If one were looking to buy an American Cabinet what should I look out for?

Been thinking about getting a SFII or MVC2 stand up cab. Happ parts etc. What would I expect to pay for one in good condition? I am new to Jamma and wanted to convert to Mame. Any guidance would be helpful so I dont go out there and get ripped off.

If you are converting a stand up cab also known as a upright cab. Look for good physical condition in the actual cab it self. No rotted wood or warped MDF.
Also depends on how much work you want to put into this. A good condition but empty Capcom Blue cab would be perfect for your needs.
A working monitor is nice but not completely necessary if your going to swap the monitor for a PC monitor. Although many purist will insist on a original arcade monitor. I do not consider having the stick, buttons or wiring in good condition a huge issue because most people replace those in custom mods any ways, especially for a mame or a console cab. I am not sure on the price because the condition of the cab and local area will effect the price of the cab.

As for adapting the buttons and stick to the PC, I prefer a USB Game HID encoder over a PS/2 or USB keyboard encoder. With Keyboard encoders you run into n~key rollerover issues (max number of buttons presses detected at 1 time). A USB Xbox 360/ PS3 PCB would work. The non-multi system PS3 Cthulhu is perfect for this, unless you find a dedicated PCB that can handle both players. This one from Paraside arcade supports up to 4 joysticks and 56 buttons http://www.paradisearcadeshop.com/en/mame-arcade-parts/359-lonotm-arcade-to-usb-20-controller-board.html


Mold and Mildew are the 2 things to look out for the most I should of stressed this point in my first post.
Keep in mind most American upright cabs that are for sale are in less than great condition.

You main priority it to make sure the wooden structure of the cab is in shape.
No Mold or Mildew PERIOD.
Wood and MDF is structurally sound with no shakiness
No broken wooden supports or signs of excessive repair.
No Termites (uncommon but can happen) American Cabs are wood.

Top panel might be a wreck from multiple conversion mods which are common on American cabs.
Arcade owners instead of buying new cabs all he time will convert cabs from older games to newer ones. Often this includes bad paint jobs, applying decals over existing art, drilling holes in the top panel to add new buttons or plugging up unused holes.

Expect to replace the actual top panel if needed and you might have to repaint the cab or even some wood working to get the cab the way you want.

Expect to find (I am [S]Cereal[/S] Serious here), cob webs, dirt and mud, cigarette smells and burns, residue from spilled soda or beer, rust ect.

If size isn’t an issue go with a showcase cab…$250-750
If price isnt an issue go with Naomi Universal…$600-$1200
If you want something practical go w/ 25" Dynamo cab…$free-$250

These are just cabs w/ no game inside, just your typical jamma w/ monitor Prices are low/high

I am assuming these are good condition cabs, and not the nastiness I was mentioning above with many USED cabs on the market.

I got my Hyper Fighting cab for $100
I got my showcase cab for $650 that’s with Marvel vs SF & ST
I believe Kyle got his Naomi cab for $600 which i could have gotten but couldn’t find anyone to ship it…

^keep an eye out for superturbo for me (just the board) No bites up here in vancouver.

I am interested in an plain old upright cab but the Dynamo option sounds interesting. Googling to see where I can buy a Dynamo 25".

Be careful of water damage. This means not just mold, but unusual swelling and distortion of the wood on parts of the cab, especially near the base. It’s possible to repair sometimes, but some cabs have been badly abused so be mindful of that.

People dropping 'em off of roofs. It might hurt if you’re not watching out and they drop one on your head.

To convert to MAME you will need the following if you are using the original arcade monitor:

ArcadeVGA Video card $89


J-PAC Jamma Interface $59


I-PAC Controller Interface $39


The I-PAC is fine and wouldn’t worry about the maximum number of keys pressed as this has been addressed by Andy many, many revisions ago. All his products are great and he stands by and supports his products.

Here is my Dynamo HS2 SFIICE MAME cab

Computers and other boards

Cheap $20 stereo amp from ebay to power and drive my upgraded cab speakers

I used molex connectors here cause I one dedicated MK button layout panel (I want no excuses when I am kicking ass and ripping my friend’s head off with Sub Zero lol) and another one which I plan on using for dedicated 4 way or dual spinner steering wheel games. That is the nice thing about HS2/HS5 is you can easily remove and replace stuff which is why a lot of operators loved them in the 90’s.

I even wired up my coin door switches to the I-PAC :slight_smile:

Good luck and hope you find a nice cab.

Hey, that is a really great post. My Wife is giving me Hell about this thing.

Yep paid 610 for the Naomi. Prefer it over a woodie for the Sanwa parts. I’d snatch up a big blue if I saw a cheap one. I’m not sure what the going rate is. He had a buy it now of 1200. I would actually seek out a monitor in good shape. It’s less ghetto than swapping it for a TV/CRT and is the most expensive piece to replace.