Wednesday 23 May 2012


Hi Everyone,

Just a quick update to say that the "Hey Ramon!" painting I put in my online shop a few post's ago has now been sold and will be winging its way off to its new owner very soon.

Super happy about it!

I'll be putting some more paintings into the store soon so keep 'em peeled ;)


Saturday 19 May 2012


Hi everyone,

I left the Supergun in a completed working state. In its current form it will play all JAMMA compatible PCB's as well as a Neo-Geo MVS 1-slot motherboard.

In some of my internet searches for game information and to see what games are around to purchase I saw 2 CPS2 games and an A-board to run them and snapped them up. When I was a kid I loved Streetfighter and the Streetfighter style games and to play the real ones at home would be amazing. I'm itching to pick them up at the end of the month. :-D

With the normal JAMMA arcade set-up you only need 3 buttons to play the games. With Neo-Geo MVS games you need a 4th button (D) so when I wired up my Supergun I added in the D line so it will play both types of arcade game.

Because I'm getting the CPS2 games I wanted to add in the abillity to have all 6 buttons working. The 3 punches and 3 kicks. I looked on the Jamma-Nation website and saw a really cool guide on making a multiple kick-harness adapter for your Supergun using a 9-pin socket.

Check it out here : multiple kickharness adapter

I didn't have any 9-pin sockets lying around but thankfully I still had the Megadrive 2 that I couldn't bring back to life. I found the board out and fired up my de-soldering iron and took the 2 controller ports from it. I like using and salvaging parts if I can. Adds to the fun of creating the Supergun I think. Anyway, here is the desoldered controller ports from the Megadrive 2 dremeled to seperate them.

After getting the ports seperated and free I set about making the hole in the back of the Supergun for the port to be mounted too. I was a little worried about this stage as the back is all wired up and finished that my dremel drill would end up snagging or cutting a wire in there.

I found a spot that should be easier to work on and fit nicely away from the majority of the wiring.

Because the JAMMA harness had lots of wire left over from me cutting it to length inside the Supergun I had the perfect wire for hooking up the controller port pins to the new expansion port. I was hoping to use the same wire for the kick-harness adapter so that it was all wired the same through out.

When you wire up a 15-pin Neo-Geo + controller port you end up with 3 pins left that aren't wired up. Perfect for adding in the kick-harness as you have the spare pins to fill. I measured out the amount of wiring to span the Supergun from controller ports to adapter port and started soldering the wires up.

I tried to match up the colours of the wires to match the adapter guide as best as I could and grouped them to make it nice, neat and easy to keep untangled from the JAMMA harness.

showing the 2 sets of kick wires soldered to the controller port

Thankfully the Megadrive 2 controller ports have a 90 degree angle on the way the pins come out the back compared to how they are in the socket. This allowed easier soldering to the socket and routing in the confined space at the rear of the Supergun.

When it came to this stage I wrote down the colours of the wires I was using and noted their positions on the expansion socket so I could wire up the Kick-harness I'll eventually either buy or make so that it matches up.

Here's the expansion port all wired up and ready to be mounted to the back of the Supergun.

The cut doesn't look too neat I must admit but this will be hidden away inside the Supergun case and no-one will see it.

One thing I found with using the salvaged Megadrive2 port was that there are no mounting holes for you to screw it to the case. The only way I could think of to secure the port to the case was with hot glue. This made a nice hold on the rear panel and also insulated the wires so there shouldn't be any cross signals.

Here is the rear of the Supergun all finished up. All that's needed is sanding down the milliput join and spraying the rear panel matt black.

The expansion port makes the adding of Kick-harnesses nice and neat because its not going to be another adapter hanging out next to the JAMMA edge connector or a perminant set of wires hanging out the back of the case all the time. So whenever I want to play a CPS game (1,2 or 3) or Midway fighting game I just plug the kick-harness into the socket on the back of the Supergun and I'm away.

