dimensions of the CRT tube. This way I made a quick design with Solidworks to fetch a cut list.

And I exported the DWG files for the panels and ordered a laser cut service from a local advertisement company.

Once I received the cut panels, I realized that TV mainboard can't fit under the tube, so I placed the motherboard to the top on my 3d design (which was a unnecessary doubt since I see that it can fit, later).  

4. Constructing the Cabinet with Panels

I bought some screws and laths to connect the boards. Laths are the best mounting aid for the MDF panels. I measured and cut the laths and placed them on the side panel first.

I used my hand drilling machine to drill holes and tighten the screws.

So after fixing the fisrt set of laths, I placed the panels and hoped that I didn't made a mistake on my quick design :)

Since I needed to fix the laths on the both side panels, I needed to fix them on the exact opposite position. Quadrant is a useful too for matching the angles on both sides. I drew lines for the positions of the laths.

After fixing all the laths, I drilled and screwed the panels one by one.

Since I couldn't be able to draw the hole for the tube hole, I needed to cut it by hand using a jigsaw. I made a terrible job but I was confident that I can cover the problematic gaps with sticker vinyl.

Finally I managed to fix the tube to the frame.

Next, I made a platform for to place the raspberry pi and jamma connector.

5. Electronic Touches and Finalization

Since I'm using a TV, I need to user the remote control of the TV to adjust image etc. It's needed to place the IR sensor of the remote control, because the mainboard of the TV will be placed at the bottom back side of the cabinet. So I desoldered the sensor and soldered a cable to place the sensor at the top of the cabinet.

After moving the sensor, I soldered cables for the connector part. I used a 40 pin connector to detach the controller panel anyhtime in future for maintenance purposes.

I used a DC voltage stepdown module for reducing 12V DC voltage to 5 volts. This way I can use both 12V and 5V DC for jamma to operate raspberry pi and the speaker amp circuit.

I use RGB-Pi Jamma circuit ( for emulating games. RGB-Pi is the perfect device with its own software which allows me to play the games at their original refresh rates. It works great with multisync CRT screen so this way TV shows the smooth scroll gaming on specific refresh rates. Classic arcade emulators run at fixed 60hz / 60fps. This way games that designed less than 60hz runs faster than their original way or you get screen tearing, frame skipping or other issues on emulation.

I placed the power switch to the left side of the cabinet by cutting a hole for it. I connected the 220 AC input the that switch and distributed that voltage to a 12v DC adapter and the TV itself.

Works fine! So I closed the back panels and moved on with the covering the panels with vinyl folio.

I got some spare sticker folio from the last project so I applied it to the side and front panels.

I used the previous design that I made for the LCD cabinet and put a CRT label to the top. Printed and applied to the plexiglass I have for the marquee area.

For the controller area, I used Substance Designer to make a procedural panel design and applied a shading for it with PBR render node within the software.

I fixed the plexiglass to the marquee window with hot glue. And then I used double sided tape to fix the printed out paper over it.

I cut the holes with the knife on the controller print-out. I cut the same holes over the PVC plate so the paper won't be affected by the hand sweat or dirt in time of usage.

This is how it looks so far.

There is a screen glass I ordered for cutting and it will be placed over the actual screen. But before fixing it over the CRT screen, I needed to cover the area around the screen with black sticker vinyl.

Since I badly cut the frame around the screen, I applied some pvc sheet over the gaps between the screen and the frame by double sided tape.

After that, I covered a lath with the same black vinyl and fixed it to the plexiglass with screws. And then I drilled and screwed the laths that attached with the plexiglass to the cabinet side boards.

I had some rubber corner protection stripes that sold for protecting children to get injured by the sharp corners of the home furniture. I fixed that stripes to the screen glass edges.

Looks better!

A quick tesy by my son.

Meanwhile the study room is devastated.

As some final touches, I added an LED strip for the Marquee lighting.

For the sound system, I had a spare speakers that I had by my old broken hometheater system. I used center speaker set of it and fixed the speakers to the back board.

And the cabinet is ready to use. I put all 3 pieces I made so far side by side.

Hope you like the result, and as always, thanks for tuning in.

Two Years of Environment Design for an Unreleased Tactical Shooter Game - Part 1

General / 01 February 2024

I've been contracted as an environment designer for 2 years by a game company for a tactical shooter game which is unfortunately cancelled before it's released. Here I'm dropping some of the parts I made for the game and putting some in-game footage of the pre-alpha version.

We worked on Unreal Engine 4, and I used Modo, Substance Painter, Substance Designer and Zbrush. 

1. Subway Atlas with Substance Designer

2. Various Places

Making of a CRT Tabletop / Bartop Arcade Machine - Part 2/2

Making Of / 24 August 2023

Let's continue from the previous part. you can find the first part by this link:

6. Texturing the Cabinet

Before getting into cosmetic details, it was urgent to add another layer over the controller panel, because hand sweat was not good for MDF. I decided to use a translucent plexiglass I had over a while, so I drilled the same holes on it, to use it as an overlay.

