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Old 20 November 2013, 22:37   #1
Astrofra
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Happy An Amiga-based Arcade Cabinet Project

Hi all,

a few years ago, I made a so-called 'Mame conversion' with an old out-of-order arcade machine (detailled here, in French, alas).

I wanted to start a new project and build a cabinet from scratch, and I found out that the Amiga 600 is the perfect (almost) hardware to power a small table top cabinet.

Here is a quick draft of the initial concept I've been able to doodle in 3D (heavily inspired by Koenigs' Nanocade) :



Technical Specs :
- On the side view, the trapezoidal shape is the Amiga 600.
- LCD screen. I haven't settled yet on Pal TV vs VGA. VGA would require an upscaler, as far as I know.
- The CPU is an A600, 68k, 3.1, 2 Megs Chip, 4 Megs Fast, CF 4Gig
- 2 Seimitsu arcade sticks (the same I used on my Mame cabinet)
- 2 or 3 buttons per player. Button 1 & 2 mapped to the usual Amiga buttons. Button 3 mapped to "Joy Up" (is this technically possible ?)
- The games are installed using WHDLoad
- The machine boots directly to TinyLauncher.
- The cabinet will be partly build using the services of formulor.de

At the moment the Amiga boots on TinyLauncher, and about 200 games are installed (and working).
The hardest part is yet to come : build the cabinet.

Any comment or suggestion is welcome

Last edited by Astrofra; 20 November 2013 at 23:14.
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Old 20 November 2013, 22:39   #2
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I wondered if a flight-case (home made) could be a solution, but aestetically I could not find anything that looks good :

http://www.astrofra.com/posts/misc/2...-20_210837.jpg
http://www.astrofra.com/posts/misc/2...-20_210913.jpg
http://www.astrofra.com/posts/misc/2...-20_211030.jpg

... so I think I'm going to stay on the classic tabletop shape

Last edited by Astrofra; 20 November 2013 at 23:15.
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Old 20 November 2013, 22:50   #3
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I think ACA turbo would be good to speed up the Amiga as its 7MHz (even with fastmem) is really lazy today. And of course - for VGA LCD you need Indivision. Wire the additional button to joy up is of course easy, just a parallel connection. Also you will need a reset button.
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Old 20 November 2013, 23:02   #4
Astrofra
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@Predseda
- Reset button : it requires a bit of soldering, afaik. I'm considering the idea
- ACA020 could be OK. I don't want an 030 (because of the heating issues). The only thing that bugs me right now with the 68k is the lack of 'move vbr' instruction that prevents some WHDLoad games to quit properly :')
- I'm not overly fond of the Indivision option. It's an ECS chip in a FPGA. Is is really compatible ?
- Thanks for the advice on the joy question!

Last edited by Astrofra; 20 November 2013 at 23:14.
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Old 20 November 2013, 23:08   #5
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... more photos of the project in progress :



The Miggy with shitload of upgrades (already posted in hardware.pics )



A friend kindly gave me his old Ipod drive, so that I could plug it on my IDE2CF adapter.



Making a backup of my original WB disks.
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Old 20 November 2013, 23:12   #6
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A PCMCIA2CF adapter, so that I can easily copy files from the outside world to the Miggy



First WHDLoad test.



Hello TinyLauncher !
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Old 21 November 2013, 00:24   #7
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What a nice white case! You do not need it anymore, I will buy it together with the keyboard 8)
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Old 21 November 2013, 22:39   #8
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Dear Amigans,

has anyone ever tried the SLG-in-a-Box to connect an Amiga RGB output to a VGA LCD display ?

My primary goal is to play Amiga PAL games, but I read here & there that such a device could make the scrolling jerky and/or display some tearing effect.

Do you know if this works properly (on 50Hz games ) ?

PS. @Predseda Haha Don't even think about it <3
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Old 22 November 2013, 13:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrofra View Post
Dear Amigans,

has anyone ever tried the SLG-in-a-Box to connect an Amiga RGB output to a VGA LCD display ?

My primary goal is to play Amiga PAL games, but I read here & there that such a device could make the scrolling jerky and/or display some tearing effect.

