The decision on Buy or Build has been made – Build.
There are a number of factors for this.
1) Getting the exact cab I want (Donkey Kong or Wonderboy) could be expensive and hard to come by. I might get lucky, but most likely would need to import (from the US).
2) It’s possible to achieve some excellent results with DIY. I have come across a lot of internet pages by people who have put together their own cabs and the results are fantastic.
3) I’m finding it very appealing to get under the hood and create one – it should prove very interesting and satisfying.
4) The DIY approach also looks to be a cheaper option overall.
The biggest negatives I could put against the DIY approach would be:
1) Time required to build. It seems that I could put the cab together in the space of a week, but when you combine a full time job, kids, wife and house duties, time is in short supply.
2) Tools required – Lucky I have a father in law who is much more skilled than I in building, and he has most of the tools I don’t for this project. But without that, building would be more expensive.
Something I had not originally considered was also a horizontal or vertical screen. I’ve gone with vertical, due to most of the games I want to play require a vertical screen (Donkey Kong, Galaga, Pac man and so on). It’s something to be aware of before building (or buying) for that matter. If you plan to swap JAMMA boards in your cab, make sure the cab you get can support the games you want.
Another option I considered was to buy/build a MAME cab. My research left me thinking it might not feel authentic enough. Since I’m going to support JAMMA boards, it will be easy enough to support additional boards in the future, so I’m not completely locked out of upgrading the game set.
Refurbish was yet another option, but I felt more comfortable with the DIY from scratch approach. The refurbish option might be something I consider down the track as a future project. I would prefer to have more knowledge on the construction of a cab first.
So my decision will be to build an upright cab, with a JAMMA board inside. It will be a 60 in 1 multi board using a vertical screen. There will just be the single controls.