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Author Topic: New Mame Arcade Questions  (Read 5302 times)

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faulkkev

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New Mame Arcade Questions
« on: November 22, 2021, 04:41:50 pm »
I have obtained a cabinet that appears to be wired for MAME. I am not sure how old the controller board is, but it is not original to the guantlet legends cabinet.   I just want to get any feedback or ideas, concerns or things that shave off time to figuring this thing out.  I have a pc for the cabinet and am going to add a fan system with thermostat to control heat at some point.   I  hope the attached images help, but it seems ready to go and i just need to load up MAME on the pc and a front end software and then of course solve how all this works.  It seems like everything runs to IPAC and then to PC via hdmi and usb if i recall correctly. From that stand point minus any wire issues should be good to go. I appreciate any help i get just trying to speed up wrapping my head around the IPAC and MAME for dummies part of this. 

Questions:

1. Anything look wrong or outdated with the IPAC card it has or is there something newer better?
2. I wonder how does one control computer as i don't want it on all the time and in the case it will not be reachable.  Are there solutions for that out there.
3. Fan system, am looking at a cabinet setup that uses a thermostat and then figure out how to build a small connector to the existing vents in the arcade has.  The fans are bigger than current inlet/outlets so i figured i would fabricate something to line up. 
4. Does controller board look ok, it has some ps2 options not in use and that led me to believe it has some age on it vs. possible modern options, but if it works then ill leave it. 
5. I will be searching on where one gets the games, have no idea at moment. 


PC i will use in Cabinet:

Win10
12 core amd
32 gig of ram
ssd main drive with OS
Secondary drive for backup of games or for games if i choose 7200 rpm sata. 
Radeon 5500xt video card. 

PC is overkill but i had it laying around so it is serving a purpose. 


javeryh

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2021, 05:11:49 pm »
1. No.  You should be fine. 

2. Wire an extra button to the pins on the motherboard and put it somewhere out of sight but easily reachable (top, rear or inside coin door, etc.).  You should be able to power the entire cabinet on and off with this one button (monitor, speakers, lights, etc.). 

3. I have never needed a fan inside of a cabinet.  If you are that worried about heat, just cut some holes in the back near the top for hot air to escape.

4. It should work fine.

5. Google is your friend.

Zebidee

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2021, 06:39:53 pm »
Sometimes you do need a fan.

If your climate is mostly temperate, cool, dry, then you probably don't need a cab fan. Ventilation holes will likely be enough.

If your location is mostly temperate but gets a really hot summer, you might want to think about a cab fan.

If your climate is tropical, hot, humid, then you really do want a cab fan. You also want to cover your vents and other holes with bug mesh or something else to keep unwanted pests (like insects, common small house geckos, even larger lizards) out. Bug mesh will help dissuade rodents too, but not persistent rodents. If you have rodent problems, try a metal mesh.

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PL1

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2021, 06:52:27 pm »
2. I wonder how does one control computer as i don't want it on all the time and in the case it will not be reachable.  Are there solutions for that out there.
To expand on Javery's answer, wire a momentary button to the motherboard power button pins to control the computer power.

Plug the computer into the control outlet of a "smart power strip".

Power is always applied to the control outlet and when the strip senses that the computer is turned on, power is applied to the switched outlets.

1. Anything look wrong or outdated with the IPAC card it has or is there something newer better?
. . .
4. Does controller board look ok, it has some ps2 options not in use and that led me to believe it has some age on it vs. possible modern options, but if it works then ill leave it. 
The IPac4 (on the right) looks like the current (2015 or newer) version.
- It should be fine.
- If you want to customize the outputs, you can reprogram the board using the WINIPAC utility from the Ultimarc site.



The Optipac (on the left) is a much older optical encoder for the trackball.
- Your pic doesn't show if you have the cable to pass the serial/USB data to the computer from the upper left connector.
- As long as you have that cable and you can connect it to your computer and the trackball still controls the mouse cursor properly, you shouldn't need to replace the Optipac.
- If you do need to replace it, there are a variety of optical encoder options like Optipac, OptiWiz, or "roll-your-own" with an inexpensive Arduino Pro Micro.



5. I will be searching on where one gets the games, have no idea at moment. 
It's easier to find a recent known version ROMset first (no version number=not worth the hassle) then download the corresponding version of MAME, GroovyMAME, MAMEUI, or other flavor of MAME that you want to use.
- The ROMset version and MAME version should match.  i.e. Use MAME v0.229 if you find a v0.229 ROMset.


Scott

javeryh

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2021, 09:40:36 pm »
Sometimes you do need a fan.

If your climate is mostly temperate, cool, dry, then you probably don't need a cab fan. Ventilation holes will likely be enough.

If your location is mostly temperate but gets a really hot summer, you might want to think about a cab fan.

