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Author Topic: Need some help and suggestions for project.  (Read 509 times)

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Need some help and suggestions for project.
« on: May 25, 2006, 01:32:18 am »
I was wondering if anybody can give me some help or tips on what I'm trying to do.  I have some experiences with putting together an arcade machine before but that was quite a few years ago so I'm pretty much back to being a newbie.  I've always wanted to put together a mame cab after seeing what some people have accomplished but I always thought I needed to put in a tv or pc monitor and I didn't want to destroy a working jamma cab to do it.  Now I see that it is possible with a standard res arcade monitor I want to give it a shot. 

I've tried reading up on how to accomplish what I want to do but I'm seeing a couple of contradicting tips.  So I figured I would just list what I'm trying to accomplish and maybe get some suggestions. 

First is what I have to work with.  I have an old Street Fighter II CE Arcade JAMMA Cab that is in working condition.  I currently have a CPS3 running Street Fighter III in there but I also have neo geo 1 slot and other game boards that I occasionally swap in.  I also have a PIII 800 with 512mb memory, 20GB Hard Drive, Geforce2 MX, and a soundblaster card.  I'm planning on getting a J-Pac to connect the pc to the Jamma harness.  Anyone know if I buy the USB J-Pac if I would be able to still use it in DOS if I decide to go that route?  I've thought about getting the AdvanceVGA card but I just can't justify spending that much money on this.

What I want is to, as cheaply as possible, connect the pc to the arcade cab and be able to run mame as the highest priority.  The games that I want to be able to play are mostly 2d Fighting games like the CPS2 and Neo Geo games and anything older.  Being able to run Daphne as well would be a big plus and being able to run console emulators like genesis and snes would be great but no big deal if I am unable to.  Another big plus would be able to network the pc so that I can update and configure it through file sharing and vnc.

For an OS I was first thinking DOS would be perfect since fast boot and not having to shutdown, not to mention less OS resources wasted, but not being to able to network and unable to use daphne is a big loss.  Also when I first decided on DOS I was going to use ArcadeOS but it hasn't been updated in nearly 2 years so it seems if I want to be able to use an updated mame I have to use a windows OS.

So if I don't go DOS I was thinking Win XP or 98SE.  I'm leaning toward Win XP just because it feels a lot more stable in my experience.  I know it uses more resources but I can tweak it down and I feel it's worth it for the added stability.

As for putting it all together, I was wondering if there was a way I could have it so that I could still easily swap the pc with a jamma board.  The reason I ask this is that on the ultimarc website it says that I should remove the powersupply when using the jpac as some powersupplies will burn out if run without load.  This wouldn't be that big a deal but I would hate not being able to play SFIII anymore and it seems it will likely never be emulated or so I've read a long time ago.

Now for the software.  I haven't gone much into it yet but from what I have read it seems that Mamewah or Advancemame is what I will need to be able to play mame on an arcade monitor.  I would love to hear suggestions on which I should use.  I've also read that powerstrip would be able to allow me to see windows on an arcade monitor, but I don't feel that I really need it since I plan to do all my updating and configuring through VNC and since the J-pac has protection built in I don't ever have to worry about bad signals causing harm to my arcade monitor.  So if that's the case would I even need to bother with powerstrip?

That's pretty much what I have planned so far.  Sorry this was long but I wanted to get as much info down as possible.  If anyone has any suggestions I would be GREATLY appreciate them.  Thanks!