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Nov 16

7 Years!!

Category: Journal

Happy 7 years to the Mackhouse blog!!!

Yep it has been 7 years and I am not even sure if anyone is following anymore. Something we need to fix so stay tuned things will get better and we will be back on top of this.

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Nov 11

Cabinet Hardware Assembly

Category: Journal,Mini Mame

The cabinet is completely painted and is looking really good. I do as I had mentioned earlier wished I had used bondo instead of wood filler but oh well things still look good and really it is only me that notices. Unfortunately I learned the best way to get a nice glossy look on a cabinet on this is to paint it all flat black which ensures a nice even surface then give it up to 5 passes with clear coat. Too bad I didnt know this before hand, funny how you discover these things after the fact.

I spent all Friday assembling the hardware etc. Was a great use of a day off. Had my fingers crossed a little when I powered it all up but Success!! Everything worked perfectly. Now it is onto configuring all the mame software, emulators and Maximus arcade which I am using for the frontend. Below is pictures of the progress. Looking forward to when I get all the art decals on the sides, control board and the marquee. Anyone out there want to donate their time and do some artwork for me?

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Nov 04

Painting The Cab In Progress

Category: Journal,Mini Mame

Just another quick update on the Cabinet progress. I have been spending the last week applying the primer coat making sure it is all nice and even. Then it was onto sanding the whole thing down to make it nice and smooth for the coat of paint. It has been a slow process as I wait for each coat to dry. I have to say now that I am so close to getting to putting all the hardware together I am getting impatient but excited.

Below you will see the rear door and control panel primed and sanded and the main cabinet with it’s first coat of paint.

Next steps:

  • finish¬†painting
  • wet sand everything to get it super glossy and smooth
  • install all buttons
  • install the door
  • mount the Mother Board
  • mount the HDD
  • connect everything
  • hold breath

 

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Oct 21

Mackhouse Arcade Progress!!!

Category: Journal,Mini Mame

Okay so it has been a really long time since we have updated anything on this blog. Darn facebook!!! Sorry about the lack of updates or info or anything for that matter. That being said I have over the past few weeks been back at the mini mame project.

Sadly I have lost a few pictures along the way so it will feel like I jumped a step here. Last we left off I had the cardboard prototype all put together. Since then I bought ¬†sheet of 1/2″ MDF and an awesomely old table saw which weighs a ton as it is all cast iron. It has lasted some 50+ years and will probably last some about that much more although it is insanely heavy and big. I can tell you there are a lot of other tools I would love to have for this project (band saw, fixed belt sander, etc) but I have had to improvise. I manage to cut out all the pieces with just the table saw and a jig-saw and the help of many helpful new clamps (seriously I think this project is just an excuse to buy more tools). ¬†After this I placed in all the bracing supports and then dry fitted everything to see if it would all fit.¬†Luckily¬†everything seemed to be all right and the main issues where in figuring out how to mount the external usb’s, these will allow for external keyboards, mices and game controllers.

 

After all this was time to layout the joystick and buttons which I did in cardboard then tested with the hardware. Everything worked swimingly, so with the control board in place it was time to drill, I also drilled extra buttons on the side of the cabinet and under the main control board these will allow for player select and pinball games. Feeling comfortable with everything it was time to glue and assemble everything together (fingers crossed). I learned in this process to take one pieces at a time I was excited to get it all in place in one sitting but highly recommend taking your time, and you can never have enough clamps. Next up was figuring out how the monitor would be mounted. This took some time and though but in the end was a lot simpler than I was¬†originally¬†planning as seen in the pictures. Pleased with everything I am now just filling in some nail holes and sanding the cabinet down in prep for the primer and paint. On the hardware side I had now got my monitor and marquee lighting running off the PSU, very exictied about this as one of my goals was to have only one power cord. More on this later. Below are pics on the final glued together cabinet. Now off to paint…

  

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Jan 02

Happy New Year

Category: Journal

Happy New Year to you all. 2011 is now over and we are looking forward to the year 2012 and all it has to bring. It seems that 2011 was year as far as the world goes not that great. Thankfully we are blessed to live in an area of the world that is largely un-touched by these things and have a wonderful family which to built memories with.

