I Want To Build a Game! Last Updated on: 9/3/2013
For Replacement parts visit Bob Roberts web site: http://www.therealbobroberts.net

I have an empty cabinet. How do I put a game in there? Newbie question of the year 1998. Hmmmm....here's a rough idea of the things you'll need for a Jamma cabinet & what is involved in wiring it up. Just the very basics instead of a detailed, in-depth version laced with technical jargon. You'll need some 18ga wire to wire up the AC portion of the game first, after you have laid out a plan as to where you are going to want everything placed. I'll start off with the 10' or longer AC line cord. Fish it through the hole in the cabinet designed for this purpose & secure it with a cable clamp leaving enough line to run to your AC filter.

Ok! We have 110VAC into the cab and now we need to fuse the hot side & put an on/off switch in line. Run the neutral wire & the green ground wire from the line cord directly to the AC filter inputs making sure that the green wire is connected to the metal case of the filter, either with the internal connection if it is a wire type, or the case tab if it is a quick disconnect type. (This is where your ground line will begin to tie all the metal in the cab together...just run a braid or 18ga preferably green wire from the metal on the filter to the power supply, coin door, control panel [metal] and monitor frame.) The hot side of the AC cord can now be fed though a fuse holder with a 3 amp fuse in it, and on to the other side of the AC filter.

On/off switch...I always located these on the the top righthand side of the game for convenience purposes....some mfgers had them at that back-bottom-middle-impossible-to-get-at position, and I just couldn't stand that. Run your 18ga wires from the AC line filter output tabs to the power switch.

We have a fused, switched & filtered AC line at this point & need to route your AC to the needed destinations. The easiest way to do this is to have an AC distribution block with .25 quick disconnect tabs.....4 on each side. Run your 18ga AC wires back down from your power switch to this AC distribution block & utilize .25 QDs to attach them to the terminals, one on each side. Now you have 3 terminals on each side left to use. Use the first pair to supply AC over to your swiching power supply....the second pair will be used to supply AC to the input of the monitor isolation transformer...and the third pair will be used to supply AC to your marquee fluorescent light. Remember, you have passed the input of this distribution block, through your on/off switch at the top of the game, so when in the off position, there is no power being supplied to this block, and therefore all things attached to it are now off.

To finish off the AC portion of wiring, you will need to run a couple 18ga wires from the monitor isolation transformer outputs to the monitor AC input and you should be ready to Jammatize the game now....the easy part! Before you go on, if you want, you can plug the game in and power it on for a few seconds to verify the power supply LED lights & the marquee lamp & just listen for HV voltage build up in the monitor. Do not leave powered more than 15 seconds or so... just enough to let you know you are on the right track, and not long enough to damage the switcher with no load on it.

Hmmm...you're right on track & the switch turns everything on & off, so now I'd start with one of the many $10 to $20 Jamma pcbs & mount it where you have planned to have your pcb located & attach your Jamma harness to it. The first step is powering your pcb with DC voltages, so you will want to run the power wires from the Jamma harness over to the switching power supply. The typical generic harness has 4 to 5 feet of wire and since your pcb is where you plan to keep it, cut the power wires to have a minimum of slackness to them. The shorter the run from the pcb to the power supply, the better. I like to keep them under 30" long & terminated with spade connectors with a minimum of 3 18ga wires for 5 volts, 3 for ground, & 1 each for 12 volts & -5 volts.

Ok, so without going into a couple more pages of details, we basically have DC power to the pcb, so lets run the easy one next. Mount your speaker, if your empty cab didn't already have one in it, & run the Jamma speaker wires to it, preferrably with a plug in line for disconnecting it separately.

Next run your Jamma monitor connections...RGB,gnd & sync...up to the monitor input header following the pinout for the monitor mfg. The basics are in place now, and you can go ahead & power it up for a smoke test at this point, making sure that any loose wiring is not laying on the fuse block or across the pcb or other place that might cause a short.

You're at the decision point at this time. If you adjust your power supply's 5 volts so that you have 5 volts on the test pcb's pads, and you have a good picture & sound, if the pcb is set for attract mode, you're good to go to the next stage, and if not, perhaps it's time to buy a Jamma cab :(

Everything is down hill & real easy from here, beginning with running the Jamma wires for the control panel, which you should have already populated with the joysticks & buttons of choice, by now, and running the wires to the coin door for coin switching & any other options you choose.....coin meter.....coin lamps...test switch....credit switch ....etc. I always used a safety interlock switch & mount for a test switch as some games require only a momentary close of the switch to go into test (push it in like the back door of a game) while others require the switch to be on all the time you are in test mode (pulled out like on the back door of a game while you are working on it).

If you want coin door lamps and/or coin meter, you can run a 12 volt line from the Jamma harness to the coin door for this purpose, but make sure that these are also 12 volt lamps &/or meter.

This should get you started in the right direction without getting into to much technical detail.

Happy Gaming.............

All the parts pic'd here are available on the "Parts Page"

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