Xbox 360 to Astro City


#1

So I am a complete noob when it comes to arcade cabinets, but I might be able to get a hold of an Astro City cabinet (Not New Astro City or Astro City II) with a Jamma setup. So I was reading that some people connected a Xbox 360 to the Astro City monitor using a VGA to CGA converter. I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with this and if this would indeed work?


#2

I only know how it works on a NAC/Naomi, on those you just have to connect your X360 through a VGA cable to the monitor and hack 2 pads to use the joysticks/buttons.


#3

Yea, apparently you can do that on Blast City cabs as well. The pad hacking I can do (or just order from modchipman if i’m lazy), but that would be cool if it can work for Astro, than again I wonder if the resolution would be really crappy. All input welcome!


#4

Bump


#5

It looks like you can find converters to go from vga to cga, but a quick google shows them ranging around $100-150. Also, there’s no guarantee that this converter won’t introduce some kind of lag into the game experience, so I would do some research on any converter you do plan on buying.

Once you have it converted to CGA, does the astro cab actually have a cga hookup on the monitor? If not, you’re going to need to find a way to hack this CGA into the jamma harness, maybe using a Jpac powered off the 360’s usb? (Just trying to think of clean ideas, you could also buy a male edge connector and sodler the needed cga pins maybe)

There also I/O jamma converters that are commonly found with Naomi systems, they could also do the cga->jamma work for you.

Hope that helps, I’m not an expert, I do have a bit of experience with cabs though. If someone sees something I posted and knows its total baloney, just let me know. :slight_smile:


#6

Thanks Maxx. I posted this question on the Neo-Geo forums and a poster said that I do not need a VGA to an RGB converter as the 360 outputs regular old fashioned RGB. After asking again if that this will work, kind of just a plug and play thing, another poster said I would need a sound amp and possibly a video amp.

Does that sound right?


#7

AFAIK, the issue is not “can the 360 do RGB?” The fact that you can buy a $50 VGA cable answers that question pretty soundly.

The issue is that the Astro’s monitor only displays in 15khz 320x240. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think the 360 will support that, since its not a common PC/TV/Projector/etc display mode.

The reason that you can get away with this on newer cabs (Blast, Net City, etc) is that they most commonly come with Tri-Sync monitors. These are capable of doing standard, medium, and high resolution for arcade games. The refresh rates for these go 15/24/31khz, with 31khz also displaying at 640x480, basically making it the same as S-video (used to be called “enhanced definition”). This is a refresh rate and resolution that both the cabinet and xbox are comfortable with, making it an easy setup.

The need for a sound amp depends on how you want to handle your audio. Arcade cabinets rarely have amps for their sound, those are typically part of whatever game board/mainboard you’re using or something you’ll install separately within the cabinet.

Again, the naomi is a good point of reference for this. For video/audio, the mainboard’s outputs come from a vga cable and a mono/stereo(red/white) cable. To convert these to jamma, Sega made I/O boards for video and controls and sound amps for the audio. Capcom’s I/O board handles everything and feeds it all into jamma, definitely the easiest option, but expensive.

If you want to use the Astro’s speakers, you can easily buy a cheap set of pc speakers, gut the amp out of them, and wire it up to your Astro’s speakers, or just have separate speakers outside of the cab.

Hope that helps, sorry for writing an essay. :xeye:


#8

There’s a guy on arcadeotaku.com that performed the mod on a New Astro City. Sign up for the forums and browse them.


#9

At target you can get a XBOX360 to VGA cable for about $12-$18


#10

Hey Maxx, i sent you a PM regarding a Naomi Universal


#11

I looked online and Target’s site says $40 for the cable, and its not sold in stores. Either the site is lying (quite possible) or you found a clearance cable. :wink:

Either way, it got me thinking, and I found out that while Gamestop sells the cable new for $40, you can get it used for $10, and both the GS’ in my town had it.


#12

waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait

First thing you need to do is find out what monitor this cab has. Even though the cab is an original astro the monitor might not be. I could be something completely different. Cabs get repaired or modded by ops all the time and what is in the specs for a given cab may not be true when you actually get your hands on one.

