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Author Topic: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?  (Read 790 times)

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schadenfreude

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Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« on: August 07, 2017, 09:44:02 pm »
Sup friends. I travel a lot but tend to stay in places for at least a few months before I move on. Thus, I can't take an arcade cabinet with me everywhere I go, but I could take a small computer and find a CRT when I arrive at my new destination.

I was inspired by this man's project: http://wavebeam.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/the-groovycube-diy-console-that-plays.html . In short, he uses a small computer case (the longest side is under 11 inches) that houses a Mini-ITX motherboard. I estimate that the case with everything in it weighs over 10 pounds.

However, I'm wondering if I can do better than that; for example, what if I bought an old laptop with a compatible Radeon card in it? Or what about booting GroovyArcade on my MacBook Pro? I'd be grateful to hear ideas from others who use "portable" GroovyMAME solutions. Thanks in advance.

buttersoft

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 12:44:17 am »
Finding a CRT complicates things because you never quite know what you're going to be able to get. If you're in Europe, you might bank on always being able to find something with SCART. If you've got SCART cables, and a way to combine sync, that'll work.

Or you could get a 9" PVM or something, and schlepp it's 10kg around by the carry-handle?

schadenfreude

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 02:42:37 pm »
I'll mostly be in Japan, other developed Asian countries, and Europe. Where I am now, I use a PVM in my video game setup and have SCART cables for all of my consoles. I also have a SCART to component adapter in case I find a CRT with component but without RGB.

I did some searching on eBay for laptops with a dedicated Radeon card, a 14" or smaller screen size (for portability), and an i5 or i7 processor, and I see the HP EliteBook 8470p keeps coming up in search results:

  • Intel Core i7-3540M 3GHz
  • AMD Radeon HD 7500M/7600M
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • VGA output port in the back
  • 14" screen
  • 2.1kg (not counting power adapter)
  • Built like a tank

...all for under $200. Can you confirm these specs can run GroovyMAME with proper 15khz output? From my research, it seems the processor is a tad old and thus might have some trouble emulating stuff like Cave games, but I can live with that: I'll mostly be playing 80s and 90s 2D games. Thanks again.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 09:58:33 pm by schadenfreude »

keilmillerjr

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 06:40:21 am »
You want portable? You want 15khz? Use a raspberry pi. It's super small, can easily change between 15khz composite and hdmi, plays games well, and you can just use a Bluetooth PlayStation controller. Install lakka and transfer roms. It's that easy. Can get a composite to scart adapter too.

schadenfreude

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 03:15:39 pm »
I just did a lot of research on it, and while it's small and can support 15khz through VGA or SCART with the proper add-on (I wouldn't bother with composite), I'm not convinced the experience would be as good as GroovyMAME. According to this gentleman, the audio lags slightly, and according to him, here, and here, refresh rate has to be set for each individual game, which I believe requires a reboot. And it's weaker hardware, so more recent arcade games might struggle to run.

I'm tempted to try it because it's so portable, but GroovyMAME with CRT Emudriver would deliver a superior experience. I'd like to hear opinions from people who have tried both setups. Namely, what are all the limitations of using a Raspberry Pi on your CRT instead of GroovyMAME?

buttersoft

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 08:28:54 pm »
People are working on a switchres-like utility for rPi, from what I've heard. No idea where it's up to though.

The specs on the laptop you linked are more than adequate for GM, should run second gen 3d games fine. Newer Cave games are a different beast though, obviously. Deo Volente crt_emudriver will install without a hitch. I've used it on a few laptops via VGA, though not that particular one.

schadenfreude

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 11:10:50 pm »
Cool, thanks for the confirmation, buttersoft and also thanks for teaching me a new Latin phrase. I'll be adding that one to my repertoire.

keilmillerjr

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 10:33:43 pm »
I just did a lot of research on it, and while it's small and can support 15khz through VGA or SCART with the proper add-on (I wouldn't bother with composite), I'm not convinced the experience would be as good as GroovyMAME. According to this gentleman, the audio lags slightly, and according to him, here, and here, refresh rate has to be set for each individual game, which I believe requires a reboot. And it's weaker hardware, so more recent arcade games might struggle to run.

I'm tempted to try it because it's so portable, but GroovyMAME with CRT Emudriver would deliver a superior experience. I'd like to hear opinions from people who have tried both setups. Namely, what are all the limitations of using a Raspberry Pi on your CRT instead of GroovyMAME?

I have groovymame in my neo geo mvs. I have rpi running 15khz composite on my family tv. The rpi runs perfectly fine. I have a fixed resolution, which is a drawback, but I'm only running games of the same resolution so it doesn't matter.

schadenfreude

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2017, 01:45:07 am »
I have rpi running 15khz composite on my family tv.

If your TV supports component or RGB, you could get a board like PI2SCART or Gert VGA 666 to improve the image quality.

