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Author Topic: New Member Introduction, and project  (Read 2142 times)

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futurecheeto

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New Member Introduction, and project
« on: November 14, 2014, 11:31:22 am »
Hello all.  I've been lurking the boards over the past few days, and decided to register, as I have gained a bit of info from this site.  I figured I'd introduce myself, and throw out info regarding my first cab project.  For a little about me; I'm a 33 year old Senior Network Engineer for an ISP, and I have quite a bit of old school PC hardware experience.  I've always loved the retro games, as well as some of the newer games, whether it be arcade or console.

A little about my first project; I haven't exactly gotten it too much off the ground, as I still have a few decisions to make.  I have a gutted Silver Strike bowling cab (2009 I believe), and I'm doing some clean up and mods to it in order to incorporate a (2) player joystick/button set up, as well as a trackball.  I may build off of it at a later date to include 4 players.  At this time, I've only handled some cab clean up, and purchased the monitor.  I decided to go with a 27" ASUS VS278Q-P because of the response times.  I'm still pondering on how good of a graphics card I actually want, and what frontend GUI to utilize.  I would prefer to go the Linux route, but there aren't many visually appealing offerings out there.  I do have a few pics of the current cabinet and progress, but as I said, there isn't exactly much progress yet ;-)

I'm attempting to decide what button layout to incorporate, and I am leaning towards ordering my buttons (HAPP), joysticks (HAPP), and control interfaces (KeyWiz/OptiWiz) from "groovygamegear".

If anyone would like to comment on my current decisions, or sway me in another direction, i would love to hear your thoughts, as I am a bit of a noob at this, and appreciate any feedback.  I look forward to hearing from you guys, and hope to be a regular to this site from now on.       

lamprey

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 12:55:19 pm »
Welcome!

I don't know how big of a deal this is to you, but are you sensitive to screen tearing? If so, you may want to investigate using an G-Sync capable nVidia card with a G-sync capable monitor. I believe there are several g-sync monitors in that size range and it give a really nice MAME experience.

Other than that, it sounds like you have things in hand. No issues with those components as both GGG and Ultimarc have solid products and are represented by good guys.

One thing you might want to do, if you haven't already, is to make a list of the games you want to play. I found there to very few 4-players games of interest to me, so I just went with a 2-player control panel. It sounds like that's where you are going to start, so that might not even be a talking point right now. But, in addition to the number of players, you can get a sense for what controls you will want/need to play the games that are of most importance to you.

BTW, pics or it didn't happen! :)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 02:34:30 pm by lamprey »

futurecheeto

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2014, 02:11:11 pm »
Thanks for the quick reply!  I honestly didn't think I would notice much screen tearing with the older games, but I don't know a ton about display either.  I got a great deal on the VS278Q-P, and it's 1080p, IPS, with 1ms GTG response times.  I guess if it gets to me, I can swap it up :-)

I've included some pics of the base cab:

mvolke1

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2014, 02:33:36 pm »
I shop from both GGG and Ultimarc, and have had great experiences with both their products. GGG has great customer support, too.

One thing to consider is, what kind of games you want to play. If you are playing both 4 and 8 way controlled games, you'll want a 4-8 way switchable joystick. Both GGG and Ultimarc sell them in various styles. The most appealing, to me, is having one that switches from the top of the panel. I have the Ultimarc Mag-Stick Plus.

Happ buttons are nice. Old school, reliable. I had them in my last build. I switched it up this time for some LED buttons. I went with six buttons per player to give me the most versatility, so I can play fighters and such.

The joystick, to me, is the biggie to consider. I've had my Mag-Stick Plus sticks for about ten years and never had a problem.

I attached a pic of my control panel. It's pretty common, but just to give you a sense of what of the Magstick looks like in the CP.
I'm with stupid.

mvolke1

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2014, 02:36:27 pm »
One more thing, I have the Ultimarc iPac for my interface. Super easy.

