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Author Topic: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6  (Read 11523 times)

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Neverending Project

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Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« on: April 27, 2009, 12:55:08 pm »
Here is a tutorial on making your own JAMMA adapters. When I priced out adapters for my Galaga (Gallag) PCB, they were $15 to $35 each depending on where you shop. The parts listed below are less than $6. Ready made adapters also are not available for every game. It takes a little time, but it is not difficult.

UPDATED NOTE: This tutorial does not consider the changes necessary to convert an AC powered board into the DC switching power supply voltages required for JAMMA cabinets. If you want to convert an AC powered PCB to JAMMA you will need to make the necessary modifications to the power input. This info can be found by searching here, or googling. An example link for Galaxian is given below in this thread.

What you need:
  • JAMMA Finger-board $4
  • Edge connector $2-3
  • Pinouts for your PCB and JAMMA standard
  • Wire (probably 20-24ga)
  • Soldering iron/station
  • Wire strippers
  • Pliers (helpful, not necessary)
  • Time (1-2 hours)


Parts Sources:
I will only list some sources for the first three items, since most likely you will already have the remaining items.
JAMMA Finger-board:
jammaboards.com
therealbobroberts.net
mikesarcade.com
Edge connector (wire soldering tail type):
Find the correct size for your PCB.
jammaboards.com
therealbobroberts.com
mikesarcade.com
lizardlickamusements.com
Pinouts:
This information is widely replicated.
mikesarcade.com
Arcade Pinouts
coinop.org
jammaboards.com
Google

Tutorial
There are several different types of jamma fingerboards. The cheapest boards are usually nothing more than two rows of flat finger traces. I find these more difficult to solder to, especially without the additional use of vises or clamps to help hold the wires flat while you are soldering. For this reason, I chose the following board from jammaboards.com (direct link):


It is inexpensive, has plated through-holes for easy soldering, and is clearly labeled for easy pin identification. Basically you will solder the connector to one edge of the board, use jumper wires to connect from through-hole to through-hole matching up your pinout, and then the other edge will plug into your wire harness.

Step 1
The solder legs on the edge connector are spaced a little wider than the thickness of the fingerboard. Pinching these together will make a tighter fit and facilitate easier soldering.


Using your fingers, gently pinch the legs together so you get a comfortable fit when you slide the fingerboard in between them. The board should stand up on its own like this:


Step 2
Solder the edge connector pins to one side of the fingerboard. You will need to solder both sides of the board.
Note: This tutorial demostrates connecting a 22/44 pin connector to the JAMMA edge which has 28 connections per side. I centered the connector on the board for symmetry, but this will make the pin numbering on the fingerboard not match your pinout sheet. Either take special caution when matching pins, or align your edge connector pin 1 with pin 1 on the fingerboard.

When you're done with step 2 it should look like this:



Step 3
Take your pinout sheet for your PCB and write the pin number of the corresponding JAMMA pin next to each connector. For example, the JAMMA pin numbers for P1 Up, P1 Down, P1 Left and P1 Right,  are 18, 19, 20 and 21. Write these down next to the P1 Up, down left and right for your PCB. Not all JAMMA pins will be used.
Note: If you centered your fingerboard like I did, the pin numbers printed on the fingerboard will not match the pin numbers on your prinoutout. You may need to offset the numbers.
Note: Numbers are used to identify the pins on the "parts" side of the board (the side populated with parts). Letters are used to identify the "solder" side. Certain letters are skipped to avoid confusion with numbers - there no G, I, O or Q.

Step 4
Use short jumper wires to jump each pin on your PCB to the correct JAMMA pin. This is where using the plated through-holes make for easy soldering. I put wires on both sides of the board. I jumpered all the numbered pins on one side, then flipped it over and jumpered all the lettered pins on the other. I cut the wires to length as I went. When you are done, it should look like this:



Step 5
If you have a DMM, test the continuity from each pin on the edge connector to their pad on the JAMMA edge. If you probe inside the edge connector, be careful not to bend the pins. I probed from the solder leg to the edge connector pad.

