Outrun to Jamma test bench joystick

A friend of mine asked me if I could have a look at an Outrun to Jamma loom that was made by another collector, as it was thought to be incomplete and missing the steering pot connections.

It was fairly easy to understand as far as I could tell. The Outrun 20 pin connector had three groups of wires in three sets. So you had 3 wires on A1-A3, B1-B3, and B4-B6.

A1-A3 controlled the accelerator. This was configured to go to a veroboard with some resistors so it could use a microswitch to control the speed. The wires that came off this board went to P1 button 3 and ground on the Jamma adapter

B4-B6 controlled the brake. This again went into a veroboard of resistors, and then two wires going to ground and P1 button 1 on the Jamma side.

B1-B3 controlled the wheel. This went to ground and P1 Button 4. The wire at B1 was not connected to anything and had shrink wrap on it

I also had a quick look at where P1 button 2 went to, to complete all P1 buttons. This went to A4 on the 50 pin Outrun connector and that deals with the shift. I assumed it simply swaps between low and high.

So with regards the missing steering pot the previous owner must have had a wheel control panel in his Jamma cab with a pot connected to B4, and ground on his Jamma edge connector. I would asusme the third pin on the pot would have been connected to 5v, but again that would be taken care of inside his Jamma cab.

Now that I had an understanding of how things had been put together I suggested to my friend that if this was to be used on a test bench, it would be better to have some kind of joystick connected. I was essentially going to leave the original wiring intact, but break into the wiring with a Mate N’ Lok type connector. The connector could then be swapped between the orginal wiring, as it was, or a connector that had a joystick with potentiometers.

I managed to find an appropriate joystick to do this and began modifying it to work with the loom. After quite a bit of wiring, soldering, track cutting, and crimping, I finally had a joystick that worked with an original Sega Outrun PCB.


Vs. Castlevania / Top Gun PCB SOLD OUT

The Vs. Castlevania PCB has now been manufactured, built, tested, and is sold out! Ten units were made to sell in Europe, and they all went within 24hrs!

Here’s some images of the finished PCB:


Vs. Dr.Mario PCB

Myself and a fellow arcade collector have teamed up again to work on a reproduction Vs. Dr.Mario daughterboard for the Nintendo Vs. system.

There were additional complexities to this PCB because it uses a Nintendo custom MMC1 chip, which are not easy to find, and there are no schematics of this board so it was a case of tracking down an original PCB, at some expense, and mapping out all the pinouts. The great thing is that this PCB will be a lot less than an original PCB, so it makes it cheap and more available for the people that would love to own it.

This is the circuit diagram my partner on this project has produced:


Data I/O 29a Remote Mode

Now that I had the Data I/O 29a in a working state I attempted to see if I could get it to communicate with a PC using the Promlink programming software. Unfortunately I fell at the first hurdle as my unit did not have a remote mode available. This can usually be accessed by using the command, “Select”, “F”, then “1” then “Start”, and “Start” again. On my unit this command was not even valid! Interestingly the manual does state that remote mode is “only in models equipped with this option”.

I then noticed that my device had a rom set labelled “324-0029”, whilst my friends unit, which could go into remote mode, had a rom set labelled “324-1024”. Both prom sets were exactly the same and these were labelled “324-1980 Rev A”. So I decided I would copy the 324-1024 roms and try them in my system. Luckily several collectors had some of these roms spare they could post to me (TMS2716’s) and I was pleased to see that once they were burnt, my unit now had the ability to go into remote mode aswell.

Next step was to build the serial port lead to make the connection. This required a 25 pin Dsub male connector and a 9 pin DB9 female connector. I found details of the pins used and connection settings at the following page www.retroclinic.com

Once the lead was made I then had to find copies of the software. After a bit of searching I found a FTP site that had what I needed. The link for the site was ttl.arcadetech.org

This site had various versions of the programs. Most notably 341-1991, and 61. What I discovered is that the unipak works best with 341-1991, and unipak2 or unipak2b works best with 61.

The site also had txt file lists of all the roms, and proms it could burn on each pak, so that was incredibly useful information.

I installed the software on an old laptop running Windows 95, and on my first attempt I was greeted with the message of “contact with programmer established”.

I wanted to try and get the unit running on a Windows 7 PC, soley for the reason that I didn’t want to use multiple PC’s or laptops to run all of my test equipment. I downloaded the software DOSbox www.dosbox.com and installed it on my Windows 7 box. The trick to get this working is to make sure that the serial configuration in the dosbox.conf file is configured correctly. I used the settings:

serial1=directserial realport:com1 irq:4 bytesize:8 stopbit:1 parity:E

Once that was configured I copied the promlink software to the root of my C:\ drive and launched DOSBox. Once the folder was mounted using mount c c:\promlink I was able to launch the Promlink software and establish a connection.

I’ve dumped both rom sets and prom set, and made them available below. If someone else comes across the same issues with remote mode it should be fairly easy to sort out with these files, as I could not find copies anywhere else:

324-1024 Roms (34 downloads)
324-0029 Roms (34 downloads)
324-1980 Rev A Proms (39 downloads)


Vs. Castlevania / Top Gun PCB

Myself and a fellow arcade collector have started working on a reproduction daughterboard for the Nintendo Vs. system which will allow Vs. Castlevania or Vs. Top Gun to run on a dual (Red Tent) or single standalone system.

These daughterboards are very hard to find and can be quite expenisve to buy, so we believe this is a good alternative. We are also looking at the possibility of making another board for Vs. Dr.Mario, but this has some additional complexities we need to work through.

This is the circuit diagram my partner on this project has produced:


Data I/O 29a Repair

I spotted an untested Data I/O 29a programmer with Unipack on eBay a couple of weeks ago, and took a gamble and bought it.

When I received the unit I plugged it in and it powered up, but nothing was displayed on screen. The unit is meant to say “Self Test Ok” if it is working as expected, so clearly something was wrong.

I started taking the device apart, and it was fairly clear that it had been opened before as various screws were missing. The good thing about the unit is that it is fairly modular, and most chips are socketed, so I began testing each chip. I found that my ABI chipmaster failed both the 6802 CPU and 8279c keyboard controller, but passed everything else.

So I bought some replacements for both chips, hoping this would fix the issues.

Whilst I was waiting for the replacement chips to arrive, a local collector lent me his working Data I/O 29a. Although this unit had a different memory expansion board and rom set, I was able to check the Unipack, and my own rom/prom set, as well as keyboard display and that was all working ok.

Unfortunately the roms are TMS2716’s so a different pinout to standard 2716 eproms, and I had nothing to read them with to verify them or save the data from them.

The new parts arrived yesterday, and I put the unit back together with the new chips in place. I then powered on the unit and was pleased to see the message on the display say “Self Test OK”.

The next challenge is to make a serial cable for the device and see if I can get it communicate with PromLink on a PC.