blc
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:28 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:48 pm

For a long time, I've wanted to build an arcade cabinet to run MAME. It doesn't look like it would be too complicated - provided that all the woodwork is planned properly - but unfortunately my flat (or apartment, for the Americans ;)) doesn't really have the room for a full-sized cabinet. I toyed with the idea of building a bar-top cabinet (http://www.google.co.uk/search.....38;bih=949), but it still may be too big.

I shelved the idea for a while, but the Rasperry Pi may have revived this idea. Provided that I/we/the internet can get MAME running on it, my plan is to build an arcade controller - something like this http://www.clickshop.com/produ.....er/psu910/ (though not as nasty-looking!) - which is also a self-contained MAME machine.

I will buy the joysticks & buttons separately and mount them in a custom-built enclosure (material to be decided, likely wood), which will also house the RasPi and the control interface. I've found plenty of places selling arcade control kits - such as this company http://www.gremlinsolutions.co.uk/. To interface the arcade controls to the RasPi, I plan to use a device called the I-Pac (http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html) (or its cheaper counterpart, the I-Pac VE http://www.ultimarc.com/ipacve.html). It basically maps the arcade controls to keys on a keyboard. They're natively compatible with Linux as they're recognised as a keyboard. They support up to 16 inputs per player and support a maximum of two players (there are actually 17 terminals per player to accommodate a common ground). The difference between the standard and VE I-Pac is that the standard model can have its keymap reprogrammed and it will retain the new keymap once power is disconnected. The VE loses its config every time it's powered down and resets to the default MAME config.

I can then configure a Linux install to boot directly to a joystick/keyboard friendly MAME front end. Plug it into an HDMI or composite TV and off you go :).

The plan initially was to build this as a one-off. But then I had the idea of making this two-player. Initially this involved a second smaller controller with no hardware inside - no I-Pac, no RasPi, just an external port to hook up the second controller to a "master". However it struck me that I should be able to set up this controller so that it can either be a master or a slave. When it's in slave mode, the connections to the arcade controls are routed to an external output port - something like a DB25 mounted on the side of the box. You then hook it up to a controller in the master configuration and the slave controller becomes player two.

To achieve this, the "Player 2" terminals on the I-Pac are hooked up another DB25 port. Therefore each box has two DB25s - one input, one output - and a method of switching to master or slave mode. When I first wrote this out, it came across as very confusing; therefore I knocked up a very quick and very dirty schematic in work:



The idea is that you could have two of these in your house and use them on separate TVs - each controller is fully capable of running MAME and playing games on it's own. If you then want to play with the other person, you flip a toggle switch that puts your controller into Slave mode and then plug it in to the other persons controller - you are player 2, the other person is player 1 and the game is being run by the Rasberry Pi in the other person's controller.

The only issue I could not figure out was how to divert connections from the arcade buttons/joystick. However a helpful member of my regular forum (http://forums.bit-tech.net/sho.....p?t=217219) came up with a simple solution: use the innards of a parallel port switch. They're already wired up for DB25 connections, so they're ideal.

The RasPi isn't going to run some of the more modern 3D-intensive arcade games, but it'll be fine for those older classics. Hopefully it will work on the Model A - there'd be no need for an ethernet connection in this scenario, and I can easily add additional USB ports with a hub.

I will start drawing up some proper plans and a bill of materials, and I'll try and keep this thread up to date. I do want to figure out a better way of switching the controls between the I-Pac and an external port. Using transistors has been suggested, but I'm afraid my electronics knowledge isn't good enough to design that - at least not without some extensive research!

I'd welcome any comments or feedback that anyone has.

asb
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 853
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:16 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:06 pm

Interesting, I'm definitely more of a software guy as my first instinct would be to just network them and do multiplayer with csmame/Kaillera/whatever net-enabled version of Mame is good these days.

blc
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:28 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:18 pm

Quote from asb on September 22, 2011, 20:06
Interesting, I'm definitely more of a software guy as my first instinct would be to just network them and do multiplayer with csmame/Kaillera/whatever net-enabled version of Mame is good these days.

