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AtGames Legends Ultimate with PC mod build


Neosoul
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Got a AtLegends Ultimate and wondering what you'll need to run a PC inside it with some real horsepower AND get the controls to work? Got everything working and did a write-up on Reddit. Wanted to share the info here with my friends at LaunchBox as well :)

 

Hi!

Just modded my ALU 1.1 for PC emulation. I found some nice add-ons that bring the power switch and USB switcher outside the cabinet that makes this easy to boot and switch controls from ALU to PC without moving the cabinet. I'm hoping this write up will save someone trying to do the same thing some time.

The only real permanent cabinet modification is to the power port in the back, but I used it to route a power strip internally, so you shouldn't need to ever reverse it.

Some pictures of the modified insides and the cable.

My goals:

1. Be able to play EVERY *playable* MAME title - happy to test out whatever titles for you but the 5600G has been amazing.
2. Utilize ALL of the controls on the ALU (All the buttons, spinner, paddles etc.)
3. Reversible and have the ALU work/look stock in case I'm not around and the kiddies just want to play it from the Out Of The Box experience.
4. Minimal setup to launch (auto scrape images, auto launch, auto login etc.)

Shopping list:

* PC - alternatively, you can simply mount an all-in-one mini PC like this mobile 5560U one on the top.
   * AMD-based 5600G Ryzen mITX PC. (The 5600G is only $120!), AsRock B550 motherboard - only $120 as well, DDr4 memory and a 2TB NVME drive (if you want all CHD's and mame roms, it will be slightly larger than 1.1TB). Pico power supply if you want it neater.
   * Power switch extension with USB and audio jacks
   * USB switcher with 4 ports input and USB 3.0 support
   * Nice to have: USB mounts for future expansion, USB charging.
   * https://www.buystuffarcades.com/products/flat-hdmi-and-usb-cables-with-caps-for-atgames-legends-ultimate (for version 1.1 people without the benefit of having HDMI in the back)
* Power (if someone could find a C13 with mounting bracket to C14, we could skip a few cables):
   * 8 Port power strip w/ 4 USB and 1 USB C
   * C14 to C13 power with mounting holes
   * C14 to NEMA 5-15R cable
   * Right angle NEMA 5-15P power cord
* Misc:
   * [Scotch hook and loop - crazy strong] -I used this to mount everything except the PC (which it can). The adhesive is strong enough for my engine bay which runs extremely hot and has been through -30C without issue. A great alternative to screwing stuff in.

Power cable slot modification:

So modification of the power port was the hardest part. I was feeling everything out since there were no guides on this setup so I unfortunately didn't take any pictures. But with a Dremel and a multi purpose cutting bit, you can cut through the plastic pretty easy.

After removing the small PCB board with a screw driver, the C14-C13 with mounting holes WIDTH will go almost exactly between the two mounting points! Then from the OUTSIDE, insert the plug inward. Do not cut larger than the two tabs and you're all set. Using a 1/16" drill bit, you can pre-tap the plastic and even re-use the screws (again, from the OUTSIDE). Then use a liquid adhesive of your choice on the INSIDE and it will hold up plugging in AND removing the plug.

Now it's just a manner of daisy chaining everything: The new female C14, to the installed male C14 with NEMA 5-15R receptacle and plugging the power strip into that.

Installing the USB switcher and Power switch extension:

Here are the wiring diagrams.

The power switch extension is pretty self explanatory but essentially you are wiring in the POWER ON/OFF toggle switch on your motherboard and the device in the link even gives you the option to run USB ports and audio. This is extremely useful because you can have an extension of the USB ports to the PC without them being switched for things like a USB boot device or USB receiver for a keyboard.

The USB switcher will switch up to 4 USB devices between two hosts. The two hosts here are the PC and control unit (?) of the ALU (the blackbox inside the cabinet). This allows you to intercept all of the joystick controls via USB port to the PC. The USB switch has a switcher cable and a USB-C power cable (which is why I got a USB C power strip to mount internally). It will default to HOST 1 when it loses power, so depending on your preference (PC or ALU), set that to PORT 1/HOST 1. NOTE# Powering off the ALU via the front power button will NOT power off everything since the power extension is still receiving power from the wall.

