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Author Topic: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4/Pi 400  (Read 53607 times)

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bbegin

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #240 on: September 30, 2021, 07:43:22 am »
Just to let you know the availability of the NEW disk image file with MAME 0.236 (please see the original post of this thread for the download link).  :cheers:

Enjoy!
Personal project:
How to make a dedicated MAME Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4/Pi 400
https://gist.github.com/sonicprod/f5a7bb10fb9ed1cc5124766831e120c4

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #241 on: September 30, 2021, 08:25:38 am »
Just to let you know the availability of the NEW disk image file with MAME 0.236 (please see the original post of this thread for the download link).  :cheers:

Enjoy!
Thanks so much for continuing with this.  Iím finally back to working on my project after a break over the summer.

Iím going to try (again) to get this working so that when I press the power button, AttractMode will show up on screen with the list of MAME games and when I press the power button again everything shuts down safely.

My CP will consist of one 4-way joystick, 2 buttons, P1 Start, P2 Start and an Exit button.  Ideally, Exit will double as Pause (press to Pause/hold down for 2 seconds to Exit to game list).

My deadline is Christmas so I need to get moving!

bbegin

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #242 on: September 30, 2021, 06:21:08 pm »
Just to let you know the availability of the NEW disk image file with MAME 0.236 (please see the original post of this thread for the download link).  :cheers:

Enjoy!
Thanks so much for continuing with this.  Iím finally back to working on my project after a break over the summer.

Iím going to try (again) to get this working so that when I press the power button, AttractMode will show up on screen with the list of MAME games and when I press the power button again everything shuts down safely.

My CP will consist of one 4-way joystick, 2 buttons, P1 Start, P2 Start and an Exit button.  Ideally, Exit will double as Pause (press to Pause/hold down for 2 seconds to Exit to game list).

My deadline is Christmas so I need to get moving!

Seems to be a very nice project! I guess you will use some form of relay for the power-on and power-off button (after a clean shutdown)? Alternatively, if the Pi is still powered-on, once in a shutdown state, you can wake it up by simply shorting 2 of the GPIO pins (see https://howchoo.com/g/mwnlytk3zmm/how-to-add-a-power-button-to-your-raspberry-pi). Anyway, the behavior of the image is that once you quit the front-end, the system shuts itself automatically and cleanly.
Personal project:
How to make a dedicated MAME Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4/Pi 400
https://gist.github.com/sonicprod/f5a7bb10fb9ed1cc5124766831e120c4

javeryh

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How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #243 on: October 06, 2021, 07:20:04 pm »
OK I've been messing around and I figured out how to get Attract Mode to at least display properly - there are a few people in this thread wondering what was happening when you typed "frontend attract" in rw mode and then "sudo reboot".  Attract Mode definitely works but it just says "MAME 0/1" in the bottom right corner.  This is because the default name for the Game List is "MAME" and the "0/1" means you have no games in this list.  So hit TAB and the Attract Mode menu will come up and you can play around with the settings, including populating the game list.

EDIT: I've made some progress on this.  Upon boot-up, Attract Mode launches and displays the "SDarcadeMod_v3f" theme in vertical orientation.  I got this theme off of the Attract Mode website.  It's pretty slick.  Looks exactly like the ArcadeSD menu.  I only have a keyboard connected but so far games are launching.  One thing I cannot figure out is why the menu doesn't recognize the vertical orientation - pressing left/right should scroll through the games but you still need to press up/down.  Not a huge deal but something I'd like to fix, if possible.

To make the games launch vertically, I had to go into the MAME settings ("frontend mame") and change the Advanced Configuration Options to turn on "Rotate Right".

I still have several things I need to figure out but I think this is going to be a great solution.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2021, 04:41:12 pm by javeryh »

javeryh

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How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #244 on: October 07, 2021, 04:52:29 pm »
bbegin - I was hoping you could help me with something.  I have your image up and running and it works great.  I made a little video of it running Attract Mode.



After playing for a while, there is lots of text that appears on the screen when switching between games.  It looks like this:



Is there a way to not make this appear?  It's not a huge deal but I thought I'd ask in case there was a simple fix.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 08, 2021, 05:41:02 pm by javeryh »

bbegin

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #245 on: October 09, 2021, 12:04:37 am »
Hi Javeryh,

To answer your question, yes there is a way to suppress those messages, wich are produced by the MAME emulator.