Since I was using a translucent plate, I decided to add a personal touch to print and apply it between the MDF and the Plexiglass. I exported this sketch and made a drawing with my good old Samsung Tablet.

I printed out the sketch top two A4 paper and align them. Next I cut the holes and then mounted the controls back.


Now we got a nice shiny look.

Next, I cut a slot hole on the marquee board and mounted another translucent plexiglass behind it.

I printed out another visual. I revised the "Delta" brand and called this Bartop Cabinet as "Delta M" which stands for medium size :) I also added LED lights to lit the marquee part.

I revised the same design with a hand sketch look with my tablet as well.

Now I used spare foils that I had from the previous cabinet and applied to the cabinet starting from side surfaces.

After covering the side surfaces, I moved on by covering the frame of the CRT screen with black foil.

Now it's time for applying the glass in front of the screen. I used another plexiglass for that. I added 2 wooden slats to the sides. Also I drilled holes on plexiglass and fixed it with screws.

Looks shiny!

Now it's time for making everything black inside the outer glass. I started by using black sticker foils on the slats, and then the inside surfaces.

The difference is remarkable!

And I added a rubber edge corner to the screen glass to make a better intersection with plexiglass of the controller glass. 

7. Peripherals Add-On

As a final touch, I decided to add the following:

  • 2 ports USB extension
  • Video Sync port for Guncon Lightguns
  • On/Off Switch for the Marquee Lighting
  • On/Off Switch for the 12V adapter, so it cuts off the jamma connection (This is needed for using composite input, otherwise TV can't process both signals from composite input and the jamma,/scart)

For that purpose I used USB extension cables and a female RCA port and 2 pieces of switches. I also 3d modeled and 3d printed a part to hold these switches and ports. 

Because of a minor design mistake, I used a 3d print finishing tool (it's more like a soldering gun with a flat tip) I melted part to comply with the cables.

Finally I mounted the part to the back board of the cabinet. And used my labeling machine to stamp some labels.

With this add on I can connect Guncon 2 lightguns to play gun games, like this:

You can check this Youtube Short:

I'm also attaching some family photos of Delta series. Delta II, Delta S and the new member: Delta M.

8. Conclusion

It was a great experience to build this cabinet. What I love with this cabinet is like these:

  • Screen size and the overal size is really good/compact. 
  • It has CRT, which is the best experience with the "pixels."
  • Smooth scrolling emulation with RGB-Pi in precise on frame rate specific for any game or gaming system is amazing. This makes you perfectionist :)
  • System also can emulate other 8-bit and 16-bit systems like Megadrive, Commodore 64, Snes, Amiga, even Playstation.
  • Jamma port allows me to use origibal arcade boards to use on this cabinet.
  • Composite input allows the system to be used as a simple monitor for attaching any old-school console.
  • 2 or more player can play games together with additional USB ports.
  • Guncon2 Lightguns are supported to play virtua cop etc.

Thanks for reading this, I hope you like the process, and I hope it can be helpful to you on creating your own arcade system. See you soon.

I'm adding some random visuals of the cabinet with different systems and games. Enjoy & cheers!

Making of a CRT Tabletop / Bartop Arcade Machine - Part 1/2

Making Of / 24 August 2023

Hello everyone, recently I made another Bartop style arcade cabinet with a CRT screen. This was a real fun project, but the best part is I made it in home by the tools I have. So you can consider it's most part by "DIY".

Bartop Arcade Cabinets are roughly more like a trimmed version of upright (classical) cabinets. But they are also designed with smaller screens so the size is smaller as well. You can put them on a table to play. I made an LCD version with one player controller previously. You can check that previous project by this link: 


1. Starting Point of Designing the Cabinet

1.1. The Screen

The main purpose of this cabinet was the "Premier" branded CRT TV that I saw in the house of my mother-in-law. It was a 14" CRT TV that show the pixels in a very good way. Also that TV supports refresh rates from 50hz to 60hz. And one the best thing about that TV was that it aligns screensize automatically, I don't know how. 

That TV made me think of creating another bartop cabinet by using that kind of CRT screen since it's small, but had enough size to show the pixels and games.

1.2. The Emulator and The Hardware

Another component that I had was an "RGB-Pi jamma hat" that can be used on Raspberry Pi devices to emulate arcade games. You can purchase different types of RGB-Pi products by this link:

Normally if I had a RGB-Pi Scart instead of RGB-Pi Jamma I could connect it directly to these TVs but since my connection type is JAMMA then I needed to convert the jamma signal pinout to scart pinout. 

The best thing about these devices, they have a special software that compatible only with this hardware that runs the games in various refresh rates fixed to the original rate of the arcade game that you play. This part is the real tricky and one of the most important part on arcade game emulation. Because with modern equipments, we're playing those in a wrong speed. Every arcade game back in time had a specific refresh rate. Here are some examples:

  • Street Fighter II - 59.637405 Hz
  • Shadow Dancer - 57.230000 Hz
  • Mortal Kombat 1-2-3 - 54.706840 Hz

Consider these values as FPS of those games. But once you play those games in a PC, PSP, PS Vita or Retropie etc. you have a fixed 60 fps refresh rate. Thich means for the sake of smooth scrolling, emulator shows more frames than the actual framerate of the game. you play Mortal Kombat 9.6 percent faster than you used to be in 90s. Shocking, eh? Check this video.

