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Building A Neo Geo Cabinet

Published on 01/02/2012 by in Neo Geo

After seeing some nifty videos on YouTube from with the games he had in his games room, I decided i’d quite like a Neo Geo system too.  The system is fairly straight forward, you get a motherboard – they come in 1, 2, 4 or 6 slot versions, they are JAMMA wired but use some unused pins for the fourth button for each player and a select button for which game (if using a multi cartridge board) and hook up to a regular arcade monitor.

First job was to get hold of a motherboard – which one though?  I did some reading on as well as this guide from Arcade Otaku’s wiki and found that the 1 slot is the most reliable and the 6 slot is the most unreliable, I got to thinking about whether i’d want multiple games.

Of course, the answer to that was YES!  The whole point would be to be able to switch games quickly and I really wanted something like how has his with 4 slots and the marquee lights up for which slot is in play.  So I decided to go for a 4.

Why a 4?  Well, simple….. because! OK!  No, seriously, I could just swap the cartridges as a need for changing games happens but its so much more fun to have multiple cartridges – I can swap JAMMA game boards in my cabinets easy enough but when people come round they just see whats playing and never ask what else you have even though there’s a growing stack of PCB’s on the shelf.  So this will be a nice, player friendly addition to the games room.

As luck would have it, I found one going quite cheap on eBay but the postage was a bit outrageous, fortunately, I was over that way picking up a Defender machine from a friend so I contacted the seller and did the deal and picked up the board motherboard.

Below you can see a picture of it set up on my Vogatek Supergun MK5 on a regular 26″ LCD with a couple of games in it.  I can’t get a select button working but I think that’s more to do with where it is wired up on the edge connector rather than the motherboard.

4 Slot Neo Geo motherboard tested and working

There’s a bunch of things to do before I can get this into the games room, one of which is get hold of Puzzle Bobble and League Bowling which were my two favourites back in the arcade days of glory – I just never knew they were Neo Geo because the arcade obviously had them on a single slot board.

I need to:

  • Find a connector for the remote adjustment board for a Hantarex MTC9110 chassis to go with the 25 inch tube I have.  The chasis works, it just needs the adjustment board plugging in properly.
  • Clean up the Goliath MK3 that it is destined for – it needs a new loom, marquee light (well, 4 lamps actually), side art etc
  • Control panel rebuilding or drilling – the MK3 has a bare control panel but needs sorting out and a bit of re-welding doing and then recovering.  I have a NEO GEO control panel that was donated to me, I wonder if it will fit the cabinet – watch this space.
  • Get new or reproduction Goliath MK3 glass for the cabinet
  • Physically mount the motherboard for the neo geo with clearance for changing cartridges.
  • Wire up the select game switch and marquee lights etc.

Should take me a month or two and i’ll try and post updates regularly – watch this space!


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