Vs. Dr. Mario Schematics

I’d like to give something back to the arcade community so I have released my copy of the schematics for Vs. Dr.Mario below. This will enable Nintendo Vs. owners to design their own daughterboard to play this game without the difficulty and cost of finding an original PCB.

Vs. Dr.Mario Schematics (29 downloads)

Popeye Bootleg PCB

I acquired a few untested Popeye Bootleg boards recently and thought I would have a go at repairing them. Most of the boards were missing various bits like capacitors, or crystals, so I replaced all the parts I could obviously see missing and thought I would see how things were from there. What was interesting is that each of the boards was designed and looked slightly different, even thought they were all the same game!

I made up a crude Jamma adapter using the pinout details for a single bootleg Popeye PCB I found on Mikes Arcade and tested each game.

Two of the PCB’s booted but there were issues with sync, and it looked like this on power up:

I found various posts on the internet from people with similar issues, and most had given up trying to get the PCB to sync thinking that it was a board fault.

I started to wonder if the pinout on Mikes Arcade was correct for my PCB, as I had come across other sites listing completely different pinouts, so I went about working out the correct pinout for my PCB and after rewiring my Jamma adaptor I was greeted with the following result:

What is interesting, and seems to be the same for every bootleg Popeye PCB, is that the opening title screen has graphic issues as you can see in the picture. The game plays perfectly, but a bootleg board always has this issue. I checked the game in Mame, and the fault is not there so I’m wondering if it has somehow been fixed in that version??

Anyway, for those that have given up trying to fix a Popeye bootleg, or think they have a PCB with a sync issue, I would suggest looking for different pinouts to see if that’s the problem.

The pinout I used can be seen below. I gave these details to a fellow collector and he found that most of the pinout was correct for his PCB, but he had to swap pins 7 to h for the coin credit, despite it working fine on pin 7 for both my PCB’s!

Outrun Midi De-Conversion

I bought a Midnight Run cabinet from a fellow collector when I first got into the arcade scene many years ago now. It was originally an Outrun Midi cab that had been converted to Midnight Run by Brent Leisure. I always planned on turning it back into an Outrun cab as it’s one of my favourite games but just didn’t get round to it. So I’ve had some time off from work, and started stripping all the Midnight Run parts out of the cabinet. I’ve got to say that it looks like Brent Leisure did a pretty decent job of making this very tidy.

Here is all the wiring and parts that needed to come out:

and here are most of the parts that need to go in:

Here is a picture of the front of the cab:

I managed to sort out most of the wiring but some of it got me stumped. Luckily a fellow collector happened to have the only Outrun Mini wiring diagram that seems to exist in the whole world, and this will no doubt be invaluable. I’ve attached the manual and wiring diagram below as I’m sure it will help out others aswell:

Outrun Mini Manual (50 downloads)
Outrun Mini Wiring Diagram (52 downloads)

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 assume 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: