Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Keep those questions coming...
Q: Have you experienced any problems with the USB Interface?
A: Unfortunately, yes. The Interface works great under Windows 95/98, unfortunately it is extremely buggy under DOS. Happ has a Software Developers Kit (SDK) which may help in getting it to work right under DOS. As a result, I currently only run Windows compatible software when using NYLGP.
Q: How is the trackball hooked up?
A: The Trackball basically operates as a mouse. Its hooked up via the Happ USB "Fighting" Interface. Because Happ makes both the trackball and the interface, it's a relatively easy hook up. All of the trackball's directional controls are bundled into one connector, which simply attaches to its matching connector on the interface. The three mouse buttons must then be separately wired to their individual connectors on the interface. Remember that the left button should be connected to the left muse button. The center button should be connected to the right mouse button, and the right button should be connected to the center mouse button.
Q: Whats the deal with the Wells Gardner monitor? What do you mean it requires a separate power supply?
A: Wells Gardner makes monitors for arcade machines, not home PCs, As a result, certain things are different than with a normal monitor. First, the monitor has no case. Thats right, its just the picture tube, screen, and circuit boards exposed to all. Second, its designed as if you were powering it from a central power supply. (If you had a real arcade machine, youd only want one plug coming out of it, wouldnt you?, so they assume that every on board piece of electrical equipment will be powered by a central power supply) Because of this, all you have is a power input terminal on the monitor. If youre not using a power supply, then what you need to do is purchase a grounded plug (stripped on one end, so just the three wires show), an adapter (for the input terminal), and 3 pin type wire tips. Put each of the three wires at the end of the cord into one of the wire tips. Next you are going to have to put the pins into the adapter. Check your monitors wiring diagram for the proper polarity settings. Usually the green wire is the ground, the white is neutral and the black is positive. Once you have the pins in the adapter, just plug it into the connector on the monitor and its ready to go.
Q: What did you use for the control panel top and how did you install it?
A: The control panel top is self-adhesive marble styled Polyurethane tile I found at home depot. It looks like marble, but can be bent, cut, etc. It comes in 1 x 1 sheets at around .99 cents per sheet. What I did was this; I measured the dimensions of the trackball plate, and lined up 2 pieces of tile. Using a hobby knife, I then cut the shape of the trackball plate into both pieces, making sure to smooth all edges and check how the plate would rest on it. Next, I removed the backing from the tiles, placed some Krazy Glue on both the rear of the tile and the top of the control panel and secured both pieces to the panel. After it dried, I took a box cutter and cut an "X" where each button/joystick hole was. I then used a hobby knife to cut away the tile and smooth the edges out. You have to be really careful when doing this, because its very easy to break the tile or mark it up.
Q: I want to use MAME in my cabinet, but I keep hearing that its illegal to do so, How can I use it legally?
A: Because MAME roms are actual downloads of Arcade Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) they are still legally the property of the companies that made them. The only way to legally use them is either to get permission from the copyright holder or to own the actual PCB from the arcade machine you want to emulate. A few of the folks who programmed old arcade machines and still have the copyright, have graciously said that MAME users may freely use the rom codes. Capcom currently is offering legal rom images of some of their games to people who buy the Hot Rod Arcade Controller from Hanaho (See the links section for more details), You can also buy Arcade PCBs at online auctions or from arcade distributors or special shops. As a long time game collector, Ive bought a few boards when the price was right. They are usually 2 circuit boards with multiple connectors, like the one shown below (My Mat Mania (Taito) Board).
Click on the image to enlargeClick on the image to enlarge
Q: In the Build A Cabinet section you suggest using 2 joysticks even in a one player set up. Why?
A: Its simple, even if you only plan on having one player, a lot of arcade games were designed with 2 joysticks ( Robotron, Tapper (the second stick would be the tap), Battlezone, Crazy Climber, etc ) and if you want the real arcade feel, you absolutely have to have the second stick.