Posted 08 February 2004 - 06:30 PM
Ok, my WAF is near zero for an upright cabinet. She doesn't mind a table-top style console such as was found in bars, but those just don't have enough room for the controls I really want. So I'm taking a totally new route, that satifies my wife, and gives me a MAME station, but also creates a great new entertainment center for other games:
We do need a new dining room table. Thus, taking a clue from buzzdalf's transformer cabinent, I'm going to build myself "The Round Table".
Picture a standard 54" circular table. It has paneling dropping down about 4" along the outer border. The support is a central pillar, about 2' wide at the bottom, but increasing to about 3' just below the table support, with some sort of ornamental legging along the bottom on four points for stability.
The table top isn't perfectly smooth, but is made up of panels. That doesn't really matter for normal use, as we usually have a table cloth. Besides, most dining room tables have lines on them anyway where expansion inserts can be placed, etc, so we are ok so far.
The central portion is a large 3' circular panel. Along 8 points around the edge are several 1.25' x 6" rectangular panels.
The central circular panel lifts out. On the other side is a recess that holds a green felt poker surface. Under this felt panel are other thin panels having other gaming surfaces, such as chess, Risk, backgammon, etc. printed on them.
Under the central panel on the main table is a glass surface. This looks down into the center of the table where the TV for the mame cabinent is located.
Anyway, the 8 panels along the outside of the circular table are triangular rotating panels. One side is the normal dining room table. The other an arcade control for one player, and the final side a poker chip and cup holder. I expect to be able to have a steel sliding bar you can get to from underneath the table that you can pull in and out to keep the rotating panels stationary in each position. All of these controls should be obscured by the border of the table, but if you climb underneath you will have access to the locking bolts between each of the panels. Dowels will keep the panels from rotating all the way around and binding up the wires.
The TV inside rotates around... a switch I read about keeps it from going a full circle as well where the wires will bind. This allows the monitor to turn so any station is centered... or for two player games it can be positioned between the stations, etc.
With 8 stations around the table, I can easily have almost every control I need available without crowding up anything. Controls like a steering wheel still aren't easily added, but I'm thinking one of the stations will just come out, allowing you to insert a steering wheel mounted on a block of wood that fits inside the panel and can be locked in. This wheel might be storable inside the table's column, etc.
A retractable power cord keeps it neat when power isn't needed and prevents people from tripping over it.
Pretty ambitious, and I'm in the middle of drafting plans now. Thus far it looks feasible, although an extremely difficult project. I'll post my plans when finished, and later this year pics as I start building.