Build Your Own Arcade Control Center FAQ
Older changes

Somewhat off topic but of interest nonetheless...  Clay Cowgill has released his Multi-Jamma kit for sale.  Being an arcade collector as well as a build-your-own enthusiast, one day I'll have one of these kits for multi-game play in a Jamma cabinet.  Very slick! --- saint
Free cabinet
Free Atari System 1 cabinet in San FranCisco. --- saint
Vibration Detection Technology from CustomArcade!
CustomArcade was kind enough to pass on to us one of their secrets that goes into their excellent arcade consoles and cabinets.  Anyone can push "T" to tilt your pinball game, but what if you could just whack the side of your controller to do the same...  pinball anyone?  Thanks Ray! --- saint
Enter the OzStick!
This one is way overdue - they emailed me back in the end of March (yipes).  Enter the OzStick, a commercial startup.

The OzStick is a slick looking single arcade desktop joystick, with 4 buttons, interfaced to the game port.  They offer 3 different button layouts, and feature Happ Controls Ultimate joysticks and pushbuttons.  They cost $125 AUS (roughly $73 US) including postage and handling, and are only available COD.  Obviously, they are based in the UK.   I'd love to hear feedback from anyone purchasing from them!  Welcome to the party OzStick!

Word from more vendors
I heard from another two vendors as regards their current status:
  • ArcadeSolutions is presently not taking orders.  They have a few orders outstanding that are being completed.  Their web site is still available and they will probably be taking orders in a few months.  The owner of Arcade Solutions is still in the midst of real life(TM) - moving into a new house, new job, new marriage... Presently his plans are open-ended, but we might see them return when things calm down :)
  • Arcade2000 is presently restructuring.  They ran into several of the difficulties that often strike new businesses.  Presently they are working to make things right with their customers, and reworking some issues with suppliers and such.  They can often be found on the chat room for those who want to talk to them directly.
The other vendors I haven't heard from, so what follows is my best understanding of their current status:
  • Stick-It was expected to start shipping the Stick-It 2 in April of 2000.  They did not meet that date, and currently they are not returning emails.  I've heard 3rd hand that they are restructuring their finances and expect to do business again shortly.  There are a few reports from people who've pre-ordered who haven't heard from them.
  • ZipStik appears to have disappeared altogether.  Their old web site appears defunct, and their new domain they moved to no longer exists.  They have not returned emails.  The last word I had some time ago was that I was to receive a unit for review.  I don't know anything further about ZipStik.
  • ArcadePC/HotRod/Hanaho has not had a chance to give me an update, but is very much alive and active.  Most recently seen at E3, Hanaho's products continue to be available.
  • Mas Systems has never in 2 years answered a single email of the many that I've sent them.  I heard from one person who finally got ahold of them on the phone and ordered a product.  The person said their order arrived promptly.  Draw your own conclusions.--- saint
Keyboard encoder configs
Many folks are using keyboard encoders from Hagstrom - be it the LP24, KE24, KE72T, etc...  I'm interested in collecting config files for the encoders and making them available for download.  Got one you want to share?  Send it my way.  Thanks! --- saint
New email page
In order to 1. Get faster responses to people looking for help, and 2. cut down on some of the email that would be best answered elsewhere, I've changed the main email link to point to a new "contact" page.  Please give me feedback - is this annoying or helpful?  There are times people have waited weeks for me to tell them "the answer is on this page" or "ask on the message board."  Also, I'm beginning to think of tweaking the look and feel of the FAQ somewhat to make it easier on the eyes, so comments on the look and feel of the contact page are welcome as well.  Thanks! --- saint
New vendor for arcade parts - UK
Web site still in development, but online ordering apparently operational.  Vektorlogic.---saint
Barcade offline
Barcadeis temporarily offline.  The link still works, but he no longer can update it because that account is no longer active.  When he has a new site we'll announce it here. ---saint
Skygodd strikes again - Mark IV!
Skygodd's done it again - enter his 4th(!) arcade cabinet, the Mark IV!  This one is not only fairly cool, it's also for sale :)  This one features an I-PAC! --- saint
New arcade classics magazine
I *think* this came from Retrocade, though I cannot swear to that now.  At any rate, any arcade aficionado should take a look at Syzygy magazine.  Looks like it's going to be cool :)  Added to the links page. --- saint
Arcade panel templates updated
c0nsumer sent me updates to the control panel template he sent earlier.  These are in Pagemaker 6 format, and there's a 6 button (250kb) and an 8 button (256 kb) version.  Thanks again c0nsumer! --- saint
Magnet Eye passed on to me heads up about another N64 to USB interface called the Adaptoid.  It not only allows you to use your N64 controller on a PC via USB port, it also supports rumble-to-force feedback.  If you've already gotten one, you need to download the latest drivers if you haven't.  From their web site:
The latest driver is 1.2.78 (beta) which has a brand new rumble effects engine which greatly improves DirectX force feedback over the previous driver. As with the last driver release, it has support for Win2000, rumble support for multiple adaptoids simultaneously, allows rearranging of the controller button ordering, and has a driver installer/uninstaller. See the readme file for complete details.
Looks great - thanks Magnet Eye! --- saint
New utility in downloads
Added gravutil (176kb) - a utility to test your gameports, joysticks and buttons, with support for various Gravis products and generic joysticks.  Thanks Mikey! --- saint
New cabaret MAME cabinets
Added Johnny's MAME cabaret cabinets to the examples page.  One of the two cabinets is a driving cabinet, with steering wheel and pedal, that should be of interest to anyone looking to run racing games.  Very cool.  This makes #134 and #135 on the page now!  (Should that count as 1 or 2 projects?  Let me know) --- Tom61
New cabinet project
The author of the emu front end MEWL sent me word that he's also got his own arcade cabinet project - Sith's Arcade.  This is an in-work cabinet with one heck of a big control panel, 2 joysticks and a trackball, networked, etc...  Very nice.  This makes #135 on the page now!
New cabinet project
Added MyArcade to the examples page - a from-scratch built cabinet based on the Defender cabinet, with swappable control panels.  Still a work in progress but looks good :)  This makes #136 on the page now!
New cabinet project
Added Commando MAME Project to the examples page - a PC2Jamma project made from a Commando Cabinet.  This makes #137 on the page now!
New joystick project
Added the PsyStick to the examples page - a SNES pad hack with a well done web page.  Very neatly done, with a nice shopping list summarized.  This makes #138 on the page now!
New cabinet project
Added Emulaxian to the examples page - an I-PAC driven arcade cabinet project featuring a customized front end, an overlay you can printout to use yourself, and a slick web page design.  Very cool - this makes #138 on the page now!
More I-Pac comments
Added another comment/review on the I-PAC to the reviews page.  (Short form: It's positive :)  )...
Arcade Solutions Review
Another one I've had for a while - Greg sent in a review for the Arcade Solutions console he purchased, and he's quite pleased.  It's a heck of a control panel, with 2 sticks, trackball and spinner, side handle for easy transport, and a slew of buttons.  Added to the reviews page.
Well, that was a bit of a catchup :)  I still have 300 email messages I've let stack up to go through, yipes!  More to come!


Word from CustomArcade!

I sent email to all the arcade control vendors to see if they could give me their current status - taking orders, shipping orders, new products, etc...  So far I've heard from only one vendor... CustomArcade!  Here's what they have to say:
Here is the "Official" Status on CustomArcade. Currently we are Not accepting orders during our restructuring. The Long and Short of our current trouble is A- One of the founding members of CustomArcade has left the company and created a HUGE vacuum that I am currently trying to fill. B- some basic problems arose when we started shipping the first batch of controllers. Mostly with interchangeability and our soon-to-be-completed front-End. We have stepped back and have several things happening in the background. 1- A web site redesign, 2- CustomArcade Front-End Development, 3- A New Investor.

Our Target is to be back in full swing by CGE2000, but a lot of it is going to depend on Some Third Party Support Vendors we are Currently working with.

Definitely exciting news - good luck Ray!  If/when I get news from the other vendors, I'll post it here :)
New project
Dondi sent me his new project, Coctail Arcade Project!  It's a very cool cocktail cabinet, with a spinner and two sticks on one side, a trackball and two sticks on the other.  This makes project #133! (Yes, this is a repeat #.  Somewhere we got off-track by 1.)
New PC!
In case anyone's interested, here's the breakdown of the new PC I bought.  Everyone's advice was very helpful and convinced me to change a few decisions.  The machine absolutely rocks - zero glitches, games are a scream, 3d graphics rock, I'm watching TV on it as I write this up, and did I mention it's fast? :)
  • Pentium III 600Mhz
  • 128 MB SDRAM @ 133mhz
  • ATI All-In-Wonder 128 PRO video board
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live Value
  • 19" monitor
  • 10x DVD (Heavy Metal (the movie) wide screen rocks)
  • 20 gig IBM Deskstar hard drive (7200 RPM, UltraDMA 66)
MAME Cabinet for sale
There's a Galaga MAME cabinet for sale.
Fultra Spinner reviews
Fultra Spinner has updated their web site with some reviews from a few of their customers.  I've got them mirrored here.  I should be getting my hands on one soon :)
Game Fonts
If you missed this update on Retrogames last week, be sure to visit GameFont - a site with Windows True Type fonts ripped from arcade games.  Very cool for arcade cabinets :)  Added to the links page.
E3 pictures
Also already mentioned on a few other sites, but last week HotRod emailed me with some pictures they snapped at E3.  Very cool :)
MAC USB keyboard hack
Chris of the Arcade Macstick wrote me with his newest project.  He hacked an Apple USB keyboard to use as an interface, and wrote up his findings.  Thanks Chris!
More to come...
Once again I'm behind on my email.  New projects to add, more things to talk about... I'll try to update soon :)


Help me buy a new PC :)

I'm buying a new PC so that I can use my current one in my arcade cabinet project.  I've posted a message with the specs I'm looking at - your opinions are much wanted, please read the message and let me know what you think :)



Control panel template

c0nsumer was kind enough to share with us this pdf file of a 2-player 8 buttons each control panel layout he designed.  It was used both on his project, and Sithspawn's.  Added to the downloads-miscellaneous section.  Can't read pdf files?  Get the reader.  Thanks c0nsumer :) --- saint
I-PAC reigns
Lots of positive comments on the I-PAC lately.  Retrocactus is fairly impressed with it, and has posted a review on their web site.  I've mirrored it here.  Also correctly posted the I-PAC on the links page where it belongs.  --- saint
Speaking of Retrocactus
Their web site is looking fairly sharp these days.  Added a link on the message board to the Retrocactus message forum. --- saint
Imagination Works
Wow, have you checked out Imagination Works?  The URL I gave out a few days ago is having problems, but this one works.  They sell a bunch of adapters for game console controllers that use either SNESKEY or DirectPadPro.  These include:
  • The IOMAXNES - 2 NES control pads interfaced to the parallel port, complete $23.99
  • The IOMAX-SNES - 2 SNES control pads interfaced to the parallel port, complete $42.00
  • The IOMAXN64 - NES-64 two controller interface (controllers not included), $41.99.  Presently out of stock and not for sale but will return.
  • The IOMAXPSX - PSX two controller interface (controllers not included), $26.99
  • The IOMAXPSXFORCE - PSX two controller interface with force feedback support (controllers not included), $37.
  • The IOMAXXTREMEMOLEX - WOW.  This product allows you to connect up to two Nintendo 64 Controllers and/or 2 Playstation controllers to your computer for use with games and Emulators. This Product supports all FORCE FEEDBACK enabled games that use the Windows Controllers/Input System. This Product gives you a special printer port for your existing printer and an Additional Parallel port for a scanner or another printer.  Presently out of stock.  $100.
  • The PSXN64TOPCUSB - PSX and N64 to USB port (Windows support only).  Allows connecting either a PSX or N64 pad to your USB port.  $42.
  • The PSXTOPCUSB - PSX to USB port (Windows support only).  Allows connecting a PSX pad to your USB port.  $45.  No, I don't know why you'd buy this one instead of the one above.
They plan to offer Genesis and Saturn adapters as well, and may customize a setup for you including a custom multi-adapter.  They'll also soon have an emulator support section with config files for you to download.  Too cool.  --- saint
New project
ElvisP pointed us to Suzuki's Ultimate MAME Cabinet - a Japanese only site that apparently has a custom-compiled version of mame with a new 15 Khz driver with amongst other support for s3 cards.  Thanks ElvisP :)  This is project #130! --- saint
New project
Added VideoMania to the projects page.  This is a slick looking 4 joystick cabinet - be sure to check out the before and after pictures.  Project #131 in the collection :) --- saint
New project
Added Ivo's Arcade kasten project - a Dutch web site detailing how he converted an old arcade cabinet to a MAME machine.  This makes project #132 in the collection - thanks Ivo! :)   --- saint
New project
Added MAME Cabaret UK to the projects page.  It's a two player keyboard hack cabaret cabinet that will soon be installing Andy's I-PAC interface.  This makes project #133 now! :)


