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Author Topic: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion  (Read 4889 times)

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Vater

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Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« on: July 19, 2021, 05:45:57 pm »
This project has been 10 years in the making, although in reality the actual work on it started late last year.

PART I

I bought a working Virtua Fighter cabinet a decade ago, I think it was early 2011, from a guy who buys and sells used arcade equipment (he's still in business).  Despite never owning or working on an arcade cabinet before, and no real woodworking skills, I had grand plans for it, but other priorities coupled with some technical issues resulted in the cabinet sitting untouched for years.  I lived in a townhome in Virginia at the time, and here it sat in my basement.



This was the only photo I could find of when I first got it.  I quickly got bored of playing the original game, which was fine with me because it isn't that good, it was never a title I spent quarters on back in the day, and it wasn't the reason I bought it in the first place.

A funny aside: I have never been very active on these forums, but in this 2012 thread discussing the age old topic of angled joysticks, my Virtua Fighter cabinet left a few folks (myself included) scratching their heads. Until then, no one had seen a stock cabinet with angled joysticks.

My plan all along for this cab was to build a custom control panel for it and run MAME on a PC housed inside.  My good friend had given me his old X-Arcade tankstick with trackball and his whole collection of emulators and roms, so I had a really good start and some of the main controls I would need. Ideally my new control panel would have two-player bat sticks with a basic Street Fighter layout, a trackball, spinner and flight stick (Tron and the like), and I really wanted to also have a ball-top and a couple buttons for single player games like Galaga (my alltime fav) and Pac-Man.  Yes, it would be a big Frankenpanel, but over the years of reading these forums, I knew I wanted to keep it reasonably proportionate to the cabinet and as uncluttered as possible despite the number of controls.  When browsing the guy's warehouse, there were a few other cabinets I liked, but this one kept calling to me.  I liked the overall shape and design, and preferred how close the monitor was to the player (vs. cabinets like Golden Tee or Gauntlet, where the monitor sits much lower at nearly a 45 angle).

It had a working original 27" medium res monitor, so early on I bought an ArcadeVGA card and Arcade Monitor Video Amplifier from Ultimarc to connect my PC to it.



If I recall, I think I got this working at some point, but the monitor crapped out soon after.  I don't even remember what broke; it probably just needed a cap kit, but I knew I wanted to go an easier route and I soon found a 29" VGA monitor for a really good price and took a hacksaw to the metal brackets in the cabinet to make it fit.  It worked very well except for the black plastic surround which no longer fit.  A minor issue I would correct a decade later.  But first, that monitor would also take a dump a few short months after I bought it (horizontal hold issue, if I recall), and I would lose motivation to make any progress for years to come...
« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 12:10:17 pm by Vater »

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2021, 12:57:21 pm »
PART II

In 2013 my family moved to the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.  A larger home meant more space and a nice large garage to work in.  Above the garage is a finished space that would become my home office and mancave/gameroom. 



I was en route to my new house in a U-haul when our movers had already arrived, and the VFCab was the first thing they carried inside and up the stairs.  My wife told me later they were all cursing my name as they struggled with it on the narrow staircase.  It's a beast of a cabinet.

Here it sat, with still far too many more important projects taking priority.  It would be another 7+ years before any progress was made.



Having been in the home for almost 7 years when COVID hit, I began working from home which gave me a lot more free time (my daily commute was at least two hours total). That spring I found myself cleaning my oversized 3-car garage, and then took on the task over the summer of painting it and adding better and more lighting.  I'll spare everyone the details of the 5 month project and just show the before and after photos.

Before:



After:



With added lighting over workbench:



With a nicer shop to work in came the motivation to finally start transforming the cabinet from a 6 foot, 400 pound paperweight into a working video arcade. First things first, though: the monitor needed fixing, and I don't know the first thing about CRT repair and really had no desire to learn.  I searched locally for a TV repair shop, and through a conversation with a vendor on Facebook Messenger, I was advised to contact Chad at arcadecup.com.  Located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, it wasn't the most convenient idea, but I wanted the monitor fixed and since the services Chad provides include complete reconditioning of all boards, it seemed worth the cost.  The projected 40-some day wait was a little offputting at first, and ended up being quite a bit longer, but I was ok with it since I had plenty of work to do on the cabinet itself.

