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Build your dream arcade game from spare parts

Pretty much anybody who was remotely sapient during the 1980s has a fond place in his heart for classic arcade games, but the dream of owning an actual arcade game is still priced beyond the means of the average geek. Enter: The homebrew solution.

mamearcade016.jpgPretty much anybody who was remotely sapient during the 1980s has a fond place in his heart for classic arcade games—we have evidence of this here at TR—but the dream of owning an actual arcade game is still priced beyond the means of the average geek. Enter: The homebrew solution.

Gadget geek Tom Moore has laid out exactly how he built a fully tricked out MAME-based arcade game system with 7,000 games, largely relying on spare parts and used equipment that many tech pros already have lying around. Now, Tom's rig got pricey because he paid for a custom-built arcade cabinet. You woodworking pros can probably make out quite a bit cheaper than his version but, if you're like Tom and myself and lack the time and tools to build a reputable arcade shell, there's always Dream Arcades kits.

While Dream Arcades would be glad to sell you a fully assembled and functioning MAME system—like this $2,000 three-player cocktail arcade table—they will sell you just an assemble-it-yourself cabinet with prewired controls for as little as $589. You supply the computer guts with some leftover PC tech, and voila, instant nostalgia. Combine Dream Arcade supplies with Tom's how-to guide and you can get a full-function MAME arcade for well under $1,000—or less than half the retail price.

If that's still too pricey, Hak.5 offers video instructions for assembling a barebones arcade cabinet for about $100. The design is for a bartop/tabletop cabinet, and the instructions start at about the 3:00-minute mark of the video. You can download bitmap or DWG versions of the plans from the show wiki. (Hat tip to member Luc Ippersiel for the heads up.)

Now, if we can just get a kit with this unorthodox option, we could put a whole new spin on homebrew arcade game.

(Found via Neatorama.)

About Jay Garmon

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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