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The Last Starfighter Cabinet Build

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Kaizen088 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kaizen088 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Last Starfighter Cabinet Build
    Posted: 12 Jul 2018 at 1:50pm
I've posted this build on a few other forums and thought some of you here might be interested as well.


A few years ago I stumbled upon the Rogue Synapse website and dreamed of making a cabinet myself.
It's taken me about four years to get going but about 6 weeks ago I purchased some wood and got a start on it.
I downloaded the game years back and knew the PC hardware/software side of things wasn't going to be an issue but there wasn't a complete set of plans readily available so that was the major hurdle in getting going.
I managed to get hold of a set of basic plans but there was still a lot of detail missing (mainly around the control panel area).
I took what I had available to me and all the images I'd downloaded and set about drawing up the plans as I went.
I tried using Auto CAD and a few other programs but found them rather difficult to navigate easily, I eventually settled on Design Spark Mechanical from RS Components.


It didn't take long to learn how to use it and it can also do 3D designs as well.


The side panels were the first to get cut and I made a template up first which saved a lot of time.



Next was the base of the top section.



I purchased a 26" LCD TV for the monitor, it's width is 724mm which is the same as the ID of the cabinet so it's quite a snug fit.


The marquee/header was a bit tricky and without a 22.5 degree router bit I decided to go with this design to complete the 135 degree internal angles.



The bezel section took a bit of time to get right as there's lots of angles and everything has to be proportioned correctly.



 

And a quick test to make sure the 4:3 part of the screen fits inside the bezel, perfect!!


Time to get a start on the control panel area which is by far the most difficult part of the build.


Job done!!



The next challenge was the joysticks, I ordered a cheap 8-way stick from ebay.


And an analogue flight stick from Ultimarc which will be used for the right side targeting joystick setup in mouse mode.


The joystick handles in the cab in the movie were custom made props so I had to make them myself.
The T-bar was easy enough but the left side tracking joystick was a little more complex.
I started with a block of 19mm thick wood and shaped it to look like the original stick.




Marquee/header is attached and TV mounted...



The control panel on the cab in the movie had a total of 36 various lights.


I sourced the round bezel lights locally.



The small bank of four bezels were sourced from Mouser.


The big challenge was the custom bank of 8 (4x2) lights that weren't available anywhere as they were made specifically for the the prop cabinet.

I designed a cut file up and got the individual parts laser cut out of perspex and assembled them.





Lastly the base plans were drawn up.


There's still a bit left to do on the base section but it mostly there.






To date I've spent over 20 hours on the cabinet build and well over 50 hours on research and design.

Well that's about all for now, I hope to have it completed withing the next 4 weeks.
There are some minor errors in the plans I've posted so when the build is completed I'll upload a complete set of correct plans.






Edited by Kaizen088 - 12 Jul 2018 at 2:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote big10p Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2018 at 2:12pm
That's quite a project you've got on your hands there. Not like doing a scratch build of an arcade classic. Must be so much working out involved. Well done so far!

Also looks like it's using a LOT of MDF. This thing is going to weigh a TON, when it's finished. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kaizen088 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2018 at 2:17pm
Many hours have been spent designing the plans and making guesstimates from images. I've built a few 'standard' arcade cabs which I usully knock out in no time, this one will take around 2 1/2 months.
18mm MDF, 4 sheets at 39kg so the bare cab will weigh around 150kg, add another 40kg for hardware, monitor and PC etc.
Probably close to 200kg. Tongue


Edited by Kaizen088 - 12 Jul 2018 at 2:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Hurray Banana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2018 at 2:50pm
Nice attention to detail

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dlightbulb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2018 at 3:43pm
That is so cool!

You know they're doing a remake soon right? You should let them know about your cab somehow
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flinnster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2018 at 4:27pm
Utterly epic Thumbs Up Clap Clap
After that lot building the replica trailer-trash town shack and dusty dirt floor by the lake should be easy too, right? Wink

Wanted: - PCBs: Rainbow Islands, Rolling Thunder, Original Wonderboy PCB
- Parts needed: Naomi non-swivel castor / wheel, coin mech metal clip for Dino King Door
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2018 at 9:59am
Fantastic - way beyond my capability - well done !
"The Future Is Now"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kaizen088 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2018 at 10:37am
Thanks everyone for the positive feedback. Thumbs Up

Originally posted by dlightbulb dlightbulb wrote:

That is so cool!

You know they're doing a remake soon right? You should let them know about your cab somehow
Yeah I'm hoping they'll do the original movie justice.
From the research that I've done I believe there are at least 5 other cabinets in existence including the one built for the DVD documentary.


I managed to get the two halves together today and played a couple of games.
Still plenty of work to do...







Edited by Kaizen088 - 14 Jul 2018 at 11:21am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hurray Banana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2018 at 11:43am
Is it really 10 past 4 already
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kaizen088 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2018 at 12:14pm
It's always 10 past 4...
Probably should put new batteries in it. Tongue


Edited by Kaizen088 - 14 Jul 2018 at 2:04pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote silversmurfer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2018 at 1:27pm
awesome job - have they updated the game for later OS's at all - last time I played it was XP I think ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kaizen088 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2018 at 2:00pm
It runs on Win7 fine.

