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Seeking novelty mini-cab build advice


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Hello, everyone. I'm new to the world of virtual pinball, and to be completely honest, I'm actually here at the request of my family(specifically, my parents!) seeking advice on a very...odd virtual pinball build they would like me to do. And which I quite like the idea of and happily agreed to look into.

You see, I recently built myself a Raspberry Pi-powered miniarcade. By "mini" I mean 7-inch display. My folks thought it was cute and they, being somewhat fans of pinball, liked the idea of making a virtual pinball cabinet in-scale with this design. I'm sure the experienced among you are already seeing issues with this concept, so let's get to what you need to know about what we're going for with this.

We're not aiming to build any kind of super-fancy thing that can handle the latest, greatest stuff. This is meant to be a functional novelty creation - the only screen will be it's playfield, and if we can only use some older pinball software to make it work, we're fine with that.

We're not going to need help with the cab build - that much we're able to do ourselves. We're looking for help with the system hardware and software.

So, with that outline out of the way, here's what we're trying to work with:

Being meant to be in-scale with a 7-inch display miniarcade, I figure we need the playfield to be 10-12 inches. You can already see the headaches, here - a lot of modern virtual pinball software won't run on most of the computers you can fit inside a cabinet of such limited size. So finding the right guts is going to be a pain to begin with, and made even worse what with a goal of this project being to keep the costs down as much as possible(my miniarcade cost me little over $100 to do, and we're hoping to keep things at less than double that, but preferably as close as possible).

I have two options for how to approach this.

Option 1) I have an RCA Cambio 10.1-inch Windows tablet I could use. This tablet has a 1.33GHz(boostable to 1.83GHz) Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and integrated Intel graphics, and a 32-bit version of Win10. Not the most likely option to make work, but I have no further need for this tablet, so if it could be made to work, why not?

Option 2) Find a cheap miniPC with specs that will work.

Either way, I also need guidance on how to set up the software, and wire up the buttons. My soldering skills are nonexistant, so if at all possible I need options that just plug in - I know how to wire arcade buttons to a USB controller, so that can be made to work(remember, cheap novelty toy ;-) ).

I know this is a weird idea for a project, as I haven't been able to find any helpful build information elsewhere on the web for such. So I hope someone here can help out, or at least point me in the right direction to get the assistance I require.

Looking forward to this project!

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