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bobdrakken

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Hello! I've mainly lurked for the past months and have done a good bit of searching and just wanted to clarify a few things before I buy anything else.

I recently purchased a Dynamo HS-27 cabinet that has Deer Hunter in it currently with a CRT inside. I purchased an Ultimarc Jamma board so I could connect a PC to this via VGA as well with the intention of converting this to a Marvel Vs Capcom 2 cabinet.

My question is, for the PC everything I've read is telling me I need to get an AMD/ATI or Nvidia card in order to output the proper res of 15khz or 31khz to the monitor via VGA?
The tower I have has an integrated VGA output but I have yet to see anything that says I could use that? Is this true?

Thanks in advance for any help answering this!
 

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bobdrakken

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If you just want to use 15khz, get yourself a really cheap ATI HD 5450 or 7450 (they can be purchased for next to nothing).

You may also want to use @chunksin's grooymame image - it makes the install sooooooo effortless and you'll be pretty much up and running in 15khz within 20 mins

https://www.arcade-projects.com/threads/windows-7-read-only-groovymame-image.13415/

Wow I was looking at the wrong cards! Just ordered a 5450 for 9 bucks free shipping. I'll try this when it arrives next Monday(ish) with the groovymame image you suggested above and see how it goes! I suppose this gives me time to take apart the control panel and map out a template to get my joysticks and buttons on the cabinet.

Thank you for the help!
 

RealMFnG

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Wow I was looking at the wrong cards! Just ordered a 5450 for 9 bucks free shipping. I'll try this when it arrives next Monday(ish) with the groovymame image you suggested above and see how it goes!

Any AMD Radeon series HD5000 above is best for 15khz PC-to-Arcade application. Always go for the lowest card in the series as you don't need GPU for MAME (for other emulators, you do). Below the HD5000 series, you have to have ninja-like hands to do cable switching. Most of these video cards also need a DVI-to-DSUB15 or DMS59-to-DSUB15 adapter. So make sure you have that too, if it didn't come with the card (DSUB15 is the analog VGA video--AKA: RGBHV).

Only once you have RGBHV can you hack the card BIOS and drivers to get the gold standard for PC outputted 15khz.

I suppose this gives me time to take apart the control panel and map out a template to get my joysticks and buttons on the cabinet.

Thank you for the help!

If you are doing this right, you don't need to do much surgery. At the same time, there is an investment cost and some decisions for doing it right. Somethings you need to determine:
  • Does your cab have a stereo amp of some sort?
    • If not, you'll have to figure out how to send amplified sound through to your JAMMA cab's speakers (J-Pac does not have an audio amp)
  • J-Pac can be used for button controls, but the video amp IMO is pretty bad by modern standards
  • SCART2ARC3.0 has the best video amp IMO (JAMMAizer is a close 2nd)
  • JAMMAizer w/VGA Hat IMO is the best PC-to-Arcade solution, but it is not available right now
    • SCART2ARC3.0 and JAMMAizer are pretty expensive
  • Depending on the monitor, you can actually get away without a video amp (skip the J-Pac, SCART2ARC3.0, and JAMMAizer)
    • If so, the investment isn't as much
Don't get too far ahead of yourself though. Start with:
  1. The PC configuration
  2. The video-to-monitor installation
  3. The controls
  4. The audio
  5. AC power for the PC and existing cab components
MAME is fun, but please please please don't start hacking up wiring in your cab and make the control panel glow with lighting like the rest of the MAME twerps out there (I can say that because I was a MAME twerp). There is a right way to do this; keeps your cab looking like a real arcade machine, and still enjoy MAME. If you get stuck, ask.

Also, by converting to a MvC2 cab, do you mean to run original arcade hardware (NAOMI)? Or do you plan on using emulation?
 

GeeDee

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  • JAMMAizer w/VGA Hat IMO is the best PC-to-Arcade solution, but it is not available right now

There is a right way to do this; keeps your cab looking like a real arcade machine, and still enjoy MAME. If you get stuck, ask.
No need to ask, the answers right there! :P

In all seriousness, yeah it's rough that the jammaizer is a bit of a "make sure you're in line" item (though you could build one yourself I suppose), it truly is worth the money for the hassle-free swap-ability it provides. Definitely my item of choice for running fightcade through the blast; having the VGA hat at a more convenient location than the tubes VGA is a lifesaver in and of itself. MFnG makes super great points all around; just chiming in to second the opinions! I also run two GPUs in my PC though- one for general use and multiple monitors and another configured with arcadeOSD/crtemudriver specifically for this.

All that being said, if you don't really have any need for the PC-specific benefits, you may be just as well off getting a mister setup and waiting for another drop of mistercades in leu of the jammaizer wait. Would also save the hassle of accidentally sending a wonky signal/refresh rate to the tube and accidentally putting something out of wack in the process. Depending on what you're doing with the PC, things like windows updates and the-like can turn a quick "ive got 10 minutes, lets play something!" into the occasional multi-hour reconfiguration session instead.
 