Original refresh rate can only be achieved on a proper CRT screen with a proper sync signal which is generated by a proper raspberry pi device with a proper emulator. So my electronics setup is formed. 

2. JAMMA to SCART Conversion

Only problem was that my RGB-Pi hardware was JAMMA version. So I needed to make a convertion from Jamma to Scart. Because SCART is the easiest and the best connection for the TVs which is analog RGB.

I followed this two diagram and applied it between a jamma connector and a female scart connector. 



Pinout is pretty easy. Also the Jamma Connectors need to have both 5V and 12V input. So I used a LM2596 DC-DC step down module to output both 12V and 5V through a single 12V adapter. 

After testing the pinout, I added 4 potentiometers to adjust R G B channels for better picture and adjust the Sync signal for for supporting different arcade systems. After that I designed a case for that little adjustment board where I also added a USB port to connect additional devices in the future.


When I was testing this piece, I accidentally burned the IC on the RGB-Pi circuit. That IC was an amplifier for the sound channel. But this is only needed if you connect the cound channels on a blank speakers. Since I was connecting my sound output to a TV, and the TV has it's own amplifier on its board, I just shot circuited sound channels directly to sound pins of the Jamma edge connected, which means I bypassed that burnt amp IC. 

3. Acquiring the TV

Now I had a fully functional convertion cable but I needed a TV. I checked the second-hand seller websites and found a cheap 14" CRT TV. The brand was the same, but the product model was different than the one my relative had. 

Look at the production date, it's May 2005! Which is very late for this kind of TVs I suppose!

4. Tests and Final Preparations

I tested the TV with my Jamma to Scart cable, and it even works with the original Neo-Geo MVS arcade board!

Meanwhile I bought an aluminum case for the Raspberry Pi 4 1GB version to work as a cooling system. I don't like fans, since it's not exceeding 55 °C with this case, I prefer using it like that.


4. Designing the Cabinet

As a starter, I disassembled the case of the CRT TV and took measurements to fix it to the new case I'm going to design.

I measured the board of the TV as well. By the way, there is 20000 volts inside that tube. Normally you need to discharge it, I thought I did too, but turned out to be that I didn't! Luckily I didn't realized it by getting shocked but I it with my multimeter's NCV feature. You point the multimeter to an area and it checks that there is a high voltage there or not. So there was... Luckily I didn't touched anything while dissamblying and assemblying it :S

Anyway, I applied the simple measurements to my design, and defined simple boards to form my bartop design.

After creating the rough design, I go for the bill of materials (BOM) and created a list of panels to buy them from Bauhaus around here. 

5. Constructing the Cabinet

I ordered 8mm thick MDF plates as you see the dimensions right above. Bauhas can't cut these boards as their outline. They can cut only rectangle shape. So it was my job to cut these angular shapes by myself. 

I started to cut the inside hole of the CRT panel first. It was hard to cut as a good linear way with Jigsaw tool but it will be easy to hide these mistakes.

After cutting the front board, I fixed the CRT screen.

I cut the side parts as on my design and constructed the shape a little more. While I fix the parts with screw, I used a chamfering tool to make the screws planar with the surface, to get a better look.

For drilling the hard positions, I used this flex screwing apparatus which was real helpful for those cases.

I moved on constructing the cabinet with the same approach and placed the screen as well.

The most important part is since the screen is not discharged, I needed to close up the cabinet as soon as possible. So I fixed the back side boards and tested the system.

This TV system had a RCA input as well. 

I moved that port to the side of my cabinet to use the system as a screen for other consoles as well. Also I could use this port to connect my Commodore 64 to the cabinet.

I tested the port with my Commodore 64.

Next I placed the speakers of the TV to the side boards. And drilled holes for the sound to be not muffed. For drilling pattern, I created a quick placement and printed it to use as a template.

I used the same hole chamfering tool to make the holes look better. It was an unnecessary approach since I will cover that surface (including holes) with a stgicker folio.

And finally connected the speakers back.

I positioned the scart cable to the top and connected my jamma to scart assembly to that cable. 

Testing the system and it's OK. That means I didn't broke anything with the TV while I'm mounting it to my cabinet. Using my fancy keyboard on bluetooth since I have no controller installed yet.

I added a slot hole to the both side for carrying the cabinet. I driled two big holes and connected two holes by a single saw. It's 17 kilograms so far. Can be carried easily by two people.

Shape is slowly forming. 

I printed the curve sketch of the holes for the controller board and I drilled the holes through it.

I screwed the controllers from the backside but before doing that, I 3d printed an alignment ring to locate the controller centered with the hole on the controller board.

Next I connected and soldered a 220V on/off switch to the right side. 

This is how the cabinet looks so far.

