Project status: cabinet is 90% complete. Still needs marquee with possible lights, brackets to hold marquee in place, coin slot and controls and free play trigger, and plexiglass cover over the bezel.
Total cost so far: $87.
I mentioned this to the coders, and they called bullshit. "A real upright cabinet costs at least $500! Where are you cutting corners?!?"
Turns out, it has to do with the fact that it's an oversized electronic game. The cabinet is the heaviest thing, the electronics are few. A regulation cabinet needs a shelf for the monitor, extra construction for the control layout, and so on. In other words, I don't have to make the structure as involved as a MAME machine. Hell, the lack of a monitor saves a ton of cash.
Relearning some electronics stuff because nothing was wiring up correctly. Have figured out a couple of things I'm doing wrong, and have another idea or two.
Oh, and another of these el cheapo arcade games has occurred to me. May do it for bonus points next year.