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Thread: Conversion of arcade to mame

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by OzStick View Post
    you will need to go DOS if you go without the ArcadeVGA.
    How so? Doesnt the JPAC sort of convert the signal from vga to 15khz? Or am i mistaken??

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchant View Post
    How so? Doesnt the JPAC sort of convert the signal from vga to 15khz? Or am i mistaken??
    Not exactly. As per the Ultimarc website:

    If required, can divide a 31Khz VGA signal in half so that it will display a stable picture on a 15Khz arcade monitor. Useful for checking boot-up progress and configuration (not for application use). Automatically stops dividing the signal when it detects a correct 15Khz rate is being send by the PC.

    So although it provides a stable signal, it is not altogether safe in extended use, therefore it's not ideal to be running Windows with a video card incapable of outputting 15kHz.

  3. #13

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    oops, my bad.....maybe the ipac and arcadevga is the best way then..

  4. #14

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    You can skip the ArcadeVGA if you use either DOS or Linux with AdvanceMAME and SVGALib (or FBDev under Linux too), or build custom modes in Windows using a tool like Powerstrip.

    But end user beware! All of these methods are not your average mindless point'n'click installs. You need to know what you are doing. Anyone afraid of editing config files by hand and installing things without a graphical interface need not apply.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchant View Post
    oops, my bad.....maybe the ipac and arcadevga is the best way then..
    The "best way" should be whatever solution you are most comfortable achieving - I'm always objective when talking to customers about their projects and simply state that the ArcadeVGA with the J-PAC is the easiest way yo go.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by OzStick View Post
    the ArcadeVGA with the J-PAC is the easiest way yo go.
    And the quickest. Even someone like myself would take a few solid hours setting up a Linux+AdvanceMAME+SVGALib setup. I think my record for an ArcadeVGA+J-Pac is currently around 15 minutes, including time wasted waiting for Windows to reboot.

  7. #17

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    With the Ipac/Jpac you will not need the 'extra' buttons for pause etc as the Ipac shift function lets you use the joystick for pause, tab, tilda & enter.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchant View Post
    oops, my bad.....maybe the ipac and arcadevga is the best way then..
    You are a little confused.

    The I-PAC is a keyboard encoder, plain and simple. It plugs into your PC via PS2 or USB and is recognised as a keyboard. Instead of having keyboard buttons though you have to wire it to the arcade buttons and sticks yourself.

    A J-PAC is also a keyboard encoder. However as a JAMMA cabinet is already pre-wired to the JAMMA harness the J-PAC plugs into the PC via PS2 or USB and as with the I-PAC is recognised as a keyboard but instead of having to wire the buttons yourself it uses the JAMMA fingerboard. Now as the JAMMA harness is also used for sound to the cabinet speakers, coin mech and video to the monitor chassis the J-PAC also interfaces to these and has a VGA connector to interface to your PC video card. However you either need a video card that can output 15KHz or an arcade monitor that supports 31KHz VGA signal unless of course you go with the option Elvis has stated regarding using AdvanceMAME which can do it in software for you. I believe the J-PAC does have an inbuilt video amp also. Remember the JAMMA standard is for 2 players with 3 buttons so these are catered for via the JAMMA fingerboard on the J-PAC, for extra buttons the J-PAC also has screw terminals to support up to 8 buttons per player.

    An ArcadeVGA card is simply a PC video card that has been setup to output 15KHz signal and using it with a J-PAC is the simplest and fasted way to get a JAMMA cab running off a PC. I had my PC precofigured with MAME and after installing the ArcadeVGA card has the machine running games within 15 minutes. Getting the sound working through the cabinet speakers took a little extra time though.
    Bite my shiny metal ass!

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by RetroGame View Post
    With the Ipac/Jpac you will not need the 'extra' buttons for pause etc as the Ipac shift function lets you use the joystick for pause, tab, tilda & enter.
    I always turn the shift functions off. My kids and missus are chronic button mashers when something goes wrong (say, they lose a life and need to continue). Start+ any direction, and all of a sudden they are pausing the game, changing the volume, etc. Very frustrating, as MAME tends to save alot of those settings to files when exiting the game, and loads them back in on next play. It pissed me off no end when I found the kids had been on the cab and changed all sorts of shit thanks to their button mashing, so I used the Ultimarc programming utilities and set the shift function to an unused input.

    Also, the shift key when set will not register an input until the button is RELEASED. This makes for laggy input from whatever button you set it to. Not so bad for 1P start I guess, but it was yet another thing about it that annoyed me.

    The biggest downside to the i/J-Pac is the default mapping for the shift key. I believe the KeyWiz is superior there, as it's "shazaam" key (same as shift) is a entirely separate input, which you can simply not wire if you don't need it. And if you do want it, you can wire it as a separate button, or simply bridge it to another button and have it perform just like the I/J-Pac. Giving the end user choice is always a winner.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by elvis View Post
    Also, the shift key when set will not register an input until the button is RELEASED. This makes for laggy input from whatever button you set it to. Not so bad for 1P start I guess, but it was yet another thing about it that annoyed me.

    The biggest downside to the i/J-Pac is the default mapping for the shift key........
    I nearly agree with you Elvis, but then you can assign the Shift Key as "NONE" so the I-PAC etc won't use it at all. The beauty of the Ultimarc encoders is that they offer almost unlimited flexibility, provided that you are prepared to think outside the square a little.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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