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Neo Geo LAI 4 Slot Restoration Project


Post up your Arcade Cab restorations logs and pictures here

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    Originally posted by xb74 View Post
    Glad you kept those Suzo joysticks! The cab looks great and you have done a fantastic job.


      This resto is awesome. It has me fired up to finally get started on my own project! Keep the updates coming!

      If you're still not happy with the overlay and want it reprinted, i could potentially trace the fonts on the original artwork and save them as a vector image that could be scaled and applied to the final artwork. Just an option.


        Originally posted by MaTBoY View Post
        This resto is awesome. It has me fired up to finally get started on my own project! Keep the updates coming!

        If you're still not happy with the overlay and want it reprinted, i could potentially trace the fonts on the original artwork and save them as a vector image that could be scaled and applied to the final artwork. Just an option.

        Thanks for the offer, but it's being taken care of now. Noodle shirt, the place i got the reproduction overlay from, has himself an original 4 slot panel with arts just like the one on this cab and he's going to update the artworks to make them as close to exact as possible, he has a perfect reference now though! So they should be available within a month or so.

        They're great cabs to restore, it's not overly difficult to restore them, just a bit of elbow grease and time. They're really nice when you do a bit of restorative work.



          Some things have been done, and i've changed me mind on a few things.

          The overlay i will keep on there unless noodleshirt makes up a new one, which he is in the process of doing, then i'll change that, but not as dussed now.
          The speakers I will leave as they are, fitting a 2.1 system in this cab will be very difficult... i dont want to take that on.

          So really, all i have to do is the following.

          - Paint and put the little air vent cover at back of cab.
          - Get hold of a replacement card reader as mine has all the pins bent inside the pcmcia slot and the pcmcia slot on these uses a backwards shaped pinout. Replacements do not exist in this pinout
          - Make something custom to make the cab rad... not sure what i'll do yet, i may install some lights in the inside of the cab, or i might do something with a raspberry pi and an lcd display... i'm not really sure yet, but i'm going to do something. Maybe a small projector inside the cab so when you open the door there's a neo geo projection on the back of the cab... i'm not really sure, but i'll come up with something!
          - Replace monitor and chassis if i can find a nice newish suitable replacement.

          It's pretty much done... I gotta say, i'm really stoked at how this came out. It's much better than i thought it would be and everything works now except the card reader. I even got the coin mech and the whole credit system working the way it originally did with the LAI credit board. Coins in, credits in buffer, select player to assign credits to, credit lights flash when there's credits to be assigned.... can't believe i got all that working again!! I'll post a bunch of pics below, but a few more thoughts here.

          These cabs have a lot to them... El panels, EL panel driver board, card reader, headphone jacks, credit board and lcd display subsystem. There's a lot of wiring to them... SO MUCH WIRING.... Once you have it all in your cab and it's all setup, it's awesome. That being said... if you are buying one of these cabs because you are trying to get yourself a nice vintage collectible with all of it's original internals, and you don't want something that has been hacked up or had the internals replaced (which is what i wanted), it might be a difficult thing to do. Parts for these things are VERY DIFFICULT to find.The EL power driver board and the card reader are really really hard to find! Just keep that in mind if you are trying to get yourself one of these cabs and you start looking around. I believe price should also reflect the amount of original hardware that's still there and hasn't been hacked to pieces. That's just my opinion anyway.

          You'll also notice I installed a fan to blow onto the chassis... this cab has the original Orion chassis and tube that would have come with these cabs. They run VERY HOT... i'm talking so hot that they emit burning smells. I installed the fan to keep the chassis as cool as possible. It's silent, and just creates a little airflow. It also stops the burning smell seeping out from the chassis getting so hot! I spoke with Jomac about this and he said that's how they are, the reason the pcb is burnt looking all over!

          Really happy with being able to get everything going again!!

          Now some pics.

          Click image for larger version

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          Coin mech lighting!
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          LAI credit board and C220 coin mech (purchased and programmed from Highway Games)
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          Inside wiriing from the front, you can see my custom installed fan for colling chassis.
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          Credit and game select lights working. They look odd in the pics, they are proper colours in person. The credit lights only illuminate and flash when there are credits in the buffer that need to be assigned to a player. The game select light only flashes when you have started a game and need to choose which game to play. They don't flash whilst you are playing.
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          Inside of the cab from the back of the cab, this gives you a good feel for how much wiring is in these!
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          Original LAI stickered glass on the cab stil.
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          Few bonus shots!
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            Update on this cab.

            I had an issue with the credit allocation. All credits that you put into the machine, were always going to the player 1 side, even if you pressed the player 2 side credit button. You could start a game on player 2 side with the credits from player 1 side, but this is not the correct way it is supposed to work.

            I took the LOOOOOOOOOOONG road to trying to work out what this was. I removed the whole credit system, traced all the wires, worked out what it all did, removed the motherboard, changed the bioses... took me a long time. In the end, all i had to do was change dip 2 on the motherboard. That would have fixed the issue.... zzzzzz.....

            Anyways, just for future reference if anyone else has the issue, here's some info. This is for the LAI machine with single coin slot, LAI credit board and the p1/p2 independent credit counter displays.

            The credit system works like this.

            1. you put a coin into the coin slot. Lets say we put in $2 and it loads 5 credits.
            2. the credits get loaded onto the LAI credit board. At this stage you still see the number 0 on the display, but the yellow credit buttons on player 1 and 2 sides will start to flash. The credits are just floating on the credit board, ready to be claimed.
            3. Pressing the credit button on either player 1 side or player 2 side, will claim the floating credits to that side of the machine. The yellow credit buttons will flash on and off until all credits have been claimed to either player 1 or player 2 side. So lets say we claim 3 of 5 credits on player 1 side and 2 of 5 credits on player 2 side, this will stop the yellow credit lights flashing and we will see 3 on the left p1 display and 2 on the right p2 display.
            4. Once you have claimed credits you just select a game and hit start and it uses 1 credit.

            So, the problem i was having was that no matter what side you claimed the credits on, it always went to player 1 side. The credit board effectively emulates a dual coin slot machine, even though it only has 1 coin slot, once the credits are loaded onto the credit board, from there on, the system works like it has 2 coin slots. The MVS edge connector pinout, although it's close to JAMMA, it's not actually JAMMA. It has pins for Player 1 credits, and Player 2 credits. Effectively, the Player 1 Credit button on the cab is linked to the player 1 credit pin on the edge connector, and the player 2 credit button is linked to the player 2 credit pin on the edge connector. So when you press those button, it's pulsing those pins on the mvs edge connector at the motherboard.
            Here's where the problem comes, if you have hard dip 2 on the motherboard set to only have 1 coin slot, the motherboard will route all credit pulses to player 1 side. You can still play, but the displays don't work properly. If you have dip 2 set to 2 coin slots, and credit pulses that get sent to P1 credit or P2 credit pins on the edge connector will properly route to the respective player sides, and also make the displays work for both sides of the credit system!

            I spent so many hours troubleshooting this trying to get it to work. All i had to do was change hard dip 2

            Anyways, a really easy way to test the credit routing of your motherboard, just short the pins on the edge connector for P1 credit and P2 credit to ground, and watch which side gets a credit for each pin, if both pins give credits to player 1 when shorted, then you need to change that dipswitch. If p1 credit pin gives credits to p1 side and p2 credit pin gives credits to p2 side. HAPPY DAYS!

            Here's the MVS pinout on the right, to give you a better idea of what i'm on about. Pins 16 and T are the ones i'm talking about. These pins in question are actually the same on JAMMA and MVS pinouts.

            Click image for larger version

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