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Author Topic: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi (Aug 21 update)  (Read 5229 times)

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ericball

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vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi (Aug 21 update)
« on: February 08, 2021, 12:49:26 pm »
The idea for this project started several years ago when my employer upgraded to widescreen monitors.  I snagged a bunch of the LCDs they were discarding, kept several Dell 2007FP monitors and donated the rest to charity.  The Dell 2007FP is a great monitor: 20” diagonal, 1600x1200, VGA, DVI-D, composite and S-Video inputs, plus an internal 4 port powered USB hub and a 12V jack.  Add some powered speakers and use it for retro consoles.  But I thought it would be ideal for vertical MAME.

However, I needed to make sure I learned from my previous unfinished MAME cabinet.  With that project I spent $$ on maple plywood and parts to make the cabinet before I had worked out the guts and I never actually built the cabinet.  (Something which my wife brings up any time I talk about starting a new project.)  What I’ve learned for new projects is to defer spending money when possible and to stick to the critical path.

After thinking about and planning the project off and on, this year I decided to make the idea a reality.  I’m using a Raspberry Pi Zero W which I previously purchased and had used with OSMC for playing DVD and TiVo rips.  I’d also played a bit with emulation using Lakka.  The only thing I needed to buy was a mini-HDMI to DVI-D cable from China via eBay (couple of bucks).  I’m using a USB SNES controller and a USB headset for testing - both which I already had.

I started by wasting two weeks trying to get mame4all-pi working until I learned it doesn’t support screen rotation.  (It also only does 44.1KHz audio and my USB headset only accepts 48KHz.)  So I switched to lr_mame2000 (also based on MAME 0.37b5 but built on Libretto rather than hacks) on RetroPie 4.7.1 and was up and running (after configuring the system to make the USB headset “card 0” in ALSA).  Currently I’m using EmulationStation (rotated) with the default theme, but I plan on changing to Attract-Mode with a custom theme once I determine what games will be installed.

With the base software figured out the next step was to determine which games are both playable and worth playing.  But to do that I needed to somehow hold the monitor in the right orientation as there was no way to rotate the monitor on its stand (as far as I could determine).  But I didn’t want to make the cabinet yet - not just to defer spending money but because I still needed to work out a bunch of details first.  Fortunately I had a 1’x1’x2’ cardboard box left over from Christmas which could be sacrificed.



The cardboard “cabinet” worked well enough, but over time the monitor started to sink lower behind the “control panel”.  So I started to think about making the actual cabinet, but I realized I still had a bunch of questions about the control panel - in particular whether having the control panel level with the bottom of the monitor would result in your hands obstructing your view.  So I decided to just make something to hold the monitor.



The sides are a 1’x2’ shelf I had in my collection of scrap wood cut in half along a diagonal using a Skil-saw.  I then used a mitre saw to chop off the top points & match the side of the bezel.  I then used three pieces of IKEA wood (no idea what from, again from the scrap pile) which were the exact length I needed to make the horizontal braces.  (In the final build I plan on using 1/2” dowels and drilling through the sides.)  And the “T-molding” is some fabric hockey tape I had and thought would look cool.

One of the local ‘cade part shops is having a sale, so I’ve ordered a Sanwa joystick, 4 buttons (two each side as my wife is a southpaw) and Player 1 & 2 buttons along with an Xin-mo controller (yes I could wire everything directly to the RPi, but this is considerably easier and less permanent).  Once those arrive I can mock up a temporary control panel.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2021, 12:13:57 pm by ericball »
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

javeryh

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Re: vertical barcade
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2021, 12:53:07 pm »
Looks good so far.  Vertical cabs are great.  How are you playing Congo Bongo?  Does an 8-way work?  Congo Bongo and Q*bert are two games I'd love to add to my cabs but I always thought they were unplayable with standard sticks.

Richie_jones

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Re: vertical barcade
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2021, 03:22:13 pm »
Yes there a lovely monitor..

Sent from my SM-N976B using Tapatalk


ericball

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Re: vertical barcade
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2021, 04:43:10 pm »
How are you playing Congo Bongo?  Does an 8-way work?  Congo Bongo and Q*bert are two games I'd love to add to my cabs but I always thought they were unplayable with standard sticks.
From what I can tell, Congo Bongo & Q*Bert both assume you have a 4 way joystick rotated 45' clockwise - so pressing right on the joystick moves down+right.  However, you can go into the MAME menu for the game and set RIGHT = right+down etc.

