Running Arcade Boards at Home

There's surprisingly little to an arcade machine, as we've seen on another page. With that under our belts, let's have a look at what's needed to run these games at home. The biggest drawback is that arcade games output RGB signals almost exclusively, for reasons you can see here. This means that your TV won't accept these signals. And no, neither will your computer monitor. There are some exceptions to this, but that's a discussion for another day.

[Home System Schematic] Game Board: This you obviously need. You can buy used game boards from almost any operator or arcade.

Power Supply: For this, almost any standard PC Power Supply will do, but you might want to try and find a proper arcade unit - they're easier to play with.

Display: This is the hard part - you need a display that will accept an RGB component-level input. Your TV won't do it. Your computer monitor won't do it (Well, some will, but assume for now that it won't). You will need either an Arcade monitor, or if you can find one, an Amiga monitor will work nicely.

Controllers: You can go nuts with this part. There are an infinite number of ways to connect to an arcade board. You'll need some creativity here, 'cause you'll probably want to make your own arcade style controller. I made mine to accept NEO GEO controllers, and then made all my custom sticks conform to the same pinout.

Harness: This is a toughie. You cannot usually get a harness (Usually a JAMMA harness) anywhere but from an op or games distributor. They can range in quality too, make sure yours is LABELLED and has all the wires present. To cut costs, sometimes the manufacturer will omit wires not usually needed, which is useless if you want to hack around.

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