Sunday, 9 December 2012

Project Icarus - Part 1

Project Icarus

I have had an idea for a MAME cabinet which I am keeping stum at the moment as I don't want to spoil the surprise. All I will say is, I make cufflinks out of bullets - expect anything

First thing was to order some arcade controls. I got them from arcade world on ebay along with an IPAC2 controller. For the first build I am more concerned about getting from a to b and finding out what is going to be involved, so it probably wasn't the most economical purchase. I was a little bit disappointed that no wiring instructions came with the controls, considering the cost.

To get my head around it, I put the controls into a small lever arch folder from WH Smiths.

Next I went off on bit of misadventure and a waste of a saturday night; I am planning for MK1 to use a raspberry pi as i need something that is small. MKII will use a mini itx and I thought I would refresh myself on Linux

I managed to get a copy of ubuntu onto an old asus eee-pc and installed MAME and that was as far as I got.  After several sudo this and sudo that. I gave up. I mean seriously guys ? how complicated can you make something !!

So, I installed MAME on my mac which i not ideal as I wanted the eee-pc so I could work on the project from my workbench.  I am not usually a fan of youtube tutorials, but I did find this one to be very helpful

With MAME installed , and a few roms downloaded from I was ready to get my head around the wiring

Firstly, I would highly recommend using different colour wiring, unlike what I have done. Secondly, It is actually very straight forward. A couple of things I couldn't get my head around at first was whether the grounding ran through all the buttons and joystick, or they were two separate loops. Its one loop. Also, It wasn't immediately obvious what was the NC and NO on my switches.  This is where the lever arch file came in most handy as I was able to swap things around very easily and quickly.

Here is a short video showing the controls working on TMNT, bit hard one handed but you get the idea

Next steps, is to find the key component for my enclosure and work out how I am going to fit everything in.

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