Sunday, 20 October 2013

Setting up a test rig

Without really planning to I've had a weekend of tests and trials, with largely positive results.

I mentioned at the very beginning of all this that over the past few months I've been building rustic/industrial furniture from pallet wood. I've been working through a few pieces that need finishing off recently, one of which was this "Monks Bench".

The back section of this is double thickness, two pieces of wood screwed together.
Due to the unevenness of the wood there were gaps nearly 5mm thick in parts of the join - so I used this piece to test the two part resin filler I'll be using to finish the cabinet..

It works phenomenally well. When fully dry it's like working with fine sandstone, or that chalk you get in a puncture repair kit.
My god does it stink though.

With that win under my belt I decided to celebrate with a session of Outrun - only to discover, when cranking the volume for Magical Sound Shower, that one of the speakers is blown.
I took a hacksaw to it to see if there was anything I could salvage but it's broken for good.
Luckily this isn't a complete disaster.
The Amp I bought is only single channel anyway, and the remaining unit pumps out a good meaty sound - and to put a positive spin on it, it will save space in the cabinet. Just need to remember to set the output to mono output on the PC when I get it.

Lastly, I decided to throw together a mock up control deck using some scraps of wood I had knocking about in the garage.

I know what you're thinking, the buttons are arced the wrong way... I did say I threw it together.

I've learnt a lot about the space needed for the cabling and buttons, the hole size I need for the Joystick, and it's helped me to allay my fears that 120mm strip of timber wouldn't provide adequate space for all the controls - it does - in fact it's pretty much perfect.

Then there,s the button arrangement, obviously these being upside down was a mistake, but it's helped me with something anyway.
This diagram shows the two buttons I plan not to have and their rough replacement position.

This may not be a conventional layout but it allows me to use the 4 central buttons in a diamond as a second set of  up/down/left/rights for playing twin stick shooters and other games that require two joysticks.

I did have one worrying mishap when putting the jostick together.
You'll notice on the left there is the start of another button hole, such was my eagerness to get this thing made that I tried to put a hole through a steel screw.
The holesaw is a little battered - these things usually cost about a tenner, a tenner that my budget won't cover, so I guess a little brute force and maybe a tickle with a sharpening stone might be in order.

#mame #retrogaming #arcade #gaming