A MAME game

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Project by GaryK posted 09-04-2008 08:33 AM 4508 views 14 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

How about something for little kids and big kids alike!

MAME? (acronym for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator)

“What’s that?”, I asked myself after seeing the projects of fellow lumberjocks:

Greg Wurst and Tim Dorcas

It turns out that some people wrote computer emulators for all the various CPU’s (6502, Z80, 6800…)
and dumped the ROM’s from the original vintage arcade games and got the games to work on a regular PC.

I had never heard of it before so I want to thank both of them for their posts.

This is my version of a MAME cabinet. Actually it’s my second one (it was the same design as the Greg and Tim’s). I decided that the first one was just too big and heavy with a 26” color TV in it, so I broke it apart and used the wood to make this smaller version. I used 1/2” plywood instead of 3/4” MDF to keep the weight down. The entire thing weighs about 80 lbs. With 3” wheels it is real easy to move around.

The smaller version has a 17” LCD monitor. I did make the bezel removable so that I can fit a bigger monitor in the future if I wanted to. This allowed me to decrease the depth and height. I think that it ended up the perfect size for inside the house. The upper part contains the speakers since no game is complete without sound!

After a little bargain hunting on ebay, I found a steering wheel, stick shift, and a spinner for about$50. If I were to buy them new it would have cost $431!

If you look at the 5th picture you can see that I installed an extra switch to play Commodore 64 games. It basically just sets shift key on the keyboard controller to use multiple inputs for right joystick.

With about 20,000 C64 games and about 6000 arcade games, that brings the total up to about 26,000 games.

The software is great in that it allows you to organize all your favorites in one place. It also includes a history for each game along with all the details of the original game including pictures of the machine itself, the motherboard and a lot of other things.

In the last picture you can see my 16 month old daughter playing. I have no doubt that she will be better at it than I ever was or will be.

I never knew how much I missed all those old games.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

32 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4000 days

#1 posted 09-04-2008 11:08 AM

This is a really nice project. I wondered what you had been busy with. Now I can see that you have been playing “video games”. :)

The artwork is pretty cool as well. Enjoy it while you can. I am sure that you will have to schedule time on it when your daughter gets a little older.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4052 days

#2 posted 09-04-2008 11:26 AM

Holy cow! Have you ever done anything simple? As usual, very impressive.

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4347 days

#3 posted 09-04-2008 01:38 PM

Very Cool as usual. Thanks for the post Gary.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4477 days

#4 posted 09-04-2008 01:53 PM

Very nice Gary!

This would be up my Grandson’s alley, he’d love something like this.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Patrick Jaromin's profile

Patrick Jaromin

406 posts in 4010 days

#5 posted 09-04-2008 01:54 PM

Very cool….some day, when I actually have some time I gotta build me one of these! Thanks for the post.

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

View Karson's profile


35140 posts in 4578 days

#6 posted 09-04-2008 02:14 PM

Cool Gary.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View MsDebbieP's profile


18616 posts in 4338 days

#7 posted 09-04-2008 02:37 PM

ok Gary.. is there ANYTHING that stumps you???

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View john's profile


2376 posts in 4559 days

#8 posted 09-04-2008 02:49 PM

Nice work ! Do you have any progress pictures ?

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View PurpLev's profile


8542 posts in 3826 days

#9 posted 09-04-2008 03:01 PM

yeah, those ‘old games’ are the best… or maybe it’s just nostalgia. I liked the idea of building up an arcade looking box for it though – much cooler then playing those on my laptop… lol – but then again, you need to stand up for that…

in the future when I have the space for it – I’ll definitely adopt this idea – it just looks too cool!

Thanx for sharing, and thanx Greg and Tim for the design!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View robbi's profile


176 posts in 4133 days

#10 posted 09-04-2008 03:05 PM

This is crazy! I have never heard of this before, but very cool. You are very talented.

-- Robin, California

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4166 days

#11 posted 09-04-2008 03:41 PM

Scott – It’s happening already. Here she is at my first machine. She’s only 16 months old!

John – No, no progress pictures. Greg and Tim did a good job covering that.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View NedB's profile


659 posts in 3743 days

#12 posted 09-04-2008 04:11 PM

that’s really cool. I could see one of those out in my shop… lol

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1

View Chardt's profile


169 posts in 3779 days

#13 posted 09-04-2008 04:43 PM

My first computer was a Commodore 64. And I have an emulator for it as well. So now I have all the old C64 games that I used to play as well. Forbidden Forrest, Summer games, Impossible mission, Lode Runner…Ah, memories of Jr. High.

-- When my wife ask's what I have to show for my wood working hobby, I just show her the splinters.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4166 days

#14 posted 09-04-2008 05:17 PM

Chardt – The C-64 was my third computer. My first was a Timex Sinclair ZX81 I bought for $99 and had to build myself. My second was a Vic-20.

Lode Runner is my favorite all time game.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

795 posts in 4010 days

#15 posted 09-04-2008 05:38 PM

I’ve been meaning to build another panel for a steering wheel and light guns for some time now. The DOS emulation is weak to non-existent, so I’d have to boot into Windows and run a 32bit version of MAME to use them. Just haven’t gotten around to it yet, although I do have the force feedback steering wheel sitting inside the cabinet. I also need to figure-out a good way to integrate the foot pedal, although I may just have it sit on the floor. I look forward to seeing your sub-panel, and great work on the cabinet!

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

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