While I was waiting for a chance to pick up the machine, I decided I would order up some parts. I knew I was going to need a JAMMA adapter and a VGA card that could deliver signal to the JAMMA card at the right frequencies and resolutions. So I ordered those up from ultimarc.com as well as some mounting parts for the JAMMA adapter.
Today I arranged to pick up the machine from the guy. Me and My dad drove out with his covered trailer to the north side of White Bear Lake, and got the machine loaded into the trailer, but had to lay it on it’s back (was about 2 or 3 inches too tall). Got it back to my house and pulled it into my garage on a hand truck. I would guess that the machine weighs about 200 pounds, which is pretty amazing considering how hollow it is.
Now with the machine at my house, it gave me a good chance to look everything over. This is when I realized that my cabinet is not a JAMMA cabinet. The JAMMA standard wasn’t created until 1985, the same year this cabinet was manufactured. I had went ahead with the JAMMA adapter purchase because I was basing a lot of this off of a guy named Mike who had converted a Gauntlet II machine into a MAME machine, not realizing that JAMMA wasn’t introduced until 1985, and that his machine may have been converted to JAMMA prior to his purchase of the machine. Regardless, I am going to need to create a JAMMA harness for this machine in order to get the JAMMA adapter working (and in particular, the stock cabinet monitor). Since I was planning on replacing all of the joysticks and buttons (including adding buttons) I placed an order with Bob Roberts, and one of his Lagniappe (aka. Free Stuff) that he offers with orders of a certain price, is a JAMMA connector. It was serendipity.
Going back to those controls, the ones that are currently on the machine are in rough shape, but appear to be functional. The downside is that they are old, and use larger leaf switches, rather than smaller microswitches. It was a no-brainer to upgrade the switches, if only for the ability to pack them in tighter than the leaf switches.
Since I am adding buttons, I decided I’m also going to adjust how they are laid out. It’s obvious that Gauntlet is an older machine since the two buttons are located to the left of each joystick, rather than the now-standard joystick/d-pad on the left and buttons on the right layout. Moving these buttons while maintaining the original artwork would be basically impossible. Luckily, Mike (the guy who did the Gauntlet II conversion) also laid out where he got replacement Gauntlet graphics from, a place called Arcade Overlays. On their product pages I noticed that they offered to produce the art at non-standard sizes, so I hoped that they were printing these at time of order, and that I might be able to get the Gauntlet graphics customized.
The standard Gauntlet Control Panel Overlay (CPO) has markings where the buttons and joystick go. I would prefer that these weren’t printed and just left a solid color so I could place the buttons and joystick wherever I wanted without it looking like a giant kludge. I e-mailed them, and as sure as shit, they’d be able to nix those markings for a small extra charge. I jumped all over that.
Now I’ve got to wait for parts to arrive.