After nearly a decade, this project was finally off the ground...
« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 12:17:08 pm by Vater »

javeryh

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2021, 10:45:47 am »
Your pics are not showing...

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2021, 12:08:29 pm »
Ugh...thanks for the heads up.  Sorry about that, will fix shortly. 

Part III coming today as well...

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2021, 02:15:31 pm »
Ok, images should be visible now...please let me know if they aren't!

PART III

Having shipped the monitor boards to Chad at the beginning of October, the first step to getting the cabinet started was to come up with a design for the control panel. I had fiddled around with this very early on when I still lived in the townhouse, using an old application called Mameroom CDP (Control Panel Designer).  I played around with a few variations, mostly trying to figure out which location would work best for the ball-top and buttons for the single player games, with consideration given to keeping the trackball free of obstacles.





I even modeled the full cabinet in Sketchup with the intention of playing around with different control panel designs, but it never really panned out beyond a couple rough ideas.





Ultimately I decided the best approach was to keep the design of the original control panel and scale it up a bit to fit the controls I wanted to use.  I liked the look of the oddly angled side pieces and opted to at least try to recreate them (albeit larger) with my limited woodworking skills.  They fit the overall design of the cabinet well and I didn't want to lose those aesthetics with a generic looking box or a panel with a curved front edge.

By early February I had finally received my repaired and reconditioned monitor, and for my birthday that same week I'd received a Bosch wood router (my only request), both of which gave me all the motivation I needed to get this cab done.  By that time I had pretty much determined the layout I wanted for the controls and started mocking up an actual panel using a spare piece of 1/4" hardboard from the back of a cabinet I trashed when remodeling the garage. First hole drilled was for the trackball.  Fortunately, the X-Gaming site contains detailed instructions for installation, including the hole saw size needed (2 7/8").  The red buttons and two of the solid white buttons were pulled from the original Virtua Fighter panel, the white ball-top Sanwa was taken from an old control panel a coworker had given me, and all the other controls were from the X-Arcade tankstick.



That's what the first set of controls looked like after drilling with a 1 1/8" spade bit. I still hadn't placed the flight stick, spinner, start and admin buttons yet; I wanted to get a feel for what I had first, and see where the rear controls should go so that the front ones wouldn't be in the way. I initially measured the surface to be 35"x17", and it seemed a little large, but not too bad.

After drilling these first holes, I was concerned about how rough the edges were and wondered if the spade bit would fare better on the piece of HDF I planned to use for the final build.  I looked into how to clean up the rough edges and found that a Forstner bit was the way to go, so I bought one and drilled the holes for the remaining controls.  Here is the result; a pretty drastic difference:



I wanted to see how the panel would look on the cabinet, so I trimmed off the excess hardboard and cut two notches in the rear so it would fit around the cabinet's sides and sit flush against the glass.




I still needed a flight stick and spinner, so I ordered a Turbo Twist II from groovygamegear.com and since Tron is probably my favorite game that uses a flight stick, I went with a Glen's Retro Show Tron-themed LED-lighted stick from my local MicroCenter.




And then to see how the full mockup would look with the cabinet...



Now, for 10 years the plan was always to reuse what I already had when building this thing, but after mocking up the panel to this point, the red, black and white buttons didn't really match the color scheme of the cabinet.  Brand new Happ Competition joysticks and buttons wouldn't break the bank, so I ordered some controls that would really work nicely with the Virtua Fighter theme.  All along I'd planned to swap out the Sanwa ball-top with an Ultrastik 360, which arrived around the same time as the Happ controls (for the photos, I simply swapped out the ball-top itself, not the full stick).  I think the colors work a lot better to tie the panel in with the cabinet.  The panel itself I thought was a little too big, which is exactly the sort of thing building a mockup should bring to light so it can be addressed in the final product.




Finally, construction of the actual control panel could begin...
« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 03:56:33 pm by Vater »

javeryh

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2021, 12:08:40 pm »
Dude your garage is bigger than the footprint of my house LOL.  I'm jealous.