RealMFnG

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I put together this PC for a trade with another forum member:

LINK REMOVED


The PC will never have any computing purpose other than for MAME emulation. So I fastened JAMMAizer right to the case. Given that it would only be used in a cab for MAME emulation, no need to have beefy PC requirements. I think it was an Dell i3 with 8GB RAM from circa 2009 that I picked up in the aftermarket for less than $100? Anyways, from what my trade partner said, he'd likely never take this out of is TATE-orientated Blast City cab. Allows him to experience certain rare games until he can obtain the PCB's later. As far as updates go, I turn off all those Windows notifications and perform offline updates before hiding Windows completely and shelling right into the front end. The only way you'd know there is a PC in there is the BIOS screen on bootup. The PC will last as long as the CMOS battery does die or the hardware doesn't crap out, whichever comes first. I don't even bat an eye at setting up MAME. Have done it on the road on the fly for some cool people I meet locally in the hobby.

As far as sending wonky signals to an arcade monitor, J-Pac and SCART2ARC3.0 have hardware in place that prevent damage to your monitor. JAMMAizer doesn't. But in all honesty, if you are using an HD5000 series Radeon card or higher and follow the instructions for CRT Emu installation, it is hard to mess up. Approach it in a measure twice, cut once fashion and read directions thoroughly before connecting to your CRT.

I thought about MiSTer myself, I just don't want to invest $500 into the setup right now. Hard for me to justify the cost given my comfort with MAME and how little I spend on MAME rigs. I've built MAME rigs for $0 bucks + PC spare parts for some cabs that can display CRT Emu 15khz signals without the need of a video amp. I know MiSTer is really good in the console arena, but there are arcade systems that it doesn't emulate yet. Plus I love love love the Ultracade-type frontends; makes things so accessible for casual arcade enthusiasts. If I ever get a MiSTer, I'd skip out on the MiSTerCade. Shooooooot, I have a JAMMAizer (I have SCART2ARC3.0 too, like JAMMAizer so much more). Hope Arthrimus releases JAMMAizer as open source soon. Would love to figure out how to create an expansion board for JAMMAizer so you can just plug MiSTer right into JAMMAizer EXT_IN port. JAMMAizer + MiSTer + an-as-yet-to-be-developed-expansion board > MiSTerCade in my view.
 
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bobdrakken

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Any AMD Radeon series HD5000 above is best for 15khz PC-to-Arcade application. Always go for the lowest card in the series as you don't need GPU for MAME (for other emulators, you do). Below the HD5000 series, you have to have ninja-like hands to do cable switching. Most of these video cards also need a DVI-to-DSUB15 or DMS59-to-DSUB15 adapter. So make sure you have that too, if it didn't come with the card (DSUB15 is the analog VGA video--AKA: RGBHV).

Only once you have RGBHV can you hack the card BIOS and drivers to get the gold standard for PC outputted 15khz.



If you are doing this right, you don't need to do much surgery. At the same time, there is an investment cost and some decisions for doing it right. Somethings you need to determine:
  • Does your cab have a stereo amp of some sort?
    • If not, you'll have to figure out how to send amplified sound through to your JAMMA cab's speakers (J-Pac does not have an audio amp)
  • J-Pac can be used for button controls, but the video amp IMO is pretty bad by modern standards
  • SCART2ARC3.0 has the best video amp IMO (JAMMAizer is a close 2nd)
  • JAMMAizer w/VGA Hat IMO is the best PC-to-Arcade solution, but it is not available right now
    • SCART2ARC3.0 and JAMMAizer are pretty expensive
  • Depending on the monitor, you can actually get away without a video amp (skip the J-Pac, SCART2ARC3.0, and JAMMAizer)
    • If so, the investment isn't as much
Don't get too far ahead of yourself though. Start with:
  1. The PC configuration
  2. The video-to-monitor installation
  3. The controls
  4. The audio
  5. AC power for the PC and existing cab components
MAME is fun, but please please please don't start hacking up wiring in your cab and make the control panel glow with lighting like the rest of the MAME twerps out there (I can say that because I was a MAME twerp). There is a right way to do this; keeps your cab looking like a real arcade machine, and still enjoy MAME. If you get stuck, ask.

Also, by converting to a MvC2 cab, do you mean to run original arcade hardware (NAOMI)? Or do you plan on using emulation?

My intention is to keep the cabinet as original as possible. I'm leaving all the original wiring in place as well. I hope to eventually run a NAOMI setup out of it eventually but I figured any money spent on that hardware would be better spent on getting the CP setup first and fixing some of the other issues. With this cabinet I'm just going to remove the marque art and replace it with Marvel Vs Capcom 2 art as well as add the Capcom CPO art and that's pretty much it.

