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Author Topic: Rando's UAII cab progress - Playable!  (Read 19087 times)

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Rando

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Rando's UAII cab progress - Playable!
« on: December 07, 2010, 12:01:12 pm »
Hello all,
New guy here, starting at the announcements page!  Ive been reviewing the site (and other sites) for a while, and have my initial plan for your review.  Im not ready to start the cabinet build however, as step one is actually to install the subfloor and then laminate wood flooring in my basement, (currently finished but with thin carpet and some moisture issues) but by posting here Im hoping this will feel more real and help me to stay on course.

Im new to MAME and emulators but have been around computers for much of my life, built a few, so Im not expecting problems in that area.  Im also good with tools, so Im looking forward to the actual cabinet build.  My biggest flaw is Im afraid of electrical work/wiring, so custom buttons make me nervous.  So here is my preliminary plan, appreciate feedback, options, and ideas:

Arcade Cabinet Ordered pre-cut offering from MameRoom Designs, Ultimate Arcade II.  Will be neat, will look how I want, and have a finished appearance right away.  Red T-Molding ordered as well as that looks how I want.

Two Player controllers Going to build this using information from this site.  Current plan is for 2 main 8 way joysticks, 6 buttons each, trackball, and probably a 4-way up top in middle.  Don't want the CP to be too Fraken, but a Tron stick is tempting.  Also will likely need a spinner, and is a removable Spy Hunter wheel an option?  Will likely create an initial "test" CP first with basics, and add what is missing based on popularity of gameplay.  Sticking to older games, so hopefully button combos will remain limited.

Monitor On lookout for a 25" Monitor with S-Video input, speakers on bottom, power return a nice option.

PC System Dell Dimension P4 wiped and loaded with MAME, games, and currently the Game EX frontend.

Bezel/Marquee/Cab Graphics Down the road decisions, not a major concern at moment.

Speaker system Have a nice speaker setup with Bass from a previous PC build, sounds great.

Game Emulators Looks like Ill want MAME & Daphne initally, don't know if I want more.


Oh, to help classify me and get an understanding of the games Im looking to have access to, I just turned 40, so I grew up playing games like Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Dig Dug, Spy Hunter (a favorite), TRON, Journey (cheesy), stuff like that.  My wife wants games like Tempest, Robotron, Beserk.  Id like to have access to games like Dragon Quest and Space Ace that took way too many quarters to make any kinds of progress back in the day.  Fighting games would be present but likely not my focus for the machine.  Finally have a house with a adequate basement for a good gameroom.

This is a long text, sorry about that, but wanted to cover everything.  Thanks for this site and help in advance! :cheers:
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 10:43:15 am by Rando »
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

javeryh

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 12:22:02 pm »
Welcome.

Wiring the cabinet is the easiest part of the entire build.  You should not be afraid of that.  It was the first thing I ever wired in my life (and I was also nervous) and it was so easy.  I can't stress this enough.

You aren't going to get "definitive" answers to a lot of your questions because everyone will have differing opinions on what to do.  My advice would be to build from scratch (especially since you said you are good with tools) and design a control panel that works for your needs.  If Tron is important you can certainly add Tron controls (GGG sells an awesome looking repro stick).  Spinner and trackballs are very common on a MAME cabinet.

I'd also go with an arcade monitor over a widescreen LCD - way more authentic but again, it depends on your needs.

Finally, I would not put off your bezel/marquee/cab graphics until after the cabinet is built.  The nicest cabs on this site are the ones with an overall theme and designed as one cohesive unit.  If you don't plan it could end up being way more work down the line and it might look like you slapped the thing together without much thought.

Browse the project announcement forums - sort by # of posts and you will get a good list of projects to look at.  Good luck and remember to post tons of pics!   :cheers:

eds1275

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 12:37:17 pm »
The X-Arcade stuff is not much cheaper than building and buying the parts you need. However if you do go that route, maybe build your own control panel and move the guts over. Most spinners I know of are USB so adding one on top of the X-Arcade should be simple enough.