Since I mounted all the buttons and the joysticks, now it's time for cabling. I made the cabling by having the ability demount the control panel entirely. So I added connectors to the both cabinet side cables and control panel cables. I soldered a 40 pin connector to the controller board so I can connect the pins by a flex cable from controller panel to Raspberry Pi.

This is how it's mounted to the cabinet. I will connect the 40-pin flex cable to the jamma part.

Next I soldered cables to jamma for Player 1 and Player 2 controls, and I terminated these cables with another 40-pin connector.

I followed this diagram and applied it to jamma connector for the controller pinouts. Source:

Now the controlers are ON!

Let's play some Metal Slug!

Now it's time for cosmetic details. See you on the next part.

P.S. This post was actually one piece. But Artstation gave some errors about the length of the blog post. You can check the 2nd part by this link:

My Arcade Cabinet Purchase and Modification Journey (Part 2)

Making Of / 22 August 2023

Hello! Previously I was modifying an arcade cabinet for the best way of using it according to my needs. Now this is the second part of the journey.

You can find the first part in my blog, and by this link:

1. Fixing the cosmetics on the Coin Slot

Coin slot has a removed plate on it. Possible that plate was having the shape of the section profile of the coins that used on that machine. That kind of coins were haing S shaped section profile.

Anyway, it was looking very bad, so I decided to make it look better. 

As a starter I used the existing blown rivets to hold the screws I'm going to add. I dirlled a hole through them with M2 drill by hand. 

Next I used M2.5 "Tap" to open threads on that hole.

You can see the threads inside.

And M2.5 countersunk screw driven very good.

I measured all the geometry around the slot to design a 3d printed frame on it. I used solidworks to model it.

I made some measurement mistake on the top left corner of the part but it's not so important for the mounting, so I keep it like that.

Screws didn't look good on the black part because they were very shiny. I made a partial "bluing" on the screws. That means I heated them and dropped into a cooking oil. That protects it from rusting and gives a black color which was the main purpose.

More info about bluing:

And this is how it looks.

Insterting some coins.

2. Adding USB Extention Ports and Sync Port for Light Guns

Since there is also a Raspberry Pi inside the cabinet, adding USB ports outside the cabinet would be a nice touch to play 3-4 player games or, playing away from the cabinet with gamepads etc.

The other port that I wanted to add was the RCA port for the Sync signal of the CRT screen. This signal is important for the "light guns" that are used for playing gun games by tracking the coordinate of the screen where the gun is pointed. For that purpose I acquired 2 pieces of Namco Guncon 2 lightgun from Ebay.

These guns are connected by both USB plug and sync connector. Otherwise they don't work.

I used simple USB extenstion cables, but first, I needed to cut the front hatch of the cabinet. I drilled a hole, and used fret saw to cut the panel.

I designed a little part to hold the ports and 3D printed it.

This part is tightened by the help of the nuts at the back side.

And this is how it looks.

I also 3d-printed some hangers to put the guns on the cabinet. Later on I removed them but it was looking not bad :)

Now I'm able to play with the light guns but other important thing for that guns is they need high brightness on the screen. But that high brightness is not good for other games because this way screen lacks of good contrast and saturation. So, I needed a potentiometer to control the screen brightness easily without accessing the back door of the cabinet each time.  

So I soldered a paralled connection to the existing potentiometer of the screen controller board inside the cabinet and soldered a potentiometer to that cable. And fixed the new potentiometer to the back of the cabinet for easy access.

This is not a good looking installation but it's backstage. So I can live with that :D

And this is how it's played :)

Well, this is the end of my arcade cabinet adventure, at least limited with this cabinet... Thanks for reading, and see you soon!

Making of an LCD Tabletop / Bartop Arcade Machine

Making Of / 19 February 2023

Hello, in this post I will show the progress of a mini arcade cabinet creation. This is not a regular arcade cabinet, it's more like the ones that called "table-top" designs. This is how it looks:

And this is how it's played by:

The idea has came from that I had some spare buttons and joysticks when I used on the real arcade cabinet that I acquired. So with that spare parts and more importantly the 7" screen that I had for long time, I decided to assemble a mini cabinet with a Raspberry Pi. 

So first, I made a quick design on Solidworks.

Made some coloring and texturing by the library.

So with the screen size, form factor and the buttons and joystick I have at hand, I pretty satisfied with the result, so it was OK to continue making this real. But first I made a cardboard production. It's easier, less time consuming and low on cost to see how the thing will look like.

I extracted the surfaces from solidworks like this:

And printed these curves to use them as an overlay on cutting the cardboards. Regular printers are good devices that prints in a precise scale of your CAD software. So it2s the most important part that you had the correct scale of the production relative to your 3d model.  


I easily managed to build the shape by packing tape.

So the general size, and the components look allright, cosidering the inner parts to have enough clearance to put electronic components as well. With that confirmed, I went for shopping some Plywood, MDF etc.

I bought 4mm Plywood (lighter wood), 8mm MDF (darker one), 3mm MDF (with white layer coated). This is the bill of materials. PDF version can be downloaded by this link (if you're going to use, don't forget to check the dimensions and scaling):

First I put the templates that I printed with a regular printer over the wooden boards and draw the boarders around the templates. Then I started cutting with fretsaw.

