Retro Otaku gets its own domain –!

Just another quick update – as hinted at previously, I’ve gone and moved the blog to its own domain, so you can update your links with the new address – I’ve setup redirects so that any requests to the previous URL should migrate across relatively cleanly and all the internal links should work fine since I’ve generally coded everything to use relative links instead of absolute ones; by all means though, if you come across anything out of place, let me know.

Update on power supply problems with Virtua Fighter 3 (Model 3) PCB

Finally have an update on the power supply problems I’ve been having with my Virtua Fighter 2 and Virtua Fighter 3 respective Model 2A and Model 3 boards.

After tracking down an eBay sale of a Model 3-fitted and ready PSU, I buckled, bought it, and it finally arrived yesterday. I gave it a preliminary run to see if I could get the thing to power up, and it looks like we may just be in business ๐Ÿ™‚

The setup’s nothing too refined, but is startlingly effective – it’s basically a standard ATX power supply running on 240v with the 12v, +5v, +3.3v and GND going to a couple of distributors on a block of wood, and the distributors rope around to the various connectors on the board. The input and video run back to a JAMMA biscuit, and the sound (not connected) has been wired to a 4-pin molex connector, but currently doesn’t have an amp fitted.

Moving forward, from here I’ll need to take the Wei Ya audio amp off the existing Model 3 >> JAMMA adapter I have and fit that into the loop and connect it up to the JAMMA biscuit to get sound going through. Will have to look at doing something similar for my Model 2 board as well, might see if there’s a way I can quickly hook up the PSU to my Model 2A filterboard to at least test the thing and see if I can get the sucker powering up.

The funny thing with all this is that Wifey said ages ago that I should have gone out and grabbed a big beefy power supply for the system before messing around with everything else I’ve done. Looks like she was right all along ๐Ÿ™‚

Once I’ve had a chance to properly connect the whole shebang together and get it up and running, I’ll post up some pics to share. Might also prove useful to other people interested in doing similar mods on their systems.

Something Awful presents movie posters as video games (book covers too!)

Was reading this up via Kotaku – the community over at the Something Awful forums have been putting together movie posters, but changing the titles to those of video games. Makes for some amusing cross-overs (click for larger versions):

Movies with video game names - F-Zero Movies with video game names - House of the Dead Overkill Movies with video game names - Cannon Fodder Movies with video game names - Bomberman Movies with video game names - Space Invaders
Movies with video game names - Dynasty Warriors Movies with video game names - Snatcher Movies with video game names - Road Rash

Source: Something Awful forums, Movies with video game names

This isn’t the first time they’ve come up with some classy takes on video games – inspired by Olly Moss’ Video Game Classics project (which were featured in Edge and Kotaku amongst other sites/magazines), the folks over at Something Awful took a spin at creating video game covers in the stylistic vein of the old book covers Penguin and co. produced yesteryear:

Video game covers as classic books - Hitman: Blood Money Video game covers as classic books - Bubble Bobble Video game covers as classic books - Killer 7

Source: Something Awful forums, Make video game covers classy

Those are just a small collection of what’s out there, so I’d recommend you check out the links above for more goodies ๐Ÿ™‚ If any of the authors of the above want additional credit/links added, I’m more than happy to do so – either leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I’ll make the changes to the metadata and update this post!

w00t, it’s 2010

Just a quick update since it’s been a while – apologies for the lack of updates of late, been enjoying a bit of time off and all the good stuff that entails ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for everyone dropping by the site for a read, especially to those who have e-mailed me or left comments, I appreciate all of them!

2010 should make for an interesting year for the blog – there will be more content, more image galleries, more tutes, more guides, possibly some videos and a new visual overhaul as well to make things look awesomer. Oh, and I also have plans to migrate the blog to its own dedicated domain some time in the next couple of months, so stay tuned! Note that all your old bookmarks will redirect automatically when we switch domains, so don’t worry about dead links ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for supporting the site, looking forward to more nerdisms in the year to come ๐Ÿ™‚

Virtua Fighter 2 (Model 2) and Virtua Fighter 3 (Model 3) booting and power supply (PSU) problems

I’ve posted this in a few forums, so thought I’d track it on my blog as well. The following’s a slightly edited version of my post ๐Ÿ™‚

A few months back I snapped up VF2 and VF3 from someone interstate, and have been having some troubles with them, and I’m not sure if it’s me, the boards, or maybe a combination of both!