To be honest, I didn't even know that this was possible! :)

Depending on whether there is interest, I may want to sell these to friends or family (probably not for profit though, if it's friends or family - maybe a crate of beer as my profit ;)). Therefore I'd want everything to be as simple as possible - no awkward config or setup, just plug in and go - and this was the first solution that came to mind.

Network-enabled versions of MAME are definitely worth looking into - until I get my hands on the hardware and start prototyping, I don't know how well the parallel port switch solution would work. This probably isn't something I'll be starting soon, at least not until I start pricing up the cost of parts. Most of the parts will be dirt cheap, but unfortunately arcade parts are not: button/joystick kits start at around £60 and even the cheaper I-Pac VE interface is £25. That's £85 on the arcade controls alone, before I even think about wood/plastics, wiring or even the RasPi! :)

I had thought about possibly looking into making these wireless, so that you don't have cables strung between each other's controllers. A RasPi with a small USB WiFi dongle and a network-enabled version of MAME gives a really simple solution..

User avatar
TonyD
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:58 am
Location: Newcastle, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:34 am

wow, another great project. The cool RPi projects are coming thick and fast :)

A custom JAMMA board for the RPi might be the way to do it. Build a JAMMA like board for the RPi to sit on and use the JAMMA connector to mate with the cabinets controls.
Tony

S_Doomfist
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:51 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:52 am

I created my own arcade cabinet using a IPAC mini and I was very impressed how well it worked once I figured out how to wire everthing up. However the IPAC's as mentioned are quite expensive.

blc
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:28 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:00 pm

Quote from TonyD on September 23, 2011, 11:34
wow, another great project. The cool RPi projects are coming thick and fast :)

A custom JAMMA board for the RPi might be the way to do it. Build a JAMMA like board for the RPi to sit on and use the JAMMA connector to mate with the cabinets controls.

Heh, as luck would have it, the same company that produces the I-Pac also produces a board called the J-Pac (http://www.ultimarc.com/jpac.html). It has a plug-in JAMMA interface on one end, a USB output and VGA input on the other. The JAMMA arcade controls are routed through to USB (and subsequently through to a computer) in the same manner as the I-Pac: it's basically a keyboard, preconfigured with the standard MAME keymaps. If you have video card/GPU capable of outputting the correct vertical frequencies (which I don't really understand too much!) then you can also drive a real arcade monitor, as opposed to using a TV, CRT, LCD, etc.

It looks like they'd be a great idea for cabinet conversions - all you'd need to do is take an old arcade cabinet (which has had the game boards removed) and plug the J-Pac into the cabinet's JAMMA connector. No awkward control panel wiring :). There's no reason why you wouldn't be able to do this with a Raspberry Pi, either. You could easily build something akin to a "shield" that has the RasPi mounted below the J-Pac and plugs in to the JAMMA slot as one complete unit. You're not going to be driving a real arcade monitor with a RasPi though - you need an analogue VGA signal, and the RasPi only puts out digital signals.

The only downside to this is the cost: arcade cabinets with intact control panels are not cheap - if you can even find them these days - and the J-Pac itself is significantly more expensive than the I-Pac (£38 and £25 respectively). This is why so many people build their own - it's so much cheaper than trying to use the real thing! :)

Quote from S_Doomfist on September 23, 2011, 11:52
I created my own arcade cabinet using a IPAC mini and I was very impressed how well it worked once I figured out how to wire everthing up. However the IPAC's as mentioned are quite expensive.

I've wanted to do this for a long time, but as my first post mentions, sadly my flat isn't big enough. I'd still love to have a working upright arcade cabinet that's powered by a MAME PC... One can hope, but for now I'll just have to settle for something smaller :).

User avatar
panik
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:29 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:47 pm

Wouldn't something like a Teensy (http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/) also work instead of an I-Pac? They start at $16,- and are very easy to program and use. It's basically a microcontroller that can behave as a USB-HID.

I have been looking at the USB-capable range of Atmel microcontrollers in combination with the LUFA library (http://www.fourwalledcubicle.c.....m/LUFA.php). I soldered up a prototype, which cost me even less than a Teensy (and had more fun in the process).