If your climate is tropical, hot, humid, then you really do want a cab fan. You also want to cover your vents and other holes with bug mesh or something else to keep unwanted pests (like insects, common small house geckos, even larger lizards) out. Bug mesh will help dissuade rodents too, but not persistent rodents. If you have rodent problems, try a metal mesh.
Itís like you live on another planet haha.  All good points.  My cabs are in a pest-free temperature controlled basement so I never even think about that stuff!

Zebidee

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2021, 11:26:56 pm »
Itís like you live on another planet haha.  All good points.  My cabs are in a pest-free temperature controlled basement so I never even think about that stuff!

Lol, it does feel like another planet sometimes. I'm a little jelly of your basement.

Seriously though, if you'd ever cleaned out a cab-cum-ratnest you'd probably have a lifetime aversion to them too. I recall getting two such rat-cabs for free (from Wollongong! Hardly tropical or even exotic, though natives from the 'Gong may disagree). Fortunately, after some disgusting work I managed to remove the ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---, get rid of the smell, restore condition to the ratpiss soaked MDF and generally tidy them up, ultimately selling for decent cash. Fourth cab from left in my sig is one of the rat-cabs, but it was worth restoring because it had that original woodgrain *laminate*, not the vinyl stuff we were talking about earlier (was scratched to hell and back when I got it, but I was able to restore it to "as new" standard).

So, if you ever want to restore some of that woodgrain laminate stuff, I have a few tips.

However, rats and lizards are nothing compared to ants. Fortunately I haven't had any ants in my cabs yet, but I have had to clean ant nests out of my original xbox's and some Blue Elf carts. You should wear a mask or something as the formic acid can be overwhelming with too much exposure (I had an allergy reaction first time). Not much you can do to stop ants except think about placement and watch for ant trails.
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faulkkev

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2021, 02:24:43 pm »
thanks for the replies.  Is it implied that roms will come in varying versions and i will have to download a few versions of mame?  I downloaded 237 today and it appears self contained no install needed just move the binaries where i want them and so on. 

PL1

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2021, 03:38:03 pm »
Is it implied that roms will come in varying versions and i will have to download a few versions of mame?  I downloaded 237 today and it appears self contained no install needed just move the binaries where i want them and so on.
When you download MAME from the mamedev.org site here, you get the emulator program code written by the MAME developers, but not the original copyrighted game files written by the game companies like Nintendo, Taito, etc.

The only ROMs you can download from the mamedev.org site are the ones that have been released for free, non-commercial use.
https://www.mamedev.org/roms/

https://www.mamedev.org/about.html
Quote
Purpose

MAME's main purpose is to be a reference to the inner workings of the emulated machines. This is done both for educational purposes and for preservation purposes, in order to prevent historical software from disappearing forever once the hardware it runs on stops working. Of course, in order to preserve the software and demonstrate that the emulated behavior matches the original, you must also be able to actually use the software. This is considered a nice side effect, and is not MAME's primary focus.

It is not our intention to infringe on any copyrights or patents on the original games. All of MAME's source code is either our own or freely available. To operate, the emulator requires images of the original ROMs, CDs, hard disks or other media from the machines, which must be provided by the user. No portions of the original game code are included in the executable.
Quote
Software Image Files

ROM, CD, hard disk and other media images are all copyrighted material. They cannot be distributed without the explicit permission of the copyright holder(s). They are not "abandonware", nor has any of the software supported by MAME passed out of copyright.

MAME is not intended to be used as a tool for mass copyright infringement. Therefore, it is strongly against the authors' wishes to sell, advertise, or link to resources that provide illegal copies of ROM, CD, hard disk or other media images.

You'll need to find a ROMset, but Rule 5 prevents us from helping you find them since they aren't licensed for free distribution.
- You may also need BIOS/driver files, but they are usually included in the ROMset.

For games like Killer Instinct or Dragon's Lair that used hard drives or laser discs, you'll also need the CHD (Compressed Hunks of Data) file(s).
- A full CHD set is huge and a lot of the games aren't supported yet so most of the data in a full set is currently useless.
- Better to find/download the individual CHDs for the games that you want to play.   ;D


Scott

slybunda

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2021, 06:07:56 pm »
Why you want to change the ipac? Does it not work anymore?

Zebidee

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2021, 06:36:34 pm »
If you have hassles getting old IPACs and Optipacs to work, check the Ultimarc website because there are legacy versions of software/drivers available. If you still have issues, contact Andy Warne directly he is usually pretty good with supporting customers and older Ultimarc gear.
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faulkkev

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2021, 07:40:49 pm »
I suspected there were legal reasons on mentioning rom links.  For the reply about replacing the ipac, the answer is I don't if it is ok to use or there isn't something better, which above it appears im fine.   
I have found roms, but i noticed their versions vary, which is fine and some are working, but some ask for other files that aren't in the download.  They are parent folders is a good way to put it.  In this particular case the downloads tells you what parent or other zips you need but they don't seem affiliated.  That is quite frustrating as who knows where they are and i found alot of 197 mame, but newer has been quite sparse. 

i am playing with single downloads at the moment and hope to find a nice collection in one swoop that would be such a time saver, but it is my understanding that you have to setup the buttons for each game so no matter what there will be time spent getting that going.  I was looking at launchbox as the front end as well and probably big box as i want the pc to fire it at boot as this will be  in an arcade.  I am hoping to manage it remotely with remote desktop "not tested yet", but pc has wifi so end game is to not have to open back of arcade or need wifi kb.   

