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Author Topic: Astro City 2 dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet  (Read 5074 times)

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Kokapetl

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Astro City 2 dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« on: August 06, 2010, 02:16:47 am »
Hi everyone, first post!

I picked up a working Sega New Astro City Astro City 2 cabinet, minus some (hopefully) minor monitor problems which I'm going to convert to be a dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet - i.e., I want to be able to easily switch between using a JAMMA board and using a PC for emulation.

This is my second cabinet project (the cabinet on the left was a gutted and battle-damaged cabinet that I picked up cheap and did up using a TV and XBOX core).
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 12:16:08 am by Kokapetl »

Kokapetl

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 02:24:43 am »
The astro is in decent condition, so other than respraying the doors and bezel I hope I can avoid doing too much to it. My aim is to modify the cabinet at little as possible, but here's one modification that I'm adding:
I filed out one of the holes in the coin door to be larger and square. I think this hole was for sticking a screw-driver into when the coin-mech jams up, I'm adding 2 USB ports. In the picture, I've just poked it through to make sure it fits, once I've resprayed I will fold the tiny metal lips over.

I'll mainly use the USB ports for playstation 2-ish controllers which will be configured for all emulators as being a secondary input source so that, if desired, you could use control pad rather than arcade sticks. This is a necessity when emulating nintendo 64 etc. for the analog stick but it also offers a convenient solution to friends who complain that you're only kicking their ass at Street Fighter because they're used to playing with a control pad  ;) For 4 player arcade games, these will be players 3 and 4. I'm also making a trackball controller but rather than messing up my astro (I can't see how it would fit anyway) I've decided to make my own trackball controller which can be plugged in via USB.

Kokapetl

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 02:28:44 am »
Here are some pics of my set up for switching between JAMMA / PC.

I've picked up an arcadeVGA and J-PAC for the conversion, the thing on the right is a kick-harness I built so that I don't need to double up on wiring.
On one side of the mdf board (left) is the JAMMA board, the other half is the PC interface (currently plugged in).

For now, I've simply merged the PC stereo signals into one which goes through both speakers. I may eventually change this, but I haven't even opened up most of the cabinet so this was the easier solution.
Also, since PC audio signals aren't amplified, I gutted some old PC speakers. I'm using the amplifier from the old speakers so that the original arcade speakers are being used.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 04:13:03 am by Kokapetl »

opt2not

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 02:32:24 am »
That's the way to do a first post right. :)
"Here's what I have, what I'm going to turn it into, and and here's what I did before", none of the sucking up to the board, establishing a back-story, life questioning posts... just straight to the hobby.  
I like it, and I like your idea too! I'll be watching this one for sure!

I applaud you :applaud: for your conviction and frankness to the point.

Also, I would love to see some pictures of that first cab running  :cheers:

Kokapetl

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 02:43:04 am »
I would love to see some pictures of that first cab running

Thanks :)

The aesthetics of my first machine don't extend to the inside :P`  ..it's quite embarassing to look at.
Here's a labeled picture of it running.

Kokapetl

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 05:15:53 am »
Here are some screenshots of my Maximus Arcade skin I've been working on - based on the Maximus Arcadius skin (I'm calling it Maximus Astrocitius ;)).
Instead of a "no image available" I have the default background to become static in the absence of an image, and I've made my own vertical monitor bezel overlay in photoshop for vertical games.
Also, I cut out the entire speaker / bezel section for game marquees (a real astocity has gaps between the speakers and the small title area, but I shopped it to make it a continuous black blob to better suit marquees).

My computer is running XP, which I've managed to make completely transparent (explorer doesn't even load up).
Boot up and shut down is completely black, the only thing I need to fix is the half a second of mouse cursor flashing up on screen at boot up >_<
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 05:26:16 am by Kokapetl »

emphatic

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2010, 08:09:49 am »
Nice score on that NAC. It looks really nice, no yellowing as far as I can see. Your USB port looks very slick as well. I really get that "I'm loosing because I can't use game pad" argument, I've heard poor excuses like that before and I'd like to see the look on their face when you whip out a PS2 controller.  :cheers:

What sort of issue are you having with the screen?

Kokapetl

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2010, 11:34:16 am »
What sort of issue are you having with the screen?

At first, the problem was purely with the green levels. There was no gradual response when I twisted the know under my control panel; it was a case of either "all green" or "no green".
I eventually managed to find a sweet spot where it worked fine, but now the screen has pretty much died. It seems to flicker on and off (to black, then back to normal) and the v-hold is flying all around as well. Ironically, the image that flickers seems to have the perfect amount of green  :-\ I'm alright with electronics, but the power inside monitors scares me, and I don't really know what I'm doing. Any idea what the problem might be ?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 02:20:38 pm by Kokapetl »

emphatic

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2010, 12:17:54 pm »
Look at the chassis board to see if you have any solder gone bad. Also make sure that the remote board cable is really plugged in.

