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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:49 pm 
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I got an idea that I was surprised I hadn't found before that I feel might be worth sharing, even if this isn't the best place for it. It's obviously a problem if you want to play arcade games that expect either vertical and horizontal monitor orientations with a MAME cabinet, but you at least have the option to rotate the picture, unlike if you were to swap out original PCBs. Because the viewing area of an arcade cabinet is typically square with thick bezels to the sizes of the screen anyway, I figured you could engineer a square chassis for the monitor that also contains the bezels in front of the screen. Here's a rough render I made to demonstrate what I mean, although it's not like it'd be 3D printed; I figure it'd be made of L shaped 1" x .125" steel bars cut and welded together.

Attachment:
Chassis.png
Chassis.png [ 19.32 KiB | Viewed 373 times ]

The problem would be actually getting it out of the cabinet to rotate it; the bezels will have to extend past the monitor frame, meaning it would have to be pulled out through the front. You'll want virtually no space between the bezels and the walls of the cabinet, which will make it even more difficult to pull out. It'd at least make it easier if the frame is sitting on wheels rather than just sliding metal across wood, although it will still be a two person job.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:01 pm 
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I've heard the monitor mount in the Double Dragon cabinet was made to be rotated, I found some pictures of one if you want to see what that looks like - http://www.brentradio.com/images/DoubleDragon/Monitor/

Something that could be retrofitted into other cabinets would be pretty cool though.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:44 pm 
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That's the same general idea. That's smarter definitely smarter though; less complicated and easier to adapt for different size monitors (you won't have to redesign the entire cabinet, only the overlay and bezel which you'd have to do anyway). Only downside I guess would be you'd have to unscrew everything vs just unplugging the monitor and pulling it out, but it looks way easier to actually pull out and reorient with those large handles. I just wonder how the overlay is being held over the bezel. Is it just those notches on the bottom?

One slightly curious thing is that the monitor PCB is attached as well; you'd think for weight saving and complexity for the monitor assembly they could have made the PCB stationary on a shelf inside the cabinet and saved having to make the metal mount for it; the PCB doesn't necessarily need to rotate as well. Maybe it's a space issue because I'd think that'd be the common sense thing to do.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:51 pm 
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Some SNK Candy cabinets (ex. NEW CANDY 25) have rotatable monitors -- by design. I sold my cabinet a year or two ago so I can't show you pictures or take a video to demonstrate how it works, but it was pretty basic once you took a few minutes to look at how it worked. Once you see pictures/video -- of which on the Internet there are none, surprisingly -- it becomes immediately obvious.

The basic concept is that the CRT itself, which has 4 holes for screw-mount or bolt-mounting, attach to a mounting chassis inside of the cabinet. However, *that* chassis also has screws/bolts that mount it to *another* chassis -- part of which is a circle (within which the components/backing of the CRT stick through). That 2nd chassis is also (very strongly) bolted into the arcade cabinet itself and cannot move.

The circular part of the chassis actually has grease-covered plastic "wheels" or "sliders". Once you undo 4 of the screws that connect the two chassis pieces together, you can smoothly/easily rotate the monitor 90 degrees clockwise -- the monitor has no chance of falling out or loosening. There are stop bolts/latches in place to ensure you cannot rotate it past that angle, but there is obviously some give/leeway since not all CRTs are mounted perfectly level. Rotation of the monitor takes very little effort, and maybe about 15 seconds of time to do.

It's up to the operator to ensure that the CRT has enough clearance of parts (capacitors, flyback trans, heat sinks, etc.), as well as enough slack of cables (power, RGB hookup, etc.), to ensure it can be rotated correctly.

As for dealing with the "excess space" around the top/bottom of the CRT (when rotated horizontally) or the left/right sides (when rotated vertically), there is a black thick plastic bezel that you simply pop out and rotate depending on what monitor orientation you desire.

Edit: if you want me to get a video or shots of this, I can ask the guy who bought my cabinet to take such.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:00 pm 
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It's fine; that sounds insane to build even though it'd make reorienting the monitor very easy. Only problem really is that the monitor has to be small enough vs the walls of the cab to where it can actually rotate fully, but this shouldn't really be a problem unless you have a really large monitor or a really small arcade cabinet.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:25 pm 
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Well, that's the way some arcade manufacturers did it. You need to consider that arcades tended to be MSRP'd for thousands of US dollars. They're often made out of steel, wood, or both. They're not like desktop computers or video game consoles, and they weren't designed/architected to be that either (there are exceptions, like Gauntlet Legends, but that's from 1998 -- not exactly retro). Cabinets that offer (from the manufacturer) rotational capability are uncommon (not quite rare, but not common either); some of SNK's cabinets are an exception because of the uniqueness of the games being sold to operators (read: ease-of-rotation was intentional).

With arcade cabinets, you don't go changing monitor sizes from stock for the exact reason you mentioned. For example, the "NEW Candy 25" comes with a 25" Toei TC-HV25LMK CRT. You wouldn't try putting a 26" or 27" CRT in it, nor something smaller (ex. 21"), for the same reasons -- none of the screw/bolt/mounting holes would line up properly, and rotation wouldn't necessarily work, if the CRT even fit at all. In fact, even switching brands of CRTs isn't guaranteed to work either (see: mounting holes). There are people who mod their cabinets to fit non-standard things, but these are literally people who are doing metalwork, welding, woodworking, and who knows what else -- you have to be seriously dedicated. Such mods are not for casual owners or operators.