The cabinet itself looks good but I'm not a fan of the CP you have designed for a couple of reasons:

1. There's too much going on.  Spinner, trackball, flight stick, 4-way, too many action buttons, etc.  It's going to confuse your friends/family and after a few months when you figure out you only play a handful of games you are going to have a lot of unused controls.

2.  The flight stick blocks the screen.  Not good.

3.  The CP does not need to overhang the cabinet.  There is plenty of room for a 2P setup on the cabinet you are using.

I don't mean to be harsh but I feel like you are trying to build a panel that plays "everything" and that often doesn't work out like you think it will in your head.  I'm speaking from experience - early on I built a three-sided cocktail cabinet that tried to accommodate both vertical games and horizontal fighters plus I had a spinner on one end and a trackball on thee other and it was a hot mess.  Less than a year after getting it set up I gutted it.

I really think a "standard" 2P CP with 6 buttons per player and a trackball in the middle will look and perform great - you will get to play 95% of games and if you use ServoStiks you can seamlessly switch between 4 and 8-way controls.  If there are games you want a flight stick for or whatever else you can always add a USB port for controllers or maybe that goes on the next cabinet.  Just some food for thought.

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2021, 02:12:20 pm »
Thanks javeryh...all good feedback, no worries.

1. There's too much going on.  Spinner, trackball, flight stick, 4-way, too many action buttons, etc.  It's going to confuse your friends/family and after a few months when you figure out you only play a handful of games you are going to have a lot of unused controls.
I know my panel is not for everyone, and this is the exact feedback I expected to get.

Quote
2.  The flight stick blocks the screen.  Not good.
Actually it doesn't at all. It blocks Akira's face on the bezel, which is not a concern for me. :)

Quote
3.  The CP does not need to overhang the cabinet.  There is plenty of room for a 2P setup on the cabinet you are using.
It does if I want all the controls I have, and I do. BUT...the final outcome looks a lot better.  What you've seen so far is just the mockup.  It'll still look too large for some (maybe most), and that's cool.  It does look a bit large, but I've noticed it more so in photos than in person, which is kind of annoying when all I can share are photos on here.

Quote
I feel like you are trying to build a panel that plays "everything" and that often doesn't work out like you think it will in your head.
For the record, the build is complete--I'm just writing up the process and posting it in pieces as I have time.  Again, I knew this panel was not going to be to everyone's liking and I expected this sort of feedback.  Totally cool.  I'll be honest though, it works really well for me--even better than I expected--for a few reasons:

1. You are correct: I wanted a cabinet that plays "everything".*  As someone who loves the retro single player games like Galaga, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Q-bert, Popeye, etc., I wanted a ball-top joystick and the Ultrastik serves that well (and I can configure it for any game I want).  I wanted the two-player setup for fighting games.  And I wanted the Tron controls because Tron is cool.  And of course a trackball for Centipede and the like.

2. I have zero plans to build another cabinet, which is the exact reason for #1 above: I wanted to get the most use out of this one cab.  It took me 10 years for this thing to go from giant paperweight to usable arcade cabinet.  I'm like a lot of guys who have big plans when they start a project: we never finish.  ;D

3. I really, really like being centered when playing the single player games.   It's not that the player 1 Happ (yellow) is too far to the left when playing fighting games, but one of the primary things I wanted from this cab was to wax nostalgic over the games I loved in the arcades as a kid, and part of that was to ensure I had a straight-on view of the monitor.  Success.

4. Keeping in mind the hatred frankenpanels get on here, I did so much measuring, testing, and deliberating to see if these controls met my needs and stayed out of the way of other controls, all while attempting to keep it as uncluttered-looking as possible.  Very hard to do with this amount of controls, I know...yet I'm happy with it.  I think the color choices did a pretty good job of dividing the panel into "sections".  And as you'll see later in this build that I've hidden some of the buttons to keep it less cluttered.  It ain't perfect, I know.  But I've been playing all sorts of games in MAME and so far I haven't had a single issue that has caused me to regret my panel design.  The only thing my kids aren't crazy about is the feel of the Ultrastik, so they tend to use the Happs exclusively.  Yeah, it's only been a couple months, so I suppose it's possible my feelings might change, but so far so good.

