Lost the Website!

It’s been a while since the last update.

Unfortunately I’ve been having problems with my web host. For some time now I was having problems with the virtual machine. Initially it had some data corruption, then I lost access to it, and eventually the VM went down completely. I was on vacation at that time so I didn’t pursue it, but when I got back it turned out that the VM was lost and could not recovered. At least the support staff was quick to tell me that.

I’ve been able to recover the site from an old backup, but I’ve lost a bit of information that was posted earlier and will have to repost it. Not looking forward to that.

Lesson to be learned? Need to back it up after every change, or at least more often.  I’m not letting this happen again, and with the web host that I’m using, it’s very likely that I will be having issues.

HP / Agilent Logic Analyzer Adapters

I started testing the logic analyzer adapters that I designed over my last vacation. Over the course of a week I designed 6 of these for the following chips:

  • 8086 / 8088 CPU
  • 8051 MPU
  • Z80 CPU
  • 6502 / 6800 CPU
  • 6801 / 6803 / HD6303 CPUs
  • 27XXX series ROMs

To use these, your hardware must have one of these ICs  in a socket. You’ll remove the IC, plug in the adapter, then plug the ICs into the socket on the adapter. The PODs plug directly into the adapter, and the adapter provides the correct termination, so you don’t have to mess around with all the probes and worry about hooking something up the wrong way. Config file for the logic analyzer will also be provided to simplify the setup.

Swap the CPU for the adapter, plug in the PODs

These adapters are specifically for the HP / Agilent analyzers with the 40 pin POD adapters, and they’ve been tested with the Agilent 1672G which is the unit I have. I really like this unit, and I’m planning to keep it so I’m investing a little time and effort to expand its capability.

I have some dead arcade boards and broken audio gear that I need to debug, and I was hoping to use these adapters to help me with that. In fact, hooking up the analyzer is such a pain, that I simply couldn’t be bothered to do it, and I held off the work until these were completed.

After the initial tests and troubleshooting work, this looks really promising, but while this is a step in the right direction, there is a bit more work to be done to perfect these.

Check out the Logic Analyzer Adapter page for more information on this project. I’ll send out more information once these are ready for release.

 

 

 

 

Another JAMMA Adapter Batch Arrived

Just received another set of JAMMA adapter boards!

Some of these are enhanced versions of existing adapters that I designed a while back, and some are new.

The important one here is the Nintendo adapter. This one is a brand new design that I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks. It includes a high speed, low cost video inverter and audio amp. This adapter has video selection jumpers for normal or inverted video selection and a jumper for audio amplification, which means that it can be used with both the Nintendo and the bootleg versions of games like DK and DK Jr. Bootleg versions typically output non-inverted video and have their own sound amplification.

Included in the batch are also the new Namco Pacman and Galaxian adapters which used to be a single adapter before. I split these apart, and the reason for that, was to support bootleg video and audio configurations. I tested both and they seem to work perfectly with my boards. There is also a new Namco Galaga adapter in the batch, and an improved version of the Irem adapter.

Finally I got a new set of 44 pin and 36 pin universal adapters. These exist to simplify the assembly procedure for games with a lower pin count.

Maybe one or two more batches, and I’ll have a fairly complete set of Jamma adapters and will probably be done with these for a while. The next set on the to do list are a Falcon set (I have many versions of Make Trax and bootleg Ms. Pacs), a Nintendo VS adapter and possibly a Playchoice 10 if I can locate one cheap.

I will be soon be listing these on eBay, and as always, it will be for a very, very good price, so stay tuned for that.

More info on each adapter will be available shortly in the project section.

 

 

 

CPS-2 Battery of Death Replacement Guide

Hey everybody,

I spent some time last weekend changing all my CPS-2 batteries and I thought I’d write a tutorial on how to do this. My record for doing these is about 30/30 right now, so I feel that the procedure I use is pretty reliable and at this point I feel confident sharing my information with everyone.

You can find the guide here in the new Guides section.

