My next project will likely be a bartop as well... a little advice...
Try using Recalbox instead. I started out with Retropie but had trouble getting a trackball working.../ swtiched to recalbox and never had an issue. The only glitch is that the gun and the trackball won't work at the same time and the gun always takes priority. I solved this by getting a cheap USB hub with switched outlets.
I simply open the coin door, switch off the gun and turn on the trackball. No need to power off... works like plug & play.
I have 2 raspberry pis in my cabinet (one is a Linux desktop). The screen is a 24" smart TV, so you can switch between inputs to select the mode.
Keep us posted as to your progress on the bartop... -Thorwor
Hmmm... depends on what you're asking... I'm no expert by far but I'll help if I can. Not all of my games are working either. Two things I've learned: Some roms are just bad dumps while others need the correct bios to work.
Games that worked on my PC emu (e.g. Golgo 13) won't run on my cabinet (which is Raspberry Pi based running Recalbox).
Another issue that perplexes me is the Fighting Layer rom. It ran fine on my windows based emulator, but only displays at half-screen with serious lag issues on my cab.
You might want to appeal to all the members here on the main forum concerning getting roms to work in order to get the most effective advice. I'm probably the worst one to ask, to be honest. My strengths lie more in the actual cabinet building and design (i.e. pocket-screw construction, keyed power switches, quick-change marquee systems, custom lighting etc.)
Bummer... I was hoping to see some more innovative cab builders joining the discussion here. I've seen countless vids of folks buying those Arcade 1ups then 'upgrading' them... reminds me of that old saying 'like pouring perfume on a pig'.
In fact, checking one out at the local Wal-Mart made me certain that building my own machine was the way to go. First off, it's like three feet tall, and when I grabbed the joystick, the ball fell off... not a good sign. If you're willing to spend $300 bucks on one, consider that it only costs a little bit more to go first class!
I've had a blast with my custom cab but can't seem to stop thinking of ways to improve it.
Most recently, I've added an (Aimtrak) recoil gun and plan to get another one for 2 player action. Loads of fun! Ultimarc also offers a 4/8 way stick that has a powered switch to change it on the fly. I'm now thinking about trying to adapt one to my tankstick.
C'mon guys (and gals too)... get busy on your machines and post those photos for fellow Retrorommers to enjoy!
FINAL UPDATE! I'm pleased to announce my cab build is now complete and operating 100 percent. I finished it this afternoon with the exception of the coin door lock (which is actually a power switch disguised as a lock) that I'm still waiting on to arrive. The coin door does not accept coins... the slot and return door are magnets that simply stick on and appear functional. The slot is actually one of those Retrocade key chains that came with my mini Centipede cabinet. I completely fabricated the return slot from parts of a broken level I found while cleaning out the shed! I thought it was a rather clever idea and looks pretty convincing. The door has a magnetic closure and a hasp if I really choose to lock it, but it basically functions as a storage area for the lighting, tv, and RF power on remotes.
I never figured out why I can no longer add or change photos on my account, so I just created a new one.
If anyone in interested in seeing the build from start to finish... the photos are under the screen name 'garwor' and are set for public view.
Have a look... this cabinet is unlike any you've seen before, I promise!
It's truly a great feeling to see something I have imagined for so long become tangible. I hope I will inspire a bunch of you Retroromers to go ahead and make your dream cab a reality as well. Please join this group and show off your great ideas to inspire others!
Also be sure to check out Mucci's build which is equally awesome. I really liked the way he mounted his monitor on a swing out access door. VERY COOL IDEA!
One last notable aspect of my build ... I chose Recalbox over Retropie because it seems more compatible with the Tankstick. I could never get the trackball to work properly with with pie.
UPDATE#3: My cab build is nearly complete. I'm pleased to report that all internal components are in place, tested and working perfectly. I spent most of the day installing the lighting and making the bezel. The marquee lighting consists of four 4 inch LED strips that have color change, fade and strobe capabilities as well as traditional white back lighting. The remote works through the marquee so I didn't have to expose the infrared receiver to the outside.
I added a 24 inch LED strip to the back that has different patterns than the Marquee to jazz things up from behind. That strip works on a radio frequency remote rather than the infrared type.
HDMI out and lan ports are in and the power cord outlet looks factory fresh, just like I pictured it in my head.
Tomorrow, I'll finish the top portion (vented access panel) on the back, install the protective plexiglass over the screen, and paint the USB hub access door. All that will remain will be to lacquer the natural birch finish (using gloss). I'm sure it will be done before Friday, and in my home by the weekend.
Of course, I'm keeping a photo journal of the build and I will post them if I ever figure how... I don't do social media so If I can't post them here, you'll just have to use your imagination and my way-too-detailed-descriptions. One more update to come whenever it's finally complete... stay tuned!
UPDATE#2: WOW! Decent plywood is pricey! $55 for a sheet of birch good one side... I'm using lesser quality for the unseen areas (back, top, bottom, etc.. Cabinet is almost complete.
The Tankstick is nestled in and locked down so it can't move. I scrapped the spinner idea because the games that use it can be controlled effectively by the trackball. Keeping with the high-end appearance, I'm adding a very few carbon fiber accents to the plates that cover the joystick holes and the coin slot and return door. I considered doing the bezel in cf, but I'm still on the fence about it. Original plan was to only have graphics on the marquee. Of course, I chose my all-time favorite game, Wizard of Wor, but as previously stated, there's a small door above the marquee that allows me to switch it in seconds to a different one if I choose. Marquee is a nice quality reproduction ($14.95 on ebay) sandwiched between two 1/8 inch pieces of plexiglass and looks very original. The Raspberry pie is mounted above the coin box with a fan situated directly underneath.
I'm using a 24 inch monitor (largest I can squeeze in leaving 3 inches on each side). It's not installed yet, but will be by tomorrow. There will be another hidden door between the tankstick and the monitor that allows access to the USB hub and programming buttons on the back of the X-Arcade.
There will be an HDMI out so I can put it on the big screen if I want as well as a lan port for adding additional roms/emulators if desired (I have crappy wi-fi).
Ok that's enough for now... this is getting long-winded.
I took 6 months off work to do this project but it looks like I'll be done by the end of the coming week... 20 weeks early... woo hoo!
UPDATE: Thanks to Mucci's inspiration, I'm happy to report that my cab build is well underway! Two days in and I have made great progress. Luckily, I have access to a woodworking shop and I'm hiding all fasteners by cutting grooves in the edges and utilizing pocket screw assembly.
It's going in my living room so it has to look like a high end piece of furniture so my girl will allow it.
I had an idea to to put a small door above the marquee so I can change it out if desired and it turned out amazing! I'd love to share a photo, but for some reason my account is unable to post any pictures (or even change my avatar)even though I recently upgraded. I have reached out for help, but my pleas have apparently fallen on deaf ears... oh well... perhaps by the time its done I can figure out what I'm doing wrong.
Great job, Mucci... I have most of the materials I need to start building mine. I'm also using a Tankstick but plan on adding a spinner as well. I have to replace the PCB first to make it more compatible with retropie. I still have a long way to go... thanks for giving me a little inspiration!