Monday, 31 March 2014


Hi Peepzilla's,

I've continued working away on my Arcade machine project and have made significant progress. :-D

Where I left it last time I'd gotten the TV in place inside the cabinet and roughly mounted the chassis in to place so that the cabling would reach where it needed to reach.

Well I had last monday off work so I thought I would spend a good chunk of it getting the Jamma harness mounted into the cabinet and get moving on with sorting sound and controls etc out. In the week between the last bit of machine work and monday I'd received my new Jamma Harness and I'd spent some time wiring up the video cabling to a Scart connecter I had in my box of wires. I made up some R, G, B colour potentiometers so that I could adjust the strength of colour coming from each game and mounted them onto a perspex holder I'd made.

While I was at it I made a perspex holder for my Jamma Test switch as well. This will live behind the coin mech door.

Full of confidence come monday I went to the farm and hooked up the harness to my power supply, flicked the machine on expecting a perfect image on the TV round the front. But what was on the screen was nothing but a diagonally scrolling screen of dissappointment. :-( There was a serious syncing issue!! The image was there, the colours looked nice and bright but the thing was scrolling at such a rate it made your eyes roll! This is an example of why you should test your wiring at home before going off expecting it to work. Darnit!

So I proceeded to try to problem solve the wiring while sitting with my knees up around my ears on the edge of the skate ramp. All the wiring was still attached from the trip from home so that wasn't the problem. I'd heat shrinked up my resistors etc to keep them in place, so I had to cut those away so I could triple check they were the right ones and low and behold the Sync resistor wasn't the right one! There was one colour on the banding that didn't match what my chart said. Unfortuntely I did have a replacement in my box so I had to go home to pick one up. On finding the right one I did a quick check and the resistor that was in the wiring was only a 56 should be a 560 ohm! This has got to be the problem!!

So I headed back to the machine full of confidence again with the knowledge that this is surely going to fix the Sync issue. Soldering on a ramp is not easy I must admit so I think I will need to get a little fold up table or something for the future. Flick the machine on and POW! Sync issue is still there!! Officially I am stumped.

Instead of banging my head against a brick wall I decided to replace the control panel items and then head home. The original control parts are ancient! They definetly needed to go. Thankfully this step was a nice quick one and the buttons and joysticks look good in their new setting I think.

I pack up my stuff and head home and get thinking for the rest of the week.

Because I've been using up my holiday before our new allocation comes around in April I had Friday off work as well. So come friday morning I jumped back on to the Sync issue and decided to take off the scart plug as I remembered it was originally going to be a Sega Megadrive scart cable but I had issues with it so left it for spares.

I had a few spare PCB mounted Scart sockets so I got some new wire and hooked one of those up to the harness and BINGO! Worked first try! So my Syncing issue seems to be down to a dodgy scart plug. It must be the way I hooked up the ground links or something inside the plug, but for now that suckers being relegated to the back of the box!

Heres my little 'test area' I.E. my living room haha.

While I had the harness and game up and running I got my heat shrink heated onto the resistors and I hot glued the wires on the Scart Plug and Potentiometers into place. I decided to do it while it was up and running so I could keep checking that the wiring was still all in place. The last thing I wanted was to hot glue the wires etc and then come to check it all and when turning it on I'd glued a broken wire or something.

Full of beans I headed off to the machine and quickly hooked the power supply up to the harness along with my Supergun scart lead to the TV and KAPOW!! The thing is running perfectly now. Stable, bright image and full of awesomeness!! :-D IT. LIVES.!!!!

From here on out I got to work tidying up the harness in the back of the cabinet. Screwing into place the game power supply and finding neat ways to put the power strip into the machine and where to mount my RGB pots.

As I continued to work I took progress video's instead of photos so I have no more photos for this post but I've uploaded the videos to Youtube so here is my dorky voice walking you through the rest of my days progress.




