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Author Topic: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)  (Read 3560 times)

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DaOld Man

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #80 on: August 22, 2020, 01:56:11 pm »
MRotate will create the ini file for you after you set it up the first time. It just stores all your settings (outputs, inputs, commands, etc.)

If it still slaps your hand over the mscomm32.ocx file, try placing the mscomm32 in windows\system32. If that dont work and your system is 64 bit,  try windows\SysWOW64. you may need to include mscomm32.dep file. Both are available in my mrotate5 package download, or you can probably find it on the web. (Shouldnt need this for 32 bit)
But if you could open the test panel with no hand slaps, you should be ok.

You can hook two leds to your output pins (with 500 ohm resistors) to test it, or wire into your system and give it a real test (get ready to pull the plug on your system just in case it dont do what you expect).
Also, dont forget what I said about the pins going to neg 12 volts to ground when turned off. If this will be a problem on your system you  will need diodes to block the negative signal.
I can give you a rough drawing showing how to hook up the diodes if you need it.



Ropi Jo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #81 on: August 22, 2020, 02:10:15 pm »
Thanks for getting back to me so soon. Please see in red....

MRotate will create the ini file for you after you set it up the first time. It just stores all your settings (outputs, inputs, commands, etc.) But I have no idea what to set the 'settings' to. Do I just leave them all as default?


If it still slaps your hand over the mscomm32.ocx file, try placing the mscomm32 in windows\system32. If that dont work and your system is 64 bit,  try windows\SysWOW64. you may need to include mscomm32.dep file. Both are available in my mrotate5 package download, or you can probably find it on the web. (Shouldnt need this for 32 bit)
But if you could open the test panel with no hand slaps, you should be ok. It seems that after double clicking the ocx file it stopped nagging about it.

You can hook two leds to your output pins (with 500 ohm resistors) to test it, or wire into your system and give it a real test (get ready to pull the plug on your system just in case it dont do what you expect).
Also, dont forget what I said about the pins going to neg 12 volts to ground when turned off. If this will be a problem on your system you  will need diodes to block the negative signal.
I can give you a rough drawing showing how to hook up the diodes if you need it. I'm fine with the electronics part  thanks (that's where my strength is)

A few more Qs...

Do have to do something to make mrotate.exe start with mala?

Or will it run by itself?

Where should I actually put mrotate.exe?

DaOld Man

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #82 on: August 22, 2020, 02:28:27 pm »
I had a long post typed out for step by step instructs, and I guess I timed out before I posted and lost everything. i hate when that happens.

Anyway, you can probably use defaults, as long as you tell mrotate which pins you are connected to. (Setup Main menu  Comm Port  inputs/outputs)

Also make sure you have the correct com port set. (Setup Main menu Comm port  Comport settings)

The default arguments are 0 for horizontal and 90 for vertical. you can use these.

To interface this with mala, in startcom, select the path where you have mrotate4 placed.
Then for arguments 0 for horizontal and 90 for vertical.

Mala tells startcom, startcom runs mrotate4.

You can also run Mrotate4 from the windows command prompt.
Open cmd in the windows search bar, open command prompt.
Change directory to the one where you placed mrotate4.
to run to horizontal, Type Mrotate4 0
to run to vertical, Type Mrotate4 90
to open setup to make any changes, Type Mrotate4

In startcom, you will need to type in the complete path to mrotate4. its a lot easier to just put Mrotate4 on the root, (C:\mrotate4)

I will try to do a complete tutorial with screen shots later.




Ropi Jo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #83 on: August 22, 2020, 02:51:29 pm »
I have everything in C:\Emulation. Guess I should put mrotate in there as well?

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT
« Reply #84 on: August 22, 2020, 09:48:52 pm »
I have everything in C:\Emulation. Guess I should put mrotate in there as well?

You can. It really doesnt matter where you put it but startcom needs the complete path to it. Its just easier for me to remember if I keep it simple. C:\Emulation\mrotate4.exe is pretty simple.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #85 on: August 22, 2020, 11:50:32 pm »
Ok, here are instructions for setting up mrotate4.
There is also pics of how to set up start com in mala to run mrotate4.
Sorry if I made any typing mistakes, its late.
I have laid them out in the order that you need to go by to set it up.

Main menu:


Comport connections:


Comport settings (mscomm32.ocx)


Outputs and Inputs:


Time limits:


Options:


Sounds:


Test panel:


About:


Mala plugin options:


Mala startcom:


Good luck, and holler if you need help, and let us know how it turns out.


Ropi Jo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #86 on: August 23, 2020, 05:39:55 am »
That is fantastic and so kind of you to take the time and trouble.

I'm off out with the family for a 90th birthday meal so will try to implement all this when we get back and update.

BTW... it's not my 90th!

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #87 on: August 23, 2020, 10:53:13 am »
Safe travels and tell them Happy Birthday from DaOld Man.

Ropi Jo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #88 on: September 05, 2020, 02:56:43 pm »
Today I installed the serial card and mrotate4. Followed your step-by-step to the letter...... and it worked exactly as you described. Used a couple of LEDs with 1K resistors and could see the outputs doing their thing.

