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Author Topic: Restore / Mod - X-MAME  (Read 4873 times)

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TKW4rr10r

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Restore / Mod - X-MAME
« on: May 18, 2013, 04:15:49 pm »

The project is called

I picked up a 1992 X-Men 6 player cabinet from Craigslist in 05/2013. The plan is a full restoration, with some pretty ambitious custom mods thrown in. Since this is the first cabinet I procured for my personal colelction, I need to make this a multi-purpose cabinet just due to the sheer size of the thing.

Current galleries so far:
Pickup Day
1st week of work so far
2nd week update

Back story:
Much like most of you, I always wanted my own cabinet (or 10), but didn't have the time or space. Now that I'm settled I have the chance to start my own collection after helping friends with theirs. It doesn't hurt that your new boss also restores and builds his own cabinets and is another member of this forum. He is the one who actually sent me the Craigslist link and got this all started   :cheers:

The good:
- The cabinet was listed for $300, but I swapped for an old laptop I wasn't using.
- Found out it came with a 2nd PCB and original owner's manual.
- Has the original multi-colored joysticks and all hardware is complete.
- Both 25" tubes are in great shape and require little/no work (just a little burn-in)
- Side art on the Video cabinet is in decent shape considering most examples I've seen.

The bad:
- This was originally a "barn-find", so the control panel cabinet has some serious moisture damage. The whole cabinet will have to be rebuilt. There was custom work going on in that anyway, so a full rebuild isn't so bad. Just more work than expected.
- Despite claims to the contrary, audio does not work. Fixed audio in both PCBs. Any interest in purchasing my spare PM me.
- Replacement artwork is proving to be difficult for the 6-Player version. Already reaching out to a few people for assistance. ANY help in this aspect would be tremendously appreciated.

Phase 2 - After the refurb:
- The control panel cabinet is just a big hollow box. I plan to add some additional cabinetry to house additional equipment without changing the original functionality.
- Control Panel: I plan to change the hardware on the CP to allow switching out to a 2nd custom panel, designed for 4 players connected to a HyperSpin or other setup.
- Video:  Custom fab a way to install a LCD in front of the current dual 25" setup for the HyperSpin setup or other functions, but still make it removable and not effect conversion to the OEM cabinet. (there's room, but it'll be tricky)
UPDATE 7/2013 - So far, we have found that the video coming to the left (mirrored) monitor is flipped horizontally from the PCB and not at the tube. I now have a 50" Pioneer Kuro Plasma (and yes, it fits) that does side-by-side PIP. The NEW goal is to permanently mount this screen and feed the dual video outputs from the Jamma board to two separate analog inputs on the Pioneer. This way it's much easier to switch to the HyperSpin PC when wanting to convert modes in the cabinet.

Until I can find a viable way of doing this and still have the Jamma game playable, this project is solely set on restoration for the time being. Major holdup now is getting help in the artwork resto. I can take high resolution images of what I have if anyone needs them. Looking into possible scanners from the junk pile at work. I'll have to teach myself vectoring at some point if I can't get help elsewhere. :-\

Current Parts List (as of 9/23/13):
Various capacitors to fix custom Konami Audio boards - Element 14
42 new micro-switches for original control panel (Blue Zippy style) - Cajun Arcade
New marquee and front art - Ebay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/X-Men-XMen-Jamma-Arcade-Sideart-Side-Art-/251208432721?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a7d307c51
New locks for coin doors - Ebay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Arcade-Machine-Cash-Door-Tool-Box-Tubular-Cam-Lock-Keyed-alike-7-8-M-/260998834705?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cc4be2a11
New casters for Control Cabinet (yellow)- Doug Mockett & Company Inc
http://www.mockett.com/furniture-legs-casters/casters/sporty/ca39pw.html
USB Video Capture Card for video processing laptop - Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0019SSSMY/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

CGA - S-Video TV Encoder (X2)
Sync cleaner for S-Video adapter
RF Modulator Video Converter
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001UYUNSE/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 04:21:59 pm by TKW4rr10r »

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sabreerbasAlpha

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (1st Personal Project)
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 04:32:10 pm »
Damn !!!!6 player machine. Good luck with this. If im not mistaken this has the mirror in it ? that reflects the 2nd screen which housed bellow Next to the one above to give the impression of two screens as one, Pretty much like the Tecmo Bowl machine. Been a few years since I saw this machine TBH. Any way, Good luck with this. Should be fun..

TKW4rr10r

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (1st Personal Project)
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 04:51:00 pm »
You got it. I could be mistaken, but I believe these are harder to come by since X-Men was the only 6 Player upright made. So after they stopped making money, many were just smashed since they are a big PITA to move. I plan on changing out the castors to something that will at least make it less of a pain.

