Building a Winnitron Cabinet

Aaron Klaassen edited this page Aug 28, 2018 · 6 revisions

Where do I even start?

Things you need to think about!

What does it cost?

This is a really hard question to answer, because it really depends on how you put your machine together. If you're building a cab from scratch, it may be more expensive than if you can find an older cab for cheap. In some cases, an older cab might cost more than building it for yourself.

The computer hardware depends on where you're buying it from, or whether you're going to try to put something together from donated parts, etc. The biggest (and most varying) factor will probably be the computer hardware. In general building a new cabinet will cost a couple hundred dollars in materials in addition to the computer.

Naming your Winnitron

Feel free to use the Winnitron name like the Winnitron NZ (New Zealand Winnitron), or have an entirely different name like the Halifaxmachine (in Halifax, NS, Canada). There's a whole list of Winnitrons on the Network website if you're looking for ideas.

Personalizing your Winnitron to your local community is much more important. We just ask that you leave the Winnitron name in the launcher so that others will know about this community and keep it growing!


You have a few options as far as cabinets go.

  • Build one from a template/existing design
  • Build one from your own design
  • Find an old cabinet at an arcade graveyard and convert it

Build one from scratch

This is a great option if you or someone on the project is a carpenter or you're comfortable with woodworking. The Halifaxmachine was built using designs from and it worked out really well. There are probably tons more designs out there, especially from the MAME cabinet community.

Some places to start researching:

If you're building one, post about your progress at our community at /r/winnitron!

Converting an old cabinet

For the original Winnitron 1000 in Winnipeg, we managed to find three places just by googling "Winnipeg Arcade". We kinda lucked out in finding one run by a really nice, awesome guy. In general, people were very friendly with us... it's a pretty rare thing for them to have someone come in looking to convert one of their cabinets into a new beast that will actually be out in public.

Computer Hardware

Any modern decent computer should be able to handle the Launcher or any of the indie games on this site. The launcher will require Windows for now as most games are made for it for sure. We're hoping that Linux and Mac builds will happen in the future.

Control Parts

We get our parts from Ultimarc. We strongly recommend the iPac2 -- which is a USB device that sends arcade inputs as keyboard controls to the computer -- a couple arcade sticks, and buttons.

The Winnitron control scheme supports up to 4 players.

Winnitron control requirements

  • For each player (2-4): 1 stick, 2 buttons
  • Home button

For details on how to map keys to buttons, see the 'Controls' section in 'Requirements for Winnitron Games'.

There are plans in the works to make this more customizable, but that's still a work in progress.

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