This Instructable is more like a guideline than a true step by step Instructable. It is more a guideline because there are many different type of Arcade Cabinets, with different setup and hardware. I’m simplifying, but by definition you can run only one couple hookup websites at a time into an arcade cabinet. If you want to run another game on it, you’ll have to change the proprietary hardware inside.
This is what I detail here in this Instructable. First of all, I’d like to point out there are many different ways of converting an Arcade Cabinet into a MAME Cabinet. Indeed, I wanted my cabinet to look as close to the exact thing as the original and by seeing it from the outside I wanted it in a way that no one could tell if it’s a regular Arcade Cabinet or a MAME Cabinet. Keeping the originals pushbuttons and joysticks. Concerning the software, I wanted something robust, low tech and low cost that simply allow from booting up, to select a game, play it before finally turning everything off. When you run a game with MAME for the first time, MAME display a reminder of this type,see attached screen shot.
Build a cabinet from scratch vs. Since I wanted something as close to the original, I started with an old cabinet that I have then converted. Of course, you can build a MAME cabinet from scratch but this is beyond the scope of my Instrucable. However you can easily find many information on the Internet about how to built your own enclosure cabinet from scratch. So if you decide to convert rather than building from scratch a cabinet, choose it wisely !
That means choose a generic cabinet instead of a dedicated cabinet. Also, it wasn’t a rare dedicated cabinet, but more like a generic cabinet without any “historic” relevance. This is what my Instructable is about. I just kept intact the original power switch, the 110V wiring for the marquee light, the 110V wiring for the original display monitor and also the 110V wiring for the old game board power supply. In a MAME Cabinet the arcade system board is replaced with a computer motherboard. But keep in mind while older AT-style type motherboards had a power button that was directly connected to the computer power supply, ATX power supply does not directly connect to the system power button, allowing the computer to be turned on and off via software.
So, how can you, with the help of one switch, power up both the Arcade Monitor and the ATX Power Supply ? 20-pin ATX power supply connector. IMHO that’s the method you have to use and none others. And that’s what I’m going to outline in detail now.
Harness’ can vary from one Arcade monitor model to another, but there should be a wiring diagram labeled on your arcade monitor chassis showing what wire is used for what signal. In any case you should be able to find this information in your Arcade Monitor User’s Manual. In order to connect an Arcade monitor to a VGA card, you have to solder individually the 5 harness’ wires to a 15 pins VGA male connector. That concludes the wiring part. To go around this problem, you have basically two options.