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Building a supergun

TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
edited May 2011 in Games and Technology
Earlier tonight I was fortunate enough to pick up a Sega ST-V mainboard along with a virtua fighter kids cartridge, along with a Primal Rage Jamma PCB. Though I already have 2 full cabinets - one housing a PC and the other housing an MVS, I figured I'd build a supergun instead. I purchased one of these small boards:

supergun.png

with the intent of modding the shitout of it and putting it into a nice custom case. Which brings me to the point of this topic - anyone else have any experience building a supergun before? I'm looking for inspiration on the design of the case. I've been googling homebuild superguns and most are ass-ugly. Mainly, no one seems to know what the hell to do with the PCB.

I'm thinking about shaping my supergun like a PS2, so you can lay the PCB ontop of the system itself. Any idea if this would cause problems? Also, is a 250w ATX power supply ample?

TheSonicRetard on
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Posts

  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I have no idea what this thread is about but I love seeing homebuilt cabinets, so go for it!

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    harvest wrote: »
    I have no idea what this thread is about but I love seeing homebuilt cabinets, so go for it!

    No, this isn't a homebuilt cabinet, it's the opposite. See, in the old days, every arcade machine was basically custom built. An arcade machine is essentially a big wooden box with wires running through it to giant motherboards. In the 70's and early 80's, every game was pretty much custom built. There existed no standard for wiring. One game might use a monitor wired in one way, and another used one completely different. One game might use controls wiring in one fashion, and another would have them wired completely differently.

    Arcade makers quickly learned that if they standardized their wiring, they could re-purpose cabinets easily, which would be attractive for arcade vendors. So they created the JAMMA standard interface, which looks like a video game cartridge slot. Arcade PCBs from that point on featured a cartridge-like pinout on one side of the PCB which would connect to a harness which would route the wiring correctly. It essentially became a standard for what an arcade machine was. The physical cabinet, I mean.

    But because it's just a standard, it's possible to build it into anything, not just a full sized arcade cabinet. Which is what a supergun is - it's a jamma standard, built into something that looks like a home console. Since the wiring schematics are openly available, you can build a sick-ass arcade-console. The supergun innards I bought, pictured above, for example, accepts Neo Geo AES control sticks and pads.

    Pistolsm.jpg

    That is one supergun.

    mvs-console.jpg

    This is a dedicate one for the neo geo MVS.

    My plan is to build a nice, small box to house it, which would resemble a normal console, and also provide a practical means to holding the PCB. This way, I'll be able to play arcade games on a normal TV like any other game.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Oh and if you love nice homebuilt cabinets, have a look at mine:

    sspx0233u.jpg

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    sspx0256.jpg

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    sspx0260.jpg

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    pic0120o.jpg

    There is a PC inside this machine. There is Street Fighter IV on that PC. This arcade machine can play Street Fighter IV. Online.

  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Very nice cabinet! Always wanted to build one myself. Interesting thread had never really seen this stuff before.

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    360 GT Tommatt
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Tommatt wrote: »
    Very nice cabinet! Always wanted to build one myself. Interesting thread had never really seen this stuff before.

    I'm a huge collector of video games and I'm nearing the end of the road. There's not a whole lot of oddball consoles out there left to grab up, so I've begun thinking laterally lately. Built the PC cab, now I'm building a supergun. The other day, I bought a PSP Go, a cradle, some av-out cables, and a matching DS3 to build myself a PSP Go console.

  • iMattiMatt Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    My biggest gaming regret is never owning a supergun.
    You've just reminded me of this :(
    Firing up Ebay on phone!

  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    That cabinet is amazing. I'm jelous. I've always wanted an arcade cabinet, not that i could ever fit one where i live, but still. I've even toyed with the idea of building a micro sized cabinet with sticks that plug in to save space and play nothing but arcade games on a TV.