What you need to do is to customize the command-line used to launch MAME (configured in Attract Mode under your Emulator menu). You need to add this below at the END of the command-line:

Code: [Select]
>/dev/null 2>/dev/null
EDIT (2021-10-10): in fact, you should append the line above to the "Command Arguments", from the properties of your MAME emulator definition in Attract Mode.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 11:53:26 am by bbegin »
Personal project:
How to make a dedicated MAME Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4/Pi 400
https://gist.github.com/sonicprod/f5a7bb10fb9ed1cc5124766831e120c4

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #246 on: October 10, 2021, 12:32:56 pm »
Hi Javeryh,

To answer your question, yes there is a way to suppress those messages, wich are produced by the MAME emulator.

What you need to do is to customize the command-line used to launch MAME (configured in Attract Mode under your Emulator menu). You need to add this below at the END of the command-line:

Code: [Select]
>/dev/null 2>/dev/null
EDIT (2021-10-10): in fact, you should append the line above to the "Command Arguments", from the properties of your MAME emulator definition in Attract Mode.

Thanks for this.  I am not sure I am doing it correctly.  I hit "Tab" while in Attract Mode and select Emulators -> MAME -> Command Arguments and change the default "[name]" to ">/dev/null 2>/dev/null".  When I exit back to the Attract Mode game list and select a game to play, it launches the MAME GUI instead of the game.   I also tried "[name]>/dev/null 2>/dev/null" in that spot with the same result.

I'm sure I'm missing something simple...

Also, another question not really related to your application but I thought you might know the answer... I added a power button to the pi by modifying "sudo nano /boot/config.txt" and adding these two lines to the file at the end:

Code: [Select]
#shutdown button
dtoverlay=gpio-shutdown

Now bridging GPIO3 and Ground (pins 5 and 6) will shut the pi off.  Doing it again will turn it back on.  Is this a "safe shutdown"?  The shutdown is a little abrupt but it seems to be working.  I've powered on/off probably 20 times now with no issues.  It almost seems too easy!  Boots right into the Attract Mode game list.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 12:42:36 pm by javeryh »

bbegin

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #247 on: October 10, 2021, 01:10:12 pm »
Thanks for this.  I am not sure I am doing it correctly.  I hit "Tab" while in Attract Mode and select Emulators -> MAME -> Command Arguments and change the default "[name]" to ">/dev/null 2>/dev/null".  When I exit back to the Attract Mode game list and select a game to play, it launches the MAME GUI instead of the game.   I also tried "[name]>/dev/null 2>/dev/null" in that spot with the same result.

I'm sure I'm missing something simple...

I suspect that Attract Mode is validating the input from the GUI and strip some characters (like the ">").

As an alternative way to do this, edit mame.cfg (if you called your emulator "mame"):

Code: [Select]
nano /data/attract/mame.cfg
From:

Code: [Select]
args                 [name]
To:

Code: [Select]
args                 [name] >/dev/null 2>/dev/null
Also, another question not really related to your application but I thought you might know the answer... I added a power button to the pi by modifying "sudo nano /boot/config.txt" and adding these two lines to the file at the end:

Code: [Select]
#shutdown button
dtoverlay=gpio-shutdown

Now bridging GPIO3 and Ground (pins 5 and 6) will shut the pi off.  Doing it again will turn it back on.  Is this a "safe shutdown"?  The shutdown is a little abrupt but it seems to be working.  I've powered on/off probably 20 times now with no issues.  It almost seems too easy!  Boots right into the Attract Mode game list.

Yes, I can confirm this method is good to safely shutdown the Raspberry Pi (clean unmount of the filesystem, including the read/write /data partition).
Personal project:
How to make a dedicated MAME Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4/Pi 400
https://gist.github.com/sonicprod/f5a7bb10fb9ed1cc5124766831e120c4

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #248 on: October 10, 2021, 01:44:17 pm »
Thanks for this.  I am not sure I am doing it correctly.  I hit "Tab" while in Attract Mode and select Emulators -> MAME -> Command Arguments and change the default "[name]" to ">/dev/null 2>/dev/null".  When I exit back to the Attract Mode game list and select a game to play, it launches the MAME GUI instead of the game.   I also tried "[name]>/dev/null 2>/dev/null" in that spot with the same result.

I'm sure I'm missing something simple...

I suspect that Attract Mode is validating the input from the GUI and strip some characters (like the ">").

