You are here

Blog

Welcome

Welcome to the new Cambridge Arcade Repair arcade game and pinball machine tech center and online store.

Long ago, this site existed as rgvac.978.org, but when the hard drive on my webserver crashed, the data went with it, and all I was left with was mirrors that other arcade collectors and web spiders had made. Various people have been bugging me for years to put a website back up and make up a list of available products. Thanks to some hosting and content management advice from Adam over at onecircuit.com, this beta site has gone live.

Please be patient as I (slowly) populate the store and tech section. The store and cart should be fully functional but payments have not yet gone live, stock numbers have not been entered, and shipping estimates will likely take some time to sort out, so if you need something, feel free to contact me at cambridgearcade@gmail.com.

--MCS

Tags: 

Hmm... what's in this box?-

Was digging through boxes of stuff from my old office, looking for some 72-pin SIMMs to up the memory in my logic analyzer, and came across these old boards.
I might have to actually pull out a game and fire them up, and see if I can remember what the glitch they had 4 years ago was, and see if it's an easy fix.

Tags: 

Nintendo Switchers?

So, a long time ago, I made some prototypes for an expandable Nintendo game switcher system where you could daisy-chain multiple switch boards and then use P1+P2 start together to toggle through the installed PCBs. Due to glitches on the power rails when the relays turned games on and off, the switch boards would sometimes lose state and end up with more than one board powered at a time (or none at all), which the power supply didn't particularly like. While these problems are fixable I never felt motivated enough to spend the fat cash needed to do another run of prototype boards, since sales of JAMMA adapters crashed and there were no longer any sure-sale products to subsidize the cost of prototyping boards in large panels.

Since then, however, there seems to have been a decent proliferation of Chinese-made JAMMA PCB switchers at prices too low for me to compete with, but nobody's really used them for Nintendo since they'd need a Nintendo to JAMMA Adapter for each board plugging into the stack and a JAMMA to Nintendo Cabinet Adapter to plug the whole setup into their game, which leads to a rather expensive solution. If all you're doing is playing Nintendo games in a Nintendo cabinet, all of the video inverters and audio amps are really just going to waste, so there's really no reason to pay for putting them on the adapters.

Thus, I'm proposing the following solution: specialized adapters built without these addition circuits expressly for use with switchers. In quantity, I should be able to have these made at a ~$30/adapter price point, so for a 4-game switcher setup, you'd be looking at the cost of the switcher itself, plus $150 in adapters (4 Nintendo to JAMMA + 1 JAMMA to Nintendo).

Comments? Email me at cambridgearcade@gmail.com

With a few pre-orders, I could have these shipping within a couple weeks. -- Note that the JAMMA switcher would need to support -5V as most Nintendo boards require it. If the switcher power cycles all the boards, it'd need to support switching the -5V as well. If the switcher leaves all the boards powered, you'll need to upgrade your power supply to one that provides enough juice to run all of the boards you plan to install.

UPDATE:
Well the adapter PCB layouts came together nicely, but it looks like the existing switchers on the market may be insufficient for Nintendo -- MultiJAMMA doesn't switch power, and the Y-Plus 6-1 Switcher doesn't even supply -5, let along have relays to switch it (nor does their 2-1). I'm not sure about the Mike's Arcade 2-1, but I'll look into it.

Nintendo Vs. Switchers are back in stock!

I finally had some free time to build / test / debug some Nintendo Vs. Switchers, and have a small quantity in stock and ready to ship. Get 'em while you can -- I don't plan on doing another run of boards for these.

Tags: 

Strange Wiring In My Donkey Kong

Hmm... I came across some strange wiring in my Donkey Kong cabinet.

It seems like there's 3 boards wired up, and strangely, when I press P1 Start + P2 Start + Jump, the cabinet switches to a different game! Anyone seen anything like this before?!

Tags: 
Subscribe to Blog