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Author Topic: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)  (Read 3559 times)

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Arroyo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2020, 10:05:18 am »
That rig looks very well built.  Id be curious to learn more about it.  If you get the energy for it, Im sure the community would be very pleased to see a tutorial.

Ropi Jo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2020, 10:40:27 am »
Thanks Arroyo. Nice of you to say.

When it's built, rather than WIP, I will try to add some info on how the mechanism works. Trouble is I can't use any PC design software so it's all on scrap paper and in whatever parts of my old brain still function.

The trouble with this build (2yrs +.... I think closer to 3 now) is that I don't know what I'm missing until I miss it.

Trying to crack it one bit at a time.

I'll sort out the auto degaus next. It's gonna give me the real hump if I have to open the coin door to hit the degaus button after every rotate.

Then... I'll move onto the analogue and optical CPs.

And anything else I think f along the way!

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2020, 11:32:27 am »
I think, from going back through years of threads in the Mala section, that I need a layout specifically for the vertical ori, and I need to tell Mala to switch layout when vertical. Does that sound right? That is probably beyond me to make that.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #43 on: June 27, 2020, 02:50:32 pm »
I agree, more pictures of your project would be great!
With your mala problem, make sure the paths to the snap files are correct.
I think you can set them up for each emulator.
And as far switching mala from horizontal to vertical and back, startcom will do all this for you, based on the game you select (press the start to run the game, the magic should happen then.).
But with your setup, you will still have to press the button to actually turn the monitor.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #44 on: June 27, 2020, 02:59:55 pm »
I agree, more pictures of your project would be great!
With your mala problem, make sure the paths to the snap files are correct.
I think you can set them up for each emulator.
And as far switching mala from horizontal to vertical and back, startcom will do all this for you, based on the game you select (press the start to run the game, the magic should happen then.).
But with your setup, you will still have to press the button to actually turn the monitor.

Hey Old Man.

The path to snaps is correct, as snaps display perfectly in H mode. Is there a seperate path for V mode? I couldn't see anything like that. Mame is the only emu installed ATM.

Startcom is working perfectly as well, and I just hit the button to rotate. All that is perfect.

It's just getting snaps to appear when it's vertical that's the issue.

I must say though that vertical shmups take on a whole new appeal when running on a 25" CRT in V mode, using 100% of the screen. The difference is amazing. Was never a V shmups fan.... till now!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 03:01:54 pm by Ropi Jo »

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #45 on: June 27, 2020, 03:00:05 pm »
The picture you posted of the motherboard: I see a port labeled ???- serial If you have a serial port, it may be possible to use the version of mrotate that accesses the serial port instead of the printer port.
I think it will work on 64 bit, but I will need to test it to be sure, its been a while since I messed with it.
The port is on the motherboard and looks like maybe a 15 pin port (plug)? If you have the manual for the MB or can find one online you can probably find info on that port.
The reason I mention this is that you can automate your setup through the serial port, which offers two outputs and two inputs. Just have the outputs fire transistors that "short out" your current pushbuttons to start the rotation. Of course since there are limited outputs, this setup cannot handle the degaussing.
Let me know if you're interested.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2020, 03:03:10 pm »

Hey Old Man.

The path to snaps is correct, as snaps display perfectly in H mode. Is there a seperate path for V mode? I couldn't see anything like that.

Startcom is working perfectly as well, and I just hit the button to rotate. All that is perfect.

It's just getting snaps to appear when it's vertical that's the issue.

I must say though that vertical shmups take on a whole new appeal when running on a 25" CRT in V mode, using 100% of the screen. The difference is amazing. Was never a V shmups fan.... till now!

Yeah playing original vertical games on a vertical monitor is way better than horizontal.
I will have to research that problem with the snaps.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2020, 03:04:33 pm »
Absolutely "YES" I am interested.

It is a serial port and it is active. If I can use mRotate through that it would be awesome!!!

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2020, 03:05:33 pm »
Absolutely "YES" I am interested.

It is a serial port and it is active. If I can use mRotate through that it would be awesome!!!

Give me a few days to dig up my project and test it.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2020, 03:08:28 pm »
You are a Top Bloke.

There is no rush. I've got loads to get on with!

Thank you for all your help.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #50 on: June 27, 2020, 06:12:28 pm »
10 years ago this guy had snaps in Mala / Mame in H and V. A different layout though.


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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2020, 08:56:29 pm »
Yeah my H and V layouts work fine. You may need to check your layout make sure you have a snap window and not a video window. (I think you can have both so if video is present, snap will be covered by it.)

