diz's forum posts

#1 Edited by diz (918 posts) -

@mattjam3000: The size is something you can potentially determine to your desires, but after looking at images of time crisis arcade machines, I think the diagonal of 26 inches for a CRT arcade cabinet is about right, especially in the 4:3 dimension. Time Crisis machines came in various forms it seems. The image on the left shows the edges of the screen have a border around them, making the screen in this cabinet look larger than it is. The pictured gun handle can't be more than 6 inches long, so you can estimate the dimension of the screen from that.

There is also the consideration of standing right in front of an arcade machine, as opposed to sitting on a sofa playing a PS1 through a conventional TV set some distance away.

Screen sizes have increased dramatically in recent years. My first PC monitor was 14 inches, while 17 inches was considered a luxury for only graphic designers and show-offs. 32 inch CRT TV's were considered generous in the 1990's and larger screens were usually rear projection only. The living room has changed and I remember in my childhood that the TV set was hidden in a corner and many people had their TVs hidden behind cabinet doors, as watching TV had much more of a stigma associated with it then than it does today where the largest possible TV screen dominates most living rooms.

The only experience I have with arcade cabinets is when I worked in 2nd hand shop after I left school. The shop had an original Space Invaders arcade machine with a small black and white screen and coloured bands overlaying it. The machine kept going wrong (screen blanking out) and I repeatedly fiddled with the boards and connectors to get the thing working again - which it did for a while before going wrong again. I learned much about fixing things that turned up through the shop (a bit like the mice in Bagpuss). I remember the Arcade cabinet weighed a ton since I had to move it away from the wall every time it needed a "service". Sorry, I'm rambling...

#2 Posted by diz (918 posts) -

@mattjam3000: I know that you can get Time Crisis emulator for Mame and there are light-guns that work with PCs.

I thought that Time Crisis 1 was available for the PS3 and there are also PS3 light-guns that work with the typical modern LCD screens. I think the Move controller can also be used for this. I was mistaken in thinking Time Crisis was remade for the PS3 though - sorry if I raised any hopes there. It is a later version that was released for PS3, called Time Crisis: Rasing Storm. Apologies for my mistake.

There are CRTs for sale on Gumtree though. This one might do. Since you already have the PS1 and Guncon, CRT does seem like the most original route to take.

#3 Edited by diz (918 posts) -

@mattjam3000: 51" seems gigantic for a CRT - I'm not sure I've ever seen one of those. Such a size must have been awfully deep to allow the electron gun to scan at the rear of the tube! There is a limit to how large a vacuum tube can be manufactured and I reckon 51 inches is on the very cusp of that limit. I think the original "large screen" time crisis cabinets were rear projection also. Since you'll be fairly close to the screen and viewing the cruddy game resolution, (as dictated by the scan lines it is going to be 625 lines I think for PAL UK), a suitable maximum size would be in the 30" range, or less. I'd guess the original arcade cabinets were around 27 or 29 inches and 4:3 aspect ratio.

Obviously, the larger the screen the bigger the arcade cabinet must be, but this feature is entirely up to you and depends only on your preference and the availability of suitable CRT screens.

Fiddling inside a TV is not necessarily dangerous as long as you know where to look for the HT circuitry. There is a large thick wire that plugs into the side of the tube and leads to a usually large ceramic part on the pcb. This area of the board (especially on the solder side) should be avoided. There are usually some notices around the dangerous area of a TV PCB. A tip passed on to me was to always try and keep one hand in my pocket and never fiddle inside a TV set with both hands at once. Wearing rubber soled shoes also helps. Then if you are shocked, the path taken by the current should avoid your heart.

I have a feeling that charity shops are unable (under UK law) to pass on electrical appliances. A local dump might be an idea, although I wonder if any sets will work from there. It might be worth reconsidering a more modern emulated LCD setup instead - it would certainly be easier to build. Also you could try Gumtree and eBay for unwanted TVs or even put a wanted as in the local paper (or Gumtree) if you get desperate. (I've not used Gumtree but a acquaintance of mine swears by it for all the free stuff that's available.

#4 Edited by diz (918 posts) -

@mattjam3000: Yup, you are right. Older console light-guns pick up on the scan lines of a CRT, so unless you want to run a PS3 version (for example, or emulated version) on an LCD screen you'll be stuck with this issue.

I'm not sure about the idea of leaving a CRT in its original case and building a cabinet around it. CRTs are quite deep by their nature and the screen is long way back in a traditional arcade cabinet. I know it depends on the type of TV, but CRT screens typically have a speaker and controls on the front too that might make them unnecessarily wide for your intended use.

Even if you do leave the TV in its original box, you may need to remove the speaker and fix that to your cabinet, so might need to do some fiddling inside your TV. You might also need to relocate the volume and channel controls (and IR receiver) to a more accessible place too.

