How to make an arcade game cabinet

Having arcade games at home would be every child's dream or anyone who enjoyed playing with them as a kid. Through this article you will understand about the electrical components that are used to set up an arcade game cabinet.


Extension cord




remodel box

arduino uno

relay shield

LED spools

Step 1

To power the cabinet you will need to cut the female end of the extension wire and then strip out the outer insulation and also from all of the other wires. You will then have to measure the back of the remodel box and mark a rectangle on the back of the cabinet, make sure that the rectangle marked should not be overlapping with the drawers on the cabinet. Drill some holes on each corner of the rectangle and then with the help of a jigsaw cut the rectangle out.

Push the remodel box into the rectangle and screw it to the cabinet. This box will hold the switch. Nail another box at the top.

Step 2

You then have to drill a hole at the bottom of the cabinet, this is hole is for the extension cord to pass through. You will have to insert the extension cord through the hole and then bring it out through the remodel box. You will have to insert a wire through the switch box and insert the same wire to the top box. Strip off the top part of the wire and attach it to the receptacle.

Screw the receptacle to the box and the other end of the wire should be attached to the cord. The white wires should be attached together, the green wires should be attached together on the ground on the switch and the black wires should be attached together on the brass terminals. You can then screw the switch and then attach the cover plate, it is recommended that the cover plate be the same colour as the rest of the cabinet.

This will act as the main power for the entire cabinet. You know you have got a power supply for your cabinet, this power will feed the raspberry pi, speakers, arduino, lights, buttons and the monitor. You then have to put in the raspberry pi. To know how to set up the raspberry pi you can read the 'How to set up a raspberry pi arcade (No Programming)' article.

Step 3

Next you have to set up the arduino. You have to use the arduino uno as the base and then lay the relay shield over it, the relay shield helps you to control higher volt appliances with the 5v arduino. The power for the appliance is connected to the relay shield. You will also need two LED spools, one will represent the marquee and the other spool will be placed at the back of the machine. 

You then have a static mode switch, this switch is mounted on the outside of the machine, this will let the machine be reactive to when someone walks next to it or make it stationary, the other is going to be the sensor mode, this is used to measure human motion, this will slowly light the machine on when there is motion and then slowly fade when there is no motion.

you then have to take the strip of LED and turn it into a panel for the marquee. You then have to cut the strips and place them across the panels. You then need a 5v wire to connect the LEDs to each other. You will also need to attach a jumper on all the terminals. You can then test it out to see how the LED lights will look when turned on. You will need to do the same for the back of the cabinet, however, you only need to stick 3 LED strips at the border of the cabinet.

You then have to glue the panel to the cabinet. 

Step 4

The last step is to add doors to the front of the cabinet. For this you will have to attach hinges on the doors and then screw it to the cabinet. The hinges should be attached on the inside of the cabinet.

You then have to fit the electronics into the cabinet. For the motion sensors you will have to find an area where the motion sensor is not noticeable,however it should be able to see you. You can drill a hole on the controller with a forstner bit, make sure you don't drill a hole all the way through. And then use some more drill bits to get the perfect size for the sensor.

You have to drill more holes for the mode switch, this can be at the edge of the cabinet. You then have to place the control panel in place and connect the wires. You have to control the rest of the wires to the raspberry pi and then place the monitor. You can use magnets to attach the side panels. You can also change to a single relay instead of the shield.

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