MAME questions

Samnitmar

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So the other day, I got one of these:
1f91201gd3kd3oc3p98cha222ae6d3eb01587.jpg


But I gutted it, taking out the Monitor (Broken), the controls, the top marquee part thing, the light fixture behind it, and all the inside stuff. I'm going to turn it into a MAME Cabinet (Google if you don't know what it is ). I've already got my cpu picked out, my LCD 17" monitor, a 4.1 set up of speakers, and I'm going to get an X-arcade control panel for two for the joysticks and buttons. Its in pretty roughed up shape at the moment (got it from some guy for $50), crap compared to my ideal MAME, so I need help deciding how I'm going to paint it. I also want to know if I should go for the X-Arcade or get an Ipac2 plus all the buttons and joysticks and wiring, and any other suggestions.
 

Myke

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ipac 2 hands down. Xarcade isn't as sturdy quality. How to paint it is up to you. if you want a more even finish I reccomend oil based paint. if you aren't too worried about the finish then a water based paint is fine. Don't use spraycans, brush it on. it may take longer but the finish will look a thousand times better.
nice investment. are you gonna convert it to two player?
 

Samnitmar

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Myke said:
ipac 2 hands down. Xarcade isn't as sturdy quality. How to paint it is up to you. if you want a more even finish I reccomend oil based paint. if you aren't too worried about the finish then a water based paint is fine. Don't use spraycans, brush it on. it may take longer but the finish will look a thousand times better.
nice investment. are you gonna convert it to two player?
Yup. But I was wondering with the Ipac and making my own control panel, what do I need besides the Ipac2, the buttons, joysticks, and a wiring kit?
 

Myke

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oh well that's a good point. depends on if you want to remake the control panel from scratch, or add buttons to it. you will need the tools to drill holes in the cp if you want to install yourself.
I guess the xarcade stick is a good alternative. It's easier I suppose. But how are you going to mount it? are you going to drill a hole in the original cp so it fits in there? or are you just going to lay it on top?

imo any setup I have seen with an xarcade stick fitted in the cp or not, seems to ruin the looks of the cabinet. it's just not as real as a custom made cp. but that's just me.

are you gonna install a trackball? how about spinners? if you want those, you are going to need an optical encoder as well. ultimarc sells the optipac which supports 2 trackballs and two spinners or 4 spinners.

as far as joysticks I would reccomend getting a simple 4 way 8 way switchable stick like a madstick plus or an estick if you are low on cash.

pushbuttons. Most pushbuttons in the market seem to be pretty good. I would stay suzo happ pushbuttons.

I did the math for the stuff I kinda want to get and for a two player with 8 button setup each, 2 4way/8way sticks a trackball and an extra 6 buttons for mainenance, one player, two player, coins, and it was around 200 bux.

you can get the xarcade for like 100 without the trackball I think.
 

Samnitmar

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Myke said:
oh well that's a good point. depends on if you want to remake the control panel from scratch, or add buttons to it. you will need the tools to drill holes in the cp if you want to install yourself.
I guess the xarcade stick is a good alternative. It's easier I suppose. But how are you going to mount it? are you going to drill a hole in the original cp so it fits in there? or are you just going to lay it on top?

imo any setup I have seen with an xarcade stick fitted in the cp or not, seems to ruin the looks of the cabinet. it's just not as real as a custom made cp. but that's just me.

are you gonna install a trackball? how about spinners? if you want those, you are going to need an optical encoder as well. ultimarc sells the optipac which supports 2 trackballs and two spinners or 4 spinners.

as far as joysticks I would reccomend getting a simple 4 way 8 way switchable stick like a madstick plus or an estick if you are low on cash.

pushbuttons. Most pushbuttons in the market seem to be pretty good. I would stay suzo happ pushbuttons.

I did the math for the stuff I kinda want to get and for a two player with 8 button setup each, 2 4way/8way sticks a trackball and an extra 6 buttons for mainenance, one player, two player, coins, and it was around 200 bux.

you can get the xarcade for like 100 without the trackball I think.

At first I wanted to cheap-out and get the X-arcade, but I've read some tutorials and the wiring doesn't look to complex for me, and I think I could probably afford the bigger price for a custom CP. I've kinda decided on 9 buttons per person for two people, two 4 and 8 way joysticks, the Ipac2, a wiring kit, and possibly a USB trackball if I can find one cheap. I think I may have one in my house
tongue.gif
Two more questions I have is how complex would it be to "hack" a keyboard, and what pieces would it replace and would I need anything else in my setup besides the buttons, wiring kit, Ipac2, and .joysticks? I plan on buying all the stuff from Ultimarc. Sorry for all the noob questions ^__^;
 

Myke

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they keyboard hack would replace the Ipac2. However with the keyboard hack you painstakingly have to go through the chip grid to figure out what the best possibilities are without getting ghosting. Ghosting is when you push two or three buttons simultaneously and because of the way the keyboard is gridded out, it triggers a third invisible button that the computer thinks is pushed. I personally say it's easier to do Ipac2. you don't have ghosting, and it has a keyboard passthrough in it which means you don't need to get a keyboard splitter you otherwise would in the keyboard hack. Plus these days you need to find a really old keyboard for it to work, and newer keyboard encoders don't seem to work as well.

ultimarc is a good site, that's where I'm doing all of my window shopping. Groovygamegear.com is also a good site to look at.

something else that might be useful is getting the book "build your own arcade machine".
I got it off of ebay for like 15 bux. It's a huge book that goes well with the build your own arcade controls website. it also has a cd with a bunch of blueprints artwork, control panel layouts etc etc. the book simply goes through everything you need to know. some other research on the internet might be helpfull, but the book also gives you links to go look around for the stuff you are trying to answer. Or you can keep asking questions, I'll try to answer them the best I can. Im in your same shoes right now, trying to figure out a game plan, while at the same time saving up the money to buy all the supplies.

oh and on top of the supplies your mentioned, you are also gonna need a monitor and a computer to hook it all together XD. other than that I can't think of much else. unless you want leds n stuff like that.

goood luck =)
 

Myke

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hey no problem.
I would love to see your progress. keep us updated with pix =).
and if you have any other questions, holler. It's all fresh in my brain because of all the research I have been recently doing.
again good luck!
 

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