Author Topic: Hacking multi-game arcade boards  (Read 21663 times)

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Offline kruuth

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Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« on: January 10, 2013, 12:16:04 am »
Hey, first post, and I wasn't sure where to stick this.  Anyway.  I was wondering, has anyone ever looked into hacking one of these multi-game jamma arcade boards like the 138 or 352 in 1?  They're running a version of *nix and checking the games listing against some sort of encrypted checksum files on an SD card.  Thoughts/ideas?

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 01:03:28 am »
Hey, welcome to Omnimaga! I'd say this is pretty much the right place to put this. Now when you say multi-game arcade boards are you reffering to like the atari controllers with a whole slew of games built in, Arcade machines with multiple games on them, or something else? I've never seen a topic here about such an endeavor, but that is not to say that no one here has attempted it.  What exactly are you wanting to do, modify it so you can run different games? It's probably doable, it just depends on how things are set up and if the board has writeable memory.

Offline Keoni29

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 06:36:19 am »
I think other forums have more users that have experience with the arcade boards you're talking about.
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Offline kruuth

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 06:17:02 pm »
I'd love to find one.  Unfortunately everyone seems to put their hands up on this.

What I know is that it is running everything off the SD card.  There's some sort of serial number on the SD, and then there's a checksum for the games listing.  I don't even know where to begin.

Offline willrandship

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 07:53:31 am »
What's the brand name?

I actually had a 5-in-1 arcade thing, but it did real hardware, either emulation via FPGA or just an ASIC with all the stuff inside.

Yours sounds like much more fun. Have you got a directory listing to show?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 07:53:51 am by willrandship »

Offline kruuth

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 07:26:50 pm »
I think it's Ting Le or something like that.  If you google "138 in 1 Jamma"  You'll see it.

Offline Mighty Moose

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 10:17:29 pm »
This might be a good place to start, as well as here.

It's called a XingYe (or XingLi, I can't tell) 138-in-1 JAMMA board.

According to the first site, the *nix version you mention is just a gzipped kernel and ramdisk on an arm board ("FriendlyARM") - linux 2.6.36, to be exact.  The blog post provides a readout of the bootscript and filesystem.  It looks like it would be fairly easy to construct your own replacement kernel/zImage/bootscript/etc if you so desired, assuming you have a little experience in those areas.

The second site is just a forum that the first article points to; you may be able to find more answers to your question(s) there.

Have fun and good luck!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 10:21:21 pm by Mighty Moose »
Cheers!
I beta test, so...yeah.  PM me if you want me to test anything :D.

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Offline kruuth

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 10:25:04 pm »
I know.  I have been in contact with him.  There isn't much more about it.

Offline Mighty Moose

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 10:35:30 pm »
What exactly do you want to do with the board?  Also, I'm just curious, but how much do you know about the hardware of this board?
Cheers!
I beta test, so...yeah.  PM me if you want me to test anything :D.

Almost only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades.

Cogito ergo sum.

Calcs:
TI-84+, OS 2.43, Boot Code 1.02, 128k RAM
TI-84+SE VSC, OS 2.43, Boot Code 1.00, 128k RAM  (I'm spoiled :P)
TI-81, OS 1.6K (only borrowed)
Casio fx-CG10 (Prizm), OS 01.04.0200
TI-Nspire Clickpad, OS 1.4
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Offline kruuth

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 10:39:19 pm »
I know the CPU, the linux version, the frontend, the version of mame, etc.
What I want to do is be able to copy the SD card, and add/remove games.

Offline Mighty Moose

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 10:51:34 pm »
Granted, I'm no expert, but the first thing that sticks out in my mind is attempting to get your own custom code to run on the device.  I'm assuming you have access to the sd card and can read/write/modify files on it.  Is there anything preventing you from doing so?  As long as you have a backup of the original files on the card, you shouldn't have to worry about screwing anything up.  Also, is there a toolchain or compiler out there for this board?  At best, you may be able to load your own code through the current kernel through some hex editing or an exploit or something along those lines.  At worst, you could end up compiling your own kernel and version of mame, which isn't the end of the world.  IDK if any of this helps at all, but right now I'm just thinking through how I would approach something like this.
Just my two cents.
Cheers!
I beta test, so...yeah.  PM me if you want me to test anything :D.

Almost only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades.

Cogito ergo sum.

Calcs:
TI-84+, OS 2.43, Boot Code 1.02, 128k RAM
TI-84+SE VSC, OS 2.43, Boot Code 1.00, 128k RAM  (I'm spoiled :P)
TI-81, OS 1.6K (only borrowed)
Casio fx-CG10 (Prizm), OS 01.04.0200
TI-Nspire Clickpad, OS 1.4
TI-Nspire Clickpad, OS 3.1.0.392
TI-Nspire CAS Clickpad, OS 1.6.10110 (!?) now OS 3.1.0.392

Offline kruuth

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2013, 11:33:02 pm »
Correct.  It has an edge connector for CGA and a VGA port, however, I have not had much luck getting my own code to run outside of one or two things on the screen popping up.

Offline willrandship

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2013, 04:16:17 am »
If you have access to the SD card, why not tell us what's on it? That could help. After all, if it's just Linux on the thing without any special gimmicks, you could just send new binaries to /usr/bin, set it up so it goes to a shell, and you're good to go.

Offline kruuth

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2013, 06:53:36 pm »
I tried that...problem is getting it to output to the VGA or CGA.  That seems to be the big hangup right now.  I need to order another one as I had to ship the old one back to the owner.

Offline kruuth

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Re: Hacking multi-game arcade boards
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2013, 06:24:47 pm »
There is some custom stuff...but it's running FriendlyArm and the only way I can get things going onto the screen is to pipe it out to /dev/tty1.

It looks like the rcS file is mostly commented out but it calls three things

/bin/dorb
/etc/rc.d/init.d/mkjoy
/bin/xswinit

then runs the shell script that starts the frontend.