Spinner Page Update

Added a link to Chad's writeup of his custom-built spinner--- saint
Spinner page update II
Chris wrote up an interesting technique he's created for his arcade spinner, similar to the TwistyGrip design... The Barrel Spinner!--- saint
New vendor
MCM Electronics has put there *full* catalog online, and they carry Happ products. Not sure if they still have a minimum, it used to be that they had a $20, but you could get around it by paying a $3 fee. When all you want is a button, would you whether pay $5 for a button, or $25 for a button and stuff you won't use? In their "Clearance Rack" tab in "gaming" they have 2-1/4" White Trackballs for $55. This site is still in its infancy, and the "Browse Catalog" isn't very user friendly, so type in Happ in the search box and hit enter. (note: Advanced Search doesn't work). --- Tom61
Back In Time -- Voodoo3 3500TV Review.  A pretty decent review, tests Mame and some other programs with it's TV-out. --- Tom61


New vendors

Added 3 additional vendors that sell t-moulding to the links page:  --- saint
New review
Added a review Howard sent me for Video Connections - an arcade parts vendor that sells among other things Wico leaf joysticks and buttons.  Alphabetized it while I was at it. --- saint
Download update
Added SNES Control Tester - a utility that will test your SNESpad-parallel port interface.  Puts a graphical SNESpad on the screen, and as you press buttons they light up onscreen.  Supports multiple parallel ports. --- saint
Updated the mouse section of the interfaces page.
Revamped the mouse section of the interfaces page.  Added information (finally) on using two mouse devices at the same time. --- saint
Download update
Added VGA-TV driver to the downloads page - converts the video signal from your VGA card to the frequencies a TV uses.  DOS app. --- saint
Free cabinets
 --- saint
Download update
Added Joystick To Mouse (demo - 669kb) to the downloads page.  Sorted downloads page alphabetically while I was at it. --- saint

New project

Added Keyfront 1.3.8 (2.4 MB) to the downloads page.  Keyfront is a frontend for SNESkey that lets you configure they keys via a slick gui.  Supports both SNES pads and Sidewinder! --- saint

New tip for emulators

Added a tip about controlling jerky movement with keyboard interfaces to the emulator support page. --- saint

New tip for emulators

Added TNG Sales to the arcade parts vendors listing.  They have NOS Wico leaf joysticks! --- saint


Free cabinets

--- saint


Arcade auctions

April 29th, US Amusement Auction is having an auction in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Meanwhile, Super Auctions is having an auction the same day in Fullerton, CA, 2116 E. Walnut Ave.  Call 714.535.7000 for more information.  --- saint

Building a home arcade
There's an interesting thread on about building the ideal home arcade room.  --- saint
New project
Martin sent me his new project(s) - two cabinets collectively called Mamearcade - Martin's done a heck of a job with the how-to details and this is definitely worth a visit.  Nice info on interfacing an arcade monitor.  Project #124 added to the list! --- saint
New vendor for PSX-PC interfaces
Imagination Works Computer Technologies is another vendor selling PSX interfaces.  Right now their web site is down, but as soon as it's up I'll post updated information.  They will also be selling N64 interfaces as well!  You can email them at their sales or interfaces mailboxes. --- saint
New commercial spinner project!
There is a new commercial spinner available!  The Fultra Spinner is an arcade spinner designed to interface with the Happ Controls trackball/spinner standard interface.  From their web page:
What is the Fultra Spinner?

The Fultra Spinner is an arcade game spinner control.  It can be used as a replacement in a dedicated arcade cabinet, or for home arcade emulators such as Mame.  It was designed for my Mame cabinet as an alternative to the $170 (spinner + PS/2 converter) that it would cost if purchased from an arcade parts distributor.

How does it work with...?

Mame  - You need to use a converter that translates the output of the spinner to a PS/2 mouse format.  There are a couple of ways to do this.  If you have a Hagstrom KE-72T encoder, you already have this capabillity.  If not, Hagstrom Electronics will be selling a 'stand alone' encoder in the near future.  Pricing has not been set to my knowledge.   Lastly, you can use the spinner with a dedicated arcade machine, it is pin compatible with the Happs trackball/spinner.

There's more info on the page, including a teaser that there will be a kit available to make it a Discs Of Tron spinner.  Price starts at $49.00 and up depending on options and shipping.  They will be sending me a demo unit to put through it's paces when available, so look for a review when that happens!  Added to the links, alternatives, and spinner page. --- saint
New cabinet
Added Lindz' MameArcade cabinet project (unrelated to the project above) to the examples page.  This is a networked PC2Jamma project that Steve updates across the network, never needing to open the cabinet.  Very cool :)  This makes project #125! --- saint
New cabinet
Added NEO-MAME to the examples page.  This is a two joystick keyboard hack with some big plans for the future.  This is project #126! --- saint
New cabinet
Added Second Chance Arcade to the examples page.  This is a fairly deep web site with many projects to read about.  This makes 127 projects! --- saint
New cabinet
Added Closet2MAME to the examples page.  Phydeaux has several video game projects on his site in addition to the video game cabinet, and it's a great site to visit :)  This makes project #128 now! --- saint
New cabinet
Skygodd strikes again!  He's got another project going (Ultimate Arcade Mark I, II) called ... the Ultimate Arcade Mark III - the Cocktail Files!  Check it out - this is project #129! --- saint
More to come...
Well, I got partially caught up on my emails tonight :)  More to come!  (Did I mention I got my MCSE?) --- saint


Free arcade cabinets

Free Stargate in NJ
Slight policy change
It's not a secret that there have been some problems with some vendors selling arcade controls.  There have been a few threads about it on the message board over the past couple of months.

I don't want to get into the specifics, but I do want to say that I'm fairly certain all the vendors had and have best intentions.  However, the average failure rate of new businesses is around 80%.  Anyway, the vendors and and their customers will have to work things out, and I hope things do work out.

Because of this among other things however, BYOAC will no longer post a list of recommended vendors.  This doesn't mean I do or don't personally feel comfortable doing business with a particular vendor - but the FAQ will no longer make any such statements.

Feel free to discuss these things on the message board, but please keep it civil.


Misc for sale

Check out the Ultracade
There's a new commercial offering called Ultracade.  From their web page:
"ULTRACADE is a new arcade system that puts multiple classic arcade games in one cabinet and multiple choices in the hands of the players and operators."
Sound at all similar to anyone?  :)  This is a commercial system running a customized PC/OS with VGA monitor for which you can buy licensed game packs (lots of CapCom games so far, some Taito).  You cannot put your own games in the system however, it only runs what you buy from the company.  Nonetheless very cool.  Thanks to Andy for the news :)
Dreamcast to Jamma interface
Michael Bobroski pointed us to this item - there's a commercially available Dreamcast to Jamma arcade interface allowing you to hook your Dreamcast to an arcade machine, with wheel and gun support!  $250 not including the Dreamcast.  Click on the misc section from their main web page to find it.  From their web page:
  The following games are supported right now,
  there will be a new BIOS chip available from time to time.

  SC-14 VIRTUA STRIKER 2 VER. 2000.1

I-Pac update!
Andy sent me an email about his latest changes to the I-PAC interface, and it looks great:)
Interface for PC to Arcade Controls and it now has a USB interface in addition to a regular keyboard connection. The new version has 28 inputs giving, for example, 2 sticks plus 8 buttons per player plus coin/start buttons. Also two units can be used together giving 55 inputs. Also supports LEDs. All the special MAME features of the original units are there in the form of shift function keys. Read about it updated site:

 Thanks for the update Andy!
More to come
More to come of course -- I'm still very far behind on my email, so please don't feel ignored if I haven't answered yet.


Not *quite* building your own arcade controls...

There's a free skeeball in Long Island New York - found on Tom61
New project
  • Rocket's Place - a just getting started 2-player with trackball cabinet. 123 projects now! Tom61
Dragon's Lair 2 PC conversion
Check this conversion out - use your PC to run Dragon's Lair 2 off the original laser disc - very cool.  Tom61
Found a cabinet with no key?
Anyone who gets into collecting arcade cabinets will run into this sooner or later - you find a cabinet that has the back locked and you have no key.  How do you get in without doing significant damage?  Here's the cure for what ails ya.  Tom61
Twin arcade stick for PSX (PC hack?)
Tom (different Tom) sent me this URL for a review of the Home Arcade Twin Shock joystick - a fairly cool looking dual joystick for the PSX that runs $49.99 - add a PSX convertor and you've got a cheap arcade stick for the PC - check it out :)
Free Taito cabinet in NJ
There's a free Taito cabinet up for grabs in New Jersey.


Another update from saint?

Yep :)
Miscellaneous news from the emulation scene you might not have caught...
  • Mike Green has added SNESpad support to EmuDX - the number of emus with built in SNESpad support is really building!  News pinched from Retrogames :)
  • Changes to the latest MAME of interest to us (from the what's new):
    • Gun support in Terminator 2. You must use the calibration screen to calibrate the gun.  When it asks the shoot the upper left corner, move the mouse towards (0,0), the middle is (128, 128) and the lower right corner is obviously (255, 255). If you have problems, delete hi/term2.hi.  [Zsolt Vasvari]
    • [DOS] If you are using a HotRod, use the -hotrod / -hotrodse switch to adjust the default keyboard settings. [Nicola Salmoria]
    • [DOS] Changed the tweaked VGA modes definitions to be more compatible.  It is suggested to delete mame.cfg to get rid of the obsolete tweak parameters. Remember to set tweak = yes after doing so. [Brian Lewis]
    • [DOS] The mouse buttons are no longer aliases for joystick buttons, they are independently recognized. They are not enabled by default, you'll have to add them to the controls if you want to. This is a minor annoyance that was needed to allow interfacing a Discs of Tron controller to the mouse port (spinner + up and down switches) while still using joystick buttons 1 and 2 for fire and deflect. [Nicola Salmoria]
    • Unified keyboard and joystick interface, now they are all assigned in the "Input" menu and you can mix them at will. Added the possibility to use a multiple keys or joysticks sequence to drive a generic action. This can be handy with consoles or cabinets with a limited number of buttons, to reuse all buttons with only one extra button, like a shift key. For example the COIN1 action can be mapped to the "Player 1 Fire" plus the "Extra Shift Button". It can also be used to map Q*Bert movements to joystick diagonals (since the orginal used a joystick rotate 45 degrees). It is also possible to have OR and NOT sequences. For recording OR key/joy sequences in the key/joy setup menu simply press UI_SELECT (usually ENTER) after the first recorded sequence. Don't press any UI_UP/UI_DOWN/UI_CANCEL keys beetwen the two sequences. To insert a NOT key/joy simply press it two times. The first obvious use for this is to wire button 1 to both the joystick and mouse button. [Andrea Mazzoleni]
    • [DOS] -hotrodse selects a more appropriate button configuration when NeoGeo games are played. [Paolo Fiorani]
    • The coin/start buttons are slightly changed. Now they are layed out this way:

    •   1,2,3,4 -> start 1,2,3,4
        5,6,7,8 -> coin 1,2,3,4
        9,0,-,= -> service coin 1,2,3,4
    • [DOS] The new Allegro provides support for PSX and N64 pads (info here:, Gravis GrIP devices, Wingman Warrior and IF-SEGA (Saturn joystick I/F card available in Japan).
    • New input type IPT_PEDAL. [Aaron Giles] (!)
    • *** WOW *** Enticing news for us :)

  • HELP WANTED! - Have you visited the emulation support page?  It's a page with a lot of potential value for the arcade controls community, but it's only partially built.  Can you fill in any of the holes?  Please take a look at the page, and if you can fill in any of the gaps email me.  Thanks!
PSX adapters
Jafusells a PSX gamepad adapter for the PC for $17 shipped, and has several good feedback comments on his message board about the quality of his cables.
Table of contents update
I've revamped the table of contents.  You can now choose the standard menu, or a new expanded menu with all the sections broken down.  The default is the collapsed menu.  Also, hovering over the buttons now gives you a line about what the section contains.  Please send me feedback on this - does it work better or does it just look hideous?  I'd like to avoid java/javascript coding so no drop down menu type of things...  Suggestions welcomed!
New project
Check out Steve's MacMAME Arcade Experiment - a Macintosh keyboard hack joystick console sporting two joysticks and a bunch of buttons.  Always happy to see a Mac project and this is a nice one.  This makes 122 projects now!
Another arcade cabinet vendor
Arcadeconversion is a web site selling full sized arcade cabinet conversions-to-MAME in the $1000 to $2000 price range.  I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has done business with them :)
More to come?
Sooner or later :)


An update from saint?

Yep - Tom raised enough tokens for a weekend pass, and I'm taking advantage of it to work on the FAQ :)  Next week it's back to my MCSE exams but for now....
New domain name!
No, we're not moving, I'm very happy with the service provided by, but we do have a new address now...  From now until the FAQ closes it's doors (presumably never), you will be able to find this site at!  The old address will continue to function as well.  While we're on the subject of changes, I'd like to thank and welcome Tom (Tom61) for helping update the FAQ!
Looking for a pre-built spinner?
Chris on the message board posted about a spinner that he is putting together and considering selling.  He's got a web site you can see all the details on...  It interfaces with the KE72, and looks very promising!  If you're interested, please drop Chris a line and give him feedback or drop a note on the message board.
New projects
Some of these may actually have been up for a while, and I apologize to the authors that it's taken me so long to get this posted.  New projects are: This puts us at 121 projects now!
Updated projects
New pictures are up of both Chad and Andy's separate MAME cocktail projects :)
New arcade console vendor!
I've not gotten details yet, but there's a new vendor selling stand alone arcade joysticks (single stick, 4 button) in Australia.  I should be getting details shortly, but if you're "down under" and looking for one to buy stay tuned!