Now, before I go on I’ll clarify my setup – Astro City cab with a 15k/24k chassis (Pentranic, previous owner slapped in a generic 15k chassis that blew up, so I replaced with a Pentranic), bog-standard Peter Chou 15A PSU, 3.3v Wei-Ya PSU, cab is JAMMA-ready. To connect the Model 2 and Model 3 boards into my JAMMA setup, I’m using one of these (Model 2) and one of these (Model 3).

In order to boost the 5v and GND lines on the main PSU, I’ve also increased the amount of wires coming between the PSU and the JAMMA connector as I wasn’t getting solid +5v due to some flimsy wiring. After beefing up both lines, I’m getting much better performance across all my PCBs (CPS-I, Neo Geo, CPS-II, System 11 and a few others).

I’ll start with VF2 – I’ll put the chassis into 24k mode, roll the PSU back, connect VF2 and get the voltage to 5v (maybe 0.05v over). On the PCB, the red LED 11 is lighted up, and I’m getting like a garbled green test pattern thing on the screen. I’ve pulled the PCBs apart and put them back together again, checked to make everything’s in there nice and tight and checked for physical problems on the boards, everything checked out, no change. To test things a bit further, I removed the top ROM PCB, leaving the bottom two boards (since it’s a Model 2A system, it’s a platter of three boards) and rebooted – same problem, LED 11 is lit up, I think I saw a couple of red LEDs on the bottom board near the filter board light up, and the garbled screen. Turned off, put the ROM board back on, the LEDs on the bottom board are fine, but the red LED 11 in the middle board is still lit up. Garbled test pattern remains.

With VF3, it’s a bit more tricky, and I have a feeling it’s my PSU that’s to blame here, as well as some of my wiring before I beefed up the 5v and GND lines. With VF3 when I first tried booting it a month or two back, the 3.3v PSU worked a treat, but the old Peter Chou would crash out immediately – the red light to indicate it was on would light up, then immediately drop out and there’d be no power on the JAMMA adapter when I tested it with my multimeter. I figured my PSU might have been on the way out, so got a new standard arcade PSU (a 16A Min Dong), connected it up and had success… or at least I thought I did. I measured at the JAMMA adapter and it wasn’t getting to even +2v on the +5v line; I cranked it, barely got to +2v and the JAMMA adapter was getting really hot. Next thing I knew, it smelt like the PSU was overheating and the little light indicating it was on turned off. The new PSU went and died on me ๐Ÿ˜› Disappointed, I reconnected the old Peter Chou PSU. I noticed a couple of red LED lights come on when I power up the Model 3 off the Peter Chou (even though ti conks out) and the 3.3v Wei-Ya (which I’m going to take as meaning the Wei Ya is working fine, since it doesn’t conk out), if that helps. Another thing I noticed is that how much success I have before the Peter Chou PSU gives up depends on the amount of +5v/GND connections – I can have the 5v and GND connections on, say, JST CN13, and it won’t kill the PSU, but if I hook up JST CN14 as well, the PSU dies. Does this help?

I was talking a few other people with more experience than I have with arcade cabs, and they mentioned that the fact the JAMMA adapter was heating up indicated there wasn’t enough copper between the PSU and the JAMMA adapter on the +5v and possibly the GND connection as well, and suggested beefing up the wiring to fix that part. I’ve done that and am getting better results when playing the rest of my games, and when I tried loading VF2 or VF3 with the beefed up wiring, VF2 still gave that garbled green test pattern screen thingie (red LED 11 still on), and VF3 still died off. They also mentioned the red LEDs might be indicating a fault with the board or power supply.

I’m a bit stumped with what I can do to fix up these issues – I’m a huge VF fan, and these two games were part of the reason I wanted to get my own arcade cab. I know there are some very clued up Model 2 and Model 3 people on these forums, but couldn’t find anything that coped with these problems. I’m not sure if it’s a PCB, PSU or even jumper settings issue that’s affecting my PCBs. Some other people I’ve spoken to who run Model 2 boards have done it consistently off standard arcade PSUs for years, but they emphasise that you need to ensure your +5v and GND connections need to be extremely strong in order to do so.