New Arcade/Media Hub Project

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whufclee
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New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by whufclee » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:40 pm

Yesterday I thought it was about time I finally got on with my new project so I thought I'd share it with you guys - some of you may find it interesting and some of you may be able to point out some flaws in my plans!

I recently sold my arcade cab I made as it was taking up too much room and I needed a more slimline unit so here's what I'm attempting to do:

An arcade/media hub with Nvidia 3D Vision for 3D Gaming and movies complete with touchscreen (still waiting on the Chinese to sort me out with a touchscreen overlay - I can only seem to get it from China but they are a PITA to contact!).
Controls will be via an old skool Competition Pro joystick for the old games and Xbox360/Wiii controllers for the newer games.
The monitor will have a touchscreen GUI which allows the user to select a variety of applications, these will be:

Jukebox (loads up jukebox and I will have a switch for speakers in garden or just indoors)
Arcade (will load Hyperspin, virtually every system you can think of except Xbox360 and PS3)
Videos (Not sure what I will load for this, possibly a lite XBMC)
Internet (Probably Firefox)
TV (will load WMC, that is until I get a DVT card that I can run on linux and then I'll merge TV with Videos and have it all in XBMC)
Radio (Not sure, open to suggestions for radio stations - might just make my own touchscreen radio station guide)
Apps (This will load up a touchscreen menu created with simpletouchfe showing all the Windows apps)

I will probably add some more but for now that's the basics. I'm also going to attempt to hook my main TV up in the lounge as the second monitor via HDMI and have XBMC on there constantly with audio coming through HDMI so it doesn't interfere with audio on the other monitor.

So far here's my progress...

Make base out of MDF
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Add a support rail for lid which needs to be removable (the lid not the rail!)
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Completed Base Unit
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Added monitor support
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Wall mounted monitor and added wall hooks for peripherals
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Added fans, Left = blowing in on PC, Right = pulling air in for Arctic Cooling, Middle = PSU exhaust:
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Added all the PC components - they just about fit, that was lucky! Sorry for the blurry pic on this one:
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Added a fan to the corner of the lid which blows the air out of the unit and up behind the panel hiding the wires behind the monitor - giving it a chiminey effect. The panel will be painted the same colour as my walls so it's not so obvious.
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Needs a paint job (a glossy black finish needed) but it's getting there...
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So it's all plugged in and ready to test, however there was one quite big flaw in my plans... I forgot to buy a button. How can I switch it on without a button? DOH! I can't even find anything that would temporarily do, oh well I'll have to think about a button on Saturday now.
Last edited by whufclee on Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:07 pm, edited 5 times in total.

whufclee
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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by whufclee » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:06 pm

Ok I've managed to resize the pictures before going to the pub - sorry about that I didn't realise my phone too such high quality images!

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by asbo » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:36 pm

is the PSU exhausting outside?!?!

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by GhostlyGamer » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:07 pm

*Jawdrop*
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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by whufclee » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:10 pm

asbo wrote:is the PSU exhausting outside?!?!
Yeah I know it's probably a bit overkill but that should help keep the temperature down hopefully! The inlet fan is also blowing in air from outside - the room the unit is in gets pretty warm so thought I'd maximise the air intake. Making 2x 127mm holes in the external walls was a bit worrying though!

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by xman » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:08 am

Ambitious project. Beware of Murphy's Law.

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by GhostlyGamer » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:52 am

xman wrote: Beware of Murphy's Law.
Already did with the button LOL
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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by professor_jonny » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:45 pm

i had plans for the exzact same thing but i was not alowed to do it (under the thumb).

i made a bracket to mount a 50" tv in the corner of the room an planed to mount the stuff in a coubard behind with just an xray ir repeater mounted on the tv.

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by asbo » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:00 pm

whufclee wrote:
asbo wrote:is the PSU exhausting outside?!?!
Yeah I know it's probably a bit overkill but that should help keep the temperature down hopefully! The inlet fan is also blowing in air from outside - the room the unit is in gets pretty warm so thought I'd maximise the air intake. Making 2x 127mm holes in the external walls was a bit worrying though!
Be careful with potentially damp air, especially in the winter. You should probably put some filters on them as well to stop insects and whatnot coming in.

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by whufclee » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:45 pm

Cheers for the tip asbo, I've already got one filter on each one but will be buying an air vent kit for each one that also includes filters.

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by cocohull » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:43 am

TIP: For anyone attempting this. When Drilling through exterior walls the drill should be angled to point slightly towards the ground to stop rain water entering the wall.

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by whufclee » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:52 pm

So time for a little update...
I managed to butcher an old PC and installed a power button and surprisingly everything seems to be working really well.

I have a dual monitor setup (the 24" Nvidia 3D ready one and the 37" HDTV in the lounge). XBMC runs sweet via the HDMI cable and I've just been playing an HD film on XBMC via SMB Share whilst playing Batman Arkham City in 3D on the best resolution settings. Both the game and the films were working at full speed with no slowdowns - result!

