Author Topic: Mini Arcade Cab - DIY Guide included (Youtube Vid inside)  (Read 51481 times)


  • Guest
Mini Arcade Cab - DIY Guide included (Youtube Vid inside)
« on: January 16, 2011, 08:12:35 pm »
Hi Everyone,
after exact one month build time I've finally finished my Dingux driven Mini-Arcade!

Dingoo: A320 at 420 MHz
Screen Size: 5"
Cab Size: 20x40x23 cm

Here are some images showing the cab in all its "80s Space Duel Glory" :)

Front view, the Dingoo's screen is typically  hidden behind a small hatch.

Size compared to a beer, the marquee is actually let when turned on

Showing some of its side art

And here's some footage on youtube:

I've to say, the Dingoo was a really good choice for this project, as the cab is completely silent, runs on a single 12v adapter and plays almost all my favorite titles. Not to mention that it saved me about 200 bucks of buying a mini itx board.

If there's enough interest I could also post some info about the building process.

DIY Guide
How I build this cab

1. Planning is everything
First I started sketching on plain old paper

After that I found out that everything you want to do, someone else already did :P
So here's Pocket Lucho's amazing work of mini arcade cabs (spanish)

After sketching I made up a version in Google Sketchup to find out which parts I really needed and since I don't have a real cab at home, this step also helped me to get the proportions right.

Finally I build a cardboard-model and ordered the parts.

This is all you need to build a cab (no tools included)

  • 0 - Wood: I bought 12mm multiplex in 120cmx60cm. What a huge mistake. This might be the most deformed piece of wood every made, so take my advice alway buy small pieces
  • 1 - The cardboard model, which me about 1 hour. The cool thing is that it's perfect to dry the final shapes on wood
  • 2 - Voltage Transformer. It's infinitely variable from 3 to 24 V and will be the Dingoo's battery replacement. I also used two protector diodes to prevent the transformer from being charged by an USB connection. So I set this transformer to 5v (the two diodes reduced the power by 2V)
  • 3 - Voltage Transformer. This was set to 7,5V to power the screen.
  • 4 - 24 pin D-SUB male connector. Since they're so cheap I bought two
  • 5 - 24 pin D-SUB female connector
  • 6 - heat shrink tubes
  • 7 - Power Switch
  • 8 - 12 V Jack. yes, I know I should say 2,5 mm DC Jack ;)
  • 9 - LED Stripe to light the marquee 12 V
  • 10 - VGA Ram cooler to put on the Dingoo's CPU, since it will be permanently overclocked
  • 11 - PS One LCD Screen. Got very cheap on eBay
  • 12 - 6 Seimitsu Push Buttons, 26mm diameter (couldn't find smaller ones)
  • 13 - USB Jack and type changer (from USB type A to B or vice versa)
  • 14 - platine legs, not used though
  • 15 - Seimitsu Joystick, couldn't find a smaller one neither
  • 16 - Mini Buttons for Start, Select, Reset and Power, 18mm diameter
  • 17 - The Dingoo A320, yay!
  • 18 - a cheap USB extension. Planned to replace the composite tv cable and connects the A320 to the PS One screen
  • 19 - lot's of flex wires
  • 20 - a Mini-USB to USB cable
  • 21 - wires that came with the joystick
  • 22 - tin-solder. Well, it's on the pic, so I better mention it :)
  • 23 - screws
  • 24 - angle brackets. Not used since I bought banana wood and had to directly screw it all together
  • 25 - magnets. Also not used because of the poor wood quality
  • 26 - hinges. Haven't used them either, but I bought smaller ones to attach the Dingoo to the cab
  • 27 - 15mm - 30mm adjustable drill. Very useful to drill button and joystick holes.
  • 28 - more magnets
  • 29 - even more magnets  :-[

Okay, besides tons of magnets I never used, here are some parts which didn't make it on the list:
  • acrylic glass for the screen and marquee.
  • Water resistant (!) inkjet sticker paper
  • a few banana plugs for easier button assembly
  • the two protection diodes I talked about in point 2
  • paint

All in all rebuilding this cab might cost you around 320 eur, including the Dingoo. I actually just realized that I build an A320 cab for 320 Euro.
Phew... good thing I didn't buy the GA380 ;D

You can also save some money if you already own a Dingoo and if buy a cheap arcade stick and rip out it's buttons and the Joystick. Using MDF instead of multiplex wood might also save some bucks as well as making the voltage transformer yourself.

2. D-SUB to Dingoo: shaky hands unwanted
First of all I wanted to check the PS One screen I got from eBay, so I quickly attached a composite jack to it in order to use the bundled TV-Out cable.
Btw. hacking a PSOne Screen is pretty well documented. Check this link if you like to learn more about this.

Hooray, bought a working screen. This was also the last image, showing the A320 as a portable device ;)

The next step was to think about the pin assignment for the D-SUB connectors. Here's my list:
  • 1 - Ground - black (Good Choice)
  • 2 - DPad Up - red (Bad Choice :P )
  • 3 - DPad Down - green
  • 4 - DPad Left - yellow
  • 5 - DPad Right - orange
  • 6 - X - blue
  • 7 - Y - pink
  • 8 - A - white
  • 9 - B - purple
  • 10 - Start - gray
  • 11 - Select - brown
  • 12 - Shoulder Left - red/black
  • 13 - Shoulder Right - pink/black
  • 14 - Reset - yellow/black
  • 15 - Power - yellow/red
  • 16 - +V - red/green (for whatever reason I didn't use plain red)
There's also ground on pin 21 and 24. But enough with all those lists already, admitted, this is also for my personal documentation ;)

This is the front side. Except for X,Y,A,B, I've found nice solder points. The wires were hot glued to the board .