    MARKIISIGFORUMSIZE_zps17defe18.png
    MechWarrior Online: Khyber Pryde
  • DunxcoDunxco Should get a suit Never skips breakfastRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    TSR you never cease to amaze me with your depth of video game knowledge, and awesome looking stuff. That cabinet is truly a labour of love.

    Alas, can't help you with building a supergun, I'm afraid. I literally came in here to figure out what one was and then there was the cabinet and, well, here we are.

    Good luck TSR.

  • KlykaKlyka DO you have any SPARE BATTERIES?Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I came in here expecting a Sonic shaped handgun firing Tails bullets.

    This is the next best thing though, good luck!

    SC2 EU ID Klyka.110
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    That cabinet is amazing. I'm jelous. I've always wanted an arcade cabinet, not that i could ever fit one where i live, but still. I've even toyed with the idea of building a micro sized cabinet with sticks that plug in to save space and play nothing but arcade games on a TV.

    That's exactly what this is, man. That is called a "super gun."

  • Delta AssaultDelta Assault Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    This thread title is really misleading.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Obscure term leads 99% of forum browsers to think this is a thread about firearms in the wrong forum section.

    That said, home cabinets are sexy and have always been a dream of mine. One day...

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    WiiU: JamWarrior Dear Secret Santa...
  • kyleh613kyleh613 Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I like the thread title, it led me to be curious and now i've learned something new. :)

  • KlykaKlyka DO you have any SPARE BATTERIES?Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    But why a "super gun"?
    What does it have to do with a "gun" that you'd call it that?

    SC2 EU ID Klyka.110
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Klyka wrote: »
    But why a "super gun"?
    What does it have to do with a "gun" that you'd call it that?

    I dunno, that's just the term for this type of thing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SuperGun

  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    A buddy of mine ended up building a supergun, unfortunately he's a bit of a stoner so the "cabinet" looks like he eyeballed it using a dremel for cutting and a tupperware tub for the base. Your PSU should say what kind of amps it can handle on the various rails, as long as it can provide the 6A on +5, and 1A on both the +12 and the -5 it should be gravy. A quick google search shows a few 110W PSUs that provide ample power for JAMMA boards.
    If you need any adapters, wiring harnesses, or arcade parts at all I highly recommend lizardlick.com his prices are good and shipping is fair and he was fairly active on the SRK forums when I was active, providing tons of support and advice on arcade parts.

    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • Linespider5Linespider5 a good old-fashioned notion Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I love starting new projects, especially this one because I get to essentially design my own console, including in the controllers. I had been kicking around the idea of building a mock console box to connect to my htpc which would house various controls, like play and stop, along with controller inputs, so I already hve sketches and schematics made up that I can repourpose for this project. The hardest part now is the wait - I have to let everything arrive, then I can devote a weekend to actually building this. I need to order some t-molding for the controls, as well as some happ ultimate competiton joysticks and pushbuttons.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    So I've been reading up on my supergun in particular to prepare for when it arrives. It's apparently a vogatek mk V, the last in a long line of superguns by this tiny manufacturer. I may have overpaid for it, as I paid $75 including shipping for the thing, and people have reportedly been able to get them for 30 Pounds online plus shipping, but it seems vogatek isn't in business anymore so these things are becoming rarer. I also had the good fortune of picking up the last, most advanced model, as mk I-IV had a number of tiny issues, most important being that they outputted via a SCART connection instead of S-Video like the Mk V. Additionally, the Neo Geo MVS isn't actually jamma compatible, but rather jamma+, and connecting an MVS to a normal jamma harness can damage the sound amplifier. Mk I-IV could actually fry your board, while the Mk V has a special MVS mode switch. Finally, the mk I-IV featured a standard sega genesis controller output (3 button) while the Mk V supports a 4-button neo geo aes controller (which I have 2 of).