It was easy to follow the guide and wire up so if your making a Supergun I recommend going a long this route for a nice adaptable Supergun in the end.

Catch you later for some more geeky goodness.


Friday 11 May 2012


Hi Everyone,

As I did a few months ago I released some paintings into my store. Well I thought it was time to let another little painting out into the big wide world. :)

Its called "Hey Ramon!" and it depicts Ramon, a floating latino skull who is a hit with ALL the ladies. They can't resist the well maintained pencil moustache and model grade side-ways glances. What a stud!

He's painted onto a rough texture 24cm (9.5in) x 18cm (7in) canvas.

Check him out in my store by either going through the Store tab or by this here!

I hope you like him

More posts coming soon


Monday 7 May 2012


Hi again,

I'd left the last post with a working Supergun, well working with video and sound and I was waiting for my front panel components to arrive.

Here is Part 3 :

I'd ordered my front panel components (as well as my Scart port) from Rapid Online and they turned up pretty quickly.

The first thing for me to do with my front panel was to fill in the holes that were cut for use in the cases's previous life. I put electrical tape across the holes and then filled in on top of the tape so the Milliput wouldn't fall through.

The old front of the case filled in
After the Milliput had dried over night I hit the front of it with some heavy grit sandpaper to smooth it out. I layed masking tape out over the panel and then sketched the layout of all the components ready for me to dremel all the holes out.

The components all laid out ready to be cut
I spent a bit of time sitting outside in the garden with my dremel (and Guinea Pig girls for company) trying to get the holes as neatly as I could. Rough cutting and then sanding the holes and then offering up the components each time to see if they would fit smoothly.

After about an hour I had all the components snapping in and out smoothly. I then spent the rest of the evening giving it some grey primer so it can eventually become nicely Matt Black when done.

The next night I eagerly got home from work and started mounting in the front panel components.

After popping the momentary switches into the front panel and screwing the 15-pin sockets in I measured out the JAMMA harness wiring so I could make sure it would all reach okay with some slack for soldering and still be neatly track-able.

The momentary switches for the player 1 and 2's coins the JAMMA test, MVS test and Service were easy to figure out because they each only need 2 wires. A signal wire from the harness and then a ground wire. The good thing about Supergun's is that you don't need to have individual grounding wires to everything, you can daisy-chain them along to save on trying to solder multiple grounding wires to a single point. It would be a right mess I think if you did it that way.

I ended up giving all the momentary switches 1 grounding wire which was daisy-chained from one to the next. And then I routed a seperate grounding wire for the player 1 socket and daisy-chained that over to the player 2's grounding point. I believe the term for the daisy-chained grounding is "common ground" if you run into that phrase.

The trickiest bit of soldering for the front panel was the Neo-Geo wiring for the controller sockets. Mainly because of close proximity of the pins, and making sure your soldering the correct wire to the correct point.

The cool thing about using the Neo-geo pin-out for the socket is it will work with any Neo-geo arcade stick. And it also leaves 3 pins available for the 3 kick buttons needed for 6 button arcade sticks.

Here is the player 1 port wired up to the neo-geo pin-out standard
Once I got the player 1 port wired up and the switches sorted I thought it was probably the best thing to nip the Supergun up to the Hobby Room to check that I'd got the sucker sorted or not. A quick setup with my 1 game and Ding Ding Ding, 3 coins were registered! pressing Start on the arcade stick and the game started. Up, Down, Left, Right worked, as well as A and B. It worked!!!! :D I was well happy!

I unplugged the connections then nipped back down to the kitchen and wired up the 2nd player socket to finish it off.
The front panel completely wired up, switches, sockets and LED mounted
A quick solder, a quick test and boom! 2nd player works too!

