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Author Topic: new here, introduction and couple of q's  (Read 1143 times)

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new here, introduction and couple of q's
« on: October 31, 2007, 02:30:41 pm »
first post, kind of overwelming perhaps, sorry for that  :notworthy:

hello all, let me start with a short introduction;

i'm ief, 37 years of age and live in the netherlands.

a couple of weeks ago i was browsing some fleemarket where i foud a snes 'topfighter'
arcade joystick,

it was 15 euro's (well, 25 originaly, got her to go down, bargain huh) and i thought i'd take a shot,
thinking it might be this well sought after piece of history or....guys like u came to mind,
(i had heard about mame and stuff at least.... :) ) and well, naively as i am/ was/ am...i thought i could make a buck or use it myself for my ps2 or whatever.

long story short, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of market for it so i got thinking about what to do with it then, that's were mame kicked in and know, here i am and not only is the topfighter untoughed, sitting in it's box, it's replaced since i now have...........

this: (sorry for the bad pic)

might be nice to put a 'guess that game' in :)

have been reading for weeks now and well, my mind begins to hurt cause of all the options i seem to have so
i thought i'd start a topic here and see if u are able to point me in the right direction.

so, what do i have?

a reasonably ugly cab and if i informed myself well it seems to be a jamma+ one and alltough i find it rather ugly
AND it has no marquee ( sigh) it is kind of growing on me allready and somehow it looks familiar but can't put my finger on where i should have seen it, let alone played.

now for my options, it seems that i can go 2 routes, forget the jamma stuff and arcade monitor and just put a computer in there, i think i only need an ipac or likewise and be on my way, the main downsides to that seems to me that i have to strip the cab and store or sell that (the latter meaning no way back) and i give in on originality
(don't care for that much right now but maybe later on, i will)

the pro's to it will be, litlle hasle software and hardware wise and i could save me some money (wich is kind of an issiue i'm affraid) and by the looks of it this will be better for vertical games as well (?)

after doing some thinking (and some more) i thought, would'n it be possible to take a midle road here, witch would be putting a computer monitor in the thing and use a jpac for the wiring using the jamma connector?
(so if i wanted to use the arcade monitor i'd allready be halfway in a way thus saving me the cost of an ipac and no need to rewire the whole cp)

questions wich come up are:

1) would this be possible at all using the jpac for only the controls?

2) how many controls am i able to use with the jpac alone?

i understood that jamma+ usses more then 3 buttons, on mine 4 seem to be wired and, if i'm right (really not sure)
only 3 are in use. Now i have this litlle conector hanging loose near the game pcb and i wondered if that was meant for the extra functions of jamma+? (be it not for the 2 unwired controls obviously)

bad pic again: :(

  (i think i need 6 player buttons + 8 way stick times 2, 1 and 2 player button, coin reading and perhaps a button (or more) for anything to do with mame.

and then, to finish this TS for now i have some other q's like,

1a) there is a sound amp in my cab and it's situated on a thing where there is also a coin counter and 2 switches, when i switched the 3 way switch i got some test image or something, only in the midle posistion the game would run, am i right and if so, what's it used for?
2a) there also is a red push button on it and i have no clue of why it's there, perhaps any of u lot do? :)
    (it's above the on/off switch)

bad pic 3:


well, hope this was kind of readable and i know i have way more stuff to ask (the software side of things makes me realy scared see :)) but i'll leave it for now and i'll see where i go from here.

tnx in advance and one for the road (not bad as well this time)


since i wrote this up yesterday since i didn't get clearing to post here yet, allready an update;

was browsing the net and stumbled on this: (another bad pic, not mine this time)

it's on my trailer as we speak and after doing some searching i'm pretty sure it's a williams paddle-ball machine, no idear in what shape it is in since it is to dark now, will uncover the thing tomorow...

edit > nope, must be a 1973 midway winner 2 according to this site:

edit2: this is the winner (hehe)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2007, 06:26:27 pm by -ief- »

Spaz Monkey

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Re: new here, introduction and couple of q's
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 12:15:16 am »
Welcome to the hobby!!!  This is a good place to start learning about your cab in general.

For the jamma vs pc, you will want to decide if you want to play lots of games and pay some money for parts, or play one game at a time and pay a lot more.  Which ever option you chose, think about it one more time. 

If you do go PC, the only things you might need/want to buy would be a PC monitor (tube or LCD) and then the ipac.  If you mean get rid of the monitor, transformer and power supply (you should be able to sell those locally with the monitor) you'll have the money to buy the Ipac.

If you go jamma, you would typically just need to buy a new game.  You can save up for that.

I have no experiance with the jpac, but from what I understand, you are correct.  You would keep everything in place, you would just sell the PCB to get the jpac.  That would work for you since the standard jamma controls is either 4 or 5 buttons per player.

Follow the spare wires and see where they go.  If they go to the buttons, they could be the kick harness.

The two buttons on the service panel are probally the service switch and the test buttons.  (I have no idea what the difference is.)

With the software thing, just remember, it's only a computer.


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Re: new here, introduction and couple of q's
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2007, 12:14:51 pm »
tnx for the welcome Spaz,

i think i know what i'm gonne do, just empty the cab (ain't nothing special to begin with), sell or store the jamma stuff and put a computer in there, still have this old p3 900 whitch will do for most of the stuf i want to play anyway me thinks. (defender, donky kong, BAGMAN :), etc etc.)

so, will get me an ipac and see how far i can get.

here's a pic of the new found cab, side by side with his younger brother.

