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Monday, November 20, 2023

Marco Guidolin’s CoinOp Join Connects PCs to Basic Non-JAMMA Arcade Cabs — with No Injury

Maker and arcade gaming fanatic Marco Guidolin has designed an adapter which helps to attach arcade cupboards to PCs for emulation — however with out having to hurt the unique wiring on non-JAMMA-standard cupboards, not like conventional approaches to the issue.

“Sadly, largest arcade cupboard producers like SEGA, Nintendo, Atari and others didn’t undertake JAMMA and the destiny of such non-JAMMA cupboards is commonly a ‘brutal’ reconversion: emptied and rewired from scratch. Positively a [despicable], not respectful observe, in case you ask me,” Guidolin writes by means of background to the venture.

“I’m firmly satisfied that we, tinkerers with a tender spot for the arcade world and free from enterprise constrains ought to fear about remedying this example. That is my small contribution to the problem: an interface with the goal of simplifying the conversion of devoted, non-JAMMA cupboards, sustaining the unique wiring.”

Named for the Japan Amusement Machine and Advertising Affiliation, the JAMMA customary was launched in 1985 to make it simpler for arcade operators to maintain prospects curiosity by swapping out sport boards in cumbersome arcade cupboards with out having to interchange the entire unit — and to make it simpler for producers to rapidly change to producing cupboards for the subsequent scorching sport with out having to retool utterly. Any JAMMA cupboard can, in principle, settle for any JAMMA-compatible motherboard — but when your cupboard is not JAMMA customary, your choices are extra restricted.

Guidolin’s CoinOp Join is designed to handle the issue with out damaging basic arcade cabs. The adapter, powered by an Arduino Micro and an Arduino Nano R3 working side-by-side, accepts a collection of “fingerboards” which adapt its wiring for a variety of non-JAMMA cupboards — together with the SEGA X-Board, Tremendous Grasp-On, and Outrun cupboards, the Atari System 2 and Pole Place cupboards, and the NAMCO Pole Place cupboard.

When put in rather than the unique sport board, the CoinOp Join permits the cupboard to be linked to a PC to play emulated variations of the unique sport — both whereas the unique board is being despatched off for restore or, within the occasion that it is irreparable, as an outright substitute for the unique sport board. “I’m not suggesting you to interchange your cab authentic sport with a PC to run an indefinite variety of video games. Do not get me unsuitable,” Guidolin notes. “Unique {hardware} [has] to be preserved, and you may wager there’s nothing extra real than real {hardware}.”

The venture is an off-shoot of Guidolin’s earlier Raspberry Pi Pico-powered Whirlwind board, which was designed to attach a JAMMA-standard cupboard to a PC — which in flip was a successor to Monsterbash, itself a successor to Earthshaker, which in flip was based mostly on Guidolin’s Jammarduino proof-of-concept adapter design. For JAMMA-standard cupboards, Whirlwind is successfully plug-and-play — however for non-JAMMA cupboards, there’s the CoinOp Join.

Full directions on constructing and utilizing the CoinOp Join can be found in Guidolin’s Instructables write-up, whereas firmware supply code and Gerber recordsdata for the principle board and its fingerboard add-ons are revealed to GitHub below an unspecified open supply license.

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