Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by capcomguru »

CPS2 wrote:Why 31khz?? 15Khz look sooo much better. Andy is working on a new ArcadeVGA card.
I did 15khz mame in the past, it was pretty cool. My only gripe was the expensive arcade vga card, which had a HELL of a time syncing to a Nanao MS9-29a. I had to run the 15khz video through my capcom I/O to get teh sync separation going. Lame.

So, this time around, I want easy to use VGA. This way I can literally plug and play. Also, I'm trying to go for the absolute minimum parts. The goal is to have it swappable in and out of the machine just like any other PCB I own.
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NipRing
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by NipRing »

:shock: I'm following this thread very closely, for i too have been mulling over this same situation with my new Blast cab. Please keep updating.

thanks
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CPS2
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by CPS2 »

Trisync Naomi
ArcadeVGA
JVS-PAC

Job done :D
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by invzim »

Regardless of how you do inputs, I'm pretty happy with this setup for 31k (screenshots included):
http://jvspac.kirurg.org/?page=mame"

Mame seems to be a bit bright, so I turn the gamma down on most games - but that's not related to 15/31/arcadevga.
I make and sell cool Arcade stuff, check out https://irkenlabs.com/ - In The Name of Science!
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by capcomguru »

NipRing wrote::shock: I'm following this thread very closely, for i too have been mulling over this same situation with my new Blast cab. Please keep updating.

thanks
You can do either 15khz or 31khz in the blast assuming you have a tri-mode monitor. I just wanted to do JVS mame because its a challange I haven't done yet (15khz mame was easy).
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by capcomguru »

Ok so I got my hands on an ATX connector from a dead PSU. I just need to pick up a motherboard for my 939 processor and I should be ready to rock and roll. I'll post my progress and pics here when I can.


By the way, does anyone have any feedback on Soft15khz?
http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/Cus ... play_modes_(Windows")_-_Soft-15khz

Seems enticing if I can make my JVS mame doin 15khz and 31khz without additional hardware. The blast which will be running vert mame has a tri-mode monitor. The astro 2 which will be running hori mame has a fixed 31khz monitor.
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by cools »

Should be possible. Not tried Soft15k myself but I know MAME is happy enough to pick 15/25/31k modes.
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by capcomguru »

cools wrote:Should be possible. Not tried Soft15k myself but I know MAME is happy enough to pick 15/25/31k modes.
Wait so if I have the front end running in 31khz mode, and have mame set to force 15khz mode, will mame output 15khz? I'm thinking in the blast city scenario where I'm running a tri-synch.
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by cools »

Yeah that'll work no problem.

The monitor will go a bit weird for a second, and you might need to fiddle with the width/height controls, but it'll work.

I don't know if switching modes as regularly as a typical MAME player changes games is healthy for the monitor though, I'd ask a monitor guru about that.
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by capcomguru »

cools wrote:Yeah that'll work no problem.

The monitor will go a bit weird for a second, and you might need to fiddle with the width/height controls, but it'll work.

I don't know if switching modes as regularly as a typical MAME player changes games is healthy for the monitor though, I'd ask a monitor guru about that.
Yeah good point on the frequent switching. Maybe I'll just keep it fixed 31khz to be safe.

I think the monitor would be able to handle it however. When my 246 boots up, it starts in 15khz mode then switches to 31khz. The monitor has no problem making the switch.
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NipRing
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by NipRing »

Hows this panning out? I'm hoping your going to say you've had no problems using a locked in 31khz in MAME. :awe:
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by ckong »

capcomguru wrote:
alien_mame wrote:Mala doesn't support native rotation though which is one of the prerequisites posted above.

Unless your graphics card supports rotation, you're then stuck with AdvMENU which isn't really skinable.

I love it as it's really configurable and you can get it to do practically anything you want.

I highly recommend it.

HTH
Ah you raise a good point. I forgot that the arcade VGA supported desktop rotation, and its not a native function of Windows. I haven't purchased the motherboard yet, but am planing on doing so later this week. I'll be sure to scope out the integrated drivers on the motherboard. If I can't find a good 939 that has desktop rotation integrated with the video chipset, I can always just get a crappy ATI video card. I think all radeons support rotation.