As an alternative way to do this, edit mame.cfg (if you called your emulator "mame"):

Code: [Select]
nano /data/attract/mame.cfg
From:

Code: [Select]
args                 [name]
To:

Code: [Select]
args                 [name] >/dev/null 2>/dev/null
Also, another question not really related to your application but I thought you might know the answer... I added a power button to the pi by modifying "sudo nano /boot/config.txt" and adding these two lines to the file at the end:

Code: [Select]
#shutdown button
dtoverlay=gpio-shutdown

Now bridging GPIO3 and Ground (pins 5 and 6) will shut the pi off.  Doing it again will turn it back on.  Is this a "safe shutdown"?  The shutdown is a little abrupt but it seems to be working.  I've powered on/off probably 20 times now with no issues.  It almost seems too easy!  Boots right into the Attract Mode game list.

Yes, I can confirm this method is good to safely shutdown the Raspberry Pi (clean unmount of the filesystem, including the read/write /data partition).
Thanks!  This made things better but not perfect.  Good enough for sure.  I am still getting a text readout of ďaverage speedĒ between games.  Every time I exit it adds a line.



Not a big deal at all.  Also good to know that my shutdown is ďsafeĒ.  Iím pretty much finished with co figuring this setup and itís going to work out great.  Much much easier to not have to include a full Windows PC just to run some 80s arcade games!

Thanks!

bbegin

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #249 on: October 11, 2021, 12:48:22 am »
Thanks!  This made things better but not perfect.  Good enough for sure.  I am still getting a text readout of ďaverage speedĒ between games.  Every time I exit it adds a line.



It's like the first redirection was not used by AM. I would suggest you put this variation (notice the 1 before the redirect character >):

Code: [Select]
args                 [name] 1>/dev/null 2>/dev/null
If it's not woking, you can at least rotate the console text output:

Code: [Select]
sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt
Append the below text to the kernel command-line:

Code: [Select]
fbcon=rotate:1
Not a big deal at all.  Also good to know that my shutdown is ďsafeĒ.  Iím pretty much finished with co figuring this setup and itís going to work out great.  Much much easier to not have to include a full Windows PC just to run some 80s arcade games!

Thanks!

Oh yes you're right, I think this solution is WAY simpler and more effective than a full-blown Windows PC in an arcade cabinet.  :D  Enjoy!  :cheers:
Personal project:
How to make a dedicated MAME Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4/Pi 400
https://gist.github.com/sonicprod/f5a7bb10fb9ed1cc5124766831e120c4

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #250 on: October 11, 2021, 02:05:16 pm »
No dice.  Oh well.  I can live with it.  The text is already rotated to the bottom left of the screen because I am running everything in portrait mode so I don't have to do anything else... I think haha.  I've had it running almost continuously during the day for the last 4 or 5 days and I've rebooted probably 25+ times now and no issues.

A few things to note:
- When I exit back to Attract Mode, the video snap is off center almost like it is between game selections.  This definitely seems like an Attract Mode issue.  Moving left or right fixes this so no big deal.
- Astro Blaster is unplayable, which was surprising to me.  There is synthesized speech in the game so maybe that is causing the slow down but it's a really old game so I expected it to run.  Everything else in my game list appears to be working great!

 :cheers:

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #251 on: October 12, 2021, 09:30:25 am »
It's like the first redirection was not used by AM. I would suggest you put this variation (notice the 1 before the redirect character >):

Code: [Select]
args                 [name] 1>/dev/null 2>/dev/null
bbegin - since this isn't working, Ond had an idea to make the text a different color (black or clear?) to make it blend into the blank screen.  Is this possible?

bbegin

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #252 on: October 12, 2021, 10:21:31 am »
It's like the first redirection was not used by AM. I would suggest you put this variation (notice the 1 before the redirect character >):

Code: [Select]
args                 [name] 1>/dev/null 2>/dev/null

bbegin - since this isn't working, Ond had an idea to make the text a different color (black or clear?) to make it blend into the blank screen.  Is this possible?

Maybe you could ajust the executable variable of Attract Mode to inject a foreground color change just prior to launch MAME:

Code: [Select]
nano /data/attract/emulators/mame.cfg
Change:
Code: [Select]
executable           /home/pi/mame/mame
To:
Code: [Select]
executable           setterm -foreground black;/home/pi/mame/mame
« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 10:56:13 am by bbegin »
Personal project:
How to make a dedicated MAME Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4/Pi 400
https://gist.github.com/sonicprod/f5a7bb10fb9ed1cc5124766831e120c4

10yard

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #253 on: October 12, 2021, 11:19:52 am »
I use a combination of nohup and redirection to suppress output on Raspberry Pi.  Works for me.  Here's a simple example.

