I tried to re-use the original mounting bezel but the wood had become wet at some point in this poor beleaguered console’s life, and as it was pressboard, it was fragile, swollen, and crumbly. So, new wood was procured, and with my friend Randy’s help, we crafted a new slide-in mounting panel.
I removed the monitor from it’s yellowing plastic case, and it turns out it was quite easy to mount. A square cut-out was made, large enough for the monitor to slip into. Some mounting pads were needed on the back to make the face of the monitor flush with the face of the new bezel. There is a border around the LCD panel which does not need to be visible (read: would be ugly). So we cut out another piece of plywood with a hole exactly the right size for the visible part of the LCD screen. This is what’s known as a “Jig”. You get extra points for using a jig when doing projects, as every do-it-yourselfer knows. Of course, if you use a Jig to make a Jig, why then you get double-bonus points! In this case though, we just made the one Jig.
Laminate material was clamped to the jig, then with a router and a laminate trimmer bit (really, these are amazing, don’t try to cheese out and use some other kind of router bit), the square was cut nicely with smooth edges and straight lines.
Everything was then disassembled, and we laminated newly-cut material on to the front of our bezel. The laminate lip was covered with felt to cover up any fit imperfections, and help keep dust out. The monitor was then screwed into place, with the ugly bits hidden behind the felt and laminate lip. It worked very nicely.
The original monitor bezel was mounted to the left, and there was a section on the right with a cheap piece of plastic and a button mounted on it. We replaced both of these parts with a single bezel that spans the width of the console, providing a much more uniform look.
It was most convenient to put the 1 and 2 player start buttons on the left because of the monitor controls which are on the right (you can see them as a vertical row of little black buttons below). You may remember that I had these wired for right-hand mounting, of course. More wire hacking ensued. On the right hand side, I mounted a pushbutton toward the top, and a potentiometer toward the bottom (for a volume control). Click on these to zoom:
The pushbutton was originally intended to be a power switch for the monitor. However, I found that the monitor “remembers” it’s last state. If it was on when it lost power, then it will be on when the power is restored. That was very convenient for me as I just had to turn it on with the little pushbuttons (see the back to the left) and leave it on. If the unit gets unplugged, then the monitor will turn itself back on when it is plugged in again, so no external switch is needed.
The computer, though, is another story. I had originally intended to set the BIOS settings so that the computer would turn on whenever power was restored. However, since I had an extra pushbutton, and since it’s generally not recommended to turn a computer off by yanking the power, I decided to use it as a computer power button.
Next up: Final assembly
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