MAME Cabinets

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We get defunct cabinets from PlayerTwo. We then gut them (except for the parts we can use) and attach them to a PC running MAME. We then use them either for the space or for fund raising. This page documents the creation of these cabinets plus side projects that spark from them.

PM: Craig

Action Items

Items left to be done:

  • Setup PC and Monitor
  • Install OS and Menu system w/ at least one test ROM image
  • Once everything is tested out secure it to the cabinet so it won't move during transport
  • Finalize installation (clean, finalize roms, bootup artwork, etc)

Using Heat Gun to Remove stickers

Parts List

This is a small list of what is needed. We work with PlayerTwo to get arcade cabinets. He gets used cabinets and strips out things like the guns, coin doors, monitors, etc. What is left is the base cabinet and the JAMMA harness. We then further strip the paint and control panels in preparation to build it into our own custom MAME cabinet.

  • Cabinet - See what PlayerTwo has in storage
    • To Refurbish You will need some extra tools
    • Heat Gun to take off the stickers (Cheap one ~$20 at Home Depot is what we are using now0
    • Paint Stripper like 3M Saver Stripper
    • Bumper Sticker Remover like Sticker Shock from AutoZone
    • Black flat spray paint for the sides and the controller
  • JAMMA Harness (Usually with the cabinet)
  • J-PAC ~$60. Board (if no JAMMA harnest could use I-PAC)
  • Monitor/CRT - We use one of our MANY spare CRT monitors at the space
  • Custom Graphics (Marquee, Side Panel Art & Controller)
  • Buttons - We have tons of spares but sometimes we like to add LEDs (cheap) Could be ~$2/button
  • 8-way Joysticks - ~$10/ea
  • At least a P-II computer system. We have tons in stock.


Price per Refurb

This does not count supplies tools (Heat Gun, Paint, Stripper, etc.)

  • J-Pac ~$60
  • Custom Art ~$120 (With side art) ~$60 w/o
  • 2 8-way Joysticks ~$20
  • Particle board ~$5
  • Matte Board ??
  • Hinges, fasteners, etc ??

Minimum cost to flip: ~$200

Hive13 Cabinet

This is the main cabinet that lives at the Hive. Work in Progress

Hive13 Cabinet

Raffle Cabinets

These are donation cabinets that are used for fund raisers. This come with a standard set of roms and a public, well tested menu selection system.

Raffle Cabinet


Applying the Control Panel Sticker

How to apply control panel sticker

To apply the Control Panel sticker you roll back about 2 inches from the top of the sticker. Line it up and then press down. I then used a credit card to rub the air out of the sticker. After I was satisfied that it flat I reached underneath and pulled another two inches down and repeated rubbing out the air. Continue to do this until the whole control panel is covered. Then take a razor or an exacto knife and cut off any extra slack at the end and also the indented corners. The next step is to cut holes for your buttons and joystick.

Cutting out the button holes

Button Layout

From the back use an exacto knife. Wherever you want to put a button cut an 'X' in that hole. Some people just fold the ends back but I don't like that. So what I do is I use the exacto to start a cut along the circle. Then pull up on in against the metal. It should peel around the circle part making a much cleaner hole. Next push the button through the hole from the bottom and secure it with the black nut.

Installing the Joysticks

First you need to make a hole. This depends on where you want to put the joystick and your current control panel. For this model I had a choice of making it one player and putting it in the middle (easiest but I wanted two players). In order to do two players I have to use the trackball holes. Do NOT cut out the whole trackball hole. Instead use a nut from the button to mark the size of a button (see pictures) then just cut that part out.

The joysticks from JAPPS were not the easiest to figure out. Plus I couldn't take a picture because my hands were full trying to hold all the pieces together. But a verbal description of the order is as follows:

  1. Joystick Rod
  2. Black Disc
  3. Small back cylinder (use a the bigger one for a wood cabinet)
  4. Feed through the cabinets cut hole
  5. Into the main switch harness
  6. Press the 8-way actuator down onto the spring
  7. WHILE pressing down put the c-shaped clamp onto the SECOND notch in the rod (<== This is the tricky part)

Wiring the JAMMA Harness

Here is the JAMMA harness layout

JAMMA Connector
Component Side Solder Side
Ground 1 A Ground
Ground 2 B Ground
+5 Volts 3 C +5 Volts
+5 Volts 4 D +5 Volts
-5 Volts 5 E -5 Volts
+12 Volts 6 F +12 Volts
Key 7 H Key
Coin Counter 1 8 J Coin Counter 2
Coin Lockout 9 K Coin Lockout
Speaker+ 10 L Speaker-
11 M
Red 12 N Green
Blue 13 P Sync
Video Ground 14 R Service Switch
Test 15 S Tilt
Coin Switch 1 16 T Coin Switch 2
1 Player Start 17 U 2 Player Start
1 Player Up 18 V 2 Player Up
1 Player Down 19 W 2 Player Down
1 Player Left 20 X 2 Player Left
1 Player Right 21 Y 2 Player Right
1 Player Button 22 Z 2 Player Button
1 Player Button 23 a 2 Player Button
1 Player Button 24 b 2 Player Button
25 c
26 d
Ground 27 e Ground
Ground 28 f Ground

You need to wire the buttons based on the connector layout. Also for mine I needed to make the ground connectors...

Redo of the buttons

After some discussion we decided it would be better to make Player1 and Player2 controls support both right and left handle people. To do this we will have a mirrored display of buttons that are wired together. What was originally going to be the "insert coin" buttons to the left will now be moved below the control panel where the gun holes were.

Final button layout

Wire up the buttons

Ok, back to wiring. The JAMMA harness has two sides, Component and Soldering (See above) Each side is bundled. Look at the switches you are using. The top connector is ground the other two will represent the state of the switch. One of the connectors will be the equivalent of "Button Down" the other is "Button Up". You probably want the button down functionality (when pressed) For mine this is the top connector. Just connect them like the diagram above shows. You will notice that if the line on the Component side is green then on the Solder side it will be white/green. Also note that the joystick switches are opposite... meaning that if you press UP on the joystick it actually hits the bottom switch...get it?

I didn't have a ground harness so I had to make my own. Just chain a bunch of 22 gauge cable to all the top connectors and connect it to ground.

Wires w/o Ground Wires w/ custom ground connectors

I still have to make splitters so both the left and right handle switches work...

Add Insert Coin Buttons

I decided to move the "Insert Coin" buttons to where the gun holsters used to be. The buttons almost perfectly fit. I just want to cover up the area around them. To do that I purchased some rubber washers.

Rubber Washer

Then Cut an X in the washer leaving a small area around the edge...1/4 inch or so. Then push the button through the X. After the button is all the way in, use the Razor th trim a circle around the edges.

Push button through washer Trim edge of washer Final Look of Insert Coin button

Gallery Pics