Gauntlet: Figuring Shit Out

June 5th, 2010 Posted in Gauntlet

After successfully getting the monitor to work, rather than continue on with the cabinet, I played games for a few hours.  What can I say, I am hopeless.

The next day, I figured I’d better get things more permanently affixed within the cabinet.  On my lunch break, I stopped up at Ax-Man, looking for a molex connector with .156 pin spacing, preferably for 2 or 3 pin connectors.  I was prepared to kludge something together (like hack up a 4+ pin connector, to serve as my connector for the composite sync.  Luckily I found a 2 pin connector.

While I was at Ax Man, I decided I would look for a power switch for the frankenputer.  I knew I wasn’t going to be reaching into the cabinet every time I wanted to turn the thing on, and the power switch that was affixed to the case was quite lame, so I found an apt alternative:

Oddly, you can get the SAME exact switch at allelectronics.com and I’ve noticed that they routinely has many of the same components as Ax-Man. Unfortunately, it’s not illuminated, but at least it won’t look out of place on an arcade machine, I just need to find an out of the way spot to mount it, so it isn’t accidentally hit during the heat of battle.

Additionally I found some replacement “locks” for my coin doors (I don’t have any keys for the existing ones).  The locks are opened with a hex wrench rather than a key.  I’ll probably eventually get the locks re-keyed, but at 95 cents a piece, the hex wrench ones will work for now.

Again, you can get almost the exact same locks from allelectronics.com.  Weird.

When I got home, I first wired up the new power button.  I didn’t know how much slack I was going to need, as I didn’t know where I was going to mount it, so I gave myself about 4 feet of wire, twisted it up, to keep things neat, and crimped some connectors on the wire.  I soldered the molex that goes to the PC motherboard and used heat shrink to hide the solder splice.  Plugged it in, and it worked like a charm.

Since I already had the blue and yellow stations wired up to the JAMMA interface, I needed to get the I-PAC2 hooked up.  Since the Red and Green controls were already wired all I had to do was get the front start buttons wired up, and I could begin plugging wires into the I-PAC2.

This was relatively quick, or at least a lot less time than it took me to do the rest of the control panel.

After that, I wanted to get the Comp Sync wire mounted in the Molex connector I picked up.  Using a razor blade, I chopped off the keying that was present on the connector, so it would fit on the monitor side. I soldered the wire into the metal connector and slid the connector into the molex housing.  Luckily, it worked without a hitch.

(the top connector is the connector I made, and the two empty spots on the connector below it are where the old horizontal and vertical wires were going into).

Now I needed to program the I-PAC, since it was by default setup to run as Player 1 and Player 2.  Unfortunately, WinPAC, which comes bundled with the cards, cannot program both cards while they are attached to the system, and since the J-PAC was running my video, I needed to use my laptop to program the I-PAC.  WinPAC was surprisingly easy to use though, and I had things programmed in less than 5 minutes.

I powered the machine on, and like clockwork, everything was operating as planned.

In a further attempt to wrap things up (for phase 1), I tried to fit the case for the Frankenputer into the bottom cavity of the cabinet.  I had measured this out, and it was just going to fit.  Unfortunately, I neglected to account for the small retaining piece on the back that keeps the PC cards in the PCI/ACG slots.  Nor did I account for the cables coming off the back of the motherboard.  I don’t have another case available, so either I’m going to have to find another case on the cheap, or figure out a way to mount all of the components into the machine without it being a complete clusterfuck.

But that’s for next time.

  1. 2 Responses to “Gauntlet: Figuring Shit Out”

  2. By jessica on Jun 8, 2010

    Ok so i don’t understand most of this, but i think its fucking rad.

  3. By Aaron on Jun 8, 2010

    LOL, yeah I suppose it’s a bit esoteric, but I try to explain things that at least were unclear to me when I started this project. By now I’m a arcade modding machine!

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