Anyway, i think I have Mrotate4 ready to try.
You need to check your motherboards manual and see if it has a DB9 comport connector or a DB25.
If you have both, use the DB9, if you only have the DB25will have to cross reference the pins from DB9 to DB25. Not as hard as it sounds, just juggling wires.
I would be surprised if you only have the DB25, because that is pretty old technology.
You will need a adapter cable to go from the DB connector on the motherboard to a comport connector. (9 or 25 pin).
If you want to risk plugging the wires on the proper pins on the motherboard you can, but I wouldnt advise it unless you are experienced. And use connectors made for those pins, such as breadboard jumpers.
Anyway, run this program and do setup first. Set which pins you are using for which output.
You want need the inputs so just leave them alone.
Set inputs to look for high when made.
Set timeouts for 1 second.
you can test this program without doing any wiring.
remember you cannot connect the comport pins directly to your current buttons. You will need transistors or optoisolators. I have a couple optoisolators I can give you if you pm me your mailing address.
Anyway, we can discuss circuits when you get to that point.
I have decided to store this file in the downloads thread in this forum (automated projects). Go there to download mrotate4. I will post any updates there.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 09:32:21 pm by DaOld Man »

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #52 on: June 28, 2020, 12:03:11 pm »
Thank you. That was dam quick.

I will try to find out if it's DB9 or DB25. I don't know what that means or what the difference would be but the mobo  is only 4 yrs old so I'd guess it has the newer standard. I'll find out for sure.

I've got opto's and all manor of transistors  and low current relays for the switching. Think darlingtons may be the order of the day, but I'll have a think. Does the serial port give 5V or 12V output? Assume it's one of those as they are the main supplies to the mobo.

I'll check the prog does what we think it'll do (assuming I set things up right) and make a working circuit and then marry them up.

Regarding H and V snap issues, I've turnd off any mention in the config for video. And I'm using the default mala layout (the space invaders background). It's not been modified in any way.

I can't find any settings to make H and V behave differently. But if I had a seperate layout for H and V where would I tell Mala which one to use in H and V?

Is there any chance you can send me your mala layouts to try? I can't find anything to download and I know I could never make them.

All I want is a scrolling list with snaps. Nothing fancy at all.

I'm fine with electronics (I am a qualified TV / Video engineer and qualified electrician, albeit an old one who's forgotten most of what I learned) but computers have left me in the dark age.



« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 12:08:21 pm by Ropi Jo »

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #53 on: June 28, 2020, 12:57:59 pm »
I thought that was a serial port on the mobo but it's not. It's the VGA. But, I've got a PCIE Serial card on it's way.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #54 on: June 28, 2020, 01:03:41 pm »
Started on the auto degaus today. Managed to grab a couple of hours in-between SWIMBOs 'jobs-for-the-weekend'.

Hope to have this part completed by the time the serial card arrives later in the week. Will update.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #55 on: June 28, 2020, 01:34:50 pm »
I thought that was a serial port on the mobo but it's not. It's the VGA. But, I've got a PCIE Serial card on it's way.

I thought there was a DIN male plug soldered to the motherboard labeled "something" serial. That wa sthe one I was speaking of. What is that motherboard make and model?

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #56 on: June 28, 2020, 07:11:20 pm »
Don't know the make and model. but shouldn't need that. The serial card is a DB9 and will be here in a few days. I'll update then.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2020, 05:11:40 am »
I thought there was a DIN male plug soldered to the motherboard labeled "something" serial. That wa sthe one I was speaking of. What is that motherboard make and model?

I see it now. I looked up that connector and it requires a Dell expansion card that seems rarer than rocking horse sh*t and appears to be a rather flakey piece of kit anyway. The new card will be here soon.

The MOBO is a from a Dell 3020 desktop AFAIK
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 05:23:28 am by Ropi Jo »

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #58 on: June 30, 2020, 01:52:07 am »
Fixed a couple of bugs. Download V 1.0.11 (in downloads section), and replace the one you have now with that one.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #59 on: June 30, 2020, 05:47:17 am »
Will do. Thank you.  :cheers:

Really looking forward to trying this.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #60 on: June 30, 2020, 07:36:25 am »
One problem I see is that when the PC boots up, the comport outputs blink a few times.
I cant solve this through the software. I had the same problem with the printer port, I solved it with hardware.
I found one printer port output that always came on and stayed on when the PC booted. I used a transistor triggered by this output to kill the other outputs paths to the drive until that one output was turned off.
MRotate always turns off all outputs when it starts, so that removed the kill when Mrotate was called.

Cant do that here since I only have two outputs.
So if it is a problem for you, you may be able to use a on delay timer that kills your current drive setup until enough time for the PC to fully boot.
You will just have to experiment to see what you can come up with.
On your setup now, what happens if you press both buttons at the same time?
A schematic drawing of what you have now would be nice, plus it might help others who want to go the rotation route.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #61 on: June 30, 2020, 08:12:38 am »
I can deal with any lockout delays required. Currently each rotate button is one touch. The system latches the button through relays and locks out the other button. As an added safety, in case the end stops fail, a timer cuts out the rotate 2 seconds after the end stop should have done it's job. Rotate takes around 12 seconds. 1st test took about 5 seconds but that was too fast and couldn't stop quick enough, so would have needed a slowdown. It was simpler to drop the motor voltage from 12V to 7.5V.

