Edit: 22/05/20

I mention a relay or capacitor for auto starting. Nowadays I just have a microswitch under the lid. After having a MAME cab for a while you realise it really doesn't matter!

Edit: 24/10/10

Since building this cab there have been all sorts of things happen. Some of which I thought I had updated here. I musta pressed the wrong button when saving the changes or summink!  The main thing that has changed is the PC used. The Gigabyte mobo finally shat itself last year. Only got around to getting a new motherboard this year. A Foxconn D51S. Win98 is too dated now for the modern stuff, so the OS has changed to tinyxp. Which isn't exactly a spring chicken either! I'd use Linux, but that's too much hard work trying to set MAME up the way I want it...

The relay used to auto start is now gone too. It was playing up too much. For a while I was using a capacitor. But that started playing up as well. So now there is a small micro switch hidden in the side vent. A quick press to start. Tinxp has a default that one more press of the switch shuts the pc down too, so I'm not using a macro for anything now.

Still fiddling with the new setup. I found I had to change the aspect ratio of a number of games from 4:3 to 6:5. Dunno why, but that seems to make those particular games fit the screen better. Some games like Tapper, I had to switch direct draw off. Atari games seem to cause the most grief I find. Anyway, the main thing is I can once again sit down to a nice game of Galaxians or 1942, the way it's supposed to be played (",)

Original list of things to fix when it was win98


I have a macro which I use to shut down the machine (using 'fire' and 'player two' buttons together). I suspect the macro is actually causing the funny effects above but I need to shut down without a mouse. So I use the macro to kinda solve some of the issues it probably created in the first place!. One macro hits F5 when MAME starts up. This gives me the full play list and if i have added any new games then they will be found automatically. Another takes the cursor to the top right hand corner and gives it a tiny wiggle when a game starts. This isn't very satisfactory of course since it all works perfectly on my PC, but no- one seems to have an answer for me :-(


I wouldn't mind having an upright, especially for playing driving and shooting games and any games that don't have a cocktail mode as well as battlezone. And maybe all the controls in the Bradley trainer! I think I would use a similar arrangement to my cocktail monitor if I opt for a rotating monitor. It's much simpler to have a monitor rotating on a vertical axis than a horizontal one. Then I would use a mirror and the appropriate settings to flip the image.

And I'd love to make a prop-cycle machine!! That'd be cool. With exercise bike and all! Need a bloody big screen though. And I'll have to wait until 5ghz processors are not just available, but old hat too. And maybe a much larger house with a games room...

Update 2021: Wow. 17 years since I first made this page! I have since made an upright, I call it Meet George Jetson



The costs listed below are straight from my running total when I was building the cab. Australian dollars, naturally.


(Last updated 28/12/12)

Where it all starts! The most informative place for MAME info:

Archive of ALL versions of MAME dating back to 1997! DOS and command line only

Archive of ALL versions of MAME32!

Various versions of arcade emulators (Windows, Mac, Linux etc)

most inspiration drawn from this guy:

The Cocktail Lounge

dimensions based on this:

controls from:

this front end is the beez kneez (",)


Ok, you've got the game now but can't remember how to play it?


lots of good info here and one of the BEST forums you'll ever find- in ANY field!:


If you're building an 'aussie' style arcade machine, why not join an Aussie arcade forum? THE Aussie arcade forum!:

A really cool retro sci-fi art site:

some shops with useful stuff:

berrimah second-hand building supplies (25 x 50 box)
yees hobbies (just being there! bits and pieces)
bunnings building supplies (obvious stuff. also has box steel but you have to buy 2.5 meters)
cbc bearings (guess)
dick smith electronics (tamiya planetary gearbox and electronic stuff-but you've gotta know what ya want!)
academy models (for the wheel!! r/c cars not yet available in oz though. they make great plastic model kits. Update: Sadly it seems Academy no longer make R/C models)

in memory of Mick Lemajick



If you have any suggestions or queries, please email me at:

email address 


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