PC Hardware

The goal is to create a totally self-contained mame machine, which in essence works just like any other JAMMA board. At this stage, the hardware is an EPIA-M ITX board - because I got it for free. I had been thinking about this project for a couple of years, and actually getting the board put the gears in motion. Unfortunately the Nemiah CPU is pretty slow, but for older games it works without skipping frames.


That the board should be powered by the Cabinet PSU, through JAMMA was given - but how wasn't entirely clear until I found this amazing piece of hardware:

It is rated at 60W, with input voltage of 6-26V. My first hope was that it would work with a 5v input, but no such luck. On arcade boards, 12V is primarily used for the audio-circuits, so powering the whole system through this probably isn't a great idea. The EPIA-M, like most arcade boards, consumes most power through the 5V rail. What I did was to bypass the pico-psu's 5V, and feed the EPIA 5V directly from the cab. I had a little accident and blew the 12V on the pico-psu, so while not the original plan - this is also hardwired directly from the cab.

I used a 20-Pin to 24-Pin ATX adapter cable to keep it simple:


With power concerns, and the embeddedness of the project, flash is the only option. I played around with USB sticks for a while, but found they were a hassle to boot from - so for the moment I use CF, with a CF-ATA adapter that plugs directly into the mainbord IDE slot. Be aware that some of adapters do not support DMA. I got one off EBay for 5USD including shipping that works great!

Input Controller

This has been a no-brainer for several years, I can't imagine why anyone would use anything else than the products from ultimarc. In this project I wanted to use the J-PAC for simplicity, but wasn't sure if I could tap power out of it. So I got the mini-pac, and soldered the individual leads to a fingerboard via a floppy-cable. I also hot-glued a molex for power, and a mini-jack for audio on it.