This project started when I wanted to do some woodwork and build an arcade controller. I built the controller this summer with the help of my father-in-law (or should I say I watched my father-in-law make it :).
The controller was made with plans provided from ArcadeCab. They were easy to follow, and really liked the look of the finished product. I choose not to use a trackball for the top part and instead added a joystick along with buttons. I found a template online and that worked well, too. Ideally, any type of box would work for this project. I just happen to have this on hand, so it made sense to use it.
I wanted to take it a little project a bit further and make into a portable PCB tester/Super Gun. If I am making a house calls, it’s always nice to test a PCB, monitor, or power by itself. This makes it easier to troubleshoot when you can pinpoint the problem.
I needed to add just a couple things to the control panel before I started to wire it up. I needed to add a base to the bottom along with cutting out a slot for the Jamma connector. I ran a piece of scrap wood on the table saw for the base and then drilled out pilot hole for the connector. I took a coping saw and was able to cut out the slot along with cleaning the cut a little bit with my Dremel too..
I was going to use a switcher, but quickly realize I didn’t have the room to add one. I went with an external power supply that can supply both +5 and +12 volts. Looking online, I went with the LANcity SC200, which uses a 5-pin DIN connector.
I wanted to make sure the connector, the wiring, and the power supply worked before installing them, and found that all worked fine.
Once I had the LANcity power supply and connector installed, I ran the ground, +5, and +12 to a distribution block. From the Jamma harness, I soldered the following wires to the distribution block:
- Ground (pins 1, 2, A, B, 27, 28, e and f)
- +5 (pins 3, 4, C an D)
- +12 (pins 6 and F)
The next step was to divide the Jamma harness into different sections. I bundled up the audio wires, video wires, and player one control wires. I ended up buying a small speaker that would fit into the box. I wired the
speaker + (pins 10) and speaker – (pin L) to the speaker. I added a connector in case I wanted to remove the speaker, or hook it up to my PS1 LCD monitor.
I took the red (pin 12), green (pin N), blue (pin 13), video ground (pin 14), and sync (pin P) wires and placed them into a connector. I like using a 4-pin and 2-pin connector since they will work with most monitors. A 10-pin connector works on some monitors, but there is more flexibility using a 4-pin and 2-pin connectors.
Player 1 Controls
I ran wires to the following controls:
- Joystick (pins 18-21)
- Buttons 1-4 (pins 22-25) to the top row of the buttons
- Coin 1 (pin 16) and Coin 2 (pin 2) to the bottom left buttons
- Test (pin 14) to the 3rd button on the bottom
- Service Switch (pin 4) to the 4th button on the bottom.
- Player 1 (pin 17) and Player 2 (pin U)
Note: Don’t forget to run a ground wire to all the buttons and joystick. You can
Final Thoughts and Testing
I tried this on a couple different PCBs and different monitors. I liked the outcome of each test. I did run a couple connectors with +5 volts and ground. I ran these to my VGA converter along with the ability to hook up a logic probe. I did not mount the Jamma connecter to the wood. I realized a little bit of slack helped when plugging in PCBs. When I finished this project, I realized I need to add a couple more items when I have a chance.
- I would like to create a simple circuit that will take the +5 volts and convert it to -5 volts. Some of the audio on the PCBs that I tested didn’t work due to not having -5 volts.
- Another idea would be to add another top for the box and install a trackball. I would need to add a connector to the controls, and this would allow me to switch out between joystick or trackball.
- Finally, I need to make the box a little prettier. This might include adding some laminate or vinyl to it.
Overall, this was a fun project to do and now have an easy way to test PCBs when I am away from my Jamma cabinet.