Looking to build or get a machine to play System 256 games

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    • If hobbyists with arcade machines in their collections were to completely empathize with what you are trying to achieve, we would do it like this:

      1. Ditch the RPi3 for a PC
      2. Go with a CRT based cab, preferably a tri-sync monitor
      3. JAMMA switcher so you can dual boot
      Going with a PC will require you to know how to setup a front end, hide windows, and run hacked video drivers drivers to gain 15khz output to connect to an arcade monitor. A lot of us started out with MAME before we became more dedicated to arcade purism. For this, for most of us, doing this is easy. But for a novice, this is honestly a monumental task. The good news is that you can build such a PC for about $50. $15 for the video card and a Core 2 Duo based PC will run most of your games up through the 90's. You'll need to spend another $80 for a J-PAC.

      The reason we would recommend a tri-sync monitor is because the System 256 runs in what is callled High Resolution. This is nothing more than 640x480 VGA video. But this is the pinnacle of arcade CRT display and is quite a site to behold. If you want the authentic System 256 experience, you will need a tri-sync monitor. This will be your biggest expense.The JAMMA switcher will then allow you to connect the PC through the J-PAC to the switcher. You can also connect the System 256 with a JVS-to-JAMMA connector to the switcher. Then away you go.

      You are looking at the following investment if you are to choose the path that would tilt more towards an authentic arcade experience:

      • The tri-sync cabinet shall be your biggest expense. Likely, this will be higher than $500 alone. Also, you would likely be gutting a dedicated arcade game to achieve this (trust me, you don't want to even mention you are doing this). System 256 will set you back $150. A MAME PC will cost you around $100
      • You are looking at a huge investment of time in searching for a tri-sync arcade cabinet in your area. These things don't come around often, even in California where I am from. You are also looking at a huge investment in time to figure out how to setup a MAME PC. How to get it to interface to a 15khz monitor. Then all your physical effort will likely be huge to set this up.
      This is how arcade enthusiast would do this. Sometimes we forget all the expertise we gained along the way to arrive where we are and can't from the point of view of a person such as yourself that just wants to play the games but has no idea what he is up against. If you are willing to invest these things, we can help you. If you just want to play the games as fast as you can, go with an LCD to switch audio and video. Then switch controls manually. You ask:

      Is it truly difficult to configure a CRT to work with MAME and 256?

      For someone that has never done this before, the answer is it is likely an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
    • twistedsymphony wrote:

      System 246/256 isn't emulated any where but I wouldn't be surprised if at some point PCSX2 (the most excellent PS2 emulator) added support for PS2 based arcade hardware. For now if you want to play those games you need the original hardware.
      Technically PCSX2 already supports COH (PS2 Arcade) emulation- the problem is that the 246/256 platform is a COH module plugged into (or integrated onboard for the 246C/256) entirely custom logic made by Namco, and there's no support for that, so games cannot boot past the arcade hardware initialization or any requests for the IDE devices connected to the Namco hardware.
    • jassin000 wrote:

      twistedsymphony wrote:

      I could write a novel on all the reasons LCDs blow for Classic arcade gaming
      I reject your reality and substitute my own...
      Daaaang, that's nice. I bet it cost you at least 1500 too, haha. I'm really torn on this CRT vs LCD debate. Both sides are pretty compelling. Did you guys see that eBay link I posted for the 256 piece? Is that everything I need for that?
    • jassin000 wrote:

      I reject your reality and substitute my own...
      Your setup is nice but you also spent $5K... about half of which was just on the monitor and various converter boards... and as great as it looks it's still not as low lag or as accurate as a proper arcade CRT.

      defor wrote:

      Technically PCSX2 already supports COH (PS2 Arcade) emulation- the problem is that the 246/256 platform is a COH module plugged into (or integrated onboard for the 246C/256) entirely custom logic made by Namco, and there's no support for that, so games cannot boot past the arcade hardware initialization or any requests for the IDE devices connected to the Namco hardware.
      I never knew the specific reason for it. Honestly though there was a time when the entire PS2 hardware was custom logic made by Namco, it's just a matter of someone willing to spend the time to figure it all out. Heck the PS3 emulators out now are damn impressive and you can't tell me that 2x6 daughter-boards are more complex than that.

      I've come to believe that how quickly these things get figured out is directly related to the size and determination of the fan base for them... I'd submit that there just isn't enough 2x6 exclusive games that have made it worth people sitting down determined to work it out. By rights the Original Xbox hardware should be emulated nearly perfectly by now, yet emulation on that is still quite a ways behind even Xbox 360 emulation, most likely because it's got a much smaller fan base and almost no exclusives that people want to play.
      Buy 3D Printed Parts: bit-district.com
      Projects: instagram | blog
      Games: VAPS | VOOT | UMK3 | RFM | Vewlix | FiF Jr. | KI2 | E29 | Net City | DDR | Flash Beats
      Wanted | For Sale/Trade

      The post was edited 1 time, last by twistedsymphony ().

