Home Jamma on the Cheap

Living in Japan has it's advantages. The girls are cute, the cars are cool, and the games come out here first as a rule. Occasionally though, you run into problems. I finally obtained a Raiden Fighters arcade board from the states and desperately wanted to play it. A trip to Akihabara, I thought, should sort me out right quick. Such was sadly not the case, however, as you'll see. Read on for a short story and a guide to making a quick and dirty jamma adaptor for home use.

[Cabinet Side View] Game Board The heart of the game. This board contains all of the game logic, ROM data, RAM, CPU, etc. This is the piece that the rest of the cabinet talks to. All controller inputs and outputs come through here.

Monitor: This is the piece you'll recognize immediately. All arcade machines have them, and with only three exceptions, they've remained fundamentally unchanged since the first arcade game, Computer Space. The only real exceptions to the standard monitor lineage are the Atari medium res monitors, and older Vector monitors, color and B & W.

Control Panel: The part you've spent the most time fondling. Can consist of buttons, wheels, pedals, dials, knobs, etc etc etc.

Power Supply This is the part that supplies power to the rest of the cab. Almost all games use standard voltages, +5, +12, and -5 volts.

There isn't much wiring inside an arcade cabinet, despite what you may have seen when you looked into one. Most all wires run from the game board to the component in question. The basic groups of wires are:

Display: There are five wires here, and in some instances, six. One wire each for the Red, Green, and Blue video information, as well as Ground and Sync. In some cases, usually older boards, there are two sync wires: one for Horizontal and one for Vertical Sync.

Control Panel: This bundle contains one wire for a common connection, and one each for every control direction, button, or control. Double this for a two player cabinet, and you can see that a bundle of up to thirty wires isn't hard to attain.

Power Supply: From the power supply you need at least one wire (And up to four or more) for each voltage connected. These will provide power to the game board, and to any other part of the game needing power.
[Cabinet Wiring Diagram]

[Cabinet Side View #3] There are other parts to a cabinet, but they aren't essential. Things like the marquee and the Coin Slot (Which can include test switches, volume control etc). These parts usually serve a function necessary in the arcades, but aren't strictly necessary for the home user. When buying a used machine privately, it's very commone to find kicked-in or destroyed parts that don't affect game play.

All contents (c)1999 Game Station X unless otherwise noted. All trademarks copyright of their respective companies. Game Station X assumes absolutely no responsiblility whatsoever for any sort of damages incurred while either viewing this information or doing anything with said information. If you don't like it, change the channel. Some of this information may have come from other sources, and Game Station X in no way implies ownership of this information, and merely intends to provide a convenient source for finding this information. That said, we wrote this, and would appreciate your not lifting it for your own page without due credit. Mail us!