I cannot vouch for the quality of games the X-Arcade comes with as when I opened mine it was like pouring sprinkles from an envelope. I dunno what they do in that factory but the disc was so destroyed it seems unlikely it was an accident. The rest of it was built well - but the joysticks feel cheap and the buttons have a funny hollow sound to them that doesn't feel right. I have heard good things about their trackballs though.

ChurchOfSolipsism

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 03:35:41 pm »
Re the worrying about just one game thing: If playing that game on the perfect machine is your dream, make it come true. I dare say it will be totally worth it, that sweet moment when you first insert a credit and start playing that one legendary game on original controls... besides, I'm almost sure you'll find that building the whole thing is as much fun as playing it, so go crazy.

Haven't heard much good things about the X-Arcade stuff... get your own sticks and buttons (I usually recommend Japanese brands, Sanwa and Seimitsu, I love the way they feel, but many American players prefer Happ products as they feel a bit stiffer) and take apart a playstation 1 pad for the pcb (to connect the controls to your pc). It's not complicated at all, I was a total noob and I got it right the first time.

Anyway, have fun with your first build!

DirtyDachshunds

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 04:19:09 pm »
Game Emulators Looks like Ill want MAME, SNES, Daphne, Maybe Sega Genesis.  Can these all run using the Maximus frontend loader?  Ease of use and coolness factors are important here.

Hyperspin FTW!

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 04:20:46 pm »
I've been much more satisfied with Hyperspin as well. To me, it feels like a more polished product.

Also a consideration for me was that Hyperspin would correctly suspend/resume with the computer whereas Maximus would not.

DirtyDachshunds

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010, 04:23:10 pm »
I've been much more satisfied with Hyperspin as well. To me, it feels like a more polished product.

Also a consideration for me was that Hyperspin would correctly suspend/resume with the computer whereas Maximus would not.

Really?!  I didn't know that.  Is there an option for that somewhere in HyperHQ?

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2010, 04:52:01 pm »
I didn't set any options for it. I just tapped the power button on the front of my machine and it went into suspend mode (as specified in the windows power management settings). Hitting power again brought it back up in hyperspin, videos still playing.

MAME is rather unhappy if it gets suspended though, that usually results in coming back up locked up.


Now if only I could program a suspend/power up key to my CP via minipac. Then it would be perfect. I'll not threadjack with that discussion though.

Rando

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 05:15:45 pm »
This site is awesome, you guys are pretty sweet as well.

Just saying!  :cheers:
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Rando

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2010, 11:19:42 pm »
I'm jealous of all the other postings that have progress pics, so here is my first.

Spot for cab.  Basement is large, has stairs coming down in middle which separates it into two halves.  Right half is for kids, Wii is over there, couch, 3-way kids gaming table, etc.  Left side is the adult gameroom, wine refrig, future bar, poker table, maybe bumper pool, and Arcade on the left part of the wall below, possible Pinball (?) on the right. 

Floor will be wood, walls likely a tan.  Image 1!  :dunno

Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Rick

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 08:46:47 am »

Rando

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2010, 09:24:41 am »
Initial Theme concept:
After a heated "discussion" with my wife (non-cab related!  ::) ) I got the idea for a marquee/theme similar to a Capcom vs type theme, with guys vs girls, wife vs husband, sort of thing.

Left side of Marquee would be my name with a bunch of male characters posed for battle (fighers, Pac man, DK, dirk, etc.) and a blue/light blue theme.  Right side of Marquee would be my wife's name with a bunch of female characters (fighers, princesses, Ms Pac man, etc.) and a Red/pink theme.  Console would not include names, would just feature red vs blue, male vs female characters.

The blue/red theme seems to be common, but I'm thinking this would be a nice spin on it.  The Marquee with our names might be a bit cheesy and personal, but would be fun to see and she would likely be my foe in many of the games.

Thoughts?  Been done before?  Good examples?