I found these Ron Cobb drawings today... 






Edited by Kaizen088 - 14 Jul 2018 at 2:08pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Eddhorse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2018 at 3:25pm
Amazing work and attention to detail, looking forward to the rest :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kaizen088 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 12:25am
The original cab (and Gunstar control panel prop) used in the movie had a bank of three illuminated red momentary switches for weapons selection.


After extensively searching for them and coming up empty handed I thought I'd have a go at hacking something that was readily available.
Altronics has an illuminated red On/Off switch that is as close as I could find to the original.


I bought some and pulled them apart to see if it was possible to make them momentary.
There was a hole in the centre of either end that looked like a spring should go in so I took a spring from a retractable pen and cut it to the right size, fitted it in one end and reassembled the switch and it worked perfectly.


One other issue with them is that they use a 240v AC neon globe for illumination.


They're powered through the common (centre) pins of each pole and seeing as they need to be switching ground and I didn't want 240v AC running through the switch anyway, I had to find a solution.
Altronics have a replacement 12v DC globe for pushbutton switches so I bought some, soldered the legs off a resistor onto them and swapped the globes out.


For these type of switches the light is usually constantly on, I wanted to find a circuit using CMOS chips that will switch on and latch each momentary switch light individually as I press them but then switch off if I press another.
i.e. Three momentary switches that only light when you press it to indicate which weapon is active, then switch off when you press one of the other switches...
If the 'Laser" is active and lit, when I press 'Photon" the the light on the 'Laser' switch will go out and the light on the 'Photon" switch will come on, if I press the 'Particle' switch the 'Photon' switch light will got out and the 'Particle' switch will light up.
After extensively searching the net for a suitable circuit and coming up with nothing I had to design one myself.
Here's the basics: I have, three momentary DPDT switches with 12v lamps connected across the common poles, I need to switch DC ground to the Keyboard Encoder (outputs). I had some CD4013's on hand and the Q or Q/ output would need to drive a transistor to supply sufficient current to the lamp. Inverters would send the switched ground signal high and they will also act as buffers between the different switch inputs. I had a stack of 2N5088 transistors on hand so I thought I'd see if they would power up the globes on their own. After testing it out the transistors don't even get warm so they will do the trick.

The final revision of the circuit schematic is done.



Here's a short video of them working the way I wanted.


I was also looking at some options for the control panel lighting, there are 21 round bezel lights plus another 15 rectangular/square lights. 


After a lot of searching for something that resembled the original look of the round lights I found some Dialight bezels that are pretty close and come in red, green, blue and amber.

 


Rather than having them constantly on, I thought it would be kinda cool to have them randomly flash on and off like you see in the movies, something like this...


I didn't want to use an RPi (though I'm sure it's possible to write a code to do it), instead have decided to make up a couple of different small boards using 555's and CD4017 and CD4026.


The CD4017 circuit is basically an LED chaser but I'll wire the outputs to different LED at different positions around the control panel.




The second circuit using a CD4026 will turn the LEDs on and off in a more random interval/duration.



There's a bank of three dials on the panel that don't do anything so I'll use one of them for the cab volume and the other two to vary the rate of LED flashing.

I've laid out the two different schematics above onto a Vero Board.


The caps were increased form 2.2uF to 22uF to slow the rate down and the two 47k resistors were replaced with pots so I can adjust the rate of flashing.

I did a quick test with a single LED on each circuit (before I changed the cap values), the red LED is on the 4017 LED Chaser circuit and the orange LED is on the 4026 Decade Counter/7-Segment Display Decoder.



Once confirmed working I hooked up 18 LEDs to it.






Edited by Kaizen088 - Yesterday at 12:57am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Hurray Banana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 8:21am
Great effort
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Last Bandit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 9:52am
Wow, some amount of work you're doing, look great !! 

Have to admit though, I've never played that game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kaizen088 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 10:33am
Originally posted by The Last Bandit The Last Bandit wrote:

Wow, some amount of work you're doing, look great !! 

Have to admit though, I've never played that game.

The game was never released in the arcades though it was promised in the end credits of the movie.
It was estimated to cost US$10,000 per unit to produce and Atari canned it at about 75% of completion.
The team at Rogue Synapse developed a fanmade PC version available to download for free.


I've edited the end credits... Tongue


Here's a video of the prototype they developed.



I read that Namco ended up with the game code and used it to make Starblade.







Edited by Kaizen088 - Yesterday at 10:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote _Matt_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 11:42am
I've got some square buttons you can have if they are any use to you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kaizen088 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 hours 42 minutes ago at 2:18pm
Cheers Matt, I've sourced some off Ebay but yours look closer to what I was looking for however there needs to be two amber and one green.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote _Matt_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 hours 40 minutes ago at 4:20pm
No probs mate. Just let me know If you decide you do need any, they are 15mm x15mm and I have quite a few  buttons  in each colour just pay postage.
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