Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking during the building of my cabinet and I didn't take any pictures at all of the process. Therefore I will try to take as many pictures of Arcade Ramrod now and point out the things that I did.

However, I am about to rebuild the control panel and will put the detailed step-by-step process with tons of pictures here!

Cabinet
Arcade Ramrod is a converted 4-player Simpson's cabinet. I know what your thinking and no I did not gut a working cabinet. I purchased the empty cabinet for $100 from a guy who fixed up machines to put in the arcades he owned. This guys had already removed everything from inside except for the controls (buttons and joysticks), coin mechs, and marquee glass. He had however removed the side art from the cabinet, replacing the classic Simpson's side art with a solid off-white piece of laminate.
 
I wanted to be able to give power to the cabinet, turn on the computer, and have the remote control for the tv in a central location on the cabinet. To do this I drilled a couple of holes in the top of my cabinet to house buttons to do this.
I then took apart a power strip and hardwired the on/off switch to the button in the top of the cabinet. Since I also wanted to be able to turn on the computer I spliced the on/off button of the computer and hardwired it to the other button I had made. To top it all off I then put attached Velcro to the tv remote control and the cabinet so everything would be together.
 
I also wanted to be able to remove the computer from the cabinet so when I was wiring the on/off button of the computer I added a harness that would allow for it to be unplugged.
The cabinet has a door in the back that can be locked. This is how everything from the computer, to the tv, to the audio can be accessed.
When I bought the cabinet it already had all for coin door,coin mechs, and even coin buckets in it. There were no locks for these doors and the other owner had mounted steel bars and had locks on the bars. The bars left ugly marks on the doors so I took some black spray paint made for metal and tried to hide them. If you look closely in the pictures you can still see some of the marks. I then bought some locks and mounted them in the doors.
 
Fortunately, the marquee glass and marquee holder was in the cabinet when I purchased it so all I had to do was install a new fluorescent light fixture. I then had my Arcade Ramrod marquee printed by emdkay and had installed it. emdKay does a fantastic job of printing marquees. They offer some pre-made marquees, but can print almost anything you can create.

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After a few weeks of playing with my friends it became evident that Arcade Ramrod needed some cup holders. Luckily, I found some white boat cup holders that fold up when not being used. I attached one on each side of the cabinet directly behind the control panel.

Monitor
The was no monitor in the cabinet at the time of purchase so I bought a 24" inch Sanyo flat screen television that would fit perfectly. To determine the best tv I measured the available space and took all the dimensions of the area I had to work with. I then went to my local Wal-Mart to measure the dimensions of the cabinets they had on display. Luckily, the Sanyo was a perfect fit leaving about 1/2" inch on both sides of the tv.
I then had to put the tv in the cabinet. For this I had to get both sides an equal distance from the cabinet. I also had to get the angle of the tv parallel with angle of the cabinet. For this I had to put a shim under the tv. Notice the cut yard stick that served as the perfect shim.
The next part was to reinforce the monitor inside the cabinet. I didn't want the monitor moving around while we played so for this I took 2x4's and 1x1's and framed the tv inside the cabinet. Once the tv was framed inside I then drilled holes in the front lip of the tv and put screws through the lip into the cabinet to further hold the tv in place.
 
Unfortunately, the tv was a just over an inch longer than the cabinet and the back door would not close. To fix this I pulled the door up to where it was hitting the tv and marked the area that would need to be cut out. I then took a saw and cut out the exact area of the door that would allow the tv through and still close the door. Since all I need was an extra inch the tv does not protrude out of the hole and is almost flush with the door.
Once the tv was in place it was time to get the front of it looking like an authentic arcade. The tv was silver and obviously did not look anything like the thing. I then got a piece of black stiff (almost plastic) material that was big enough to cover the entire front. I then cut a hole that was just as big as the actual screen of the monitor and a smaller pea sized hole that covered the remote sensor so I could use the tv remote.

However, once I put the bezel over the monitor it left a silver area around the entire screen. To fix this I taped up the screen with painter's tape and spray painted the entire edge of the screen with black paint.
 

Control Panel
For the control panel I modified the existing panel. However, it was in a horrible condition so I had another piece of Plexiglas cut that exactly matched the previous one. For the buttons I simply drilled new holes where I wanted to add the buttons. The panel already had the holes for 4 joysticks, 4 start buttons, and 3 buttons per player. I wanted player 1 and 2 to have 6 buttons each so fighting games could be played and I wanted player 3 and 4 to have 4 buttons just in case, so I mapped out the best spots for these buttons and drilled the holes.
It was then time to drill the holes in the Plexiglas. To do this I matched up the control panel with the new piece so I would have a guide for drilling my buttons. Unfortunately, I was not holding the wood and glass tight enough and while drilling out one of the last holes I snapped the Plexiglas.
*NOTE* - When drilling your holes make sure you hold the Plexiglas as tight as possible. I recommend using clamps to hold everything in place. Also, don't peel back the protective layer on the Plexiglas until you have finished drilling every hole.
Besides the regular buttons, I wanted to add control buttons for Exit, Pause, Start, Mouse Left Click, and Mouse Right Click and a Trackball to the control panel. For this I routed out the back of the control panel so I could make the trackball as flush as possible on the panel.
 
I then used a piece of black picture matting to cover the wood of the panel and added custom made joystick and button labels. Once the mat was in place I cut the excess off, attached the plexiglas, and mounted the joysticks, buttons, and trackballs.

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Then it was time to do the wiring for the control panel. I choose to use a different color of wire for each control. An example being: Button 1 = blue wire, Joystick Left = red wire, etc. This format is the same for every player. After I wired everything to the i-pac and opti-pac I banded together groupings of the wire to help organize everything.
 
I used the directions for hooking up the Happs trackball, but once I had finished the axis' still didn't work as it should have. Therefore, I tested the unit by trial and error until all directions worked perfectly.
Once I got the panel finished, I removed the locking clamps from the inside of the cabinet so I could easily get to the inside if I needed too. Now the panel opens up from the front with a piano hinge.
 
I then decided to put velcro around the entire control panel box to help hold the panel in place when Arcade Ramrod was being played.
Since there was nothing inside the panel I decided to mount the iPac and the Opti-pac inside with pairs of mounting feet that were purchased from Ultimarc.
The panel is also completely removable since it would be too wide to fit through any standard size door. Screws hold the entire panel in place. Once the screws holding it in place are removed and the wiring harnesses are unplugged the entire control panel can be removed.

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I also included in the control panel a switch that completely turns off the ability to use the coin buttons. Since I had coin doors and especially since I had purchased BYOAC and MAME coins from arcadetokens.com I wanted the ability to force players to use the coins. The coin mechs are wired to work all the time while the switch controls the use of the buttons. When I was wiring this switch I add a harness that would allow for it to be unplugged so the control panel could be removed and leaving the wiring in place.
 

Computer
 
Coming Soon!

Audio
When I bought the cabinet there were speakers already inside the cabinet mounted to the air ports that were working. Since they were used in the arcade before I decided to use them as well.
I also wanted to add a little more sound to the whole thing, so I took a set up computer speakers that had a sub and hooked them up. These speakers were the perfect fit. One of the speakers had the volume control as a separate part of the speaker. Once I took it apart the volume slide out and I was able to use it as the volume control for the cabinet. I then cut the pc speakers and wired up the volume control and the sub with the speakers that were already in the cabinet.
 

Finished Product

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