Optionally I mounted two of these dual USB port mounts right under the control sticks. For each USB extension mounts, one port I ran to the USB switcher, the other I ran into power strip. The will give it power and connectivity for things like light guns later.

Configuring the PC for MAME/LaunchBox:

LaunchBox is super easy to setup and get scraping. I obviously can't talk about where to get MAME roms, but I suggest that as well as the CHD and ART packs. I also recommend the MAME nonag binary which prevents the nag screen about the rom on bootup: https://forums.launchbox-app.com/files/file/3270-mame-no-nag-updated-monthly-current-version/

To get the PC to autologin use Microsoft's official autologin app: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autologon

To get BigBox to start on startup, WINKEY+R (to get the run command) and type in: shell:startup - stick the BigBox icon in there and you're good to go.

In MAME, to use the trackball, you need to enable Multi-mouse in the advanced options. Then set MAME to use the mouse in the input settings.

Stable Controller ID mapping (keeping Player 1 as Player 1):

One of the most frustrating parts of the setup was having either the mouse/trackball become mouse1/2 or the joysticks swapping left to right. Luckily MAME has a fix built in. And CoinOps has a great video on this as well. Essentially it identifies the controller/mouse/lightgun and forces it to become player 1 everytime even if Windows swaps it.

I've included my sample ctrlr .cfg file so you can see the formatting etc.

atlegends.cfg

The trickiest part is selecting the correct portion of the device ID listed by MAME for certain devices like my mouse. For example, this is what MAME found as a device for my mice:

 

        Input: Adding mouse #0: HID-compliant mouse (device id: \\\\?\\HID#VID\_046D&PID\_C52B&MI\_01&Col01#8&2f757154&0&0000#{378de44c-56ef-11d1-bc8c-00a0c91405dd})
    
        Input: Adding mouse #1: HID-compliant mouse (device id: \\\\?\\HID#VID\_0838&PID\_8918&MI\_00#9&21f3476e&0&0000#{378de44c-56ef-11d1-bc8c-00a0c91405dd})

To get that device line to recognized by MAME, I ultimately got this (launch MAME in command line to get Device IDs (mame -v > output.txt):

<mapdevice device="\*\*VID\\\_046D\\\&amp;PID\\\_C52B\\\&amp;MI\\\_01\*\*" controller="MOUSECODE\\\_1" />  


<mapdevice device="\*\*VID\\\_0838\\\&amp;PID\\\_8918\\\&amp;MI\\\_00\*\*" controller="MOUSECODE\\\_2" />  


Notice how I stripped out everything after the **MI\_00/01**. I also replace all the ampersands (&) with ($amp;) otherwise MAME would not recognize it e.g:

VID\_046D\*\*&**PID\_C52B**&\*\*MI\_01

became:

VID\_046D\*\*\&amp;**PID\_C52B**\&amp;\*\*MI\_01

&#x200B;

And that's it! Happy modding!

Edited by Neosoul
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is great I am attempting a similar build. I am stuck and confused as to how do i get the joysticks and the other controls to work along with my pc. Can you give me a rundown as far as how to do this. Do I need to get a device similar to an IPAC to run the controls through. Please I am stuck at this point on my build. Thanks in advance. 

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On 1/6/2023 at 4:19 PM, fireflip34 said:

This is great I am attempting a similar build. I am stuck and confused as to how do i get the joysticks and the other controls to work along with my pc. Can you give me a rundown as far as how to do this. Do I need to get a device similar to an IPAC to run the controls through. Please I am stuck at this point on my build. Thanks in advance. 

The instructions are in the post but essentially you are moving the usb connection from the ALU to your PC. To facilitate this easier I got the USB switcher. The PC will recognize all of the devices automatically (or at least it did in my windows 11 build)

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7 hours ago, Neosoul said:

The instructions are in the post but essentially you are moving the usb connection from the ALU to your PC. To facilitate this easier I got the USB switcher. The PC will recognize all of the devices automatically (or at least it did in my windows 11 build)

Can you share some actual pics of how you ran everything it would be easier if I actually saw how you did it it would make it easier to understand 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all your help so I am am about 95% done the last thing i am stuck on is mapping the ALU to work on mame can you tell me where you put the cfg files i am running mame 0.251 I know it needs to go on a notepad I just dont know exactly where to put them Can you guide me through this last part? TIA

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