As you also said, there is quite a bit of activity during windows boot so need to block the outputs for about 30 seconds, which is no problem. Also will add some blocking diodes for the -ve voltages you mentioned.

Salvaged a couple of optos, transistors and relays from some old boards and started with the interfaces.

Getting real close now!

Ropi Jo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #89 on: September 06, 2020, 03:03:52 pm »
Built the interfaces today. One of the 2 didn't work straight off and while investigating I blew up the opto, the back emf diode and the switching transistor. Decided I was doing it the hard way with pnp switching so redesigned and built both with npn. Much simpler and both worked 1st go. Using a 10K current limiter into the opto I only draw 0.45mA from the 5v test supply so very pleased with that. When I add the blocking diode I may need to drop the 10K a bit lower. Then just got to add the 30 second lockout timer and it'll be ready to hook up

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #90 on: September 06, 2020, 06:01:51 pm »
Thats great!
If you are using optoisolators you probably wont need the blocking diodes. The led in the opto is a diode anyway.
Im glad you are getting there.
Some pics would be real nice.

Ropi Jo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #91 on: September 06, 2020, 06:35:20 pm »
Never really played with optos before so wasn't sure how they would handle the reverse voltage. Already blown up one so don't want to screw up again. But you're right, the LED in the opto should just stay hard off. I'll go for it as-is.

You're also right about the pics... if there's no pics it didn't happen!!

One strange thing I found.... my optos are 6 pin, so the base of the o/p transistor is on a spare pin. When I handle the board I inject 50hz (UK standard) into that pin and the relay turns into a machine gun! I didn't have any 4 pin optos. As long as I didn't touch a certain area of the board with bare skin there was no spurious behaviour so I'll leave it alone.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 06:39:22 pm by Ropi Jo »

Ropi Jo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #92 on: September 06, 2020, 07:00:41 pm »
Read this....

The base connection of the photo-transistor can be left open (unconnected) for maximum sensitivity to the LEDs infra-red light energy or connected to ground via a suitable external high value resistor to control the switching sensitivity making it more stable and resistant to false triggering by external electrical noise or voltage transients.

If I add a 10K to pull the base to ground I wonder how much more current will be required from the switching line?

Have to do a little testing. If I can keep the switching current to just 1 or 2mA with a base resistor added I think that would be good.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #93 on: September 06, 2020, 08:18:00 pm »
Did you look up the spec sheet for that opto?
Its probably got a min current on input.
Im not sure what current the comm port is good for, but I would say 5-10 ma should be safe.
I know the old printer port was safely good for around 10 ma.

Ropi Jo

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #94 on: September 08, 2020, 05:59:08 pm »
Connected up the interface in place of the rotate buttons after work today.

Just brilliant! I select a H game in Mala and the screen does it's thing. Same with V. I am really blown away with how this works.

I cant give enough thanks to DaOldMan for all his help with this.

He wrote the programs. Even rewrote mrotate (mrotate4) specifically for my build. Gave me step by step instructions. All in his own time for no reward. Genuinely one of the good guys and there's not many of them left  :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

Got a bit of tidying up to do as it's hooked up with various wires hanging all over the place then I'll get some pics and probably a video or 2 showing some of the moving parts and Mala selecting games.

Got some more control panels to build next and also got to finish getting my roms sorted and loaded.

No rush though. It's onlt taken 6-7yrs to get this far! :cheers:

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #95 on: September 08, 2020, 07:20:16 pm »
Congrats!!
Thank you for the kind words, and I was very happy to help out.
Automatic rotation trumps manual (pushbutton), would you agree?

Cant wait to see the pics and the video of your creation.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #96 on: September 12, 2020, 03:54:43 pm »
Done a bit of tidying with the wiring and was about to get a video but there was one major bug that was giving me a real headache.

The auto rotate is the main thing on the cab, and it has to work well, which is does... sort of. The drive is through a bundle of plastic gears out of a foot massager and they chatter and rattle so loud they ruin the whole effect. So today I ripped them out and thought how else I can go about this.

In my junk box I've got a few 24V linear actuators salvaged from some hospital beds. I can't use them as-is but I stripped one down and the worm drive is virtually silent and so smooth. Did a bit of modding to the drive and the cab and looks like a good bet. Too fast with 24V but seems about right with a 19V laptop supply. Trouble now is that the motor runs on after hitting the end stop. Got to come up with a simple electronic brake. A momentary relay that shorts the motor when power is removed from the motor, or something like that. Have to do a bit of thinking tonight.

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #97 on: September 12, 2020, 04:40:54 pm »
Hmmm, so you are saying it is coasting? Can you move the stop switch to activate a little sooner?

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Re: Setting up Mame / Mala with rotating CRT (Mrotate4)
« Reply #98 on: September 12, 2020, 06:20:11 pm »
There's so much weight in the 25" crt it takes about 3/4 inch to stop. The old motor was real mincy and with light plastic gears there was minimal momentum. But the new motor and drive are much heavier. I should be able to come up with a simple electronic brake using bits from the scrap box.