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Arcade Multicade Conversions, your thoughts on them

mame jamma multicade arcade coin williams conversion

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#26 Papa OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 6, 2016 5:30 AM

Those patents and laws that protect the games don't really exist in the countries where these things are put together (and are LOOONG since not applicable in courts of law regardless due to the time on the patents running out).  Many of the 'commercial', especially disk driven, ones I've played had long loading times, poor emulation, etc.  Much of the Neo Geo library IS faithfully reproduced in those Elf carts and such.  I feel like the original Neo Geo multicarts are the basis for these expanded ones.  Someone just saw how much they could tack on after the fact and ended up with a mix of anything from acceptable to shoddy.  Put a Neo Geo X or (and this is just plain WRONG!) a PS2 SNK Classics disk next to one and watch the HORRIBLE and TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE frame rates and music that THE COMPANY THEMSELVES SOLD TO YOU!  The only way much of the Taiwanese hacks of the Street Fighter games are still around IS because of these Chinese multicart makers like the ones who brought us "Just Another Pandora's Box" or the "Blue Elf" series.   Games where fireballs have wave patterns or you can jump and do tornado kicks that disappear and reappear all over the place.  There are a LOT of manipulated and hacked up versions that have unique changes that seem to reflect what was done later in sequels.

 

Now that I see you are most likely only referring to the 'Games Family 60-in-1 Multicade' I am reminded of the day I bought my two cabinets.  The dealer said that they burn up those HD ones all day long and that he's pretty sure ALL of them are 'pretty much not legal'!  Even the Multicades.  AND, there are different quality issues with different versions of that card as well (later, cheaper versions I guess).  I asked him if he'd ever heard of the "Blue Elf" series and he said, "No, and those might not be illegal because it's made for China.".  This was a guy who's been dealing arcade cabinets and 'upgrading' them with hard drive based multicarts since the beginning! 

 

I bought my cabinets unaltered and did the work together with my wife. 



#27 DamonicFury OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 6, 2016 8:11 AM

 

Timeline Arcade in York did this with their Galaxian cab. They threw in a 60-in-1 and enabled only Galaga and Galaxian. When I saw it and the LCD monitor I was pretty disappointed to be honest.

 

Sad to say, they do that kind of thing too much.  Their Missile Command is also some kind of emulation with a LCD monitor and unplayable trackball controls.  I'm glad they are around, and I understand that maintaining a machine in classic condition is challenging, but these kind of hacked up machines are just kind of sad.



#28 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 6, 2016 8:38 AM

 

Sad to say, they do that kind of thing too much.  Their Missile Command is also some kind of emulation with a LCD monitor and unplayable trackball controls.  I'm glad they are around, and I understand that maintaining a machine in classic condition is challenging, but these kind of hacked up machines are just kind of sad.

 

What location is that? I haven't been to Hanover since the spring and they didn't have a Missile Command there. I haven't been to the York location since June.



#29 DamonicFury OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 6, 2016 8:43 AM

It's at the York location.  I'm fairly sure they put it in sometime after June.  



#30 Nebulon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 6, 2016 1:06 PM

"No sir. I don't like it."  - Mr. Horse.



#31 toiletunes OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 8, 2016 11:50 AM

I took a Ms Pac-Man cabinet and rewired it for Jamma, then I made a Jamma adaptor for the Ms. Pac-Man board. Why? So I could play Super Pac-Man with a Jamma adaptor. Super speed was wired to player 2 start. I couldn't bring myself to drill a button hole. If you're going to upgrade, keep it classy.

Putting an xx-in-one board in a cabinet is kind of like putting a flashback board in a VCS shell. I get the convenience factor, but it somehow doesn't feel like the real thing.



#32 Papa OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 9, 2016 2:32 PM

I took a Ms Pac-Man cabinet and rewired it for Jamma, then I made a Jamma adaptor for the Ms. Pac-Man board. Why? So I could play Super Pac-Man with a Jamma adaptor. Super speed was wired to player 2 start. I couldn't bring myself to drill a button hole. If you're going to upgrade, keep it classy.

Putting an xx-in-one board in a cabinet is kind of like putting a flashback board in a VCS shell. I get the convenience factor, but it somehow doesn't feel like the real thing.