If you want 2 player action, either plug in a second Teensy/microcontroller in a USB-hub or program a single one to behave as 2 keyboards/joysticks/whatevers. I believe the HID-spec accommodates for this (combinational HID-descriptors). In theory it should work.

Or am I missing something?
Microcontroller addon boards and software for Raspberry Pi A+/B+/Pi2:
- ARMinARM: ARM Cortex-M3 (STM32)
- AVRPi: ATmega32U4 & ATmega328 ("Arduino")
http://www.onandoffables.com

blc
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:28 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:58 pm

There's a few things that would cause some issues with a microcontroller... First there's the potential delay between pressing a button or moving the joystick and the response in MAME. We're only talking about potential delays in the tens or hundreds of milliseconds, but it may still be noticeable; when I'm playing Rock Band on the Xbox 360, I have to calibrate the input to account for the lag on my HDTV - otherwise the action on screen happens around 50-100ms later than when I press something on the controller. It's a tiny delay but it makes the game unplayable. If there were input lag from using a microcontroller, it might make some games requiring quick responses unplayable. The other major problem with it is that I'm not really much of a coder - it'd take me an awful lot of work/research to get it working! About the best I've managed with a microcontroller is this http://pastebin.com/h2Q8Uf3y (it's the code for a little Arduino robotics project I've got going), and that's messy as hell IMO! It certainly sounds like it would work, but I'm not sure it's something I could get working! ;)

The other option for interfacing controls is to use some kind of keyboard encoder - this is what the I-Pac is, but I'll get to why the I-Pac is better - or hack a keyboard. Many other keyboard encoders suffer problems from ghosting or a limit on the number of simultaneous key presses that are registered. If you can imagine a fighting game, you could potentially be making up to 6 key presses at once - four push buttons pressed down and the joystick pushed to a diagonal position (this counts as two keypresses - up & left, for example); many keyboard encoders won't register more than 3 or 4 simultaneous key presses. I don't quite understand ghosting - it's something do with the switching matrix inside a keyboard - but what it essentially means is that if you're pressing more than one key simultaneously, the keyboard encoder sends a key that wasn't actually pressed (e.g. pressing Q, W and S at the same time also "presses" S) - I've found what may be a better explanation here http://arcadecontrols.com/arca.....rdGhosting, but I haven't researched it too much.

From what I've read - or been led to believe - the I-Pac doesn't suffer any of these problems. When I first started looking into this years ago, I spotted the I-Pac and everything I read led me to believe that this was the easiest solution by far. And to be honest, it's not really that expensive - they're £25, which is approximately the same as a Model B RasPi. The most expensive part of this build by far is the arcade controls - the cheapest kit I can find is around £60.

User avatar
panik
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:29 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:58 pm

Thanks blc. I'm definitely not an expert, and you made some good points, but I'm afraid I don't agree with all of them. ;)

Quote from blc on September 23, 2011, 16:58
There's a few things that would cause some issues with a microcontroller... First there's the potential delay between pressing a button or moving the joystick and the response in MAME. We're only talking about potential delays in the tens or hundreds of milliseconds, but it may still be noticeable;

The inputs of a microcontroller can (and ideally should) be triggered by interrupts instead of being polled. Since the I-Pac also contains a microcontroller (just a different one), shouldn't it suffer from the same issues? I think it depends on the firmware in the microcontroller.

Quote from blc on September 23, 2011, 16:58
when I'm playing Rock Band on the Xbox 360, I have to calibrate the input to account for the lag on my HDTV - otherwise the action on screen happens around 50-100ms later than when I press something on the controller. It's a tiny delay but it makes the game unplayable. If there were input lag from using a microcontroller, it might make some games requiring quick responses unplayable.

Ah yes, the delay from the HDTV. That's a big issue. I can't watch blueray movies at a friends house because the audio (through an amplifier) is not in sync with the image. He doesn't see it as a problem, but I find it really annoying. The problem here is with the HDTV, not with the microcontroller or input. An I-Pac would suffer from the same delays in this case. The same happens with the TV-out on an Open Pandora. On my CRT TV it's perfect, on a 42" LCD it lags a lot. It feels like a 100ms delay as you say.

