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    Can anyone suggest a preferance to the above.. Is there any advantage to one over the other when putting togother a MAME Cab..?

    Looking to build a MAME Cab and I suppose best off to start with a decent interface, also regarding the monitor, preferable to use an old arcade montor of a more modern PC CRT type screen.

    Thanks in advance..


  • #2
    I cannot answer the converter question, but if it were up to me, then i would try and grab a large multisync arcade monitor. You'll strugle to find PC monitors larger than 23" and im assuming that you want something around 25" to 33"?

    Only trouble is that they will be very expensive when bought by themselves. The advantages are that they will be able to sync your computers refresh without the need of a converter, plus they will support games in hi-res.

    On the downside, if you after legitimacy, then games will look better on an older monitor in their standard resolution.

    As far as brands, Nanao make a pretty friggin awesome picture tube.


    • #3
      I've only ever used the i-pac or jpac and find them very good. Here is another option thou
      As for arcade monitor V's PC monitor, it's a personal choice here they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Personally for mame I like using the arcade monitors or a large TV.

      Another Holiday


      • #4
        I prefer the Keywiz for one reason: the "Shazam" key (the keywiz equivalent of the ipac's "Shift" key) is a separate key.

        On an iPac, any key assigned to the "Shift" function cannot be held down. If you do a button press test, the keystroke only registers when the button is released. This means you definitely cannot assign it to a fire key, or anything remotely necessary. It also gives a laggy feel to whatever button it is assigned to.

        On the other hand, the Keywiz assigns it to a unique input, meaning that all buttons are directly wired, and free from any accidental shifting. I know kids/partners of mine tend to mash buttons when they continue, causing frequent accidental changing of volume, game pausing, etc.

        On the plus side, the iPac has direct keyboard passthrough, so you don't need to flick a switch to use the keyboard like you would on the keywiz. If you use the keyboard frequently, this can be an issue.

        Outside of those two very minor issues, both are very high quality pieces of kit, and have no noticable lag, and no ghosting. Neither is by any means a bad purchase.
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        • #5
          It's a matter of personal taste. They both do the same thing but have their own individual pros/cons. I-PAC has 28 terminals, Keywiz has 32 + Shazzam (shift). I-PAC supports USB, Keywiz doesn't. They'd be the main 2 differences. Both offer a cheaper version of their encoders for the more 'hands on' builder. I've always used I-PAC's (and as such will continue to do so as I know my way around them now) but would have no problem recommending a Keywiz as both devices have good reputations.
          Bite my shiny metal ass!


          • #6
            Thanks for the feedback.. I've actually got an I-PAC at the moment running in a mame cab (with PC monitor) that I threw together sometime ago but was wondering if the KEY-WIZ is a better option..

            Regarding screen selection, 17" & 19" Computer monitors are cheap, and I think that I'd rather preserve an arcade monitor and chassis for a dedicated cabinet. Is it difficult to convert a larger TV screen and chassis to suit or is this just to much frigging around..? (some one mentioned converters..?) My electronics knowledge is limited in this area though I do have access to a good old skool PC tech here at work. If anyone can throw some pointers my my I'm sure I can fill in the blanks and pass on ideas for solutions to our tech..




            • #7
              Hi woka,

              The KeyWiz and I-PAC are essentially the same creature but they apply themselves in a slightly different manner. I'm not in a position to favour one or the other here as we are the distributor for Ultimarc encoders!

              Drop me a line about a Mini-PAC, which is a smaller version of the I-PAC with the same functionality, except that they are wired via a header plug rather than sscrew terminals. We don't sell them via our website as yet, however I can do you one with a wiring loom for $70 + p&h, which is the same price as the I-PAC without wiring.

              Same goes for anyone else on the forums - we will be 'officially' selling them in the new year but for now it's word of mouth.

              FYI to all about the Tokn encoders mentioned by humpalot, they have beed bagged in several reviews due to ghosting and blocking issues. As a result apparently Tokn are now shipping them with diodes! I don't know if that resolves the ghosting etc or not.

              With regard to monitors, my personal preference is to use PC monitors as they are easier to support and much cheaper to purchase. If you are happy to look at a 19" display then I suggest you look at picking up a used one as they can be had rather cheaply these days. If you configure MAME in the right way you can get the output to look almost like an arcade monitor for far less cost.

              I've spoken with a number of people who have used TVs with good results too. It really comes down to expectation - how good do you expect the display to be and how close to "arcade quality" do you want the graphics to be?


              • #8
                Originally posted by OzStick
                Hi woka,

                Drop me a line about a Mini-PAC, which is a smaller version of the I-PAC
                Hi OzStick

                PM will be sent very shortly - I like the look of the Mini-PAC with the wiring loom. Slate one down for me..




                • #9
                  hi all i have used the ipac primarly and found them to be easy to use the key wizz is the same i have also used a few of the tokn kb 16 and have not had any ghosting trouble but i was only makeing 2 player 2 button cabs with them i got them for about 20 bucks each australian so the price was definatly right with them i am finishing off a cab with 6 buttons per player and useing a tokn kb32 so will see if there are any ghosting issues i didnt bother putting the diodes in (too slack) but at 35 bucks AU MEH but the wireing is a bitch too much soldering personly now my ebay splurge is spent (i brought a few of them) i will be going back to the ipac as they are piss easy to use and no soldering sory chris (OZSTICK) I had to try the cheaper option also if you are going to run an arcade monitor you could get a converter from ozstick last i looked they were about 35 bucks and use that you will need to find a matrox g200 they can be set to display @ 15 Khz from startup so no need to buy an arcade vga card i have one and it is on my to do list so will see how it goes there is a fair bit of info on the advance mame forums about it
                  PS thats the first time i have sen a mini pac 70 bucks with loom is a good price
                  The best action is wrist action!!!!!!


                  • #10
                    TV's in cabs aren't a bad option. You can get a 21" TV (52cm) for around $130-$150 if you look hard enough. With S-Video input from a TV-out card, it doesn't look too bad, and means you don't need to stuff around with custom resolutions and whatnot. Great for the cheap option - a second "kid's cab" perhaps, along with a console inside or something.

                    PC monitors give MUCH sharper images of course, and I've even heard some people complain that the image looks "too good". TV's have a nice blurring that does take away the jagged edges of low-res sprites.

                    Of course, nothing beats the real thing. Generic JAMMA cabs are fairly easy to come by, and teamed up with a JPac are a piece of cake to convert for MAME use.
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