As someone who used to dabble with TVs, let me suggest that a CRT - even when unplugged and turned off - can have enough residual capacitance in it's HT circuit to kill a person.

Consider creating adequate ventilation in your cabinet, especially if you do leave a CRT in its case inside the unit. Also think about creating an easy access point (door or removable rear panel) and how you would synchronize the cabinet powering up and running the game with minimal input from yourself.

Like with all potential projects, the more you think about it, the less inclined you might feel to execute and the more problems you might find to put you off. The real delight is in overcoming adversity and constructing elegant solutions to difficult problems, so get started and stick to your vision. Let me know if I can be of any assistance!

I remember having such fun with a game called "Point Blank" on my PS1. Although I liked Time Crisis in the Arcade it didn't feel as good on the PS1 for me. I guess I was spoiled by a local "Sega Centre" arcade opening up at around that time with those huge Time Crisis screens!

#5 Posted by diz (918 posts) -

I would like to help if you think I could. I have spent many hours in Dota myself, so do know about the game. I'm in the UK (GMT/BST) and am available most days and into the nights too!

#6 Posted by diz (918 posts) -

I know 0 about CRT's, what is good, what is bad, what size should I be making this thing, will it work with the lightgun, I guess it needs to be 4:3 etc. Any help here would be massively appreciated.

Since you'll be making a custom cabinet, you should determine the size you want for your own needs and the availability of the screens, if you're definitely after a CRT. Personally, I'd think about why you'd want to have a CRT. (The Time Crisis cabinet I knew from my arcade had a large rear projection screens I think. although some smaller ones did have CRTs.) When re-housing CRT screens, you will be faced with huge "killer" voltages from the screen's HT circuit so will need to be very careful in mounting one in a custom cabinet. LCD would be a better (more reliable, lighter, less dangerous, less bulky) idea in my opinion.

Designing the cabinet itself once a suitable screen has been found. Should I do it on graph paper, should I find some free basic software, or should I find someone online willing to draw up some plans.

I would use some drawing software to design the shapes you want and do the rest by measuring and marking your boards as you cut them.

What wood would I need to use, what tools would I need etc.

MDF sheet or ply sheets would do. 15 and 18 mm would be adequate. You can use 22mm square wooden battens along the edges to strengthen the joints. The sheets come in 8 by 4 and 6 by 3 feet metric equivalents, so you may need a sheet per side. The best tool to use for cutting prefect edges (and you will see a lot of edges in such a design) is a router. A common manual wood saw or a skill saw (circular saw) for straight cuts and a jigsaw for curved cuts may also suffice. (I must warn you that routers and circular saws can be very dangerous tools in the wrong hands.) You will need to think about how you finish the cabinet. You will require an electric drill/screwdriver.

Budget. Can I realistically do this for around 200 pounds

No - unless you can get the materials and tools for free. In addition to the TV and wood, you will need mounting brackets, several types of fixings (don't skimp - get quality screws) , metal or plastic control plates, connectors, filler, sand paper, paints or other finish covering, and a host of other materials that depend on your time budget and preferred finishing requirements.

I have not made an arcade cabinet but have made many similar things. In my experience, it is not a cheap option to make something yourself, since there will always be plenty of unexpected and incidental costs involved. But is hugely rewarding to create something unique and functional, so good luck with your build!

#7 Posted by diz (918 posts) -

I've had problems getting in. Once in, I've had to wait in a queue for a sessions to join.

Once in a session, I was shown an intro and guided to a battle-frame device, where I was able to select a battle-frame. I then ran a bit further and then saw a loading screen with a wait in a queue for what I thought the next part of the game. After waiting, I was put back into the initial intro again and guided again to the battle-frame device. Only this time I could not access it to choose a frame and the game would not let me continue without one.

I tried again this morning and had server errors again, then the game stayed at the loading screen.

I guess this is to be expected for a new, free, FPS MMO. I would like to get into the game though and will carry on trying for the next few weeks. I did like the game in Jeff's quick look and hope others are not experiencing the same problems that I have in trying to play it.

#8 Posted by diz (918 posts) -

"Pick up the Purse" (from Sleeping dogs DLC quicklook)

"Phone Zobec" (from a Caslevinnia vid somewhere)

I think both are chat suggestions while these videos were being performed.

#9 Edited by diz (918 posts) -

Stupid greens

#10 Edited by diz (918 posts) -

This is what the compendium spiat out with each level.

At this point, I think player cards, predictions, challenges and other levelling options are not available. Note that some of the extra "effects" are time limited and will expire at the end of July, as does the experience booster.

If you want the couriers you may be able to get them in the marketplace. Squarkins the parrot in a boat is ok by not very animated and the pudgeling is quite nice, but I think there are better ones available in the marketplace for less than the cost of the compendium.