Today’s installation of the PC, monitor and controls went really well. Jim was already at the Retro Computer Museum with the cabinet outside as he wanted to strip the marquee retaining clips for repainting and to respray the monitor bezel.
Touch dry after an hour, Andy brought it back indoors whilst I made a start on on finishing the Mame frontend.
Set up and testing with my new rotating TFT…thanks again Savi, it’s really comes in handy!
Jim and I got the iPac connected to the buttons, joystick and coin door (we thought it would be cool to have Mame register a real coin inserted – this is pretty straight forward, just have the coin door microswitch wired to whatever button you configure in Mame as the ‘coin’ button.
Th Ipac is simply a keyboard encoder designed to emulate a standard PC keyboard, accept instead of using keys, you wire arcade buttons to it instead. With MS Notepad open on the PC, we tested each button and joystick movement in turn to ensure that we’d wired the micro switches correctly and a keystoke was recognised and displayed.
All appeared o.k apart from the contact for ‘right’ on the joystick. This was simply a loose connection on the switch terminal and was soon put right. With the resulkts of our test written down I configured both the frontend navigation and MAME controls to use the Joystick, 3 fire buttons, coin, start and exit buttons.
The PC now placed into the back of the cabinet and connected to a set of test PC speakers (Later on, Jim wired the PC to use the original cabinets speaker). We just need to tidy up some of the wiring in there but for now, we left it as is in case of issues whilst testing.
Will it boot, or burst into flames? – Well, you never know with Windows!
As you can see, there’s a bit of cleanup work to do around the buttons where age has eaten the CP. The rough bit at the bottom will be hidden as there’s a strip of metal that goes here. We’ve removed it so it can be re-chromed.
MALA Frontend loaded and ready for testing….who’s got the 10p pieces?
Stu was straight in there!
Apart from a minor tweak on the coin mechanism, all was working perfectly. Game on!
As homage to the cabinets original arcade game board – Taito Space Chaser, I thought that this would be the first game I loaded.
We’ve still got a bit of work to do on the cabinet such as alterations to our custom Retro Computer Museum marque, amendments to the cabinet T-Molding and little touch up jobs here and there. I also want to strip out some of the duplicates roms I’d previously missed and make the frontend layout graphics much better. All in all though, a great project and a great afternoon.
Left to Right – Myself, And and Jim….Stu behind the camera and probably hoarding all of the 10p coins 🙂