The PC and Jamma CAB Hardware

My hardware config

I decided to upgrade my PC and use my old components as the arcade machines main PC, The spec I used is as follows:-

Old Hardware spec Used from September 2003 to December 2004.

AMD Athlon 850, A 1.2Ghz was used for a short time before the next upgrade.
256mb pc100
20Gb HDD
Ultimarc Arcade VGA
J-Pac set to Mame - 15khz
Sound Blaster 64 ISA .
DVD Rom drive

The system ran well for most R.O.M games but Compressed Hard Drive (C.H.Dís) games had a very slow frame rate using the 850Mhz processor. Some R.O.M games like Tekken2 also suffered from a very slow frame rate.

Power up of the MAME cab PC

Most ATX motherboards work in the same way, you don't have to have a separate switch or complex circuits to power on the pc, All you have to do is power on your mame cab and use a temp switch on the motherboard "atx power switch" to power it on for the first time after that switch the Cab of at the wall and remove the temp switch. The next time you power the system up at the wall socket the PC should power up automatically. If  your system didn't power up automatically you can short together two wires on the PSU, The GREEN wire (Sense PS ON) and BLACK ground OV. You can use any of the black wires because they all go to the PSU ground or OV but it is best and easy to use the BLACK wire next to the GREEN wire.

Warning!! Do Not attempt to short any other wires together or it will result in permanent damage.


Auto ATX Power up

Cooling Fans

The main idea for these fans is to move the air around the p.c. components and power supply pulling fresh cool air in, over, round and out. The problem with having two fans is the noise so to solve the problem without spending money on speed control circuits. First make sure you arcade cabinet is switched off and unplugged:-

1 Plug the fans into the power supply as you normally would do using a spare unused A.T cable.
2 You will see the red cable of the fans plugs into the yellow 12v cable on the power supply plug.
3 What you need to do is remove the red fan supply cable out of the plug socket with a small screwdriver.
4 Move the cable to the empty position on the plug that is for connecting to the red +5v on the PSU plug.
5 You should see that you now have connected the red fan supply cable, To the red +5v power supply cable on the PSU.

Diagram, Slowing cooling fans using 5v supply

The fans run much slower and still move enough air around the p.c. and p.s.u. components.


I decided to upgrade the arcade P.C. and use the old components as a test bench for the arcade machines software. The new spec I used is as follows:-

MSI 865PE Motherboard
Intel Celeron D 320 2.4GHz, 256KB Cache
256MB DDR PC2700 CAS2.5
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 40GB ATA-100 2MB Cache
ArcadeVGA 128mb, 9200 chipset. 28 built-in 15Khz video modes
J-Pac set to Mame - 15khz
PCI Sound Blaster 128

The new spec was purchased from a company called overclockers . On the Overclockers website click on Products\Bundles, you then have a choice of AMD bundles or Intel. The good thing about most new motherboards that is very important to this project!, You can enter the B.I.O.S setup to disable the onboard sound card because most motherboards today use an AC97 audio chipset that is not compatable with Dos M.A.M.E. Then you can use your Sound Blaster PCI card.

The system ran very well for all R.O.M Games and Tekken2 ran at full frame rate at last :-), Most Compressed Hard Drive (C.H.Dís) games still had a very slow frame rate using the 2.4Ghz processor but it was much better than using the 850Mhz processor, Area51 ran at 95% frame rate, I configured the game to run at a frame skip of 5 this made the game run well with no interruption to the sound.


The J-PAC (JAMMA interface for Pc to Arcade Controls) is a board which allows plug-in connection of a JAMMA arcade cabinet to a VGA card and keyboard port or USB port on a PC motherboard.

The J-PAC routes VGA video from the PC VGA card to the JAMMA connector and therefore to the monitor. But of course it's not that simple! There are configuration issues when using arcade monitors on a PC with a normal VGA card (as opposed to the ArcadeVGA card). The VGA card must be told to output a horizontal sync frequency which is much lower than the VGA standard. The J-PAC amplifies the VGA 1 volt signal level to approx 5 volts peak-peak which is the arcade monitor spec.

  J-Pac PC to Jamma Interface!

The Arcade VGA

 The Ultimate Video card for 15Khz Arcade Monitors

This little gem allows you to connect your 15Khz arcade cabinet monitor to your PC with NO special configuration or special driver software in either DOS or Windows.

Powerful ATI Radeon 9200 chipset for great performance in 3D games as well as emulation.

Setting up a sound card in DOS

One of the most troublesome steps in getting your mame setup to work correctly in dos is setting up the sound card

Most if not all soundcards on the market are billed as "Soundblaster Compatible" which really means Soundblaster Pro compatible

If you plan to run DMAME in pure dos you will most likely have to run the DOS initialisation application which comes with your soundcard drivers. This allows DOS to hook into the soundcards interrupt.

Some PCI soundcards, like the Pine CS4281 card do not have a DOS installation program. Instead, the drivers are installed via Windows. The DOS drivers are then installed and can be copied to your DOS configuration.

Common Settings;

All sound cards will need the following line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT. This variable "shows" the DOS application (MAME) how the soundcard is configured.



A220 is the I/O Port address
I5 is the IRQ or Interrupt number
D1 is the DMA IRQ number
T4 is the Soundblaster type (or emulation mode)

Some soundcard drivers also require EMM386

If EMM386 is required for your DOS soundcard drivers and assuming you are using MS-DOS 7.0, add the following line to your C:\CONFIG.SYS

device=c:\dos\emm386.exe noems

If your lucky enough like me to have an old ISA Soundblaster card and a spare ISA slot, you shouldn't experience any problems setting up your card.....

