On to some testing results with the MAME cabinet computer upgrade. The new hardware was almost a “no fit” inside the cabinet (silly considering the size of it!), but I got the hardware installed eventually. The coin return slot had to go, but it’s not like there was any actual use for it in the cabinet.
Heh, just a little over month gone by, since I announced the hardware of my MAME project complete and I already find myself working on it again. But.. as it happens, I managed to get my hands on a Core2Duo PC (E6320 CPU @ 1.86GHz) for next to nothing. Decent performance upgrade and possibly the end of motherboard-related-video-problems?? Sure, sign me up!
The PC I got is a Fujitsu Esprimo 5916 and summing up its specs, well.. Most importantly, the mobo has a serial port! Never thought I’d say this, but it’s actually a much needed legacy feature, as the spinner I have is built around a serial mouse. Little less upgrades this way, perhaps :).
Yet another long-pending post, so without further ado: Let’s pyssy!
Like I’ve stated on multiple posts (I think; too lazy to check through all of them), the main reason for using a CRT TV in my MAME cabinet was to allow playing light gun games. Unlike nowadays, back when I started the project there simply weren’t other alternatives for this type of game controller. If I was to start on a new cabinet right now, I’d definitely go for TFT and something like Aimtrak. But with the current project, thanks to “all the legacy”, CRT + GunCon2 is the way to go. Lucky for me, the legacy is not “too legacy”.. Despite GunCon2 is a discontinued product, it seems to have not discouraged hobbyist software development.
Whereas my original plan was to use a Playstation2 for lightgun games, much thanks to Acorn a Windows driver (called WinGun) exists for GunCon2. This driver allows using the gun as a HID pointer, in turn allowing use with MAME as well. Some configuration required of course (more about this in a bit). As the lightgun is now usable on both the PS2 and Windows, I figured why not make a permanent holster for it on the side of the cabinet :)
Finally dropping fiddling with the video hardware, I was able to move on to the actual emulator configuration. This task also swiftly turned out a far more bigger one than I had expected. Maybe just a little bit of history repeating to make my day with this project? Whereas it seemed, at a glance, something in the lines of “install frontend + emulator + ROMs, do a bit of config“, actually getting down to it proved out more something like “install frontend and get stuck in a myriad of config options and fine-tuning“. Despite having worked on the configuration quite a lot, it’s still pretty much “in progress”. But since the cabinet is up and running, I figured I might just as well do this post. Nailing things down to the last bit of detail isn’t of importance here anyway.