Where's Saint?
The dreaded "Real Life" monster has taken him hostage and is demanding 100,000,000 tokens for his safe return... Or, it could be that his wife and his 7 month old baby is taking up quite a bit of his time... (I'm saving up tokens either way)

Anyway I (Tom61) am going to be updating now and then, hopefully once a week. I had originally planned to include some tips for finding stuff on ebay, but it didn't show up right on the main page, so look for that comming soon on either this or my page.

Stuff you can help with:
1. We (Saint and I) are looking for CGI scripts that would allow me to upload/edit the pages directly.
2. When you tell about your new project page on the message board, please have the word "project" somewhere in the subject, it's helps with catching up.
New projects:
Sommycade/Robotron 3000/Mini Tempest(not sure if all these are new since the last update, but at least one is)
Doodi's cocktail project
Kiddcade's M.A.M.E. Mock-up
Andy S's Cocktail Mame cab.
John & Mads Mame 2K
Tom61's project If I ever update it anyway...
If I've missed any email me at

Updating update
The slow pace of updates will probably continue for some time, until the fast pace of life slows down ...  I'll try to get timely things up here in small quick updates and leave the bigger projects for when I have more time.  Due apologies to anyone waiting on me for anything.
Ebay and things...
Things found around the net:
Err... more to come :)
Midnight - I almost didn't post this but someone might be interested in the ebay things above so... :)

Arcade Logo Contest Winners
And the winner is...  Logo #6 is the logo we've gone with, thanks to everyone who voted :)  You can see all the logos here.  The first three folks who voted for the logo, thereby winning the Capcom Coin-Op Classics #1 CD (thanks Hanaho!) are:  lextifer, stumpy, and macmichael - congratulations!  You've been emailed, when I hear back with your mailing information I'll get those out to you.  :)
Another Contest?
I have 6 more of the Capcom CDs to give away, so I'm looking for ideas on how to do so.  Nothing too elaborate, but something related to the FAQ would be nice.  :)
Free cabinets - 6 of them!
6 free cabinets about to be tossed on a bonfire next weekend if not rescued, including a sit down cabinet!  Read the message, and then if you're near easter Mass and are interested, email the owner!
Arcade Solutions reopens!
Arcade Solutions is once again taking orders!  Excellent news!  They are vendors of custom made arcade controls that have to be seen to be believed.  Andy Desak, owner, is a regular on the message board and a great guy.  He's building a couple more of his monster controllers and will be working on some "step-by-step" instructions as he does it, so look for good things to come in the future!  A visit to his site is highly recommended!
Caveman Joe's Cassette Drawer Console
Added Caveman Joe's Cassette Drawer hack to the stand alone section.  This is a PSX pad hack housed in a cassette drawer case that can be used for both PC and PSX games.  Very cool :)  This makes #111 added to our lists now!
Step-by-step guide modificatino
Modified the step-by-step guide to be friendlier to folks without frames.  If there's anyone out there who can't use frames, I'd be interested to hear how it works for you.
New Stick-It coming
Stick-It has a new offering coming down the pipeline soon - it's a very sexy looking curved arcade console, a USB only stick with the same features as the original, including the on-the-fly programmability, but now sporting a spinner!  Take a look at the rendered picture on their web page.  Availability will be in late April, but they are taking pre-orders now.  Cost?  $79-$89 :)
Arcade Solutions customer speaks
Speaking of Arcade Solutions - got an email from nate telling me about his web site featuring a custom built arcade controller from Arcade Solutions.  It's a two stick, spinner system with leaf joysticks and buttons.  The spinner is a kit from TwistyGrip -- Nate's had this controller since October, and has "only now put it down for a few minutes to make a webpage about it."  As this is a purchased and not a home-built product, we're not incrementing the count :)  Nate's also got a nice guide to video arcades that's worth spending some time on.  Thanks Nate!  Added to Arcade Solutions's section.
Enter the ButtonBox!
Got an email from Bill reminding me that I hadn't posted anything about the ButtonBox (message left on the message board some time ago...).  The ButtonBox is a build-it-yourself keyboard encoder with the following features:
  • Can be used in Direct or Matrix mode.
  • Up to 27 buttons can be connected in Direct mode.
  • Up to 64 buttons can be connected in Matrix mode (8x8 matrix).
  • Switch between Direct and Matrix mode "on the fly" (without reboot).
  • No "ghosting/masking key" problems in either Direct or Matrix mode.
  • Which button sends which keystroke is configurable from the PC using a configuration program (not available yet).
  • Any errors encountered in the ButtonBox are displayed on a LED.
  • No external power needed, it uses power from the keyboard interface.
The web site has hardware instructions, software to program it, and other info related to the encoder.  Looks great - thanks for the reminder Bill :)  Anyone building this please let me know!
Added a link to the technical page and monitor's page for Rockman's PC to Arcade doc that's fairly popular but hard to find.
More to come!
Think I'm finally catching up to normal update intervals... We'll see.  Many pages are getting minor or major revamps, between the time sensitive and quick updates.  Next on my radar is a separate page for Spinners.  I'm also about 1/3 caught up with my backlog of emails, many apologies for anyone who hasn't heard back from me yet (I've only let 255 messages queue up).  Stay tuned :)


I think this update's going to be big

Brien King's Arcade Restoration Workshop moves
If you haven't been to this page, you've missed out.  This is one of the must-visit pages for arcade collecting.  Visit it at it's new location.
Links page seriously revamped
Took the opportunity of a bit of quiet time this weekend to redo something that's bugged me for a while.  The links page has been seriously revamped (update on the update - still a work in progress, but I'm posting it anyway), take a look and please let me know what you think.  Among other things, added several arcade parts vendors and noted what countries they have offices in (I'm often asked for vendors outside the states).  If you know of any I haven't got listed, please let me know.
$5 off a PSX-PC convertor
The  PC-PSX page is having a sale on their PSX to PC pad convertors.  Print out this coupon, then head over to their web site and place your order :)  I do not know how long this sale is going to be - see their pricing page for more details and rules.
RB-Joy added
Added RB-Joy, a utility that simulates keypresses or mouse events with a joystick or gamepad, to the links page.
Chat Room!
A long time ago, I set up a chat room while I was experimenting with things to add to the FAQ.  I never publicized it, and recently found the link again.  The message board took off more than I ever thought it would, so... who knows? :) Chat room here.
Build a MAME cabinet for someone?
Someone in the 716 area code is looking for someone to build a MAME cabinet for them.  Interested?
Free GORF cabinet
Possibly too old, but posting it anyway... Tomm has a free Gorf cabinet in the Dallas area.
Slush pile
Well, this update took longer than the last one :)  Rather than sit on things forever, I thought I'd put some more of my "slush pile" up for the truly twisted to sort through.  This link takes you to the posts that I've pulled out of the message board as I delete messages.  These are messages that I felt had enough meat to them to be looked at to see if they should be added in one fashion or another to the FAQ.  No format or guarantees...
Arcade project
Added The Machine to the cabinets page.  This makes #107 -- thanks to Gerald for pointing out that I can't count :)
New web ring
We've joined the Custom Game Controls web ring, linked at the bottom of the page. :)
Logo contest winners!
I'll be announcing the winners of the logo contest on my next update, presumably this weekend :)  Thanks to everyone who sent in a vote!
CustomArcade happenings
Couple of blurbs regarding CustomArcade -- the first is that the RetroRadio CD from MonroeWorld is available for sale from CustomArcade's web page.  Second, CustomArcade has decided to donate $5.00 from any controller sale to charity.  Kudos to them!
Moonlight23 has moved
If you had a link to Moonlight23's internal pages, they probably won't work anymore - the site has moved, though the main page still works and points you to where you need to go...
Free Dragon's Lair cabinet in Cleveland Ohio
Gack, someone rescue this one before it hits the dump!  Dated 1/15, hope it's not too late.
Butler2000 added!
Rodney of Patriot fame has put up a site about his latest project, the Butler2000!  KE24 interface, removable control panels, uses the new MAME code for shifted key combinations... very well done.  This is system #108 to be added!
Free (almost?) Asteroids Deluxe cabinet
Columbus Ohio, an Asteroids Deluxe headed for the trash heap.  Was posted on 1/12, hope it's still there!
Four(!) free cabinets in Buffalo, NY
Again posted originally on 1/12, hope they're still there...
Side by side comparison pictures
Added side by side comparison pictures of the HotRod, Stick-It, and CustomArcade controllers to the alternatives page.
Xtreme MAME Machine
Added the Xtreme MAME cabinet to the collection -- features trackball, spinner, and a StarWars controller hack based off Jude's project.  Very well done, this makes project #109!
johnmac's MAME Machine
Added johnmac's MAME Machine - a keyboard/PowerRamp hack with trackball support as well, very nice!  This makes project #110!
More to come!
There's so much more on my to-do list...  Emails, bookmarks, and message board threads to add to the FAQ, products to review, pictures to post - I tried to get most of it up tonight, but sleepiness took over... I'm not sure I'll ever catch up :)  Stay tuned!

Happy New Year!

CustomArcade review!

Yes, at long last my review of my CustomArcade panel #2 is up!  Nutshell?  Holy cow, what a system!
You've no doubt seen the wonderful logo at the top of the main page by now.  The logo was created for us by mckechnossomy, whose efforts are very much appreciated!  I have posted a page with 14 different takes on the logo, and would like to invite you to take a look and vote for the one you like best.  The first 3 people to email me with the one that I ultimately choose will win a copy of the Capcom Coin-Op Classics CD, generously supplied to us by Hanaho!
Alternatives page seriously revamped
I spent some time and seriously revamped the alternatives page.  Added CustomArcade, Arcade2000, and a variety of other vendors.  Put in a chart comparing all the arcade console products at a glance.  Updated some bad links.
Reviews added
Added a couple of reviews to the review page, Atila's HotRod SE review, and Prophet's ArcadePC review.
Links page tweaked
Minor updates to links page.  Added a local mirror of the missing MAME Cocktail Project.  This project is being resumed so will be replaced with it's proper link soon.
LaserRot's Update
LaserRot's Arcade Cabinet has had a fairly big update with *lots* of pictures and some more information - stop on by to see what's new!
Onion's MAME Project
Onion sent me an email with news of his MAME project...  It's a 4 player arcade cabinet using a Hagstrom KE72T interface as the brains.  The controls include a trackball as well as the buttons and joysticks for four players.  The web site is still a work in progress, but there are pictures up and more to come.  Thanks Onion!  This makes 106 projects now!
Updates, thankyous, and more to come!
There's been a lot more to talk about than made it into this update.  Due to Y2K, holidays, and family, the FAQ took a major back burner seat until today.  I've simply run out of time, but there's much more coming.  A very big thankyou to the folks on the message board keeping everyone up to date with recent news.  More to come, stay tuned!

PC-Arcade disappears
PC-Arcade, the stand-alone arcade console vendor, appears to have disappeared.  Anyone have any information on them?

CustomArcade Arriveth!
Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  My CustomArcade arrived, and *WOW* -- review coming after I stop playing... Don't hold your breath! :)
Tis the season for giving . . .
I-PAC Home Page and update
I-PAC has a new home, and due to some savings in shipping and such, can now be had for $49!  The I-PAC is an arcade controls interface that will be reviewed here shortly :)
CustomArcade sets a record!
OK - so it was a person who set the record, but they were using a CustomArcade controller :) From CustomArcade...
Ron Corcoran of Snipercade has set a NEW World Record for Bosconion using our CustomArcade Controller!! Head over to Mark Longridge's site. Congratulations Ron!!
New Arcade Cabinet Project
Added B.A.C. (Build My Own Arcade Cabinet) project to the examples page.  This is a just-getting-started build-from-scratch Dutch cabinet.  This is #104 on our list now!
Links added to Manifesto
Added the following two depressing links to the manifesto page - most of you will have seen these already, they're not new.

Arcade junkyard
Arcade graveyard

Gerald Gorman's Cabinet added
*Finally* added Gerald Gorman's cabinet to our collection, and it's quite a project!  A very nice rotating monitor, custom designed artwork, PowerRamp and gamepad hack, definitely a must-see :)  This is project #105 on the list now!
ArcadeOS has been updated to version 2.33.  Some of the highlights include:
  • Added user definable 'Shift' functions.  For each emu you can now have 6 'shift functions' - these are triggered by holding down 'Start 1' and pressing one of the (3) player1 or (3) player2 buttons.  This lets you access an emulators 'extended' functions (Pause,UI,config etc.) from a standard JAMMA setup.
  • Keys to remap can now be set per game
  • Added PSX pad support(!)
MAME Update
An interesting bit in the newest MAME release - from the what's new file ...
Added the possibility to use a multiple keys or joysticks sequence to drive a generic action. This can be handy with consoles or cabinets with a limited number of buttons, to reuse all buttons with only one extra button, like a shift key. For example the COIN1 action can be mapped to the "Player 1 Fire" plus the "Extra Shift Button". It can also be used to map Q*Bert movements to joystick diagonals (since the orginal used a joystick rotate 45 degrees).  [Andrea Mazzoleni]
There's a thread on the message board about this new feature.
Contest Roundup
Don't forget there are several places you can win arcade consoles these days - a roundup of the ones I know of (anyone have more?  Let me know!)
  • SniperCade's MAME Deca2000 contest - a picture of the prize can be found here :) Prize from CustomArcade.
  • MonroeWorld's Classic Gaming Gauntlet  begins tomorrow - prizes from CustomArcade and Stick-It
  • JoseQ's Emuviews regular HotRod giveaway will be drawn on Christmas day this month, there will be 11 winners (1 HotRod, 10 CDs)
More To Come!
Ugh - there's more to come, but this is the third day I've tried to finish this update and if I don't upload it soon it'll get moldy :)  Stay tuned!  Could... could it be... a giveaway from BYOAC?  Hmmmm...

