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Earlier this year I completed my full size arcade cabinet, and I’ve actually seen a LOT of people make their own using my plans (which is totally amazing!) Since I made that cabinet, I haven’t been able to take my Raspberry Pi based setup out to events because of it’s size so I decided to make a smaller, portable version. Hopefully this will also be a good solution for people who want to have an arcade, but don’t want to sink the time, money and/or space into a full size cabinet.

In case you’re wondering, I used a Dell 17″ LCD monitor Model# E176FPf but just about any 17″ 4:3 monitor should work here.
If you haven’t see the full size cabinet series, be sure to check it out.  This video only covers the build of the smaller cabinet, so you’ll have to look back to the series for more specifics on the electronics and setup. Also, if you need help getting the 2nd player setup, this article was what I used.

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  • Mike

    Is there a possibility that there will be shop plans available for this?

  • Aaron Rice

    did you buy your rasberry pi pre programmed with retro pie ect. was wondering if those were reliable/good buy thanks

    • Egon

      Retropie itself is freeware distributed under a GPL. In addition to not being in the spirit of the licensing agreement, you’re basically paying for something that is offered and intended to be free. IMO, a RPi with preinstalled Retropie is not a good buy mostly because the process of installing the software yourself is very simple and the documentation on Retropie’s website is quite good.

  • Rob Grant

    still wishing there was a way to hack the BoxeeBox to run the arcade games!

    nice video bob, digging the desktop version!

  • Ophillpotts

    Would you be able to put up the plans for this ?

    As soon as you do m buying them and making this !!!!

  • Ben Austin

    what is the size of the monitor?

  • Hans Kiser

    I was planning on building a full size arcade cabinet but my wife recommended the bar top style. The final outcome is a bit different from yours

  • Mike Fink

    What size Brad nails do you typically use for this?

  • John Michael Hardin

    the plans don’t have the measurements of the cabinet side panels ?

    • At the bottom of the file is the template for the sides. The idea is to print that out at full size rather than measuring and drawing the side panel by hand. I printed out mine on several pieces of paper, then just taped them together edge to edge. Just be sure to tell the printer not to scale the pages to fit.

      • John Hardin

        Doh! Removed the scale to fit, and it printed perfectly. My bad – thank you!

  • Matt Olson

    Hey Bob, would MDF work for this project? I’m thinking about being cheap and not getting the t-molding since I dont have the router bit either. I was thinking about just doing MDF and using a 1/4″ roundover bit to give it a smooth look. Be interested to get your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

    • Yeah, that’d work great!

      • Matt Olson

        Also, I’m in the process of finding a monitor. Do you know if 5:4 aspect ratio works well? or best to stick with the 4:3?

  • Steve Conniff

    Wow. Lexan is expensive….

  • Gary Pope
  • Wilfredo Olivo

    This may be a dumb question. If I have a 24” monitor i have to account for the size of the plywood base on the plans? which im assuming it will then change the dimension of other pieces of plywood. does that sound about right or is there just one piece that will change and the rest would still be the same size, sorry for the confusing comment . Watch your video like 12 times and cant wait to start!

    • It really depends on the dimensions of the monitor. I would imagine that it’d fit just fine, but without comparing to the plywood panel, I can’t say for sure.

  • Cameron Minaglia

    So do you need to have the micro SD card and a usb memory stick for the games? Or can you just have it all on the micro SD card (operating system and games)?

    • The memory stick is for copying the games to the SD card, which holds the operating system and any files it needs.

      • Cameron Minaglia

        Ok, I got it! Keep on making wonderful things!!!

  • Mason

    Whats a rough cost estimate

  • Geoff

    Hi, loving the youtube shows – watching with my kids to help inspire them! I’ve bought the plans but having being based in the UK even without scaling my printer (A4 not Letter) seems to be messing with the dimensions. Could you give me the overall dimensions of the control board and side panels so I can check I’ve scaled it properly? Thanks!

  • joshtintner

    I feel like a doofus but how can I set the panels to print to multiple pages? I even saved the page out as its own JPG but whenever I try to print I dont have any option to print this to multiple pages it keeps trying to print it to one 🙁

    • In the print settings of your computer, make sure to UNcheck “Scale to Fit” That will make it print full size across multiple sheets.

  • joshtintner

    So this is the first time I’ve purchased a raspberry pi and I just assumed a power wall wart would be supplied. Any recommendation on what to use for this? I know I need a 5v with a minimum of 2amps but I noticed it was not in the supply list, any recommendation for this build?

