Lark's MAME page

After seeing stuff on the internet, I decided to make myself a MAME cabinet. It is my project this year. I hope to have it done by the start of summer.

MAME stands for Multi-Arcade Machine Emulator. Basically, it is a computer program that emulates the workings of arcade video game processors. MAME runs on regular PC's. Now, you can find ROM's, that is, programs of old video games, on the internet. You can download these and play them on the MAME.

Some hobbyists will order joysticks and buttons from arcade supply stores like Happ Controls and Multi-Marc. You can get a special printed circuit board called a keyboard controller and hook up these joysticks and buttons to your computer. The really hardcore will build their own cabinets, and they end up with a real arcade video game in their family rooms that can play many classic arcade games.

Well, this idea appealed to me, and I decided to try my hand. My plan:

  • Stage 1 set up MAME on a computer that outputs to a TV, and create a control shelf to practice woodworking and test button layouts.
  • Stage 2 My mother heard of my project and got me an Ivan Stewart Off-Road video game machine from her work. It doesn't work. For stage 2, I want to install the computer and TV into the cabinet and replace the game's steering wheel controls with my own control layout. The Offroad machine is built in a very modular way. The steering wheel assembly comes off quite easily, and it should be fairly simple to attach my own control shelf.
There was actually a stage 3 planned where I would make my own cabinet from scratch, but I learned a lot about my limitations vis-a-vis woodworking. Stage 2 is up and running in my stepdad's garage. It needs some cosmetic work - a bevel around the tv, speakers hooked up, a new name panel on top, etc - but it works and you can play games on it. It will probably be a while before I can put much more work into it.


Stage 2