    • twistedsymphony wrote:

      about half of which was just on the monitor and various converter boards
      Yup this is true, anyway you slice it the only display that can do everything without resorting to conversion boards is a tri-sync CRT.
      I only caution that following this path is going to lead directly into CRT maintenance.

      Dude is just getting into this, you think he's ready to do a cap kit?
      How about something simple like place a convergence strip... While the CRT is ON?
      I've got a nice GIF appropriate for such a occasion right here...
      Darksoft: CPS3, CPS2, F3, MVS
      RGB: RECO v2, HAS v3
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special Edition)
    • I'm sure you will end up having diferent set of monitors once you get deeper in this world :)

      When I started, there were no LCDs, so the initial decision was easier...

      Now I have a 29inches trisync Polo/3, two Sony BVMs (one of them VGA capable), a RGB 28 inches TV and a 21inches VGA crt... I also have a Benq gaming 23 inches monitor with 1ms and all the shit... That's only used for TX2 stuff... I never use my Framemeister scaler (no need for it) :)

      I also started not caring about purity, I even used vanilla MAME for years, before realizing about real refresh rates and resolutions...
      LOAD "*",8,1
    • jassin000 wrote:

      Yup this is true, anyway you slice it the only display that can do everything without resorting to conversion boards is a tri-sync CRT.
      I only caution that following this path is going to lead directly into CRT maintenance.


      Dude is just getting into this, you think he's ready to do a cap kit?
      How about something simple like place a convergence strip... While the CRT is ON?
      I've got a nice GIF appropriate for such a occasion right here...

      low cost, high quality, low maintenance... pick two

      Everybody has to start somewhere, though honestly if you're not willing to do some soldering or playing around with the guts of electronics then the arcade hobby probably isn't for you.
      Buy 3D Printed Parts: bit-district.com
      Projects: instagram | blog
      Games: VAPS | VOOT | UMK3 | RFM | Vewlix | FiF Jr. | KI2 | E29 | Net City | DDR | Flash Beats
      Wanted | For Sale/Trade
    • twistedsymphony wrote:

      Everybody has to start somewhere, though honestly if you're not willing to do some soldering or playing around with the guts of electronics then the arcade hobby probably isn't for you.
      Amen!
      Darksoft: CPS3, CPS2, F3, MVS
      RGB: RECO v2, HAS v3
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special Edition)
    • CharGP02A wrote:

      I've honestly never soldered a thing in my entire life haha. I don't even have supplies for that.
      Again I don't know if CRT ownership is in your future.
      Take Blast City for example, it was released in 1996... It is now 2016.

      CRTs can go for a long, long, long time!
      But not without regular maintenance, and 20 years is going to put a large amount of this maintenance in your hands.
      Darksoft: CPS3, CPS2, F3, MVS
      RGB: RECO v2, HAS v3
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special Edition)
    • CharGP02A wrote:

      Absolutely. I've installed Server and Desktop OS's before.
      How about this to start you off. Get a standard res CRT based cab. Scour Craigslist in your area. Look for a SF2 button layout cab, a Dynamo HS5, HS9, or Z-back is best here. Make sure it is still wired for JAMMA so you can still plug a gameboard into and it will run. Also, make sure that monitor is sharp and vibrant. Don't pay anymore than $150 for it. These are out there, but you'll need to be diligent, patient, and willing to drive. Get a Core 2 Duo based PC and an older Radeon HD4350 video card. If a friend can donate such a PC, you are in good shape. That video card will cost you $15 off eBay. You'll also need a J-Pac.

      The aim here is for you to get a PC interfaced to an arcade monitor. This is quite a task for someone just starting in the hobby. But once you get it going, you'll know what you are up against. It is a small monetary investment to get you going. Once this is set up, you can sell this cabinet easily. Then move towards your longer term goal. Now if you can't do this, then you won't be able to get MAME and System 256 to dual boot on the same cabinet. But at least you will know for sure. Then your option is LCD so you can switch different audio inputs, then do manual replugging to switch controls.
    • Unfortunately Craigslist doesn't seem to be in supply of fighting games-based machines all that much. The cheapest I saw was Tekken Tag Tournament for $649. eBay didn't seem to provide much help either when I searched by location :(

      Your idea doesn't sound bad otherwise, though. I'm ok with starting out with something old and then upgrading as I learn more.