Quote from blc on September 23, 2011, 16:58
The other major problem with it is that I'm not really much of a coder - it'd take me an awful lot of work/research to get it working! About the best I've managed with a microcontroller is this http://pastebin.com/h2Q8Uf3y (it's the code for a little Arduino robotics project I've got going), and that's messy as hell IMO! It certainly sounds like it would work, but I'm not sure it's something I could get working! ;)

The reason I mentioned the Teensy, is because it uses the same IDE and libraries (Wiring) as the Arduino. If you can code an Arduino, you can code for the Teensy. :) The LUFA library requires a bit more knowledge of C, yes. There's also the obdev libraries (http://www.obdev.at/products/v.....index.html). This is a software USB solution that runs on even cheaper microcontrollers (An ATmega88/168 is about $3,-), but also works really well.

Quote from blc on September 23, 2011, 16:58
The other option for interfacing controls is to use some kind of keyboard encoder - this is what the I-Pac is, but I'll get to why the I-Pac is better - or hack a keyboard. Many other keyboard encoders suffer problems from ghosting or a limit on the number of simultaneous key presses that are registered. If you can imagine a fighting game, you could potentially be making up to 6 key presses at once - four push buttons pressed down and the joystick pushed to a diagonal position (this counts as two keypresses - up & left, for example); many keyboard encoders won't register more than 3 or 4 simultaneous key presses. I don't quite understand ghosting - it's something do with the switching matrix inside a keyboard - but what it essentially means is that if you're pressing more than one key simultaneously, the keyboard encoder sends a key that wasn't actually pressed (e.g. pressing Q, W and S at the same time also "presses" S) - I've found what may be a better explanation here http://arcadecontrols.com/arca.....rdGhosting, but I haven't researched it too much.

The keyboardghosting as explained in the link *might* happen because a keyboard is multiplexed. If you have enough inputs on the microcontroller (and there usually are for MAME-controls), you don't need multiplexing so you won't have that problem. The limit on the amount of keypresses is the amount of inputs you have on the microcontroller. Press them all at once, and they'll all register correctly (there are also options for that in the LUFA library if you decide to program it as a keyboard instead of, say, a USB Joystick or GamePad).

Edit: I feel I should mention that I think an I-Pac (or similar), since it's specifically made for this purpose, is obviously the best solution. If only for support. The only reason I'm mentioning the other DIY microcontroller options is because people might want to go cheaper, learn more about it, and may have fun doing it (I know I do :D).
Microcontroller addon boards and software for Raspberry Pi A+/B+/Pi2:
- ARMinARM: ARM Cortex-M3 (STM32)
- AVRPi: ATmega32U4 & ATmega328 ("Arduino")
http://www.onandoffables.com

blc
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:28 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:44 pm

Quote from panik on September 23, 2011, 21:58
Thanks blc. I'm definitely not an expert, and you made some good points, but I'm afraid I don't agree with all of them. :)

If everyone agreed with each other all the time, life would be rather more boring :).

Quote from panik on September 23, 2011, 21:58
The inputs of a microcontroller can (and ideally should) be triggered by interrupts instead of being polled. Since the I-Pac also contains a microcontroller (just a different one), shouldn't it suffer from the same issues? I think it depends on the firmware in the microcontroller.

The reason I mentioned the Teensy, is because it uses the same IDE and libraries (Wiring) as the Arduino. If you can code an Arduino, you can code for the Teensy. :) The LUFA library requires a bit more knowledge of C, yes. There's also the obdev libraries (http://www.obdev.at/products/v.....index.html). This is a software USB solution that runs on even cheaper microcontrollers (An ATmega88/168 is about $3,-), but also works really well.