What are you powering your cab with?
I'm with stupid.

futurecheeto

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2014, 02:43:57 pm »
Those Mag-Stick looks nice!  I haven't sold myself yet on the controls, so that's still up in the air.  Also, I'm going with 2 player only right now, and I do not see myself moving to 4 player in the near future, if at all.  The types of games would go from old schools PacMan and DK type games, up to the Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat era.  I want to keep it pretty diverse to keep everyone happy ;-) 

I've heard great reviews of the iPac and the KeyWiz, and just recently started leaning towards KeyWiz.  As far as power, I haven't come up with a complete solution, and I am simply powering the main board and monitor right now with an ATZ power supply for the PC and house power for the with surge for the monitor.  I guess I'll need to come up with something before working it all in to a single power source though.

mvolke1

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2014, 02:50:35 pm »
To play the newer school games, you'll need a joystick that works in 8 directions. The old-school games, like DK and Pac Man, are 4-way (up, down, left right), but if you press up and right, which is easy to do, the game doesn't recognize it. If you can switch between 8 and 4 ways, that solves the problem. Definitely consider a switchable joystick. They're more expensive, but to me, a joystick is huge when considering your build.

GGG: http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=195

Ultimarc: http://ultimarc.com/controls.html

There are joysticks that switch from under the control panel, but it's not as elegant a solution as flipping a switch or pulling up on the joystick and giving it a twist.

My put another picture in so you could see the joysticks from a different angle.
I'm with stupid.

mvolke1

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2014, 02:51:57 pm »
I'm with stupid.

talkgeek

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2014, 03:57:00 pm »
Welcome aboard...

Declaring my bias up front: Personally I can't stand the aesthetics' of the "Aircraft Carrier" 4player CP's  :soapbox: so by all means ignore me if you do..

Something you might want to consider (given the size of your screen and expression re possibility of considering a 4 player CP) is adding USB ports that you can plug console game controllers into - this way you can accommodate for a 4player scenario (if you find a 4playr game you like) or to accommodate for "those players"  :angry: who struggle with the "old" arcade controllers. 

looking forward to seeing your cab progress
Currently building http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,137777.0.html Mass-Replicate
Built "n0tsq3" cocktail cab http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133913.0/all.html
..and restoring a Sega MegaLo 410 Candy Cab & Moon Patrol Cab

a1pharm

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2014, 08:18:18 am »
Your display will work just fine.  If you run into the unlikely case of screen tearing, just turn on vertical sync (VSync).  The G-Sync functionality of nVidia cards is a waste for MAME applications (most crappy video cards can easily handle 60FPS for virtually all MAME games you'll likely find so VSync works great).

As for which video card to buy, if you think you might someday install Future Pinball (which you totally should - it's awesome), definitely get an nVidia branded card.  If you have absolutely no intention of installing Future Pinball, it really doesn't matter which camp you go with.

I've built and sold some bartops w/ GeForce 610 cards and 210 cards (both are sub $40 video cards), and these easily handle whatever you throw at them.  The only reason to go with a better card is if you get a 144hz monitor and want to play Future Pinball at 150+ FPS.  Otherwise, don't waste your money.

I have tried the Mag Stick, the Mag Stick Plus, and Zippys (GGG) for control sticks.  The Mag Stick Plus action is pretty junky and the Zippys require a screw driver to changes from 4-8 way.  You may want to try one of the Ultimarc sticks that has a servo to move the restricter plate (this would probably give you the best "feel" if you are like me and don't like the Mag Stick Plus).

Another item to consider: speakers.  The Logitech Z623 2.1 channel setup is absolutely amazing. (~$100).  If you want to spend less on speakers, I have also found the Logitech Z313 2.1 setup to be great, too (~$30).

The coin door option is nice, but it is virtually always used for aesthetic purposes.  A good one is ~$100. (I put one in mine to give it a true arcade appearance - it is rarely used).