When this is all working I will do a write up with as much useful info as possible. It's the least I can do in return for all the great help here.

I'm on a few other furums which are great, but if you mention a mame cab there they all many will hold their noses in disgust.

I think mame is the greatest piece of software ever written, and anything that helps make the experience even greater is awesome.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 09:08:06 am by Ropi Jo »

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #62 on: July 01, 2020, 12:40:27 pm »
This project resurrection has me thinking about finishing up the mrotate I was working on that used a USB pic chip to control the motor drive.
But what you are doing, I think the db9 version will work just fine, so I dont have to be in a hurry with the USB version.
The drawback to the usb one is that you must buy a pic chip board to get the real world I/O.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #63 on: July 01, 2020, 03:47:47 pm »
Got a bit further with the auto degaus this evening.

Still waiting for the serial board.

But going really crazy trying to get mala to show snaps in vertical orientation. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

I've checked and changed every option in the mala config trying to make this work.

I've even reinstalled my old setup mame 151 32bit with mala 174 and I get exactly the same.

I'm using the standard layout that comes with mala.

Someone must know what the hell I am missing.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #64 on: July 01, 2020, 04:38:47 pm »
Use malalayout app in the mala folder, open your vertical layout and make sure you have a snap window placed on it.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #65 on: July 02, 2020, 06:22:28 am »
All getting closer. Serial card had arrived.

I tried to open the vertical layout in malalayout but it's not making much sense to me. I'll have to get my son to have a look.


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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #66 on: July 02, 2020, 07:42:35 am »
Two comports.
I made a tester that plugs into my comport, with two leds so I can monitor the outputs.
The outputs blink on power up, and also do a very quick blink on power down. But the card you bought may act different.
If it becomes a problem you can try the other port. It may act differently. (I only have the one port.)

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #67 on: July 05, 2020, 02:11:04 pm »
A very busy weekend doing the wife's chores.

I didn't get a chance to try Mrotate with the new serial card.

And didn't get a chance to finish the auto degaus circuit.

But this evening I came indoors from the garden (yard) to run a bath and asked my son to look at the H and V layouts in Mala. Showed him what the issue was and left him to it. Before my bath was run he'd fixed it. I now have snaps on H and V so very happy.

It's strange that all 4 downloads of Mala 174 (from various sources) and the Mala I downloaded about 7 yrs ago all have no snaps in V without making changes to the V layout.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #68 on: July 09, 2020, 05:20:47 pm »
More delays.

The wife's car got dragged home by a recovery truck today so that's my weekend plans screwed. So close!

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #69 on: July 13, 2020, 01:10:02 pm »
Sorry about your wifes car.
I understand how life can get in the way of our hobbies.
Take your time, but dont forget to update us on any progress you make on your project.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #70 on: July 13, 2020, 05:59:19 pm »
As soon as progress is made I'll update.

At my age (and failing health) spending the entire weekend playing with cars is not my idea of fun. Actually got the wife's car sorted Saturday but as all the tools were out it made sense to get the outstanding work done on my old wreck as well. The sun was shining all weekend so it was a no brainer. Was pleased to go back to work today for a rest!
« Last Edit: July 13, 2020, 06:00:50 pm by Ropi Jo »

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #71 on: July 18, 2020, 06:59:59 pm »
Hope your project is coming along ok. Something you need to keep in mind about the comport outputs.
When "off" the pin actually goes negative around 12 volts to ground.
When "on" the pin is around positive 5 volts to ground.
Just keep this in mind. Its not a bad idea to use diodes to block the negative voltage.
If you isolate your circuit from the comport using optoisolators, you dont have to worry about it.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2020, 06:29:21 pm »
Thanks for the heads-up old man.

No progress this weekend either as taking advantage of the fine weather again to do a bit more work on the car and some work on the front yard amongst some other chores.

After next week at work I've got a week's vacation booked (see... I'm learning your language). Just got the new exhaust to fit on the car and the rest of the week is mine!!! Hoping to get some good progress on the ROPI-CADE.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #73 on: August 02, 2020, 03:44:44 pm »
My apologies to the old man.

You've worked hard and fast to produce the software for me and I still have not got round to installing and testing it. I feel I'm letting you down.

I've just had a week vacation and have been doing home chores all through it. Not got anywhere near the ROPI-CADE.

Please don't think I've given up on this. Far from it. I've done all the essential home work here and finally I'm clear to start playing with my toys again.

I'm back to work tomorrow unfortunately (although looking forward to the rest) but should get some playtime in the evenings and all weekends, and I've got another week off late in August.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 07:59:48 am by Ropi Jo »

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #74 on: August 09, 2020, 05:05:19 pm »
My apologies to the old man.