 

Data East curved topped cabinets are very good for these as they have two buttons on each side.  The joysticks may not be the best as you'll want a restrictor plate (back off Neo American Synogogal Church of the Ascended Redneck, I mean for joysticks!) stick that can switch between 4 and 8 way for that near-authentic Pacman feel!  Mine was a Robocop cabinet, but I think they used the design for others! 



#33 [d2f]Iggy*SJB OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:12 PM

If you're looking for a cabinet to Multi-game, aside from a generic Jamma cabinet, Poker machines can be gotten for cheap and no one has an issue with those being converted.

 

In fact, I've got one I'm about to start on, and have access to two more that will get a similar treatment. Granted, there's going to be work involved with installing everything, as well as modifying the cabinet itself and even sourcing proper artwork for it... But won't be anybody dropping hate on you for it.   :-D



#34 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:56 PM

I know someone who literally rescued an old cabinet from the side of the road, probably a few hours before it was picked up by garbage collection and smashed in a compactor.  Nothing of any value was left—no monitor, no harnesses, no boards, no controls, no salvageable art.  In fact, it was painted black so to the average person it wasn’t even plainly obvious which game it originally was (might have been Zaxxon, Centipede… I forget).  He brought it home, made some structural fortifications to it, prettied it up a bit, and used it for MAME.  He posted a video on YouTube and got his ass reamed so bad he ended up pulling the video down.  That’s just not a reasonable reaction if you ask me, I don’t care how much you love arcade machines.  This cabinet’s fate was plainly either going to be MAME or junk yard… so what’s the big deal?   

 

I’ve seen a lot of ranting on the net about converting classic cabinets to MAME or 60-in-1, and in principle I agree with the rants, but only to the point where the person doing the conversion is using a cabinet that has any real-world chance of being its original self again.  There are a lot of boxes out there that realistically do not have that chance.

 

Youtube's peanut gallery isn't known for intelligent commentary.

 

 

At the end of the day, if you paid for it then do what you want with it. But don't expect other people to like it. If you're building a multicade to resell then either use a generic cabinet or build one. That way you can strip the sides if necessary, put some nice new multicade side-art on and nobody will complain.

 

I think this is the only correct answer. It's yours, you paid for it, you do what you want with it..



#35 Turbo-Torch OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:34 PM

 

Let's just say I disagree.  ;)

 

That is one incredible arcade!

 

Anyone on Atari Age who won't/can't appreciate that is most likely in denial.  Probably some guy who brags about an incredible lifestyle filled with amazing accomplishments, high end job, incredible future projects and a life style of the rich and famous...and yet still has time to make 10,000 posts a year with none ever containing a single picture. :D

 

On the topic of converting cabinets...a complete well known or rare classic, HELL NO.  On the other hand, I have no problems with most JAMMA on up as they were pretty much made to be converted to begin with.

I don't even have issues with mods that can be undone.  I have Clay's MultiPac in my very original Pac-Man, yet it's still running on original hardware and can be put back to 100% original within minutes.  I'd even consider a Super Missile Attack for my MC if I could find one at a decent price.



#36 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:24 PM

Let's just say I disagree.  ;)

 

Sounds fair enough. While I can appreciate a rec room full of nicely maintained arcade cabs, it isn't for me. Not today. Back in the late 90's I tried something similar. After about 6 or so games I ran into problem after problem, issue after issue. If this wasn't going bad, that was going bad.

 

If one part needed replacement other parts connected to it decided they wanted to be replaced too! ..just for the fun of it ..just to piss me off. I had enough when I picked up a Wells-Gardner the wrong way and got blown across the garage. That was the final straw. Out out out went all the arcade stuff. I didn't want anything to do with those hulking beasts anymore.

 

Besides, it was around the time when I was seriously getting into PC gaming, I had gotten a 486 in 1992 and was already preparing for my next build. And my interest in PC gaming has been strong ever since Doom came to be. So it has only been a natural thing to have a PC dedicated to playing arcade games - and not bothering with individual cabs.

 

I don't necessarily go for the 1980's quintessential arcade enviro much at present. That train of nostalgia has left the station and arrived at its destination. The ride was scenic while it lasted.


Edited by Keatah, Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:27 PM.