Holy Freebees Batman!
Found around the net . . .
Update delays ...
My vacation from work begins Saturday, and until then I'm up to my elbows in things at work, hence the dearth of updates.  Stay tuned, update probably Saturday or Sunday, a few new projects, maybe a review or two depending on the post office!

Happy Channukah!

Free cabinet in Philly, PA

From:    James S. Bright
Topic:   FREE: Cabinet in Philly, PA
Sent:    Fri, 10 Dec 1999 22:17:57 -0500

I have an empty Q*Bert cabinet that you can have for free. It still does have the monitor and the power supply. Everything else is pretty much gone. The side art is in very bad shape, and there is some water damage to the cabinet. It would be best suited for a MAME machine, but it could be restored if you put enough effort into it.  First person that can show up to pick it up gets it. I'll be around most of Saturday (tomorrow) and Sunday. I'd like to get it out of the basement this weekend if possible.

I-PAC now available!
Andy Warne's I-PAC (Interface for PC to Arcade Controls) is now available!  "The I-PAC is a small board which allows connection of arcade controls such as buttons and joysticks to a keyboard port on a PC motherboard. It was designed to use inside an arcade games cabinet with the PC board also mounted inside. It was designed so that a normal keyboard would only be needed for game loading and configuration, not for gameplay."  I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of Andy's I-PAC's, which I unfortunately haven't been able to hook up yet.  Over the holiday break I'm going to build a test rig, and the I-PAC will be the first interface I test with it :)  In a nutshell, it's a $56 non-programmable interface designed around the MAME standard - $56 includes shipping and cable, and looks to be an excellent choice!  The web page is temporary until Andy can get a permanent site up.
OptiMAME update
Andy G's updated OptiMAME to be in synch with MAME V36 beta 11.  Also included, his take on a generic 15khz driver is back, supporting triple buffering, 256 height games (SmashTV, Terminator 2, R-Types, use Page-Up and Page-Down to center the screen) as well as all the other OptiMAME enhancements.
New arcade cabinet
am sent me an email indicating "Another victim of your site!" :)  am's cabinet uses a 21-inch TV with SCART RGB input, using Tom Engdahl's VGA to TV converter circuit.  This is a keyboard hack project, with some permanent and some swappable controls.  Interesting approach, and well worth a visit.  This makes 103 projects now! :)
Hanaho CD shipping!
The Capcom Coin-Op Classics CD promised with purchase of a HotRod including the legal Capcom roms and a customized version of MAME32 is now shipping from Hanaho!  There's a bit of a backlog, so it may be a while before the CD catches up to everyone.
Pole Position controls...?!
What?  Pole Position with a joystick or keyboard isn't cutting it?  Someone might have the cure for what ails ya coming soon ... :)  Ask me no questions I'll tell you no lies, but this weekend might have some good news! :)
Sales round the net...
  • Crystal Castles cabinet /w jamma harness & power supply 10$(or free w/o pwr supply). I'm in Irving, Tx. Come and get it,or I'll have to break it up over the weekend.  Jeff Hewitt
  • Happ Controls Airplane Joystick
  • An interesting item... NINTENDO SUPER SYSTEM ARCADE
  • Crystal Castles Trackball assembly
  • RocketCADE is selling some components - a Hagstrom LP24 (slightly-used) and a HappControls serial trackball interface
  • Free cabinet:
    • From:  Teaganm
      Topic: FREE: Asteroids Cabinet in Connecticut
      Sent:  Thu, 9 Dec 1999 18:13:56 -0500
      Free Asteroids cabinet. Just the stripped cab. Must be picked up by next week or it turns to firewood. Email for details.
You might have noticed the pace of updates slowing a tad - it's the holidays and end of year catching up with me.  I'm a computer geek by trade, and last minute end-of-year activity at work is eating into my spare time :)  Good news however is that my private email address that I use to correspond with people is finally stable again.(!)  Also, a couple of folks have sent me stuff that I need to convert to HTML before I can post it, which will be a small bit before I have the time.  Look for Gerald's arcade cabinet, and some good advice from Scott on monitor adjustment.  Gah, 106 messages in my "arcade FAQ" folder to sort through!  More to come!

Happy Channukah!

I-PAC now available!
Andy Warne's I-PAC (Interface for PC to Arcade Controls) is now available!  "The I-PAC is a small board which allows connection of arcade controls such as buttons and joysticks to a keyboard port on a PC motherboard. It was designed to use inside an arcade games cabinet with the PC board also mounted inside. It was designed so that a normal keyboard would only be needed for game loading and configuration, not for gameplay."  I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of Andy's I-PAC's, which I unfortunately haven't been able to hook up yet.  Over the holiday break I'm going to build a test rig, and the I-PAC will be the first interface I test with it :)  In a nutshell, it's a $56 non-programmable interface designed around the MAME standard - $56 includes shipping and cable, and looks to be an excellent choice!  The web page is temporary until Andy can get a permanent site up.
OptiMAME update
Andy G's updated OptiMAME to be in synch with MAME V36 beta 11.  Also included his take on a generic 15khz driver is back, supporting triple buffering, 256 height games (SmashTV, Terminator 2, R-Types, use Page-Up and Page-Down to center the screen) as well as all the other OptiMAME enhancements.
New arcade cabinet
am sent me an email indicating "Another victim of your site!" :)  am's cabinet uses a 21-inch TV with SCART RGB input, using Tom Engdahl's VGA to TV converter circuit.  This is a keyboard hack project, with some permanent and some swappable controls.  Interesting approach, and well worth a visit.  This makes 103 projects now! :)
Hanaho CD shipipng!
The Capcom Coin-Op Classics CD promised with purchase of a HotRod including the legal Capcom roms and a customized version of MAME32 is now shipping from Hanaho!  There's a bit of a backlog, so it may be a while before the CD catches up to everyone.
Pole Position controls...?!
What?  Pole Position with a joystick or keyboard isn't cutting it?  Someone might have the cure for what ails ya coming soon ... :)  Ask me no questions I'll tell you no lies, but this weekend might have some good news! :)
Sales round the net...
You might have noticed the pace of updates slowing a tad - it's the holidays and end of year catching up with me.  I'm a computer geek by trade, and last minute end-of-year activity at work is eating into my spare time :)  Good news however is that my private email address that I use to correspond with people is finally stable again.(!)  Also, a couple of folks have sent me stuff that I need to convert to HTML before I can post it, which will be a small bit before I have the time.  Look for Gerald's arcade cabinet, and some good advice from Scott on monitor adjustment.  Gah, 106 messages in my "arcade FAQ" folder to sort through!  More to come!

(The "no life" update)
For sale and stuff... (second update of evening)
Wasn't planning an update tonight, but... I've got no life :)
PSXEmu did a mini-review of the USB SmartJoy adapter (Playstation to USB adapter).  Thanks to Emulation HQ for the lead!
Hanaho vacation!
The folks at Hanaho are taking time off for the holidays, so if you are intending to purchase a HotRod or ArcadePC, order soon (before December 16th)!
Classic Gaming Gauntlet begins!
MonroeWorld's Classic Gaming Gauntlet contest begins December 21st - prizes include offerings from Custom Arcade (grand prize #1) and StickIt (grand prize #2), among others!
Atari 2600 trackballs
Nivo posted a message about a web site he found selling Atari 2600 trackballs, and other vintage Atari/C=64/etc joysticks and controllers.  Thanks Nivo! :)
Sleepy . . . :)
A new project or two to add, reviews coming down the pipeline of the CustomArcade and the ZipStick, and I'm going to an arcade auction tomorrow...  Here's hoping I find that $300 sit down StarWars cabinet! :)

Update OK
The move went smoothly, back to normal operations... (11:15 PM)
Ultimate Arcade Machine Mark II!
Skygodd (of the Ultimate Arcade Machine) has begun work on his new machine, the Ultimate Arcade Machine Mark II!  It's a keyboard hack with arcade monitor using ArcadeOS and the monitor rotates :)  Looks like an excellent project!  This makes project #101!
MORE free cabinets!
Skygodd has yet more free cabinets available - 3 to be exact: Visit his web site for more details (click the for-sale link).  This information was given to me on 11/30, so I hope they haven't been given away yet :)  He also has some nice machines for sale.
Arcade Paradise update
Arcade Paradise has been made Netscape friendly, so if you haven't had a chance to visit, now you can :)
New arcade project
Bourdo passed on to me his new arcade cabinet, Bourdo's MAME Millennium Cabinet!  I really like the looks of this thing, with an extended control panel that exceeds the width of the cabinet on the left and right sides.  As I've pondered my own design, before swappable panels started to surface, I thought about something similar.  This cabinet is a PC2Jamma/ArcadeOS type of project.  This is project #102!
ZipStick move
ZipStick has a new URL, and would like to announce that they are selling their shells (the console without the electronics to hack your own pads and such) at a $10 discount till the end of the year.  Good time to buy if you're thinking of this route.
More to come...
There's more to come, including some things that people have sent me a few days ago, but it's midnight :)  More to come!

Not a real update, but . . .
Just a quick rundown of a few items that are kind of timely... We are in the middle of moving from one location on Speedhost to another, so there *may* be a small interuption in some parts of the FAQ, such as the message board.  No problems anticipated, but if you see them I'll be working on them (11 PM Eastern).


-=*1 0 0 *=-

100th cabinet - excellent arcade cabinet site!

John sent me a link to his new cabinet project, Arcade Paradise, and it's another jaw-dropper :)  The cabinet itself is a nicely done project - joysticks, trackballs, spinners, 19" SVGA monitor, and a very nicely done marquee.  However, the web site is extremely well done also, with kudos going to John's wife Lundie as webmistress.  An abundant amount of detail and explanation went into the site in an easy to follow flow - very nice.  Be aware however that the menu system only seems to work with Internet Explorer and not with Netscape.  Visiting this site is highly recommended.  John has the honor of being project #100 on the FAQ!  One year ago there were 18 projects listed - that's an amazing amount of creativity and work by everyone out there!
Totally revamped the Other Projects (Formerly Examples) page.  Now 18 projects linked with a short list of their highlights.
Thanks to all 100 project creators and to those who have contributed in other ways, everyone who has put their creativity up for others to share - I love this hobby!  With a month to go, 1999 has been one hell of a year - what will 2000 bring? :)
Cabinets 98 & 99
Some time ago, PacFan sent to me his two arcade cabinet projects - but somewhere in the confusion I lost them.  Having re-sent them, cabinets #98 & 99 have been added to the list!  That's right - not content to build just one, PacFan has built two cabinets and is working on a third :)  They feature PowerRamp interfaces, one with a WG3100 monitor, and the other with a refurbished monitor from Happ Controls.  Good work :)
Arcade2000 price break!
Just in time for holiday shopping, Arcade2000 has finally been able to add credit card ordering.  To celebrate, they're giving a $100 price break to anyone ordering via credit card before December 15th!
Trackball section revamped
While we're on the subject of lost pages... Some time ago Andrew Bartmess and VoodooChile sent me writeups on connecting the CompUSA Crystal Trackball to arcade cabinets.  I mentioned it in the news, both of them really well done, and then promptly forgot to give them permanent homes. I took the opportunity to redo the trackball section while adding their contributions there.  Added links to their writeups, and redid the Happ/KE72 information a bit.
Arcade Movie!
If you haven't yet, you owe it to yourself to go pick up a copy of the arcade movie being hosted presently on Arcade@Home's web site.  It darn near got me misty eyed, it's a great piece of work and has been added to my must-have for my cabinet. Don't think twice, just go download it - added to the EyeCandy section of the downloads page.
Happ Controls trackball with Hagstrom KE72 encoder
My daughter and I spent the evening yesterday playing Crystal Castles and Centipede using a real arcade trackball from Happs Controls hooked up to a Hagstrom KE72 encoder.  Outstanding!  Added a writeup of the trackball/interface to the KE72 page.

Happy Thanksgiving!
to all the Americans out there,
and happy thursday
to everyone else!

Routine site tinkering

Added a search feature to the message boards - now you can search the active messages for a keyword and only those messages will be pulled up.  Feedback on whether or not that's useful would help.  I'm planning to add search capability to the archives as well...
T-moulding site added
Added a link to a site that makes T-moulding in some 17 colors to the links page.  I believe I was made aware of this link via the message board but cannot recall for sure.