I used wooden sticks to connect perpendicular boards together. I used self tapping screws to connect the sticks with the boards.

To make the 90 degrees connections I used a hand drill to make the hole for the self tapping screw, and then drive it through.

This is the look of connected boards, which made me happy since it's my first experience to work with wooden material like this.

I cut the rest of the planar boards with a saw.

And connected the rest of the boards. Result is like this:

My workspace is kind of messed up.

Now it's time for the side boards with 8mm MDFs. I used the same templates I used for the cardboard process to draw the border of cutting.

I used the same automatic saw to form the curvy sides. I wasn't so sure but it worked good since it's a flexible saw.

So I mounted the side boards too.

After this part, I drilled the holes for the button and the joystick.

Since the joystick I have, has a metal plate to screw to the wood from top, I ended up with a thickness on the top of the 8mm board. That was the reason why I also have 3mm white MDF. I used it to cover this metal sheet. I also applied some thick 2 sided sticker tapes to balance the thickness of the metal plate.

This is how it looks when I added the 3mm MDF over the 8mm MDF.

So I mounted the buttons. These buttons has a tightening ring and mounted as through hole. So they also act like a fastener for these two boards.

I ordered some carbon textured sticker foils to cover the boards. I had 3 types of foils:

Metallic Gray (for the surfaces between sides)
Black Carbon (for the corners, later I removed them)
Pain black (screen area)
Dark Blue Carbon (sides and corners)
Metallic Carbon (for the button area)

So started applying stickers over the boards, by first unmounting them, applying sticker, then cutting the edges.

Screen and the button area are like this:

Next I covered the side edges on both inner and outer surfaces (these photos show that I only applied to the outer surfaces but later on I covered the inner surface as well). And also I used plain gray sticker for the rest of the surfaces.

For the intersection corners, I couldn't stick a simple foil over, because it wouldn't be rigid and will be peeled. So, I made up an approach with a transparent PET sheets I have. I store this kind of transparent sheets for using on many cases like repairs, or any other developments I make using 3d printing etc. I get them from the toy packages mostly.

So first, I cut a stripe from the PET sheet, and I bend it. For that I had a guillotine paper cutter.

After cutting the stripe, I apply foil over it. I used black carbon foil on this one, but later on I didn't like the result and I switched to the dark blue foil instead of black. Progress is the same. Applying foil over the pet stripe makes it more durable and rigid. 

Next I placed stripe with foil to the guillotine, but this time I used the black tiny tool to squish the bending edge through the middle of the stripe. You can use any rounded and tight metal that doesn't scratch the PET but make it easy to bend through the rail of the guillotine cutter.

This is how the bended corner looks.

Next I mounted a LED stripe for the lighting the cabinet. This board is the G board on the part list I shared above. Then I covered it with plain gray foil and mounted back.

My lovely daughter is playing some Sonic racing game with her PS Vita back there.

As I mentioned before, I didn't like the black corner covers, so I changed them with dark blue.

For the top lit panel, I had only frosted plexiglass at the hand. So I moved on with the frosted PG and ordered a translucent one to switch later on.

There materials are very fragile on bending without heating. But you can cut them with the back of the box cutter. You use the back of the knife 4-5 times, and bend it. So it breaks through the scratched line.

I drilled the holes and mounted it first. I will use corner covers, so it's not important that there is a clearence at the edges.

So the following part is the graphic design for the lit panel. As you know from the previous blog post, I bought an old school cabinet, which is named as "Delta II". I decided to move on with the same name with this one by naming it as Delta S. S is for "small".

I took the photo of the existing cabinet and recreated the same design in Affinity Photo.

"Delta S" looks more like "Delta 5" but I can live with that :)

I used 2 sided tape to stick the printing to the plexiglass. These photos shows the application on the translucent PG not the frosted one, but process is the same.

So I applied the one with the frosted PG and looks nice but blurry which I will solve on later stages when my clear glass PG is arrived.

One big problem was I had no T-molds for the edges of the cabinet. You can see the MDF section on the both sides that you can see the wood/MDF texture through it. I solved that problem by discovering a nice material with a pure luck. We got a 1.5 year old baby and I ordered some rubber corner protection attachments for the furnitures in 1-2 areas in the house. 

The corner rubber parts are arrived, we used on some furniture corners but they put some strip rubber as well. Which was useless for our baby's safety with the furniture, but that stripes were great and useful for the cabinet I'm making.

It looks flexible and durable. So I used it on all the edges through the side parts as well.

It looks great but it needed some stapling to secure the connection better. Because I don't like it when it peeled of at the corner bends. I know it doesn't look good but until I find a better glue solution, it's better to keep it that way.

I designed and 3d printed a screen frame.

Screen I'm using is a waveshare 7" DPI screen which I was holding for a long time for a project. finally got it used on. I 3d printed it in a beautiful evening when we got a lovely snowing in Ankara.

I applied the printed frame and it looks great.

