I know I’m kinda new in the Local scene, and somewhat outspoken and boisterous, but I don’t normally post in this thread. I usually have a lot of things on the bench and don’t like to thump my own chest. This time, however, I want to share with you something I’ve actively been working on for about a year now, but before I do, it’s story time.
16 years ago my younger brother and I would spend hours on end playing Killer Instinct on the SNES against each other. Many, Many good times were had, but our time as sparring partners was cut short. not even a year later my younger brother died. Since then, Killer Instinct has held a special place in my heart… a way to reunite with a lost brother and friend.
Flash forward to E3, 2013. The Xbox One is officially announced, and with it, a new Killer Instinct game! I was pumped! I planned on picking one up as soon as I could to play some killer instinct and relive the glory days I had with my brother.
But I knew that I needed to do it right.
A plan was put into action from that moment and only recently has it gotten to the point where I can honestly feel like 90% of the work has been completed.
First, I knew that the Xbox One was going to be an HD-only console, so I picked up an HD cabinet (From @HadoukenMD):
The Infamous “BRO SPA” cabinet
Andy gave me a pretty good deal on this Noir Clone cabinet. Because it’s a Chinese bootleg, it had a lot of things wrong with it. It wasn’t even wired for a 2nd player! The solder side of the edge connector has absolutely no wires to P2 controls. I covered a lot of the initial things that I did to bring it back to JAMMA+ spec in a few posts in this thread on the neo-geo forums, but as a recap:
Corrected wiring on JAMMA harness to comply with JAMMA+
Removed 240v transformer and replaced PSU to run on 120V
Wired PSU with JVS power connectors
Replaced monitor cooling fan (original ran on 240v)
removed cruddy Stereo amp and added naomi amp (put an all in one in there. it fits, but just barely)
Rewired amplifier to use stock Audio knob (this was a PAIN IN THE … well, you know)
Since then, I’ve also added in a GBS-8220 CGA to VGA scaler and wired the RGB lines from the edge to a removable connector that plugs into the CGA IN port of the scaler board. It doesn’t look half bad.
At this point, I felt good enough to get an Xbox One and put it in my cabinet. To even get it to display video and play sounds required even more work:
HDMI to DVI adapter cable (DVI preserves HDCP Encryption :D)
Optical to analog Stereo adapter (powered by the cab’s internal PSU)
The cab was only 1P, so I wired up an impromptu Xbox One pad hack and placed it in a spare box I had kicking around.
Even after all this work, it still didn’t feel right… it didn’t feel authentic. I couldn’t have anyone over to play against on the same cabinet.
I had to dig in harder. I needed a 2P panel.
I had been looking for an authentic Namco Noir panel since I had bought the cabinet over a year ago and missed out on the only one I had seen on YAJ (thanks to Chempop from N-G.com for the tip!) because of lack of funds. After additional months of fruitless searches, I bit the bullet and convinced myself into getting a repro panel completed. I asked around, but all providers had asked me to send them the panel for measuring… I didn’t want to be out a panel for weeks at a time, so I put off getting a new one until a friend had referred me to AMP UP Customs on facebook. They normally make replacement top panels for arcade sticks, but had recently branched out into arcade cabinets, and just so happened to have recently completed a NOIR CLONE panel! I reached out to them and after a few weeks of planning, drafting, and positioning, I had a new panel on my doorstep.
That’s not your eyes deceiving you, those ARE USB ports under the start buttons! They connect to a powered USB hub, which then connects to the Xbox one!
With a 2P panel, I finally resigned myself to completing the JAMMA+ harness by adding the 2nd player in. I rewired the connectors for the 1P side with AMP UP connectors (same as a Sega Cabinet) for some uniformity.
I then decked the 2nd player out in matching stick, balltop, and buttons.
Finally, I got ahold of another Xbox One controller PCB, Two Crossbone PCBs and a large enough project box and made myself a proper adapter.
There are no guide buttons on this box because there’s a 2nd service button in this cabinet! I wired the coin wire from the JAMMA edge to it, and then wired the Guide button from the 1P pad to the coin pin on the JAMMA edge. It works great!
It’s been a long, Arduous journey. An expensive one as well, but I would give anything to honor the memory of my brother and relive those moments where it was me and him in front of a TV playing games without a care in the world.
This one’s for you, Ian.