#37 78001987 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:28 PM

I'm planning on putting some kind of multicade in my basement room, but not one of these crappy 60-in-1 boards. I already have the controls (Happ joystick, Centipede trackball, and 10 happ buttons) and I have a laptop with MAME and roms ready to go.

 

but I'm confused a bit here. IT seems like some of you guys are saying taht using mame code in 60-in-1 is bad because they don't give proper MAME credit (and are selling it). But if I use my own free downloaded copy of mame, am I breaking rules?

 

also - I get the legality of ROMs and such, but isn't the purpose of MAME to preserve, not pirate the roms?



#38 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:17 AM

but I'm confused a bit here. IT seems like some of you guys are saying taht using mame code in 60-in-1 is bad because they don't give proper MAME credit (and are selling it). But if I use my own free downloaded copy of mame, am I breaking rules?

 

I think most are saying it's "bad" because people are gutting perfectly fine cabinets for 60-in-1 units, instead of restoring the cabs with the original boards they were meant for.

 

If you are building a cab or setup from scratch and you use a MAME setup of some kind, I don't think anyone is going to care, nor should they.



#39 78001987 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:16 AM

 

I think most are saying it's "bad" because people are gutting perfectly fine cabinets for 60-in-1 units, instead of restoring the cabs with the original boards they were meant for.

 

If you are building a cab or setup from scratch and you use a MAME setup of some kind, I don't think anyone is going to care, nor should they.

Ok - so here's a dumb noob question:

 

Say you find a Cab that is in good shape, except the board is dead. (there are tons of these on CL, ePay) Where are you supposed to find a good board of the same game in working order, short of gutting another, already working cabinet? Nobody is manufacturing these boards new anymore, right? So the only way to fix one would be to gut a working one. That seems like a chicken vs. egg secnario.

 

Is it more or less of a sin to by a cabinet that has a dead board and put a Laptop Running MAME than it is to buy a 60-in-1 hack board?

 

To get to my real point - it's much cheaper to find a classic cab with a dead board that can be used for a MAME rig, than it is to buy one of these overpriced fall-aparticle board MAME cabs. I'm not suggesting getting rid of the original art or desecrating the thing with some obnoxious controller rig, just re-purposing a cabinet that has a dead board. Does that make me evil?


Edited by 78001987, Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:16 AM.


#40 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:29 AM

It's not a sin to do any of this. Refitting and upgrading to MAME is a perfectly acceptable activity these days. Much easier and practical than repairing the old PCBs. No one wants to dick'round with bulky and recalcitrant 80's hardware that's seen its day.

 

While my opinion sometimes shifts back and forth on this matter from time to time - I am indeed finding it more acceptable to gut and refurb cabinets. The only time I'd think twice is if asked to perform the "deed" on a nicely maintained and fully functional cabinet. And even them, you can gut and mod in a way where there original could be restored spot-on 100%.

 

What I don't necessarily like are these 60-in-one arcade boards. They aren't as tweakable as MAME on a PC. They're cheap. They're not powerful. Their only advantage is ease of use and being closer to a turnkey solution than having to set-up mame.



#41 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:36 AM

Say you find a Cab that is in good shape, except the board is dead. (there are tons of these on CL, ePay) Where are you supposed to find a good board of the same game in working order, short of gutting another, already working cabinet? Nobody is manufacturing these boards new anymore, right? So the only way to fix one would be to gut a working one. That seems like a chicken vs. egg secnario.

 

Is it more or less of a sin to by a cabinet that has a dead board and put a Laptop Running MAME than it is to buy a 60-in-1 hack board?

 

To get to my real point - it's much cheaper to find a classic cab with a dead board that can be used for a MAME rig, than it is to buy one of these overpriced fall-aparticle board MAME cabs. I'm not suggesting getting rid of the original art or desecrating the thing with some obnoxious controller rig, just re-purposing a cabinet that has a dead board. Does that make me evil?

 

QuarterArcade.com sells working PCBs. You can scour eBay for working boards as well. If you have a dead boardset, you can see if you can get it repaired by El Dorado Games. Another option is posting over at the forums on KLOV.com.

