Retro Arcade Machine

This was a Genovation project for our students at East Berkshire College. It began with our students downloading some CNC plans for the arcade cabinet using 8mm MDF panels and cutting these into the various panels needed to make the arcade machine cabinet.

The panels were then attached together to form the cabinet. We have many spare computer monitors laying around our Lab, so one of these was appropriated for the display, turned 90 degrees on its side and mounted behind the cut-out for the display. (the JAMMA system requires a vertical mounted monitor)

Finally the electronics were installed and tested. Originally the plan was to use a MAME system or perhaps Raspberry Pi for the electronics but as we wanted this ready in time for an Open Day we went with a quicker solution, which was to use a JAMMA board and controls.

It took about half a day to assemble the cabinet, fit the JAMMA 60 in 1 board, Power Supply, Joysticks, Buttons and associated wiring. We used an old pair of desktop speakers for sound and simply laid these in the bottom of the cabinet.

The JAMMA board is quite popular, contains 60 arcade classics such as PacMan, Space Invaders and 1942, so brings back lots of memories. We left it in our Genovation area set to free play so anyone passing the machine can play. Its been very popular and has helped to get students thinking about projects they might want to undertake.

Future upgrades & modifications?

Make some changes to the design of the panels.

Paint the panels

T Moulding

Coin Slot

Side Mounted speakers

Improved audio

Cabinet lighting

Backlit marquee with custom graphics

More to follow on this… Will upload step by step guide later


Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

We went back to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard again on Sunday. If you buy a ticket, you can revisit for up to 1 year. On our last visit , we didn’t get time to see the submarine museum so this is where we headed first. You take a short waterbus ride (free as part of your ticket) to the Museum and can see an X24 mini submarine and HMS Alliance, a non-nuclear submarine from the cold war era. Can’t believe these submariners stayed in these conditions for 65 days at a time in a confined space. Definitely worth seeing and you get a nice boat trip thrown in. Get to Portsmouth early to avoid queues which quickly build up.

Stopped at the Ship and Castle pub afterwards for lunch. It is opposite the entrance to the dockyard, spacious although busy and offers a carvery option on a Sunday at £9.50 each. The food was good. Pay at the bar and then help yourself. It was busy and noisy but the staff were very helpful and attentive. Ordered a coke from the bar, but noticed it was cola not Coke – shame as everything else was positive.


There is actually a Pokestop at Langley College. It just so happens that I can reach it with my mobile phone from my lab where I do my teaching. Not sure how that will go down in an OFSTED inspection, if I have to stop teaching to catch a Pokémon or some balls every 5 minutes?