*Not literally everything, mind you.  Driving games and such are not really ideal (I can play them with the spinner, but generally don't).  I leave the driving games to my Xbox and Playseat setup:

« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 02:14:00 pm by Vater »

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2021, 06:03:09 pm »
PART IV

It's March now.  Lets get building...

One of the great things about this build is that I didn't have to buy and lumber; just tools. When we first moved into the house, we found about 12 large 5/8" particle board panels under the stairs in the basement. And I had leftover pieces of a really nice blonde wood veneered executive desk I'd assembled in my office--I had to cut the hutch down to fit under the gabled ceiling, which left me a large enough slab of MDF (might even be HDF) to use as a control panel.

Because the mockup looked and felt a little to big for the cabinet, I measured the final CP to be an inch less in both length and width: 34"x16".  Despite his intense focus, Gus had little interest in this project.



The hole saw and Forstner bit did a solid job making clean holes in this material.  I used a jigsaw for the notches along the rear edge. 



Unfortunately I cut the right notch a little further in than the left, and seeing how perfectly the left notch fit over the cabinet side, my perfectionism won over and I decided I'd need to fix the right one vs. cut more from the left to even them out.  That'd come later.

Because I intended to keep the basic design of the original panel, I needed to make a front side panel and attach it to the bottom of the control panel.  Also, the original panel was hinged along the bottom of the front side so the whole thing opened forward; mine would do the same. In order to determine the dimensions of the front side, I'd need to extend this base portion of the original control panel:



I had removed this piece eons ago with the intent of replacing it with a larger base, but a friend advised to reuse the original board to give it more stability. This worked well; I cut a piece to fit around the front of the cabinet, clamped it to the original base and drilled 8 holes to secure it with bolts, nuts and washers (I might eventually change these out to round headed carriage bolts, but not really a concern for now).





It's now the beginning of April. While contemplating how I wanted to continue building out the base of the control panel, I decided on a whim to take the PC running MAME, strip out all the components and mount them to a board to permanently mount inside the cabinet instead of just sitting the PC loose inside.  This would also help keep the PCBs cool.  I'd never completely disassembled a PC before, so it was a fun little project.





Having attached the new base (by regluing/screwing the original) in place allowed me to position the control panel to determine the dimensions and angle of its front panel.  I cut a length of particle board and affixed it to the bottom of the CP's front edge using glue, wooden dowel pins, and finishing it off with a strip of board screwed to both sides. 

Apparently I completely failed to document all the work I had done on the underside of the CP.  I routed out the joystick and trackball locations, and installed threaded inserts to ensure the top of the panel would be clean. Unfortunately I made a mistake when first tracing the trackball; I had the trackball incorrectly sitting 90 so that the two "points" were opposite of where you see them below, which presented a potential problem for both joystick locations.  The flight stick fit fine, but I had to dremel a notch into the plastic trackball housing for the U360 to fit, and I had to get creative with the screw placement for that same corner; thankfully the U360 base has a couple different screw hole locations.



Oops.



Back to the base build. I had planned for the last decade to reuse the original VF panel's hinge, but after completing the new panel I felt that hinge wouldn't be robust enough to hold all that weight.  I had another desk my son once used sitting in pieces in the basement, so I grabbed a couple cabinet hinges from it to use instead.  This turned out to be great operationally and aesthetically, but it's probably my least favorite thing about this whole build, which I'll get into later.





It's starting to take shape...
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 10:02:44 am by Vater »

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2021, 05:07:28 pm »
Looking good,  Nice to see the Foofy supervisor got in there, Just checking this big ol box out, Got any snacks? Nope, I'm off then :) :) :) Cats, mostly you have to love them.

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2021, 06:07:09 pm »
I kinda wish I'd named him Foofy Supervisor now.  Very apt.  ;D

PART V

In order to completely enclose the panel, I needed to cut two small rear panels and the side panels.  The rear panels would each have an admin button, and I planned to also relocate the main power switch from the rear of the cabinet to the right rear panel for easy access. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted the side panels to have the same basic shape as the originals, so I used the originals as a template to scale up the new ones. 