Good luck!

 :cheers:

futurecheeto

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2014, 09:51:54 am »
Thanks for the input guys!  I got a bit done this weekend, and Ill try to post some pics a little later.  I will be putting a nice sound system in, and I'll take a look at the Logitech that was recommended.  I will be purchasing joysticks/buttons this week, so I'm going to put a lot of thought and consideration into these recommendations. 

I already have the super strike bowling coin door, so I was going to incorporate it for the nostalgic look. 

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 10:03:10 am »
Welcome, and great start. One thing I would suggest is to try out a few different buttons and joysticks before you get really far in. Happ's are great and reliable as stated, but they felt kinda soft (mushy) to me. I upgraded mid way to some seimitsu buttons and an LS-32 stick and they feel 10x better. Also I found that I really like vertical SHUMP's (shoot 'em ups for the newbs  :laugh: ) and I found that the competition happ stick I bought wasn't cutting it. Almost like there is a deadzone on the diagonals causing it to not like the twitch movements. It's all personal preference, but if you put all that work into it and then playing the actual games isn't as fun because you are hindered by the controls then you'll just be all  :angry:  I'm only commenting on the competition joystick and buttons. They are the budget stuff so they may have better fitting gear, just my 2 cents.

futurecheeto

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 01:46:19 pm »
Thanks! I had already read quite a bit on the LS-32's and really dig em, but I thought they were for metal cabs mainly.  I'm likely wrong, which is why I am here to learn!  ;D 

My cab had a silver strike controller set up, and I was looking at designing the button layout based off of what is already there, but if all else fails, I can replace it with MDF and a new sheet of plexi.  I'm no woodworker, so this will be new to me.  Since it is wood, I assume I need to cut out inserts for the joysticks, and make sure I get the long thread style buttons right? 

I may go ahead and order this week, and if I decide I don't like the controllers/buttons, I can always grab a different style. 

I didn't spec it for a dual joystick player layout, as the only game I would see me playing in that style is Smash TV, but I could always go with the console versions of that (unless there is a MAME mod of it that I'm not aware of yet.)
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 01:55:39 pm by futurecheeto »

stavros693000

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2014, 01:40:09 am »
Welcome, and great start. One thing I would suggest is to try out a few different buttons and joysticks before you get really far in. Happ's are great and reliable as stated, but they felt kinda soft (mushy) to me. I upgraded mid way to some seimitsu buttons and an LS-32 stick and they feel 10x better. Also I found that I really like vertical SHUMP's (shoot 'em ups for the newbs  :laugh: ) and I found that the competition happ stick I bought wasn't cutting it. Almost like there is a deadzone on the diagonals causing it to not like the twitch movements. It's all personal preference, but if you put all that work into it and then playing the actual games isn't as fun because you are hindered by the controls then you'll just be all  :angry:  I'm only commenting on the competition joystick and buttons. They are the budget stuff so they may have better fitting gear, just my 2 cents.

i didnt know competition joysticks were budget...im still got a lot to learn but i thought the name said it all (competition) and the guy i bought them from ,tornado terry said they where used in USA for the streetfighter and mortal kombat cabs. is this not true?
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futurecheeto

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Re: New Member Introduction, and project
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2014, 04:05:28 pm »
After much research, I've decided to go with the following for controls:

SANWA JLF-TP-8YT Joystick with additional 1.0mm Oversized Actuator, and 2lbf custom spring, and GT-Y octagonal insert
Seimitsu PS-14-K 30mm Pushbuttons
(Im going with a gun metal gray and blue color theme, and I'll work the overall design in to it)
KeyWiz & OptiWiz

I've also included a couple of pics of the system progress, and the monitor de-bezeled in the machine (though it is not in it's final position).  I hope to get the internals mounted this weekend so that I can focus on the controls as soon as they arrive.  I ordered from GGG and Paradise Arcade, so I hope those guys are fast ;-)