Now it's time for the electronic assembly!

The electronic components I used on this projects are:

  • Raspberry Pi 3B+
  • DPI screen hat for raspberry pi
  • DC-DC Step-down voltage circuit
  • USB game controller circuit
  • Audio amphilicator circuit
  • DC jack connector
  • 2 pcs 8 ohm speakers

I decided to feed the system with 12V DC adapter since the LED stripes for the lighting works with 12V DC. But since the rest of the components works with 5V DC, I used a step down converter to set 5V output from the 12V input.

I sketched some placement over the bottom MDF board to fix the components. I also 3d printed some rings to offset the components from the surface when I screw them.

This is the placement:

I adjusted the step-down circuit to output 5.04 volts.

I soldered some cables to the raspberry pi for USB port, analog audio output (later I removed it), and power input, 

And after connecting all switches to the USB board, final electronic assembly is like this:

As a final addition, I put an SD card extension cable for accessing the SD card easily.

Looks like a cyberpunk B-movie set from 90s :)

Finally I can test the machine. 

This is Retropie loading screen. There is a good match about the "carbon texture" choice I made on the sticker foils :)

A comparison with the draft and final product!

Some shots with the big cabinet and the new one.

Let's test it out!

This is a brief timelapse of the project.

And one final shot with the clearglass light panel.

It was an amazing experience to create something like this. Normally I do 3d printing and electronic assembly to that cases with more lower form factors. But this one was a good practice to work with wood, larger form factor and a way of both mechanic and electronic device. I hope you like it too. And see you soon.

My Arcade Cabinet Purchase and Modification Journey (Part 1)

General / 22 October 2022

One of my childhood dream around 1990s or so was having an arcade cabinet at home! It was nearly impossible since they were more like industrial products which are

  • (possibly) too expensive,
  • hard to maintain as an end-user,
  • and big!

But the games on them were impressive. I was just a child who has an 8-bit Computer which is a Commodore 64 with tape deck. Most of the C64 games had limited number of sprites and low res graphics. When I go to "Atari Saloons" (that is how the arcade galleries were called in Turkey), I was seeing the same titles I had on my C64 with a huge difference.

You can compare the following images to see what I mean, or how I dissappointed with the games a had :)

Shadow Dancer (1991 - C64 ver. release year)

Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja (1989 - C64 ver. release year)

Also there were incredible arcade specific titles! Street Fighter 2 and Art of Fighting were my favorites. And there were too many titles that added to my list in years.

A quick introduction about Arcade Cabinets

First of all a CRT monitor is attached to the system. There are LCD alternatives nowadays but CRT is a must for me. 

Because of this:

Besides the monitor, there is speaker(s) on the system, controller sticks and buttons, and most important thing: the coin slot. These are coin based machines that designed for making money. So they work by inserting coins to the system until you lose.

So coin mechanism, speakers, monitor, controller sticks, and the buttons were all connected to a 36 pin female edge connector that named JAMMA (Japanese Amusement Machine Manufacturers Association).

And finally all those interface elements were connected to the game system. Game system is a PCB that has the operating environment and the game roms. These machines were booting in 1-3 seconds. nothing like today's PC/Console operating systems. There were no controller driver interfaces, so latency was zero for the controller inputs. 

Screen refresh rate and the FPS were fixed to 60. There were no overload on the system since the games were hardcoded in the roms and running fully in the memory.

These motherboards of the game systems has the same edge connector (male one) on the PCB. So you just unplug the JAMMA connector from the game system and plug it to another to make that arcade cabinet run different system or game. 

So, making a dream come true...

After all this introduction let's cut to the chase :) A month ago I bought an Arcade Cabinet to make this childhood dream of mine come true. I bought it from a local guy that has 50-100 cabinets from 90s in this storage area. That means the cabinet I bought was a production of 80s or 90s. It was a generic type that called Delta II. I don't know if there was a Delta I :)

I especially choose the model because this model was the most remembered model I played in my childhood. I even 3d modeled one a few years ago which is very similar. 

Project page:

Here is a photo of the cabinet I bought.

It has a CRT screen in good condition which is the most important part. But as the game system it had a Pandora's Saga CX. In a generic way Pandora Box devices are emulator loaded linux devices that runs different arcade game systems but most importantly they uses JAMMA connectors. So they report in 15Khz analog video output even it's an emulation. So it's loaded with 2600 games and you can expand it by attaching USB stick or edit the SD card on the device. 

Pandora Box solution for the arcade machines is the cool and modern way to play arcade games nowadays, but since there is emulation involved, it means glitches on the smooth-scrolling, and input latency. The latter is not much recognizable, but non-existance of the smooth-scrolling is not good for the scrolling-obsessed people like me. It's not much recognizable on many games so I could live with that, but I didn't :D

Modifications and Fixes

My Arcade Machine was dirty as hell. This was how it looked:

I cleaned it up of course. Except the monitor circuit, because there are tens of thousands of voltages stored on the back of the CRT monitors, without discharging it's pretty lethal to touch any contacts by accident. Let's say I left the dust as a protection layer for the circuit :)

1. Coin system / Disabling Freeplay

My arcade machine was set to "freeplay mode" which means you don't need to insert coins. But freeplay mode on Pandora Boxes prevents demos of the games. What I mean is when you select a game from the menu, it loads the game as a coin is already inserted. So you see the started game, that way you can't watch the game's demo, story, or the loop that you're familiar by watching them in the Arcade Galleries when you're out of money :D

Free play mode should be terminated but that means I needed to find a way to insert coins. 