Code: [Select]
nohup mame dkong >/dev/null 2>&1
I figure this will work for your scenario by updating your executable line to be:

Code: [Select]
executable           nohup /home/pi/mame/mame
and your args line to be:

Code: [Select]
args                  [name] >/dev/null 2>&1
« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 11:23:05 am by 10yard »
Check out my Donkey Kong Arcade Frontend at https://github.com/10yard/dkafe#readme

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #254 on: October 12, 2021, 11:56:55 am »
Thanks guys - unfortunately, neither option is working.  I get an error trying to launch a game that brings me back to the game list.  I don't think it likes any instructions before the "/home/pi/mame/mame" executable. 

I'm good.  Really, this has worked out better than I thought it was going to.  If (ok... when) I build another cabinet down the road I might look to make some further tweaks but this is going inside of a Christmas gift to someone who won't know the difference at all.  They will just be happy to play Ms. Pac-Man again.   :cheers:

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #255 on: October 13, 2021, 04:14:07 pm »
OK.. I found this thread (http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=157745.0) and the fix apparently works on Retropie but it involves changing autostart.sh and I'm a little afraid to mess with this... but maybe it's a solution?

bbegin

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #256 on: October 13, 2021, 05:21:54 pm »
OK.. I found this thread (http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=157745.0) and the fix apparently works on Retropie but it involves changing autostart.sh and I'm a little afraid to mess with this... but maybe it's a solution?

Good finding! :)

To adapt the fix presented in the thread to the autostart.sh script:

Code: [Select]
nano ~/scripts/autostart.sh
Add the lines to get the following (partial shown):

Code: [Select]
if [ ! -z $FRONTEND ]; then
  while
    case ${FRONTEND,,} in
      attract)  # Attract Mode
        setterm -cursor off
        stty -echo
        /usr/local/bin/attract --loglevel silent 2>&1 | grep -o $'\033\[2J'
        ;;
      advance)  # AdvanceMENU

I tested and it works great! :)
Personal project:
How to make a dedicated MAME Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4/Pi 400
https://gist.github.com/sonicprod/f5a7bb10fb9ed1cc5124766831e120c4

Ond

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #257 on: October 13, 2021, 06:01:35 pm »
Can you make this a part of a new build release?  If you address all the issues of a visible OS in the background you have a strong contender for an up-to-date alternative to other emulation platforms regardless of whether they are based in hardware or software.   :cheers:

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #258 on: October 13, 2021, 07:31:48 pm »
OK, just so I'm clear I need to:

1.  modify autostart.sh changing it from this:

Code: [Select]
#!/bin/bash

# This script launch the selected application (front-end or MAME emulator) and respawn it if quit unexpectedly.

if [ ! -z $FRONTEND ]; then
  while
    case ${FRONTEND,,} in
      attract)
        /usr/local/bin/attract --loglevel silent
        ;;
      advance)
        /home/pi/frontend/advance/advmenu
        ;;
      mame)
        /home/pi/mame/mame > /dev/null
        ;;
    esac
    (( $? != 0 ))
  do
    :
  done
else
    echo $0 - Variable FRONTEND is not defined!
    read -n 1 -s -r -p "Press any key to continue..."
    echo
fi

to this:

Code: [Select]
#!/bin/bash

# This script launch the selected application (front-end or MAME emulator) and respawn it if quit unexpectedly.

if [ ! -z $FRONTEND ]; then
  while
    case ${FRONTEND,,} in
      attract)  # Attract Mode
        setterm -cursor off
        stty -echo
        /usr/local/bin/attract --loglevel silent 2>&1 | grep -o $'\033\[2J'
        ;;
      advance)  # AdvanceMENU
        /home/pi/frontend/advance/advmenu
        ;;
      mame)
        /home/pi/mame/mame > /dev/null
        ;;
    esac
    (( $? != 0 ))
  do
    :
  done
else
    echo $0 - Variable FRONTEND is not defined!
    read -n 1 -s -r -p "Press any key to continue..."
    echo
fi

2.  Create a new file named runcommand-onstart.sh (create a .txt file first and change the file extension to .sh) that contains only:

Code: [Select]
printf "\033[H\033[2J"

3.  Create a new file named runcommand-onend.sh (create a .txt file first and change the file extension to .sh) that contains only:

Code: [Select]
printf "\033[H\033[2J"

4.  Put runcommand-onstart.sh and runcommand-onend.sh into /home/pi/scripts/

5.  sudo rebooot.

Is that correct?