One 25" tube is in the breakout box in the back (making it about 6' deep total). The other is facing up through a half-mirrored pane of glass. So when properly aligned it looks like one wide screen. That's 1992 tech right there  :lol  Don't know of any other games that used this in a horizontal config with a JAMMA+ harness.

Actually, that was my first victory in fixing up the cab: We were getting a faint double image in the left side. If you looked down at the tube it looked perfect. And despite cleaning the glass (loads of filth) I couldn't get rid of the double image.  :banghead:  I thought I was going to have to replace the pane. Then after reading some posts on how that reflection worked, I decided to try flipping the pane over. Apparently at some point someone had that in upside down because that did the trick!

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TKW4rr10r

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (1st Personal Project)
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 05:45:45 pm »
2nd week update http://imgur.com/a/5WshY



Didn't have as much time this past week but some updates:
- Replaced all 42 micro-switches on cpo and tested all controls, much better.
- Repaired the custom audio chip on the 2nd PCB
- Procured replacement castors/locks/marquee/ front art (will post pics when they arrive.)

Already picked up my next project - 1981 all original Ms. Pac. Also due for a full proper restore.

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TKW4rr10r

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (1st Personal Project)
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 04:17:10 pm »
A special thanks to CraftyMech for assisting me in the flipped video issue, trying to convert this two 25" tube dedicated into a 50" multipurpose rig:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133896.0.html

Now work can resume on the conversion. Will start updating again with the capture card rig setup and reconstruction of the control cabinet. Once the video feeds are tested "playable", the two tubes will be removed and the 50" Pioneer Kuro will be crammed into the video cabinet.

Project was stalled, but not forgotten. Stay tuned  >:D

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mcseforsale

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (In Progress)
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 12:59:59 pm »
Subscribed.  Where are you in the world?

AJ

TKW4rr10r

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (In Progress)
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 01:42:11 pm »
Subscribed.  Where are you in the world?

AJ

Upstate SC, about an hour+ from Atlanta. No fighting over CL ads  :lol

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TKW4rr10r

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (In Progress)
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 02:14:49 pm »
Checklist:
1 - Fix all original components
2 - Video upgrade
3 - Control Cabinet Re-build
4 - X-Men Control Panel Restore
5 - X-MAME Control Panel Build
6 - Hyperspin PC build/config
? - Artwork Restore (Help Please?)

Using the info from the link CraftyMech sent me, I started work on the "Video conversion" aspect of the project. To get the standard PCB to work on a single widescreen TV (instead of the original two 25" tubes) I'll need to convert both to separate analogue signals (VGA & Component) to connect to the Pioneer TV. With the left flipped video feed, I'll need to run it through a PC via capture card to flip the signal back to correct orientation. That will replace having to get some pricey converter box.

I bought a cheaper capture card to test with first.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0019SSSMY/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Why spend $50 when you can spend $10, right? And amazon is always great with returns if this doesn't fit the bill. The last time this was done according to said link was over 4 years ago, so I'm hoping an old HP 6230 laptop will have enough power to flip and stream a low-def source. Here is a graphic showing what is needed and the planned hook-up process:



Earlier this week I prepped the laptop with a memory upgrade and fresh install of Win7 (only 32-bit compatible hardware). Got the capture card yesterday and was able to test with a DVD player laying around. I choose to have the "flipping" PC be an old laptop, due to the ability to "clone" displays and push the video feed in full-screen via VGA to the Pioneer. Or I could move the stream to the 2nd display in Windows (le Pioneer) and be able to tweak any software settings via the laptop in real time, without any extra equipment needed. I already have a rough model of the rebuilt Control cabinet in Sketchup (will post soon) and have plenty of places to mount the laptop and all the additional boards.

In the source link the previous tinkerer was able to do the flip in VLC and Media Player Classic. I wasn't able to get VLC to work (could rotate the signal but not flip). And I mistakenly downloaded MPC-HC (garbage for my task). But original MPC finally worked for me. I only had composite cables on hand, and thus the picture looked meh. But at least this proves it can be done! Now it's a matter of getting the needed adapters and test the s-Video quality. I'm hoping for a better picture and acceptable frame rate to actually play the game.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 09:48:23 am by TKW4rr10r »

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TKW4rr10r

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (In Progress)
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 10:05:55 am »
Checklist:
1 - Fix all original components
2 - Video upgrade
3 - Control Cabinet Re-build
4 - X-Men Control Panel Restore
5 - X-MAME Control Panel Build
6 - Hyperspin PC build/config
? - Artwork Restore (Help Please?)

Just a quick shot of what I'm working on in Sketch-up:


The original control cabinet is just a big open flimsy shell. I'm my rebuild I'm adding in extra support and a set of shelves. The shelves will accommodate the video laptop and possibly a PS3 or other consoles. The bottom area can be for the HyperSpin PC. The front center panel I plan to make an actual stealth door to easily access the shelves without opening the cabinet up. The same latches that lock down the control panel and lock the control cabinet to the video cabinet can also lock down the door if/when needed. The current plan allows space for the two coin doors and all the original wiring.