I'll look into AdvMENU, thanks for the tip.
Did you choose a frontend already? If you want one which suits all your specs and more, please take a look at 3D-Arcade. I'm sure it's the best frontend for mame and other console emu's. It is configurable and skinnable beyond your expectations. Just a few specs:

- make your own gamelists with the help of the frontend configurator
- change between horizontal screenview and vertikal screenview with just one push on a button
- change between horizontal gamelists and vertikal gamelists with just one push on a button
- operating the cab with joystick and pushbutton (no need for a mouse or a keyboard)
- add/remove gamest o your favourite gamelist with the push on a button
- background music, on/off switchable with just .....
- be able to walk in a virtual arcade of your choice, filled with 3D models of cabs from your gamelist, with videowalls viewing whatever you like, playing your music from a jukebox
- cycle through your gamelists viewing 3D cab models of the game sin your playlist, showing an AVI of the gameplay in the model 'monitor'
- very extended search function, operated by the buttons on your panel (select games by year, rotation, manufacturer, resolution, etc., etc.)
- not only suited for mame, but for all kind of console and pinball emulators
- etc., etc.

check out here: http://3darcade.mameworld.net/"

The team behind 3D-Arcade made a DVD a while back which contains a preconfigured frontend which shows the strenght of 3D-Arcade. check the forum for more info about that.
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by capcomguru »

Hi everyone!

After a long hiatus, I finally got back to the mame project this past week! I got everything fully working software/hardware wise. The only thing left to do is build the ATX to JVS power adapter. Here's what I ended up doing (mind you I used 100% salvaged PC parts :D)

PC: My parents gave me an old tower they had on hand. My pops was wiring up something with the front USB ports, mis-wired it and completely blew the harddrive in the tower (to the point that no data could be recovered from a data center). He was so **** at the machine that he left it as-is, and simply bought a pre-made box and gave me the old "leftovers". Before powering anything up, I undid all the power and front panel wiring and redid it to the manual's spec, omitting the front USB/headphone jacks, temp gauge, etc since the motherboard will eventually be mounted to my blast city's wooden plank. I fired it up without a HDD and sure enough, nothing else was fried! I had a spare xbox harddrive (20gb) on hand which I "zeroed" using the Maxblast software (previously was xfat file system, and the pc didn't even recognize the drive). After that completed, I loaded up Windows 2000 professional (most stable windows IMO) and ran all of the updates bringing it up to SP4. I installed the video drivers (came with an ATI All in Wonder AGP 8x video card). Finally, I installed a sound blaster live 24bit PCI audio card that I had kickin around in the scrap pile (integrated on-board audio SUCKS). So far, everything was a success on the hardware front.

Onto the fun part... moving the PC from my LCD to my 'tate blast city. Unfortunatley, the All-in-wonder would NOT go lower than 800x600 resolution (bummer!), however it turns out my WeiYa chassis can display it, although it looks like ****. Anyways, I used the integrated ATI utility to rotate the desktop 90degrees to the left. So far so good, I now had 800x600 vert windows :D The next step was to then load up mame, MaLa (front end) and the roms I wanted to use.

I was planning on doing 640x480 31khz for the video mode, but then realized NONE of the graphics filters created desirable results. The scanlines were either not there, too vivid, the pixels on the sprites looked blurry, basically it looked like crap. So that being said, I found a very nice bit of software called "Soft15khz". Soft15khz works on-top of ATi and Nvidia's display drivers and enables 15khz, 24khz and 31khz video modes. They won't be selectable from the desktop, however if an application calls for 320x240 video mode, it'll display it just fine. Fortunatley for me, MaLa supports 15khz in the gui, and can have mame do fixed 15khz... score! So- the video was sorted out without using the Arcade VGA video card.

On to the controls. As some of you may or may not know, a few weeks ago I decided to make a Playstation 2 to Jamma adapter (hacked pads terminating to jamma edge). I just happened to have a Playstation 2 to USB adapter on hand which I ended up using for the controls (Mayflash brand 2 player adapter). To my surprise, the hacked joysticks worked flawlessly with the adapter, MaLa's gui and mame! So now I had player 1 and 2 wired up and working, however I still needed the keyboard to insert credits and exit back to the gui. No bueno. The goal here is 100% keyboard and mouse free. I tinkered around in mame a bit and found out you can actually macro multiple buttons to do a command (just like the Jpac does by default!) So anyways, I was able to make P1 start + down insert credits and P1 and P2 start exit back to the GUi. NICE!

For the audio, I got a 1/8" mini jack to female RCA stereo adapter. My blast city's audio amp was more than powerful enough to amplify the audio, so I didn't have to worry about building a mono amp.