    Seems I blindly made the right choice in superguns. On a few supergun forums they're describing this line as perfect for the hobbiest new to supergun construction, which is exactly what I am. I'd been interested in a supergun for a decade now, and I always dreamed of owning a MAS SuperNova, but their high price (they were like $2000 back in 99 when I first found out about them) always made me stay away. Now that I'm older, I'm confident that I can build something that matches, or exceeds their build quality.

    the mas supernova, for those who are curious:

    supernova.jpg

  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Bah. Didn't see the last post.

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    NNID - bejamus | ESO - (at)guinneapig
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Welp, that didn't take long at all. I just got contacted by a gentleman who is willing to sell me his SegaSonic Arcade PCB, along with a trackball panel.

    For many, many hundreds of dollars. Which I will pay.

  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Building a supergun was one of my first electronics projects. I finished it up a few months ago.

    Can't help you on the aesthetics side, mine is in a cheap radio shack project box. Once I redo it its going to go in a slightly nicer looking enclosure or a desktop case.

    It's currently setup for jamma and I run a 1 slot neogeo mvs board on it.

    Looking at getting into cps1/2/other jamma some time in the future, and will either setup switches or just use a convertor so i can hook up a 4 slot mvs. Switching carts is a bit annoying.

    Video goes to my scart/rgb -> component convertor which I use with my other older consoles.

    Control's are hooked up to db15 sockets wired to neogeo standard, something else I will change in rev2 for cps support. They then go to a separate box which converts jamma controls to psx which work with my arcade sticks.

    Power is just a standard at or atx computer supply. Jamma boards really don't require much amperage so its more important to get a decent power supply if you are going that route. I have fuses on mine, 10amp on the 5v and 2amp on the 12v maybe. Could be reversed, either way they haven't popped yet so the current pull is pretty low compared to what your average pc supply puts out.

    I got mine from jamma-boards.com I think. Some people like to use actual arcade supplies.


    Playing arcade games in your living room is awesome, wish i had the space for an actual cab.

    camo_sig2.png
    Steam/PSN/XBL/Minecraft / LoL / - Benevicious | WoW - Duckwood - Rajhek
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Madpanda wrote: »
    Building a supergun was one of my first electronics projects. I finished it up a few months ago.

    Can't help you on the aesthetics side, mine is in a cheap radio shack project box. Once I redo it its going to go in a slightly nicer looking enclosure or a desktop case.

    It's currently setup for jamma and I run a 1 slot neogeo mvs board on it.

    Looking at getting into cps1/2/other jamma some time in the future, and will either setup switches or just use a convertor so i can hook up a 4 slot mvs. Switching carts is a bit annoying.

    Video goes to my scart/rgb -> component convertor which I use with my other older consoles.

    Control's are hooked up to db15 sockets wired to neogeo standard, something else I will change in rev2 for cps support. They then go to a separate box which converts jamma controls to psx which work with my arcade sticks.


    Playing arcade games in your living room is awesome, wish i had the space for an actual cab.

    What I'm planning on doing for my supergun is keeping the neogeo standard sockets, and adding a separate db15 socket to the front which is directly wired to a CPS2 kick harness (along with an MK2-3-4 harness) and building a couple of custom controllers which have 2 plugs each. That way, if I want, I can still use an AES stick with the machine, or I can plug in a custom controller and connect the extra buttons to the db15 socket for 6-button support.

  • fragglefartfragglefart Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Damn dude your cabinet is AMAZING

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  • ElementalorElementalor Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I have a Supernova, I gotta say it's pretty great. Got a relatively cheap Jamma/MVS convertor and it's pretty dreamy.

    The supernova is kind of giant, but it's also a grounded platform for your PCB, so can't really complain.

    Brave Frontier: SorcTim - 33068722
    Fantastica: Elementalor - 38819571
  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Hey TSR, do you remember roughly how much in supplies that cab cost you, minus electronics? I've always wanted a rough idea on what it would cost. I'll be buying a lot of nice woodworking equipment for a home project soon.

