Arcade Cabinet – MAME Build

By: McSwindler

I have been wanting to build a MAME system for quite some time now. Until recently my father would not let me get a cabinet to start my build. Now, he suddenly changed his mind…only after I had to pass up on several free cabinets. :P

After searching through several Craigslist listings, I found a nice one. Some one was selling a Beach Head 2000 cabinet with a USB interface installed for only $100! First, I googled what the cabinet looked like and it is a pretty nice, and big build. I also discovered that the cabinet is worth about $800 so, it was a great deal! After contacting the guy on a Friday, he tells me he did some googling as well and he decided to raise the price to $250. I talked him down to $200.

Beach Head 2000

I was trying to get a time when I could pick the cabinet up, he kept delaying. On Monday the guy gives me some bad news. He was playing the game and he says the monitor just died…He dropped the price down to $125, I decided to go ahead and take it because I could always replace the monitor with a cheap TV if not repair it. So, that night (Monday) I drive out there with my dad’s van and picked up the cabinet. It was somewhat difficult loading up because of the odd shape, but we got it in there. Drove home and had some difficulty unloading by myself. I got the cabinet out of the van and was going to roll it in my house with my dolly, which just happened to be broken. Luckily, the cabinet has wheels on the back which helped, but was still rather difficult.

Once inside, I try it out hoping the monitor magically fixed itself. It did not, the screen was black, like the seller said. I decide to take the monitor out and check it out to see if the issue is something I can fix. I don’t see any issues right away, but I did mess with the brightness on the flyback and I managed to get an image!
WG D9200 Screen Rotated

The image is, however, distorted in a couple ways. The colors are off and the image is rotated. Thanks to the Arcade Controls forum, I find some help. It was all the yoke! I figure out the yoke is rotated, so I rotate it back. However, I still have some major color issues. We try some things, but nothing is working. I later discover that the yoke is still the problem, it is not close enough to the tube. I attempt to get it closer, but continually fail. Then, I go on vacation and just leave it there on the kitchen table.

Now would be a good time to show off the actual cabinet. It’s in very good condition and has a Happ Fighting UGCI(the USB interface) which is worth about as much as I paid for the cabinet. Lucky me, I get to add some joysticks and buttons!

Front of the Cabinet
Cabinet Side Art
Beach Head Marquee

Whilst the monitor was indisposed, I had a temporary LCD to play some Simpsons Bowling!

Temporary Monitor

While on vacation, I had some fancy thoughts on how to fix the yoke, so the day I got back I mess with the yoke and I fix it! Some people may call me magical, which I can neither confirm nor deny.
WG D9200 Fixed

I waited for my brother the get home to place the monitor back in the cabinet. The monitor is a Wells Gardner D9200 which weighs about 100 lbs, and I did not want to ruin my handy work by dropping it. We move it back in the cabinet and everything is fine. The monitor works great. I get the computer running and bam! Arcade.

Cabinet Fixed

Now I am working on getting some new buttons and joysticks to build a MAME control panel as well as working on the software end.

3 Responses to Arcade Cabinet – MAME Build

  1. Sean McGee says:

    Did you get the coin mech hooked up to the UGCI? I’ve not been able to find any good documentation on how to do this (or indeed what coin mechs it will work with). I understand I’d still need software to register coin drops but indeed I’m not sure if there’s even a working SDK for the UGCI coin mech.
    I’ve got an arcade cab mostly for fighting games that I wanted to do a coin mech mostly so I can toss a coin in the thing instead of pressing the button. There’s something very authentic about tossing a coin in and hearing the game register to credit… Plus it’s a good place to toss lose change lol!

    • McSwindler says:

      Sadly, no, and I’m like you; I enjoy the satisfaction of dropping in a quarter rather than a simple button. So, I ended up getting an i-pac and hooking the coin mech up like a normal button.

      In addition, I found a UGCI library for Linux that supposedly supports the coin mech on the UGCI, but it looks pretty outdated and I’m not sure if it would work anymore.

      The reason MAME doesn’t support the UGCI coin mech is because they don’t want people using MAME for commercial purposes, which I can understand, but it’d still be really nice to have that support.

      • Sean McGee says:

        Yeah… it’s sad that someone would misuse a beautiful project like Mame for financial gain, I just use it to relive my childhood, none of the games I play on Mame you would find in any arcade these days…
        So why the i-pac and not just one of the UGCI buttons? I’ve bought myself a coin mech $40 off the internet I’m thinking I’ll hook it up on the weekend to the UGCI centre mouse button (what I currently use to increment credits). Did you still need to hook both the coin mech ground wire and coin signal wire to your i-pac or is just the signal wire enough (I’m confused on this topic)?

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