I then took the original side panels to Home Depot to color match the paint that I'd be using for all the externally visible pieces (except for the control panel itself which would be black). Additionally, I drilled two holes in the base panel for coin buttons, though I planned to wire up the original coin door as well. I like the idea of having hidden coin buttons so I can tell my friends to bring quarters...then see if they can figure out how I keep playing for free. :)

The rear pieces were affixed to the base with wooden dowel pins and glue, and reinforced in the corners. I routed the side panels for T-molding and then painted everything.




While the paint dried, I replaced all the chrome T-molding on the cabinet.  Then I attached the newly painted base assembly and installed the side panels.




The base assembly is attached to the cabinet by the 8 bolts along the base, but I installed a 2" screw through both cab sides and into the top of the rear panels for (much needed) additional stability. I didn't use glue because I want to be able to remove the full assembly in case the cabinet ever needs to be moved.  This would never fit through a standard doorway otherwise. Also seen in these next photos:

1. The latches and loops from the original cab which lock the panel in place.  These are accessed through the coin door opening.

2. I added side rails to provide additional support to the sides of the control panel.

3. The main power switch is installed and wired up.

4. An el cheapo Amazon amplifier is being tested here.  I decased it so I could install it in a more permanent location (will get to that later).




After test fitting all the controls and installing the T-molding to the sides:





Internally, I made some subtle changes that I'm pretty happy with. 
Power: As I said before, I relocated the main power switch.  Well, in reality I bought a new one as I didn't want a hole in the back of the cabinet.  Basically, I mounted an industrial power strip to the floor of the cab, ran its cable up and spliced it to two pins on the new switch. I pulled the original power cable inside the cab and plugged it into the strip; this is still wired up to the main switch on the back of the cab, which stays "On".  Then I took an extension cable, spliced it to the other two pins of the new switch, and ran it out the back of the cab.  All other components inside the cab are powered off the strip.

Audio: I initially ran the MAME PC's audio to the RCA inputs on the original Virtua Fighter audio board.  This worked fine except for a pretty annoying ground hum that I chased for years and could never find.  This was the reason I bought the external amplifier, and ran new speaker wire to the speakers.  Since I wasn't using any part of the original game anymore, I disconnected all original wiring (the CPU fans were loud) so the cab boots up and runs much quieter now.

Marquee: The flourescent light bar is not original to the cab, as I found out when looking through the manual.  It's a cheap plastic consumer grade fixture that has I think a 12" single bulb. I positioned this a little further back to widen the spread so the full marquee was more evenly lit.  Subtle, but you can see the difference between the original photo when I first got the cab and now. I may eventually swap this out for a larger/brighter LED fixture.



Next up: get the controls working!

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2021, 12:55:17 pm »
PART VI

Before I get to wiring the CP, I neglected to mention the fix for getting the 27" plastic monitor surround to fit the new 29" monitor.  I took a box cutter and did a pretty crappy hack job trimming off excess plastic, but it does its job: it hides the light coming from the interior of the cabinet while no longer blocking the corners of the screen.  The serial number sticker didn't fit on the surround anymore, so I relocated it.





I had ordered an I-PAC Ultimate I/O from Ultimarc for my control interface.  First step was to test the connections and figure out how to use it.  I started with the player 1 controls and also wired up the LEDs in the Tron stick. 



The annoying thing about this is that the cable that powers the I-PAC LED controls has a power connector for IDE hard drives. It wouldn't be a problem except that my PC's power supply has only SATA power connections, so I had to borrow a PSU from an older PC I had laying around. This was intended to be a temporary solution, so in the meantime I ordered a SATA-to-IDE adapter cable which I could connect to the PSU already installed in the cabinet.  Nope! When I received and installed the adapter, the LEDs did nothing.  So for now, I have a separate PC PSU sitting on the floor of the cabinet, which is no big deal, but kind of silly to think that I need a completely separate power unit just to light up one joystick.

