Prepping another MAME cabinet PC

A busy week at work so I’ve not had chance to post a lot since coming back from Play:Expo but one thing I have been working on is building up a suitable PC for a MAME arcade cabinet at the Retro Computer Museum.

We started this a few weeks ago (see previous post

and it’s pretty much ready for installation in to the cab, configure the ipac/controls and give it play test (lots!). I’m heading down to the museum this morning with all the relevant bits so hopefully myself and Jim should have this completed today.

Also, I’ve been given a rather nice HP TFT monitor from my work collegue, which has got a really nice pivoting stand allowing the screen to rotate almost 360 degrees including all the way back so it practically lies flat (great for Visual Pinball). As the Mame cab will feature a vertical mounted monitor, this particular TFT has been a great help this week as I’ve been able to setup and test the MAME frontend in the correct orientation at home. My thanks to Savi for this great monitor!

A quick test at work soon turned into a lunchtime competition 🙂


Back home, the PC is built and although is of modest specification (P4 2ghz/1Gb) its more than enough to play all vertical games including newer stuff like Do Don Pachi schmups. I’m using an older version of Mame, one i usually use because its good for compatibility and had speed because its prior to all that 3d accelerated changes.The version I’m using is 0.89

For the MAME frontend, I’m using MALA. I’ve always been a fan of MameWAH which is usually my weapon of choice for a simple menu/snapshot/marque frontend. However, it can be a bit if a pain to setup if you haven’t used it for a while as you forget the config file format. MALA is almost similar but has a nice setup GUI as well as command line and I find that setting up custom graphical layouts and game lists are much easier as MALA is equipped with tools to help with this.

The PC is pretty much done and ready for installation into to the cabinet today. I’ve still got a few duplicate/clone roms to remove from the game list and there’s a few that have either missing snapshots and/or marque pictures but that can be sorted out whilst I’m at the museum. I’m not sure if Jim has used the standard Mame controls for the iPac interface for the joystick/buttons but again, I can always adjust them to suit the frontend when I get there.

One final play test last night.


Right, I better get cracking and load up the car and head down to the museum. I’ll be back with more photos soon.


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