Sunday 11 February 2024

4:3 MAME Project

After turning my 1Up PacMan into a MAME cabinet, I wanted to get two more cabinets because I wanted full screen experience for horizontal and square displays in addition to vertical.

I found a Marvel Super Heroes aka Marvel vs Capcom 1Up used for $200 on Facebook Marketplace.

When I went to pick it up,  I had an unexpected visitor: George.

I set it up in the living room and played a few games with the boy.

Taking it apart, I noticed the controller looked a lot like a stock USB encoder.  I wanted to reuse as much hardware as possible.  (I have another project now to revers engineer the encoder.)

The brain had an on/off switch, and a power outlet (likely for a marquee in other 1Up models).

This is what the logic board looks like (AllWinner effectvely an Android device; note the debug uart pins, the micro USB, and other cool stuff.

I wanted to reuse the power and volume buttons on this thing, so all buttons are usable.

As reverse engineering the 1Up encoder will take time, I added two DragonRise USB controller.

The joystick is a four button model. The block 4 pin terminus doesn't fit the 5 pin sawa style, so I needed to splice on a couple 2 pin terminus (22 gauge wire).

No need to solder when you can use a mini marrette. 

You can split the 3 position switch for volume into 2 x 2 pin terminus.

| A |  B | C | SWITCH
  |    |    |
  |   / \   |
  |  |   |  |
+-----+ +-----+
| 1| 2| | 3| 4|
+-----+ +-----+

Next step was taking apart the speaker assembly to map right and left wires and check the Ohms and Watts on the speakers (8O3W).

So the usual Kinter amplifier will do. Cut off the 4 contact stereo jack and connect to 22 guage wire from the amplifier.

I used a modified SVG of my previous J Panel to have two buttons and I moved the amplifier up.  Cut with the Epilog laser cutter at work.

Using hot glue like last time with a joint to add some strength. Used a grinder to allow the screws to hide flush.

The buttons are for coin or service (or whatever.)

Here is a video of how to attach the button to the switch.

A picture of the assembled J Panel.

Like last project, I attached the encoders with screws and spacers from poly tubing.  I pointed the USB B towards the guts to make room but this was a mistake.  The cables molding was way to big and even though I left room, the monitor back panel descended too low and I had to notch two holes for the plugs.  (Also don't forget to label left and right wires; I just use colored tape.)

I attached the video controller to a bit of wood so I could hot glue it to the back of the display.

Secured.  Again, poly tube and screws to secure to the wood.

Zippies on all the cables, I also added a shelf for the Geekom Mini I'm using as the brain for this cabinet. I still need to secure the display buttons and mini with a VESA (or bigger zippie).

So booting the Mini Air 11 (Windows GONE, Ubuntu 22.04 with XFCE4), 

Attract is fine. (I compile everything from current source.)

JSTest all buttons/switches firing okay (including power and volume). Sound working fine through the headphone jack and amplifier in stereo.

And now time to play Tekken 2 with the boy.

And after... It took about 8 hours to convert the cabinet. Total project cost about $450 (including the 1Up used $200, the Air Mini at $150, and $100 for amp, buttons, 2 encoders...)

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