Arcade Builds

My Mini Table Top / Bar Top Arcade

So a few months ago my wife suggested that I build an arcade machine from scratch… I like challenges and its something I’d done before so I said sure, we can do that. Out of dumb luck, I was browsing through the Facebook marketplace a few days later and found someone giving away a non function 2005 Golden Tee arcade. Physically the arcade looked like it was in great condition. I gutted it and started working on rebuilding it to become a MAME cabinet. Now wait a minute, the title of this post states, “My Mini Table Top / Bar Top Arcade”, what’s going on here. Well I just wanted to give you guys a primer of what motivated me to build this little guy.

I was doing some CAD work in Fusion for the bezel of the Golden Tee arcade and that’s when it came to me. Let’s make a little one, but super little. I wanted real sized buttons and joysticks but I also didn’t want the top part of a full sized arcade sitting on my table.Realizing that my main sacrifice would be limiting the arcade to be 1 player I decided to start the build.

I had some sheets of 6mm expanded PVC, some call it Sintra which is actually a brand of expanded PVC, I believe. My first obstacle to overcome was finding a decent sized screen to which I finally settled on a 10 inch security monitor that I found on Amazon, this also satisfied the 4:3 aspect ratio requirement that I needed to meet. Yes, that’s an affiliate link, no shame here 🙂

Next was figuring out how to keep everything together. I thought about gluing the pieces but I didn’t want the setup to be permanent which was good because there was a lot of modification to this thing before I was finally at a point where I could call it done. So in the end I decided to use 20/20 aluminum extrusions which worked out really well and provided an extremely rigid, not to mention light weight structure.

I designed a power distribution panel for supplying power to the screen, amp and Raspberry Pi. The screen and the Amp both required 12V DC while the Pi runs on 5V DC. The screen can draw about an amp of current while the amp can draw up to 2 amps of current. The raspberry pi 3 draws about 2 amps as well. So we are at about 5 amps of current. The trace widths on the board are more than capable of handling that but I still wanted to play things safe and stuck a fuse inline, didn’t want things to go up in smoke.

Here’s the first revision, proof of concept. See the burn mark on the terminal to the left? Yup that one caught on fire. The traces on the copper were way too thin to draw that amount of current.


Here’s version 1.0 where I totally forgot to add solder pads to the USB shield. Also the trace widths were a little thinner than I thought they should be.


Finally we’ve got version 1.1 with even thicker traces and the solder pads for the USB shield not to mention she’s sporting a sexy matte black solder mask.


So here are some pictures of the final product. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to add vinyl or just leave it as it is. It looks kinda cool the way it is now. What do you guys think?



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