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2021, 08:51:04 pm »
I have found roms, but i noticed their versions vary, which is fine and some are working, but some ask for other files that aren't in the download.  They are parent folders is a good way to put it.  In this particular case the downloads tells you what parent or other zips you need but they don't seem affiliated.
https://choccyhobnob.com/demystifying-mame-roms/

Sounds like you found a "split" set with parent/child ROMs instead of a "merged" set.

With a "split" set:
- The world version of a game (if available) is usually chosen to be the parent ROM.  i.e. Super Pang (World 900914)
- The other versions of that game would be child ROMs.  i.e. Super Buster Bros. (USA 901001) or Super Pang (Japan 901023)

The parent ROM .zip file will have all of the ROM files for that version of the game.
- The game may also need BIOS or CHD files.

A child ROM .zip file will have only the ROM files that are different/changed from the parent .zip file.
- For the unchanged ROMs, the child uses the ones from the parent .zip file.

Two ways you can work around this:

1. Easy way -- put the parent ROM and child ROM in your ROM folder.
- Both games will show up in your game list.

2. Harder way -- copy the ROMs from the parent ROM .zip file to the child ROM .zip file (don't overwrite any with matching filenames) and put that (now "merged" version) ROM .zip file in your ROM folder.
- Only the child game will show up in your game list.

If you still get an error message warning about missing files, it probably needs either a BIOS/driver/device file or a CHD file or you're using a ROMset version that doesn't match your MAME version and something was redumped/renamed/relocated between those release versions.


Scott
« Last Edit: November 23, 2021, 08:53:05 pm by PL1 »

Zebidee

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2021, 08:56:36 pm »
We can't even give you broad hints about where to find roms. There are other places to ask.

Try to get an entire "merged" romset for a specific MAME version, if possible. Otherwise it is just a headache. The download (at least for a total romset) is smaller too. For most intents and purposes, any reasonably recent version of MAME will do. Not much point fussing about whether you have the latest version, as long as the games you want are there.
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JDFan

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2021, 10:39:45 pm »
Try to get an entire "merged" romset for a specific MAME version, if possible.

Quote
Non-Merged ROM romset zips include all the files needed to run that game, including any ROMs from 'parent' romsets. Using Non-merged ROM sets means that every .zip in this collection is complete and can be used stand-alone, with the exception of romsets that require a BIOS file.

Actually prefer the non-merged versions myself -- Since they have copies of all files needed for a specific game inside that games folder and you can move any game you want without worrying about the "parent/child" files since the parent files will be inside the childs zip file so you can move any game and it will work. ( sure the download is a bit larger (since all the parent files are in multiple folders ) but bandwidth and storage space is not really a worry any longer and being able to copy just the games you want without worry makes it worth the extra space) - that way you keep a full non merged set on your backup storage and just move the games you want to the cabinet and don't have to spend time figuring out the parent/child relationships.   
« Last Edit: November 23, 2021, 10:42:55 pm by JDFan »

Zebidee

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2021, 12:33:28 am »
All that is true, and yes disk space isn't the premium it once was.

By the same token, because disk space isn't a premium, downloading a merged romset is still often the easier way to go. Because you don't have to worry about trimming the roms, or even using a rom manager, just copy the whole set over. Because you can also use a rom manager on the merged set to generate non-merged sets as needed, rom manager will handle the parent/child relationships, and you use that to create your smaller subset of roms.
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bobbyb13

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2021, 04:55:11 am »
Machine looks nicely built- good score.

Ultimarc stuff is top notch.  As Zebidee says, ask Andy there directly when necessary.  If you have specific questions he is REALLY good about answering in a helpful manner in the unlikely circumstance that you can't get anyone's attention here for some reason.

And as you will find lots of helpful info from people here, both JDfan and Zebidee are correct.

To begin with though, a merged set is probably easier to manage if you can find one.
Downloading a version of MAME from the dev site which matches whatever roms you have is easy however.

If this is your first experience with a MAME machine you have a long road to travel, but it is quite fun.

What kind of screen is in that cabinet and what level of authenticity are you shooting for?

If you are starting fresh with a new PC and MAME version then you have some stuff to sort out.


And my experience is that PL1 is Yoda's long lost younger brother.

So there you go.
What's that watermelon doing there?

PL1

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2021, 12:19:58 pm »
And my experience is that PL1 is Yoda's long lost younger brother.
:cheers:   :lol

Maybe you're thinking of Goz?   :dunno




Scott

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2021, 12:28:54 pm »
i am new to mame for sure.  I have a full size jamma board multi cade and a family guy pinball machine, so i am a fan per say already just expanding my offerings for the man cave.  I am very computer technical by trade, but that doesn't really help with a lot of this so im pushing through it with google and this forum has been very helpful. 