Also based on above I'm leaning towards trying to build the button console myself.  I have done some electrical work (repacing light switches and fixtures, outlets, etc.) so hopefully that experience will help.  Hopefully I'll at least be less likely to receive a shock! ;) Reviewing the boards to see if I can find some instructions on where to start.
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

drventure

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2010, 09:26:20 am »
The cab's right there, he just hasn't phased it in quite yet  ;)

Rick

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2010, 09:28:33 am »
Thoughts?  Been done before?  Good examples?

I like it.  If you choose to remove the names on either side, you could always have a nice big "VS" in the middle ... kinda like in Scott Pilgrim, if you've seen that.

Rando

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2010, 09:43:15 am »
Thoughts?  Been done before?  Good examples?

I like it.  If you choose to remove the names on either side, you could always have a nice big "VS" in the middle ... kinda like in Scott Pilgrim, if you've seen that.
Seen it, read it, love it!! :)  Wife does too, maybe incorporate Scott Pilgrim elements...

Oh my, this does have the potential to grow into multiple machine concepts doesn't it?  :o :o
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2010, 09:53:35 am »
well you've got to have a dedicated horizontal and a dedicated vertical cab, right?

Rando

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2010, 03:30:12 pm »
Located a free & working 25" RCA set within 30 minutes of my office which I might try to grab tomorrow/this weekend.  I'd be looking to put this into the Mameroom Ultimate Arcade II cabinet, which per the rep has interior room of 27" wide, just under 25" high, and almost 21" deep.  Aside from dimensions, what features do I NEED and WANT for the set to be adequate?  Manual looks to be included which is a nice bonus.

If the set is a smidge too big, how much of a chore is it to remove the tube/components of the set and mount in the cabinet?
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

DirtyDachshunds

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2010, 03:36:09 pm »
Component inputs would be a nice bonus, or at least S-video.  Another thing I look for is: When you plug in the TV does it immediately power up if the power button is held in.  I know it sounds weird, but if you decide to use a smart power strip you can pry the power button in and the TV will turn on automatically when you boot the PC...just something to think about.

Sounds like you should have the room for the entire TV.  If not there are many threads on this, just remember to discharge the monitor first.  Those old CRTs can kill you.

Rando

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2010, 03:49:02 pm »
Sounds like you should have the room for the entire TV.  If not there are many threads on this, just remember to discharge the monitor first.  Those old CRTs can kill you.
Side story,

Few years back I got the idea to create a fishtank using an old console style TV.  I found a great set and removed the tube.  The curved screen was nice and I wanted to remove it to mount it back on the set, and then have a regular tank behind it/within the console.  Screen didn't want to come off so I tried multiple ways, which included attempting to drill holes into the tube (?) to help me pry it off.  My drill failed however, and I never did get the screen separated.

I mentioned my exploits to several friends and warnings followed regarding discharging the set (set had been unplugged for some time, so I don't think a danger there) and my dad gave me a heads up about poisonous gasses being inside the tube itself.  Soooooo I guess it was a good thing that I couldn't penetrate it! :)

Had the tank in the set for a while (after reinforcing the base) regardless but it never looked as cool as it did in my head.  Hopefully my arcade cabinet will be much more betterer!! ;)
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2010, 04:01:26 pm »
... and my dad gave me a heads up about poisonous gasses being inside the tube itself. 

Damn straight! You know how hard it is to breath in a vacuum? Trust me, you don't want to find out.

PsychoMikey

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2010, 10:52:59 am »
Try to get hold of a copy of "Project Arcade: Build Your Own Arcade Machine". It's a good starting point. Make sure it's going to be what you want it to be!

I would advise for custom controls, you wont regret it. It might be a bit more expensive and a bit more work, but you get more quality and fun in return. Almost everybody starts with the "X-arcade will do" comments. After you spend some time on BYOAC, arcade parts become like the "one ring to rule them all"... must have my precious...  >:D

I can also say that wiring the CP is very easy. Just use some good tools/wire and think about part placement and how your going to route your wire's before starting.

Be prepared to spend quite some time setting up alle the software for this baby (unless you can get a copy of a complete install from somebody nearby that fits your needs). It took me much longer then expected to get everything the way I wanted. For me it started like "PacMan is running, how cool is this" and it ended with tinkering with autohotkey scripts, front-end/Mame tweaks, custom themes for everything etc. Should note that for me this is an important part of the hobby, I spend almost as much time on as playing games.