As you can see in the videos I've gotten sound working, the harness routed through the machine and both Players controls set up and working! A freakin arcade machine! :-D

I must admit that I feel very proud of my progress with this project! Never in my wildest dreams as a kid playing arcades every chance I could did I think I would have an arcade machine of my own! And here it is. :-D It still needs a lot of work to finish it off but the bulk is done, it works. So next is polishing really.

I'm going to be making a CPS2 compatible kick-harness next and then drilling the extra button holes into the metal control panel. Sorting out the marquee light and cleaning up the glass and coin door as well as mounting it back to the machine.

I'll be putting up another update on this project soon :-D

catch you later


Wednesday, 19 March 2014



Man I must be back into the blog posting big time haha! So many posts in one week!

Anyway, this morning I made a very quick video showing the Dreamcast I modded the other month. I'd been meaning to post about how I did it but thought this morning that I would make a quick video instead and show it working etc.

Its a bit of a rambling video as I did it as soon as I woke up this morning so excuse the stupid throat clearing. I was still drinking my morning cup of tea so I wasn't fully up and running yet haha.

I recommend trying this mod out if your thinking of running it on a monitor and don't want to splash out the cash for the VGA cables. The components really are so much cheaper. And use the Kynar wire that Mmmoneky uses as you will get the tight case to fit back together a lot easier. :-)

Catch you later


Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Hi Again ;-) time for another update! 2 in the space of a week!? What's this craziness?!

Well, we were at the farm on sunday so I took my tools with me and thought I'd make a start on getting the TV out of its casing so I could see what's what. I'm really hoping that it will fit the frame otherwise its going to take some figuring out to make new fixings.

I took the back of the TV and had a nose around the cabling of the chassis as well as what looks like a grounding loop that sits behind the tube. All looked similar to the existing broken monitor which is a good start :-)

Then I attempted to discharge the tube in case it was still holding any deadly volts in the there. I hooked my wired up screwdriver to the grounding on the cabinets frame and poked about under the rubber cap. All seemed good so off came the Anode cap and I started stripping out the chassis from the casing.

With the chassis and the screws undone I could take the TV out of its front casing. And here comes the moment of truth, offering up the TV into the housing to see how it fits........and it fits perfectly!!!! Absolutely spot on alignment with the mounting holes. Hot Dog!! :-D

I was really hoping it would at least be close so this is a great result!!

The next step is to mount the chassis into the cabinet in a place where all the wiring is within reach of the anode area and the tube neck etc. I've realised that the TVs chassis is bigger than the old monitor so I will have to put it somewhere differently. It won't fit underneath the tube assembly like the old monitors. Doh. Shouldn't be too much of a problem though.

Last night I did a quick modification to the chassis and extended the I.R. sensor from the front of it so that I can mount it underneath the tube at the front of the cabinet. So when the whole cab' is powered on I will be able to switch the TV on with its remote. Hopefully it will work when I get to testing it in the cab :-P Normally in an arcade the monitor will turn on and off with the main switch on the top of the cabinet but I can't really do that. So a little modding was in order.

I think the next step is to get it all wired together again and take my Supergun and a game so I can test that the TV is powering up and displaying the imagery okay while I wait for the harness and controller stuff to turn up.

Catch you on the next update. Hopefully I will have made more progress :-)

Friday, 14 March 2014


Hi peepzillas!! :-D

It's been another long time posting and I miss it actually. Posting meant that I had projects on the go and I would always like posting up progress with learning new things. Well the only projects I've been working on recently have been reflowing PS3's. My sister's housemate months ago asked me if I could fix his YLOD on his PS3 so I looked up how to reflow and got ready to try it when his mate said he would have a go. Month's later I still wanted to see if I could 'fix' a PS3 so I bought a 40gb PS3 phat for £12 from ebay and had a go and it worked first try. Man I was stocked! A PS3 for £12! Hot dog! I posted on facebook about it and peeps started asking me to fix some for them so I've basically been doing that. And when I haven't been fixing PS3's I've been playing through Halo : Reach on my xbox or playing Resident Evil 5 / Uncharted 2 on my PS3 or Metal Gear Solid : Peace Walker on my PSP. :-D Playing through my games list has been awesome!