 

I bought a Congorilla that had a broken monitor and a DK Japanese board set. After I had the monitor repaired by ArcadeCup.com, I couldn't get the DK board to work properly. So I put the board set up on eBay and installed a 412-in-1 in the cabinet instead without desecrating the control panel. If I ever wind up selling the cabinet, a collector can easily convert it back to Congorilla.



#42 TheDevil'sCompass OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:43 AM

 
To get to my real point - it's much cheaper to find a classic cab with a dead board that can be used for a MAME rig, than it is to buy one of these overpriced fall-aparticle board MAME cabs. I'm not suggesting getting rid of the original art or desecrating the thing with some obnoxious controller rig, just re-purposing a cabinet that has a dead board. Does that make me evil?


No, not at all. People may cringe a little depending on the cabinet, but bottom line is if you bought it do what you want with it. My problem is when someone ruins a rare classic cabinet for the sole purpose of selling it after it has been converted to a multi board or a MAME pc. Look on ebay and you'll see some awful hack jobs.

To answer where you can get a working boardset: http://forums.arcade-museum.com

There are also sites out there that sell used classic boards. Boards can also be repaired and there are a lot of helpful people out there, but it's not the best option for everyone. As Keatah (post #36) said you can get into a situation where you are spending more time keeping the machines running than playing them. I've got a monitor right now that is driving me nuts. I don't have a test bench so each time I replace parts I have to take it out of the cabinet, work on it then place it back in the cabinet to see if it's fixed. Needless to say I've done this a few times & the monitor is currently on the workbench gathering dust.

#43 78001987 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:50 AM

Thanks, guys.

 

One last question - is it acceptable to gut a working Golden Tee cab, since there's a brazillion of them out there, and it's an awful game anyway?



#44 TheDevil'sCompass OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:56 PM

Thanks, guys.
 
One last question - is it acceptable to gut a working Golden Tee cab, since there's a brazillion of them out there, and it's an awful game anyway?


Absolutely. It may actually be illegal not to do it.

#45 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:19 PM

Aren't Golden Tee cabs just fancy PC cases anyway? :lol: 



#46 simbalion OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:15 PM

I am totally against gutting classic arcade games for multicades, working or not. If they are complete, efforts should be made to try and put them back into working order. Of course these games were common, back in the day! How many of these games really still exist? They were converted a lot back in the late 80's and early 90's, also operators would simply landfill entire games, working or not, if they weren't seen as profitable anymore. Really, I see the practice as being lazy and not even needed as there are places building classic looking multicades from the ground up, cabinets and all. A place near me was doing that until the owner had a heart attack over the summer, so that might not be happening there anymore, but there are other places. When I was on coin-op space, there was a person on there building complete cabinets, not only for multicades, but to replace severely damaged cabinets on original games.



#47 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:48 PM

I will say the first 'conversion' I ever saw in the early days was a Taito Space Invaders converted to a Wild Western with a hacked up control panel to put in a the 8 way knob. Lol thinking about it now it was a sad sight. :lol: 



#48 schuwalker OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:23 PM

I will say the first 'conversion' I ever saw in the early days was a Taito Space Invaders converted to a Wild Western with a hacked up control panel to put in a the 8 way knob. Lol thinking about it now it was a sad sight. :lol:

That's a weird one... the operator had to do some adjustments on that one. Monitor is black and white (and uses a mirror) and the monitor orientation was horizontal.



#49 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:29 PM

That's a weird one... the operator had to do some adjustments on that one. Monitor is black and white (and uses a mirror) and the monitor orientation was horizontal.

 

Space Invaders was a vertical monitor.. but the awesome projection on the background made it look like a wide playfield :)  Taito Space invaders cabinets were so prevalent back then where I come from, that they were the first machines (at least in the very beginning) Ops used to hack out another game in them.. e.g. "Alpine Ski" in a SI cab is another vivid memory.  

 

I know what you mean about the mirror... As to how they got rid of it (or did they use it) I don't remember. this was over 30 years ago when I was only 12 or so, but they did it allright. :(  A lot of times the bezels painted black as well which was another sad thing. :lol:



#50 TheDevil'sCompass OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:31 PM

... there are places building classic looking multicades from the ground up, cabinets and all.


The thing to watch out for with these is that a lot of them are made with particle board. That stuffs cheaper than plywood for a reason. It may be OK for bartops, but my experience is it sucks for uprights.





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