The final step of my adventure was to tweak the front end. Mala comes with a very nice tool which enables you to drag and drop create your own interface. Its extremely easy to use and customize... I had my perfect gui up and running in about 20 minutes (my gui shows screenshots for each game, manufacturer, copywrite date and game title)... everything I wanted and nothing more :D

So long story short, all 120 hand selected shmups play 100% fullspeed, in 15khz. The final step of my project is to construct the JVS to ATX power adapter, uncase the motherboard and HDD and mount everything on the wooden plank inside my blast.

***TOO FRUITY FOR THIS BOARD ;)*** a_m.
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Re: New JVS Mame project, have some questions

Post by Lettuce »

invzim wrote:Regardless of how you do inputs, I'm pretty happy with this setup for 31k (screenshots included):
http://jvspac.kirurg.org/?page=mame

Mame seems to be a bit bright, so I turn the gamma down on most games - but that's not related to 15/31/arcadevga.

Hang on, id used this setup on my monitor, as i was getting the damn compressed display on the right hand side when displaying a 15k picture on my tri-sync. While the atcual effect looked almost 95% authentic, the lack of contrast on my display really made this work around unusable, when compared to running the same game in its original 15k mode. How come your setup was too bright??
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Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by pubjoe »

I've got the bug at the moment.

I've spent quite a long time setting up a personal mala layout and many steps are not straight forward. Some of the things I've done are:

- Modified my own (E2 style) layout (**** retrogui).
- Made a little batch file to cycle through layout varients on each start up.
- Using virtualdub, batch edited videos and picture files to fit in nicely (sourced from emumovies).
- Reorganised the main list:
...... - Removed clones, except for certain good ones like SSF2T (I'd like advice on other keepers).
...... - Used 'mame content manager' to remove/restore mature games.
...... - Used multimame to build a mame.xml file that brings in other emulators (like zinc and makaron) where required.
...... - Added extra (unsupported by mame) games to the main list.

There are still plenty more things I want to do. One of the problems is that mame is always updating and some of the tools and ini files that would have been handy a couple of years ago are now out of date.

I won't list everything else I'd like to do just now. But if anyone is doing (or has done) this stuff and is interested in sharing knowledge, please let me know. A lot of this stuff has a steep learning curve.

My current FE (mala):
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by emphatic »

Nice one! :awe:
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by Rossyra »

Looks cool m8, Mai's oversized tits always a welcome sight too
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by FrancoB »

Looks the shizzle Joe 8-)

I love your layout. I may ask you for a little help when I (eventually) get to that part if thats ok.
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by pubjoe »

Cheers. (and Mai's tits, yep, always)
FrancoB wrote:I may ask you for a little help when I (eventually) get to that part if thats ok.
Well I'd like that to be the purpose of this thread, but didn't want to spend an hour on a big post, if no one else is interested. :awe:

Stuff I'm yet to do:

- Hide windows (probably last thing to do).
- Use cpviewer to have changing button layouts on the E2 image, depending on the selected game.
- More emulators where necassary (not sure which) FBA? M2? Daphne?
- Get Daphne working!
- Once main game list's finished, use a good catver file to create genre lists. The only up to date one I've found atm is too specific for my liking. Too many sub genres. I couldn't use mala on it's own to filter out mature games because catlist has about 10 mature genres and mala can only filter up to 4.
- Re-include some clones on list and swap 'master' where necassary. There are some country variations that are very different or better than what name calls 'master'. Later revisions are currently missing from my list. eg, SSF2T & SSF2X get treated as clones of SSF2.
- Use a better font for my layout. I liked the stretched tall version I had when I was using a 640x240 layout. I need to find a double height font, or edit the current one.

Also speaking of resolution. On my 15k screen. I love downscaling 640x480 games to 640x240. The zinc games look much better and the 2D naomi games (especially the vs games with low res sprites and high res backgrounds) look fantastic. Unfortunately, the only emulator that plays naomi games well, makaron, doesn't have any resolution options. and even if it did 640x240 is doubtful.

I mentioned it on the dev's blog (dknute.livejournal.com), but he never replied. He's making makaron as a personal project, so likely doesn't care. ...But maybe if morementioned they'd like that feature? :awe:
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by driph »

I went a similar route for the dedicated Daphne cab I'm working on. Base unit is an Interstellar Laser Fantasy, so the color scheme was made to match the cab art. Mala front end, also with a modified version of retrogui:

Image

As this particular setup is Daphne-only (so far), I couldn't go the history.dat route for game info, so I made jpgs with the info (rather than screenshots) for each title, and play video (also from the excellent emumovies) of the actual game content above the text.
Chris | driph.com
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