I'm not going to work on the marquee yet. I have to disassemble the whole thing in order to attach the T molding, so there's no point in monkeying with it right now anyway (it will affect how far out the marquee brackets go). Also, I'm not sure if the big control button will be final, I might go for a slightly smaller one. This also gives me time to engineer and implement a coin acceptor that hopefully doesn't require a separate circuit pushing 12V to work.
But enough of that. Here's the unit so far.
The display is going in the middle, the brackets are holding well. I was thinking I had to engineer the display from a single board, but then had the thought of just using the brackets. To disguise the gaps, I'll simply use T molding. The display will be removable to gain access to the batteries and components running the game, making it much more convenient.
Originally, I wasn't going to bother with easy access to the bottom of the machine where the coins would land. I was just going to screw the kickplate in place, and anytime work or coin retrieval was needed, just unscrew it. But after fighting to install the brackets and periodically dropping screws, screw bits, drill bits, and even the brackets themselves into the guts of the cabinet, I became grateful that I'd engineered a simple way to flip the front up and reach in.
This basically means that updates on Orbital will be slowing for a while. At this point, the T molding (which should just be a short afternoon job) and the marquee are the last of the cabinet assembly to worry about. Now, I need to work on the actual electronics. So I need to break out the breadboard, Arduino, and fire up Sylvia (IBM X31 with the programming and testing software) and work on the game itself. It will also give me time to figure out a coin mechanism and where I can put it on the machine that won't interfere with anything.
But the hardest part, engineering the cabinet? It's done. Go me.