Video Game Console Cabinet

tl;dr

I created a custom cabinet for my video game consoles, AV switch and Framemeister. Includes removable back panel to access and manage the cables.

Background

Originally, I had a small Ikea cabinet that was stacked with consoles and had cables everywhere. It was an eyesore and with the plan to add a AV switch and Frameister, it was time to build something new!

Hardware

The current hardware consisted of several game consoles:

  • NES
  • SNES
  • Nintendo 64
  • Nintendo Gamecube
  • Playstation 1
  • Playstation 2 Slim

I had also ordered a Framemeister, which upscales non-HD A/V and S-Video to HDMI. Although it is common for HD TVs to have A/V or S-Video in, often these components are not created with gaming in mind. As a result lag is often a problem and visually the games don’t look great. The Framemeister attempts to address these issues, with lots of ways to tweak the output, with a minimum of lag.

There are several options for switching the A/V and S-Video singals, most of them are unpowered mechanical switches with only a few inputs.

I was looking for something with at least 6 inputs (or more, if I grew my collection), that ideally had a remote or could be controlled electrically. Turns out nobody makes such a device. At least not any more.

Through the wonders of the Internet I discovered the JVC JX-S777, which has 8 A/V inputs, powered and had a remote. But it was from 2003 (as far as I can tell) and intended to dub and duplicate tapes, but it was no longer made. So I turned to eBay and stalked the auctions until eventually a JX-S777 in good shape with a remote came up.

The remote was key, I wanted to be able to capture the remote control signals and use an ir blaster to control the switcher. To run the ir blaster, I dusted off a old Raspberry Pi 1 that was gathering dust and put it to work.

Plans and Materials List

I used OmniGraffle to do 2d layout of the new cabinet, based on the existing cabinet and providing space for 2 consoles side by side and a shelf for the JX-S777.

Also part of the design was room in the back for cable management and a removable panel to hide the wires.

Download the OmniGraffle file here.

OmniGraffle isn’t free, or cheap, but it is a decent 2d drawing program and it does have a free trial.

I have access to drills, clamps and a hole saw. I relied on the patient folks at Home Depot to do my cuts for me (tip: Go off peak, like Sunday morning early). The work was done in my apartment, much to my neighbours annoyance I am sure.

I managed to get all my materials at the local Home Depot, compensation for abusing their saw privileges.

3/4 Inch 4×8 Melamine – White ($41.20)
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.34-inch-4×8-melamine—white.1000117180.html

50 Feet x 13/16 Inch White Preglued Edge ($10.45)
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.50-feet-x-1316-inch-white-preglued-edge.1000106086.html

2x2x8 Framing Lumber ($2.49)
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.2x2x8-framing-lumber.1000173732.html

Medium Duty Swivel Caster ($4.95 x4)
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.medium-duty-swivel-caster.1000784508.html

8×1-1/4 Flat Hd Soc Wood Screw 100/B ($5.48)
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.8×1-14-flat-hd-soc-wood-screw-100b.1000141297.html

White Single Magnetic Catch with Mounting Screws (10 Pack) ($10.33)
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.white-single-magnetic-catch-with-mounting-screws-10-pack.1000424736.html

1/8-inch 2 Feet x 4 Feet White Hardboard Handy Panel ($4.94)
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.18-inch-2-feet-x-4-feet-white-hardboard-handy-panel.1000132240.html

3/8 Inch. Hole Cover White Plastic ($0.25)
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.38-inch-hole-cover-white-plastic.1000720730.html

8IN NATURAL RELEASABLE TIE 10PACK ($2.19)
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.8in-natural-releasable-tie-10pack.1000762527.html

1IN NATURAL MOUNTING BASE 10 PACK ($2.63)
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.1in-natural-mounting-base-10-pack.1000762651.html

Construction and Assembly

I will take more shots next time of the construction and assembly. Thanks to the accuracy of the cuts at Home Depot, the tolerances were pretty tight and didn’t have too many gaps.

Results

Here are the results, first the finished product with everything installed.

Next, the wiring and cabling, still not perfect, I think i will put a small shelf to hold some of the power bricks.

I was looking for a power bar that I could mount that had more then 10 plugs and a long cord, this Belkin worked out pretty well.

And finally, the Framemeister, covered in wires.

Closing

Overall I am pretty happy with the results. It does look like something you could buy at Ikea, which is okay by me. The castors work, the back panel comes off easily for access and the tolerances and gaps are pretty good for something cut at Home Depot and assembled in a living room.

There are not too many things I would change. Cabinet makers out there will cringe at my lack of pocket screws and rough joinery.

The only upgrades that this console might get are led lights to show off the consoles and maybe two more on top for a total of 8. I just need to decide which ones 🙂

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