Step 6
Label your adapter. Note the PCB (Is it PCB-to-JAMMA, or JAMMA-to-PCB?), side of the connector (parts or solder), and pin 1 may be helpful also. I labeled both sides.

That's it!

A couple of other miscellaneous notes.
  • Not all pins on the pinout sheet may be used on your PCB. For example, on my Gallag board the pinout sheet listed P2 controls becuase it shares the same layout as Zig Zag. But my game does not have P2 controls, so these can be safely ignored.
  • Galag is also a special case where there is a video connector separate from the edge connector. These may be soldered to pins on the edge connector (or they may not) in any order. I had to modify my pinout accordingly.
  • Soldering the legs to the fingerboard makes a nice, neat solution, but the solder is not designed for repeated connecting/disconnecting. Take care to grip the fingerboard when you plug/unplug the adapter.
  • Take your time and check your work.
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« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 02:04:11 pm by Neverending Project »

HaRuMaN

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 01:09:43 pm »
Nice work!  :cheers:

Paladin

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 07:33:49 pm »
Great tutorial!

leapinlew

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 07:54:42 pm »
Very Nice!

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 11:31:11 pm »
cool tutorial, but personally for an extra 10 bucks i'm lazy and would rather buy a machine made PCB adaptor, probably beats my wiring skills any day.
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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 02:48:34 am »
Forgive me, I might be tired and missed it entirely.

Not to knock on the tutorial (it's a nice tutorial), but shouldn't care be taken with the voltages here? The one that pops immediately to mind is Pac-Man and the funky voltage requirements. The way I understand it is that most people either modify the board itself or pump the PSU voltage as high as it will go to get the correct voltage down the line. I can just see someone building their own adapter for Pac and burning their next board out when they forget about this little pitfall. :(

Why don't you put this up on the Wiki?

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 11:44:21 am »
Hmmm. I am not familiar with the voltage requirements of Pac-Man. A quick visit of the PCB pinouts didn't show anything out of the ordinary. Do you have any info on it? Maybe I could modify the tutorial, or at least put another note in the beginning.

SirPeale

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 12:12:54 pm »
Pac-Man (and Galaxian, for that matter) both take ~7VAC from the transformer in the cabinet and is rectified to ~5VDC thru diodes on the PCB.

Sometimes people modify their Pac-Man PCBs to accept DC directly so they can use a switcher instead of the transformer.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 02:08:49 pm by SirPeale »

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 12:24:55 pm »
Pac-Man (and Galaxian, for that matter) both take ~7VAC from the transformer in the cabinet and is rectified to ~5VAC thru diodes on the PCB.

Sometimes people modify their Pac-Man PCBs to accept DC directly so they can use a switcher instead of the transformer.

First, did you mean that it is rectified to 5VDC?

Second, where can I find what will be needed to modify my Galaxian PCB to allow use of the switcher voltatges (and hence make it JAMMA compatible)?

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 02:05:53 pm »
Great. I added a note to the top of the tutorial. I would have happily made an adapter for my Galaxian according to the DC pinouts, and wondered when it didn't work.

Now over to my Galaxian restore thread to follow up on this...

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2009, 02:08:09 pm »
First, did you mean that it is rectified to 5VDC?

Oop, yep, I did.  Fixing my post now.

Great. I added a note to the top of the tutorial. I would have happily made an adapter for my Galaxian according to the DC pinouts, and wondered when it didn't work.

You can put DC into it and have it work, even with the diodes in place.

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2009, 02:55:14 pm »

It would still have to be 7vDC, though, yes?  You couldn't feed a raw 5v unless you remove the diodes.

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Re: Tutorial: DIY JAMMA Adapter for $6
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2009, 03:33:59 pm »

It would still have to be 7vDC, though, yes?  You couldn't feed a raw 5v unless you remove the diodes.

Correct.  The diodes would provide a junction drop of ~.5V each. 

You can either remove the diodes altogether and jumper it, or lift one leg and jumper it.