I am going to start to compile information on monitors with MAME. this will include information on arcade monitors as well as PC's. The format will be mostly question and answer with isolated facts and trivia thrown in so you can impress girls at bars with your elite knowledge (don't try this as you will remain single longer). Please feel free to contribute information you have that is not posted
BUT LEAVE OPINIONS AND UNCERTAIN FACTS OUT OF IT.
Theres nothing worse than reading an FAQ and people are having a dispute over whats correct. if you see an error--PM me and I will correct it in the thread with the correct information
Thanks!. I have attached a pic showing the parts and their common names.Q: What monitor do i need to run mame?
A: you can use 1 of 3 things, a PC monitor, a genuine arcade monitor or a television.
easiest to use. plugs into your windows or dos (or Linux
) and automatically selects the best fit for the display you are using depending on the game. Does not look genuine without the addition of scanlines or other such software since your monitors ultimate resolution is much higher than an arcade monitors.
At little more tricky to get going but easier with the advent of the ArcadeVGA interface. Without the ArcadeVGA, games are not all correctly displayed in regular mame and a more advanced version of Mame is required, hence advmame. With advmame you can configure all the game resolutions manually for best possible fit into the monitor you are using (i.e. fitting vertical game like Pac-Man into horizontal screen).
More advmame info can be found here: http://advancemame.sourceforge.net/
ArcadeVGA info can be found here: www.ultimarc.com
Help configuring your system to run advmame can be found here: http://www.mame.how.to/
Using a television:
I Used an old ATI 4mb PCI rage 128 card with s-video and RCA out. I plugged in the s-video cable to the tv and configured ATI's settings to recognize the second display. Then on the next bootup it automatically looked and found the tv and used it is a display device (from bios all the way to windows)--very very easy! Between the RCA and S-video, the S-video offered a superior display with better colors and a more solid picture. Windows and mamewah (my frontend) were run at 640x480 and it looked pretty good (arcade monitor still preferred here though
)Q: but which one do I choose?
A: that depends on your time, level of expertise, comfort with electronics, money etc. Only you can decide, and some research on your behalf is in order to see which you feel most comfortable with. Each has their own limitations and difficulties and your specific situation will govern the choice. (too vague? you want someone to think for you? ok--Use an arcade monitor its more authentic and you can brag later how brilliant you are interfacing what is basically a dummed down tv to your pc
)Q:So now you have a monitor, how do you hook it up?
A: Pc Monitor--plug it in as normal.
Arcade monitor will need some special interfacing. On your monitor mainboard (chassis) there will be 6 to 10 pins for input. These are different depending on your monitor and you will need to identify them before continuing (more on that later) but for arguments sake you already know your monitor and what input is supposed to go where. These being RED, GREEN, BLUE, GRD, Horizontal+,Vertical+, Horizontal-, Vertical- and sometimes an additional GND.
Identify these values on your video cable (see here: http://www.ultimarc.com/monfaq.html#monitorcable
) And connect RED to RED, Blue to BLUE etc. All your grounds can be combined into one and connected to a single ground on the monitor chassis. With regards to horizontal and vertical sync, this may be monitor dependent to get it to work. Some require H- and V- from the monitor to be connected to separate H and V lines in your cable and some require them to be connected together.
You may also be required to power the monitor with an isolation transformer--this means you CANNOT just plug your monitor into a wall socket, you need to isolate it from the incoming ac power. if you aren't sure whether you need one or not just ask in the monitor forum,but chances are if it came from an older arcade game you will need one.
Fortunately you are likely not the first to own this monitor so there is help available here or in arcade newsgroups. Just identify your monitor (more on this) and ask how your sync should be connected. At little research and you should find this information without even asking.