Wireless MAME – part 1, introduction

For those of you who don’t know, MAME stands for Multi Arcade Machine Emulator.  This probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “mame,” but just think of it as a way to play old video games, Galaga, PacMan, etc on your computer.  As my wife and I have used a computer as a substitute for cable for close to a year now (that could be an article in itself), it only made sense that I should use it for a gaming system as well.  If you’re wondering why this makes sense, this post might not be for you, but I still appreciate you reading.

finished Wireless MAME controller

Finished Product, Canada Dry optional.

Although it would be cheaper, definitely in time, most likely in money as well, to buy a controller to do this, I decided to build one myself.  Actually, for some reason, I thought it would be cheaper to build it myself – I now don’t think that’s true.  Actually I’m sure it’s not true – especially if you don’t have a well equipped shop.

The thing that is unique about this setup is that it’s totally wireless.  Although people have certainly built cabinets (or “cab” in MAME-speak) that utilize a wireless keyboard or controller, I don’t think there’s a lot on the internet about this.  Also, I don’t think this would qualify as a true “cab” since it’s not self-contained like what you would see at Pizza Overlord.  The reason that I chose to go wireless was simply because I had an old wireless Microsoft keyboard (keyboard model # 1014, receiver model # 1028) lying around that I could use for parts.

wireless mame setup

Finished cabinet in action. Evie was apparently entralled with Metal Slug.

I plan to go over the mechanical design first and then the electrical.  That’s more or less the thought process I went through at least after the thought “I have an unused wireless keyboard, I wonder what I could do with it.”  Actually, you’ll probably see that after you’ve made that decision, there’s really not much else to decide on the electrical side…  But that’s for another post.

About Jeremy S Cook

Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!
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