The entire month of May was pretty quiet...no real updates to speak of, but it did get some playing time.




In June, however, I decided to disassemble the panel to prep it for paint.  I spent some time sanding the entire top and front side, focusing especially on the roundover edges, with 150, 400, 1000, and 1500 grit sandpaper.  Three coats of Rustoleum satin black later...




Finishing Touches

Now that the control panel was complete, I could wire it properly, permanently install the controller boards, and focus on cable management.  I also came up with a solution for mounting the audio amplifier as well as the arcade monitor's video control board.  And I installed a couple chains to keep the panel from opening too far and damaging the hinges (the original VF panel used a single chain mounted in the exact location as the left one is here; I added a second chain since this panel is so heavy).











The Virtua Fighter Cabinet is essentially complete, but there are still a few things I'd like to improve on.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, the cabinet hinges are my least favorite part of the control panel build simply because they give a little if any weight is put on the top of the panel.  This was the primary reason I added the rails on the interior side panels, and they help, but don't completely eliminate the play, however slight it is.  And the movement is very slight; the whole assembly is very structurally solid, but my perfectionism (OCD?) tends to focus on the little things that could be improved.

One thing I didn't mention earlier that I had done years ago when I first built the PC that would run MAME: it's running Windows 7, and I wanted a way to boot discreetly, so I created this video to hide the Windows boot screens, with a nod to my favorite game. :) The monitor used to take a little longer to warm up, which meant the Dell BIOS screen wasn't seen at all...not sure what happened, but the last couple times it's been visible for a split second.



For some reason, when Hyperspin loads, it takes several seconds for the FPS to get up to speed (it started up beautifully in this vid, which is rare), something I would like to fix if possible. It's a really old version (in fact, most of the software on this PC is old...about 10 years old, to be exact), so maybe it just needs an update.

Here are some other improvements I hope to make eventually:

1. Add a CP overlay.  While I was never fan of the game itself, the original Virtua Fighter cabinet is such a stunning design (the mirrored glass marquee is one of my favorites, period), and I really like the mirrored side art and metallic control panel. My plan initially was to draw up a larger version of the original CP design and have it reproduced on the same or similar material. Unfortunately, none of the vendors who specialize in arcade cabinet art have the means to reproduce the reflective metallic overlay the original has.  It would likely cost a small fortune to get this done professionally, or I may just settle for a non-reflective overlay with standard colors.

2. Power the flight stick LEDs off the PC so I can remove the additional PSU from the cabinet.

3. Clean up the wiring a bit more inside the cabinet.

4. There are still many, many things to do on the software side.  I have MAME working well, but it will take a lot of time to complete the control maps for every game. Plus, with the U360, I need some way to launch different mappings for games that need it (Q-Bert).  I know LEDBlinky does this but I have no need for such a robust application when all I have is a single LED joystick and a few games that require different joystick maps. Still figuring all this out.

I also have the MESS and Nestopia emulators and a plethora of Atari, Colecovision, SEGA, NES and other roms that I need to eventually configure, but that will come in time.

For now I'm enjoying playing the classic arcade games of my youth, and I've actually had a few family gaming sessions with the wife and kids...











And finally, the before and after, exactly 10⅓ years apart:



Thanks for reading.  I'll post to this thread if I have any new updates.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 03:09:53 pm by Vater »

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2021, 02:24:21 pm »
Actually it doesn't at all. It blocks Akira's face on the bezel, which is not a concern for me. :)
Despite the label, that's not Akira.

I won't give you feedback on the CP because you don't want to hear it/care/its already done/etc ; so I'll just say congrats on getting it all done. Really clean job with wiring too.
If you're replying to a troll you are part of the problem.
I also need to follow this advice. Ignore or report, don't reply.

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2021, 03:03:44 pm »
Despite the label, that's not Akira.
That's hilarious. I've had this thing for a decade and never noticed. ;D  Shows you how much I play VF...