Indeed, and my concern is not necessarily around the microcontroller itself - more my ability to program it and my laziness! ;) It's certainly worth looking into using a microcontroller instead of the I-Pac; once I get my hands on some arcade parts, I can run some tests with my current Arduino Duemilanove. Though it doesn't support USB HID, I should be able to at least get my head around the concepts by outputting simulated keypresses over serial.

If interrupts are the best way to go, then the Arduino is out of the window as a permanent solution: both the Duemilanove and the Uno only have two interrupt pins. My arcade control panel is going to have at least 14 pins/connections: 4 for the joystick, 6 "fire" buttons (need this many for some beat 'em up games, such as Street Fighter), 1 "coin" button, 1 "start" button and finally another two for special MAME functions (such as bringing up the menu, pausing emulation, etc). Would the Teensy (or similar) support that many interrupts? The I-Pac has 16 different inputs, which are all interrupt driven.

Quote from panik on September 23, 2011, 21:58
Ah yes, the delay from the HDTV. That's a big issue. I can't watch blueray movies at a friends house because the audio (through an amplifier) is not in sync with the image. He doesn't see it as a problem, but I find it really annoying. The problem here is with the HDTV, not with the microcontroller. An I-Pac would suffer from the same delays in this case. The same happens with the TV-out on an Open Pandora. On my CRT TV it's perfect, on a 42" LCD it lags a lot. It feels like a 100ms delay as you say.


Indeed the issue is the TV causing the lag, but I was more trying to illustrate how easy it is for even a small input lag to completely ruin a game. HDTV lag will still likely be an issue, but how bad the effect is will depend entirely on the TV in use... I guess this will be a case of suck it and see.

My setup has all the sound going into the TV; the TV compensates for the video lag and outputs the buffered sound to the amplifier. HDMI audio is a godsend! This doesn't help games, but works a treat for movies. Though so far - aside from Guitar Hero or Rock Band - I've not noticed any significant input lag with this TV...

thesynapseuk
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:21 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:54 pm

I've never done a self-contained MAME cabinet but I did make my own multi-format (i.e. PS3, Xbox360 and PC) arcade quality stick. Here's the link of what I posted after my project:

http://shoryuken.com/forum/ind.....ts.109678/

I basically wanted something that was as good as a Tournament Fightstick (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Offici.....038;sr=8-1), but smaller and worked on anything, not just one console.

Considering that I put lots of rolls of coins inside the body to give it weight and to dampen the sound to give a better quality feel, there would be plenty of room for you to put in a R-Pi and then drill extra holes in the case for the R-Pi outputs. Use some linux versions of MAME (xMAME if memory serves) and have the R-Pi boot straight into it.

The whole arcade stick project cost £80 for everything - original stick/pcb/case, extra top quality parts, tools, paint etc.

Hope this helps. Any questions - ask me.

blc
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:28 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:17 pm

That's a pretty impressive mod - nice work!

Out of interest, where did you get the arcade parts from? I haven't found too many suppliers in the UK... I'm quite keen on making the enclosure myself, but something like that would come in handy for prototyping. I see they're also still available online at a fairly reasonable price...

I've already got QEMU up and running, thanks to this thread http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....#038;t=577, and I've managed to get SDLMame installed from Debian's testing repositories. Bodes well for the real RasPi hardware. Though it segfaults every time I try to run a ROM...! (Emulating inside an emulator? Surely that'll make the universe implode!)

User avatar
panik
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:29 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:34 pm

Quote from blc on September 23, 2011, 22:44
If interrupts are the best way to go, then the Arduino is out of the window as a permanent solution: both the Duemilanove and the Uno only have two interrupt pins. My arcade control panel is going to have at least 14 pins/connections: 4 for the joystick, 6 "fire" buttons (need this many for some beat 'em up games, such as Street Fighter), 1 "coin" button, 1 "start" button and finally another two for special MAME functions (such as bringing up the menu, pausing emulation, etc). Would the Teensy (or similar) support that many interrupts? The I-Pac has 16 different inputs, which are all interrupt driven.

An ATmega328 (the one on the Arduino) has 24 interrupt pins (page 76 in the datasheet). You might need some C-wizardry in the Arduino IDE, but you should be able to use them. The cheapest Teensy ($16,-) has 25, and the more expensive one ($24,-) has 46 I/O's. I'm pretty sure you could use all of those as interrupts, even for the analog inputs.

