Monday, 3 September 2012

The Arcade Cabinet.

The non Mame Arcade Cabinet

Hi recently I have felt that I have done all that I can do with the bits around me, as many of you probably experience in life, you acquire junk in  hope that it will come in use for something in the future.

My first Project that I built and Blogged was the arcade stick for my PlayStation, it gave me confidence in the methods to build and blog!

The Ideal and the motivation behind this first project was to recreate as much as was possible, the acrade experience in the home,

I have accumulated plenty of arcade titles for my PlayStation and PS2 and the arcade stick did enhance these games, using the standard controllers is not the same.

my arcade titles.

So years later, I happened to find on Ebay a cabinet that met the criteria of a potential project, it was Local and it was not working, whats the point of just buying a working one!

The whole cabinet was in great shape, and I feel there was just enough wrong with it to deter other buyers, upon collection and powering up, I found that it would require A new Tube, the Jamma fixings would have been recoverable but I wanted it for my games so replacing the tube was not a motivation for me.

The Coin and cash box doors were ideal storage for the systems.

All the games I have use one form of User interface or another that would require the shoulder buttons for complete control, however I managed to narrow this down to only really needing a L1 button to start games for Taito Legends 1 and 2 so using the buttons from my erstwhile project, the arcade stick, I transplanted two new buttons either side of the cab, these would be the Select and L1 buttons.

the select and L1 button.

As I had proven that I can map the controllers by breaking out the signal wires from a bare stripped down controller so I did this again with another controller from the right side controls, the speed on soldering compared with my first Stick was noticeable, all that practice doing all these projects!

this is one of the controllers baged up and mapped to the panel via the wires , its bagged to avoid shorting.

I successfully mapped the controls to either side of the cab. The Monitor I had at hand was a Grundig 17" CRT TV set, it has great sound and a clear picture, the CRTs in general give a nicer output for the visuals in my opinion.

The Standard Jamma crt was 20" so left me no option but to add a shelf  in the cab to support the new screen at a sufficient height, this was okay, but obviously I had to think of a new bezel to hide the sides of the TV.

I managed to source a sheet of Black stiff paper and cut this in to strips and glued
them on the the existing bezel.

To brighten up the bezel, I downloaded some Arcade Machine instruction cards, and also made my own one just to remind me on how to get Power up! and Original Game on Bubble Bobble .

The Controls and the Bezel, with some cards I downloaded and printed off on photo paper.

The controllers can be adjusted to 4 way and 8 way mode, I have a left Player one control set at 4 way as most of the best games are 4 way and most of these are one controller layouts, like Space Invaders, Lunar Rescue and Pac Man, even New Zealand Story.

Mapped controllers

The Player two controls are 8 way, if I want to play Yie ar Kung fu, I connect this panel up as player one, with no hassle, if I play as a co-op with another player in final fight, I can still play this in 4 way mode, but my partner can move diagonally and I cant, not that it matters too much.

The speaker that is buit in to the cab is fairly quiet so although I can easily connect it up, I chose to use the speakers in the TV set, it gives a nice deep sound for games like Lunar Rescue and nice Bass for all the Taito soundtracks.

The Marquee light it a low power tube I had left from some kitchen lighting, there is a neon tube still in situ, but IO wanted to keep it as low power as I could.

Why not Mame?

The Mame cab is simple to do and you can even buy pre made harnesses that are mapped to a PS2/usb keyboard, but I wanted to get more life from my Playstations and the collection of games I had accumulated for them.

If I had Mame I would probably never play the same game twice, and I would never actually take time to master some of these old games.

Why Two Playstations, the PS2 is compatible no?

The PlayStaion is modded to play imports, this allows me to play Kionami collection as I love time Pilot and Yie ar Kung fu, also I have Irems collection from Japan to play Kung Fu Master.

the Most excellent Bubble Bobble


I am very pleased with his project, you will find many efforts better than this on the net, but this is perfect to me, It solved the storage problem of two of my systems, the games and an old CRT that I would not part with.

Some games like operation wolf and super sprint don't work too well, but they did not work too great without a Gun or a steering wheel anyway!

All the High scores save on the memory cards so my high score are there to be improved on on every power up too.