I never meant to imply I didn't want to hear feedback just because I expected it to lean a certain direction.  Otherwise, why post my build?  Yeah, you're right, it's done and I likely won't change anything, but I still welcome feedback.
Quote
I'll just say congrats on getting it all done. Really clean job with wiring too.
Thanks! The mess of wires I had before just kept nagging at me, even when the panel was shut. Definitely happy with the final result.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 03:12:59 pm by Vater »

lomoverde

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2021, 03:32:30 pm »
Looks cool.  :applaud:

 Do you find your forearms fouling on anything when using flightstick/spinner or trackball ?

I once had an idea to build a pedestal and am still researching the options.

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2021, 04:58:19 pm »
Looks cool.  :applaud:

 Do you find your forearms fouling on anything when using flightstick/spinner or trackball ?
Thank you!  I have no issues when using the flightstick and spinner combo. In fact it's a perfect setup for me, it feels right (trying my best to remember playing an original Tron cab). For the record, I'm 5'9", so not terribly tall, and my arms go nowhere near the front 3 joysticks.  Shorter players might.  My daughter's just shy of 4'11", I'll see if she has any issues (she played Tron once and wasn't a fan, lol).

Here are the only issues that have come up so far, and they're pretty minor:

- When playing trackball games, I try to control the trackball with my right hand when possible.  My left hand can occasionally make contact with the red ball-top joystick, but only if I'm getting into it.  I admittedly don't play too many trackball games; Centipede/Millipede and Crystal Castles are among my favorites, and they are setup with either a left hand button or both right and left, so no issues there.  Games like Golden Tee or Bowling that require a hard swipe toward the monitor, that's when things can get a little dicey: I can accidentally hit the red buttons before the trackball, or smash my forearm into the flightstick after the trackball.

- When playing the yellow P1 controls, I have occasionally touched the red ball-top with my right wrist when really getting into a fighting game.  Doesn't affect gameplay at all.

- When playing fighting games using both P1 (yellow) and P2 (blue) controls, I occasionally hit wrong buttons which can be frustrating. That's the downside of having 8 buttons in that particular layout (not to mention trying to remember so many different button layouts the original fighting games used.

When designing the panel, the placement of the flightstick and spinner were tough, but it was even harder to figure out where the red ball-top and the two red buttons should go. I had to consider how close the ball-top would be to both the P1 controls and the trackball.  I originally used the exact distance between center of joystick and center of left button on dedicated Galaga cabinets (6" apart, so the joystick and left button were each 3" from center of the panel), but when I built the mockup it was evident the joystick needed to be just a tad further from the trackball (and I still had a little wiggle room between the P1 controls), so I went with 7" instead (3" each from center).  That half inch actually made a big difference and the trackball feels less crowded.

« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 05:09:19 pm by Vater »

lomoverde

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2021, 03:15:57 pm »
Thanks for the detailed reply  :cheers:

I really want to have a go at a pedestal one day,hopefully this winter. Id always thought reaching forward that extra bit for other controls would lead to trying to plant your elbows for stability.

Of course a mock up prototype is needed but its good to get some first hand feedback.  :cheers:
 

leapinlew

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2021, 08:57:39 am »
Clean work. Haven't seen a control panel like this in years. 224k in Galaga - not bad. I'd say you got some playtime in!

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2021, 10:27:51 am »
Thanks leapinlew.  Although that's an old pic, I've improved on that a bit. My overall best was just shy of one million (though the skill level may have been set to Easy at the time).






DarakuTenshi

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2021, 08:19:49 pm »
Awww.... :(
Virtua Fighter is one of my favorite looking cabs.
My past arcade builds - Click to enlarge and get a closer look

Malenko

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2021, 08:33:08 pm »
Awww.... :(
Virtua Fighter is one of my favorite looking cabs.

To be fair, he didn't destroy the original CP, you can see it in the background.
If you're replying to a troll you are part of the problem.
I also need to follow this advice. Ignore or report, don't reply.

Vater

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Re: Virtua Fighter to Multicade Conversion
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2021, 05:12:13 pm »
Awww.... :(
Virtua Fighter is one of my favorite looking cabs.
Mine too. Cool thing is, I ensured this build could be entirely revertible back to its original form and function, if desired. But if I did that, it would get 100% less use than it does now. 🙂
« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 05:18:02 pm by Vater »