But even without using interrupts, at 16Mhz you can poll all pins fast enough for it not to be a problem.

The problem with the lag on HDTV's is on a totally different scale. That lag is just HUGE and I can't believe it doesn't annoy the hell out of everyone. When I found that out, I expected riots. I'm disappointed.
Microcontroller addon boards and software for Raspberry Pi A+/B+/Pi2:
- ARMinARM: ARM Cortex-M3 (STM32)
- AVRPi: ATmega32U4 & ATmega328 ("Arduino")
http://www.onandoffables.com

thesynapseuk
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:21 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:40 am

Quote from blc on September 23, 2011, 23:17

Out of interest, where did you get the arcade parts from? I haven't found too many suppliers in the UK... I'm quite keen on making the enclosure myself, but something like that would come in handy for prototyping. I see they're also still available online at a fairly reasonable price...



The parts came from gremlins solutions (http://www.gremlinsolutions.co.uk/), since the postage can get quite high shipping from elsewhere. I live in London so it's all Gremlins, Maplins and B&Q for this project!

I recommend keeping the plastic box because it's a good size - fits in an average sized satchel/record bag, but of course part of the fun is making a new box! I didn't want to stretch it too far - this was the first creative and/or electronics project I'd ever done so didn't want to go too far.

Essentially the reason you spend £30 getting this stick is for the PCB, that's more or less the only reason. It is still unique as far as I know. There were some people at that time looking to sell PCBs by themselves so you may want to dig deeper into the shoryuken forums to look for those vendors to save on cost and/or shipping if you really have no need for the case.

As for the other parts, for reference, the joystick isn't all that horrendous, but the buttons....urrrgghhh.....they were abysmal. You don't 'arf notice the difference between them and the Sanwa parts!

A portable MAME box might be a very cool idea. I've been wanting to make another stick for a while, maybe this is the impetus for a new project....

thesynapseuk
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:21 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:43 am

Incidentally, considering the solution I've posted above, I'm not sure why anyone would want to use any other kind of input method. The PCB inside this Paewang/Datel stick is multi-format and is purpose made and reasonably cheap for what it offers (and certainly cheaper than some of the quotes given on other equipment above). It connects via USB so that shouldn't be a problem interfacing with the R-Pi and you can just hide the R-Pi in the case and put extra ports on the outside for mouse and keyboard when you want to use it for non-game functions/adapt the MAME setup. Am I missing something?

User avatar
panik
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:29 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:46 pm

Different strokes for different folks.
Every option has pros and cons. By discussing it, everyone can make a better educated decision for themselves. That's a good thing :D
Microcontroller addon boards and software for Raspberry Pi A+/B+/Pi2:
- ARMinARM: ARM Cortex-M3 (STM32)
- AVRPi: ATmega32U4 & ATmega328 ("Arduino")
http://www.onandoffables.com

mrv321
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:00 am

Your thinking inside the box, time to think inside the controller, a old XBOX controller to be exact.

Get MAME+Other emultors and ROMS, load them onto the SD card.

Mount the rasberry pi into an old xbox controller with a recharchable battery, conver the buttons and anologue stick into USB. Have the HDMi out for the TV, and a spare USB port for co-op/multiplayer.

Handheld emulator action.

batjac
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:00 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:47 am

I've wanted to do this for a long time, but as my first post mentions, sadly my flat isn't big enough. I'd still love to have a working upright arcade cabinet that's powered by a MAME PC... One can hope, but for now I'll just have to settle for something smaller :).