Your theme idea's sound's cool!! Don't over do it though. Also take a look at "crapmame" and figure out what NOT to do!

Rando

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2010, 11:51:42 am »
Try to get hold of a copy of "Project Arcade: Build Your Own Arcade Machine". It's a good starting point. Make sure it's going to be what you want it to be!
I saw that book on Amazon when I first got this idea in my head, but some of the reviews mentioned that it was a bit dated (2004), but when I searched today I see that a new one is actually coming out in January:
Project Arcade: Build Your Own Arcade Machine (Wiley Red Books) [Paperback]
John St. Clair (Author)
Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (January 25, 2011)

I'm sure much if not more info is on this site, but a step by step format is nice.  Don't see myself starting cabinet/controls prior to end of January, so maybe I'll add this to my wishlist! :D
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Rick

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2010, 01:01:24 pm »
Is the book any good?  I don't recognize the author.

 ;)

PsychoMikey

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2010, 03:04:28 pm »
I agree that it is a bit dated, but it does provide some usefull information. Offcourse everything can also be found on the internet (hint hint  ;) )

garnerb350

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2010, 11:02:33 am »
Is the book any good?  I don't recognize the author.

 ;)

Oh great and powerful saint...where art thou?  :duckhunt
If first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you..." ~ Jack Handy

Rando

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2010, 02:50:17 pm »
Located a free & working 25" RCA set within 30 minutes of my office which I might try to grab tomorrow/this weekend.  I'd be looking to put this into the Mameroom Ultimate Arcade II cabinet, which per the rep has interior room of 27" wide, just under 25" high, and almost 21" deep.  Aside from dimensions, what features do I NEED and WANT for the set to be adequate?  Manual looks to be included which is a nice bonus.
Okie,
Picked up my FREE 25" RCA set today.  Does it work?  No clue.  Did it come with a power cord?  Of course not.  Manual?  Yes!  Will it connect to my PC?  Once I get a modulator to help me connect to the coaxial cable input, I hope so!

Now to get the PC up and running, then cleaned, then setup for this purpose.  TV looks big though, need to measure and see if I need to take out of case.  Oog.

But progress!! :D

Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2010, 03:20:31 pm »
Once I get a modulator to help me connect to the coaxial cable input, I hope so!

Even composite video would be better than that. I hope that's not the option you're actually considering.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 03:50:28 pm by cotmm68030 »

Donkbaca

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2010, 03:41:36 pm »
OUch! only a coax input?  AND no power cord?  I would ditch it, it was free anyway. You can get a good CRT of CL for under 50 bucks.

Rick

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2010, 03:51:29 pm »
OUch! only a coax input?  AND no power cord?  I would ditch it, it was free anyway. You can get a good CRT of CL for under 50 bucks.

I agree - there's always something better on the horizon.  A buddy I work with just upgraded to LCD, and I'm picking up a nice 27" Sony Trinitron tomorrow!  (Check Craigslist - it's a good source, and you can pick and choose.)

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2010, 03:52:18 pm »
OUch! only a coax input?  AND no power cord?  I would ditch it, it was free anyway. You can get a good CRT of CL for under 50 bucks.

Why do that when he could embark on the exciting adventure of universal chassis!
http://www.8liners.com/datatech/monitor.html

Rando

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2010, 04:00:37 pm »
Bah,
Really?

Figured this wouldn't be much of an issue since the games I would be looking to play would be low rez so it wouldn't give me problems.  Oh well, back to Craig's list (where I got this one) to see what else is out there! :(
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Donkbaca

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2010, 04:11:58 pm »
You want at least s-video or it will look like garbage.

Plus, if you want to use a smart strip to turn it all on, you want a tv with power return. Most new Tv's have this, so if it has s-video, it will probably have it.

Turn on the tv, unplug it and then plug it back in.  If it turns itself back on, you have a winner.

