Let's build a bartop arcade (was: donate donate lcd for bartop arcade build)

I’d like to organize a group build of a Bartop Arcade machine. From what I have read, a decent “on the cheap” monitor would be a 17-19" 4:3 lcd. I have a 17" here, but it got me thinking, maybe lots of DMS members might have one to donate to a group build.

The arcade machine would have the following specs:
LCD Monitor
Bartop case (cut on our CNC router)
Two player configuration with Happ controls
Choice of a) JAMMA compatible 60-in-1 PCB or Raspberry Pi with RetroPi installed
Power supply
Cabinet artwork (hopefully printed on our large format printer)

Anyone interested in donating and or building?


Sounds like a fun plan,
If you need someone to run the CNC router table to cut the cases I’m game to help.

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sounds like a fun project, but make sure it’s stowable after it’s playable or it won’t stay at DMS long.

If you haven’t seen it, I built a playable arcade machine (using a windows tablet instead of a raspberry pi) so I definitely will help with the design. I have some buttons, but you’re better off getting real Happ arcade buttons and joystick.

17" 4:3 you could probably find at good will for about $20 I found a bunch of them on the freebie shelf but the supply seemed to dry up.


Thanks Nick! That would be helpful, I have had the class but haven’t done my first cut.

Do you know if it is possible to cut the edge slot for the T-channel on the cnc router or should that be done on the manual router?

thats pretty cool mitch, I remember when you were building that costume :slight_smile:

Yeah it turned out really good, especially the graphics that I printed on the large format printer. I’m sure we could get printed vinyl to apply to an MDF cabinet.

I PM’d you about possibly donating an LCD monitor

It is possible, but more difficult than just doing it with the incra table. I would suggest adding the slot manually.

Hello All,

I build these little guys as a hobby.

I have a few 15" monitors i can donate, not sure size your going for.

It’s best to slot cut for the tmolding with a router and a slot bit. I have the bit for this.

I also have red or blue tmolding i can donate.

If you want to take it up a notch, instead of the jamma, just take a modded original xbox and put coinops on it, you now have 4500 games to play instead of 60.

Not sure what your using for the encoders but you can program minimus’s to handle that.

If you want to include a trackball, i have those too, and some buttons.

Led lighting for the marquee, and some cam locks for the back door.

I also suggest laminating the surfaces instead of painting, very durable.

I just finished a CNC bartop design i’m putting together now, if you want to use that we can or @Nick and myself can assist you with the CNC.

I’m game for sure, let me know where i can help…

This was a flat pack cut on the CNC.


Thats awesome! It is almost the exact profile I had drafted in fusion360. It would be great if we could get the cnc ready files. It might be good to have a blank back in the plans that we could then take to the laser to cut custom design. I dig the one you have but like the option to customize.

I just watched this vid


about the coinops, and its very cool. The games seem to perform perfectly out of the box, not so for the retropie. Lot of tweaking involved.

The downside of the xbox it is very old tech and can be hard to find and mod.

Not really, the electronics goodwill gets them all the time, $20, and i know how to mod, and have all of the files.

I am a superuser on the coinops forum, so i have access to the latest and greatest.

I agree, i have a blank backed profile as well. It’s put together via pockets and glue no screws. Just need 1 sheet of 5/8 mdf.

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I’ve got a 23" monitor that is USB driven, would that work or be too big.

Suspect that USB input won’t respond in a timely fashion to fast-changing graphics.

I have a 23" IPS LCD that I took apart, it has a few dead pixels (they look fine with mid to dark tones, just noticable with white) near the top but it’s a very nice 1080p monitor, I would donate this to the project. It’s in project storage now and I don’t think I’ll use it for anything since I took it apart. I think a 16:9 monitor would be fine in a bartop cabinet.

I was just looking at trying my hand this exact thing. I was thinking of going the retro-pi route when I remembered I had an old Xbox lying around and an old mod chip to go with it.

I would definitely be willing to donate it

Well instead of donating maybe we can stir up enough interest to do a group bild slash class to build a bartop arcade…i mean where each person acquires the parts to build their own and we have a build event at dms


That sounds like a fantastic idea

i’m game for helping to teach the class etc…i’ve only done xboxes but would like to expand into the PI for microbuilds.

The dragon bartop is near parts completion, so i could bring it up there for a look see to start conversations.

I’ve also got a full size scratch cab going up in vector next month…


I struck out at the goodwill computer store. No xboxes. Probably get a odroid board instead or an all in one intel board at least it is upgradeable.