The JAMMA Connector

This is a standard in the arcade industry. Starting sometime in the late eighties, the Japanese Amusement Machine Manufacturers Association set about making a unified board connection standard. This would alleviate the silliness of rewiring a cab for every new game board installed. Now almost every game produced that didn't involve a deluxe cabinet (ie AfterBurner or Virtua Racing) comes with a JAMMA connector. What this means to you is that any JAMMA game can be shoved into a cabinet which previously held any other JAMMA game.

There are only five things to connect to the game board through the wiring harness. The Player 1 and Player 2 controls, the monitor output, power supply input and the coin-door's switches. The diagram below shows the most common connector and how these connections are made to the game board. Many many games use a different pinout, and some have differing styles of connection and can also have more than one connector. Gauntlet for example has two different kinds and over six groups connectors.

         GRD  1|A GRD
         GRD  2|B GRD
         +5V  3|C +5V
         +5V  4|D +5V
         -5V  5|E -5V
        +12V  6|F +12V
         KEY  7|H KEY
         N/C 11|M N/C
         RED 12|N GREEN
        BLUE 13|P SYNC
         GRD 14|R SERVICE SW
      COIN 1 16|T COIN 2
    1P START 17|U 2P START
       1P UP 18|V 2P UP
     1P DOWN 19|W 2P DOWN
     1P LEFT 20|X 2P LEFT
    1P RIGHT 21|Y 2P RIGHT
   1P FIRE 1 22|Z 2P FIRE 1
   1P FIRE 2 23|z 2P FIRE 2
   1P FIRE 3 24|b 2P FIRE 3
(Fire 4) N/C 25|c N/C (Fire 4)
         N/C 26|d N/C
         GRD 27|e GRD
         GRD 28|f GRD
Ground: If you don't know why every electrical circuit should be grounded properly, I'm not about to tell you. suffice it to say it's very important, and if you need to know why, you should go grab a book on basic electronic theory.

Power Input: This should be fairly self explanatory. The +5v is usually for the game logic, +12 is for the audio amp, and -5 is almost exclusively for coin-counters and coin-door lamps.

Coin Door: All of these lines run to one component or another on the coin door.

Video Output This is the wiring grouup that runs to the monitor - these five small wires convey the entire image signal in all it's glory.

Player 1 Controls

Player 2 Controls

Several pins were left unconnected, such as the 25/c pair, which is usually used for button 4, and 11/M which is sometimes used for another speaker for stereo sound. These are completely up to the manufacturer to designate, so don't hardwire 'em if you intend to swap boards a lot!

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