This blog as you all know has been neglected and with the new year it is time to get it back on track and updated. Last we left off we were heading into May with the celebrations of Rhys and my birthday. From this Naomi headed down to Florida for a work conference and upon her return we headed off on our first family vacation to the coast. We had a great time showing the boys Vancouver and the island for the first time with visits to Salt Spring island and Tofino traveling on several ferries along the way. Shortly after Naomi headed down to San Francisco for some training and a little time with here sister. Much of our summer was spent lazing by pools and the lake and finishing up the landscaping in the yard. Following shortly after Tristan headed off to school for the first time and our house got a new facelift of fresh paint and new windows. Naomi’s with a really yummy meal at a fancy restaurant and my first taste of rabbit stew (yum I can still taste it!). I had a quick trip down to LA for work and then to a conference in San Antonio. Sadly we were all hit hard with colds and flus at the tail end of fall and hopefully that is all behind us now. Finishing off this year was a trip to Edmonton for Christmas.

That is the quick re-cap of the year and below are the photos over the past months. Hope you all enjoy!

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Dec 18

Christmas Card 2011

Category: Journal

Hello to everyone on this long forgotten blog.Here is this year’s Christmas card to you all to enjoy.

Yes this blog is very sadly neglected. I think it should be a new year’s resolution to get this thing running again.

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May 20

Married 10 years!!

Category: Journal

Wow it is crazy but as of yesterday we have been married for 10 years. It has been a crazy 10 years with ups and downs and houses and kids and many trips to Disneyland. Looking forward to another decade together.

Here is my gift to Naomi which I commissioned a co-worker to do for me. You can see her other work here.

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Mar 07

Puffles Everywhere!!

Category: Journal

It is finally launched!! The new project I have been working on for the last number of months and overtime is finally launched.

This now being the largest project I have lead out has been a very interesting journey. The goal was to make the puffle more interactive and compelling. It has been very eye opening and stressful (I have been dreaming puffles for weeks now) but in the end if the players love it then it is worth it. There is an insanely long list of people to thank on this one as it was a large team effort, I truly thank you all for the very hard work and care that you put into this project. Dave I thank you most as you were very instrumental in bringing this one across the line.

Below is a few screen grabs of the various pieces. Now onto the next project, no rest of the weary.

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Feb 14

Back to the Arcade

Category: Journal,Mini Mame

It is close to a year that I last abandoned the project and now it is time to get back on it. Having been fret with hardware issues I lost drive on the project especially when the weather started turning for the good and yard work was calling.

This weekend I got back at it and decided to tackle the cabinet itself as this might help in deciding on some of my hardware replacement choices and a few last hardware pieces. I did some research on some cabinets and found some of the aspects I like about some of the best ones and wanted to mix in a few details of the classic tabletop Coleco games I played so much as a kid.

After spending a few hours playing around with a couple of drawings I cut out all the pieces and built this cardboard prototype. I am really happy with the result but might increase the height about an inch to allow for some more room for the buttons and joystick.

Next is playing with the button/joystick configuration.

Cabinet Prototype

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Feb 08

Watoto 2011

Category: Journal

Looks like we got extremely lucky and the past few days we have gotten to spend time with our sponsor child from Watoto. It is amazing that this is the second time that we have been able to do this last year it was Felix and this year Ivan. Ivan, Marvin and their “Uncle” David stayed with us Sunday and Monday before they had to leave to continue their Choir tour in Calgary. The boys all had a great time together playing, goofing off and dancing. It was so awesome that Tristan and Rhys got to meet their “brothers” from Africa.

If you are interested in sponsoring ones of these kids i highly recommend Watoto. It is a great organization with great success and a very good way of caring for these kids in a way that sets them on a path to be the future leaders of Africa and hopefully our world.

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