Jukebox Build

Introduction: I decided to build a jukebox for my arcade. My jukebox requirements were:
  • It must have the same footprint as a the games in the arcade
  • It must work like a jukebox (not a computer)
  • It must sound great
  • It must be able to play a CD if I wanted to play one

The Cabinet: I decided to use an old arcade box so it would have the same footprint as the other games in the arcade. I wanted to avoid an odd shaped item in the game lineup. I started with this box I picked up for about $40, it was in sad shape. Normally, I would never alter a box because I am a restorer. This box was unlabeled and I had no idea what it was originally. It had been altered a few times and was broken in a lot of ways. The front panel had at one time a lock bar across the coin door and it was removed with a pry bar. This left large holes in the front. The pictures do not show the cracks in the wood and separated seams. You may click on an image to see a higher resolution version of the image.

The lower front: I started to fill in the holes with Bondo in order to repair the bottom, but I changed my mind. I decided to remove the lower front panel and replaced it with a new piece of wood. I covered it in hot pink zodiac naugahyde. I think Naugahyde changed the colors a bit since I did this. The color is closer to the current red. The inside face of both of the sides were also damaged. So I removed the black contact paper, filled the chips and holes with Bondo, and painted it pac-man yellow. You can see the original front in the background of the picture. You can also see the newly installed front and the sides that are now painted yellow.

The coin doors: I took two coin doors for my front panel, one to accept my .900 tokens that run all of the games in the arcade and the second door for the controls and the subwoofer. I purchased an extra solid door to replace the original coin door front. I machined grooves into it to let the sound out. I had a friend powder coat the doors in a color called "black jack". I then installed both of the doors on the front panel. I put some grill cloth on the inside of the grooved door to cover the subwoofer. All the keys in the juke box (as well as all the keys in arcade80s) are the same. One key opens everything! ** Note: I will always accept .900 coin mechs and .900 tokens with 'Eagle fronts' with 'No cash value' on the back.**

The control panel: The original panel was pretty bad. I have no idea what game it used to be. It also had a few extra holes added by someone in its hard life. I cut a doughnut hole into the control panel top. I left about half an inch of metal around the perimeter and attached a piece of 1/8" luan (pegboard stuff without the holes). I smoothed out the transitions between luan and metal with Bondo. (Bondo rocks!) With the addition of some buttons the panel starts to take shape! Arrow buttons from Happ and the square buttons were scraps. I used LED's to light the buttons that were from Super Bright LEDs . I used LEDs because I am running them off of the computer's power supply and with as many lights as the juke has the power supply would not be able to power the incandescent. The panel was then covered in Gold Zodiac Naugahyde. The interface is connected to the computer with an IPAC2 board.

Computer / Soundsystem: The coputer was nothing to write home about - an old AMD computer. I just needed to run XP and the software to run the jukebox. I used a Midiland S4-4060 2.1 speaker system and replaced the small speakers with the ones shown. I did add a raid 1 (mirrored) pair of hard drives (not shown) to reduce the chance of data loss. The software I used to run the jukebox is called DWJukebox. I re-skinned the jukebox to give it a custom look.

Marquee: The speakers were mounted into the marquee. To dress things up a bit I purchased what I think was an old drive in movie speaker grill on EBAY for about $9.99. I powder coated it to get the crackle look. I put a large flashlight reflector behind it and mounted a color change LED behind it. I mounted the speakers and grill onto a another piece of luan wrapped in hot pink zodiac naugahyde. The underside of the marquee where the old speakers were mounted, was covered in a piece of black plastic. This plastic comes in 2 foot by 4 foot pieces. It is used in ceiling grid in kitchens, baths, and moist locations. The plastic comes in white and black. I got this one from a stack of 30 or so that someone tossed into my dumpster (along with 10 or so nice fishing poles) all of the booty made its way to my home.
MP4 Movie of color change LED

Odds and Ends: My little girl was my helper on this job - that's her waving at you! I put a 20 inch CRT because I think it looks more 80's than an LCD. I put a double boarder ring around the CRT. One ring is wrapped with the HOT PINK naugahyde and one ring in GOLD naugahyde to tie the marquee, front and control panel together. It is then covered with a clear piece of Plexiglas. I use ITUNES to copy my CD collection on to the Jukebox. I have an extensive CD collection, but I supplemented the collection with even more "best of" CDs. I purchased many extra CD's (such as the "ROCK ON 19XX Top 40 chartbusters") from a store called "Tuesday Morning" for $1.99 each. I also went to a few thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sale and found many very cool CDs for about $0.50 each.

Copyright 2011 - Daniel K. Wedding Last updated: 08/28/2019