Free cabinets
Couple of free cabinets in NY, both found on R.G.V.A.C. The first one:
Subject: Cleaning house FREE CABS
From: (I Hate Spam)
Date: 1999/11/23
check out the pic and if you want them come and get them.
Buffalo, NY
And the second one courtesy of Joe on the message board:
*****Please respond to
or call 1-888-380-9926
PC-PSX Adapters for sale
Emultion has begun to sell PC-PSX adapters.  Info courtesy of Retrogames.
Nintendo Mini-Arcade
Ethan sent me an interesting link.  He's taken a slightly different but very cool approach, and has built a mini-arcade cabinet housing a Nintendo NES, dubbed the Nintendo Mini-Arcade.  Expandable and with some fairly cool graphics on the cabinet, this makes #97 on our list!  3 more to go!  By the way, the ProPlay Home Arcade was found (ok, the author found me technically...).  Still hunting the other two :)
Joynet Gameport Hub
For those of you using wanting to use the gameport for your system, here's an interesting gadget. offers a product called the Joynet Gameport Hub.  It connects up to four digital or analog joysticks, gamepads, and controllers to your PC. Useful for two player, three player, and four player games. Works with analog and digital controllers.  Has been tested with MS-Sidewinder game controllers.  Reviews linked off their web site.  This one has been in my slush pile for a while, but I believe I originally found it at the Control Center, one of the sites on my must-visit list.
Meanwhile in the truly cool department . . .
While sorting through my slush pile, I found this bookmark to the Games Domain Review.  One article I found on their site was a review for the Wizzard Pinball Controller.  It's a set of two buttons that you mount on either side of your keyboard to use as flipper buttons for pinball games.  Yeah, big deal right?  Well, the cool thing about these is that inside the controllers are little balls that when bumped roll around and interact with optical sensors.  What this gets you is the ability to nudge the machine just like in a real pinball game.  They complained that nudging the keyboard was kind of dull because the keyboard was so light, but imagine them mounted to the sides of your arcade cabinet playing pinball games... flip, flip, nudge, nudge, slam, TILT!  Sigh... Unfortunately, near as I can tell they haven't been made since 1996 (Thrustmaster).  Anyone know where these might be found?
More message board mining
There is really some excellent information to be found in the message board archives.  I sort through it very slowly, and pull out what I think is worth posting in the FAQ, but it takes me months.  Good reading to be found there.  Anyway, today's topic extracted from the archives is wiring.  Wiring a cabinet, wiring an encoder, wiring coin door lights, what kind of wire to use, etc...  Added to the Finishing Touches page.  Many people from the message board quoted and credited, please holler if you prefer I remove your name and leave it anonymous.  Thanks for all your expertise!
Battlezone style tank lever controls
Another one from my slush pile and the  Games Domain Review.  This article on building joysticks has a piece on creating true Battlezone style tank lever controls (halfway down article, #3).  It involves building a circuit, but if you're a Battlezone nut, how can you not build this one? :)

I've been having horrid email problems past few days, with emails to me bouncing.  My main email address,, should work fine.  Someone please let me know on the message board if email to that address bounces.  Email from my "private" account is sending out fine, but people are getting bounces when they reply.  I've got a threat of mayhem into my ISP to fix that, but they tell me it will be a couple of days.  Please forward anything that bounced to me to the address.
Site changes
I was never able to really crunch the survey data into something useful, so it has been removed.  I've finally put up the Manifesto, and I encourage everyone to please read it and if you have any feedback to please let me know. :)  Also, the cabinets page has undergone a facelift, and now includes 9 links to plans for building your own cabinet from scratch, among other things.  Linked Jude's Star Wars yoke hack (never did give it a home apparently).
Disappearing cabinet examples
A few arcade cabinet projects have either moved or disappeared.  I have offline mirrors of all but one of them if we can't find their new location, but... Can anyone help find the following: Any info would be great :)
Ebay stuff

Interesting thought department (Dreamcast)
While surfing through the Build Your Own Arcade-Style Controls site (no affiliation, but a good site), I came across some interesting links, including this one:  Ultimate Video Game Accessories sells a product called the Dreamstation that apparently lets you use your PSX controllers in a Dreamcast machine, with the Dreamcast rumble stuff supported.  You can read a review on the Dreamstation here - there are some drawbacks to the Dreamstation so read the review first if you're considering one.

Several folks have asked recently if anyone knew of any arcade stick hacks for the Dreamcast, as it has a fairly unique controller.  Now you might consider hacking a PSX pad, and hooking it up via this adapter to your Dreamcast, and... *presto* -- Anyone doing this please let me know how it works!

Stephan Hans no longer selling N64 adapters
Due to the overwhelming demand on his time, Stephan has stopped selling the N64 adapters and kits that are popular for interfacing N64 controllers to PCs.  However, he links to someone who is still selling them (as well as PSX adapters).  Thanks for all you've contributed to this hobby Stephan :)
Sidekick 2000
Another interesting site linked off the Build Your Own Arcade-Style Controls site is Sidekick 2000.  They have instructions for building arcade sticks for PSX, and of particular interest, they sell components for doing the same including the empty case to house it in.  If you're looking for a shortcut, you might pay them a visit.
The ULTIMATE Arcade Machine
Added a new project to the cabinets page.  This is a from-scratch built arcade cabinet with a Hagstrom KE-24 interface.  Complete price listing on the web site is an interesting read for people who are just getting started and are wondering what they're in for :)  Added to the cabinets page, this is project 94!
Master of All MAMEKind
Added another project this evening, the Master of All MAMEKind. A rescued Gauntlet II cabinet that had been victimzed by some unfortunate prior conversions, now featuring a removable 4 person control panel that can be replaced with a flight stick, two person MK style controls, and more.  Site has downloadable plans for a mini-cabinet.  Custom artwork that looks to be incredible when completed.  This makes 95 projects now!
Retro Renovation - PacMan Lives!
Added still another project!  This one was a fairly damaged PacMan cabinet that was rescued and converted into an emulation arcade cabinet.  Lots of pictures on the web site.  Most notable feature on this one is instead of creating their own control panel, they purchased a Stick-It to use for their controls, and are quite happy with the results!  This makes 96 projects!  4 more to go, 6 weeks to go, will we make it? :)
Free cabinets
11/17/99, 2 free cabinets spotted in Michigan, 1 free cabinet spotted in Houston.
News from ZipStick
ZipStick has moved to a new location, and sports a new look on their web site.  There's a good possibility there will be some reviews of the ZipStick coming soon.  I also updated some of the details on the Alternatives page about the ZipStick - short recap, they offer a variety of models, and will also sell the bare shell (wood, buttons, joysticks) so you can hack your own interface and use their outsides (great for a PSX or N64 hack, for instance).
RocketCade update
Got news from RocketCade that they have declared their project officially finished!  Er... phase 1 that is :)  Phase two, which will start after Thanksgiving, will include
the new KE-72 encoder, hot-swappable controls, and the ability to plug in 2 more controls for 4-player fun.  Sounds great!

Also, he asked me to pass on that he's looking for a pair of working positional guns (like those used in Terminator 2) for a new project, and if anyone has a pair they're looking to unload, please visit his site and send him an email.

ArcadeSolutions move
ArcadeSolutions' web site has had a slight address change.  While they are not presently taking orders, Andy of ArcadeSolutions still remains a member of the build-your-own community and is thinking of putting up some of his "tricks-of-the-trade" tips on his site.  The custom-built consoles from Arcade Solutions are absolutely among the best looking products I've seen, and so tips from them would be high on my must-read list.  Don't look for them anytime before the holidays though, and as he's still a newlywed, it may take him a bit of time to post anything :)
CustomArcade / SniperCade Contest
This one slipped by me, but not by folks who read the message boards.  SniperCade is having a contest, in which one of the prizes comes from CustomArcade - be sure to head on over and take a look at the details.  Speaking of CustomArcade, recent news on their site indicates that they're now accepting COD orders (you have to arrange that via email).  :)
SideWinder DOS utility
Thanks to Ace for passing this on, we've added a new utility that disables Windows' control over the SideWinder, which is beneficial in getting Sidewinders to work in DOS emulators.  Probably a must have if you are going to use Sidewinders in your arcade hack.  Added to the downloads page.
Prophet of Retrogames has been mysteriously quiet today... could that mean he got his ArcadePC?  If not, it should be soon - look for his comments on it soon as well I think :)
More to come!

100th real update

If I've counted correctly, tonight's update (albeit a bit small) is the 100th real update of the FAQ since it was begun some two years ago.  Er...  Champagne anyone?  Root beer maybe? :)  It's been a long fun ride so far, and I appreciate all the support and input from the folks out there.

--- saint

PowerRamps available again

Thanks to a message from Just Michael for the news, the PowerRamps are once again available from Act Labs for $19.99.  They sold out fairly quickly at this price last time, so if you're thinking you might want to use one of these in your project, I'd buy it now :)  Thanks JM!
New Arcade Control Interface
Andy Warne has posted a message on the board about a new interface he's developed for arcade controls.  If you are interested in an interface to wire your own controls to, you might want to take a look.  Some of the highlights of this interface are:
  • All joystick/button connections made via screw tag strip.
  • All button inputs referenced to ground - no need to re-wire seperate grounds to each button.
  • AT keyboard port connector (PS/2 adapter will work).
  • No matrix - no ghosting.
  • Fast running software onboard gives faster response than standard keyboard controller.
  • Autocoin mode allows hot key (button) combination to insert coin, similar combination to generate ESC sequence (not a combination that will be hit during normal gameplay).
  • Keyboard passthru - but no keyboard required to boot PC (keyboard is optional, in other words).
  • 21 inputs preconfigured for MAME defaults.
  • Estimated price $35.
Andy hasn't indicated an intent to go into regular business, but expects to have extras to sell.  They are currently being beta tested.  Read the message and if you're interested give Andy a holler :)

KE72 has arrived!
I got my KE72 in the mail today :)  I'm very impressed and can't wait to start fiddling with it.  I'm going to order a Happ Controls trackball and see how that works :)  I've put up a page with pictures and a few details, which I should be expanding hopefully as I play with the encoder more.  BTW - all the pictures, including the imho very clear close-ups were taken with my Sony Mavica FD-88 digital camera.  Thanks to everyone who gave me their opinion on which camera to buy, I'm very happy with my purchase :)
New cabinet project
Anthony sent me an email with his arcade cabinet project,the Hybird Cab, and he's taken an approach I haven't seen anyone else take so far.  The control panel is fairly nice, but the interesting thing is that instead of being a full-sized cabinet, it's more of a cabinet stand with the monitor perched on top.  Interesting approach, take a look.  Added to the cabinets page, this makes 93 projects now!
New OptiMAME
Andy Geezer posted a message on the board about his latest revision to his MAME derivation, OptiMAME.  What's that about dual mouse support? Serial and serial, ps/2 and ps/2, or serial and ps/2? :)
MAME logo
Over at the official MAME site, there's a 5000 x 4000 semi-official MAME logo (Nicola has not yet blessed it with "official" status I believe) that would be perfect for anyone wanting to use it for cabinet art.  It's over 700 KB, so be warned :).
MORE to come!
Much more to come still... Should I just stop saying that and leave it as a given? :)

Script Work
Trimming down the main message board file has mushroomed into mucking about with the scripts - I lost a couple of messages inadvertantly, but shouldn't be doing anything with the main file anymore.  I'll be messing with the scrtips probably for the rest of the day.  Anyone with some experience with PERL and/or tweaking wwwboard scripts want to give me an email? I could use the help :)


I'm Back!

Updates resume
In the past 3 weeks I've been to 3 states and have taken off and landed 8 times - I'm tired :)  Updates are now resuming - I'm out of vacation time so there shouldn't be many more interuptions - thanks for your patience :)
New Hagstrom Encoders!  This is *THE* way to do it!
Thanks to Ray of the incredible CustomArcade and to Dave from Hagstrom for the news, the all new encoders from Hagstrom are now available!  They are custom built for arcade control applications, and the list of features is amazing.  They are in stock and ready to ship!  The full press release can be found here, but some of the highlights:
  • The KE72 scans 72 individual inputs, with no chance for ghosting - it's not a matrix!
  • Any input may be programmed to output up to 32 keystrokes when pressed, and up to 16 keystrokes when released.
  • Inputs may be individually selected to repeat.(!)
  • You can use custom connectors, or IDE ribbon cables for your wiring.
  • The user creates his own configuration file for loading into the KE72.  This file is a text only file.  Once the configuration file is created, the user runs a supplied program to load the configuration into the KE72.  The KE72 may be loaded through the keyboard port (DOS mode) or through it's serial port (DOS or Windows).
  • The KE72 has an option for a Mouse/Trackball interface.  The KE72-T model emulates a PS2 mouse as well.  This allows you to connect a Track Ball or similar device to the KE72 and have it emulate a mouse.  The Mouse/Trackball option can be purchased as an addon later to upgrade the KE72 as well.  Check out the last item on the prices below.

    KE72 72 input keyboard encoder $119.95
    KE72-T KE72 with Mouse/Trackball interface $139.95
    KE-MM6-mini 6 pin miniDIN Male/Male Cable, 6 ft. $  5.95
    KE-TBH3 Happ Controls Trackball to KE72 Cable $  9.95
They will be putting up pictures and details soon, but best of all, I'm getting an evaluation copy I'll be putting through it's paces and posting about here :)  Plus, of course, I'll get to see what CustomArcade has done with the encoders as well - it's looking like a great holiday season! :)

(BTW - message board readers have known about this for days!)