I HAVE A SUPERGUN!!! Some self high-fives, massive grins and several games at trying to figure out how Teki-Paki worked later and I was done. :D

The completed Supergun's internal wiring. A little messy looking but easy to follow.
Teki-Paki playing with 2 player's and 7 credits
The JAMMA Test screen working

The finished Supergun as closed up showing how the JAMMA games connect to the harness

The finished Super gun showing how the games and controllers hook up
All that's needed now is the Matt Black paint on the front and rear panels and my friend said he would do a cool paint job on the outer casing for me. He does great stencil canvas's which we have 2 of and I think his style will look sweet on the Supergun.

A dream fulfilled! I own an arcade machine!! And one I can keep in my house because it doesn't take up the room a full cabinet does. :D

The next step is to make a Kick-harness adapter for hooking up the extra kick buttons for games like Street Fighter 2 etc. And wether to buy a pre-made CPS2 kick-harness or make one. ;)


Thursday 3 May 2012


Hi all,

So I left the last post where I'd mounted the rear components ready for the JAMMA harness to be soldered to it all.

Here's Part 2 :

I'd been thinking a lot about what I wanted my Supergun to be like. For me it needed to have the colour channels adjustable, scart connection because I'm in the UK and don't have to mess about with using video encoders which I was extremely pleased about. I don't like the idea of using a video converter processing the signal to make it S-Video or something. Its not the same signal by the time it gets to the TV that the arcade originally produces, and what I wanted is the closest to the arcade experience that I could get.

I took my time scouring the net for a cheap harness but not too cheap and that it would be as fully loaded as I could get. I did contemplate making the whole harness myself with an edge connector but I couldn't be bothered to sort out what wire I would need and getting it all ordered.

I ended up getting my harness from Ultra Cabs. They have a harness that's wired to the Neo Geo MVS standard, which I didn't realise at the time and it comes with a neat edge connector cover.

When it arrived I took an evening seperating and organising the harness wiring so it would make it easier for me to get it all wired into the case. None of the wires come labelled and some of them are bunched in a way I didn't really want them grouped. So it was a matter of seperating all the tie-wraps that were around the bunches and then re-grouping them all and labelling them for easier recognition when I came to building it all up. The Edge connector is also all in chinese so you have to do some counting of pins and figuring out which side is the Component side / Solder side so you can start figuring out which wires go where.

The nervous system of the Supergun
I think the JAMMA harness looks like the nervous system of a human with the brain being at the top. Which in essence is what the harness is. The game board is the brain which connects to the top and it distributes signals to all the components around the Supergun.

Because the harness came wired for Neo Geo MVS it didn't have a line for the -5V voltage which I had to add in because I wanted it to be JAMMA compliant. It was also missing the JAMMA service and Test switch lines as well which I added to the harness.

I really wanted my Supergun to be as compatible as possible with the different types of 'standards' available in the arcade world. The main 2 being JAMMA and Neo Geo MVS for me as these are the systems that ran the games I loved the most as a kid. So adding in these extra lines to the harness were a must.

Once I got the harness sorted out I began feeding it into the case through the hole I made for it in the rear of the case, and started measuring up how much cable would be needed to reach all the components comfortably. I've seen a load of Supergun's on my research searches that look a complete mess, like the person has just jammed all the wires in there and slammed the lid shut. I really didn't want it to be like that if I could help it and wanted it to be easy to route the cables around and find any potential problems if I got any. The neater the job the better I think in a project like this.

Figuring out which wires are going to go where
It really is quite daunting when you have all the wires in your hands and thinking you have to keep track of them all so you get it wired right as first go as you can get.

After putting the harness into the case I put the PSU back in and wired it up to get a real sense of the space available then set about measuring, cutting and soldering to the components on the back panel.

Rear panel from the inside showing speaker, scart and colour adjustment
Its quite tight in there but thankfully the rear panel slides out and gives you a bit of room to get the soldering iron around without burning the insulation on the wires. The scart socket is a little bit of a tricky solder (and working out) because of all the grounds needed to be soldered to the pins which are very close together and the 2 resistors. Again I tried to make the wires as neat as possible in the space I had available.

