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Thread: How much would it cost to build a MAME cockpit?

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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    Default How much would it cost to build a MAME cockpit?

    I don't want to build one myself, but am thinking about commissioning someone to build one for me when I get back to the states. It would just play cockpit games, and I'd like it to have both a flight stick (on the right side) and Yoke (center). It would be about the same dimensions as a star wars cockpit, though I haven't been in one for so long it might have to be made a little wider for comfort. In addition, I'd like a soft vinyl seat inside.

    Any ideas on what a project like that would cost me?

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    Apple (Level 5) MrSparkle's Avatar
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    kind of hard to say, if you pay one of the many companies that build mame cabinets to do it for you i would be surprised to see this break the $3000 mark, id say this is a project much better either done by yourself or another amateur cabinet builder. doing it yourself for the materials alone you shouldn't have a problem keeping it around $1000 id guess.
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    Flawless Rawkality Flack's Avatar
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    Technically it shouldn't cost you much more than the cost of a regular MAME cabinet. The only additional expenses would be the controls you mentioned, and the cabinet itself. While cockpit cabinets aren't as common as regular ones, they come along pretty often and tend to go fairly cheap.

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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    The thing is, I have no skills using tools, and this is no place to start. Everytime I try to make something myself, I end up messing it up and spending twice as much just to make it come out halfway decent. Those of you with cockpit cabs, do they all tend to be about the same shape dimensions-wise?

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    Peach (Level 3) DogP's Avatar
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    I'd find yourself a dead Pole Position cockpit... I see them for sale pretty often and they usually go for free to $50.

    DogP
    Virtual Boy Lives @ Project: VB

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    Jessica's Knight / SOFEL Fanboy InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogP View Post
    I'd find yourself a dead Pole Position cockpit... I see them for sale pretty often and they usually go for free to $50.
    Yup, that's an excellent place to start. A dead Pole Position upright for $50 was my introduction to MAME driving cabinets.

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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    InsaneDavid, what games did you put on your MAME driving cab?

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    Jessica's Knight / SOFEL Fanboy InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatofcar View Post
    InsaneDavid, what games did you put on your MAME driving cab?
    I have some video of it here shortly after I got it up and running (it's still outside at the time). I'm running DOS MAME v0.56 since the computer is a Pentium II 350Mhz at 128MB RAM. That and I also wanted to be able to kill the power at any time without issue. The current setup, and the one I'll probably leave it at unless I replace the PC inside, is...

    Badlands
    Championship Sprint (Revision 3)
    Danny Sullivan's Indy Heat
    Fire Truck
    Konami GT
    Pole Position
    Pole Position (Atari Version 1)
    Pole Position (Atari Version 2)
    Pole Position II
    Pole Position II (Atari)
    Pole Position II (Bootleg Version 1)
    Pole Position II (Bootleg Version 2)
    Stocker
    Super Off-Road
    Super Off-Road Track Pak
    Super Sprint (Revision 4)

    Arkanoid (World)
    Plump Pop

    I bought my cabinet as a Pole Position so it has all the builds of both Pole Position games, that's also what I mostly play on it. The two paddle games I have on there as an occasional diversion. They work well enough using the wheel as a giant spinner, which it is anyway. Everything is run through a PS/2 mouse PCB. The steering wheel is basically the horizontal axis of the mouse with the shifter (PP's are single button, HIGH, shifters) to one mouse button and the pedal (converted to digital input) to the other. The coin mechs are wired to a single button keyboard hack and the keyboard itself is accessible through the lower coin door. The cabinet boots into DOS and a game selection menu, type in the selection you want on the ten key pad and away you go. It's like virtual board swapping through the coin door. I tried some FE's but they all caused the games to choke for one reason or another. Besides, it's not supposed to be a MAME cabinet really, just a Pole Position that can run other games. I also tried having it load Pole Position automatically via batch files but the game would choke. The system likes to idle at DOS for a moment before loading a game it seems, no big deal. Also my game list is due to the specifics of the system, the limited control surfaces, and the build of MAME.

    I chose games that would work with a single pedal, single gear (as in only needing a button held down to upshift, default in low gear) and wheel. I've made no modifications to the control panel or cabinet. Games like Super Sprint have the Start button set to the pedal in addition to acceleration. I'm using a recompile of DMAME v0.56 that supports proper shift setup, as in the car always being in low gear unless the shift button is held. Been playing it for about two months without a single problem.
    Last edited by InsaneDavid; 10-28-2007 at 01:57 AM.
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    Pretzel (Level 4)
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    I don't mean to jump off topic, but other than dave's list is there a list somewhere of all games that are cockpit compatible (well were made for them anyways), and same thing with cocktail tables (wondering if there's a list of all cocktail games).

    Nate

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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsaneDavid View Post
    Badlands
    Championship Sprint (Revision 3)
    Danny Sullivan's Indy Heat
    Fire Truck
    Konami GT
    Pole Position
    Pole Position (Atari Version 1)
    Pole Position (Atari Version 2)
    Pole Position II
    Pole Position II (Atari)
    Pole Position II (Bootleg Version 1)
    Pole Position II (Bootleg Version 2)
    Stocker
    Super Off-Road
    Super Off-Road Track Pak
    Super Sprint (Revision 4)

    Arkanoid (World)
    Plump Pop
    No Night Driver?

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    Jessica's Knight / SOFEL Fanboy InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatofcar View Post
    No Night Driver?
    Requires a four position gear shift with four independent switches. While you can get one to fit a Pole Position panel without any real modification, four switches are three more than I had space to wire with the mouse PCB. That and I really don't care for playing two gear games with a four gear shift (using 1-2 or 3-4), it just doesn't feel right to me. Of course using a four position shift opens up playing many more driving games since it gives you true switches for HIGH and LOW. OutRun support in v0.56 is ass and Turbo runs slow as a dog on that system, etc. so it's not a big deal for me. I really don't care to play Sprint One and LeMans.
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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsaneDavid View Post
    Requires a four position gear shift with four independent switches. While you can get one to fit a Pole Position panel without any real modification, four switches are three more than I had space to wire with the mouse PCB. That and I really don't care for playing two gear games with a four gear shift (using 1-2 or 3-4), it just doesn't feel right to me. Of course using a four position shift opens up playing many more driving games since it gives you true switches for HIGH and LOW. OutRun support in v0.56 is ass and Turbo runs slow as a dog on that system, etc. so it's not a big deal for me. I really don't care to play Sprint One and LeMans.
    Could you put Star Wars on there and have the wheel act as a yoke?

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    Jessica's Knight / SOFEL Fanboy InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatofcar View Post
    Could you put Star Wars on there and have the wheel act as a yoke?
    The problem with Star Wars is you need pitch controls (vertical) in addition to roll (horizontal).
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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsaneDavid View Post
    The problem with Star Wars is you need pitch controls (vertical) in addition to roll (horizontal).
    Ah, ok. I'm ashamed to say I've never played a real SW cab

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    Peach (Level 3) DogP's Avatar
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    Just to further make a point... at the Baltimore auction this weekend a Monaco GP cockpit got no bids, even at $10 (it played, but the monitor was dead).

    DogP
    Virtual Boy Lives @ Project: VB

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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    Awesome. That sounds like the way go to then, just buy a dead cockpit and have someone gut it and rebuild it for what I want to do.

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