These directions are for the Gen 1 and 2 Cupcade kits. You probably don't have one of these unless you have a very old kit!
To fit the remaining pieces, it’s necessary to ease up on some of the case screws…but only slightly, and one at a time.

If unscrewed too far, the nuts can fall off inside the case. Then you’ll have to dismantle the case and go back several steps to rebuild everything. That’s no fun, so be careful!
Start by loosening one of the screws on the base piece — either side, doesn’t matter.

The tip of the screw should be flush with the face of the nut.
You should now be able to lift this edge of the case just a little.
Stuff the credit/start button wires inside, then slot this piece into the holes on the “table” side of the case. Pivot it upright…tabs on the base should fit into holes on the front…and finally pop the last two tabs into the “loose” side.

If you need a little extra working room, you can loosen the same screw on the opposite side, or the next screw up this side of the case…but don’t take it as far, maybe unscrew half as much, or everything may come apart.
Once the button piece is in place, tighten the bottom side screw and loosen the next screw up this side…the one nearest the joystick. Loosen it a similar amount…screw tip flush with the nut face…no further!
Install this fascia piece in a similar manner, then tighten the side screw back as it was.
Loosen a side screw at the top. Same routine: screw tip flush with nut face, so you can flex this side up just a little bit.
Insert the “roof” of the cabinet. The roof and back pieces are similar in size, but the tabs are spaced differently, so only the correct piece will fit.

As before, if you need a little extra working room, you can partway unscrew the opposite side.
Slot the marquee into place, then re-tighten the top screw.

So close! Isn’t it adorable?
Stuff the wires into the back of the case, being careful not to dislodge the Cupcade board.

To install the back piece, you’ll need to loosen two screws: the bottom and rear-most positions.

This piece pops into place like all the others.

When you’re done, go around the whole case and make sure all the screws are snug. Not excessively tight…you don’t want to crack the plastic…just tight enough to stay in place.

Insert the SD card, stand it up and connect power.

You can connect a USB keyboard at the front if you like. Some games with complex controls may require this, but for most classic games the basic stick-and-buttons are sufficient. The game selection menu and even shutdown can be accessed using combinations of these buttons.
Fire it up…see how it goes!

If everything works, that’s great, you’re done!

Remember: hold both the credit and start buttons for a few seconds to exit MAME and return to the game selection menu. Hold them again to exit the menu and shutdown the system.

Customize the case if you like. Stickers, paint markers or vinyl cut decals make it your own!

If the system does not boot…

If the system previously booted during the dry run but doesn’t start this time around, remove the back of the case and check for the following:
  • Is the underside of the Cupcade board contacting anything metal?
  • Is the Cupcade board properly aligned with the header on the back of the PiTFT?
  • Have any of the wires broken off or come unplugged? How about the joystick? Are the wires still in place and in the correct positions?
  • Is the SD card firmly seated in place, or has it wiggled loose?
My Cupcade rocks back and forth when stood up.
Loosen all 8 screws on the sides. A mere 1/4 to 1/2 turn or so…we’re not dismantling the case, just realigning things.

Stand the case upright and press down gently on top, so all four corners make contact with the table. With your free hand, tighten each of the side screws back as it was.

This guide was first published on Apr 04, 2014. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Cabinet Part 4) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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