    • Oh man.. my bad. I completely forget to add that. I typically put the kit in the list, not the pi by itself. Fixing that now. I would recommend a supply like this one http://amzn.to/2lgEJRw

      • joshtintner

        Is there any other items I should be aware of for this “kit” I’m already planning on getting a USB doc so I can get access to a few more USB ports, obviously an SD card an HDMI cable.

        Just want to make sure I have all of what I need! Thanks again for the plans, my boss wanted a 23 inch monitor so far its a bit bigger. I have attached progress through about 3 hours so far including going to get my plywood! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d8d826531b6a0fccf30447da5ec760a6e28720661991e82769789bfbeb6534e2.jpg

        • SD and HDMI cable (the monitor has HDMI, right?) are the only other things for the Pi, that I can think of. That’s assuming you got a Pi 3, which has wifi onboard. You’ll need a power strip for everything, and speakers as well.
          Looking great so far!!

  • Spencer Healy

    I loved your tutorial on this! I didn’t go from the plans… I pretty much winged it along the way and its impressive. My friends and family are very blown away with the result. Thanks again and best of luck with your business.

    -Spencecade 3k


  • Xavier Barker

    How big is the sheet of plywood that you used. I’m not from America and not sure if there is a standard size.

  • Juan Velazquez

    how has everyone been able to print out the side panel template …when i print to it comes out as one sheet of paper

  • Jordan Miller

    It certainly has it’s flaws that will forever drive me nuts! But I’m very happy with the results. I’d say it’s about 90% complete. I’m going to 3d print some speaker grilles for the openings on each side. I know this probably isn’t the ideal spot for a speaker, but I had some spare computer speakers that just fit inside.

    Thanks for the plans! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f52f4a1611840d5fd987e2e9f60ed338c628b15007b2eeac0ee5e0ce1568dd44.jpg

  • Jason Adams

    I bought the plans and I found someone to cut the pieces with a cnc machine however on the cut file everything is shrunk down to around 2 inches by 1 inch. Also the “custom” cut piece has a lot of imperfection. Wobbly lines. This is not a big deal. I just thought I’d make you aware of it.

  • Abdullah Rajput

    I have an issue … I already CUT everything as per your dimensions … Now I have a 19″ monitor … can i fix it in the same – Please help me out here

  • Matthew Johnson

    I purchased this today and was wondering how to get the template for the side and control panels to print to the size need to use the template. It has only printed to the size of a sheet of paper so far, making for a small machine lol.

    • Make sure “scale to fit” is UNchecked when printing

      • Matthew Johnson

        Thank you very much for responding to me so very very quickly. WOW! I really appreciate great service. Especially on a 4th of July weekend.


      • Matthew Johnson

        I seem to be missing something yet. I attempted this when I got home this evening and it only prints one page of the control panel (essentially half of it) and a single page/portion of the cabinet. Could you please help set me in the right direction yet? Thanks so much.

        • Hmm, it should take anything else other than the “scale to fit” thing. Do you have any other page limit settings in place or anything?

        • Brian Way

          I’m having the same issue. It appears that you need to check your PDF printing options to “Tile Large Pages” in the “Page Scaling” drop down menu. Adobe’s Help page says that this option is not available for Adobe Reader 9 and below, so you might have to download the newest free version of Reader for it to work properly.

  • J Watts

    I just bought some of these plans, and I love the design. One question: I noticed that the button layout is different in the bartop arcade compared to your full size one. On the bartop arcade you went with 4 buttons per player instead of 6 in the full size. Is this because you found the other two weren’t needed, or was there just not enough room for the 6 buttons per player?

    • Kind of both. I’ve never used those two on the full size machine so I didn’t try to fit them into an already small control board.

  • ryokai

    If you are having trouble with printing out the full-sized template even though you’ve unchecked scale to fit and checked your printer properties, the problem is more than likely your printer cannot accept the format your PDF reader is sending to it and you’ll need to convert the file into another standard first.

    Open the PDF in your reader. Scroll down to the template and choose the option to print that page. After you’ve set the correct scaling options, tell it to print to the Microsoft XPS Document Writer instead. If you use something other than Windows sorry, I don’t know of anything else that will work, but the solution will likely be similar.

    Now open the new file that you created and print it, again making sure scale to fit isn’t checked. I never could get either program to print without inserting a header/footer so make sure you use the cutmarks option to know where to trim the pages to fit properly.

  • FlamezX13

    How much T-molding should I order in ft?

    • Payson Dolbin

      I believe the minimum order for T-Molding is 20ft. and I had plenty of extra after.

  • Payson Dolbin

    I’m kind of new to making graphics, is that what the dxf file is for? I opened it in Illustrator but the lines on the shapes seem unusually thick and I was also wondering if they have the right dimensions so if I go to print them they will be the correct size. Thanks!