Anyway, the Arcade machine!! If you've read my old posts you will have seen the arcade machine I basically inherited. The monitor on the machine is Fubar'd though so I've left it be.  Recently my girlfriends brother has an old CRT TV that he's getting rid of which looks like it might be the same size, so I've started thinking about seeing if I can switch them over today.

I've been thinking of the things I would need and what I have already for the machine and I think I can do it quite cheaply. I need to take the monitor out as well as all the wiring as its a non-jamma loom in there. You need a converter to hook up a jamma game and I'm not 100% where every wire is going, so I'm going to re-wire it so I know what's what.

I already have an Arcade switching PSU and the donor tv so I just need a new Loom and possibly some new controller bits and bobs as the ones in the machine are super old-school.

Here is the kit I took with me :

I thought that I would mainly be cleaning out and stripping down today but I took my soldering kit just incase I hit any snags.

Here is how the machine looked after I cleaned it all down with the brush and the wood polish. I wanted to get a good look at what needed to be done with the machine. Yes that's me in my scruffs looking like a dork in the reflection :-P

It's a proper old-school chip-shop / taxi rank machine and it brings back tonnes of memories of using my pocket money to play games as a kid. So I don't like the thought of it going rotten and unplayed.

As you can see the control set up is just standard Jamma and would need to be set up to play street fighter style 6 button games. Or at least I would like it to be able to play those types of games on it. It gives you more options hey? :-P

And thinking about it I should be able to re-wire this sucker as I've done a few Supergun's now and basically the arcade machine is just the Supergun - TV and controllers all in the one container

Here is the back of the machine. You can see its a bit of a rat's nest of wires but in a logical way if you know what's connected to what. And you can also see the bit of the machine I was the most scared of working on. The Fly-back on the monitor. Its the lead connecting to the back of the monitor with the rubber plunger. The monitor can store charge in it and unless its discharged correctly you can get a big shock from it and it can be really dangerous. So I've been putting it off cus I'm a wimp :-P haha.

Well I grew some stones and had a go at discharging it and from what I could tell there was no charge left in the monitor. Woop!

Onto the disassembly of the machine so I can clean it out. :-)

 Here is the black out paper / card from around the monitor. It had to come out so I could get around the monitor to have a better nose and it got damaged. Not a big deal though, its only card so I will re-fit a nice new piece when I'm rebuilding it.

Here you can see the monitor in situ with the old-school control panel open. Check out those hockey pucks for the control sticks. Ugh!

To remove the monitor you have to unscrew the 4 screws around the monitor and if you un-hook the chassis it just slides out the front of the cabinet. I snipped all the wires from the monitor to the chassis as it was already broken and I don't know how to repair them. It just made it easy for me to remove it.

I also gave the front area a good brush down when I got the monitor out.

Here is everything out of the cabinet leaving it just a bar cabinet now. On the left is the power supply for the cabinet. This runs the game as well as the monitor and the top light. I don't have that kind of power supply and as I'm using a TV as a replacement I'm going to put a 4-gang power strip in the machine which the light and the TV will run from as well as the switching PSU to run the game. Essentially a Supergun set up.

Next to the PSU you can see the loom wiring that I stripped out. The Monitor and the chassis sitting on the black card surround and then the marque light sitting next to the front glass. 

Here is the cabinet empty of monitor, loom, PSU and light. I'm hoping that the replacement TV will sit nicely in the monitor frame. Fingers crossed!! :-P

And here is the replacement TV I've been banging on about in this post. :-) I've half taken the casing off the TV as I wanted to check that it was going to have the tabs on the corners as the monitor does in the background. Thank fully it does, its how its held into the plastic casing. Phew! And from a quick measurement using some wire it looks like its the same width.

The next step will be to get the TV out of the plastic casing and get its chassis mounted in the chassis casing and see if it will all fit in the cabinet.

Catch you all on the next update :-)