All posts tagged JAMMA

After finishing up my first Arcade cabinet recently, I decided I was not even going to bother starting a new project until I could acquire a Wonderboy PCB. An official SEGA one at that. The next cab I build will be to play this. I decided to put some feelers out there for one. They don’t appear to be all that common, and are currently going for around $230AU when they do.

Luck (or maybe fate) intervened, and with the help of a fellow member on the Aussie Arcade forums, I now have in my possession, an official SEGA Wonderboy board from 1985.

Wonderboy PCB

Because it’s pre JAMMA, it comes with an adapter. As with my last cabinet, it will utilise a JAMMA harness as I would also like to put in a 19 in 1 horizontal games board at some point.

So, the second cabinet is now under way. Slowly. Lack of funds is going to make progress on this cabinet slower than the last, but I still have some planning to do on the exact shape. I’m thinking of using the same Midway shape as my Galaga cab, but using different artwork. Perhaps Galaxian, or maybe even Pac Man. Time will tell.

When I had settled on using the 60 in 1 JAMMA board, I found I had multiple options for my power supply. There are the standard switching power supplies used in arcade cabs, and there was also support for the older style PC (AT) power supplies. There is a connector right there on the board for 12V straight from the power supply. Most people had told me it was cheaper to just use an old PC power supply. I had a hunt around, but was unable to come up with one. I did find a few, but most were priced similar (slightly cheaper) than the switching power supplies. So because of that, I decided to use a standard switching power supply. Another thing of note too is I believe you can use the newer style ATX power supplies, but you need to short out a couple of the wires. If you are looking to lower costs on your build, getting a cheap power supply is a way to cut $20 – $30 off your final build cost.

Power supply

These are all screw connectors – which is great since I’m using a JAMMA harness. The harness wires for the power are all fork connectors, which will connect up with this easily. This one set me back $35, which included postage. It was an eBay purchase, although many online stores like OzStick and GameDude have them. Also if you are planning to have gun games, I believe you need a 3v connection – which is only available on some power supplies. So it’s worth making sure the power supply you get will power everything in your cab.

I plan to have a coin mechanism on my cab. It wouldn’t be complete without one. A quick search around some sellers online revealed there was quite a few to choose from. Most are what you would expect, a front panel for the coin and refund, while there are others that are an entire door.

All the coin mechs I came across had good flexibility in setting the accepted coin amount. Some are electronic, while others are mechanically operated. None seemed to come with a counter, these can but purchased separately and are only a couple of dollars.

The coin doors are much more expensive – up to 3 times the price of a single coin mech. These also come in electronic and mechanical operated. I didn’t look at the doors too much as they conflict with the design I am planning for the cab. A single coin mech most cabs just fine. But if you really want one, appear to be easy to come by (I found plenty on eBay and with parts sellers like OzStick / GameDude).

I have decided to go with an electronic operated coin mech – it can be powered from the JAMMA harness and I know will hook up with the coin counter I plan on purchasing. It set me back $30 including postage, which seemed reasonable after shopping around. Depending on the model you want, the price will vary, so you may find yourself paying a bit more just because the face panel is what you are after. These should work fine too with MAME cabs, although you will probably need an additional adaptor to hook it all up.

As a side note, I will be configuring it for 20c per play – the way arcade games should be 🙂

Thanks to some advice on the aussie arcade forums, I ordered some parts from OzStick here in Victoria. I have placed an order for a JAMMA harness, buttons, Sanwa joystick and a few small bits and pieces for mounting the board. OzStick prices are pretty good, so its worth checking them out if you need parts.

My choice in Joystick was after some research on quality between brands. The most common brands I came across were HAPP, Sanwa and Zippy. The Zippy brand seems to be more of a budget joystick, while HAPP and Sanwa get the most praise. I found Sanwa to be slightly cheaper than the HAPP joysticks, but maybe with further shopping around that price difference could be reduced. Feature wise, the joysticks were basically the same – 4 and 8 way direction support, can swap knob colours and shapes and the ability to adjust the springs.

I went with cheap buttons. There are buttons from HAPP and Sanwa, some with built in microswitches, others without. There isn’t that much difference in price. You are looking at between $1.50 to $5 per button, depending on brand. The good thing is the buttons are easy to replace / upgrade so if the cheap option turns out to be bad, I can always get a better quality brand next time. I’m told the most important factor on the buttons is the microswitches. So you may want to consider getting the cheaper buttons, but better quality microswitches. I should also mention that there are a variety of button types too, round, triangle, rectangle, flat, bubble, dimple, and so on. It’s worth taking the time shopping around if you are after something specific.

The JAMMA wiring harness is a MUST if you are building a cab to use JAMMA boards. The wires are all ready to go. Plug it on the board, then plug all the wires into the buttons, coin mech, power, etc. I came across this JAMMA FAQ which was very useful.