To answer the question above the cabinet has a lcd monitor of some sort it, but is so tightly bolted in im not messing with it until i have too.  Being authentic isn't a deal for me since the cabinet is a real guantlet legends, but the control board isn't so it is already non authentic in my mind.  I do want games to fire nicely and work with front end software that is about it to make me happy.

I have new questions. 

1.  Some roms fire give weird warning about not being correct but work fine.  Is that just how this works sometimes?
2.  The screen always pops up the frequency and other items when launching a game is that somehow able to be by passed or do you have to hit key in mame to get past it. 
3.  I assume Mame is for arcade and i will have to find other emulators for nintendo or whatever i am seeking.  My end goal is to offer other games from variety of offering even ps2 level if possible i have the hardware to do it i think.
4.  I have a game Metal Slug and for life of me i don't understand where the split bios it wants is found.  Not asking for direct link but when there is a bios like that involved am i over looking something or is it just a feast or famine deal and i have to find it?

PL1

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2021, 02:18:12 pm »
1.  Some roms fire give weird warning about not being correct but work fine.  Is that just how this works sometimes?
If some part of the emulation is flawed, MAMEdevs will flag it and you'll get a warning "nag" screen.

Some of these issues are really obvious and some you might not notice.

2.  The screen always pops up the frequency and other items when launching a game is that somehow able to be by passed or do you have to hit key in mame to get past it. 
Have you generated a mame.ini file yet?

If not, run MAME one time using the -cc (create config) software switch "mame.exe -cc" to generate a mame.ini file.
- If you run "mame.exe -cc" again, it will reset any changes you made to mame.ini back to defaults.

Now that you have a mame.ini file, open it using Notepad.

Scroll 1/3rd of the way down to this section . . .
Code: [Select]
#
# CORE MISC OPTIONS
#
drc                       1
drc_use_c                 0
drc_log_uml               0
drc_log_native            0
bios                     
cheat                     0
skip_gameinfo             0
. . . and change the skip_gameinfo 0 (disabled) to a 1 (enabled) . . .
Code: [Select]
skip_gameinfo             1
. . . then save and exit.

Next time you run MAME, it should bypass the gameinfo, but still provide performance/deficiency warnings.

If you want to bypass all of the "nag screens", there are people who compile "no-nag" versions HOWEVER you should not even remotely consider looking for a "no-nag" executable until you have every game you could ever even remotely want to play working correctly with the normal executable.
Protip: One of the best ways to get on a MAMEdev's "I hate this :censored: guy" list is to report a game as non-working that is already announced as non-working by a nag screen.   ::)

3.  I assume Mame is for arcade and i will have to find other emulators for nintendo or whatever i am seeking.  My end goal is to offer other games from variety of offering even ps2 level if possible i have the hardware to do it i think.
Ever since MAME and MESS merged in v0.162, MAME supports a number of consoles and other non-arcade electronics, but depending on the console you might want to use a different emulator.

4.  I have a game Metal Slug and for life of me i don't understand where the split bios it wants is found.  Not asking for direct link but when there is a bios like that involved am i over looking something or is it just a feast or famine deal and i have to find it?
To find which ROM/BIOS/driver/CHD files you need for Metal Slug, plug these terms into any search engine.
Code: [Select]
metal slug site:adb.arcadeitalia.netThat will return results from the website http://adb.arcadeitalia.net/.
    or
If you're feeling lucky, substitute the game's ROM filename for "mslug" in this URL.  http://adb.arcadeitalia.net/?mame=mslug

That leads you to http://adb.arcadeitalia.net/dettaglio_mame.php?game_name=mslug.

Scroll down to "Files" and click on "Show Mame required files".
- Select the ROMset version you have.
- If you change versions you might need to hide then show the required files again to get the display to update.
Quote
mslug.zip  26.3 MiB  27,525,120  Rom  -

neogeo.zip  5.00 MiB  5,242,880  Bios  detail

You need neogeo.zip.

If you think one of the files in the .zip is wrong/corrupted, click on  "Show romset files" to see a list of files and CRC/SHA1 hash values.


Scott
« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 02:21:51 pm by PL1 »

faulkkev

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2021, 01:56:12 pm »
thanks for all the help.  If one were to find like 16000 game set next issue is how do you figure out what you want out of that?  Some are pinball and don't work others have various nag screens, which i don't care about if they run.  I am somewhat worried as the download said converted to version 238 but the download said 231.  Most games seem to run but i am not saavy enough yet to know how to look at a file rom set and determine what it is tied to from MAME version.  I do think i have games now so that is such a help to have something to mess with. 

