Jump to content

JAMMA board from Raspberry PI


Recommended Posts

I've made a JAMMA board out of a RPI. It runs RGB at 720x240 non interlaced video, has amplified mono sound and inputs for 2 players with 3 buttons each and 2 starts, one coin, service and test all wired to the GPIO. All power is through the JAMMA harness, no extra power supply or non standard wiring needed.


I've built a basic linux/mame SD card image and have been testing and tweeking in order to release the software. I'll try and release it later this week. So far the software boots to a menu in around 26 seconds from power on. Boot time is only about 12 seconds but advance menu takes a while to load. It currently has 3 flavours of MAME and a version of FBA. The PI isn't crazy powerful but its able to run 60FPS for many games in portrait or landscape.


It's not the be all and end all of emulators but the result is way better and more flexible than any arm based multiboard I've seen. Does most classics very nicely, newer stuff it does well include CPS2, most NEO GEO, Cave up to around the millenium etc. It cannot play a full mame set perfectly. I'd be interested to see what a native RPI low res game would be capable of...


I'm using a hand made board at the moment but have redesigned it with CAD and will get a professional proto produced soon. If there's interest I may make more. I'll update when I've uploaded the software image in case anyone with a RPI wants to check it out.


Any thoughts/feedback would be appreciated.



###### UPDATE 2016 #######


Lots of things in the early posts in this thread are now out of date. I won't edit their content but wanted to update the first post a bit for the current state of the project. The easiest place to check for the latest info is now http://www.aussiearcade.com/showthre...te-information as this thread is very long.


Quick guide to this thread:

Information about version 2 of the hardware starts at page 16.


Information about version 3 of hardware page 42.


V3.1 software (pi2 and pi3) links from page 45.

http://tinyurl.com/h337jtf -- thanks to Jed for single file version




CURRENT V3.5 software links page 66 (16 parts). Single links below:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/.../ARpiCADE35.7z thanks to thegleek for the re-up


Current instructions are included in the image.

Older v3.1 software instructions can be found here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Iq...s2bpBaOq5SDUSA


RaspberryJAMMA V3 board layout: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6...0M0Ti1idTI1cHc

How to mount pi to board: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6...0lxblBUbmlJdTQ

Guide to V3 dipswitches: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6...zV6QjVxSVZQbmc


Which emulator for which rom spreadsheet WIP: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mg...ojXRw1yf9GdWoY


There is also some video of the system running (videos are not made by me), the earliest is at page 18.



###### UPDATE 2021 ######



Now supporting RPi4

And there's a four player adaptor

And it's so much better now than when it all started...

Stuff from 2021 starts at page 143.

As I write this the current software versions are ARpiCADE 3.X.1 (Pi2 and Pi3 versions) and ARpiCADE 4.3 (Pi4 versions, untested on 8gig as far as I know but good on 1, 2 and 4 gig versions).


Edited by dee2eR
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few more technical details:

Video output of the Raspberry PI is essentially locked to HDMI resolutions (I'm converting HDMI to RGBS). This means 4 low resolution settings are available to use, but only one at a time without rebooting (I think it may be possible to change res on the fly but not without some work). Ignoring the 2 low res interlaced options we are left with only 720x240@60Hz and 720x288@50Hz (I think, I've only played with 60Hz so far) so outputting exact modelines will not work in this application.


Without changing the output from 240p the software is set up to either over or underscan as needed, 224p games output 224 lines plus 8 black lines top and bottom (240 total), 288 line games only display 240 lines of the 288 without squishing the image (this could be fixed in 50Hz mode but I havent tried). This works best with 240 line and below games, no vertical scaling required. Horizontal scaling is done due to the width of the fixed output, games are scaled at 2x where possible or full width where required. Basically it looks very good to excellent with most low res games on a RGBS CRT and not bad on a HDMI LCD. I could make it output exact horizontal pixels with large black edges but it would require large adjustments to the monitor compared to any other board or be very squished if not adjusted or a fixed pixel aspect monitor used.