I don't see how there could ever be a general-purpose solution or "standard" for this, solely because every single cabinet is different/unique, even North American standing wooden cabinets. Your initial post was talking about MAME cabinets, where owners tend to just build the cabinet themselves (or buy a pre-made one), so again, every cabinet is going to be different. Also, I'm finding more and more MAME-like cabinets to be using LCDs, not CRTs, which makes rotation a lot easier due to the fact that the screens are substantially lighter and easier to manipulate. I'd be surprised if more MAME cabinet people weren't using adjustable X/Y/Z clamps for holding LCD monitors, given the variance in sizes and exact dimensions of every LCD out there.

Honestly, when it comes to MAME and arcade games, monitors are probably the least of the worry. One thing that's still a serious problem in 2018 is lack of a solution for games with rotational joysticks (ex. Ikari Warriors, Victory Road, Heavy Barrel, Guerrilla War) or spinners (ex. Tron, Forgotten Worlds, Tempest). SNK's 40th Anniversary Collection on the Switch did something interesting for games which used rotational joysticks: using two joysticks (one controls movement, the other controls directional face). TMK MAME doesn't have this capability, and rotational joystick games are neglected as a result. As for spinners: MAME letting you use a mouse for it is someone's idea of a sick joke. It's almost like whoever did that had never played an actual arcade game that used a spinner before.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:17 am 
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koitsu wrote:
One thing that's still a serious problem in 2018 is lack of a solution for games with rotational joysticks (ex. Ikari Warriors, Victory Road, Heavy Barrel, Guerrilla War) or spinners (ex. Tron, Forgotten Worlds, Tempest). SNK's 40th Anniversary Collection on the Switch did something interesting for games which used rotational joysticks: using two joysticks (one controls movement, the other controls directional face).

Adapting the solution found in Robotron, Smash TV, Total Carnage, Geometry Wars, and every twin-stick shoot-em-up since.

koitsu wrote:
As for spinners: MAME letting you use a mouse for it is someone's idea of a sick joke. It's almost like whoever did that had never played an actual arcade game that used a spinner before.

Would trackball-as-spinner be more practical? If so, PC trackballs appear on the PS/2 and USB interfaces as a mouse.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:48 am 
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Can you not find new spinners being manufactured? And if not; I wonder how difficult it would be to make your own. I wouldn't think controls would be too big of an issue even with MAME; you can get an Arduino for cheap and connect just about whatever you want to it and program it in whatever way.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:22 pm 
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Finding genuine arcade spinners that don't cost a fortunate is actually super hard :S I've missed one for my Arkanoid for over ten years.

More on-topic, Taito's Egret series of cabinets have a great, simple rotation mechanism that makes changing the orientation a breeze.
My own cab at home I tend to put lying on its back whenever I need to do it. Makes the lifting a lot more manageable.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:22 pm 
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This is dumb to say, but square monitors DO exist. Why not use one of those and flip the picture in software? Wouldn't that be easier?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:32 pm 
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Sumez wrote:
Finding genuine arcade spinners that don't cost a fortunate is actually super hard :S I've missed one for my Arkanoid for over ten years.

Have any idea of how they work electronically? I wonder if you could make a ghetto one with a 3D printer and a few electronic components.

Sumez wrote:
More on-topic, Taito's Egret series of cabinets have a great, simple rotation mechanism that makes changing the orientation a breeze.

Just looked it up; I've actually played on those a few times, but I never had any idea it was capable of doing that. Definitely a smart way of doing that sort of thing.

pubby wrote:
This is dumb to say, but square monitors DO exist. Why not use one of those and flip the picture in software? Wouldn't that be easier?

How expensive are they? I'm not aware I've actually seen one. I know I'm going all over the place with specifications, but that would only work for MAME. I'd think ideally, you'd want to build a JAMMA cabinet and make your PC interface it so you still have the option of still playing original PCBs, unless you know you never plan on doing that.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:18 pm 
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Drew Sebastino wrote:
Have any idea of how they work electronically? I wonder if you could make a ghetto one with a 3D printer and a few electronic components.

It's a complete mystery to me. I would love modern reproductions, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

pubby wrote:
This is dumb to say, but square monitors DO exist. Why not use one of those and flip the picture in software? Wouldn't that be easier?

What would be the purpose of rotating the picture on a square monitor?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:28 pm 
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He means you could get a square monitor big enough to fit the entire viewing area of the arcade machine so that rather than take the monitor out of the cabinet and reorient it, you could flip the picture by just changing the display settings on the computer.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:14 pm 
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pubby wrote:
This is dumb to say, but square monitors DO exist. Why not use one of those and flip the picture in software? Wouldn't that be easier?

They exist, but are specifically designed *and* marketed towards specific (read: niche) markets, i.e. medical. Enjoy discovering the price of the Eizo EV2730Q or EV2730QFX (26.5" @ 1920x1920). Once you see the cost, you'll understand why this is not feasible advice, despite them being kind of useful. And do not try and tell me "well surely you can find them for sale used" (sure, like finding a diamond in a haystack -- you need to actually follow auctions where medical facilities sell off old/used hardware and pray they have some, otherwise at used computer parts stores and it's purely luck of the draw).

Reality is this: 16:9 and 4:3 won, despite 1:1 and 16:10 being (opinion) generally better. Please do not let this paragraph change the subject of the thread; stay on target.


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