I'm right now playing with an SNES style controller so it's more difficult to hit the diagonals.  I'm also using lr_mame2000, which is based on MAME 0.37b5.  More recent versions of MAME may behave differently or have options to handle this automagically.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 09:53:11 pm by ericball »
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

bobbyb13

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Re: vertical barcade
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2021, 03:48:54 pm »
Looks good so far.  Vertical cabs are great.  How are you playing Congo Bongo?  Does an 8-way work?  Congo Bongo and Q*bert are two games I'd love to add to my cabs but I always thought they were unplayable with standard sticks.

Stolen from a previous post by meany in a thread on this subject!
Here is the meat.

8 way stick mapped like this via your tab key:


What's that watermelon doing there?

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2021, 07:18:11 am »
The joystick and buttons arrived the other day so I started working on the control panel layout.  Central joystick flanked by two buttons on each side - what could be easier?

First off, while slagcoin.com is a great resource his layouts are based on 30mm buttons and are a little tight for Happ and especially Wico buttons.  His site also focuses on typical fighter layouts.  But even with two buttons it’s important to think about hand and finger position.

Using grid paper I drew out the control panel - 13.5” wide & 7” deep.  The plan is for the footprint of the cabinet to be 15” square, which gives at least 7” for the control panel.  Final depth will depend upon the angle.  Joystick goes dead center.  As a first try I drew lines from the center to the back corners, measured 95mm from that (which seems to be a typical distance) and put the second button 1.75” from that.

Both my wife and I gave it a try.  The spacing and angle was okay, but my wife complained that trying to stay inside the outside edge (a-la Tempest) was uncomfortable.  So the solution is for the control panel to extend the full 15” width.  As before the buttons are on the lines from the center to the back corners, spaced 1.75” apart, centered halfway along the line.

Building a test version of the control panel is the next stage to try out the layout and work out the angle.

Unfortunately, I learned the cheap USB speakers I was planning on using only use USB for power - the audio still needs a 3.5mm headphone jack. (Fortunately I discovered this before I bought them.)  In fact, “USB powered” seems to be very common - so I’m going to need to be certain what I buy is actually a USB audio device.  (Update: Logitech S150 speakers are actual USB speakers, so I at least have one reasonably priced option.)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2021, 07:24:11 am by ericball »
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2021, 09:39:28 pm »
Today was sunny and around freezing - a great day to make sawdust!  Time to make a simple control panel to verify both how I planned to mount the joystick and the angle.  So the first step was to transfer my layout to a piece of scrap MDF which was about the right size.  As a bonus it was wide enough to make side legs (10 degree angle).

I swear it takes longer to set up and clean up than it takes to drill the holes, make the cuts and router out the inset for the joystick top plate.  But once that was done, a little "No More Nails" glue to attach the legs and everything could be attached.

My wife loves how the blue transparent buttons complement the red transparent balltop.
Note: this is just a test panel.  In the final cabinet I'm going to use 5/8" plywood for the joystick mount inset inside the cabinet overlaid with 1/8" masonite which will extend over the sides and front.  The player buttons will be mounted on the front.

Yes, those are authentic Wico leaf buttons which I bought direct from Wico back in 2004.  Joystick is a Sanwa JLF.  (I've ordered an octagonal restrictor plate from China via eBay.)  Xin Mo (clone?) controller.  Now that the controls are done I need to focus on configuring the software and working through the list of games (I'm up to H..)
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

bobbyb13

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2021, 10:36:40 pm »
Have you considered utilizing the All Killer, No Filler lists that BadMouth began/proctored?

Saves a pile of time in the whole game sorting process.
What's that watermelon doing there?

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2021, 07:30:42 am »
Have you considered utilizing the All Killer, No Filler lists that BadMouth began/proctored?  Saves a pile of time in the whole game sorting process.
Thanks for the pointer, I'll check it out.  However, there's only about 450 vertical games for MAME 0.37b5, so it shouldn't take me more than a month to get through them all (156 done already).  I also want to make sure anything I include runs perfectly on my system.  I've also found some "quirky & fun" games like Devil Fish.

Update: first pass of game review completed March 15th (1 month, just like I estimated), 103 games on list so far.  Next step is a second pass to finalize the list.  Plan is to get all of the software finished before trying to build the final cabinet.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 10:49:54 am by ericball »
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

bobbyb13

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2021, 07:38:33 pm »
Downloading, renaming and running that batch file takes about 5 minutes.
 ;D

The individual posts even list which games are in it per genre, as the entire project was a collective effort.