ArcadeOS update!
ArcadeOS has been updated to version 2.32!  Many enhancements, including a key-remapper that's the bees knees.  Be sure to check it out :)
CRT/Monitor FAQ
Found a reference to an excellent CRT FAQ that covers the monitor from top to bottom, including a good piece on monitor safety and discharging.  If you are going to muck about with your monitor, this should be added to your must-read-to-prevent-pain-and-dismemberment list.  Local mirror.
New arcade cabinet project!
James emailed me his project, inspired by Mr. Salty's cabinet :)  James' cabinet sports two joysticks with 14 total buttons, a KE-24 interface, MAME logo sideart, and is still a work in progress :)  This makes 92 projects now - T-8 and counting, with about 6 weeks to go! :)  Added to the cabinets section.
News from ZipStick
Got an email from the ZipStick folks about some changes to their product.  Hagstrom Electronics has developed a custom designed LP-24 encoder with PS/2 connector, macro-key capability, up to 16 keys per button, 24 dedicated inputs (no ghosting!), and programmability through the PS/2 connector.  The ZipStick runs for $139.95, and is available now!  Anyone purchasing one please send me a review :)
More to come!
Next up on my to-do list is the message board (halving the size, it's about 400 KB now!), and after that taking a look around to see what needs attention the most.  Suggestions welcomed.  If you've sent me an email I haven't answered, please bear with me - I'm a 150 or so behind :)  I hope to catch up on the bulk by this weekend, and intend to answer every one :)  Thanks for the support!

Custom Arcade Cometh!
Custom Arcade Revealed!
This is the one that's been burning a hole in my fingers since I first learned of it some time ago :)  A new arcade controls vendor enters the scene in a big way!  This business venture is coming from none other than our very own VoodooChile, aka Ray Iddings!

Custom Arcade will not officially open for business for a few days, but they're asking folks to help beta test their web site at it's temporary location, where you can see some of their incredible offerings!

Some of the highlights!

  • Selling both stand-alone arcade controls and full-sized and cocktail arcade cabinets.  The cabinets come sans computer or monitor, so you can build your own using their cabinet, or you can arrange to have a system customized with their business partners at Business Computing Solutions.
  • A Modular System of 5 Interchangeable Panels with ARCADE QUALITY Joysticks and Buttons.
  • Exclusive agreement with the TwistyGrip folks to manufacture and sell TwistyGrip StarWars yokes!  Yes!
  • No ghosting or latency problems thanks to the 72 Direct Input Fully Programmable Keyboard Encoder!  Development of this interface being one of the reasons this took so long to come to market.
  • Each StandAlone and Cabinet comes with 2 Pinball Style buttons. "Nudging" the StandAlone or Cabinet registers the "TILT" just like a real pinball machine.(!)
  • All Configurations can be purchased...
    • As a Panel Only with NO encoder Or StandAlone Box.  Once you have purchased a  encoder/StandAlone you never need another.
    • As a Panel with Encoder.
    • As a Panel, Encoder and Stand Alone Box.
  • They'll have available joysticks, top fire joysticks, spinners, trackballs, and of course the StarWars yokes.
Bear in mind the site is still in beta testing - the online ordering page is not yet working.  Visit their beta web site for more information!  If you have suggestions or spot problems, please email Ray and let him know :)  Ray's been a long time member of and contributer to this community, and we wish him well in this new venture!

(Did I mention I'm getting one of these to play with and review? :)  Stay tuned . . .)

As if that wasn't good enough news :)
Enter the ZipStick!  A new arcade joystick vendor has set up shop selling a stand-alone arcade console called the ZipStick.  They're expecting to be up-and-running sales wise in a couple of weeks, and their web site is still under construction.  So far you will find pictures of one of the prototypes, featuring the Hagstrom KE-IC interface which uses 24 discrete inputs meaning no chance of ghosting.  The controllers are expected to be in the $120-$130 range, and they'll sell just the shell (wood housing, trimmings, controls, no electronics) for about $80, so you can hack your own custom joystick - say for the N64 or PSX for instance!  An excellent idea!  Pictures and more details are available on their web site!
New arcade cabinet project
Added Sylicon1's arcade cabinet project to the cabinets page.  This project is just getting off the ground, and is presently an assembled wooden cabinet only.  However, Sylicon1's page is full of interesting projects, so I'm looking for an interesting project when all's said and done :)  This puts us at 91 projects!  T-9 and counting!
New arcade cabinet project #2!
Added the Space Invaders - MAME Restoration Project to the cabinets page.  This is a restored Space Invaders cocktail cabinet turned into a MAME machine, using a Hagstrom LP-24 as the interface.  Very nice - the more of the cocktail cabinets I see, the more I think I need one in my living room :)  This makes 92 projects! T-8 and counting!
And the winner is . . .
The Sony Mavica FD-88.  The quality of picture combined with the floppy disk interface made this my choice for digital camera - thanks to everyone who emailed me advice!  It should get it's first break-in taking pictures of the PowerRamp Mite I got a few days back. :)
More To Come!
I've got a lot of email to catch up on still, so if you sent me something that hasn't made it's way here yet, please bear with me :)  It should be forthcoming shortly!

Jim's Robby Roto Mame Machine
Check this one out!  Jim's put up a page with his Robby Roto MAME Machine project, with many pictures of his excellent work, and some good advice.  A unique feature I've not seen elsewhere is his outstanding stained-glass marquee!  Added to the cabinets page, this makes 90 projects!  Outstanding!
Fun stuff?  What's this? :)
What's this?  What's this?  :)

OptiMAME updated
Andy has updated OptiMAME to the latest MAME release.  Thanks for the heads up Andy! :)
Peter's Arcade Joystick added!
Peter of EmulationHQ has a Sidewinder hack joystick project that he's passed on to me to share.  Thanks Peter!  This makes 89 projects now!
LuSiD's Arcade Flashback added!
LuSiD's Arcade Flashback added to the cabinets page.  This is another scratch-built arcade cabinet featuring a large control panel with dual sticks, a trackball, and a spinner, and although a work in progress, it looks sharp already.  This makes 88 projects now!
New Mac arcade joystick page
Chris, of Chris' MacStick, has a new Mac arcade joystick project starting.  He's currently working on an Ikari Warriors style rotary joystick hack.  Added to the stand-alone controller page.  #87!

Some fun stuff coming!
This may shape up to be an exciting week!  :)  Don't change that dial!
New arcade project
Goody's Arcade Cabinet Project is #85 on our page of projects!  Are we going to hit 100?  Goody's is a project that is just getting started, but already has the outer cabinet built.  The rest of the guts are on the way :)
New arcade cabinet #2!
Also new today - Il Cabinato!  I believe the site is in Italian.  AltaVista does a decent translatingjob.  This makes 86 projects now :)
More to come
Well, I had hoped for a bigger update tonight, but I've been answering some absolutely awesome email.  I'd like to thank everyone who has sent me warm fuzzies in the past couple of days, very much appreciated!  Also... argh I can't stand it, I can't say yet I can't say!  Exciting things to come!

BTW - I'm buying a new digital camera.  Anyone want to email me a recommendation or warning about a brand/model?  Much appreciated!

Page updates
Updated the Interfaces and Technical pages, trying to make them easier to read/navigate and expanding on content a bit.  Corrected some information on ghosting thanks to an email from Jim (thanks Jim!) - the conclusions haven't changed, but the details were corrected to be more accurate.
Advertising?  Say it isn't so!?
For the almost two years this site has existed, we have not accepted advertising.  I did not want any influences on the editorial content of the FAQ.

Recently however, I've rethought that policy.  As of now, this FAQ will allow limited advertising.  In no way, shape or form will it be allowed to affect site content.  Also, it will not overwhelm the FAQ itself.  Advertising will be found only in two places - at the bottom of the news page, and on the links page.  For a full list of the details of the advertising policy, see the advertising policy page.  BTW - most ads that find their way here will be bartered for, and not paid for...

StarWars controller hack page
Jude's excellent StarWars controller hack has been html'ized and is now online.  It's a damn fine job if I must say so myself, I had some fun with this one :)  Several pictures to help illustrate the article...

Time to Stick-It!
Got my Stick-It the other day, and have been playing and testing it since :) Review is now up!
New MAME release
The new MAME release includes something of interest to arcade control folks - from the what's new:
[DOS] The new Allegro library supports the Gravis GrIP devices, use -joy grip or -joy grip4 to enable.
Good news for folks thinking of using or hacking a GrIP :)
Arcade Solutions closing up shop
I just received a semi-sad piece of email from Andy of Arcade Solutions - vendor of custom arcade joysticks and cabinets.  Due to a variety of things, including a new wife and new job, Arcade Solutions is closing up shop.  It may be temporary, time will tell.  When things calm down, there's a good possibility that we'll see more of Arcade Solutions/Andy, if only on the message boards.  He's unable to update his web site right now so has asked me to pass the word along.

Andy's always been very gracious about passing his expertise along to folks on the message board to help them with their projects, and is much appreciated.  Good luck with your future efforts Andy!

Dave's Video Game Classics metamorphesis
Dave's Video Game Classics has undergone a significant change.  We're not an emu site here, but so much of this hobby originated on Dave's message boards that I find this pertinant.  Check out the new site at this new URL.  Good luck Dave!

Updating in chunks this weekend . . .
Schedule is really chaotic so I'm updating in mini-chunks this weekend starting now.  If you're a nibbler, check back several times, if you're a 3 square-meals type, check back probably Sunday evening :)  There are some simply fantastic things coming that aren't yet publically consumable, but I can't wait to share them when they are :)  Here's a hint - I'm picking up a new toy at the post-office today!
New arcade cabinet project
Rodney (and buddy Mark) of the Patriot joystick have put up a page with their latest project, the Patriot Conversion Project!  Added to the cabinets section, this brings us up to 84 projects now!
Hanaho ArcadePC now officially available
Hanaho has officially released the ArcadePC mini-cabinet for sale!  A press release is available here with some interesting reading, and prices start at $798 depending on options.  Good news from their site is the addition that they anticipate releasing a full-sized version of the ArcadePC in a month, and they have a cocktail version in development!  Hanaho.
New, home-built from scratch cocktail cabinet
Now this is impressive.  All projects, imho, are impressive - but there are few that start literally from scratch.  Chad's MAME Cabinet is a scratch-built cocktail cabinet featuring two player controls, spinner, leaf joysticks, and a very polished look.  He has a bunch of pictures on his site so take a look - if you're thinking of a cocktail cabinet, this is one for inspiration.  Added to the cabinets section.  This brings us up to 83 projects now!

Color me 5 shades of embrarrased
Well, that thing that happens when you assume happened to me :)  Jerky of JerkyCade is *not* Jerky of Jerky's Arcade Hacks.  I just assumed, and didn't ask.  Due apologies!

Happy birthday SNES Pad Support Site!
The SNES Pad Support Site is a year old today (or possibly yesterday by the time I actually get this update posted)!  Happy birthday Chippy!

News on their site is availability of SNESPAD-to-PC adapters for purchase.  If you buy one off this link, please be sure to tell them you are linked off of the SNES Pad Support Site :)

Bookmark sorting time!
After a couple of days off, I picked up the keyboard again.  First thing, bookmark sorting.  I found several interesting things in my bookmarks that have been waiting attention, so here goes . . .
Arcade Monitor Technical Page
The arcade monitor technical page I once had up has returned, with a brief discussion on some of the theory on how monitors work and a discussion on discharing them.  I no longer describe how to discharge a monitor, as I feel it's too dangerous.  However, there are links to other places that do so which you'll find after you read through the page.  Added to the technical page.
Soldering techniques
A good guide to soldering has been added to the technical page.
Three new parts vendors
Added links to 3 new parts vendors on the links page.
Games Domain Review links
Games Domain Review, a fairly cool site for various gaming hardware reviews, has a couple of items of interest.  These *might* have already been mentioned here but I don't think so...
  • An interesting page with discussion of home built joysticks, and 3d glasses, which look really cool.  It discusses connecting Atari joysticks to PCs, including a kind of cool Battlezone style lever joystick hack.
  • HotRod review - they did a review of the HotRods, and added a couple of pokes at keyboard hacking :)
  • ArcadePC review - it's listed, but the link doesn't presently work.  I emailed the author so hopefully soon.
Technical & Links Page Updates
Did some re-arranging and updating on both the technical and links pages.  Moved some links back and forth where it was logical, particularly into the step-by-step guides (Not to be confused with our main step-by-step section) on the technical page.
New section
Added a new section to the links/examples page - Miscellaneous Hacks.  This is for various related hacks that don't quite fit arcade cabinet or desktop joystick status.  Added to this section for example are:
Joystick Protocols
Added a link to FP Gaming's page explaining joystick protocols to the technical page.  According to them there are three different protocols the joystick port uses - something I didn't know.
ArcadeOS 2.31 Released
ArcadeOS 2.31 has been released!  Updates:
  • Additional arcade monitor modes added
  • Added .APP files for various console emulators (BRSMS,GENECYST,NESTICLE,RockNES,SP,Z26 and ZSNES)
  • Updated Callus' APP file to use new 384x224 mode
  • Added missing MAME joystick options (hotrod , PSX and N64 controllers)
  • (More)
There have also been a few interesting updates on the rest of Brian's site, so take a visit :)
JerkyCade is up!
Jerky, owner of Jerky's Arcade Hacks, has put up a page for his newest project, JerkyCade!  JerkyCade is a combination SNES-Pad/PowerRamp hack that is fairly slick!  Thanks Jerky - added to the arcade cabinets section.  This makes 80 projects!  Thanks Jerky!
Play-Choice 2000 is up!
Ryan sent me word that his project, the Play-Choice 2000, is up and running!  Still a work in progress, he's already put up a very nice piece on installing the CompUSA trackball - a fairly popular choice.  This makes 81 projects!  Thanks Ryan!
immorta's Mac In A Box is up!
immorta emailed me about his arcade cabinet project, Mac In A Box!  It's a keyboard hack running MacMAME in a Space Invaders cabinet - this makes 82 projects now!  Might we hit 100 by the end of the year? :)  Thanks immorta!
Huge list of sources for input technologies
Thanks to Jon on the message board for pointing it out, added the Directory of Sources for Input Technologies to the links page.
More to come!
Lots more to come!  Jude's sent me the pictures to the Star-Wars controller hack, Joey's updating his incredible stand alone controller (featuring his unique Star-Wars yoke) and has sent me pictures of his new spinner, I've got my PowerRamp Mite to dissect tomorrow hopefully, there's some new info on the various types of arcade buttons, and and and . . . :)  Did you know there have been 90 updates to this FAQ since it was started?  Stay tuned!

