Micro-MAME was a good attempt, however the screen isn't that good, the computer isn't that fast, the storage is kind of a mess of wires, the controls are too cramped and too stiff for the size of the cabinet, the case is too heavy for a portable cabinet and some of the parts were a bit too expensive.
The goal with Micro-MAME mark II is to try and fix most of these problems.
In order to keep cost low, I tried to find a good deal online for a mini-ITX motherboard. Turns out I found a pretty good deal on an Intel D201GLY Little Valley Mini-ITX Mainboard (USD $70.00 as of 2007-10-27). This thing has a Celeron which consumes at most 27W, so things won't get too hot on the CPU side.
Since the D201GLY doesn't have a TV output and that a better picture quality is one of the goal of Micro-MAME mark II, I'm going to use a VGA screen. Prices have dropped a lot since I made the original Micro-MAME. I found the TM-868 (640x480) and VM84 (800x600) LCDs, both 7" with a 4:3 aspect ratio. I found a beaten-up TM-868 on eBay for about $80, but it's still functionnal, only the case has damage, which can be fixed or even removed for easier fitting inside Micro-MAME mark II. I'm not sure this cabinet will feature a rotating monitor, but if it does it will have to be easier to use than the first model.
For the Micro-MAME mark II, I'm gonna use an IDE Flash module. These little things connect directly in the IDE port, so they take practically no room at all. And since prices have also dropped a lot for these modules, the Micro-MAME mark II is going to have 512MB of storage.
The first Micro-MAME had a weird buttons layout which made some games difficult to play, such as Neo-Geo games. Not that the C3 CPU had enough power for Neo-Geo games, but anyway. The Micro-MAME mark II is going to use Sanwa arcade parts, which are less noisy and easier to push, which is a good thing with a cabinet that doesn't weight much.
The D201GLY has AC'97 audio, and I'm hoping that the DOS version of MAME now supports it or that a work-around is possible. If not, I'll look into using a Linux-MAME distro of some sort, if such a thing even exists.
Not yet determined.
I still have left-over prints from the original Micro-MAME, however I'll probably print a different one in order to differentiate the two machines even more.
Micro-MAME mark II will probably use the same 5" Neon as the first Micro-MAME, unless I can find a white LED strip or something. LEDs are more modern than neons (I think), so that would be one more "modern" change for Micro-MAME mark II.
This time I'm planning ahead before cutting anything. In fact I don't even know what type of wood I'm going to use. All I know is that I want something lighter and the ability to apply T-molding, something that is lacking on the first Micro-MAME.
This is a more or less complete list of all the stuff I had to buy to make Micro-MAME mark II. Prices are as of 2007-10-26. This list will also be updated as needed.
- Intel D201GLY Mini-ITX Mainboard: USD $70.00
- TM-868, 7" 4:3 640x480 VGA LCD: CAD $80 (eBay - sells for about USD $150 new)
- Emphase 40-pin Industrial Flash Disk Module 512MB: USD $36.00
- Sanwa JLF-TP-8T joystick and OBSF-24 buttons: about USD $35
- power supply: unknown
- Marquee: unknown
- Marquee lighting: unknown
- Wood/paint/laminate: unknown
Total so far: only USD $188.