Here's the backside. This one was way easier except of the left trigger button. There's not much space between the solder point and the RAM chip. You can also see, that I've attached on part of the USB extension cord to the TV-Out Connector.
Not to mention the slick VGA cooler that fits perfectly on the CPU.

I was so excited when I prepared the first functional test.

Phew... I got lucky there.

A comment on the display connection: since the Dingoo is only capable of composite TV-Out, an USB extension was the cheapest choice. It has four wires, enough for Ground, Video, Audio Left, Audio Right, is also shielded and costs just 3 eur.

This is only the only downside of the whole project: video quality. It is "okay", but not as good the build in display. The PS One screen could do way better, if connected via RGB.

Here's the D-SUB counterpart:
On the left side you can also guess where the protection diodes are.

Afterwards I've attached bananaplugs to the buttons.

Then all parts went into a shoe box and formed Voltron made the first version of my cab ;D

okay, no big deal. You might already know this pic

3. Ain't no carpenter
Unfortunately my apartment doesn't feature a basement but a garden: good in the summer, pretty annoying during wintertime. Usually I do all the sawing and milling outside, but at -5?C there was no chance to avoid a 100km drive to visit my parent's basement :)

I didn't take too much photos of the wood working, mainly because I wanted to spare me unnecessary long drives. In total I spend three days on this part.

So here's the a snapshot at a state similar to the Sketchup picture above. Of course I forgot to drill a hole for the side buttons.

And this is the side with that particular hole

Almost done. The bottom door is from a cigar box :)


The acrylic glass is kept in place by grooves I milled into it, but I did it too amateurish to show it around. Or to be honest, I was too annoyed after the milling to take a picture of it ;)

Now after being back at home, I started grounding and painting it. I applied 3 coats of white(sides) and black (everything else)

This is how the cab looks inside without all the tech stuff:

4. Assembly

After the cab finally dried, it was time to put this mess into it:

Always start bottom/top

Controls - I tell you about the decorations afterwards

Dingoo assembly step 1

and step 2.

Ready to close it up.

Yaay!! ;D

5. Decorations

As you could already see from the list above, I bought inkjet sticker paper from amazon, printed all artwork and let it dry for a few hours.

Then I applied a few coats of clear varnish... in.. err.. the living room. Well the plants survived, but having a bigger apartment is a plus on cab crafting ;)

The varnish really pushed the colors and made stickers more resistant. Even though the paper should be waterproof, I feel more save now. If you have a print shop around, you could also save yourself some trouble and get your stuff printed there.

6. Conclusion
Hmm.. what's left to say? The cab is done, I had tons of fun building it and I keep on having fun when playing some games :)
Thanks for reading and consider building your own :D It's worth it!

Feedback very welcome :)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 07:24:58 pm by abstauber »


  • *
  • Posts: 366
    • Underground Portables
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 08:30:09 pm »
great! i'm interest about the process building!
but can you remove the dingoo from the mini-arcade or not?


  • Guest
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011, 08:56:38 pm »
sweet build

Meneer Jansen

  • **
  • Posts: 511
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011, 09:27:29 pm »
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!


  • *
  • Posts: 258
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2011, 09:36:19 pm »
That thing looks awesome. Nice work!

Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2011, 09:44:14 pm »
Give it to me.  ;)


  • Guest
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2011, 10:38:06 pm »
Hi abstauber,

your Mini-Arcade cab is brilliant mate, awesome work!  :)

If you could post some more detailed build specs/pics etc, that'd be very cool too!


  • *
  • Posts: 288
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 12:52:46 am »
This is really cool. Can you build another cab with six buttons so we can get our SFII on? ;)


  • Guest
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 08:12:51 am »
This is pure awesomeness.
Me need one  ;)


  • Guest
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 09:30:06 am »
Hey, great that you like it!

Well... you can remove it, but it's pretty useless then, unless you build another controller for it.
As you can see in this thread, the dingoo is completely wired against a D-SUB connector.
Btw. does anyone need the battery and some buttons? :D

I hope I'll find some time this week to work on the images. After that I'd be happy to show you how I made the cab.

The cab actuall has 6 buttons, the shoulder buttons are mounted at the sides, but I agree: for a six button fighter it's a bit fiddly.
On the other hand, pinball plays really nice :)

@everyone else
Thanks for the comments, keep em coming ;D
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 11:20:23 am by abstauber »


  • **
  • Posts: 653
    • Crank Gaming (Dingux Apps)
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 10:24:08 am »
Sweet !

You should really make an How-To build my own Dingoo Cab !!

Would be great.

Keep on.


  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - powered by Dingux
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2011, 01:19:54 pm »
Excellent work dude, looks awesome.

Ive been thinking about building a mame cabinet but this looks like a cool project as well. Some more info on the build process (even a step-by-step guide, perhaps) would be truly awesome.

Well done! Respect!


  • Guest
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - DIY Guide Pt.1
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2011, 07:00:13 pm »
Thanks guys, started with the guide, spell checking is done later ;)

I hope, you like it!


  • *
  • Posts: 139
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - DIY Guide included
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 10:09:47 pm »
Great! Karma for you!

Is it a "St?rtebecker"?  :D


  • *
  • Posts: 104
Re: Mini Arcade Cab - DIY Guide included
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2011, 01:16:37 am »
I want your marquees and side art~ ;D

I've replaced the controls on my A320 arcade mod with a Sanwa set, now it's a real arcade ;D

« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 01:27:07 am by difuno »