We’ve heard from many of you over the years who would like to own an arcade cabinet but can’t find any in your area. Unfortunately, the amount of cabinets in circulation has dwindled quite a bit in the last decade or so due to factors such as manufacturers no longer producing as many “traditional” arcade games and operators getting out of the business. With more and more people wanting arcade machines for their homes and the rise of bar/arcade-type establishments, demand for cabinets has never been higher. Thankfully, many companies are stepping in to help fill this void by producing cabinet kits that allow you to build your own game. One such company that provides cabinet kits such as this is Holland Computers / RetroArcade.us. In this post, we will discuss how to assemble their cocktail cabinet kit (with JAMMA wiring harness).
Assembling A Cocktail Cabinet Kit (With JAMMA Wiring Harness)
To purchase this kit, click the image below:
PLEASE NOTE: This kit DOES NOT INCLUDE a game board or software of any kind. These items are sold separately. With that said, this kit should work with the majority of JAMMA-compatible game boards that use a VGA port for video output (including multigame boards such as the 60-in-1, 412-in-1, etc.) which can be found on Amazon and eBay. You can also run a MAME computer, Raspberry Pi board, or other USB compatible devices inside of it using this USB to JAMMA Converter Board from Holland Computers.
Before we get started, we would like to thank Bill and his team at Holland Computers / RetroArcade.us for giving us the opportunity to assemble this kit and film the process. We would also like to recognize all of the work they have put into making these kits as easy to put together as possible. What they have accomplished is definitely quite a feat and allows pretty much anybody to assemble them. Thank you guys so much for all of your hard work and for providing these kits to people like us. We really appreciate it.
Also, here’s just some general information about the kit. The product SKU for this particular cabinet is RA-COCKTAIL-KIT. The video follows the assembly instructions manual that can be found on the Holland Computers website under the Hardware link and Arcade Game Part Manuals. Here is a direct link to the assembly instructions that we used for this cabinet: http://www.hollandcomputers.com/data/Images_Additional/Arcade%20Manuals/cocktail%20cabinet%20kit%20assembly%20manual.pdf. Even though the video goes step-by-step through the process, we HIGHLY recommend that you use the assembly manual as well to help you put your kit together.
Since the video for this post goes so in-depth through the assembly process, we are just going to give you some general tips here that we found useful while putting the kit together. Hope these tips help you guys out.
- The kit comes with a plexiglass top but we recommend ordering the glass top and clips. When you order the kit, it comes with a plexiglass top which is fine and works fairly well. With that said, we recommend ordering the glass top and clips. We like the glass top better because it looks more authentic and the clips will make sure that it doesn’t come off accidentally.
You an order the glass top at this link: http://www.hollandcomputers.com/store/pc/Replacement-cocktail-table-top-glass-with-4-in-radius-Fits-Bally-Midway-tables-plus-other-aftermarket-arcade-cocktail-tables-2377p8147.htm?idaffiliate=38.
In the video, we used eight of the black glass clips. Here’s a link to those: http://www.hollandcomputers.com/store/pc/Arcade-Game-Powdered-Coated-Black-Glass-Clip-for-Cocktail-Machines-2512p10607.htm?idaffiliate=38
- If you’re having a tough time getting the cams and pegs to line up, try rotating the piece you are dealing with around the locked cams or coming at it from a different angle. You’ll see a couple of times in the video where we have this issue (such as when we build the shelf inside the cabinet). In every case, we were able to get the boards together by using one of these two tips. You can also try gently tapping on the board to see if it falls where you need it to go.
- Be careful with the ground wire daisy-chain. It’s somewhat tight when you run it across the cabinet from panel to panel. Since we used the same ground wire daisy-chain for both control panels, the wire got a little tight inside the cabinet. While it shouldn’t be an issue, we recommend wrapping any ground terminals that you don’t use in electrical tape just to make sure that they don’t cause a problem. We actually cut out the wire that contained the extra terminals between the two control panels and replaced it with a standard wire which made the wiring easier to clean up and helps us avoid any shorts which may occur.
- When attaching the control panels to the cabinet, you may need to loosen the cams on the control panel itself to get it to lock flush with the cabinet. It was a little tricky to get the control panels to attach to the cabinet with as little “seam” showing as possible. Loosening the cams on the inside of the control panel helped quite a bit and allowed us to set it pretty much flush with the cabinet. Just remember to lock these cams back once the control panel is attached.
- If you are having trouble mounting the speaker inside the cabinet, remember that you can remove the fan/speaker panel from the cabinet. We were having some problems mounting the speaker to the panel when we got around to that step. Then, we remembered that the fan/speaker panel is only attached by four cams. Once we unlocked these cams and removed the panel, attaching the speaker was a breeze.
- Testing the voltage (especially the DC) is very important and will ensure that the game will work properly. You will notice in the video that we check the DC voltage several times. This is because we want to ensure that the correct voltage is getting to the board. Too much voltage and we could cause damage to the board. Not enough voltage and the board won’t work properly. Don’t skip the voltage check! Make sure you check it multiple times so that you don’t have problems later on down the road.
Here’s a link to the mulitmeter we use in the video if you don’t have one already: http://www.hollandcomputers.com/store/pc/Digital-Voltmeter-Ohmmeter-Ammeter-Multimeter-OHM-DC-AC-Voltage-XL830L-2730p8190.htm?idaffiliate=38.
- The kit does not come with any artwork but there is some available if you want to go that route. While we think that the kit looks great as it is, you may decide that you want some artwork to give it a bit more appeal. Holland Computers / RetroArcade.us sells a 3-piece vinyl cover artwork set that includes the underlay (that goes under the plexiglass/glass top) and sideart for both of the sides of the cocktail cabinet.
Here’s a link to 3-piece cocktail vinyl artwork set: http://www.hollandcomputers.com/store/pc/Retro-Arcade-cocktail-game-vinyl-cover-3-piece-set-for-RetroArcade-us-cocktail-cabinet-2377p10948.htm?idaffiliate=38.
- The t-molding that comes with the kit is just a bit wider than the cabinet. Feel free to shave off the excess if you wish. The kit comes with 3/4 inch t-molding but the cabinet is made out of 5/8 inch melamine which means there is a slight overlap. This didn’t bother us and, in fact, we kind of like it but feel free to trim it off if it bothers you.
Overall, there are several things we really like about this kit. For one, this kit is the only plug-and-play kit on the market today. What does that mean? Well, it means that there is no soldering or advanced wiring knowledge required to assemble it. In other words, it is truly made for beginners. Even if you don’t have any previous experience working with arcade games, we feel confident that you will be able to put this kit together. The kit is also well made and very sturdy so you can be sure that you will get lots of enjoyment out of it for a long time. So, if you are on the fence about purchasing this kit, go ahead and buy it. We’re sure that you will be happy with the quality of the product you will receive.
With the supply of classic arcade cabinets dwindling every year, it’s good to know that companies like Holland Computers / RetroArcade.us are doing what they can to step up and fill the demand. Cabinet kits such as the one we’ve discussed here are a great way to not only buy an arcade cabinet for your enjoyment but learn a lot about how they work in the process. Please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments section below.