I was doing what you are when I stumbled onto the joys of No Filler.

What's that watermelon doing there?

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2021, 06:42:32 pm »
Some updates - I finished my first pass of the vertical games and ended up with a list of over 100 games.  My plan was to give some of the "almost made it" games a second look when I got to thinking - did it make any sense to include games which probably won't be played.  Or did it make more sense to stick to just the best games?  Taking bobbyb13's suggestion, I grabbed the All Killer list and flagged those games.  I'd already flagged games on the KLOV best lists and those included with a 60-in-1 as "probably should include".  But after talking it over with my wife I concluded that more isn't better and decided to focus on just the "cream of the crop":

Space Invaders, Galaxian, Centipede, Pac-Man, Phoenix, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Qix, Burger Time, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong Junior, Pengo, Q*bert, Time Pilot, Xevious, Zaxxon, Gyruss

Once I've got everything set up for these games I can pick & choose what other games I might want to include.

I've also been plotting out my FE layout and working on artwork for it:

One idea is when the game is selected a control diagram will be shown, i.e. this one for Xevious

MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

bobbyb13

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2021, 03:51:09 am »
The splash screen of control layout per game is brilliant.
What's that watermelon doing there?

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2021, 08:41:01 am »
Focusing on the "best of the best" games was a very good idea. It meant I only had to do marquees, attract videos and control panel diagrams for 19 games rather than over 100.

This is a screenshot of my Attract Mode theme.  The marquees are instead of the more typical text game list.  And when the game is selected it shows a video of the game's attract mode.  The bottom is a basic diagram of the cabinet control panel to show which controls are used for what in the game.

From a software perspective the system is at the 90% finished stage:
  • Go back through the games list and maybe add a few more games.
  • Due to MAME romset differences I only have screenshots rather than videos for a few games.
  • See what tweaking can be done to the boot-up & game start sequences to make them quicker & avoid text displays.

However making the final cabinet is almost more important.  But I'm really struggling with anxiety about having everything go right.

At least it's playable - so I'm going to go play some games.
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

javeryh

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2021, 09:16:59 am »
I like the layout and using the marquees to select the games - is there any way to space them out a little bit or add a border to separate all of the "windows" on the screen? 

Also, maybe I'm the only one but the font you chose is incredibly difficult to read.  All the "E"s look like "L"s.  I think you can find a better font than this to use.

Keep going - unplug the cabinet or you will never finish!

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2021, 04:54:03 pm »
I like the layout and using the marquees to select the games - is there any way to space them out a little bit or add a border to separate all of the "windows" on the screen?
Thanks, it's a really simple AM layout, but with AM almost anything is possible.  I was going for a really minimalist result (also maximizing the size of the artwork) so I didn't bother with borders.  I did "dim" the other marquees to highlight the active one.

Also, maybe I'm the only one but the font you chose is incredibly difficult to read.  All the "E"s look like "L"s.  I think you can find a better font than this to use.
No you're not the only one who sees Ls instead of Es.  I guess I'll add reworking that logo to the list.
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

DaOld Man

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2021, 07:11:23 pm »
I like this project. Tell me more about the false T molding. Does it stick well? Not trying to peel?
Also, I agree with Javeryh, lose that font!

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2021, 05:08:22 pm »
This one better?
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

bobbyb13

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2021, 10:49:54 pm »
I DID like the vibe to the original one but this one is FAR more legible!
What's that watermelon doing there?

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi Zero (Feb 14 - new pix)
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2021, 09:34:09 pm »
I have replaced the Raspberry Pi Zero W with a Raspberry Pi 3A+ for two reasons:
  • I had previously purchased an MPEG-2 license for the Zero so I could use it to watch DVD rips.  So I'd always planned on getting another RPi as part of the final build.
  • I discovered lr-mame2000 doesn't save high scores.  While this limitation was easy to overlook in the beginning, the more I played the more I realized how integral the high score table is to ongoing enjoyment.

However, once I obtained the RPi3 I ran into a second problem.  I was able to power the Zero using the USB hub built into the monitor.  Unfortunately, it seems the RPi3 needs a little more power than the monitor provides as I was getting frequent under-voltage errors.  And while initially it didn't appear to have any negative impact, started having issues with RetroArch properly detecting the Xinmo controller. 