Can you ​make this a part of a new build release?  If you address all the issues of a visible OS in the background you have a strong contender for an up-to-date alternative to other emulation platforms regardless of whether they are based in hardware or software.   :cheers:

I agree!  I've had to make several minor tweaks to get it to behave like I want (and I am as anal as they come on presentation).  Nothing major but I was going for as clean of an install as possible.  I'll have to make a list of everything I did after mounting the image on the microSD card...

I should be clear though - bbegin did an AMAZING job with this and has been wonderful answering very specific questions.  This is a game changer as far as I'm concerned for cabinets running the classics.  I've had my pi on for about 5 days straight (rebooting 30+ times by now) and everything is still working as expected.   :cheers:
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 07:34:48 pm by javeryh »

bbegin

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #259 on: October 13, 2021, 09:25:48 pm »
Hi javeryh ,

You just have to do step 1 and 5 (steps 2, 3, 4 are not applicable to the system I publish).

I will publish today a new version of the image file with these changes implemented.

The system is very stable, it was a condition for me in the first place to publish it. An arcade machine HAS to be very reliable. :)
Personal project:
How to make a dedicated MAME Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4/Pi 400
https://gist.github.com/sonicprod/f5a7bb10fb9ed1cc5124766831e120c4

bbegin

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #260 on: October 13, 2021, 09:47:19 pm »
As promised, I just uploaded an UPDATED version of the image file incorporating the suppression of the output from MAME while using the Attract Mode frontend. Please refer to the original post of this thread (the download link remain the same).

Enjoy!  :cheers:
Personal project:
How to make a dedicated MAME Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4/Pi 400
https://gist.github.com/sonicprod/f5a7bb10fb9ed1cc5124766831e120c4

Ond

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #261 on: October 14, 2021, 01:31:36 am »

I should be clear though - bbegin did an AMAZING job with this and has been wonderful answering very specific questions.  This is a game changer as far as I'm concerned for cabinets running the classics.  I've had my pi on for about 5 days straight (rebooting 30+ times by now) and everything is still working as expected.   :cheers:

Agreed, without his work we wouldn't have an up-to-date, ready to go solution for Raspberry Pi 4.  It's early days, but certainly more desirable than RetroPie.   :applaud:  :cheers:

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #262 on: October 14, 2021, 09:32:31 am »
Hi javeryh ,

You just have to do step 1 and 5 (steps 2, 3, 4 are not applicable to the system I publish).

I will publish today a new version of the image file with these changes implemented.

The system is very stable, it was a condition for me in the first place to publish it. An arcade machine HAS to be very reliable. :)

It works!!!  It's so clean.  Looks absolutely commercial grade now.  Boots directly to front end -> after selecting a game it flashes to a black screen -> play the game -> press 'exit' and it flashes to a black screen -> back to the front end.  Repeat.  With the safe shutdown button script installed you get one button power on/off too.  So cool.

I'll post a video and a list of all the little tweaks I made when I get a chance (removing MAME logos, installing AM theme, fixing AM centering issue, configuring controls so no ESC from AM, adding skips to mame.ini, etc.).  This is behaving exactly like I envisioned.

EDIT: I also fixed the centering issue when exiting games back to the front end:

You just have to set the ResFix-Plugin in Attract Mode.

Start AM > press TAB key > Plug-Ins > ResFix > Enabled : Yes > Specific Emulators : your_Display_Name (or leave this blank for it to apply to all of them).

Once I did this, exiting a game goes back to the list and the snap is centered like it should be.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 09:38:10 am by javeryh »

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #263 on: October 14, 2021, 11:58:10 am »
Hereís a quick video of it in action:



Itís perfect!

Ond

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #264 on: October 14, 2021, 04:07:10 pm »
Excellent. Simple, clean and quick.  Your original criteria when we were discussing the options months ago have been met.  I felt strongly then that this was a great solution.  I think there's going to be some very happy people getting some cool arcade machines  ;)

javeryh

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Re: How to make a dedicated MAME 0.236 Appliance on a Raspberry Pi 4B
« Reply #265 on: October 14, 2021, 07:31:15 pm »
Excellent. Simple, clean and quick.  Your original criteria when we were discussing the options months ago have been met.  I felt strongly then that this was a great solution.  I think there's going to be some very happy people getting some cool arcade machines  ;)
Yeah - I canít say enough good things about this.  When I find some time Iíll make a post on the main forum giving bbegin full credit of course.  I can also list my tweaks, theme, etc. if people are interested.  I think more people need to see this solution and I get the sense that not a lot of people are on this particular forum.