New Questions:

1.  Tons of games there has to be a way to set controls form joysticks and buttons and somehow copy them in vs. setup 1000's of tames one at a time?  If the answer is yes i can script the copy part, but it dawned on me that would be a very tedious task if each game has to be setup one at a time.

javeryh

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2021, 03:22:53 pm »
Tons of games there has to be a way to set controls form joysticks and buttons and somehow copy them in vs. setup 1000's of tames one at a time?  If the answer is yes i can script the copy part, but it dawned on me that would be a very tedious task if each game has to be setup one at a time.

When you run a game, hit Tab on the keyboard.  Input (general) changes settings for all games and Input (this machine) changes settings for the current game you are in.

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2021, 03:33:12 pm »
If one were to find like 16000 game set next issue is how do you figure out what you want out of that?
The All killer, No filler lists are a great starting point for curating your game list.

MAMEdev David Haywood covers some less-known gems in many of his YouTube videos.
https://www.youtube.com/c/mamehaze/videos

I keep a full ROMet in an "mame\roms\archive" sub-folder.
- If I want to try a game, I copy/paste the ROM into "mame\roms\".
- If it sucks, I delete the copy from "mame\roms\" but keep the copy in the archive sub-folder in case I need it later.

i am not saavy enough yet to know how to look at a file rom set and determine what it is tied to from MAME version.
No biggie.  I'm not saavy enough to know how to do that at a glance either.   :lol

You can avoid that pitfall if you download a ROMset that is a known version number (i.e. MAME v0.227, not 16000+ gamez!!!) then download the matching version of MAME, GroovyMAME, MAMEUI, or some other flavor of MAME.   ;)

1.  Tons of games there has to be a way to set controls form joysticks and buttons and somehow copy them in vs. setup 1000's of tames one at a time?
The MAME defaults work great for the vast majority of the games.

Unfortunately, the MAME defaults include these "modifier" keys that can trigger Windows hotkey actions.
  P1B1 = L Ctrl
  P1B2 = L Alt
  P1B4 = L Shift
  P3B1 = R Ctrl
  P3B2 = R Shift

If you've customized your keyboard encoder outputs to remove these modifier keys, you need to change the defaults in MAME to match your encoder outputs.
- Launch MAME.
- Press TAB. (Open menu system)
- Go to "Input (general)"
- Go to "Player 1 controls"
- Remap any controls where you changed the encoder output.
- Do the same for any other encoder outputs that you changed or that are undefined.

That process will set the defaults for any game that does not already have a custom .cfg file in the "mame\cfg\" folder that will override the defaults.

For example, if you changed a setting in Asteroids before you remapped the defaults, there is an "asteroid.cfg" file in the "mame\cfg\" folder.  Either delete that file or remap the controls in the MAME "Input (this Game)" menu.


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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2021, 03:52:14 pm »
will the default key mapping etc work if i have IPAC card to PC.  My board is a 4 player control board even though they don't all have same amount of buttons.  Tow of them have 6 and the outer two have 3 each.  I am not ready yet to map keys still trying to figure out games and to get some other non arcade type games Nin and PS.  My goal is to be able to once done remote into the pc in the cabinet to mess with configs or use a share to move files/roms around. I will then figure out the front end software and auto logon the pc so it should work with the front end configured to fire at start up.

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2021, 04:17:38 pm »
will the default key mapping etc work if i have IPAC card to PC.  My board is a 4 player control board even though they don't all have same amount of buttons.  Tow of them have 6 and the outer two have 3 each.
It will almost work.

There are some overlaps for your current setup between P2B5, P2B6, and P3 joystick up/down. (yellow)

Since MAME's defaults for P2B5 and P2B6 are set to "none", you can remap those two on the IPac and in the "Input (general) -- Player 2 controls" menu to avoid the overlap.
- There's a list of unused keys at the bottom of the image.




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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2021, 10:03:27 pm »
Not sure i 100% follow the diagram yet, ill stare at it more in a day or so after i hook up the pc i added games too.  I have enough games that fire now to offer a cool menu of different flavors/types to feel like im ready to hook it up to the cabinet and into the IPAC.   I do have mame and retroarch running so i suspect i will have to solve mapping for retroarch as well once i wrap my head around it.  My simple logic is basically it is asking as a keyboard on behalf of the buttons and joy sticks.
 My plan is once all done is set an account to auto logon to the pc and fire launchbox bigbox for a nice menu and it will call mame/retroarch depending on games choosen.  I also found buttons underneath the control board so one is wired not sure yet where what it does on IPAC and another is not.  I thought maybe i could wire one to the pc and use it as a on off button since it is out of sight and hidden and this would allow me to turn it on and off very easily.   

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2021, 08:24:46 am »
Not sure i 100% follow the diagram yet, ill stare at it more in a day or so after i hook up the pc i added games too.  I have enough games that fire now to offer a cool menu of different flavors/types to feel like im ready to hook it up to the cabinet and into the IPAC.   I do have mame and retroarch running so i suspect i will have to solve mapping for retroarch as well once i wrap my head around it.  My simple logic is basically it is asking as a keyboard on behalf of the buttons and joy sticks.
 My plan is once all done is set an account to auto logon to the pc and fire launchbox bigbox for a nice menu and it will call mame/retroarch depending on games choosen.  I also found buttons underneath the control board so one is wired not sure yet where what it does on IPAC and another is not.  I thought maybe i could wire one to the pc and use it as a on off button since it is out of sight and hidden and this would allow me to turn it on and off very easily.   


