The computer consists of: o Asus P3B-F Motherboard * Intel Pentium II – 400 o 64 meg ram * Western Digital 6400 meg drive o Hitachi CDR-7930 cd rom drive * ISA network card And runs this software: o MS-Dos 6.2 * ArcadeOS 2.35 * Mame 3.6 final with about 2000 roms (games) I’ve hacked the mame for: * Pentium II speed enhancements o No more startup screens * No more error messages o Ability to play the banned Neo Geo roms
WOW, making this webpage has been a VERY LONG process. In fact, it has spanned over two decades. You probably aren't interested in the story but I thought I would jot a few details down while I am thinking about it. First of all, I am writing this webpage in Windows Notepad. Why Notepad? Well, I have been using Notepad to create HTML since the early days of HTML. In the 90's my wife and I were one of the first BBS operators and ISPs in the South East US. We built the BBS business and in the mid-90's when WWW first becoming a reality we started an ISP service. Believe it or not, in those early days one of the hardest things we had to do was convince people that the Internet was something they wanted, especially at the whopping cost of $20 per year. It was a hard sell back then and a hard business to run. We could not get a loan for the business when we started up because banks would not give loans to "1-900 Phone Sex Lines" which was what we were classified as. Anyway, as the WWW started to flourish we started offering web hosting services and I wrote all the code in Notepad. One of the early drafts was my MAME cabinet page which you are kind of seeing now. As I am sitting here typing in 2015 this page is a mishmash of pictures and out of date information with the notice that the page is a work in progress and will be completed soon. Well, soon is now here so let's get to it...

Heck, I'm going to leave some dusty 16 year old text here for sentimental reasons. The reference to the slow loading pictures are due to the dial up connection you would have been using when originally viewing the pages:

Welcome to my Mame Cabinet webpage. I am in the initial stages of designing the page so things will look a little rough at first. I will have more details on building the machine very soon. Please click on the links below and hopefully they will take you somewhere .

BEFORE and AFTER shots: (takes a while for these to load)

Early Years:

I was a teenager in the early to mid 80’s when the big video game crazy hit so of course I spent all my quarters at the local arcade as well as spending hours and hours sitting in front of the TV playing on my Atari 2600 and 5200. When I moved to South Carolina in 1986 I got a job at Bally’s Aladins Castle (that was a big arcade chain for those of you who have never heard of it). What a dream job! Not only did I get to play all the games I wanted but I actually got to do a little work on them and play with the settings, etc. Five years later I found myself starting a computer bulletin board which eventually became one of the first internet services in the southeast. After selling the internet service in 1999 I found myself with lots of free time. Yes, I was working a full time job at a chemical company but I was used to working around 100 hours a week when I owned my business. I discovered MAME in July 1998 when I was doing a search on the web for Robotron. I couldn’t believe it! Here was a way I could play all of the games that I had enjoyed so much when I was younger. I started reading everything I could on the web about Mame and even found a few sites by some really crazy guys who spent big money building arcade cabinets to hold their computers. Little did I know I was about to fall head first into the same trap.

Beginning to build the thing:

I purchase a PowerRamp Joystick to use on my computer but I couldn’t play Robotron (which requires two joysticks) with it so I ended up buying a second one. I figured I could just hook the two together but later I found something called a Hotrod Joystick which uses real arcade buttons and joysticks. Only $230, what a bargain (now all I have to do is convince my wife). She didn’t like it too much but I finally got one. That still didn’t satisfy the craving for a real machine so after 6 months of looking (there was absolutely nothing in the Charleston area) I found a machine that would be perfect for my project in Raleigh, NC (a 5 hour trip). It was a jamma cabinet (an old X-Men 4-player with a 25" monitor that had been converted to a 2-player Street Fighter). The seller pulled the SFighter PCB, marquee, etc and sold it to me for $250 (not bad for a big monitor and a good story). Oh, you want the good story – I got to Raleigh and started looking for the guy’s warehouse. When I pulled into his parking lot the first thing I saw was a pacman machine sitting outside. It was covered with snow and sitting in about 3 inches of water and mud. I wish I had my camera with me – there were probably 30 good old machines sitting there in the weather (rain, snow, sun, mud, etc). I couldn’t believe he was just letting these things sit out like that. If I had a big truck I would have loaded all of them up and saved them.