While I could use a standard power supply I liked being able to turn the monitor & Pi on with the power button on the monitor.  If only there was a cheap way to leverage the 12V power jack on the monitor to power the Pi....  Then it I had an idea - wire up a dollar store car USB power adapter to the right barrel plug.  And it worked!  Turning on the monitor tuns on the Pi and no under-voltage errors.  (Sorry about the out-of-focus cellphone pix.)

So now I need to redo the software config - and I'm hoping to add some more games to the list as well.  I also need to get the control panel artwork figured out and printed.  Then the final step will be to cut wood and make the final cabinet.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 09:38:01 pm by ericball »
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

nitrogen_widget

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi (April 25 update)
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2021, 04:13:21 pm »
I had no idea mame2000 didn't retain high scores.
what about mame4pi?

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi (April 25 update)
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2021, 08:45:05 am »
I had no idea mame2000 didn't retain high scores. what about mame4pi?
mame4all-pi doesn't support screen rotation and only supports 44.1KHz audio (which caused issues with the USB headset I was using before I got the USB speakers)
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

nitrogen_widget

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi (April 25 update)
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2021, 01:13:05 pm »
I had no idea mame2000 didn't retain high scores. what about mame4pi?
mame4all-pi doesn't support screen rotation and only supports 44.1KHz audio (which caused issues with the USB headset I was using before I got the USB speakers)

you can rotate mame4all in the config file.
there is I think ror and rol for rotating the screen.

on the sound, the pi-zero is a little iffy with a usb sound card. (which is what a usb headset contains)



ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi (April 25 update)
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2021, 11:08:29 am »
you can rotate mame4all in the config file.  there is I think ror and rol for rotating the screen.
on the sound, the pi-zero is a little iffy with a usb sound card. (which is what a usb headset contains)
As per https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware/issues/403#issuecomment-86962019 there's a significant performance impact to using display_hdmi_rotate. The sound problem was mame4all-pi only supports 44.1KHz output and my USB headset only supported 48KHz.  While in theory it might be possible to handle this via ALSA config, I gave up trying once I discovered mame4all-pi doesn't support rotation.  lr-mame2000 had neither of these issues and I probably would have stuck with it if it weren't for the hi scores.
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

nitrogen_widget

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi (April 25 update)
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2021, 01:53:32 pm »
you can rotate mame4all in the config file.  there is I think ror and rol for rotating the screen.
on the sound, the pi-zero is a little iffy with a usb sound card. (which is what a usb headset contains)
As per https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware/issues/403#issuecomment-86962019 there's a significant performance impact to using display_hdmi_rotate. The sound problem was mame4all-pi only supports 44.1KHz output and my USB headset only supported 48KHz.  While in theory it might be possible to handle this via ALSA config, I gave up trying once I discovered mame4all-pi doesn't support rotation.  lr-mame2000 had neither of these issues and I probably would have stuck with it if it weren't for the hi scores.

mame4all-pi supports rotation in it's config file.
you rotate the emulator itself.
https://github.com/RetroPie/mame4all-pi/blob/master/mame.cfg.template
Lines 12 and 13. do that.

It also supports samplerate change. Line 16.

however, the google machine tells me it appears to only support the pi's onboard audio and does not like usb sound cards at all.
which is news to me.
so you are dead in the water with a pi-zero unless you get a $15 hdmi to vga adaptor with audio out.
but you want to use the usb headphones so yeah, you needed a different pi.

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi (April 25 update)
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2021, 04:50:32 pm »
It also supports samplerate change. Line 16.
While the config has the setting, the code has 44.1kHz hardcoded in multiple places.
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional

SNAAKE

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  • my joystick is bigger than your joystick !
Re: vertical barcade
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2021, 06:58:00 pm »
Yes there a lovely monitor..

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just bought 2 of these for $30 each :burgerking: I dont even have any project in mind right now but couldnt pass these up lol

great project here  :cheers:

ericball

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Re: vertical bartop using Dell 2007 & Raspberry Pi (April 25 update)
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2021, 12:13:23 pm »
The software side is now complete (other than maybe trying to speed up the boot process) and I've increased the list of games to 40.  I was looking at the generic RetroPie splash screen the other day and realized that I could use it to provide a how-to on the non-game controls.

« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 07:29:37 pm by ericball »
MAME Projects % completed:
2004 3 sided cocktail cabinet w/ modular CP <25%
2004 Tempest cabinet & CP > 75%
2017 Raspberry Pi Zero W w/ Lakka microconsole 50%
2021 Vertical Bartop - in progress > 80%, 100% functional