The IPAC has a button that can be programmed to have a "SHIFT" function. While pressed, it changes all the other buttons much like a shift or ctrl button would on a normal keyboard. Typically you would make this button hidden, or at least away from the main control panel, because you won't want to press it accidentally during play. It is likely that one of these buttons under the CP has that SHIFT function.

If it was my cab, I'd program the P1 START button to be "1" normally (start game player 1), and "ESC" when shifted. ESC is "quit game" in MAME and many emulators. So this setup would allow you to easily quit the current game with no risk of accidentally hitting ESC during normal play.

Use the IPAC programming utility from Ultimarc to have a test of the buttons different functions.

EDIT: In addition to SHIFT, some other buttons you might typically hide away from the main control panel are the "PAUSE", "CREDIT" and "TAB" functions. Use the IPAC programming utility to check what they are set to.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 08:28:30 am by Zebidee »
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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2021, 02:03:50 pm »
been sick all last week so i was delayed on moving forward on the setup, trying to get this thing working.  I fixed a wire to a button and got enough of the apps and emulators to work.  I am going to plug it into the cabinet and the IPAC, then run utility and see what it says and how long it takes for me to become confused.  Then ill try to figure out mapping the keyboard and i recall above there were comments about MAME and IPAC overlap, ill try to see if i can run with that.  I have retroarch as well so i wonder if ill have to figure that out.  Basically i have a MAME/Restroarch setup being front ended by launchbox. 

Comment above about track ball and cable.  Not sure if i have a cable or not i know there are wires going to the optical board and it jumps to the ipac.  I did unplug stuff when i moved it so if indeed it had a cable i should have it in the bottom of the cabinet. 

There is a sound card in cabinet and i think i saw speakers way up in cabinet ill jack with that as well when hooking everything up.

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2021, 02:41:51 pm »
i found cable the track ball works like a mouse, but i am feeling quite dumb at moment been looking at the ipac controls.  i have attached what im starting with and will review notes above.  I have not tried to default set the mame controls or retroarch just yet. 

1. How the heck do i wrap my head around what the ipac is telling me?
2. Firmware looks older but i didn't understand the support site so i did not update it.  By not understand i mean it gave warnings so i didn't want to fobar up what i got.  I am not using retropie i did see that noted.


Incase it helps i attached Ipac and just what my controller board looks like.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2021, 02:47:49 pm by faulkkev »

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2021, 07:06:07 pm »
Incase it helps i attached Ipac and just what my controller board looks like.
With a control panel like yours, the player positions are: P3 (yellow)    P1 (blue)    P2 (red)    P4 (green)



Button numbering
P1/P2:  Joy  1  2  3
                    4  5  6

P3/P4:  Joy  1  2  3


How the heck do i wrap my head around what the ipac is telling me?
Think of the IPac as a programmable keyboard where you use the buttons and joysticks to type.

With a keyboard tester program you can see what keystroke is sent when you trigger a particular input.
- If you use Notepad, you can see all of the regular keystrokes, but you'll need to use combos like P1B4 (Left Shift) + P2B1 (a) ==> Shift + a = A to confirm the "modifier" keys (Shift CTRL, ALT) are working as expected.



One thing that does not look right is the key assigned to the P2 Coin (2Coin) input -- right slot on your coin door.
- That is the pin selected in the pulldown menu, and the location of the input is shown by the red box. (lower left of the PCB image)
- Usually that input would be programmed to send a "6" keystroke as the primary (unshifted) output, but it appears that your IPac is set to send "F8" (Decrease frame skipping on the fly) instead.




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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2021, 08:52:34 pm »
Something to keep in mind is that you can reprogram IPACs with custom button mappings from a saved file, to suit the different games and emulators you use, and run executable using the saved mapping as a command line argument. This only take a moment and happens invisibly, in the background, so you'd see no GUI. For example, to load your default MAME settings it might look like this:

C:\program files\winipac\winipac.exe mame.ipc

In some modern FEs this can be a very simple point-click process. So you can setup your front end to reprogram the IPAC both as you load the emulator/game and as you quit (back to default mapping). If you don't use a front end that does what you want, it is very easy to write a simple batch file and/or use a wrapper utility.


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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2021, 09:41:52 pm »
In some modern FEs this can be a very simple point-click process. So you can setup your front end to reprogram the IPAC both as you load the emulator/game and as you quit (back to default mapping).

Which FE do you prefer?

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2021, 10:12:09 pm »
In some modern FEs this can be a very simple point-click process. So you can setup your front end to reprogram the IPAC both as you load the emulator/game and as you quit (back to default mapping).

