Without too much effort I’ve managed to get the MAME cabinet into a useable state! It’s now graduated from the garage into our sun / dining room (much to the delight of my housemate who can hear all the bleeps and bloops from her bedroom).
Here’s the lowdown…
The first step was to mount a 4:3 ratio LCD monitor in it. I know I know, “dude you need to put a CRT in it, keep it old school” … I recently rid myself of the last remaining CRT in my life, and I’m not about to start picking up more. Besides, the authentic CRTs for arcade machines cost a packet and require a bunch of hardware to convert the VGA signal.
It’s supported by a piece of timber running horizontally between either side of the cabinet. Currently there’s a gap around the edges of the monitor where you can see through to the internals of the cabinet, but I plan to fix that with a black trim of some sort.
I’ve gutted all the old bits and pieces from the original machine, a 110 – 240 transformer and a few circuit boards and cabling. This has allowed room for the MB Pro to sit in the base of the cabinet. Enough words… here’s some pictures!
Monitor mounted! NBA jam on the menu the last few nights Note the new frog-themed marquee created by Christine with some old cardboard and stickers!
MB Pro running the show from the inside. The speaker, functioning coin slots and hopper from the original system remains, but not much else.
Coin hopper containing 2 x 20c pieces. One of them from 1981, older than me
iPac converter. This little guy converts all the signals from the joysticks, buttons and coin slots into a keystrokes over USB.
And here is the whole unit... ready for action! Wanna come over? Bring beer and 20c pieces
I picked up a really cool vintage arcade cabinet on the weekend from a guy moving overseas. Currently it’s just an empty shell with joysticks, buttons and an iPac adapter (converts the joystick / buttons to USB). Should make for a great addition to the garage.
I’ve started configuring my old MacBook Pro into an emulation machine to run the thing, currently it’s running Ubuntu 11 (wishing I had installed Ubuntu 10, the new interface is retched).
Here’s what I’ve installed so far:
SDLMAME - an Ubuntu port of the arcade machine emulator MAME
ZSNES – a Super Nintendo emulator
GENS – a Sega Genesis / Megadrive emulator (bring on the Sonic!)
…and for a front-end (ie. for selecting an emulator and game using the joystick), I’ve configured Wah!Cade, which has proven very easy to configure, and includes a great layout editor for customising the various screens.
Lots of work still to do, I’ll probably start by dropping a decent LCD monitor in the cabinet, although I might eventually switch to a curved CRT screen, particularly as the cabinet is of the curved, 80′s milk-bar vintage.
I’ll post updates here as work progresses!