Sound Blaster ISA 64 sound card

Sound Blaster ISA 64

Most sound cards manufactured today are PCI and you will have to read you soundcards documentation to install it in dos mode (if the dos drivers exists)

A more common PCI card in use today is based on an ES1370/1371 chipset, this includes the Soundblaster PCI range and seems to work well once its configured correctly

Notes on configuring your sound card

Do NOT use IRQ 5. IRQ 5 is required by the legacy device - move your sound card to a different physical PCI slot if it does
Do NOT use the same IRQ as your video card
You can customize the IRQ and DMA settings using the sbeset utility on all Live! and Audigy models. For help with the sbeset.exe command line parameters, in dos mode at the command prompt enter: sbeset.exe -?
Make sure you have the appropriate SET BLASTER=Axxx,Ix,Dx,Tx setting in your ATOEXEC.BAT

Note that this BLASTER environment variable applies for many games regardless of whether or not you have an actual Sound Blaster card or not.
These settings tell the game how your sound card is configured, regardless of what brand it actually is.

NOTE: There can be no spaces between the word BLASTER and the equal sign (=).

If you have a space in there, your system will read the parameter incorrectly, and it will not be recognized by our games.

(Some of these parameters (P, H, and E) are dependant on certain types of
cards. For example, the E is only needed if you have an AWE 32. The minimum requirements are to have the A, I, D, & T parameters. The other three may or may not be needed depending on what type of card you have.
Please read this entire section to see if you need any of them. If you are using a clone card, or some card that's not a "true" Soundblaster, then you will most likely only need A, I, D, and T.)

Now, these may not (most likely not) be the same for your board, because the Port Address, Interrupt and DMA Channel can be set by adjusting "jumpers" on your sound board. Some newer cards have this information controlled by software, please consult your card's manual for more information on how to set
these things. You should also check your manual if you are unclear as to how to tell what settings your card is set at. The information *IS* important, so it's recommended that you know precisely what the settings are. If you are using a card that "emulates" the Soundblaster (such as the Gravis UltraSound
through software, or the PAS16), you should check your card's manual on how to set the card for Soundblaster emulation.

For PORT ADDRESS, it's almost always 220. That seems to be the default for most sound cards out there, and unless you know you've switched it away from 220, it's a safe bet it's still there.

The INTERRUPT is something that varies from system to system.

The DMA CHANNEL sometimes causes problems if it isn't set to 1, which is the usual default. If it is not set correctly, some games may lock up when the sound is turned on.

The TYPE OF CARD should be 1 if you have an older Soundblaster, or a Sound Blaster emulating card. Use 3 if you have a newer plain Soundblaster. Use 2 for an older Soundblaster Pro. Use 4 for a newer Soundblaster Pro.

The MIDI PORT parameter will only be needed if you are using a card that has MIDI capabilities. If so, this is where you define what MIDI port you are using. 330 seems to be the default, so if you have a MIDI card, and you haven't changed anything from factory defaults, this is probably where it still

The HIGH DMA CHANNEL is something that is used primarily on Soundblaster 16 cards. This is not the same as the standard DMA channel, this is a different one. This is only used if you're using a 16 bit sound card capable of playing 16 bit Soundblaster sounds. By default, this is usually 5, so unless you know
that it's something else, it's probably still 5.

The E620 parameter is something that is needed _only_ if you have a Creative Labs AWE 32 sound card. If you have one of these, this parameter will have been set up properly assuming you've installed the software that came with the card. Check your AWE 32 documentation for a more thorough explanation of what this parameter is used for.

After you have entered the correct SET BLASTER line in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file, make sure you save the change, and reboot before you try playing the game again.

Sound Blaster PCI 128 sound card

 Sound Blaster PCI 128

My MAME Arcade operating system supports both Sound Blaster ISA and Sound Blaster 128 PCI sound cards however in some cases the SB 128 PCI card may not work, the faults you may find are :

1. The MAME logo video had sound but arcadeos failed to load. (This could be down to DOS partitions of the hard disk, use fdisk to correct any faults or try another hard disk).

2. The MAME logo video had sound, arcadeos loaded but crashes on loading games 

The Faults could be down to 4 things:-

1. Onboard sound not disabled in the BIOS. Enter your motherboards B.I.O.S goto "integrated peripherals", and disable all onboard sound card options.

2. The Sound Blaster PCI type is not a T6

3. Make sure your Sound Blaster PCI card does not use the same irq as your vga card, Try moving the sound card from one pci slot to another starting at PCI slot 1.

4. "SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 T6",  This command line may need editing to suite your Sound Blaster 128 PCI card , Use information on this page to help you. Exit ArcadeOS and at the DOS prompt type edit Then press "Alt" key on the keyboard (this should highlight "File"), cursor key down to highlight "open", press enter on open , cursor key down to autoexec.bat ( so its highlited black ), press enter, you should see the following:-

echo off
rem mscdex.exe /s /d:mscd000

SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P300 T6   EDIT THIS LINE. First of all Try "SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H6 P330 T4"

CD C:\ArcadeOS

Then press "Alt" key on the keyboard (this should highlight "File"), cursor key down to highlight "EXIT", press enter on "EXIT", Save changes y/n?, press "y" then enter.

Re-Set your MAME PC.