So first things first is to find out exactly what model monitor you have in there. Someone might have done a monitor swap and you could have a Tri-sync. In that case you will want to get a VGA adapter for your Xbox 360 and a breakout cable like the one ultimarc sells. Or you can hack your own VGA cable to connect to your monitor. You will then set your Xbox to 480p and should be good to go.

Now, in regards to 15khz ouput. I don’t know if the Xbox is capable of outputting 15khz RGBS interlaced. If it does then there will be no need for an adapter. You will want to do research on this. Essentially if you can ouput 480i while using your VGA cable you will be fine. If not then you will need to run in 640x480p and will have to buy a converter box to interlace the image for you. In no case will you want to run in 320x240p.

Oh, and if you get super lucky you might just open the case up from the back and find that somebody has installed a high res monitor with a VGA connector on the back. In that case all you will need to do is connect your VGA cable and set your Xbox to 720p.


#13

From the MS site for the vga cable:
Also supports 480p, 720p, 1080i or 1080p


#14

http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/hardware/x/xbox360advancedscartavcable/

This is what you need.

The Xbox 360 is very capable of RGB+S at low res.

Alternatively if you want to do it on the cheap and you have a composite cable handy, you do this the Ben Heckendorn way.

Follow this guide, it doesn’t look like it has the proper pins for scart, but there’s info on the gamesx wiki:

http://gamesx.com/wiki/doku.php?id=av:xbox360av

Just wire it and the pads up to a JAMMA edge connector instead of a project box and you’re good to go.

Also JAMMA Edge connector pin out is here: http://www.jammaboards.com/jcenter_jamma_pinout.html but it’s also all over the internet as well.


#15

This is full of misinformation. Yes, VGA cables are available.

Every console for the last 5 consoles have supported Composite video, which is mostly a standard TV resolution and sync rate signal. So yes, the 360 supports it. General rule of thumb, if it outputs composite, it’ll probably be hackable to output RGB+S

Svideo is still generally the same resolutions and sync rates as composite, it’s a few lines of resolution higher, but for the most part, it still transmits the same 480i signal that composite and RGB+S do.

Nearly all JAMMA cabs have amps for sound. They’re just not very good. They’re durable, and in the case of the original Astro, Mono, but they work. Check the internal wiring, if it wasn’t replaced with a stereo amp, you can pick up generally most kinds of stereo amps and run the mono output to a RCA connector, and use a splitter for faux stereo for old games, but if you’re going to be using this exclusively for 360, replacing the amp all together with a stereo one will be fine.

Astro did have two speakers, it’s just a matter of finding the wiring harness where the jamma harness meets the speakers. You’ll notice that the audio lines will be spliced into two to drive both. Just split the splice, and feed each speaker seperately.

If you don’t want to do that, just set the console to Mono in the dashboard, and wire one of the speakers to the jamma sound in harness.

Easy, expensive, and a pain in the ass. You still need to wire up controls. While you’re doing that, might as well just wire up a JAMMA harness for much cheaper. Besides, RGB+S, Audio and Ground are only … 6 more lines, so you might as well just do that.

Please don’t do THIS to a poor Astro. It deserves much, much better.


#16

Well I have been looking around and found two alternatives.

One of which is a Blast City Cabinet but it was one of those Bass Fishing models on ebay. I’ve heard some people say to avoid those because they can get pretty beat up. I wouldn’t have a chance to actually inspect it but the person selling it says its in good condition and has a good reputation on Ebay.

The other option was that a person close by to me is selling a Crazy Taxi naomi universal for $400. Of course the main issue would be converting the steering wheel control panel to a two player CP for fighting games. From the looks of it, it doesn’t seem as easy as switching out the CP, seems like I would need the CP casing what not.

Hmmm


#17

I guess I had my info backwards, I didn’t think anything outside of arcade boards supported the standard arcade resolution/refresh, but I must have had that backwards. My bad.

My idea for wiring up the controls would be to buy two SE/TE fightsticks and just transfer the boards/wiring into the new cabinet. You could probably sell the shells and/or the parts to recoup some of the costs.

I guess my methods were all workarounds, ways to avoid breaking out the soldering gun and all that jazz…