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. :)


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