Surface tension

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About surface tension

surface tension arcade tables, based on the south coast of England, offer an alternative to stand-up and original-style table-top machines.

They design and build a contemporary take on the original pub tables. Suitable for the home with its unique slide-away control panel and concealed speaker system. Each system uses Sanwa joysticks, Happ trackball and Happ pushbuttons. Ultimarc keyboard encoders. MameWAH front-end. They are supplied with the Taito legends packages, but are also fully MAME compatible. The Samsung LTM series 19" LCD gives

The systems are designed and built in the UK. The majority of fabrication and materials are sourced locally, to small businesses if possible. The arcade tables are available in three standard finishes... Oak, Walnut and hi-gloss (in any colour). Bespoke finishes can also be produced on request.


The first generation of table included a fold-down panel which held the controls. The PC hardware was fully hidden away and access to USB ports was via a panel on the underside. These were made in stainless-clad, glass-clad or solid pine.

The second generation held a Dell optiplex machine, accessible via a drop-down flap on the underside. This gave access to ports on the front, as well as the ones on the underside also. The arcade control panel held the same design, but with refinements, such as flush mounting, rounded corners and silk-screened branding. Also available in stainless and glass, but with the move to Walnut veneer as standard, giving more flexibility on finishes.

The latest generation was a complete overhaul. Firstly, the move from a traditional 4-legged table to more contemporary styling. The tables were designed to house a small form-factor PC, such as a Shuttle, which is accessible from the side. The sound system was redesigned with separation of tweeter and bass/mid components, powered by a custom 2x50W amplifier. Vast improvements on the control panel, with a brand new mechanism designed to bring the control panel out to a locked horizontal position.

This is also available to buy as a 'retro-fit' system, where the end-user can install their own PC. Any system shipped overseas is retro-fit only.

External Links

surface tension website

Official blog

flickr photo set

facebook group