You've worked hard and fast to produce the software for me and I still have not got round to installing and testing it. I feel I'm letting you down.

I've just had a week vacation and have been doing home chores all through it. Not got anywhere near the ROPI-CADE.

Please don't think I've given up on this. Far from it. I've done all the essential home work here and finally I'm clear to start playing with my toys again.

I'm back to work tomorrow unfortunately (although looking forward to the rest) but should get some playtime in the evenings and all weekends, and I've got another week off late in August.

No problem man. I understand completely. I have been busy working on the MRotate5 version, using USB. Think I may be getting there.

Ropi Jo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #75 on: August 16, 2020, 06:39:35 pm »
A little update on progress......

And another weekend has flown by. Managed to grab 2 hours to get the auto degaus almost to the point of 'ready to test'.

I've got 2 x 2 pin 9ohm ptc.  I'm hitting one of them with a 2 second supply at the end of each rotate. Next rotate hits the other one. I'm hoping 2 seconds is enough for the degaus without getting the ptc so hot it takes so long to cool that it won't be ready when needed again. Alternating them will help, as will the cooling fans that run directly onto both ptc. There's also a manual push button degaus through the original ptc that will also have a 2 second timer (not yet fitted).

The original PTC (3 pin) (not necassarily the correct ptc although it did work) was 23ohm, with the coils at 30ohm, so initial resistance of 53ohm. With UK mains voltage that gives me an initial current of approx 4.5A

I put the 2 x 9ohm ptc in series with a 15ohm wirewound, so 24ohm plus the 30ohm coils.

Testing the current through a 30ohm wirewound , using an analogue clamp meter, the action appears to be very similar through all 3 circuits.

I hope this will work and then I can get onto the serial board and Mrotate.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #76 on: August 16, 2020, 07:11:20 pm »
A little update on progress......

And another weekend has flown by. Managed to grab 2 hours to get the auto degaus almost to the point of 'ready to test'.

I've got 2 x 2 pin 9ohm ptc.  I'm hitting one of them with a 2 second supply at the end of each rotate. Next rotate hits the other one. I'm hoping 2 seconds is enough for the degaus without getting the ptc so hot it takes so long to cool that it won't be ready when needed again. Alternating them will help, as will the cooling fans that run directly onto both ptc. There's also a manual push button degaus through the original ptc that will also have a 2 second timer (not yet fitted).

The original PTC (3 pin) (not necassarily the correct ptc although it did work) was 23ohm, with the coils at 30ohm, so initial resistance of 53ohm. With UK mains voltage that gives me an initial current of approx 4.5A

I put the 2 x 9ohm ptc in series with a 15ohm wirewound, so 24ohm plus the 30ohm coils.

Testing the current through a 30ohm wirewound , using an analogue clamp meter, the action appears to be very similar through all 3 circuits.

I hope this will work and then I can get onto the serial board and Mrotate.

Sounds good. Just remember the serial port is good for only around 10 milliamps (not sure about that, but I know its pretty low). Also, dont forget that the pin goes to around negative 12 volts to ground when "Off", so you may need blocking diodes to keep the negative voltage from your drive circuit. Wouldn't want to fry anything. Its around positive 5 vdc to ground when "On".

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #77 on: August 17, 2020, 03:41:24 pm »
Sounds good. Just remember the serial port is good for only around 10 milliamps (not sure about that, but I know its pretty low). Also, dont forget that the pin goes to around negative 12 volts to ground when "Off", so you may need blocking diodes to keep the negative voltage from your drive circuit. Wouldn't want to fry anything. Its around positive 5 vdc to ground when "On".

The good news is that the auto degaus works perfectly. Much better than I expected (or even hoped) with my 9ohm ptcs salvaged from an old chassis (which I think was my old 36" widescreen Matchline).

Turned the timers down to just 1 second so they are ready to degaus again within 30 seconds.

Next is mRotate with the serial board I grabbed a while back. I'll have to have a few re-reads of all the info the old man has put on here and wind the key on the old brain a little more.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #78 on: August 17, 2020, 03:50:15 pm »
Good show!

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #79 on: August 22, 2020, 01:03:22 pm »
Hi Old Man.

Started with mrotate today, and as expected my IT skills (or lack of them) is letting me down badly.

I installed the serial card no problem, and downloaded mrotate4.

Then I'm lost.

I put it on the desk top and double clicked the exe.

It told me there was no ini file and I need to go to setup.

I went to set up and looked at the test panel.

When I closed the test panel it told me mscomm32.ocx was missing or screwed.

I d/l that and stuck it in the same folder as mrotate.exe.

Managed to create an ini (not sure I know how though), but still no idea what I am doing.


Can you give me a simple step by step please? I am totally lost.