Kokapetl

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2010, 12:28:04 am »
Look at the chassis board to see if you have any solder gone bad. Also make sure that the remote board cable is really plugged in.
Thanks, I'll have a good look over it.

Paladin

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2010, 08:48:26 am »
I was checking out the pictures of your cabinet to see if I could borrow some component mounting ideas for my New Astro City and noticed the layout of your cab is a bit different than mine. 
It appears that what you have is an Astro City 2: http://hard--candy.com/index.asp?page=Astro+City+2

I'm new to these cabs, and still learning as I go.  I hope you can solve your monitor issue!

My cab is currently a dual Dreamcast/JAMMA setup, and I'm waiting for a J-Pac to figure out how to wire MAME into it as well.


saleem

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2010, 10:20:08 am »
what was that cab originaly that you say was your first project?

it looks soo much like a missile command to me,when i saw it as i am just working on my missile command projects (restores) it hit me that that cab looks soo much like missile command.
:)

carljackson47

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2010, 06:42:56 am »
Wow, I think I can now build my own arcade cabinet. Recently, we have converted our attic as game room for the children. I am sure they will appreciate it if I will make the arcade as the center piece, I am considering to use flat LCD monitor to minimize space.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 03:58:10 am by carljackson47 »

Kokapetl

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2010, 05:40:33 pm »
I was checking out the pictures of your cabinet to see if I could borrow some component mounting ideas for my New Astro City and noticed the layout of your cab is a bit different than mine.  
It appears that what you have is an Astro City 2: http://hard--candy.com/index.asp?page=Astro+City+2

I'm new to these cabs, and still learning as I go.  I hope you can solve your monitor issue!

My cab is currently a dual Dreamcast/JAMMA setup, and I'm waiting for a J-Pac to figure out how to wire MAME into it as well.


Yep, it is an astro city 2.. I just updated the first post - thanks :)
Monitor issue has been solved, I haven't had much time to work on the cabinet lately but at the moment I've completely disassembled EVERYTHING since I've decided to respray the whole thing. The only thing holding me back from doing this was the work involced and losing the side stickers, but they were worn and damaged anyway so it's not a huge loss. There was some pretty bad rust damage to the bottom so I'm cleaning up the feet and replacing bolts etc. I also wasn't happy with some of the sloppy wiring, so I'm taking this as an opportunity to re-do that aswell. The internal side of the mains power switch is very difficult to access and work with for an assembled cabinet, so taking it apart has made it much easier for me to add the additional power switch (for PC power). I've now found a way to mount the PC upsidedown (for those who want to try this, beware of dip switches falling out!).

what was that cab originaly that you say was your first project?

it looks soo much like a missile command to me,when i saw it as i am just working on my missile command projects (restores) it hit me that that cab looks soo much like missile command.
:)

I'm not sure what the cabinet was to begin with. It does look like a missile command cabinet, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't one originally (unless missile command also came in flat oriented monitor version?). I received the cabinet in very bad condition, but originally it had a wood finish and didn't have an upright oriented monitor (it was flat, like a Galaga cabinet). The monitor, as well as the power unit and most other things, were missing. The original controls were for 1 player only, consisting of (if I remember correctly) an MCA joystick, 2 game buttons, and a start button.

emphatic

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2010, 06:59:40 pm »
The only thing holding me back from doing this was the work involced and losing the side stickers, but they were worn and damaged anyway so it's not a huge loss.

You can get very good replicas here: http://triplemoonstar.brinkster.net/theshed/default.asp?stockid=2224 (in Europe) and here: http://triplemoonstar.brinkster.net/mcs/default.asp?stockid=2219 (in USA)

Kokapetl

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Re: New Astro City dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2010, 08:12:45 pm »
You can get very good replicas here: http://triplemoonstar.brinkster.net/theshed/default.asp?stockid=2224 (in Europe) and here: http://triplemoonstar.brinkster.net/mcs/default.asp?stockid=2219 (in USA)
Thanks!

