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Street Fighter IV Arcade Machine Project

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Written by DM on Thursday, March 12 2009

Now, once you have everything painted to your liking, you can install the circuit boards in the console, and then re-assemble the console box. Once you have the three parts assembled and ready, you can fit them together and prepare to lock it down. Keep in mind, the paint can make parts of the wood expand, especially MDF. This means you may need to sand certain areas again in order to make them fit together correctly. To lock everything together, we used L-brackets. These are just metal pieces, bent into an “L” shape, with screw holes on both sides. These not only help the wood hold together, but they will keep everything from wobbling. The only other thing to note before assembly is that you may want to put on the console panel covering before securing the control panel to the back TV stand part. This is because you will have to cut around the TV stand shelf to apply the artwork unless you put it on first and then slide the control panel box in. It is entirely up to you, but it will help to keep the artwork stuck down.

Once things are up and running and put together, you can start with the finishing work. We learned the hard way that the finishing work should be mostly done after assembly. Now, this part is optional, but I can tell you that it makes the different between having some P.O.S. wood arcade stand, and a serious, professional, sleek arcade machine. We combined several types of covering to make ours. First, we obtained self-adhesive 10mil vinyl to cover the non-console top parts. This makes it look like the unit is made of plastic, and also covers any screws or blemishes. For the top of the console, as you can see in the pics, we used artwork. To do this, we submitted our own custom image to http://www.mamemarquees.com, and he printed it up, self adhesive and all. It is durable and thin, and if you don’t want to make your own art, he has tons of pre-made art to choose from. E-mail the owner if you need something special, he is a great guy, and we thank him for working with us. http://www.mamemarqueesl.com is a great resource for any arcade project, they have all the sticker and artwork necessary for all facades. We then added the joystick and button label overlays from an old Street Fighter II cps-2 arcade machine. This gives it a real nice professional touch. Once you have the black vinyl, the artwork, and the button labels stuck on, you can apply the molding. We ordered two 8-foot pieces of black vinyl ¾ inch molding from http://www.wall-protex.com. They ship fast and are super cheap, it costs maybe $4 USD. You have to cut it yourself, but as long as you angle the corners at 45 degrees, you should be fine. It also is self adhesive, and man, does it stick. Make sure it is correct before you peel the tape, you will not be able to get it off and re-apply.

For the screen, we bought a cheap, 32 inch, 720p LCD from best buy. It is not the best picture around, but this is a project in order to save money, especially with the economy the way it is. It cost roughly $350 USD before tax, and was the most expensive part of the project. I also ordered a 2.5mm microphone jack m-f extension cable. You can plug one of these into the Xbox360 controller PCB inside your control panel, and then feed it out the front or side. You can then use a standard cell 2.5mm headset in order to talk while on Xbox Live. No sense in beating people down with your own arcade machine if you cannot talk smack about it. One more thing about this great setup is that you can pretty much take off any of the three parts and modify it. If I ever wanted to make this a stand-up arcade, I would take off the bottom stand, which was mainly made up of a pre-made night-stand from Target Stores, and replace it with a taller table.

Well, that brings me to the end of the project, more or less. Of course I am sure you will have questions. If I get many, like I think I am going to, I will try to answer them as fast and as best as I can. Keep in mind that this was mine and my brother’s first real project too, so we are not super experts. While this means I may not have an answer to your hard question, it does mean that you can do this yourself if you take the time and have the right tools. See below for a list of websites, estimated cost, and resources used. See you online in Street Fighter 4!

Estimated Cost:

MDF Wood - $25 USD
Joystick/Button Parts - $100 USD
Controller PCBs - $100 USD
32 Inch HD LCD - $375 USD
Radio Shack Wire/Terminals/Soldering Equipment - $65 USD
Tools - $75 USD
Finishing Items - $70 USD
$810 USD Total Cost


http://www.modchipman.com - Great place to get Arcade Parts and Cthulu PS3 PCBs (controller guts). I also hear they will be selling custom joysticks soon, with Happ, Sanwa, and Seimeitsu parts of your choice. They ship fast and are not very expensive.

http://www.mamemarquees.com - The best place online to order original and custom arcade artwork in any size. It even comes self-adhesive, and the owner will help you with anything you need if contacted. Check it out.

http://www.quarterarcade.com - This website has a decent number of old and original arcade control panel overlay labels and art. This is where I got the Street Fighter II joystick and button labels.

http://www.corner-guard.com/ - WallProtex, the place where I obtained the edge molding for the console control box. Cheap and fast shipping, although the 8-foot segments means a long shipping box will come to your house.

http://stores.shop.ebay.com/bigbangarcades__W0QQ_armrsZ1 - Ebay seller who provided the black self-adhesive vinyl overlay for the parts of the project that were not the front of the control panel.


http://www.donovanmyers.com/ - Donovan Myers, the man who inspired the project in the first place and freely provided info, plans, measurements, and tips. We could not have done it without him, thanks Donovan!

http://www.slagcoin.com - The best arcade stick/project information resource on the internet. They have diagrams, layouts, tips, all kinds of information, and pages of text on how to choose what you want to do. They have all the diagrams that you will need to choose from for the button layout as well.

Feel free to e-mail me at[email protected] with questions, as I am sure you will have many. I will respond as soon as possible, and thanks for reading! Keep an eye out for our next project!

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