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EDM - Extreme Dos Machine v1.0

Posted by 12-10-2019 Posted by Article by F.Hussman

EDM was a project that gratified me a lot since I always wanted to make a custom cabinet. I had already had the idea for a long time, but due to lack of time to devote to it I was never able to start. Very often I looked at various jobs done by third parties in making classic arcade cabinets, perhaps with MAME type emulators. In fact, an approach to this type of machine has already taken place in 2002 when I was contacted by a company that produced slot machines that had recovered many computers of the DELL brand directly from the former NATO a few kilometers from my house and I had to get back into track for the fleet to sell to various customers. A good part of these PCs had to be used to create multimedia JukeBoxes, so my goal was also to make this type using the cabinets provided by the company. The EDM project was designed without ideas from books or reference guidelines, in practice what my mind suggested was reported on paper and then materially realized. The EDM is actually a PC with features aimed at DOS retrogaming, but which can also be used to work without problems with MAME emulators. Before explaining the electronic characteristics of the project, I will explain the structure that constitutes the wardrobe.


To build the structure I used 3 cm boards to build the 4 main sides, ie the right / left sides,the bottom and the top panel. The boards are covered in formica, so a smooth surface where screen prints can be applied to taste and design. For the desktop part of the controls I used 2 cm cards, the front panel and the audio compartment I used 5 mm thick panels to be processed, modified or replaced in a quick and practical way, which were drilled and cut for the respective arrangement of buttons, knobs and screen, later I painted with black ferromicaceous paint to give a serious and captivating effect.

The control desk has only a few holes for the joystick and buttons, I have interfaced the commands with the connections directly on a control board recovered from a USB keyboard, on which I have previously transcribed the various combinations of tracks relating to the keys of my interest to connect to the buttons and the joystick. The desk has been designed to be safely removed by lifting the top and removing a simple USB socket. This choice is due to the fact that I can create various different desks that can be replaced, if necessary, without removing screws and / or making substantial changes.

On the front panel, in addition to cutting the screen, I placed some light switches: one for the general power supply, one for starting the machine and the other for 3 levels to change the layout of the game controls set to operate with games in the DOS environment and for emulators with windows98. Finally, still on the front panel, I installed the LED indicators for power supply to the motherboard and hard disk, a 5 "CD-DVD and an all-in-oneEdm_img4 player with 3.5" USB. The compartment above the desk was perforated on the right / left side of the audio speakers in a circular fashion and in the center where a 12v reflector was placed, I preferred to move it to the 5v of the internal power supply to get a less strong light signal, warm is relaxing which radiated on the control panel, then I added an LED indicating the power supply of the audio system and the relative switch to turn the spotlights on and off.

From the back you can easily access the compartment where I have centrally positioned the interlocking monitor held in place by 4 lateral supports and locked by a simple L bracket, this solution allows me to replace the display by unscrewing a simple screw, turning the bracket and pulling the display without too many obstacles. To build the PC I recovered a case to which I removed the back and the base of the md, then I cut the top, the power area Edm_img2and I screwed the two parts together to get a sort of drawer without sides where the back of the case corresponds to the back of the cabin. Subsequently I fixed two guide rails on the bottom and two anchors on the sides of the base of the case to make it slide towards the inside in silence. The hard disk and the power supply were placed in the lower part of the cabinet, under the control panel, also this choice is due to the need to be able to easily access them in case of replacement or addition of other components. Also from the back it is possible to access the audio section in which I fixed the two speakers and the related amplification circuit. Obviously the memory card reader and the cd-rom were fixed on the back of the front panel where, previously, I cut the compartments from the recovered case and anchored and supported by a wooden bracket in turn hooked to a metal bracket fixed to right inner side about 15 cm high from the mb.

The control panel is composed of a commodore joystick to which I have made changes toEdm_img3 its interior by replacing the mechanical switches with microswitch, for the function controls I used 5 micro-buttons of 1 cm in diameter, while for the gaming ones, buttons of 1.5 cm in diameter Later I will build another desk with the classic arcade buttons.

After several tested configurations of the PC system, I chose the following configuration taking into consideration some parameters; create a non-exaggerated but functional and dynamic PC able to adapt to the various changes and / or implementations both hardware and software and have the possibility to play in DOS and Windows 98 with related emulators without slowing down or difficulty in the management of challenging games.

MB: Asus P4P800 SE
CPU: Pentium4 1,5Ghz (Northwood 2001 socket 478)
RAM: 512MB.
SCHEDA AUDIO: SoundBlaster PCI 128 Legacy (DOS and Windows98).
SCHEDA GRAFICA: nVidia TNT2 64 - 32MB.
S.O: ReDos 1.0b e Windows98
SOFTWARE: MAME32 complete FullPack ( a last update of the 2017 roms)
DRIVERS: USB per DOS e Windows98.

The system supports very well all the demanding ROMs that maintain a fixed setting for all, in some roms there was a problem of audio delay (echo effect) solved by modifying some parameters. In games in the DOS environment I have achieved great success even with quality titles. The joystick and the buttons are very reactive and do not lose strokes even with repeated pressures per thousandth of a second. To sum up, I am fully satisfied that I have built a custom cabin cruiser that meets all the demands a retrogamer requires. In the future I will make other improvements, perhaps releasing later versions of this beautiful project made by Orbital Crew.

Soon I will release, if it could be of interest, diagrams with necessary measures, components and development phases of the EDM project. Thank you!