ESTSS -> DEMO -> Hardware -> Arcade Box

Please Note: This project is very old. The content on this page was last updated on June of 1996. The information here may be out of date. But the steps for building your own arcade test box are still valid today.

A lot of the newsgroup articles linked from this page are very old. Also, some newsgroup articles have been removed from this site in lieu of requests from the authors.

Use the information here at your own risk.

Nick Shin

My Very own Arcade Test Box

I have built a working JAMMA compatable self powered arcade game controller, also known as a test box by technicians in the realm of coin-op game industry.

If you want to make your own, the basic parts for the test box are:
< Click on the name to see a picture of what the part looks like! >

Where To Get Stuff In General

The parts listed above are all you need to start building your own Arcade System. There are other ways to get an arcade system. You can goto auctions to get good deals on cabinets or just go to your local convient store and ask them if they want to get rid of their game sitting in the corner of the room collecting dust (but this method is hardly the way to go if you are looking for a particular game). And if all else fails -- go in to an actual arcade room (if there are still any around you) and ask if they can sell you one.

AUCTIONS are one of the ways to get good deal on getting an arcade cabinet. You can check out the place to see what they have available and what you can ultimately buy. Be sure to inspect the cabinets thoroughly before you buy it.
WAREHOUSES and OFFICES that sell and trade used arcade units are also some of the best places to find, buy, have some sort of guarantee, and additional options when purchasing a cabinet, PCB, or a whole arcade game.
I sometimes buy PCB's from the net by looking in NEWS GROUPS such as:

What to Do

If you feel the need to have a giant cabinet in your room then go buy one. If not, you can have a personal set up that can be put away under the bed.
Buying a cabinet isn't all that necessary, you can buy a used one, a new one, or drop some major coin and get a kick @$$ one.

For the homegrown users, here are some schematics for you to take a peek at. Just follow the diagram carefully and you should be able to figure out how to make your own arcade system.
But before you do -- read some of the articles from the news groups that I have compiled together here for you:

Jamma Harness Schematic

The diagram above is a layout of the JAMMA harness. I have put some of the wires together in plugs for easy connector removal. Some cheap JAMMA harnesses will not have all lines being fed from the end connector. That's OK - as you can see from the bottom of the diagram; there are unused wires that that have been bunled together (for clutter free storage).

By just put one and one together; you are on your way to completing your very own arcade system.

Follow on down to the next diagram for the power connections.
Pay very close attention to this one!

Arcade Power Schematic

Just look at the diagram closely to see what needs to be done. I probably should elaborate more on what to do and what the parts do on this system. But, if you can not figure out what you are look at, then you probably need to find a friend who knows more about electronics than you do. =)

Other Sites that you might find interesting

Copyright © 2001 by Nick Shin. All Rights Reserved.
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