This is the harch door of the coin mechanism. I removed the lock from it so I was going to add a button to that hole. 

I had a spare circuit with buttons, so I cut the conductive parts for the buttons of that PCB to use on the back of the hole.

I scratched the soldermask of the PCB, and soldered cables to the contacts.

I placed the button that belongs to that spare PCB. There were several colors and my daughter picked this one <3

And finally I connected the cables to the switch that operates with the coin mechanism. This way coin system was remained functional as well.

This is the final look of the coin button.

And this is how it works.

2. Changing the Sticks

Existing sticks were in bad condition. Left stick (player 1) was fixed in a slightly rotated position, so sometimes when you thought you're pressing right, but it was recognizing it as up-right. Also wsometimes it was biting my hand once it's stuck between the gap when I move the stick to a direction.

I had the same spare parts from the old/cheap USB arcade stick that has a click-type stick. 

Existing sticks and the buttons were mounted to a thick MDF. The holes of the buttons adn the sticks were drilled through the metal sheet plate and this MDF. Since I can't change the holes on the metal sheet of the cabinet, I decided to make my own board for the new sticks. Because I needed a thinner board to mount the stick. otherwise it will be too short over the thick MDF board. I started by de-mounting everything.

This is the back side of the sheet metal of the cabinet after removing the MDF.

I found a laminated flooring plate on my balcony, I don't know where I got that from the thickness of it was perfect to mount the new sticks to.

So I fixed the thick one to this one by packaging tape and draw the holes with a pen to create a template.

I traced the same drawing over 3 pieces of A4 papers to scan them and re-draw that holes on my CAD software. This way I will be able to order a plate with that cut by a router in future. But I was planning to drill the holes on this one by myself.

I purchased a hole drilling set for my drill. So first I pointed the centers of the each hole by a screw, than drilled all the holes.

...and all the holes are drilled. I vacuumed and mopped the ground with soapy water before my wife sees this mess. So I didn't kicked out from the house.

Now I cut the outer boundary with a fretsaw. By determning that it's best to make this cuttings outside (balcony).

For the placement of the stick mechanisms through the new plate, I needed to enlarge the hole of the stick. Since I got a circular hole, it was easy for me to draw a larger rectangle that has the same center. And I cut it too. 

I mounted the sticks (I used counter nuts as well by a thankful warning of one of my friends).

And this is the new sticks installed to the new board!

These sticks were amazing improvement after the previous ones. Previous ones were called battops which I prefer for fighting games, but I had no choice about the sticks I had in my stock. So I ordered some buttons and new battop sticks. 

While they were being shipped from China, I bought a NEO-GEO motherboard and a miraculous cartridge for it: 161 in 1 series 2 pack from dealer I purchased the arcade machine from!!!!

3. Neo-Geo Game System - MVS

As I mentioned screen tearing about Pandora systems before on this blog post. Since I had a big arcade machine, I wanted to have an original game system for it too. So I acquired Neo-Geo game system to run SNK / Neo-Geo games. Best thing about that is it has a 161 in 1 cartridge which contains the great pack of the NG games. Also, luckily, I bought the specific game cartridge my all time favorite "Art of Fighting" too! Because it's not included in the 161 game pack.

Normally, on other systems and Neo-Geo as well, we were limited with a one board and one game. This is an expensive way to play games. Considering the benefit of 161 in 1 pack, and gaming in a traditional way (without emulation) I bought it.

You can check the difference with the Pandora and Neo-Geo system by this video (tags of the videos are reversed, sorry). Please watch it in 60 fps. You will see that bottom one has a frame skip in almost 2 times in a second.

The SNK / NEo-Geo motherboard was terrible too. I cleaned it first.

After that to switch the system from Pandora to Neo-Geo, I needed to access the back side of the cabinet which means moving it first, and change the JAMMA cable. I needed to find a way to make the change without moving the cabinet. Also there was a need of changing the Neo-Geo cartridge when it's needed as well. I solved this later :)

4. Changing the buttons with the LED ones

The existing buttons were terrible. Some of them was concave and some of them convex. Also they were very hard on tension. My daughter was not enjoying pressing them, I could clearly see it.

Finally buttons I ordered are arrived from China, and they were looking cool. This was the set I bought:

Acutally this set is for making an arcade controller for a PC or modern consoles with USB support. Which means modding for me to adapt it to my arcade cabinet. I only interested with the buttons BTW, sticks arenot important at this stage because the ones I installed already were very similar to these. But the colored spheres on those were worh changing with the white ones.

Buttons had this kind of connectors and cables for them.