Groovy MAME won't work on the PI, its x86 based so a lot of work would need to be done. The good news is the GroovyArcade linux distro is very similar to what I've produced. It's arch linux based and I'm using AdvanceMenu one of the 2 frontend options available (the other, Wah-Cade, will run but requires X11 and I'd rather avoid that for speed and system size reasons). Groovy MAME on a full PC would be better if you want the lastest MAME version. My image has advmame-106, advmame- 083, modified MAME4ALL (mame-037b5 romset) and modified Final Burn Alpha (I forget the version, not current).


I havent tried DK2 or other rom hacks yet. I think you would need a newer version of MAME for DK2 but it wouldn't be hard to backport the driver as it's basically Donkey Kong, I'm not sure how I feel about doing that though as the auther is still selling his work (as far as I know). I am curious though...


On the subject of emulation ethics, I will be giving this software away with all source code I modify included, but no roms included. I really hope I never seeing anyone charging for games on this like a 60in1, this is meant for home/hobby use. All source code (except the RPI video bare metal level stuff) is available due to other peoples hard work and I will honor all their licences (and include them) to the best of my understanding/ability.


*hops down from high horse* -- sorry about that.


Basically, THE GOOD:

-runs off JAMMA connector - no funky wiring

-software is very stable and fits on a 2 gig SD card with about a gig of space for roms

-usable menu in less than 30 seconds from cold power on, not much sign of a computer during boot and never leaves low res (no high res start up like a PC BIOS) so should be safe for cab monitors.

-lots of stuff runs very well (I've only really tested about a hundred games though)

-very customizable, source code available

-GPIO control inputs, no USB stack, no hardware lag



-older MAME versions

-not everything runs perfectly eg. GORF runs with odd emulation in one emulator and with slowdown in another, Battle Garegga runs without sound, with slowdown and frameskip (don't bother)

-uses 4 different MAME rom sets

-RPI has limited CPU power (decent GPU though) and ram

-probably not good for medium res (havent tried)

-long posts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interested in this , the next logical step in clutter free MAME setups.

So this will run on a 15khz monitor? if so fantasic !

Look forward to more updates and well done, was wondering if this was possible with the RPi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really hope I never seeing anyone charging for games on this like a 60in1


Do you REALLY think that a 60in1 selling for $80 retail they are charging for software?? I don't believe so. The cost is in the hardware.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators
Do you REALLY think that a 60in1 selling for $80 retail they are charging for software?? I don't believe so. The cost is in the hardware.


Sure some of it but I know you can get pretty hefty discounts on those 60-1's if you buy in lots too.


However I'm pretty sure his argument is against the charging for the roms/software type scenario rather than the hardware.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure some of it but I know you can get pretty hefty discounts on those 60-1's if you buy in lots too.



Not as hefty as some think - I just bought 130 of them (the latest version) and I paid AU$43 each for cash up front deposited to their bank account.


Remember this is IN CHINA - so no freight to Australia, no GST and no (slim) retail margin.

Edited by Homepin
re-calculated the exchange price from my invoice
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mikes right I paid 32 bucks each last week for some plus ems


Its a tough market to crack with the ability to buy direct but I'm still keen on this PC setup for a gander


I would say they have "loaded" the freight charge a little to cover the shortfall on your purchase because they cost more than that ex the factory door. Things like this are VERY cuthroat here and the Chinese will duck and weave at every turn and do whatever they have to, to make $0.50.


Freight here is VERY cheap. Post is cheap and EMS is only marginally more. If I send EMS and I want my name as the sender it will cost about $25 for 2kg to Australia BUT if I don't care who is shown on the paperwork as the sender I can ship the same 2kg for nearly half that.


The package will be bundled with others and shipped off to some unknown company in the sticks where it will be re-labled and re-addressed (and this is where the problems start as the tracking number changes for a start) and that company shown as the sender. Usually they have some super deal with EMS (or backhanded shonkies??) and because they ship 1000 packages a day even a small margin is a nice pickup for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The compute module also supports more GPIO. The only downside to it is the lack of sd card. Working with the built in NAND may be trickier for people to do.


Theres also the Bananna PI which sounds like it was an april fools joke but looks promising, basically compatible with RPI software but more powerful.


Does anyone know of a good PCB manufacturer in Australia? I've been struggling to find someone local who can do hard gold over nickel on the JAMMA connector. I may just go without for the first board, or maybe look at NZ for manufacture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...