The Portable Arcade Mk III

The Portable Arcade Mk III is the final model of the portable Arcade. While it's no laptop, the weight is not unreasonable, and it's fairly sturdy.

Instead of making the case out of wood, I made a wooden framework, and covered it with a pseudo-leather fabric. The top and bottom are reinforced with 1/4" plywood, the left side (where the handle is connected) is reinforced with 3/4" plywood.

Inside is a 1.8 GHz Celeron PC, running Windows 98SE, MAME, and the MAMEWah front end. It's using a MicroATX motherboard. The monitor is a 14" MAG monitor. You can adjust the angle of the monitor by moving the legs of the monitor stand forward or back.

While there are controls laid out for two players, the size doesn't make it really practical for two players. The way the keyboard encoder is designed, I need a second player start button to get out of a game and get back to the game selection screen.

On the whole, I'm happy with it. It was my first experience with covering a project with fabric, and there are some flaws. It's functional, it can be carried around, and can be easily put away when not in use.

The wood was under $30, much of it came from scrap wood I already had in my workshop. The fabric ran $40, the arcade hardware ran approximately $100, and the cabinetry hardware ran approximately 50. It was finished in one weekend. One nice wide effect of using fabric on the main cabinet rather than stain or paint is that you don't have to wait for it to dry.

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