Which FE do you prefer?
Lol, Iím still using mamewah for my XP based systems, which I like a lot, but is outdated. Will probably use attract-mode for coming win7 upgrade, is on my todo list.

What FE do you use?


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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2021, 01:12:12 am »
I will use a kb tester and notepad tomorrow.  I am not sure i get what top row red, yellow and purple buttons are for or the two black buttons right above the track ball.  I assumed P1-4 buttons are the coin button, but i thought maybe at first the red, yellow and purple were start buttons, but top row would need 4 for that to be correct?  I'm sure this sounds dumb but this is new to me and i have not quite got light bulb affect just yet. 

I guess i won't know until i test kb to see what they are set too. 

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2021, 11:19:56 am »
In some modern FEs this can be a very simple point-click process. So you can setup your front end to reprogram the IPAC both as you load the emulator/game and as you quit (back to default mapping).

Which FE do you prefer?
Lol, Iím still using mamewah for my XP based systems, which I like a lot, but is outdated. Will probably use attract-mode for coming win7 upgrade, is on my todo list.

What FE do you use?


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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2021, 11:28:13 am »
I am not sure i get what top row red, yellow and purple buttons are for or the two black buttons right above the track ball.
Red is probably Exit. (ESC)
Yellow is probably Pause. (P)
Purple might be Menu. (TAB)  If it is, consider reprogramming that input for some other function.
Black buttons might be L/R mouse buttons.

I assumed P1-4 buttons are the coin button
The buttons with the player figures are the P1-P4 Start buttons -- should be keystrokes 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The Coin inputs should be wired to the coin door mech mecroswitches.

I guess i won't know until i test kb to see what they are set too.
That's the smart way to go.

Test everything and see if any inputs need to be reprogrammed.

You may want to print the table of default keystrokes and check each one off (or note if it's odd like having "F8" on 2Coin) as you test it.
- Also check the "shifted functions". (see "installation" tab here)
- I HIGHLY recommend disabling/reprogramming the "P1 Start" + "P1 Joy Right" shifted function combo (TAB)  and any other input that sends the TAB key since that provides MAME menu access to button-mashing kids or drunk friends.   :scared
- Once you've got a good non-overlapping list of what keystrokes your encoder is sending, you can adjust the settings in MAME as needed.


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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2021, 01:22:11 pm »
What FE do you use?

At this point, I am starting back on some MAME projects, I never finished completely.   I bought all the arcade machines, harnesses, IPACs, video cards, used PCs, ROMs etc but never got started on final assembly.  I got side tracked with work and a home remodel so the arcade room took a back seat.  I was looking for suggestions on the best one for ease of use with a GroovyMame, IPAC, CRT build.

I am in a very similar position, was sidetracked for some years after packing up and moving internationally. Been back into it for a while, but have many new real-world distractions and found it difficult to focus on putting together a new cab. Have made new cab shells, repaired old monitors and TVs, repaired/replaced computers, designed & built new transcoders, repaired and rejigged my old cabs wiring, setup updated win7 machines, added new games and music, but have not actually finished off another complete new cab, from start to fin, in recent years.

Anyway, Attract-Mode seems to be a good modern choice for a CRT. I need to re-do and transfer my FE setups from MameWAH as it has too many issues and no advantages in Win7. Is less work than I feel it is, just hard to get my brain back to software mode after spending so much time in hardware and electronics modes. Too many half-finished projects. I'll get there eventually :D

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2021, 05:13:22 pm »
i have setup the mapping basically as provided in the attached image.  The top buttons red = esc, yellow is 5 coin and purple = P or pause left unchanged so far.  I have two hidden buttons underneath the control panel one on each side and one on right is f8 not sure what for.  one on left didn't respond on kb test.  the two black buttons in the middle are mouse right and left click.  i am trying to follow the advice but at times struggle. 

What i have done:

1. Mapped in IPAC and i believe fixed conflict with overlap.
2. Entered MAME and went through the steps to map out all 4 players. 
3.  On p1 and p2 i did the section for right left up down and left up down assuming that was for two play two joystick scenarios. not sure i guessed.
4. I did notice player 4 was mapped backwards  when doing a kb test to player 3 meaning button 1 for player 3 was button 3 for player 4.  So i remapped the button order on ipac seems to have taken.
5. fixed speakers and wiring, now i have both speakers working with sound and volume buttons in cabinet seem to work.