Also, if you’re in the Toronto area and need someone to do the work for you, contact me and we’ll likely be able to work something out.  The work will be fully guaranteed and the prices will be very reasonable, but I haven’t decided on the exact amount yet.

Universal JAMMA Adapters are here!

I’m about to release a series of universal JAMMA adapters. This is a brand new design, that is intended to make the process of creating custom adapters for your non-JAMMA games, incredibly easy.

56 Pin Universal JAMMA Adapter

I’ve been making prototypes with this design for the last couple of months and found them to be quite awesome.

Not only is the process of creating a conversion super easy, which now takes a fraction of the time , the completed adapter and can be stored neatly together with other similar adapters without the worry of it being damaged.

As with the other adapters these will be available on Ebay for a very reasonable price. Check out the following page for more information.

Universal JAMMA Adapters

Arcade to JAMMA Adapters Galore!

Hello There!

I’m about to put up various Jamma adapters on Ebay. I spent a lot of effort and time into these. I wanted to produce a fairly extensive set of adapters, that were generally better designed, smaller, more functional and most importantly more affordable than what’s out there today.

I did something similar back in the mid 1990s, but that was before Ebay was useful and other e-commerce sites made it easy to sell them. We ended up selling them at arcade auctions and through newsgroups for very little profit and it was a fairly painful process. Even though we used local fabbing services, the quality had to be kept at the bare minimum. Putting on silkscreen or even solder mask raised the production costs so much that it was impossible to recover the costs.

Adapter board produced in 2005
Adapter board produced in 2017

We started off making adapters for games we had, and tried to sell those to cover production costs of the next batch. Of course, collector tastes vary, and we were always being asked for adapters that we didn’t have, for boards we didn’t own. The demand just wasn’t strong. It was difficult justifying the purchase of an adapter when the board could cost about as much or just a bit more. This was at a time when arcade operators were trying to dump their games for cheap and I was trying to survive off of student loans.

In the end, while we did end up selling a bunch and barely covered costs of production, it just wasn’t worthwhile to continue. Back then production costs were very high compared to what they are today, parts and tools were expensive, and prototyping services virtually non existent. We ended up spending a lot of time etching prototype boards in our bathtubs and drilling and soldering all the vias by hand. Don’t have many good memories of that unfortunately.

So here we are again, 20 years later. I want to finish what I started.

Also, the world is a completely different place.  I see an increasing trend with arcade board collecting. Based on the prices at least, the demand seems to be much stronger.  An arcade game pcb today may sell for 10 times what it would sell for in the 1990s. Production costs are probably 3-4 times lower depending where you go, prototyping services are cheap and readily available, good design tools can be had for free. It makes much more sense to do this now. I can lower the cost and increase quality. If you’ve ever built an adapter by hand, cut the wires to just the right length, soldered them between the edge connector and the fingerboard, and you did a remotely decent job, you know it can be time consuming.  If you value your time at all, have a look at what I’m offering here and I’m sure you’ll agree this is the way to go.

So, I spent the last few weeks designing about 20 different types of JAMMA adapters for the most common games based on VAPS statistics. Some are already available out there, some are completely new designs that no one has done. As far as the existing ones go, I am convinced these are better, and will be a fraction of the cost. I think they are unbeatable quality and price, I doubt anyone can do better for less.

Check out the JAMMA Adapters page for more details.

 

 

Welcome!

I’m going to be posting some information about projects that I’ve been working on recently that I would like to share with you.

Coming up first will be a nice selection of JAMMA adapters for arcade PCBs that I’ve been designing over the last few weeks. Most are in the prototype stage, but I’ll have them ready for purchase in a couple of weeks. This is the current list of the adapters.

1. Capcom
2. Sega System 8
3. Sega System 16
4. Konami
5. Data East
6. Tehkan
7. Taito
8. Namco Galaxian
9. Namco Pacman
10. Irem
11. Phoenix
12. Mr.Do Universal
13. Namco Galaga
14. Nintendo
15. Universal (56 pin)

More info coming soon… stay tuned.