So next on my agenda is to get some speakers to fit into the unit so I can have seperate audio rather than have it all come through the TV :lol:

Has anyone got any recommendations on how to use the remote with XBMC whilst the other monitor is in focus? I've had a play with EventGhost and that looks as though it will do the trick but after some more research I found an XBMC post saying they were using some software called Aster V7. This allows one PC to run seperate instances on dual monitor setups, effectively having the same effect as having 2 seperate PCs. This sounds more like what I want as then both the Media Hub and XBMC TV can have their own wireless keyboards with touchpads - meaning I could browse the web on both at the same time or maybe even play games at the same time (not highly graphically intensive ones obviously but it would be good for when kids are over and they can all play Sonic/Mario type things at the same time). Now the problem with this is the official Aster V7 site has broken links for the trial version and also for the paid versions. I managed to obtain a copy by other means but that's in Russian! Anyone have any experience in setting this up?

Another thing I could do with advice on is this... I'm going to get 2 outdoor speakers so I can listen to music outside, money is a bit tight so does anyone know what the best option would be? I don't really know a lot about speakers but don't need them to be great, just loud enough for some music when I've got a bbq on the go. I used to have 2 that looked like rocks and they were really good until we had a bad winter and that killed them - that's the kind of thing I'd like again but they seem quite expensive. The other option is to just get 2 external speakers that I can fit into the shed/workshop walls - anyone know of something reasonably priced that won't die as soon as we get a bit of bad weather?

Ok that's about it for now, once I get more done I'll post up some more pics.
cocohull wrote:TIP: For anyone attempting this. When Drilling through exterior walls the drill should be angled to point slightly towards the ground to stop rain water entering the wall.
That's a very good point, I put a very small gradient on mine just to play it safe but with the vents and filters now in place it would have to rain horizontally to get in there!

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by whufclee » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:28 pm

Hi guys just thought it was about time to give you a little update on this. I wanted some input from xman on a couple of ideas so decided to do a quick video to show him where I'm at, might as well share it with you lot too!

Ok My media hub is almost finished, unfortunately real life keeps getting in the way of me finishing it but it's not too far off now (it's pretty much been at this stage for about 6 months!). Watch the little video below to see how it's looking.



Before I rudely got cut off at the end by the phone going I was going to say the lounge is a 55" TV and the other one is a 32" 3DTV. I did have an Nvidia 3D Ready 22" Monitor which also has a touchscreen panel attached meaning I could play all the quiz machine games you see in the pubs but I soon realised it was too small so I need to get some money together to buy a 32" touch panel to go over this one. Maybe I'll look into that next month, means dealing with the dodgy Chinese companies though... that's never easy or fun!

Status:
Both the TV's have integrated freeview tv so I didn't need to use my tv tuner card in the end.

The jukebox side of things is still WIP - I still can't decide which jukebox software I prefer, does anyone have any experience? I'd like something that's very much like a proper touchscreen jukebox.

The Wii is an addition I hadn't originally thought of, it's currently plugged into the 32" TV but I'd like to have some kind of switch where I can choose which TV the output goes to. It uses component output, I guess there must be a way of having a switch between the two TVs? Would I lose much quality if I just spliced the wires so it sends the signal to both tvs?

Outdoor speakers... still not done anything about this yet, I'll wait until the summer months.

3D Gaming - I had to come to a compromise :| these were the choices:
1) Install two graphics cards - this was too much outlay as I'd have to buy a gfx card AND new motherboard.
2) Use extended desktop rather than dual desktops but that means focus can only be on one desktop at a time so if I was using one for gaming I could watch a movie on the other but couldn't actually move the cursor or do any other tasks. Kind of defeats the purpose of the project.
3) Use Asterv7 to create dual desktops. If I need 3D gaming I have to disable Aster and use the above option which requires a reboot. It's not ideal but it's rare that I use 3D gaming - it's really only if one of my geeky mates comes over to play Arkham. So this was the option I went for. The TV does an ok job of converting 2D to 3D so that's always an option but it's nowhere near as good as letting the gfx card do a proper job.

Oh and something's gone a bit weird with my Hyperspin install... not sure if it's something I've broke within Hyperspin or it's a driver update problem with the gfx card. It was working great but now the gfx are all garbled. That might be a little job for me to look into this evening. No rest for the wicked and all that!

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by whufclee » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:44 pm

Finally another update, it's basically finished (more or less) :D

I didn't know what to call it but then it dawned on me that it's actually an XBMC Hub and well, I'm a mod on that site so it seemed only appropriate that I branded it up accordingly. She is now christened The XBMC Hub!


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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by Geeba » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:39 am

That is really cool Lee! well in fella!

Whats that games launcher your using for your old games???? I need that!!!!! :D

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by whufclee » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:08 pm

That was weird I accidentally posted "seaweed" via tapatalk 3 times, that'll teach me for not locking my phone :lol:

The frontend is Hyperspin, takes some hard work getting everything setup although there are now a lot of tools that automate most of the process these days. That literally would have saved me months if they were around a couple of years ago.

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by Geeba » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:46 pm

Hmmm guess I need to do some reading... not seen hyperspin before.... :shock:

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by cifa » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:36 pm

great read & great job. I would love to do my own - man you have given me some ideas :D
I love the dual setup!

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by xman » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:05 am

Nice work as always Whuf. Still waiting to see an arcade car cab machine by you. Hell, I'll supply the car cab if you pay the shipping from Australia to the UK. :lol:

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Re: New Arcade/Media Hub Project

Post by whufclee » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:09 pm

I was going to say I've got no room here for a car cab but my car was written off last week when some idiot in a truck smashed into it so I suppose it could sit in my parking space in the carpark :D

In all seriousness I really would love to do one mate but it's just a lack of space here. I'm working on another cool little project at the moment which is arcade related so once I have a little more progress with that I'll post up a thread.

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