Sounds like I'm on the right path so that's a relief! Thank you everyone for the replies so far!
 

jassin000

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I think the best option is to use a UVC downscaler, however these are getting hard to find now.
The advantage is clear, ANY VGA/31khz compliant device will work with your monitor... Xbox360, Dreamcast, PC and etc.

I'm told the GBS220 can now downscale if you get all the gear to build it out, but I've never used that option personally.
 

jassin000

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CRT Emu is best/most accurate.
I'd accept vastly more accurate than vanilla MAME outputting 640x480 over VGA (required if using a UVC).
I think at this point people who price accuracy are using Mister/FPGA, not CRT Emu on a ATI video card.
 

twistedsymphony

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I'd accept vastly more accurate than vanilla MAME outputting 640x480 over VGA (required if using a UVC).
I think at this point people who price accuracy are using Mister/FPGA, not CRT Emu on a ATI video card.

to be fair, Ops question was for the best way to connect a PC to a JAMMA cab... the answer to that is still an Ati card with CRT EMU Driver as it allows your PC to run at native 15kHz resolutions.

Not only is it more accurate than a UVC, it's cheaper too.

I mean if your goal is to say emulate Mortal Kombat II, a PC scaling MAME to 480P and then downscaled via UVC is going to look like absolute Dog-Shit compared to GroovyMAME and CRT_EmuDriver outputting it at it's native scan rate.
 
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jassin000

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@twistedsymphony fair enough.

I didn't like Groovy (I even owned the ArcadeVGA card sold by Ultimark) it was very hard to configure and even when I "got it" then I found I had to constantly adjust the remote board to center each game (just like using real PCBs)...
When I switch to UVC all that stuff ended because it always output the same 240p signal no matter what game was being emulated or what system was connected.
Not to mention using what ever video card I damn well pleased (yes ATI cards while nifty for custom res are IMO pure trash).
Was it accurate? Nope. Did I think the trade off was worth the compromise in accuracy? Given that I also had effortless Xbox360 and Dreamcast... YES!

Today I see MAME as inferior to the Mister project in terms of accuracy (not number of games supported of course).

I wanted to be helpful by pointing out these things, but I guess I missed the mark of what the OP was actually asking for (because I'm basically suggesting its not worth it, and to abandon this path for either a Mister or a UVC+PC).
 
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twistedsymphony

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ArcadeVGA is ok... it's not as versatile as CRT_EmuDriver though; it only supports a dozen or so 15KHz resolutions compared to hundreds supported by CRT_EmuDriver
The one benefit ArcadeVGA had was that it's bios supported 15KHz so the bios screen would work on the CRT, but they now have the Atom15 BIOS for Ati Cards that fixes that issue as well.

I don't know when you tried setting it up but there are tools that make it so you basically just run a script and it generates all of the scan modes for you. it greatly simplified the install process. I feel like that biggest problem is lack of good documentation more than anything else. DOing it is the easy part... it's figuring out WHAT to do that's time consuming.

I should also note that a lot of newer graphics cards don't even support 480P anymore, they bottom out at 800x600, and I've had issues with with some devices 480P modes not really being 480P and failing to sync on 31K monitors and devices like UVC
 

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When I switch to UVC all that stuff ended because it always output the same 240p signal no matter what game was being emulated or what system was connected.

You can disable 'switchres' within CRT Emu; set it from 1 to 0 in the 'mame.ini' file. Then GroovyMAME will scale the roms to whatever resolution you've set the desktop to run at. Achieves the same problem you are solving for with UVC and is less expensive. Keep in mind, GroovyMAME isn't just for CRT's. It is for LCD's too.
 

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GroovyMAME isn't just for CRT's. It is for LCD's too
I'd like to give it another try at some point, it was many years ago now and I'm sure improvements have been made.
Like I mentioned tho, I'm getting more interested in Mister today... So I was toying with the idea of selling my emu rig (includes JVS PAC PCB).
rxIlGSr.jpg


Oh also as you can see I've got/luv Nvidia carts (and pretty much hate ATI) last time I checked that was a problem for Grovvy.
 

twistedsymphony

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Groovy mame doesn't care what your video card is. But CRT_EmuDriver is really just a modified ATi Catalyst driver which is why it only works with ATi cards.
 

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I know the PC setup likely isn't the greatest solution but it's what I intend to use until I can find a Naomi setup since I'm assuming I'll likely need to get a complete Naomi setup to use it with my cabinet.
 

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I'm assuming I'll likely need to get a complete Naomi setup to use it with my cabinet.
Yea... You'll want something like a Capcom IO to convert the JVS into JAMMA.
Video your all set, Naomi can do 15khz native with the flip of a DIP switch (it just looks really really bad).

Remember if you go NetDIMM route you'll need to modify the Capcom IO OR use a dedicated JVS power supply (don't forget to join the DC grounds of your existing PSU).
Could always run carts, and while I do love how fast/hassle free they load my fave game CvS2 don't come in cart form (unless Jorge makes you one for $$$).
 
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