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.
The control panel needed a couple more items before I started to wire it up. A base to the bottom was added 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. Using a coping saw, I was able to cut out the slot along with cleaning the cut a little bit with my Dremel. It wasn’t a perfect cut, but worked just fine.
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)
- -5 (pin 5 and E) (added circuit below)
- +12 (pins 6 and F)
Power wires on the Jamma harness Power coming from the LANcity power supply. Wires from the Jamma harness soldered to the distribution block.
The next step was to divide the Jamma harness into different sections. The audio wires , video wires, and player one control wires were all bundled up and zip tied together. Ebay provided a small speaker that would fit into the box. The speaker + (pins 10) and speaker – (pin L) were added 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
This unit worked on a couple different PCBs and different monitors. The decision was made to run a couple connectors with +5 volts and ground. These provided voltage to my VGA converter along with the ability to hook up a logic probe. 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.
EDIT: 01/07/2020 added a circuit to convert the +5 volts to -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.
+5 Volts to -5 Volts Converter
Updated: January 7, 2020
The need to have -5 Volts was great enough to come back and add a this to the test bench. A simple circuit that I found was at Nuts and Volts. I had to order the ICL7660, but was a really easy circuit to make.
Once I verified that I was getting -5 Volts, I then connected the output to pin 5 and E.
-5 Volt Circuit -5 Volts verified -5 Volt Connected to the bench tester