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MAME delights – driving cab version

Published on 09/30/2011 by in MAME

Following on from the outrun cab arriving, a bunch of work was done to make it usable which amongst a lot of different things, included wiring up the Ultimarc A-PAC board to the existing cabinet loom and squeezing a PC neatly into the back so it could easily be removed.  It had always been my intention to make it into a MAME driving cabinet until the official PCB works again.

This prevented us with two problems which i’m sure some other people have come up against.  Firstly, MAME emulates games very well but isn’t initially designed around real-world controls like steering wheels and pedals, it implements them as analogue joysticks just fine but the developers put in a toggle switch for Hi/Lo gear shifter.

OutRun’s gear shift is built almost identically to Pole Position’s in that a microswitch is open for Lo gear and closed for Hi gear.

Second, I wanted rid of the awful hi/lo indicator from the screen, the developers of MAME put this in a while back – again, I guess it makes it easier to see what gear you’re in on a screen with just a keyboard to play with but in my case, i’ve got a nice big cabinet with a proper gear shifter so I can tell when i’m in Hi or Lo gear – I don’t need an onscreen display to tell me that.

There was one other problem, albeit minor, if this is going to have a front end on it, I didn’t want to have to include a bunch of buttons just for the sake of being able to bypass the game info screens and so on.  This would have made the machine into somewhat of a frankencab monstrosity – something I want to avoid at all costs.

So I set about figuring out how to compile my own version of MAME to patch the code to my evil and dastardly needs.

This wasn’t particularly difficult to achieve, the developers have packaged all the tools you need and the instructions are reasonably easy to get to grips with, it’s just the way they’ve laid the code out that made what I wanted to achieve a little more difficult but we got around it in the end.

I found a patch to get rid of the ‘nag screen’ as it’s known and the bonus side of that was a hi-score save routine which means my top scores on the machine will be nicely recorded.

Patching the drivers took a little time as I wanted to be able to pass a flag to the compiler so I could build a ‘driving cab’ version or a standard version with the no-nag and hi-score save.

So, I present the first working compile of MAME 0.143u5 and MAMEUI which has the following games patched to start with:

  • OutRun
  • Turbo OutRun
  • Pole Position (overlay still present)
  • Pole Position 2 (overlay still present)
  • Chase HQ
  • Continental Circus
  • WEC LeMans

It can be downloaded from the two links below.  If other game drivers need patching, just let us know and we’ll do our best to update the build.

Note that on Pole Position, Pole Position 2, Top Racer etc, the hi/lo gear shift patch is working but for some reason the compiler refuses to accept my command to not use the overlay, this will be investigated and fixed shortly.

Download MAME-0.143u5 For Driving Cabinets (MameUI Version)
Download MAME-0.143u5 For Driving Cabinets (Windows Command Line Version)

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