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interested in converting an old arcade stand up cabinet into an amazing game experience that makes the perfect addition to any game room?

listen in, and we’ll give you the basic overview of what you need to do to make this a reality. please note this article just gives you the basics, but should help get your started if you decide to undertake this project.

find / purchase / acquire an old arcade cabinet
first off you’ll need an existing cabinet for this do-it-yourself project. i’ve personally purchased my machines from coin-op auctions. search google and see if you can find any in your area.

prepare to spend at least 300 dollars if you expect to find a machine in good enough repair for the conversion. working controls and a nice screen are the most important elements. remember that all these pieces were designed to be easily replaced and fixed, so don’t waste your time {or money} on a machine that’s in 100% shape, although that will make the overall job easier.

purchase the conversion requirements
the vast majority of older arcade cabinets use what is called a jamma kit. this kit connects the joysticks and buttons to the PCB. the PCB is the actual game, and what game you actually buy won’t matter, as we’ll be hooking in a PC that will allow you to emulate any game / game system you wish.

research your cabinet out and find out the specs. if it is a jamma based game, you’ll need to purchase a j-pac from ultimarc in order to connect the existing controls to your pc.

an easier, but not as clean option is to use an x-arcade kit. you’ll need to retrofit the cabinet to install the x-arcade, but you’ll find yourself gaming in no time {and no need for wiring in case you don’t feel comfortable}.

building the pc
since you’ll be emulating the games on your new arcade machine, you’ll want a fairly quick pc. emulation requires more cpu power to run the game at full speed since it’s not running on the native hardware, so the more gigahertz you can throw in the machine, the better.

we recommend a 3.0 gigahertz + machine, 1 gig of RAM + a 100 gigabyte hard-drive. a decent video card with 3d acceleration will help, but many 3d games won’t be able to utilize your video cards chipset. arcade cabinets weren’t really developed with directx in mind, were they?

chances are you’ll be mounting the pc inside the cabinet, so a case is optional.

loading it up with software
download a copy of mame + some game roms and a frontend {we recommend game-ex} to make it easy to access with the joysticks.

before you know it, you’ll have breathed new life into that old vintage cabinet, playing games it had never dreamed of playing.


browsing leern the leern archives for emulation.

 



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