I remember last year I was looking at MAME bartops, and I saw someone who had made a neat folding bartop. I can't seem to find it now, but the person put up plans for how he built it. Unfolded, it's standard bartop size. Folded it's about the size of a larger laptop case. Maybe if you look around you'll find it. When I get home tonight I'll see if I have it in my MAME links.

edit: Here's the page:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.co.....ic=84113.0

toxibunny
Posts: 1382
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:21 pm

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:25 pm

what sort of things could you run on ARM MAME with a 700MHZ proc nowadays?
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

QuantumLeaper
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:52 pm

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:53 am

I use an IPac2 with my P4 computer that runs Mame and other emulators. I have never had an issue with the Ipac2 which I have used for a few years. I have build a number of controllers for the IPac2, including a Defender and Asteroids controls, I have one I want to build for Battlezone which will be made from an old controller I got from a Coleco Combat console. I have never used a teensy for controlling arcade parts, but I have been thinking of getting for so I can connect a SNES controller to my computer. I do recycle parts from other things a lot so I can build my controls.

I know the IPacs are expensive but it was worth it, I have never had any problems with it over the years, and I would buy one again over other solutions out there.

@thesynapse-uk, The Current Mame version that runs on Linux would be SDLMAME. XMAME has been dead for a long time.

@toxibunny, are you one those people who still believe in the MHz myth? We won't know what Mame can run at full speed until we have it compiled and running on Rpi. Either way as long as it plays the games from the 80s, I will be happy.

User avatar
Jessie
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:40 pm
Location: C/S CO USA

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:52 am

I bet with some optimising you could run some 90s games on it as well. If the Open Pandora can run Neo Geo games at full speed with an older ARM core at 600 Mhz, then I am sure we are in good shape for some quality emulation. I would like to make a dedicated box with Cabrio ( or something like it or Hyperspin) as the front end so that it could all be navigated with the joystick.

toxibunny
Posts: 1382
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:21 pm

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:26 pm

Quote from QuantumLeaper on November 21, 2011, 03:53
@toxibunny, are you one those people who still believe in the MHz myth?

MHz EXISTS! :@
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

blc
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:28 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:51 pm

Whoops, sorry, it appears that I let this thread slide a little - apologies for the complete lack of replies!

Quote from thesynapseuk on September 24, 2011, 11:40
Quote from blc on September 23, 2011, 23:17

Out of interest, where did you get the arcade parts from? I haven't found too many suppliers in the UK... I'm quite keen on making the enclosure myself, but something like that would come in handy for prototyping. I see they're also still available online at a fairly reasonable price...



The parts came from gremlins solutions (http://www.gremlinsolutions.co.uk/), since the postage can get quite high shipping from elsewhere. I live in London so it's all Gremlins, Maplins and B&Q for this project!

I found Gremlin Solutions a while ago, and haven't managed to find any others at reasonable prices; good to see some actual testimonials, I was afraid that they might turn out to be useless!

Quote from mrv321 on September 26, 2011, 02:00
Your thinking inside the box, time to think inside the controller, a old XBOX controller to be exact.

It's a neat idea, but I doubt there's room inside one of those controllers; even the old "fat" controllers may be too tight inside. Especially if you want to cram in a portable power source capable of delivering decent battery life... You can see disassembly pics of the original "S" controller here: http://www.tweak3d.net/article.....rs/2.shtml.

Quote from toxibunny on November 20, 2011, 23:25
what sort of things could you run on ARM MAME with a 700MHZ proc nowadays?


You'd be surprised. Most of the older games - from the 80's and early 90's - don't need much horsepower at all. Bear in mind also that you'd be talking about a barebones Linux environment that would only ever run a copy of MAME. As others have said though, I guess we'll have to wait and see what the performance is like when the boards are released (which is getting tantalisingly close!)

HenryG
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:15 pm

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:18 pm

Quote from Jessie on November 21, 2011, 05:52
If the Open Pandora can run Neo Geo games at full speed with an older ARM core at 600 Mhz, then I am sure we are in good shape for some quality emulation.

Open Pandora processor is ARM Cortex-A8, so it is more powerful than the ARM11 processor in RaspBerry Pi.

User avatar
scep
Posts: 1062
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:53 am

Re: Self-Contained MAME Machine

Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:09 pm

Excellent idea. Mine's going in this panel I made a few years ago. Instant portable arcade :D:


Loads of room underneath for the Raspi and cables (retractable HDMI?):

Return to “Gaming”