The rear panel wired up and ready to test
I wired up the rear speaker with an attenuation circuit shown on one of the wiring diagrams. If you are planning on routing the audio out through your Scart connection you need to make an attenuation circuit to lower the amped audio otherwise you will blow the speakers on your tv. Because arcades aren't the most graceful of technology and with the arcade cabinets having biggish speakers with no volume control the game boards output really loud, generally non-adjustable audio. So you need to lower the volume so it will not kill your tv.

For me I didn't want to run the risk of blowing my tv speakers but didn't want to mount a speaker inside the case, I opted for an audio out socket to connect some external speakers. Because I was a little worried I would blow my external speakers I made the attenuation circuit to protect them a bit.

The Supergun all wired up with audio and sound I eagerly ran up to our Hobby room and plugged in the one JAMMA arcade game I had to see if my wiring had all worked.

I plugged everything in, tentatively switched the power on and the standard scart channel blue colour on the TV switched over to black. Woo! The tv was recognising a video signal! But where was the picture?!? Crap! First thing I thought was, I'd done it wrong. I was going to have to re-wire the scart socket. I turned it all off and quickly checked over the JAMMA connection on the board, scart cable correctly seated in both Supergun and TV and flicked the power back on. Again, black screen. Poo! I slumped down to a seating position on the floor and out of the corner of my eye I saw some very very faint writing on the tv screen. What an idiot!!!! I'd turned my RGB adjustment dials all the way down, a quick turn on them and the screen burst into life and the game was playing! :D

Scart connection wired up first go! I gave myself a congratulatory High-five. It was a reality!
The Supergun's first test with my only arcade game, Teki-Paki
There was no audio though. That shouldn't be too hard to fix. I headed back to the kichen, cut the attenuation circuit out and wired the audio wires straight to the speaker output. Went back up stairs and what do you know?! Audio now works too!

Also you might be able to see on the last photo that there is a little green light on the front of the Supergun. I wired a green LED to the +5V output on the PSU with a 220k ( if I remember right ) resistor so that I would have some indication that the power was on and working when the rear switch was flicked. Otherwise there is no knowing the power was on and from the get-go I would be wondering if it was powering up or fallen down at the first hurdle.

For me this test was a massive MASSIVE achievement. A few months ago I hadn't got the faintest clue how to solder and was too scared to even try it. After a very short time where I've only done some console mods in my kitchen I'd now built an arcade machine that works!

I decided to leave it on a high and put the soldering gear away and wait for my front components to turn up for the next step of the Supergun's creation.

To say I was itching for the stuff to turn up was an understatement!! :D

I'll get writing up the next part in a few days.


Tuesday 1 May 2012


Hi Everyone,

It's been a little while since I posted last. The last one being a Neptune case update. Well I haven't really made anymore head-way on the case but I've successfully completed a project that has ticked off one of my childhood dreams. A bit of a funny sentence but the best way I can describe it.

Basically when I was a geeky little lad at school back in the 90's I was heavily into computer / console and arcade games. And used to dream about playing a lot of the games I read reviews of in Mean Machines / Mean Machines Sega, Games master magazine (and watching the tv show) on consoles I could never afford. And also going with my pocket jangling with my pocket money to the local shops that had arcade machines in and popping coin after coin into them.

I shared a flat before I moved in with my girlfriend and my flatmate I had has a Supergun. I'd never heard of such a device and was absolutely blown away when he told me what it was and what it can do. Basically a Supergun is an arcade machine in a box that's a similar size to a console. You hook your TV cable up to it, a power cable, your controller (preferably an arcade stick) and plug in a proper arcade game which is a big circuit board. You flick the power switch and your playing a real arcade game on your TV at home! A freakin' arcade machine that takes up a smidge of the space of a fullsize cabinet. Man I coverted this device for a loooooong time!! How amazing is it to play the original games you used to love and not a lesser conversion as to be honest, almost all arcade conversions on games systems are.

