Minigun is my take on the supergun. A supergun is in a nutshell a device for playing arcade games on a TV.

If you’re interested in building a supergun yourself, I made a fairly detailed Youtube video on the subject here, and put up a page with more information on the video here.

The MiniGun, as the name implies is a small, but capable device that will allow you to enjoy arcade gaming at home. The design focuses on creating a cheap, accessible and a comfortable experience. This prototype is likely what the final version will eventually look like. It will be a minimalist approach, a single pcb that will provide all the necessary supergun functions. It can be left exposed on standoffs and feet, or sandwiched in an acrylic sheet sandwich.

Minigun Prototype, front, pcb-side view. The stickers are a reminder of the things that need to be dealt with.
Front side view. The DB-9 port pinout is screwed up (it’s backwards) so the ports have to be mounted underneath the PCB for now.

This page is going to be light on the details at this point, as the project is still in its early phases, but I can provide a summary of the proposed capabilities of the MiniGun. The currently planned features are:

  • Supports ATX power supply or standard Arcade switching Power Supply.
  • Build in RGB to Component video converter (requires a TV that supports 240p video)
  • built-in dot matix LCD display for configuration
  • on-screen display for simple configuration parameters.
  • built in voltmeter
  • built in button, joystick and switch test function
  • video sync conversion and adjustments for picky TVs.
  • DB9 joystick support including Genesis 6 button controllers.
  • 6 Button CHAMMA support and compatibility with JAMMA (via jumpers)
  • Button autofire function, button remapping, etc.
  • Freeplay function.
  • Coin counters, play timer, etc…
  • Small design plugs directly into the game PCB edge connector but can also be mounted in an enclosure.
  • Cheaper than the competition (because it can be done)!

While a similar products costs around $80USD i feel those products are quite inadequate. The major obstacles with these is the need to have an RGB TV or monitor (sorry North America), and the requirement to use expensive, DB15 based controllers.

No offence to the people that make them, they do good work, but I have higher standards and I believe there is a lot of room to improve these devices and do it for less.

If you want to be a “purist” and play your games with a bulky joystick on an RGB  monitor, be my guest, but I think a lot more of us are just interested in playing the original arcade game without all the headaches and special requirements, and do it comfortably with a joypad. The minigun will give you a comfortable arcade game experience with easily accessible controllers and commonly found,  standard definition CRT TVs, at a much lower total cost.

I’m a big fan of arcade gaming and this is my way to contribute to the hobby and make arcade game collecting and playing arcade games at home, more accessible and easy for everyone.

For now here are some images of it playing a bootleg version of DragonNinja (aka Bad Dudes):

Current setup up on the floor like all my projects. 🙂
It’s on now! This 27″ Panasonic Tau is a great 240p capable TV.

Here’s a little closeup of the Component conversion results.

Can you tell it’s not RGB by looking at the pixels?

The quest to find the perfect RGB conversion circuit is not an easy one. There are no readily available RGB to Component conversion ICs that can we use, and since we’re going for a cost effective method to do this, we’re going the discrete route with opamps.

I’ve tested several opamps now, and here’s a quick comparison. Good enough, or continue to spend the extra money on increasingly diminishing returns? You be the judge.

The 6MHz opamps are 3x the cost? Worth it? Probably not. Maybe not clear in this image but the 6MHz opamps do produce a marginally sharper image.
A moment of quiet self-reflection before the ass-whoopin’ starts.

Ok… that’s enough fun for now.

Let me know if there are any questions. I’ll post more updates as the project progresses.

Thanks for visiting!