More awesome projects!
Take a look at this!  mckechnossomy (No, I don't know how to pronounce it) purchased a YokeCraft TwistyGrip spinner and then modified it, painted it, and put on a Tempest overlay with gorgeous results.  The graphic he used are downloadable from his site.  Two thumbs up - this is one of those that makes me think I've just got to duplicate it for myself.  This makes 79 projects now!  Thanks M!
Mark's Arcade
Added Mark's email address to his arcade page in case you want to contact him about the project. :)
Mas Systems come to life!
I've been tracking this vendor for well over a year to see if they'd show any signs of life, and had given up hope.  Lo and behold, I get an email from Glenise that they've finally done so, and in a big way!  Thanks Glenise!  Check out what they're pitching:
  • Arcade cabinets!  They have custom arcade cabinets available not only for JAMMA, but they can also accomodate PSX, Dreamcasts, N64s, etc...  They feature Wells Gardner RGB monitors, come in a variety of sizes and options, and run from $995 to $1195.  They also support . . .
  • The Super Pro.Stick!  This is a 10 button, single joystick controller designed to support multiple systems, including PSX, N64, Saturn, NeoGeo, Dreamcast digital and analog, and soon IBM-PC compatibles - fully programmable!  Currently going for $79.95, with an additional $30 per each additional system.
Mas Systems offers a lot more than this (check out their build-your-own Dreamcast VGA Audio/Video Adapter), be sure to stop by!  Excellent news, thanks Glenise!  Added to the links and alternatives sections.
StaticX's Sidewinder Hack guide
StaticX submitted an extremely detailed guide to hacking Sidewinders (over 3 megs!), and that has been posted.  If you're thinking of a Sidewinder hack, you owe it to yourself to check it out :)  The main page is only 700KB give or take, and the big pictures open in separate windows.  Excellent work, thanks StaticX!  Added to the technical page.
Oh, the places we'll go!
Midnight, time for me to turn into a pumpkin.  I think the things in tonight's update were really exciting, and there's more in the same vein to come ... soon!  Tomorrow if I don't take an evening off :)  Stay tuned . . .

Mark's Arcade added
Added Mark's Arcade to the arcade cabinets section.  It's a nice looking cabinet using a classic keyboard hack (direct to the keyboard, not the circuit board) with, among other things, an 8-track car radio???  Check it out! :)  Thanks Mark - this makes 78 projects now!
Joystick update - updated
The update to the optical rotary joystick section that I said was added yesterday wasn't actually added until late this evening.  Oops!  No more updating for me without 6 hours of sleep!  Thanks for pointing that out Torgo :)
PowerRamp page finds a home
Ack!  The PowerRamp page I put up some time ago was never linked anywhere in the FAQ.  Added to the interfaces section.  Thanks to John for pointing that out!
Ultra Spinners
Xiaou2 posted a message on the board about a "Disk Of Tron" spinner he's put together with a couple of special features.  He's thinking of selling kits, but wants feedback before he begins.  If you're interested, drop him a line. :)
Look!  Look!  Look!
Here's the one that's had me on pins and needles for a while now!  Jude sent me a writeup of how he converted a StarWars Return Of The Jedi flight yoke to be a PC control.  Awesome!  It will be a while before I can htmlize it, and pictures are still forthcoming, but this is too cool to sit on, so I've uploaded the MS-Word doc until I can put up a page.  Excellent writeup, and be sure to check out the chapter quotes :)

NOTICE!  Please do not rush out and start hacking up StarWars cabinets.  These things are exceedingly rare, and it would be a criminal shame to butcher one that was working.  As our hobby gets more sophisticated, I think it's more and more important that we as a group be careful not to destroy the past as we seek to remember it. However, if you find one on the disposal block with a salvagable controller... :)  NOTICE!

Changes page ... changes
The old-changes page was getting ridiculously long.  It's now split into recent changes, with a link from their to the older changes.  That way if you miss news you can check out the recent past without having to go get a cup of coffee first.
More to come
Curse this darn day job that keeps me from my appointed rounds...  Much more to come, things are getting really exciting lately!  New business ventures cropping up, more projects to showcase (I've got three waiting for me to put them up), PowerRamp Mite on it's way for me to tinker with, and a few more changes to the FAQ.  Stay tuned!

TwistyGrip changes
The TwistyGrip folks have some sad news - they are no longer selling spinners :(  They are moving on to other, non-gaming ventures - however they will still be supporting all sold products, and the blue-prints are still available.  Thanks for all you've done for the retrogaming community TwistyGrip, and good luck in your new ventures!
RandyFromm technical department re-opens
The RandyFromm technical department pages are back online now.  However, if you have any direct links you'll need to change them - the pages are now being hosted on the spies server, and not on Randy's site.
Message board changes
Monthly trimming of the message board done (possibly still in progress).  Re-did the top and put the archives on their own page.  You can now load the index-page of the archive to scan the message topics before you decide it's worth downloading that 1 meg+ file.
New HotRod review
JD got his HotRod the other day and passed on a mini-review to share.  Another thumbs-up for the HotRod!  Thanks JD :)
Rotary joystick update - Torgo speaks!
Torgo sent me email clarifying his explanation of the Happs rotary joysticks.  Unclear at first glance on Happ's web site, there are actually two products - one mechanical 12-position rotary switch joystick, and one optical-interface rotary joystick.  The joystick section has been updated accordingly, along with 3 pictures that make it crystal clear how it works.  Torgo's update summation?  It's plug and play easy :)  Much appreciated Torgo!  Torgo go play now!
Daisy-chaining KE-24 encoders
Intensify of Barcade fame has posted a message on the board about hooking up two Hagstrom KE-24 encoders together to have 4 controllers at once with discrete (non-matrix) inputs!  His site will be updated and in a new location shortly, and it'll be posted here when it's moved.
Ack!  More to come!
Ran out of energy and daylight much too soon!  There is more to come, hopefully tomorrow.  There are at least 4 projects in the works that I've been told about that are near "sharable" stage, so look for some good things soon!

New arcade project
Got an email from Mark about his arcade project today.  It's a nice looking full sized arcade cabinet.  He's going to send me some new pictures, so it will be a bit before a page is up, but you can see a couple of pictures early (one, two).  Thanks Mark :)
Visio stencils for arcade panel design
Jack was kind enough to share his visio stencils he uses to design arcade control panels.  Added to the downloads page, or direct from here (166 KB).  Visio 4 version.  Thanks Jack!
First Stick-It review
If you're interested in the Stick-It, head on over to Insert Coin and take a listen to the latest RetroRadio show.  I haven't heard it yet myself, but I understand his opinion is a good one.  We're on Stick-It's list for a review copy so when it comes, it'll be posted here :)
New arcade product vendor part II
Remember the new arcade cabinet vendor I mentioned on the 17th?  I've gotten some prototype pictures from them, and the stuff looks good :)  Stay tuned!
Just when you thought you had it all...
I thought I had it all...  Joysticks.  Buttons.  Spinners.  Trackballs.  Steering wheels.  StarWars yokes.  MID.  MID?  Silly me ... I completely overlooked the MID!  What's the MID?  Why, the Motorcycle Input Device of course!  Take a look!  This is a motorcyle handle bar contraption with 4 axis' and 4 buttons, throttle, front/rear brakes, clutch, shifter, and more, using real handlebar material and real grips!  They're $200, and are extremely limited availability.  Take a look :)  This link was found at the Control Center. They're the premier joystick site on the net, and if you haven't been there recently, you're missing out!
PowerRamp Mite
Broke down and bought a PowerRamp Mite today - $21.99 with shipping, when I get it I'll take it apart and let you know what I think :)
More to come!
Of course :)


PowerRamp page up
Finally finished the PowerRamp page.  If you have a PowerRamp and have or are thinking of hacking it, you might want to take a look.  Comments/critiques of the page welcomed!
MAME 32 changes
In case you aren't keeping up with the MAME betas, interesting tidbits for arcade control folks in the last several MAME-32 betas:
  • New support for any number of POVs using DirectInput.
  • Added diagonal positions for POV.
  • Removed joystick config from UI. Non-analog joystick configuration functionality is now in the MAME set up screens.
  • Joystick code now uses additional axes such as rudder, sliders, POV.
  • Added multiple monitor display support for Windows 98/Windows 2000.  (Now this has some interesting possibilities I think. --- saint)
  • Added new joystick controller options in the Controllers Tab. This allows users to map from physical joysticks (and various axes on those joysticks) to MAME's 4 standard joystick inputs.
  • Enabled keyboard LED indicators to emulate the 1 player/2 players start lamps.  This currently works only in Windows NT.
All told, many changes lately that might benefit custom arcade control builders.  Kudos to the MAME team :)
Expert advice on producing artwork
Got some advice from a couple of folks with experience in the industry on producing artwork for control panels and marquees.  Peter E. sent me a writeup from Tom that goes over several methods for producing control panel overlays, and Richard Ragon of HotRod sent me information on how they make marquees for the ArcadePC.  Big thanks to all of the above for their willingness to share their expertise!
News from Hanaho
Speaking of HotRod and ArcadePC - some recent news from the Hanaho folks that will interest folks who have purchased or are thinking of purchasing one.  From their web site:
First, the long awaited HanaHo/Capcom CD-ROM called "Capcom's Coin-op Classic's" is entering the beta test stage, and if everything goes ok, should be released by the end of this month, or the beginning of next month.  Everyone who bought a HotRod will/should get their CD-ROMS in the mail soon after. Second, at this moment in time we have no production wait. This means that we have a nice stock pile of HotRod Joysticks so if you order now, there is no wait time to build it, we have them in stock.
Good news indeed!
RandyFromm tech department down for repairs
There is a ton of good information on the RandyFromm technical department pages - however, all pages are currently down as they renovate the site.  ETA to come back up is October.  If you're desperate for something, I have offline mirrors - tell me what you're looking for and I'll dig it up.  This offer will be rescinded if RandyFromm objects.
More more and yet more additions to the Finishing page
In addition to those mentioned above, added the following sections: Look for more of this to come!  Almost all of these updates came from the message board - thanks everyone!
The Great Diode Debate
Revamped the diode page, transferring info on diodes from various places around the FAQ to one central page, and adding a couple of links to basic diode theory.  Thanks to Jack for a great link for the page!
Control page update - buttons
Having only seen horizontal microswitch pushbuttons up close, I kind of assumed the various types of buttons were all the same.  Not so - thanks to matt(v) for the info, the controls page has been updated with some pushbutton information!
Well, this started as a small update and grew!  There are still exciting things to come - stay tuned ... :)

KE-24 & LP-24 programs online
Thanks to John & Mike, I have both the LP-24 (52 KB) and KE-24 (91 KB) programs online for downloading.  Only useful if you have the encoders, but handy if you lose them or want to see what they're like.  Added to the downloads page.
Achilles project added
Achilles SNES-Pad hack has been officially written up.  There's an extra picture that didn't make it into the message board, so take a look :)  Thanks Achilles!
Bilder's Arcade Machine re-added!
Got an email from Bilder about his arcade machine, which is at a new location.  His is the Dig-Dig conversion.  This fixes that bad link and brings us back up to 77 projects now - thanks Bilder!
OptiMAME official home!
If you've been keeping up on the message board, you've been reading about Andy Geezer's hacks to MAME for optical control support such as spinners.  Andy's been doing some great work for those of us building customized arcade controls!  OptiMAME now has an official home at MAME-World, with downloads and a nice write-up on how to use it.  Thanks to the always informative Retrogames for the info :)
More to come
Of course!