Do you know if this works properly (on 50Hz games ) ?

PS. @Predseda Haha Don't even think about it <3
That device´s motherboard without that transparent case and extended outputs its been sold for less than $30 USD on ebay.

So unless you have lots of cash to spare and are lazy about simple wiring you shouldnt pay such insane prices.

The unit has been tested with some moderate success. People argue that some modes arent as good as they ought to be. There are a couple of threads about it here in EAB and I believe there are some in Amiga.org.
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Old 22 November 2013, 22:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulliver View Post
The unit has been tested with some moderate success. People argue that some modes arent as good as they ought to be. There are a couple of threads about it here in EAB and I believe there are some in Amiga.org.
Oh right, I overlooked all the discussions on EAB about this topic
Apparently, there's a debate about the 50/60Hz conversion.
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Old 23 November 2013, 00:19   #11
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Ok, as Gulliver suggested, I found a GBS8200 for 23 euros on EBay.
Considering the price, it's not a real issue if the conversion isn't perfect

Thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Old 02 December 2013, 19:02   #12
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Just got my RGB/VGA convert, perfect occasion to make my first "unbox video"



Now I've got to test this lovely piece of hardware.
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Old 06 December 2013, 22:06   #13
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Here is the GBS-8200 RGB to VGA upscaler, plugged on the Amiga (thanks to a friend who half-arsed a DB23 out of a truncated DB25 connector)





'GoldRunner' on the LCD screen.
The scrolling remains fluid. There's no real strobbing.
Only the scrolltext, in the introduction of the game, shows a subbtle strobbing effect



The only real issue I noticed are those vertical stripes :







I'm unsure if this is due to the lack of shielding on the Amiga/upscaler connexion

Any advice is welcome.

Last edited by Astrofra; 07 December 2013 at 09:57.
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Old 06 December 2013, 22:27   #14
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Here is a video capture, made with an iPhone :



DISCLAIMER :

The video above does not fully demonstrate the actual result of the conversion. The video capture using a smartphone, the Youtube compression and the Flash player within a web browser are most unlikely able to reproduce the relatively smooth animations that I could watch on the LCD screen.

Of course, the scrolling isn't 100% smooth, but for this range of price, I was expecting something really worse

Last edited by Astrofra; 06 December 2013 at 22:54.
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Old 07 December 2013, 07:42   #15
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Oh! More about the vertical lines here :

http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=528364&postcount=20
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Old 07 December 2013, 18:07   #16
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Why not use indivision ECS? This upscaler sucks. I have one for my c128 and it's not pretty.
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Old 07 December 2013, 20:51   #17
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Several reasons :
- I can't bring myself to sacrifice the DF0:
- For 23 euros (against more than 100 euros for the Indivision ECS), I wanted to test this upscaler first
- I was unsure if the FPGA-reprogrammed ECS chip is perfectly compatible

With the time being, if the upscaler proves to be the wrong solution, I'll reconsider the Indivision.
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Old 08 December 2013, 23:11   #18
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Instead of using a GBS-8200 try this instead.

It's a scart/hdmi to hdmi converter. You need a scart cable that Amigakit and others sell, and then a hdmi cable from the converter to your monitor.

It supports 50 and 60MHz and also most of the common resolutions from 800x600 to 1920x1080.

IMO it works better than the GBS-8200, and comes with a case.

I have tried both.

The one I linked to is the first one I found, so there might be cheaper ones out there.
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Old 12 December 2013, 09:27   #19
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Viserion: nice find, but only if you have up to date monitor. You still need HDMI-VGA adapter for older LCDs and make sure your VGA monitor is HDCP compliant. The cheaper solution is probably finding used Sky HD+ box or any other sat tuner with 2x SCART (IN/OUT) and HDMI.
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Old 12 December 2013, 15:53   #20
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@Mikele : Exactly
The suggestion of @Viserion is quite relevant, but I really want to stick on a small (== 15inches max) LCD VGA screen.

I've orderer the VGA Scanline Generator. I'll see what it gives along with the HongKongese upscaler
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