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Build a Home Arcade with “Try This At Home”

This week, Holly and Jessica of Crabcat Industries show how to build a home arcade on the Nerdist Channel’s Try This at Home. Because a home isn’t a home without a room that feels like that dark part of the shopping mall circa 1983. I got Dig Dug next. See? That’s my quarter on the machine.

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4 comments

  • @anthony I wasn’t looking for a detailed programming course, just enough to get going on the fabrication of an arcade cabinet. They didn’t show how to do ANYTHING. Even the soldering lesson was pointless because you couldn’t see what she was doing at all.

    Ok, even forgetting wiring and mounting the buttons and joystick… they didn’t talk about the basics behind building the cabinet to house the computer plus monitor. They didn’t talk about the cabinet shell, or the internal structure (how to build the shelving to allow for the correct viewing angle or where to place air vents to prevent overheating of the tower).

    They just said “Look at what this guy did in his spare room. He used black light paint and some computers, Here’s a badly filmed demo of soldering a button to a circuit board. Now for crappy drinks. See you next time!”

    The name of the show is “Try This At Home”, which implies that some degree of (useful) tutorial is going to be involved to help the viewer actually have enough confidence to “Try This At Home”.

    Heck, if they had even provided helpful link addresses to actual step-by-step guides that already exist online that would have made up for the rest of the episode being completely unhelpful.

    Holly and her crew are AMAZING fabricators. I was hoping to benefit at least a little bit from their knowledge. Oh, well.

  • Jen, even a week may not be enough to get up to speed on programming the ADC needed for the old style joysticks, trackballs, and buttons. Your best bet is to start by going retro arcade. Buy an embedded PC (Pentium 4 or 5) with either USB or I2C interfaces to deal with the game controls, then buy a used VGA with a traditional Dsub9 interface and place into a cabinet with a power supply.

    Google “diy arcade cabinet” for more info.

  • Um… I was waiting for the part where they actually built an arcade cabinet and showed how to wire in and program the traditional joystick and push-button controls. I thought this was supposed to be a “how-to” show.

    Seriously bummed that it turned out to be a bumbling, pointless waste of ten minutes of time.

    Double-bummed because I am a huge fan of Holly’s fabrication work with costuming, props and animatronics.

    Ugh.