June 5, 2003

The Computer

Category: MAME'd Millipede :: 3. Electronics

The computer I ended up using for this project was a several year old Dell OptiPlex I have had around for projects.

Here are the basic specifications:

Processor: 500 Mhz Pentium III
Memory: 256 MB
Storage: Western Digital WD400 - 40 GB
Graphics: ATI Technologies 3D Rage Pro AGP (rev 92)
Audio: Creative Sound Blaster 32 PnP
Network: 3Com 3c905B 100 Mbit Ethernet

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Video - 15 kHz

Category: MAME'd Millipede :: 3. Electronics

This particular issue is basically the heart of the project for me. As I mentioned in Mame vs. Real, I had not really been interested in building a system like this in the past because the output to a PC monitor never looked anywhere near authentic. Arcade monitors in the 80's and much of the 90's ran at much lower resolutions and generally around 15.75 kHz. By comparison, modern PC's begin at 31.5 kHz and resolutions of 1280x1024 and higher are not uncommon. Because of these changes in the technology many cards do not generate scan rates and resolutions this low without some coaxing (or even at all in many cases).

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Category: MAME'd Millipede :: 3. Electronics

Beyond the issue of getting authentic video on a real arcade monitor comes the process of playing your games on real arcade controls. The bulk of the work on this aspect was, of course, the building and wiring of the control panel itself (detailed in previous sections). Once you have all of the controls mounted and wired, though, you need to attach them to something that will interface them with the computer running MAME.

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Category: MAME'd Millipede :: 3. Electronics

I've reserved this page for covering anything involving the integration of the emulation system with electronics of the original Millipede system.

At this point there are only a few items to mention. The cabinet is, for the most part, just a shell for holding the emulation system. The control panel is attached to the front but is wired entirely to the interface boards and the computer. The monitor is in the cabinet, of course, but is taking its signal entirely from the computer.

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