(another bad pic, thing just doesn't like to shoot when litle dark :( )

will put an other thread up for that one with more pics, you'll find it here:


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Re: new here, introduction and couple of q's
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2007, 02:18:27 pm »
Welcome, welcome...

I only started this year myself but it has been a most gratifying hobby.
A couple of comments/suggestions:

1)  Wow, you already have TWO cabs and you're just diving into this?
     Hope they either came cheap or that you have lotsa cash.
      I found that planning out what I wanted, then modifying those over
      time and working on stuff made the most sense.  There was always
      "just one more thing" I had to have to add.

2)  I know you listed some older games, seems like almost any system could
     run those.  I would play around a lot with MAME, especially the newer versions
     and see if you have the hardware to run all that you'll really want to run...
     that way you can tell if you can live with out things like spinners, lightguns, etc.

3)  Sounds like a lot of your questions revolve around what to do w/ exisitng hw in your
      cabs.  As I built mine from ground up, not sure what to tell you there, but it sounds
      like a _tougher_ job to me to retrofit.  I can tell you it was more-or-less easy to get
      a standard tv working with a PC running MAME via a video card with s-video out.
      True, not as good as a true arcade monitor, but my eyes are bad anyways :P

Good luck!  Don't forget to ask opinions if you change your control panel!


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Re: new here, introduction and couple of q's
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 12:01:22 pm »
yes, 2 cabs and that's were it will end as well i think cause the misses thinks so ;)

money comes short here i'm afraid, i paid 125 euro's for the jamma one, incluiding transport, don't know if that is cheap or not but i guess it's pretty normal for a working jamma cab although i have found fully mamed cabs for about that amount ex transport.
the other one was ahm, very cheap :)

i'm now sure what i will do, ditch the jamma stuff + monitor and go for the computer and 19" crt monitor setup first.

now the q is, what encoder to use and somehow i think the minipac will be a nice choice although i find it very hard to get a good understanding of all the differences between encoders :(

as i understand now it will have more then enough controller possibilities and is ready for any eventual trackball or spinner and such.

am i missing something obvious as to why i wouldn't want the minipac?

(first goal is to get it working with the cp as is, then, perhaps lateron i might make me another cp with some more controls)


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Re: new here, introduction and couple of q's
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 12:08:21 pm »
This has already been mentioned, but I'll reiterate it: Keep the Jamma and get a JPAC.
The JPAC serves a few purposes that make it valuable to a jamma cabinet. First, it is your controls interface. It plugs into the keyboard port of your computer. It has extra places for any buttons beyond standard jamma (6 button fighter layouts). It has a signal booster for the arcade monitor, which is necessary for some monitors to get a bright picture without cranking brightness pot on chassis. It also has a neat circuit that blocks all bad monitor frequencies from reaching and damaging the arcade monitor.

The only other thing you really have to do is pick a way to send a 15khz signal to the arcade monitor. This can be done by using an ArcadeVGA card, using soft15khz and an applicable old or new standard video card, or by using and configuring a DOS setup in 15khz output mode.


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Re: new here, introduction and couple of q's
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2007, 12:32:04 pm »
that would ofcoarce be THE way to go but i'm a litlle 'afraid' (not the word i was looking for :)) and that is because:

1) there is a lot more that can get broken, transformers, isolation transformers and not to forget the monitor itself.

2) the monitor is working, be it that it is not using the entire screen, perhaps i can easely fix that with the horizontal adjustment coil but perhaps there's more to it, i lack money and knowledge :(

3) i'm no computer nOOb but all new to mame so if i want to have something working in a reasonable time it will save me a lot of hassle, later on, when i'm more secure with the stuff i can allways go the route u discribe...

nofi meant ofcoarse and tnx for your input but this is how i see it at this moment in time, perhaps i need more persuading  :angel:


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Re: new here, introduction and couple of q's
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2007, 11:14:50 am »
ok, i'll agree, i'm taking things a litlle slow, a well :)

i thought i'd try and make a sort of test setup first so made good use of the topfighter, i hacked a microsoft sidewinder in the thing whitch was a breeze realy (if only i'd had a look first.

circeled around are some nice point to solder to so i wondered, would they...

well, in fact they did and i figured that would make soldering a peace of cake so started messuring all the islands and drw them to paper.
i used an old floppy cable for easy counting, 15 wires in total and starting with red = ground...

only to find out that on the other side of the sidewinder....all soldering points where labeled, doh  : :angel:  :applaud:

anyway, that made life a lot easier still and all i can say, it works as a sharm if only it wasn't for the topfighter build in joystick, it just doesn't feel 'right'
example, when i have to enter my name for high score it seems almost impossible to get it mooving one caracter at a time, not very precise some how but still, this is only for testing purposses.

origignal inside of tf, made everything so that it will be real easy to return to stock if needed, no pic of the thing build in tho  :banghead:

what more did i do, got me a pretty descent (complete) mame setup only to find out my comp isn't doing very well on it, it's a 900 mhz celeron and i hoped it would be ok but well, it isn't, even when i try mame 0.59 it somehow won't cope with even asteroids or something alike, however, the games mentioned above play fine :)

things i encountered and don't get (yet)

put mame32 in my startup folder and when it autostarts on bootup it won't find my roms, flyers and the like (?)

thought i'd be able to play more games given computer specs;
(cel 900, 450 mb mem, gf 4 mx 32mb)

8 way joystick realy sucks at playing 4 way games  ;D

it's realy fun to solder and hack away to find works!


i still have lots to learn  :notworthy: