Welcome to a simple page dedicated to the first arcade cabinet I built. It took me a while to figure out how to put the thing together, make the iPAQ removable, get a joystick of the small size I needed and such. When I felt confident it was going to work I decided to start building and see how far I could get. I started building in November 2003 and finished it in February 2004. Luckily it all worked out in the end.

My brother standing
My brother standing "next" to my cabinet.

My cat checking out the cabinet
and another one of my cat standing next to my cabinet. The cat is not fat she's just big boned!

Left front overview Rear of PocketGalaga
Front and back of the cab. I tried to duplicate the look with the vent holes in the back :)

PocketGalaga in action Sideart
It does actually work! The marquee lights up and the controls are connected to a HP iPAQ. In this case it runs a NES version of Galaga (using PocketNester). The MameCE emulator was too slow to play with sound.

PocketGalaga is scaled down to one sixth of a regular upright. The heart of the beast is an iPAQ 2210 which will run things like MameCE or PocketSNES. I had to make some modifications to allow a PocketPC to be inserted and the screen to be visible. I didn't want to take the iPAQ apart so the control panel and the bottom of the iPAQ would overlap if the PDA was more horizontal.

BTW the picture of the sideart is actually the only one that shows the colors properly. In the other pictures (taken with a crappy 3MP camera) the sideart is overexposed.

View of the GameController board Slot for the iPAQ
I bought a Zeta Gamepad at handit.de. They were on sale and there were only a few left. I found the gamepad to be unusable for normal use (you need to hold the iPAQ up or put it on the table and either method doesn't cut it for me), but it worked perfectly for my "cablet"

Using the connector of the gamepad at the end of a slide, the iPAQ can easily be removed. The fact that the iPAQ can be inserted and removed easily was a main design point. I really needed the PDA for day to day use. The tray works better than I had imagined.I had assumed there might be aligning problems, but the tapered design of the sides of the tray automatically puts the iPAQ in the right spot. It just slides in the tray and connects to the controller.

There is no plexi covering the screen since I need to click on the screen to start the game.

CP inside View of the handmade joystick
The control panel is made from two tiny button and a handmade joystick. The "joystick" is actually a nail between two microswitches and works remarkably well. The two microswitches are nailed to a bit of wood and the nail is stuck between the two levers on the microswitches. The top of the nail is the bottom of the joystick. The nail is held up by a tiny strip of wood that is rounded on the inside to allow the nail to move back and forth. On the side is another tiny strip of wood to keep the head stuck down. The balltop was a bead at first, but that got lost and now it's a piece of modeling clay. It's only 2 way joystick so it basically plays Galaga type shoot em ups

The gamecontroller board is hacked to connect to the buttons and joystick in the control panel. The control panel is connected with a connector to the gamecontroller board and the whole thing is replacable (allthough I doubt I'll ever make another CP for it)

All the outside parts CP before wiring and CPO
LED's for lighting the marquee Tray and connector for connecting the iPAQ to the gamecontroller
Some construction details. The whole thing is glued together. I tried the glue on a few test pieces and I was amazed how strong it was. The glue is really strong.

I used a piece of thicker wood for the bottom (for weight and strength) and for strenght 3 horizontal beams near the back bottom, middle and top. The rest is berch plywood. Lightweight and thin.

The marquee is a piece of backlit film, printed on an Epson printer and sandwiched between two sheets of plexiglass. The leds used come from a USB notebook light. They are powered by the USB port of the iPAQ.

For the side profile I adapted the plans from Jakobud's site. Later I learned that these plans are not completely accurate, but still I think it sort of resembles a Galaga cabinet enough.

Comparison of well measured Ms Pacman profile with Jakobuds incorrect plan overlaid as a red line This comparison shows that the CP area is too high and too pointy, the sides around the kickplate should not be slanted back and the top profile is too flat.