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    360 GT Tommatt
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Tommatt wrote: »
    Hey TSR, do you remember roughly how much in supplies that cab cost you, minus electronics? I've always wanted a rough idea on what it would cost. I'll be buying a lot of nice woodworking equipment for a home project soon.

    I can tell you exactly how much that cab cost minus electronics - $25. I bought a bootleg wonderboy cabinet from a place called Houston Arcade Game Repair Center, gutted it, fixed it up, and replaced pretty much every significant panel on the machine, including building a new control panel from scratch. Total, it cost maybe $80-$100. The entire machine ran me under $400.

  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I think the time investment is the bigger "cost".

    I bought a bunch of tools in between the supergun and modding my arcade stick for rj-45. Files, dremel, hole saw, better drill bits, heat gun. Between tools and materials I was out around $200 for those projects, if i had the tools it would have been closer to $75.

    Time spent on actual labor and research is probably closer to ~ 20 hours.

    That being said my next supergun will probably go a lot quicker. I won't be fighting with mounting ports on a project box with pcb ridges, or adding un-needed connections and the research portion is pretty much done.

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    Steam/PSN/XBL/Minecraft / LoL / - Benevicious | WoW - Duckwood - Rajhek
  • schludaddyschludaddy Registered User
    edited May 2011
    wow that is awesome!

  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Damn dude your cabinet is AMAZING

    Is it wrong this is the first thing I thought of?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-sTHio7IAI

    Regardless, that's a fine bit a work. Makes me a bit nostalgic.

  • MrPsycohedMrPsycohed Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I was expecting this thread to be about building a lightgun or something. I can't believe I'd never heard of this before. It's a cool idea with an even cooler (if nonsensical) name. This calls for some research!

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Madpanda wrote: »
    I think the time investment is the bigger "cost".

    I bought a bunch of tools in between the supergun and modding my arcade stick for rj-45. Files, dremel, hole saw, better drill bits, heat gun. Between tools and materials I was out around $200 for those projects, if i had the tools it would have been closer to $75.

    Time spent on actual labor and research is probably closer to ~ 20 hours.

    That being said my next supergun will probably go a lot quicker. I won't be fighting with mounting ports on a project box with pcb ridges, or adding un-needed connections and the research portion is pretty much done.

    I built my cab in about a week of freetime after work. Really, the hardest part was actually getting started - I bought the thing in 2002 and just kinda let it sit, untouched, for 8 years until I actually fixed it up in 2010.

    image34qw.jpg

    Thats what it looked like when I got it. You can't see from those pics, but the woodwork was full of holes and rotten spots, which required a ton of patchwork, and is why I had to replace several large panels.

  • dav3ybdav3yb Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I think the best supergun i've ever seen was modded into a hori real arcade pro stick. the top pannel had art that made it look like an astrocity cabinet. was pretty sick looking.

    if im not mistaken, arcade-in-a-box started out selling supergun builds. which is why their name is what it is.

    PSN: daveyb1337 || XBL: dav3yb360 || Steam: dav3yb || WiiU: dav3yWii
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    dav3yb wrote: »
    I think the best supergun i've ever seen was modded into a hori real arcade pro stick. the top pannel had art that made it look like an astrocity cabinet. was pretty sick looking.

    if im not mistaken, arcade-in-a-box started out selling supergun builds. which is why their name is what it is.

    best I can tell, according to the BYOAC forums, is that the name "supergun" comes from a mistranslation from a chinese company who was the originator of the concept back in the early 90's.

    How much of that is urban legend, I dunno.