I have a fixed resolution, which is a drawback, but I'm only running games of the same resolution so it doesn't matter.

What games? I'd be curious to know your experience running arcade games if you've been doing that.

keilmillerjr

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2017, 08:26:58 am »
I have rpi running 15khz composite on my family tv.

If your TV supports component or RGB, you could get a board like PI2SCART or Gert VGA 666 to improve the image quality.

I have a fixed resolution, which is a drawback, but I'm only running games of the same resolution so it doesn't matter.

What games? I'd be curious to know your experience running arcade games if you've been doing that.

I live my family TV. It's a Thosiba Cinema Series HD. The built in surround sound is amazing. It has composite, but previous owner wrecked the rca jacks. A local shop said they can take the board home and fix it for me. I just need the time to do it. I want the component for my appletv, make it easier to read text. Right now I only run neo geo games on my mvs and rpi. Hooking up the rpi via composite is ok in my opinion because that's how aes was originally hooked up, as well as like every other single retro console. So the quality is fine. It's the same quality. I'll probably add some other games to the rpi such as gauntlet and sunset riders. I've just been busy lately.

schadenfreude

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2017, 09:57:28 pm »
Cool, thanks for the answers.

Quote from: keilmillerjr
Hooking up the rpi via composite is ok in my opinion because that's how aes was originally hooked up, as well as like every other single retro console.

Some lucky kids in Europe and Japan got to experience their systems in glorious RGB, but yes, I concur with you; growing up in the US, it was RF and composite for me. I remember being so excited about getting the SNES composite cables with phono audio plugs because then I could hear the audio through my speaker system rather than my old TV's crappy mono speaker. I don't recall thinking the image quality was better, nor did I expect it to be at the time.

Paradroid

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2017, 01:42:04 am »
Lenovo ThinkPad W500 w/ on board ATI card, Battlestation w/ MCA joysticks (w/ Cherry microswitches), Thomson 10" SCART TV, UMSA and GroovyMAME.

Arcade in a (large) backpack. :)





« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 06:42:38 am by Paradroid »
My MAME/SCART/CRT blog: SCART Hunter

Recapnation

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2017, 05:45:50 am »
composite is ok in my opinion because that's how aes was originally hooked up, as well as like every other single retro console. So the quality is fine.

Too many wrongs there in that line, so you'll forgive me. The AES was perfectly able to be used with RGB cables if you had a proper monitor. It was far from being a good RGB signal for most models, but still, RGB. And it's the same with most of the contemporary consoles, saving some weird cases. But even for those, I'd say it's time to realize that, when talking about video games (and therefore, computers) anything other than RGB is technically (and quality-wise) an aberration which should have been avoided (and they sure did when designing the games.) I'm not talking from a US perspective, of course, but that's beyond my point. There were consumer 15-kHz RGB monitors in the US.

schadenfreude

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2017, 10:50:27 pm »
Are you the Recap? If so, it's an honor to share a thread with you!

Quote from: Recapnation
when talking about video games (and therefore, computers) anything other than RGB is technically (and quality-wise) an aberration which should have been avoided (and they sure did when designing the games.)

I make an exception for things like the Atari VCS and early computer systems whose games take advantage of composite color artifacts. Granted, the graphics don't look great either way.

schadenfreude

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2017, 10:52:01 pm »
Quote from: Paradroid
<awesome pictures>

My man! I love the pictures and the setup; thanks for the response.

mdd45

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2017, 01:12:44 am »
For a close equal of groovymame on raspberry pi and only rgb tv input, check the rgb-pi project. Especially the rgb-pi os 4.1 alpha 3 (latest closed alpha, ask developer) is doing custom timings for each arcade game and console. Also it using super resolution or something equal
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 04:47:36 pm by mdd45 »

Recapnation

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2017, 03:18:31 pm »
It's gotta be me, I guess. The nickname's too silly to be widely picked. So hey, thanks.

Raspberry Pi projects are more and more popular everyday but if you're after accuracy in a general purpose seems it's not best idea. Unless something has changed recently, Linux doesn't match Windows in terms of input lag. And then there's the hardware's weakness.

schadenfreude

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Re: Most portable GroovyMAME setup?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2017, 08:48:18 pm »
I agree; I've decided to go with a GroovyMAME machine over Raspberry Pi because the product is superior, and my vision of what I want to get out of a MAME box is better aligned with the goals of the GroovyMAME project. I really like the RPi because of its size, but for the real deal short of PCBs I'll go with GM.

Quote from: Recapnation
It's gotta be me, I guess. The nickname's too silly to be widely picked. So hey, thanks.

There are impostors out there, so one can never be too careful. And no, thank you: I have learned a ton from reading many of your posts from various forums over the years, and I patiently await the arrival of the next issue of Postback.  :)

  
 

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