Mame Arcade Machine:Light and Sound

With the the Mame PC and CP pretty much finished now I thought I’d spend the afternoon getting the marquee light and speakers installed.

Before doing all that though, I need to trace some of the original wiring as there’s a few bits and bobs that I’ll reuse and other parts such as most of the  Jamma harness and power supply needs removing.  Regarding the PSU, it’s fully working although I don’t have a use for myself I’m sure there’s someone on the Jamma+ forum that will find a use for it.

I’ve cut away the old tie wraps from the metal staples securing the original cables in place. Once I know which wires I’ll be reusing plus my own wiring I’ll re affix fresh tie wraps to keep it all nice and tidy again.

…but first we have to make a mess to sort this lot out!

eeek, the Jamma monsters got me!

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I’ve retained the original arcade power switch that’s found on the external back side of the cabinet. I plan to rewire this to the PC power switch allowing me to switch it on without having to remove the cabinets rear panel.

I’ve also found the original alarm button too and although  I won’t be reusing it, it’s quite interesting how it works. Basically, when the rear panel is fitted, the panel presses up against a switch. If a thief tries to remove the back panel (thinking it an easy way to get to the coin box)  the button is released, alarm bells ring and everyone goes mental etc etc.


That’s the wiring sorted out for this stage so time to have a looksee at what’s lurking behind the marquee panel.

I’ve removed the screws that hold the marquee clip in place and gently moved it out of the way as I had no idea the marquee was actually glass…I’d always assumed that most were perspex.

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Like the game board, the marquee assembly is fitted to a single piece of wood that slides out on two guide rails either side of the cabinet. I must say, the makers of this cabinet have made it really easy to get to all the serviceable parts which is why this particular build is becoming most enjoyable…unlike the unfriendly Phoenix cab.

A-ha, the burglar strikes again, someone’s nicked my right speaker 🙂 Actually, looking at the wiring, I think this cabinet  only ever had one speaker.

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Having previously removed the light strip wires from the arcade PSU, and having checked the ratings on the transformer, I attached a regular plug and switched on the mains to test…..nothing. I’m not surprised though after lifting the florescent bulb out and there was definitely a hint of something loose inside.

To the DIY superstore!

Wow, it was super busy here, but as expected because after a late start, spring is finally here, the sun is out and folk are out in force buyinggardening toosl, lawnmowers and patio furniture.  Thankfully, nobody was in the Arcade Machine building section…aka, the light bulb area, so I was able to get in and out before getting stuck at the checkout.

Back to the Man-Cave!

Fingers crossed and hoping that the starter motor wasn’t buggered, I flicked it on…and StiGGy said ‘Let there be light’


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The PC speakers I intend to use are a cheap set from Logitech which I picked up the other day. They’re basic, no frills but the sound quality is surprising good with ample range from top to bottom. I tested these out on my PC running a few Mame games the other day and am very happy with them.



The speakers aren’t going to fit in the small area as is because the plastic casing is quite bulky. Out with a screwdriver and my dremel to crack them open.

It isn’t pretty, but now I can mount them to the speaker grills and have the volume control pointing downwards where I can get at it once I extend the shaft of the potentiometer behind the volume button….well that was my original idea for having external volume control but  I’m finding it just as easy to adjust any game volume on the fly with Mame’s build in menu system. Still, the options there if I want a physical solution.

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With all of the cables temporary wrapped up, I reseated the marquee board back into the cabinet, refitted the glass marquee and clips and finally switched it back on again to see what it looks like.

No too bad at all. Maybe in the future  I’ll replace it with a actual classic game marquee but for the moment I’m really happy with this……

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……although I’ve spotted a few areas (marked) where the marquee paint must have been scratched  from behind as you can see light shining through. An easy fix though.

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So that’s the light and sound sorted and the next bit on my list is getting  the coin mechanism working.

Regarding the screen, I’m currently sourcing a nice curved 19″ PC CRT screen  and may have a lead after speaking to a local lady via  Freecyle who has one up for grabs. Until then, I’ve temporary fitted a TFT screen. …..yes yes I know, TFT screens in arcade machines are a no no, but with scan lines and Mame’s HSLS filtering, it doesn’t look that bad…if you squint a bit 🙂

So with the PC fitted and everything hooked up to test the speakers and controls etc…there’s no way I was going to finish off the day without firing up this bad boy for my very first game test.

MameWAH loaded and ready to Rock!

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Yay, Twin-Stick awesome-ness with Robotron……I may be some time!


4 responses to “Mame Arcade Machine:Light and Sound

  1. Looking real good Stiggy, think this will be the closest I ever get to making one!
    However you never know, keep up the great work sir.


  2. Thanks mate, it sure was a fun afternoon. I hope one day you’ll have your own, be it nanocade, barcade, cocktail or upright.

    Kind regards


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