Arcade cabinet - help!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Colton, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Colton

    Colton Supporting Actor

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    I've got a project to build an arcade (MAME) cabinet, but I'm confused about how to hook everything up. Here's the scenerio:

    I have a gutted Berzerk cabinet with the 19" Wells-Gardner arcade monitor still installed. How do I connect the monitor to a computer video card? The back of the monitor is all wires and I know the dangers of handling the yoke, so I shy away from anything the involves having to solder wires and stuff back there.

    Has anyone wired these arcade monitors to a VGA card? How hard is it? What do I need to do? I need someone to hold my hand!

    - Colton
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    mmmm try shoryuken.com. Many members are no strangers to collecting rare jamma boards and hooking them up in weird configurations.

    Sounds like a fun project, good luck!
     
  3. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    You're not going to be able to hook the Wells Gardner monitor up to your video card. Arcade monitors usually operate at a horizontal frequency of 15 Khz which is much too low for your video card. Modern video cards will usually only go down to around 31 Khz. Your best bet is to buy a card called the ArcadeVGA. You can find it here.

    I'd also recommend visiting Arcadecontrols.com . The message boards have some very knowledgable people that can answer your questions. Good luck!
     
  4. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Good luck with the project-let us know how it goes! I've heard of that ArcadeVGA board, but have never seen one in action. Sounds like a good solution though. Only thing I'd wonder about is whether the monitor can support all of the different resolutions that you'd need (or were arcade monitors pretty standard the whole time)?
     
  5. Hunter P

    Hunter P Screenwriter

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    What game(s) are you going to be playing on it?

    BTW, when you are done then build me a Street Fighter Alpha 2 game. kthx[​IMG]
     
  6. Colton

    Colton Supporting Actor

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    Mostly play:

    Berzerk
    Frenzy
    Pac Man
    Ms. Pac Man
    Dragon's Lair
    Space Ace
    Venture

    ... and many other classics, but I think I'm going to need some hybrid control panel to play some of the other games (centipede needs a rollerball). *sigh*

    - Colton
     
  7. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    I don't know if the Berserk monitor will display the Laser disc games correctly. That's something to look into before you totally take the plunge.

    Another option would be to buy a cheaper modern CRT monitor and remove it from it's casing to fit in your cabinet space. Then it has the VGA hookup natively and can be used to emulate almost any game or system.
     
  8. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Yeah, you'll probably have problems with the laser games (Does MAME even run those?) and the older monitor. Check out arcdecontrols.com though, since there are a whole pile of tutorials etc on there, as well as some real experts.
     
  9. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    MAME doesn't handle laserdisc games. For those you'll need Daphne. Daphne uses the actual roms from laserdisc games as well as ripped mpg's from either the laserdisc or DVD. It works pretty well as I run Daphne myself. And from what I've read, you can run Daphne on an arcade monitor.

    If I were you, I'd just take a PC monitor and de-case it like Joe said. It's much less trouble.
     
  10. Greg Morse

    Greg Morse Stunt Coordinator

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    I think it would probably be cheaper and quicker to just buy the arcadeVGA than dealing with swapping out the monitor. If you go to the arcadeVGA installation instructions
    http://www.ultimarc.com/avgainst.html, it gives instructions to make your own VGA->monitor cable. They also sell a premade breakout cable for this purpose.

    If you really are so inclined, another option is to use a Jamma harness, pick up a J-Pac (also from ultimarc), and use your current video card with ArcadeOS/AdvanceMame. You're constraining yourself to Dos or Linux if you want to use a modern video card and look forward to much tweaking.

    You can also hook up the card directly to the arcade monitor without the J-Pac, but you'll can't turn the monitor on until ArcadeOS boots up or you'll blow the monitor quickly.

    One of the nice things the J-Pac does is split a 31 Khz signal and amplify the monitor, so you'll see a split display on the Dos screen, rather than blowing the monitor up.
     

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