I plan to make the interior white like the Ms. Pac-man. I think it really cleans up the cabinet and makes things easier to work on. I'm testing a yellow trim theme on the rebuild. It will pick up the yellow accents in the original artwork and adds a little more pop then black t-molding. I think its a good look.

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (In Progress)
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 10:41:11 am »
I think that thing would make an excellent fort.

It's frickin HUGE!

AJ

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (In Progress)
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 11:57:50 am »
I think that thing would make an excellent fort.

It's frickin HUGE!

AJ

No kidding! I'm over 6' and hovering around 235lbs, and even I can make that control panel a hiding place  :laugh2:
After moving this a couple times already, some heavy duty casters are required when I fix up the video cabinet. That things is every bit the size of two regular cabs side-by-side. Deeper and taller, too. Won't be as deep when the tube "hump" on the back is removed as part of the TV install.


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TKW4rr10r

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (In Progress)
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2013, 10:41:52 pm »
2 - Video upgrade

More video issues, but getting there. There was a separate thread in the Monitor/Video section getting to this point, so continuing the discussion there:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133896.msg1382800.html#msg1382800

Hoping anyone can help with some insight.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 10:44:03 pm by TKW4rr10r »

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (In Progress)
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2013, 04:20:05 pm »
2 - Video upgrade (Headbanging Re-cap)
OK, itís been a month, so I know an update is needed. I certainly have been working on the video issues, but rather than having a flurry of posts here filled with :banghead: :angry: :badmood:, letís recap the story of my woes:

-   Purchased a sync cleaner ($12) for the flipped video feed running through the laptop. This in conjunction with my CGA - S-Video adapter still did not work out. Most likely the elí cheapo brand USB capture card used for the testing.



-   Was able to finally get a clear flipped video feed, but this required running the CGA feed through a VGA adapter, then a VGA - S-Video adapter, then to the capture card. Certainly not ideal, and discovered the next issue:



-   Could not get the Pioneer side by side PIP to work with two different input feeds. Doing some researched found out, for whatever reason, Pioneer designed the feature to work with one input feed and one TV feed ONLY.  I have never heard of another TV with this feature being restricted this way, and dug deeper to find the hardware IS capable of showing two separate inputs. Pioneer just chose to make it this way. This was a major blow, but undeterred I procured a S-Video to RF modulator ($8) for one of the feeds. Also purchased a 2nd CGA - S-Video adapter ($30) and cables to get everything connected.

-   Next issue: It wasnít so noticeable before, but now with both video feeds running on the TV, it was quickly discovered the signal produced a black bar on the left side. This was most likely used for stitching the screens together in the original setup. This was not a product of the TV since other video sources could be done in the PIP without the same effect. Since the left video feed requires to be flipped, this causes the black bars to face each other, giving a large gap in the center of the screen. (Pic was taken during a quick mock-up for visual reference, I know the left side is shaped badly, but this way you can better see the gap on the left screen).



So far any series of adapters or software cannot remove that gap since it's part of the feed.

At this point, part of me definitely wants to (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ and just Mame the whole thing. But I'm still looking for solutions undeterred. I've chalked it up so far as a learning experience that really only cost me the price of the sync cleaner and RF modulator (so far). I still need both S-Video adapters for my next attempt....

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TKW4rr10r

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (Update 11/02/13)
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2013, 07:11:39 am »
Long overdue update:

2 - Video upgrade
New PC with dual capture cards working out so far. Hold up is locating software for either stitching the feeds in real time or at least displaying them without anything else distracting from the game play. Most I found so far require $$$$$$$, but we are almost there. Not giving up on having the original HW in this build.

3 - Control Cabinet Re-build
As part of the Control cabinet rebuild, the video cabinet will need some tweaking, as well. I'll be soon removing the dual 25" K7000s (one is needed for another project) and get the 50" screen mocked in place. Also fixing/raising the floor to accommodate better casters to actually move the beast. Once done I can move it to storage to free room for other work. But before I do...

? - Artwork Restore (Help Please?)
I recently received a wand scanner as an early Christmas gift. Got the needed memory card and will hopefully start scanning all the artwork in the coming weeks. I had some interest in this so I hope to have the scans available to anyone looking to work on them soon.

So no, this isn't a forgotten project, just a real undertaking. Hope to have this ready for 2015 nominations  :lol

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Re: Restore / Mod - X-MAME (Update 9/23/13 - Video Madness!)
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2014, 09:40:10 am »
I have a lot of the artwork if you need it.  Already scanned and cleaned up.  Shoot me a PM and I can share my Dropbox folder with you.  It will be great to collaborate on this one, since I never finished my X-men cab.

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