JAMMA Test Rig

March 2016


My most current project is a JAMMA test rig. The main purpose of which is to be able to set up a space in my workshop where I can easily test arcade PCB's that I am working on. Currently I have to take a game inside and plug it into one of my JAMMA cabs to see if it is working which is a bit of a hassle. Space is a premium in my workshop and I didn't want this to take up too much room and additionally I wanted to be able to utilise an existing LCD I had sitting around as the monitor. The following group of pictures represent some of the initial designs I came up with and the initial assembly of the box. I have to mention that I did a lot of this on the fly and if I had my time again I would probably make sure my design was a lot more robust before proceeding. I am not a master carpenter after all. What do they say, measure twice and cut once? :)

When designing this I wanted to make sure I covered as many of the standard game functions as possible on the test rig. I have included buttons for Player 1 Coin, Start, Up, Down, Left, Right, Button 1, 2, 3, 4 (5 & 6 if I want to plug in a kick harness later on for CPS1 or 2 PCB's), Player 2 Coin, Start and TEST (Some PCB's use this to allow you to access test menus and on screen DIP settings). In terms of the shape of the box I wanted something that could comfortably fit in all of the buttons and also have a flat area on top to place a monitor. I am sure this first iteration is going to a be a bit bulkier than I really need but I am sure I can refine the design with the next one I build. It is my first crack at one after all.

In terms of the parts and resources that I needed for this build, this makes up the majority of the list. Keeping in mind that I just realised last weekend when I was wiring it all up that I forgot to cut a hole for a speaker, that too needs to be added to this list.. oops. Anyway, here is the list:

  1. Sheet of 12mm MDF (I think I got a sheet roughly 400x1200mm)
  2. 15amp arcade PSU
  3. CGA/EGA to VGA adapter (This is to convert the JAMMA video signal to VGA so I can run it off an old LCD I had lying around) - eBay link
  4. IEC male power socket with switch (Just a nice clean way to run power into the test rig)
  5. JAMMA harness and wiring loom (becasue who want to wire one of these up manually!? (for $16 it saves a lot of hassel)
  6. I used some Taubmans 3 in 1 to seal the box before painting
  7. I just used a charcoal grey spray paint to make it look half decent (didn't turn out too badly as you can see above)
  8. 11 arcade buttons and micro switches (luckily had enough spares lying around for this)
  9. x1 arcade stick (had a spare MCA, nothing but the best!)
  10. x1 speaker (need to find one this weekend)
  11. x1 fan (I did plan to have a rear exhaust fan but haven't cut the hole yet) Not a big deal, I will get one in there eventually.

My progres so far. From the pictures above, you can see that I have assembled (not without a lot of hassle) the main box and have painted it. I got most of that done over the labour day long weekend, and then weekend I was able to populate the rig with the buttons, the stick and get the majority of the wiring completed. I still need to finish wiring up the IEC socket into the PSU as well as run power to the VGA adapter. This I should be able to complete this weekend and hopefully can find an appropriate speaker to throw in there as well.

More updates and pics to follow...