My Arcade Cab

For my 40 years, my wife offered me my childhood dream: an arcade Cab. The same kind as those, kid, I admired in the cafes or at "La Boussole" in Albi. I decided to transform it into MAME Cab to compile all the games, from the Amstrad CPC to the Dreamcast that marked my course as a young player.



Bought second-hand, it served in fairgrounds. Its previous owner changed its defective screen by converting an old Philips CRT TV 21 '(21PT4420 / 01) and deactivated the coin door which was in francs. It's wired JAMMA and I bought it with a generic 19in1 card (gzdldm-19).


I used my previous PC from the end-2000s with a new ATI Video Card.
- Asus Tek P5K
- Core2Duo E6750
- 4Go DDR2
- 500Go SATA HD
- Buid In AUdio
- Radeon HD 7850 2GO(VTX)


I built a small wooden chassis to lay the motherboard and slide it flat in the cab. I do not use the original power supply but an additional conventional PC power supply.


To turn on the cab, there are two actions to do: the general power supply (underneath) and turn on the PC thanks to a push button (white ... the 2nd is for reset).


To convert the PC to JAMMA, I use a ULTIMARC J-PACK (Old version).
The video signal is therefore made in VGA, the keyboard in PS/2 and for the sound, I tinkered a cable Jack on one side and wire directly to screw connectors on the J-Pack.
As OS, I thing to use Windows 7 with Attract Mode to launch the games.
I made 2 partitions : the OS in C: and the emualtors in D:


My screen is in Arcade format in 15Khz, so Bios or Windows does not know native way to use it. Calamity CRT Emudriver must be installed. With a card GCN (HD 7xxx&+) and version 2.0, it is a breeze to install!


The desktop resolution must be 640x480, I auto login.
I use a shortcut in the Start folder to launch a batch go.bat. This batch use nircmd to run Atrract Mode and set the default folder.


Many greats Attract Mode themes exists but I choose create mine.
I configure emulators with the .cfg files in emulators folder. For my theme, I must set the marquee and snap artwork folders.
I set the emulators list in the attract.cfg file
Than the gamelist with csv text files in the romlists folder.



A CRT screen can not display high resolutions however it is perfect for the emulation of old computers or arcade games in low resolutions that today no longer exist.
The emudrivers & switchres, included in Groovymame are perfect to play game with the original resolution.
I use, as soon as possible, groovymame as emulator (Arcade, Amstrad, Megadrive, PCengine) : in addition to the native resolution, all the keys are configured out of the box for the J-PAC and the buttons of the cab.



MAME is very flexible, including for the emulation of old computers and it is quite easy to launch commands or to map keys. I described an example with the Amstrad CPC here.



For other systems, it should be quite laborious.
This is the case for NullDC (Dreamcast) or VisualBoy Advance (GBA), but overall it is possible to use a bit of trick and tools like autohotkey or juggling winipac configurations, the tool Ultimarc mapping for the J-Pack.

But I can not get emulators to work properly at the moment like fs-UAE or Super Model 3.