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SoftWare for 25kHz Monitor  

      This was the most difficult part of the entire project due to the 25kHz monitor. There are several ways to fix the unusual medium resolution problem. The way I went for was the cheapest, free. I did not want to buy a new monitor or get a scan converter. Lucky for me there is the software AdvanceMame and the front end AdvanceMenu.  This software actually changes the scan rate output of the video card, hence you must have a compatible video card. My video card was the Radeon 8500. As far as the emulator for mame I found this to be the only option. Most of the emulators and front ends work with the 15kHz monitors, but not the 25kHz. I had to use AdvanceMenu for the front end also since ArcadeOS and the others I used were for 15kHz only.

      Windows operates at a high scan rate, this means no windows on the monitor or it will eventually destroy it. I have the computer boot into AdvanceMenu automatically and when I exit from AdvanceMenu, the computer goes to DOS. I used Windows 98 Second Edition, since it uses the latest version of DOS. Using the DOS versions of AdvanceMenu and AdvanceMame means that I had to edit my autoexec.bat and config.sys files to load appropriate drivers and run properly. I have copied my configuration files, since a lot of people leave this out of their websites, this should make it easier for the DOS dummies like myself.

 

AUTOEXEC.BAT

SET PATH=%PATH%;C:\PROGRA~1\ATITEC~1\ATICON~1
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H7 P330 T6                                   Generic line for all Sound Blaster cards
SET SBPCI=C:\SBPCI
C:\SBPCI\SBLOAD
C:\SBPCI\SBINIT
C:\WINDOWS\FASTVID.EXE 011                                            I don't think this works but it doesn't hurt
C:\MAME\CONTRIB\OPTIMOUS\CTMOUSEP.COM                     Load mouse driver in DOS
LOADHIGH C:\WINDOWS\SMARTDRV.EXE C+ 8192                     Allows more memory in DOS  ;
C:\                                                                                    Goes to root C:
CD MAME                                                                          Changes directory to mame
ADVMENU.EXE                                                                  Runs AdnanceMenu in DOS
SET BLASTXX=AXXX IXX DX HX PXXX T6
SET SBPCI=C:\SBPCI
 

CONFIG.SYS

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS NOVCPI                                                            DOS=HIGH,UMB                                                                             Runs DOS with lots of memory, which you need!
FILES=40
BUFFERS=40
DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\ANSI.SYS
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\SETVER.EXE


MSDOS.SYS

[Options]
BootMulti=1                     
BootGUI=0                             
Computer boots to DOS only, you have to manually start windows
Logo=0                                   When windows loads up the stupid WIN98 logo does not show up
DoubleBuffer=1
AutoScan=1
WinVer=4.10.2222
 

      

Once I figured out all the configuration files for DOS and windows, I had to configure the AdvanceMame and AdvanceMenu. The front end and the emulator must be configured to output the 25kHz needed for the monitor. Advcfg and advv are the scan rate converters for advancemame. Advmenuc and advmenuc are the scan rate converter files for advancemenu. All of these must be done separately for the monitor to display the correct picture for the front end along with the emulator. I only manually changed two lines in advmenu.rc, and I had to change one line in the advmame.rc file. For some reason when I unzipped the original DOS emulator and front end it needed some additional folders to operate correct. I copied all the folders from my old windows mame from my other computer and put then in the new mame folder for my arcade, and then it all worked out. The way that I did it was to have a computer monitor beside the arcade monitor, and only plug in the arcade monitor when the actual test screen was suppose to be on the screen (the test screen is the one with all the gridlines). This took a while to get it to work successfully on the monitor, with a picture I was happy with. To get the correct picture is not entirely up to the software, I had to do some fiddling with the picture adjusting knobs on the actual arcade monitor. It turns out that the monitor works perfectly. I know when I bought it, it had not been used for about four years and the guy that sold it to me said the monitor probably did not work. I also have copied my configuration files for AdvanceMenu and AdvanceMame. I put arrows (<<<<) beside the lines that I had to change.

ADVMAME.RC       ADVMENU.RC    

        I used the picture size of 512X384.  Arcade games come in all different shapes and sizes, but AdvanceMame automatically finds the best fit for your monitor.  Once in AdvanceMame hit the tab button for the menu to pop up and then go to video and hit enter.  This solved all my problems :-) I set all games to 512X384 and then when the few occasional games look odd I can fix them.  This way the entire monitor screen is used.

 

          

       Since all of this was completed I needed something to do so it was time for some "power ups".  I bought 3 DVD's full of all the games for version 74 from Lazarus.  I verified the roms with ClrMame Pro and it checked out. $14.50 + 7 days = 4,123 roms!!  I also got the History.dat file.  You just download the file and unzip it directly to your mame folder, that's it.  Now when I play a game I can go to the menu and view the history.  HighScore.dat was next on the list.  High score file allows you to save your high score after quitting the game.  This was just as easy as the history file.  You download the file and unzip to your mame folder and presto, high scores that remain forever.  The only thing about the high score was that some of the games do not work with highscore.dat, so you also have to download the nvram files, which conveniently go into your nvram folder, which is in the mame folder! The last thing on the hit list was the information file mameinfo.dat.  Works the same as the rest of the dat files.

 

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