I cut the connector cables top test the polarities. Because both LED lights on the buttons and the switch were using the same ground. I had no chance to connect the ground and button pole reversed. While testing the cables, I couldn't be able to  both lit the LEDs and make the button work. If LEDs are ON, button was not working. If I switch the cables, then button was working but LED is not this time. 

After getting crazy a while I I realized that the USB converter PCB of the buttons has all +5V side connected :) Normally grounds should be connected!

So only way was to cut the LEDs and re-solder them in reversed way. I re-soldered 2 LEDs per each.

These buttons has a cherry MX type switches inside btw. Which makes them very light and enjoyable.

All the cables that comes from JAMMA socket has a quick terminal sockets. So, I used some copper sheet and soldered it to the cables to make a good connection with that sockets.

I take a +5V from the power suppy of the cabinet and connected all new connectos with the sockets according to the realted button assignment.

And we're on fire!

5. Switching Game Systems from the Front Door

Since I didn't want to move the cabinet each time I want to switch the game system (Pandora or Neo-Geo) I mounted the Pandora to the other side of the plate. And by the help of a new plate, I mounted Neo-Geo to the next to Pandora. This is the plan I made.

So I added the board first.

Screwed it to the edge of the woods behind, and screwed the Neo-Geo to the board.

This is how the systems side by side so I can detach the jamma and connect to other one each time I needed.

After a few trials, I can easily change the cardridge of Neo-Geo, even I reach to the dip switches. Believe me it's better than moving the cabinet and open the back door of it each time!

6. Battop Sticks

Not a long story, I applied the new sticks to the existing board. These sticks are much more better on fighting games than the ones with the ball tops, although the the sticks with red and blue balls were looking way cooler.

7. Headphone Jack, Sound volume, and Switch for button lights

I decided to add a 3.5mm headphone jack to use the machine without disturbing others. For that I had an old broken PC speaker system that has that female jack. Best part of this jack is it has a switch on it that cuts off the 2nd channel when a jack is inserted.

(image source:

I opened up the top part of the cabinet to access the speaker for adding this jack/switch and surprised to see there is an old/dead lamp there! 

I changed that bulb with an RGB LED lamp with a remote control. 

And connected / soldered the cables for the audio jack.

This area should be havind a cover to protect the cables and also to fix the connector. I made a quick design in Solidworks and 3d printed it. Then mounted it of course.

I drilled a big another hole on the back of the cabinet and fixed a 1k potantiometer to control sound volume for the spears and headphones. This was needed because a normal volume level of the speaker is too much for the headphones. It should be lowered.

and finally I added a switch to cut off the voltage that goes to button LEDs to turn them of when lighting disturbs.

8. Resurrecting the Coin System

I adjusted some screws on the mechanism to work with 1 TRY coins. Also the bottom hatch has locked and there was no key. I broke into it and changed the lock with a new one.

9. Concave Buttons

The first set of buttons that came with the cabinet were really shitty. I like concave buttons but these were random on top molding. and had a poor plastic / mechanic quailty. Buttons were hard to press. 

The ones I attached to my cabinet with LED lights was flat buttons.

It's hard to find good concave buttons, HAPP brand is the best, I suppose, but I found a cheaper and similar one on Amazon and ordered them.

These concave buttons are important for the games that need "rapid fire". You join your thumb and index finger like holding a guitar pick and center them on the button, then you figgle it left to right through the concave center to make a rapid firing like playing a fast guitar solo :) I know it's a weird definition, I will show it to you in a video.

In this video I'm showing it with a concave button that has LED buttons. I know I told you that these were flat buttons. I will get to it next :)

I attached the new keys that were regular arcade machine buttons. So they look fantastic and whole retro!

Look at that!

9. Switching Buttons Back to LED Buttons (I know!)

These new buttons were amazing. The feel, the look was as it is in 90s. So using an original Neo-Geo board, an original game cartridge, and playing with these buttons were exact 90s experience that I had before.

But the thing is, these buttons were too hard to press. My daughter couldn't be able play easily with them. So I had doubts on keeping these buttons but I needed the concave tip of them. One morning I woke up with an idea. I will be going to heat the tips of the LED buttons and bend them to have a finger cavity. At least I was going to try on 1 or 2 spare buttons to see how it looks and feels.

I detached the tip of the button, and use a lighter to heat it up. Each time after keeping the lighter for 5 seconds I pressed to the top of the surface by the old sphere-head sticks.

After bending that part, I cut the leg that reaches to the Cherry MX button (a clone actually) to keep the distance that is reduced by the cavity.

And check the difference:

I applied these buttons back to achieve the preference of both my daughter and myself. Here is the result:

By my side, I completed the Expert Mode of Street Fighter Ex Plus Alpha with all characters. That means buttons and the sticks are working great for me!

And this is the proof that my daughter plays easily with the new soft buttons :) In this video she does a trick I told her about a hacked version of Street Fighter 2, with Zangief :)

Well, that's it for now, folks. I have something more in my mind but I will keep the system like this, and enjoy it for a while. Thanks for reading, cheers!