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Discussion Starter #1
I love the old arcade systems from back in the day. I remember my friends and I would go hit up the arcade and spend our hard earn allowance on the new releases like Mortal Combat and Street fighter.

I use to dabble in playing with emulators like playing NES games on the PC and such. Even emulated a few computer systems.

Well last night after some one sent me a link to where people have built their own arcade machines. Some of them even have a functional coin system. I've been thinking to go on the task of building one. I'm not planning to build a full size one but more of a table top unit.

I have pretty much everything except the joystick controls. I have a DELL P78 17inch monitor and a IBM PC330 that I can toss on Windows 95b/c or even a light weight Linux and issue the MAME system to load up when the OS is fully loaded.

Looking at the basic parts list for a arcade style control system im looking at 20 to 30 bucks.
 

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1st Gen FTW - It's AutoMedic!
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Wow. I've seen various places online pictures and drawings and the like... Obviously the computer power of today can run just about anything you want to throw at them, but never really researched HOW to do it... all really facinting how you can take a cartridge game system, make a software emulator, and then somehow port the data from the cartridge into software... that's the part I always get lost on.. HEheheheh

Good luck... Keep us updated?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Porting a cartridge to a software image is easy. The cartridge has what they call a ROM (Read Only Memory). You can build a circuit that will let the computer communicate with the ROM and you can export the data. You can even replace the ROM chip with what they call a EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory) and write data onto the chip and be able to play it on the old game console.

How a emulator works is it emulates a CPU say a Motorola 6800 (very common with old gaming consoles and arcade systems, even some old computers used this same CPU) and a few hardware devices like sound. Some people write the system ROM into the emulator and others keep it separate. Some game consoles have the system ROM built into the game cartridge so there is no need to play with a system ROM.

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I've started on the basic parts of this project already. Formatted the computer and now installing Windows 95b. I'm going to slim down the OS a bit to free up resources and also make it a bit faster. After all this system only has 133MHz and 64MB of RAM. I'm using a wussy 6.4GB hard drive but it should be plenty to hold Windows, MAME and all of the ROMs that are only around a few hundred KB.

As Windows installs im shopping around for the arcade buttons and a joystick. To keep things simple i'm thinking to guy a cheap USB game pad and modify it.
 

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Grab Your ***** By The Horns
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William's Defender Stargate anyone? lol OwwwmmmmmMMMM
 

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Discussion Starter #8
AMD works great but has a dead AGP. Don't need any fancy video graphics for some old school arcade games. The motherboard has a nForce 2 chipset and has built-in video. I got 512MB of ram in the system with 64MB shared and MAME runs great. I played MetalSlug for about three hours last night lol.

Now I need to draw up some plans on the cabinet.
 

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I'm backtracking on this a bit. I found my old Nintendo arcade controller.
That pic brings back some memories! I was "the man" for awhile when I first got mine and all my buds still had handheld controllers.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
After debating about it I don't want to sacrifice my pride and joy of the NES controllers. Since this is my old working control for that unit.

I've decided to build the controller from scratch. I can buy a simple 8 way joystick for 12 bucks and I can buy the huge jumbo buttons at 3 bucks a pop. Now to make all of this work I decided to use something very simple, a keyboard controller board.

If anyone has ever played with a keyboard controller it can be fun and it's a base point to make your own keyboard or controller device. Ground out a signal and it creates a character. All I would have to do is remap the controls in the emulator. I can use this controller to have more then 8 action keys and also setup a second player control set by using one circuit. Best of all it's plug'n'play. I can ether use USB or PS\2 for this setyp and a cheap keyboard is only 9 bucks but since I have a few extra keyboards this would be some what a free project. Just have to buy the joystick and some push buttons.
 

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Dain bramaged
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I bought a few "junk" usb 6 button controllers and just used their boards, connected the buttons/joystick up and ran that for a while on my mame cab. Then I came across an IPAC cheap, I'll never go back, its so nice. I haven't fired my MAME machine up in a while though, not since I got rid of my other arcade machines. I do eventually want to wire my cab for a JAMMA interface and then use the JPAC to plug the PC in, that way I can actually use JAMMA boards as well.

also check ebay, you can usually find button/joystick packages for cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was looking in a knot of computer cables and found a USB device I bought from wal-mart for 9 bucks. It lets you use, PlayStation, xbox and gamecube controls on the PC. It also has two extra USB ports for hub use. I might add it for giggles so if I ever want to relax I can use a hand-held controller.

When I was at home depot yesterday I noticed MDF is pretty expensive. I'm thinking to go the plywood route since I already have it. I also have a huge can drywall plaster I can use over the plywood then use a latex paint then a clear varnish to seal it.
 

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Dain bramaged
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You may wanna check your local craigslist/arcadecontrols.com and see if you can't track down a free gutted cab, would save you a bit of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've been looking and people ether want way too much or the cabinet is too big.

I came across something pretty neat though. Some guy was selling a case with a 10inch LCD. It's made to use a thin client motherboard and a small arcade control set, it';s a portable MAME system lol. Sadly he wanted 200 for the cabinet and LCD.
 
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