I purchased an old X-Men 4-player with a 25" monitor that had been converted to a 2-player Street Fighter for $250 (the seller pulled the Street Fighter PCB, marquee, etc before I took it home):



I would "hide" it in between the deck and the AC unit. Perhaps I'll build a wall or something to eventually hide everything:



Here’s what I found when I pulled the "skin" off the control panel:



It was pretty trashed! I started pulling the guts out (all boards, wires, coin doors, etc) until I had an empty shell (with the exception of the monitor and the fluorescent light fixture and their wires and switches). Next I started stripping off all the old paint:



I then sanded the sides and did all necessary repairs (there were a lot of rough edges, missing wood on the corners, etc). I also had to fill in the two holes left when I removed the coin doors):



After prepping the cabinet I coated it with contact cement and glued sheets of black formica to the sides, front, and speaker panel (I used a router to cut the edges to fit):



The control panel was just a 4 sided box with a bottom and top. The top was hinged so that the arcade could get to the joysticks, etc. You can see the expensive purple HotRod joystick on the right:






The bottom of my first panel:



I use a Hagstrom KE-72 to interface the control panel to the computer. Here is my config file (joystick.cfg).



Once the 2" pipe hit the water bearing sand it would no longer move down because the sand was absorbing the water and not allowing it to wash out. I used 3/4" pipe inside the 2" pipe to help move my 2" pipe further into the ground. By holding the 3/4" pipe with two water hoses connected to it just slightly lower than the 2" pipe it would blast away just enough of the sand to help the 2" pipe sink a bit. After going through about 3' of the sand I hit hard clay again and pulled my 3/4" pipe up:



After around 12 hours of digging I was just about finished. I had a 3" sleeve 18' into the ground. Inside that I had a 2" pipe 24' into the ground sitting on a clay later with 3' of water bearing sand above it. I glued my 4' long wellpoint (nothing more than PVC with hundreds of slots cut into it to act as a screen) to 20' of 1-1/4" pipe and dropped it into the 2" hole. I pressed down on it a little, trying to sink the point into the clay so it wouldn't move around any. I hooked water to the top of this and started back washing it. I was getting a very small amount of water coming back up and out of the 2" pipe so I was worried that my water flow from the well would not be that great. I started having second thoughts at this point that I would not be able to water the yard with this well. If the sand couldn't absorb my backwash water how could it supply enough water. After backwashing for a few minutes I pulled the 2" pipe up (leaving the 1-1/4" pipe in the hole) and allowed the sand to fall in around the wellpoint.



It turns out my fears were unfounded. After hooking up my checkvalve (you can see it just above the 3" sleeve), filling the pump and pipes with water, and turning everything on I had more than enough water. With one hose hooked up I get about 10 GPM out of this setup and 12 GPM with two hooked up. The pump has a tank with a bladder and a pressure switch. When only running one sprinkler, the pump will run for about 25 seconds (building to 45 psi) and then shut off for 25 seconds (dropping to 20 psi). Since you should not let your pump turn on and off like that I will make sure to always be running more than one sprinkler at a time. When running two sprinklers the pump only builds to 40 psi so it runs continuously. I have not tested anything past that but I'll have some fun playing with it in the weeks to come. I plan on adding some details to this page when construction of my in-ground sprinkler system is built:



My well installation was loosely based on these instructions I found on the Brady site.


This is a list of the stuff I have purchased to build the MAME machine. Some of this stuff was not used so I will have to take it off the list (just haven’t gotten around to it yet). This is by no means the "REAL" cost of building the machine. I did a lot of crazy stuff like spending $300 on a drill press to cut the holes for the buttons/joysticks, spending $300 on a router and bits to trim the formica, etc but there is really no way I could account for these extra costs in the list.

 

$55.98 2 PowerRamp Joystick

$234.90 1 Hotrod Joystick

$140.00 1 New motherboard

$70.00 1 New soundcard

$20.00 1 Combo Mouse Wal-Mart

$9.55 3 Jamma Fingerboards

$22.00 1 Fingerboard and Wire harness

$84.57 1 Hagstrom JP24

$13.64 1 Large delux enclosure

$8.36 4 12 position barrier strip

$125.00 1 Hagstrom KE72

$6.00 1 6 pin DIN connector (keyboard)

$250.00 1 "Jamma Cabinet with 25"" monitor"

$21.00 3 PS Fan

$10.00 2 DB25 Male / Female

$63.59 1 ATI Expert 98

$3.38 1 18 inch fluorescent lightbulb

$10.54 1 3/4 inch birch 2foot by 4 foot

$2.76 2 Fluorescent light starter

$4.17 1 18 inch fluorescent lightbulb

$86.33 2 4x8 formica

$3.38 1 hinge

$32.78 1 plexiglass

$8.46 100 female .187 quick disconnects

$18.44 12 black horizontal push button

$11.13 30 feet of 3/4 inch leather texture t-molding

$3.29 2 white 1 player and 2 player buttons

$50.67 4 super 8 joystick

$3.07 2 white push buttons

$5.55 1 1/16 router bit

$15.05 1 25 degree laminate trim router bit

$15.10 1 router guide

$7.41 1 bondo

$5.91 1 paint scraper and blades

$6.35 1 contact glue

$6.26 1 pictures

$3.15 1 black paint

$4.16 1 pictures

$5.00 1 scrap formica

$10.81 1 24x48 duraplex

$2.92 1 pictures

 

$1,460.66 Total cost so far