Thursday, November 24, 2011

MAME with Ubuntu 11.10 in a JAMMA Arcade Cabinet

NOTE: My blog has now moved.  Please visit my new blog where I write about audio apps, diy synthesizers, and CNCs.

NOTE: After trying to get MAME running with Ubuntu 11.10 on an arcade monitor I actually ran into a ton of trouble with some X11 crashes that would not go away.  Since then, I've found Groovy Arcade Linux which is made for linux in arcade cabinets.  I will be writing a review/tutorial for installing Groovy soon as I move to it as a possible solution!

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This blog post describes the work necessary to get a PC running Ubuntu 11.10 running MAME and various other emulators inside a real JAMMA arcade cabinet with a real monitor.

For the interface between the PC and the arcade cabinet I chose a J-PAC adapter.  On the computer side it plugs accepts a VGA and PS/2 connection, and it plugs directly into the JAMMA connector inside the arcade cabinet.  I considered manually hacking the buttons of an xbox controller to the arcade buttons, but for $100 including shipping, this also includes an amplifier for the video signal which I did not want to build myself.

1. Parts needed

  • JAMMA arcade cabinet.  The monitor and arcade controls should work and be connected to the JAMMA standard connector.
  • Computer.  The faster, the better, if you want to emulate newer games.  Needs video card, sound card, some sort of network card.  I chose to install a wifi PCI adapter so that I could SSH/FTP to the computer while it's inside the arcade cabinet.
  • J-PAC, as mentioned previously
  • Another computer, networked to the MAME computer
  • MAME ROMs.  Can't help ya.
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Making a Modular CNC Mill Spindle (MyDIYCNC Build log #4)

NOTE: My blog has now moved.  Please visit my new blog where I write about audio apps, diy synthesizers, and CNCs.

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When I left off in my ongoing My DIY CNC build log I had a few problems remaining. The spindle was not up to the task of really any quality milling, and some axis still had issues with not being parallel. After some thought for the future I decided to divide and conquer the issues. I dealt with the parallel axis issues on their own (mostly just taking apart, realigning, and putting back together).

For the spindle, though, I went back to the drawing board.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Need Roland Parts?

While in the process of fixing a friend's TR-707 I found out something I think is rather amazing for a company today.  Roland still has parts in stock for products as old as the 707!  I was able to order a new DC socket from them directly for 2$ + 8$ shipping!

I did not see an equivalent on the US site, but if you're in Canada fill out a part request form here and they will reply promptly with the parts office phone number and the part number you need to provide.  It may be a good idea to get the part number from the service manual available here on synthmanuals.

While I sincerely appreciate the existence of the alternative ( since they have rare parts that Roland no longer has in stock, needing just the $2 part I was very happy to be able to get it from them directly.

Since they're shipping from Vancouver I will only have to wait about a week.  This is much better than the minimum 15 euro purchase + shipping (and waiting) from Europe!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My DIY CNC Build Log #3: Build Problems, & G-Code tutorial

NOTE: My blog has now moved.  Please visit my new blog where I write about audio apps, diy synthesizers, and CNCs.

Let's learn some G-Code.

I got tired holding down the manual control buttons in KCad to move my CNC about, so I was pleased to learn the G01 G-code command.  In KCad you have a dropdown menu of 10 commands you can edit as you please to set up homing or re-tool commands.

As I do not want to re-invent the documentation for the wheel, I looked for premade g-code cheat sheets.  Naturally there is a CNCZone thread for G-code cheat sheets.  From there I found This G & M Code booklet to be the most complete as it contains examples for most of the commands.

Click to read more about more common DIY CNC build problems and solutions.

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