My cab is currently a dual Dreamcast/JAMMA setup, and I'm waiting for a J-Pac to figure out how to wire MAME into it as well.
That looks very clean, I'll try my best to make mine look as nice ;) and I'll post pictures of my PC mounted when I put it all back together. I'm mounting it upsidedown from the sheet metal plate below the monitor. This plate was insanely difficult to drill through, and I wonder why it was such high quality strong steel since it isn't (or at least WASN'T) load-bearing at all. The extra jobs so far have been to have an additional power switch for PC power and hacking up some old PC speakers to amplify the PC audio signal. I've set the BIOS of my PC to "reboot after power failure", so it automatically boots up from the switch.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 08:24:30 pm by Kokapetl »

BurgerKingDiamond

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Re: Astro City 2 dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2010, 12:15:26 pm »
Please post some pics of you respraying your machine! I want to do this to mine as well, but I will be putting it off I think until I move out of my current place this May. I want to move into someplace with a garage then, and I that would make painting easier, which I hate doing even in the best of circumstances.
-Welcome to the Fantasy Zone.

LOOTER

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Re: Astro City 2 dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2010, 04:17:52 am »
Hi everyone, first post!

I picked up a working Sega New Astro City cabinet, minus some (hopefully) minor monitor problems which I'm going to convert to be a dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet - i.e., I want to be able to easily switch between using a JAMMA board and using a PC for emulation.

This is my second cabinet project (the cabinet on the left was a gutted and battle-damaged cabinet that I picked up cheap and did up using a TV and XBOX core).

I like what you did. more pics please. I would love to pimp out my SNK (NEO 29) Candy Cab
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 04:44:02 am by LOOTER »

Kokapetl

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Re: Astro City 2 dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2010, 02:56:43 am »
Please post some pics of you respraying your machine!
Here's some respray photos. The first picture shows one part where I putty-filled some gouges in the cabinet and sanded everything down.
I resprayed using an air compressor and a professional spray kit, using 2pak paint (car paint).
This leaves a really nice finish, if you get any runners / drips (you will) do NOT try to fix them at the time.
Leave the paint job for an entire week before doing anything to the drips. Sand with 800 grade WET sand paper, then if you want to - buff as you would a car.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 03:16:19 am by Kokapetl »

Kokapetl

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Re: Astro City 2 dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2010, 03:04:53 am »
Here's some re-assembly shots, and the wiring which I re-did (I held my breath before turning it on for the first time)  ;)

I also added an extra power switch and extension cord (for PC power), there was a round hole in the power panel filled with a button cap. I filed a hole through the cap and slotted in the button (a little hard to see from the picture because it's so dark and just looks like a black circle).
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 04:58:55 am by Kokapetl »

Kokapetl

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Re: Astro City 2 dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2010, 04:55:27 am »
Here's a few more things. First is the large sheet of steel that sits beneath the monitor (to be used for upside-down mounting of my PC).
The PC is mounted, the speaker-looking-thing is just the re-wired amplifier from a PC speaker (so that the signal is strong enough for the arcade speaker).

Here's also a layout of the special-keys I'm planning on using.
I've mounted a microswitch in the coin mech (for the jam-release button) which will register (upon release) a coin insert.
This is my "shift key" on my JPAC controller.

When the coin-jam release is being held in, the other buttons will be:
p1 start - pause
p2 start - mame in-game menu (for changing button config etc)
p2 A - load state
p2 B - save state
p2 C - service menu (for changing game difficulty, free play mode, etc)
p2 D - save slot 1
p2 E - save slot 2
p2 F - exit game / shut down (from menu)

I think I'll probably also have:
p2 up - volume up
p2 down - volume down
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 04:57:52 am by Kokapetl »

BurgerKingDiamond

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Re: Astro City 2 dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2010, 07:31:21 am »
The new paint looks nice.
-Welcome to the Fantasy Zone.

emphatic

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Re: Astro City 2 dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2010, 09:24:12 am »
The new paint looks nice.

+1. I wish I hade the space/time to repaint my EGRET IIs. But with small kids/cats in the house I feel that I can just wait a couple of years so that they playing with crayons etc will be far behind them first. :D

Your PC mounting, how will the heat travel from the motherboard/Processor? How do you plan on keeping it cool?

Kokapetl

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Re: Astro City 2 dual JAMMA / emulation cabinet
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2010, 11:52:11 am »
Your PC mounting, how will the heat travel from the motherboard/processor? How do you plan on keeping it cool?
I haven't really thought much about heat to be honest, my decision of where to put the computer was mainly just a case of "where will it fit?".
There's a fan on the processor, one on the video card, and 2 case fans, I might get some silent fans to encourage airflow out of the cabinet then just leave it running for a while and check on the temperature.

One thing worth mentioning to anyone who might want to mount a computer upsidedown - dip switches and small pin connectors have a tendency to fall out!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 12:52:11 am by Kokapetl »