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2011, 09:54:51 am »
Update:

Half of the Basement has been painted, and quite nicely I might add.  Surprise surprise, the side that will feature the Cab was painted first! ;)

I now have a total of 3 PCs.  Two non-working and a 3rd that I just formatted and gave a clean XP Home install.  Specs of PC are below, please advise if this should be sufficient or if upgrades are needed:
- Dell Dimension Pentium 4 2.00 Ghz
- 80 GB Hard Drive (I have a faster Maxtor 250 GB that I can use, but want to get some things off it prior to format) (Will definitely need to do if I want Cab playing music as well)
- 1 GB RAM (was 512 MB, swapped with one of my non-working PC's)
- 128 MB ATI Video card
- XP Home edition, upgraded to Service Pack 3

I installed MAME, MAME32, and some free ROMs for testing.  No major problems there.  Will the above be adequate to run a front-end like HyperSpin?  Desired games?

Currently running on a 17" monitor, have people searching for upgrades to that for me.


Thanks all!
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2011, 11:44:59 am »
I don't think hyperspin is recommended for a system that is that slow with that little ram.  I would go with something simpler.  I use gameex.  I think its simple and flexible.  It should suit you fine.  I would advise against hyperspin, the alure of it is that it has a lot of bells and whistles, but you won't be able to use them because you don't have enough horsepower to run it.

What games do you plan on running in MAME?  80gb is fine if you don't want any CHD based games, but you probably won't be able to play many CHD games on your getup anyway.  Otherwise you should opt for something in the 120-250gb range depending on how much you want, and try to get a faster processor.  But if you are mainly interested in playing pre-1990's games and some early 90's games that should be just about adequate.

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2011, 12:30:50 pm »
I don't think hyperspin is recommended for a system that is that slow with that little ram.  I would go with something simpler.  I use gameex.  I think its simple and flexible.  It should suit you fine.  I would advise against hyperspin, the alure of it is that it has a lot of bells and whistles, but you won't be able to use them because you don't have enough horsepower to run it.

What games do you plan on running in MAME?  80gb is fine if you don't want any CHD based games, but you probably won't be able to play many CHD games on your getup anyway.  Otherwise you should opt for something in the 120-250gb range depending on how much you want, and try to get a faster processor.  But if you are mainly interested in playing pre-1990's games and some early 90's games that should be just about adequate.
Thanks Donk,
I'm definitely focusing more on 80's and early 90's games, as those are what I enjoyed playing in Arcades.  Not looking at CHD type games, so I will definltey look at a less robust FE.

I want it to be easy for the user, and looking good would be a bonus.  I'll checkout gameex, thanks for the tip!
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2011, 12:53:52 pm »
Is the book any good?  I don't recognize the author.

 ;)

Oh great and powerful saint...where art thou?  :duckhunt
For newbies:  Roughly translated - The author of the book is the creator of the BYOAC forums.  His username here is "Saint"
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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2011, 12:55:09 pm »
Rando,

You may want to check out this thread here of videos on how to do stuff.  It explains wiring and may ease your fears of doing it.  It's quite simple as stated by others here as well.

Good luck!

D
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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2011, 06:47:32 pm »
Rando,

You may want to check out this thread here of videos on how to do stuff.  It explains wiring and may ease your fears of doing it.  It's quite simple as stated by others here as well.

Good luck!

D

what a great post.  i wish i would of seen these before i wired mine up..  great videos.  :)

chris.

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2011, 12:28:53 pm »
PC is running, GameEx looks to be a great frontend solution, ROMS loaded, sound works, no complication yet.  Here it all is in the spot where the cabinet will go, wall painted, flooring ordered, need to order cabinet, install components, and then get to work on the control panel.  Not as afraid as I was in the beginning, and it's AWESOME to see how good some of the old games look and sound.  Looking forward but still semi-fearful of next stages.

But progress! :)

Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

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Re: Hello, I'm new, excited, and scared...
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2011, 02:14:34 pm »
you are onto a great start now.. you got the brains taken care of.  now time for the clothes..  i like your idea for the marquee also.

chris.