    EDIT: Oh wait, you mean that's why arcade-in-a-box is named arcade-in-a-box, lol. I'd been toying with the idea of putting the arcade innards into a joystick but I've decided against it for a couple of reasons. First - if I ever wanted to play a non-joystick game, such as the SegaSonic Arcade game I'm receiving which uses a trackball, I'd be screwed. Second, I'd have to run an av cable and power cord from the joystick to the tv/outlet, which would mean some long wires running all over my living room. And third, and finally, the types of arcade games I'm interested use removable cartridges and require you to connect a system board to the jamma harness (i.e. sega naomi games, st-v games, cps-2 games, etc.) This would be incredibly awkward if they were attached to the controller.

    And one final reason which is purely cosmetic - I'd like to place this thing under my tv, next to my other consoles, and be able to point and say "yep, that's my arcade machine."

  • dav3ybdav3yb Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    dav3yb wrote: »
    I think the best supergun i've ever seen was modded into a hori real arcade pro stick. the top pannel had art that made it look like an astrocity cabinet. was pretty sick looking.

    if im not mistaken, arcade-in-a-box started out selling supergun builds. which is why their name is what it is.

    best I can tell, according to the BYOAC forums, is that the name "supergun" comes from a mistranslation from a chinese company who was the originator of the concept back in the early 90's.

    How much of that is urban legend, I dunno.

    i was mostly referring to AIAB's company name comes from them originally selling superguns. I could see a botched chinese translation contributing to names though... isnt that why we have:

    "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance."

    PSN: daveyb1337 || XBL: dav3yb360 || Steam: dav3yb || WiiU: dav3yWii
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    dav3yb wrote: »
    dav3yb wrote: »
    I think the best supergun i've ever seen was modded into a hori real arcade pro stick. the top pannel had art that made it look like an astrocity cabinet. was pretty sick looking.

    if im not mistaken, arcade-in-a-box started out selling supergun builds. which is why their name is what it is.

    best I can tell, according to the BYOAC forums, is that the name "supergun" comes from a mistranslation from a chinese company who was the originator of the concept back in the early 90's.

    How much of that is urban legend, I dunno.

    i was mostly referring to AIAB's company name comes from them originally selling superguns. I could see a botched chinese translation contributing to names though... isnt that why we have:

    "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance."

    lol yeah, I figured out what you meant after I posted. I dunno how much weight the story holds, but Build Your Own Arcade Controls has been THE hobbiest website for stuff like this since about 1997. However, by the time they were up and running, the term supergun had been around for half a decade, so everything they say on the subject is largely hear-say. It undoubtedly caught on when MAS introduced the SuperNova Supergun, which is still the most recognized commercial supergun around.

    I also don't know if the term "Supergun" was the chinese mistranslating something from english, like the origin of the name Donkey Kong, or if someone translated the original chinese name to "Supergun".

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Came home and found 2 packages waiting for me at the front door :)

    unfortunately the ST-V and the carts haven't arrived yet, but the Primal Rage PCB and the supergun itself are here

    20110515002619.jpg

    The supergun itself sitting on a genesis box for size comparison

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    NeoGeo AES controller plugged in

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    the primal rage PCB along with the supergun and the controller

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    up-close image of the connection on the primal rage PCB and the supergun itself

    I'm gonna eat, then hook it all up and see if it works.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    After fiddling with it for a few hours, everything indeed works:

    20110515030924.jpg

    20110515030934.jpg


    however, the fine tuning control for the green channel is EXTREMELY sensitive, to the point where getting correct colors is a chore. However, as is is name of the game with superguns, I can simply buy a better solution - a JROK RGB->NTSC converter for $60. Which I've just ordered. In the mean time, I'm gonna begin designing the casing.

  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Ok so the pcb's, are they plug in play? I work in electronics so I've seen many type of plug in connectors. That board just looks huge!

    How much does a pcb run? You also mentioned getting a cartridge? So to dumb it down for me, this thing accepts both pcb and neo geo style( and evidently other arcade companies) cartridges?

    Ive always wanted to do a micro atx nes arcade system, but this is neat.

    Oh and do you have the pissality? Is it censored in any way?

    111813113553.png
    360 GT Tommatt
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