New Issues:
1.  I don't understand the shift key comments.  I saw in ipac there was secondary options to apply shift, but not sure how where to use. 
2.  somewhat confused on coin mappings.   I added 4 coins by selecting top yellow button 4 times and hit two plyer.  It worked so maybe it is ok, but i assumed each player needed a coin button or something similar to the player start button for player 1, 2, 3 and 4 buttons are used.
3.  How do you map in retroarch everything looks like a game controller or pad, do i just replace the pad options with my keys and joy sticks somehow?

also should i update the ipac firmware.  I didn't get clear message on vendor as there were gotcha's listed so i didn't upgrade the firmware to not add new issues.

i appreciate all the help so far it has helped me chug along.  i am getting close i think as i played an arcade game today and it seemed to work, but not knowing the keys used by the game hard to say if it was exact. 
« Last Edit: December 05, 2021, 07:49:24 pm by faulkkev »

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2021, 06:13:48 am »
1.  I don't understand the shift key comments.  I saw in ipac there was secondary options to apply shift, but not sure how where to use. 
Press and hold P1 Start to make the IPac start looking for shifted functions.  It will not send the "1" keystroke right away.
- When you trigger an input with a shifted function before you release P1 Start, it will send the shifted function keystroke instead of the "1".
- If you release P1 Start before you trigger an input with a shifted function, it will send the Primary (non-shifted) "1" keystroke.

For example, if you press/hold P1 Start then push P1 Joystick Right, the default shifted output is TAB. (MAME menu)

2.  somewhat confused on coin mappings.   I added 4 coins by selecting top yellow button 4 times and hit two plyer.  It worked so maybe it is ok, but i assumed each player needed a coin button or something similar to the player start button for player 1, 2, 3 and 4 buttons are used.
If you haven't already done so, you will probably want to re-enable and reprogram the Coin 2 input -- it should be wired to the right coin slot microswitch.
- In WINIPAC, Use the "PIN" pulldown to select "2 COIN".
- Select "Switch" on the right instead of "Disabled".
- Change "Primary" from "F8" to "6".

In most games credits are pooled so it doesn't matter which coin slot you use.

One game that does assign credits according to which coin slot you use is Gauntlet.
- If you press 5 (Coin slot 1), red Warrior gets the health points.
- If you press 6 (Coin slot 2), blue Valkyrie gets the health points.
- If you press 7 (Coin slot 3), yellow Wizard gets the health points.
- If you press 8 (Coin slot 4), green Elf gets the health points.

In this game, you can work around not having 4 coin slots by mapping the four coin inputs in MAME to the four start buttons because player button 1 is "Fire" and player button 2 is "Magic/Start", however it would probably be better to wire the two hidden buttons as Coin 3 and Coin 4 for some of the other 4P games where this workaround will not work.



Here's the (mostly complete, other than The Simpsons) multi-player game list -- see which ones you want.
http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/Multi-Player_Games#4-Player_games

should i update the ipac firmware.
AFAIK there's no need to upgrade the firmware at this time.
- The upper right corner of the WINIPAC screenshot you posted says that you're running v1.33, a keyboard only firmware.
- If you need to do gamepad or xinput, there are firmwares that support those options.


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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2021, 08:24:13 pm »
I did fix this the below. 
- Change "Primary" from "F8" to "6".

I am not sure if have a coin slot 2 either so ill have to chew on that.  Is it correct to assume if my hidden button on left does not return anything on keyboard test it is not configured or not working.  Reason i ask is i wondered how will i know where it goes minus tracing wires if it does not work.

Back to shifted functions do i need them or are their good examples that will give me an ahhh moment or are they hard code for example key 5 with shift enabled with do x.  In ipac i was under the impression a primary key could be set to perform whatever shifted function supported.

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Re: New Mame Arcade Questions
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2021, 09:09:24 pm »
There are a few good reasons to use shifted button functions.

Consider quitting a game. Mostly we do this by pressing ESC. What happens if someone does that accidentally? The game suddenly quits and your gaming session, the whole mood of you afternoon, is ruined. It might not be you playing the game, or you might be playing with friends, so you can't just say "I won't press that button".

Consider now what happens if someone presses the TAB button. It'll bring up a menu of MAME config/setup options. This will confuse most people and interrupt their gameplay. There is a high likelihood that they will accidentally change things like key mappings by mistake. It'll ruin the mood of your gaming session and maybe the whole afternoon.

This means you cannot assign these functions to any button of your control panel. Even so, these ESC and TAB functions are useful, you want to be able to access them easily somehow. So, you make a SHIFT button, (I prefer the term ADMIN), for which the sole function is to change the way the buttons/joysticks work. So, when you press [ADMIN]+[P1_START] it quits the game. When you press [ADMIN]+[P1_JOY-right], it brings up the TAB menu in MAME. And so on.

Generally you want your ADMIN button to be off the main control panel completely. You may even want to hide it. I like to use a black button on a black background, so people that DO see it are not get tempted to press it (e.g. no BIG RED BUTTON issues). You know where it is, you can use it if you need to.

By default, IPACs program [P1 START] as the ADMIN or SHIFT button, and program ESC to [P2_START]. This still creates issues when playing with 2 players simultaneously, especially with coop fighters/beat 'em ups, as there will be time P1 wants to start a new game (they just died) and then P2 suddenly needs to start a new game (they just died as well). OMG, you've just quit the game and the last 30-60 minutes of prior gameplay is down the toilet. Can ruin your mood and the whole afternoon.

I prefer to program the SHIFT or ADMIN function to go with ENTER, as this is not usually used during gameplay but can be very useful to have available.

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