The Game is On!

Cowboy Arcade

We are getting very close to being done! Lots of things have happened since the kids got out of school…

My second youngest made me promise we would get the arcade working this summer. There was an extensive list of things that had to be done, fixed, programmed, etc. He was persistent and (in spite of my better judgement) I promised.

So we got started on this list: (green=done, orange=partial, red=not done)

  • New Computer (we found a lightly used HP Pentium running Windows 7 for $200)
  • New instal of MAME and MaLa (we ended up going to a newer version of MAME (161) and MaLa (147) to get some updates but not exceed our hardware or our game needs.)
  • Fix Trackball (turns out it wasn’t broken)
  • Order Glass (even went back to same place. It worked this time)
  • Switched to LED monitor instead of CRT (CRT was for old school look and feel, but it never really looked very good. New LED screen is crisp and clear and more fun to play on.)
  • Design, make and install mount for LED monitor. (this included figuring our a way to bezel the monitor also)
  • Design, set-up and debug layout for MaLa as Front End (FE). This is the look and usability part of the way to get to the games.
  • Hide all Windows start-up junk. The only thing still showing is the initial HP screen (requires a bios hack) and the mouse pointer which we have left until we finish ALL programming, set-up and debugging.
  • Sound System Controls. We are using a set a 2.1 computer speakers which we decased and mounted in the cab. I built a PCB of the volume and bass controls so I could mount the pots and the headphone jack into the cab. It was quite a project to get everything wired and working, but we did.
  • Install, wire and program LED’s in Joystick handles.
  • Wire Admin switches. Wiring is done and MAME sees the buttons. MaLa doesn’t. No idea why.
  • Finish 5V and 12V wiring. Most is done, but there are some loose ends that need tidied up.
  • Coin Door Wiring. Currently have the coin return buttons lit with loose wire, but haven’t modded the 24 pin molex to get the rest of the inputs into the controller.
  • CPWizard Control Panel Displays. Have built Control Panel layout and built all controls, but haven’t successfully exported the images or gotten MAME to use them in game.
  • Controller Numbering Stability. God bless PC’s and Windows. Don’t get me started.
  • Power Up with External switch. Should be easy. Just isn’t done.
  • Power Down on MaLa exit. We know how, but right now we need to be able to exit MaLa and not have the computer shut down.
  • Epoxy OSU coin into top of Spinner Knob.

The Arcade lives and breathes! We can play the games we want whenever we want. We can adjust the sound, change the controls, and it all looks great.

And summer isn’t even over yet….

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