Doing some internet searches back then showed that they are all handmade and demand a relatively high price i.e. £100-£200 for the Supergun and possibly an arcade stick. Then you have to get the games as well which can be fairly expensive depending on the game. Dang it! I wasn't ever going to be getting one at that price. :-(

Well things have changed since a couple of years ago. Mainly me being able to actually solder now and understanding how to wire up modifications to games consoles. Since I inherited the arcade game from the Farm I've thought again about getting a Supergun. But this time round, rather than essentially paying someone to make one and paying a high price, I'd attempt to make my own.

I think I will do my Supergun write up in a few parts to make sure the posts aren't absolutely massive. :)

So this is Part 1 :

I started getting excited about attempting to make my very own Supergun and started doing copious internet research searches and started gathering guides, wiring diagrams, parts lists and prices for parts. I already had a big project box which I re-used from an old soldering power supply unit I was given and didn't want to use and got a real switching Arcade power supply. A very good start!

Having a real arcade power supply is the ideal thing to have for a SuperGun as it gives you all the voltages you will need to power JAMMA arcade boards and you can adjust the +5V line if its a little low to run a certain board or a little too high. You can use an older PC ATX power supply as well (which I have one modified in-case I wanted to use it instead of the Arcade one) but it takes up more space in the case and I wanted the Supergun to be as much "arcade" as I could make it.

switching arcade PSU power lines hooked up
 The first step for me before ordering my JAMMA harness and all my component parts to make the Supergun was to wire up the PSU to a plug socket and switch and make sure it works correctly. Here is my case with the PSU sitting on some raiser blocks I made from milliput and power socket all wired up and working. A great start!! :D That is a spare PSU next to the box which shows all the connection points on the unit. It also shows how much room I will have in the case to route the JAMMA harness wires to all the components on the front and back panels.

arcade power supply in case
A slightly interesting thing I noticed when I was initially testing the power supplies I have is that the little ON LED that is on them would be steady to begin with and then would pulse. You could adjust the speed of the pulse by turning the red dial but it wouldn't go back to being steady. I was a little worried that they were a bit Snafu'd having been stored in the back of a barn for 10+ years but decided to try one with the knowledge that I could use my PC psu if it didn't all work. The reason I have found now I've completed the build is the light pulses if one of the 5V connections isn't hooked up. I spotted this last night when my Neo Geo MVS was hooked up and the front panel power LED was pulsating which is because the MVS doesn't use the -5V line. The -5V is for JAMMA. It just seems to be something it does when its not 'completely connected up'. Interesting hey! :P

After I got the PSU connected up I started getting really excited about the possibility of making the SuperGun a reality. I started gathering together any components I already had available from checking my wiring diagrams I would be using.

The 2 wiring guides I mixed and matched from to make my Supergun
I already had the power socket as seen on the above photo. I wanted to add in a potentiometer for each of the three colour channels the Supergun will output (R, G, B). I also needed a speaker output socket as I wouldn't be putting a speaker inside the case as some do, I wanted to use a pair of old computer speakers instead. So for the back of my case I would only need the Scart socket as my attempt to desolder one from an old freeview box was unsuccessful which was a shame.

The back of the case needed a mounting panel for all the components. So while my scart socket, momentary push buttons and 15 pin controller sockets for the front panels were on order I set about making up a plate. I cut to shape 2 old direction signs I had been aloud to use from a scrap pile and hot glued and milliput'd it together. I then drew out the layout for my components on the plate and dremelled all the holes out.

Rear of case showing component layout
When my scart socket arrived I mounted all the rear components onto the rear panel so I could start soldering my JAMMA harness to when it arrived.

Components added to rear panel to see how it will all look before painting
Rightio, I'll leave this part here so it doesn't get too long for one post.

All my components that I purchased for my Supergun were purchased from : Rapid Online the prices are really good and they deliver very quickly. The only thing I will say is the postage does out-weigh the component prices so best idea is to order all your parts all at once to save on shipping several orders.

I will write up Part 2 in a couple of days time. :)