Ch-ch-ch-changes . . .
You may have noticed I put up a header page with a logo and a second header page before getting to the main page.  This is to address the problem mentioned earlier with people wondering what the heck they'd found with this web site.  If you linked to then you missed the header pages, and that's fine - you already know what you're doing here.  However, if you want a look, try hopping to instead.  Regular visitors will want to bookmark the /arcade.htm address as the header pages are big and slow.  Suggestions from people with actual graphics design skills welcomed!
BIG update to controls section - joysticks
Data-mining the message board produces its first results.  Posted a big update to the joystick portion of the controls section, adding 7 sub-sections.  Many of you who contributed to threads on the message board will find you've been quoted on the message board.  Please let me know if you prefer I remove your name and leave it anonymous.  Thanks for all the great input everyone!  A couple of your comments have wound up on the reviews page as well.
New joystick project
Achilles sent me his arcade joystick project, a nice single player SNES-pad hack with a Happ Super-8 joystick.  I haven't yet had a chance to HTML'ize it, but Achilles posted it on the message board for all to see :)  One of the nice things about his project is that the SNES adapter interface supports up to 5 controllers, leaving him plenty of room for multi-player expansion.  That makes 76 projects now!  Online HTML version coming soon.  Thanks Achilles!
The Control Center moves
Probably the best joystick and other control review site around, The Control Center has moved to a new address.  If you haven't visited them, prepare to spend some time as there's a lot to see!
I've not yet had a chance to put this together into a page yet, but if you're interested in using two optically controlled devices, such as two spinners, then you absolutely must read the threads on the message board concerning Andy Geezer and his hacks for MAME.  Hopefully these hacks will find their way into the offiical MAME source.  Per policy, both the modified source and executable are available linked somewhere in the messages.  This is only of interest if you are hacking two optical devices (two-player marble madness anyone?).  Remember, this is a hacked version of MAME, and there are no guarantees of compatibility or support!
DirectX 7.0 released
MicroSoft has released DirectX 7.0 which is mirrored here.  Got an email from someone many of you know, about a
Message board data-mining
I still have a bunch to slug through on the message boards.  Possible additions to the FAQ from the message board include just about every section of the FAQ so far.  If you don't want to wait for me to get it all digested and processed, I suggest downloading the archive yourself :)
Ebay and such
More to come!
Once again I've gotten back-logged on my email.  Apologies about that, I'm about 100 deep.  If you've been waiting for an intelligent reply I will try to get to it this weekend.  There are a couple of really cool things coming in the next couple of weeks if they proceed per schedule - stay tuned!


WOW WOW WOW!  New arcade cabinet vendor!
Got an email from someone many of you know, about a new commercial venture selling arcade cabinets.  Until this project hits the ready-to-go stage, specifics and names will be kept hidden.  HOWEVER - some teasers I couldn't resist passing on:
  • These people intend to sell a blank arcade cabinet/control panel combo.  You'll get an interchangable control panel, arcade controls, arcade cabinet, and marquee for below $500.
  • They will be selling both stand alone arcade control panels and cabinets, or combos.
  • Any color you want is offered - granite?  They'll offer it.
  • Programmable via Hagstrom LP-24, Happ Hardware, US-made, produced by a company that is huge maker of Highend Entertainment centers.
  • The person behind this is someone who frequents the message board here.
  • Time frame?  Look for more to come in the next two weeks if things go well.
What a great time to be in this hobby!
Message board changes
The message board has been hacked about in half (150kb).  Let me know if it still takes too long to load - I'd like to leave about a month's worth of messages at any one time, but I can do less if it's too much.  I've set up a nightly job to zip the entire message board and make it available for download.  Usually it'll be a meg or less.  Holler at me if it's ever much bigger than a meg!  Tons, and I do mean tons, of valuable technical information in the message board, and as I process what I removed I'll be updating various pages of the FAQ.  If you're not reading the message board, you're missing a valuable piece of this FAQ.  Thanks again all you contributors!
Step-by-step guide
I've gotten a few emails with feedback on the step-by-step guide.  All excellent comments, much appreciated!  Please keep them coming if you have comments.  In a week or so I intend to classify the step-by-step guide as "released" instead of beta.
Emulation situation
Since we've added a emulation support section, I've added an emulation section to the links page.  We're *not* becoming an emulation site!

Speaking of emulation, did anyone else notice this in the new MAME beta release what's new file?


- New input type IPT_PEDAL. [Aaron Giles]

Does this mean what I think it means? :)  You guys on the message board see this?

Also, JoseQ's emuviews has an interesting tidbit on his rumor mill that more legal roms may be joining the Capcom agreement with Hanaho, the maker of the HotRod.

Finally, on the emulation front, PKS2000 has some emulation cd-covers that are just awesome.  I've asked permission to mirror them, but do visit his site for up to date announcements.

ArcadePC review
Speaking of Hanaho . . . Bill on the message board found this review of the ArcadePC.  Their conclusion?  YOu can probably guess . . . :)  Thanks Bill!
New arcade cabinet project
Stop me if you've heard this one before . . . Well, I really thought I had added this one some time ago, but darned if I can find it listed anywhere.  With due apologies to the owner for the delayed mention, here is WindDrake's Arcade!  It's built based on the RetroCactus arcade cabinet plan, and is still a work in progress :)  Added to the examples page.  This puts us at 75 projects now!
FREE arcade cabinets
Got an email from Mike:  Arcade Warehouse, a business in England, is giving away free arcade cabinets for converting to arcade-pc cabinets.  Supply is limited - hit their web site for details.  Thanks Mike!  Message board readers knew about this a couple of days ago.
Ebay and such . . .

Update ... kind of :)
Well, wanted to let folks know what was going on.  I have finished the step-by-step guide, and consider it to be in beta release now.  I would very much appreciate feedback from regulars (and anyone else who wants to of course!) as to 1) it's layout and value, and 2) the contents.  Particularly interested in feedback on the controls and interfaces portions.

Putting it together, I noticed gaping holes in most of the regular sections.  I plan to spend much time over the next while adding/correcting and revamping them.  A good bulk of the new content will come from data-mining the message board (which I have started pruning tonight by the way).

I also intend to finally and permanently put a header logo page up. will bring you to a splash screen, with an animated gif giving a nickel tour as to the purpose of this web site.  It's big, but I don't know how to make it any smaller and still maintain some sort of quality.  I will make sure to note that you don't have to wait for it to load or finish before you can enter the FAQ.  Then you will go to a one pager with an introduction to the FAQ.  It's been apparent to me for some time that though I think there's a wealth of information available here, if you're new to the FAQ or just surf in casually there's nothing that adequately explains what it's about and where to start.  Between the step-by-step guide and the intro pages, I hope to address that.  Comments welcome and encouraged - is this a good idea, or just annoying?

Anyway, regulars will want to bookmark so you can bypass the startup stuff,  although watching it once and going ooh-aah will soothe my ego :)

After these changes, I will consider the FAQ to be complete, but not finished.  Complete, in the sense that all the parts that I've felt were deficient will be in some way addressed.  Unfinished, in that you people keep coming up with bigger/better ideas on how to do things, and there's always room for good discussions, help, and more projects to share.

*THEN* - I'll start to work on enhancements/additions again, and stop mucking about as much with the look & feel.

Kind of a different update, just thought people might want to know where I was at.

--- saint

PSX/N64 USB controller update
Simon's posted an update on his web site with a fix for problems some people were having with N64 controllers and his interface.  If you've been having problems, stop on by.
PowerRamps . . . sold out?
According to ActLab's web site, the PowerRamps are sold out.  No word if they'll be replenishing them or if they're gone for good.  The PowerRamp MITEs are still available at $14.99 though.  If you've been thinking of one of these for a project someday, might not be a bad idea to stock up.  (No, I get no kickbacks from ActLabs :) ).
New joystick project
Colin sent in his arcade joystick project for posting, a Street Fighter layout, keyboard hack featuring a keyboard splitter based off Stephan Hans' design.  Pay careful heed to what he says about soldering - if I had known this several years ago I'd have saved myself tons of frustration :)  Colin has some nice things to say about the folks who frequent the message board! Thanks Colin - this makes 75 projects now!
Project update - Happ trackball!
Brian sent me an update for his project, which now includes a Happ Controls trackball.  It looks great, and I defy you to find a more detailed guide to using the Happ trackball.  Excellent work Brian, thanks for sharing! :)
Message Board Mayhem
Well, the message board hit 232kb for the main page not including messages, so I'm starting to weed things out.  Captured a 9-10-99 copy of the entire message board for download (1.3 MB).
Ebay and such

Rotating monitors galore!
Good day for rotating monitors!  Three different examples to look at :)
  • First, Mark Jenison, owner of the Mark 13, responded to an email I sent him with a writeup of how he and a buddy created their rotating monitor mount.  Their's was the first cabinet I've seen with a rotating monitor.
  • Mr. Salty updated his web page with pictures and a write-up of how he created his rotating monitor mount.  Very nicely done, excellent pictures!
  • See the Rocketcade update below :)
Message board happenings . . .
The message board is fairly active right now.  There's a bunch of stuff that I'm going to be mining and throwing here and there in the FAQ - but if you don't want to wait for me to get a round-tuit, then head there and see it fresh and live :)
Rocketcade update
Heard from Rocketcade that the site has been updated and the project is near completion - probably this weekend.  There are new pictures showing the project in progress, including one that made me jealous of a game running on the U3100 monitor sitting in the partially assembled cabinet. :)
Ebay and elsewhere
Found on ebay... And for anyone in the Clarksville, TN area, there's a bankruptcy auction on September 25th with a bunch of arcade machines.  (Please don't hack anything valuable if you get one - if in doubt, ask.  They're worth much more intact than modified if they're rare)...
Coming up . . .
Hopefully some work on the various things I've mentioned were on my to do list.  Also, two folks have sent me new projects that I'm in the process of html'izing.  Also, I picked up an orphan and very beat up Gorf control panel that I'm going to be playing with and will post some pictures of.  It's got the same trigger-grip joystick that Tron has.  Stay tuned!

Emulation/Game support page
At the suggestion of Tom61, a new page debuts at the FAQ to help you get your favorite emulator/game working with your custom arcade controls or console pad hack.  It's very much a work in progress, but a beta copy of the page is up for comment and help.  Please note - we are not becoming an emulation oriented site.  There will never be anything on this site in the grey area of legality such as BIOS images or definitly not ROMS.  It's all about the controls, but this is a gap that needed filling.  Please take a look at the page, and if you see any gaps you can help fill, let me know.
Arcade2000 contest second place winner!
The second place winner of the Arcade2000 contest is Greywolf.  He is the winner of one of the first ever classic Arcade emulation packages:  Williams Arcade Classics for PC!  Congratulations Greywolf :)  Look for the recordings he and Dave did to be on the web site in a day or two.
Lots to come . . .
I had hoped to have the Newbie FAQ done this weekend, along with some other stuff, but this cold knocked me for a loop.  Lots of email to answer in my inbox as well.  More. To. Come! :)

Arcade2000 contest winner!
The winner of the Atari Arcade Hits #1 CD from the Arcade2000 contest was (drumroll please) . . .

Dave Nelson!  Congratulations, Dave!

The second place winner, and the prize therefore, will be announced Sunday.  See the Arcade 2000 site's news section for details and updates.  By the way, you can catch a picture of Andy of Arcade Solutions playing on the Arcade2000 cabinet at the Arcade2000 site :)

Technical page update - Rotating monitors, more

Another HotRod review - thumbs up again
JohnIV, of MAME32 fame, has posted a review of his HotRod-SE joystick.  His conclusion is a whopping thumbs up!  Added to the reviews page.
Step-By-Step guide progresses
Put in a lot of work on the step-by-step guide today.  I'd guess it's about 60% done now.  Feedback sorely desired!

. . . to Andy of Arcade Solutions!
On or about this weekend, Andy of Arcade Solutions is getting married!  Congratulations Andy!  If you'd like to join us in wishing him and his bride well, you can fire off a message here!
Arcade Solutions review coming
By the way, I also will be lucky enough to get my hands on a customized arcade console from Arcade Solutions, and a review will find its way here as soon as that happens.  Being that Andy is a bit, er... pre-occupied for the near future, it may take just a little while :)
Another arcade vendor!
Found this one on Arcade@Home... The Arcadium Arcade Gaming System by ArcadeWare is available with an impressive, albeit pricey, list of features!  It's a 74" tall arcade cabinet with a Pentium computer inside.  Right off the bat I'll share that it costs $5999 (yes, that's 6 grand), so it's mostly targeted at businesses and the idle rich!  Some of it's impressive features:
  • Dual player control panel, 10 buttons per player.
  • Trackball and spinner.
  • Functionalcoin door.
  • 25" VGA monitor.
  • 10/100 Ethernet and phone connections.
  • Lockable access to PC components (CD-ROM, etc).
  • Joystick and USB ports for added components, such as yokes, steering wheels, etc...
  • OS: Win98 with ArcadiumOS (their frontend I believe)
  • 128 MB RAM, 8.3 gig HD, 40x CD-Rom
  • Williams Arcade Classics and Midway Arcade's Greatest Hits bundled with cabinet.
There's a 30 day money back guarantee (10% restocking fee == $600) with a 1 year warranty.  Price does not include tax/shipping/handling.  Their web site still shows signs of being new, with several unfinished sections.  It's worth a visit even if the price tag scares you away :)  Anyone ordering one, please let me know!
Ebay and such . . .
Just a small update today . . .
More to come!  Things on the horizon include possible hands on reviews of not only the Arcade Solutions console but one or two others, some interesting info for arcade monitor hackers, results from the survey here, a good discussion between the gurus of the arcade world on rotating monitors, my PowerRamp page, and...? :)  If there's one you'd like to see get higher priority let me know.  Dont' hold me to a timetable though, it may be a while!
Older changes


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