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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend Project - XB360 to Jamma

After finally receiving Mushihimesama Futari for XB360 in the mail last week (14 days shipping!), I took some time this weekend to get my XB360 hooked up proper to my Exceleena cab.

Used xbox controllers were $20 each from gamestop (what a ripoff!), $10 project box from Fry's, a fingerboard I had laying around, and two 12 position barrier strips from Radio Shack.

Connected the two barrier strips together with quick-zip ties, disassembled the joysticks and soldered wires to the digital controls. Next, drilled and trimmed the fingerboard, and soldered wires onto it. Then ran both sets of wires to the 12 position barrier strip, which is just enough for 1 joystick, 6 buttons, 1 start, and 1 ground.

Why did I use a barrier strip? This allowed me to rewire the button configuration if I needed, and ended up having to do this after I finished the project. I initially wired the buttons to match the XB360 Street Fighter IV tournament stick, but realized afterwards that arcade cabinets have A,B,C buttons on the top row, not the bottom row. Also standard jamma only supports 3 buttons (some cabs support 4), so I ended up mapping A,B,X,Y buttons to the first 4 in the jamma connector.

Next was to take out the dremmel and trim my project box so I could mount the fingerboard between the two end screws, and have it still close properly. It was a tight fit, and just barely got everything squeezed inside this small box.

Final touch was to drill two strain relief holes for the controller plugs right at the seam, and close it up. And here is the final product.

Since I plan to play the XB360 on my Exceleena cab, there was no need for audio or video to the jamma box, all that would be taken care of via the cab's vga connector and stereo amplifier. But to make this really jamma compatible, future enhancements could include my Ultracade UVC converter to downscale 480p to 15khz or 24khz, and a mono amp, although that requires 12v from somewhere. Lastly, I'd probably wire a capcom kickharness to use the lower 3 buttons properly if I wanted to play some fighter games.

Anyway, here we are in hires shmupping goodness!

Update: I have since made one more modification to this converter which makes it a bit safer to operaate!


  1. So impressive!!! I wish I had your tech skills!

    That Exceleena is awesome! I could just look at that cab for hours and not even play it! LOL!

  2. Thanks for this post!
    It's awesone!!! :)
    Ciao from Italy

  3. Very impressive! Any lag?

  4. Thanks guys. :) Nope, no lag at all, but I did not hack the analog triggers. 6 digital buttons is more than enough for my cab.

  5. hey dude, do u know if its possible to fit a Namco Exceleena like this through a standard doorway? Is it able to be dismantled to fit?

    nice blog by the way keep it up

  6. Mike, it is possible, but not without a lot of work. Standard interior doorways are 29" wide. If you take the blue plastic sides off the Exceleena, the metal frame is still 29 1/2 wide, so you'd have to unbolt and remove the control panel frame up front as well, making it 28" front to back, and slide it through sideways.

    Good luck, these are great sounding cabinets.

  7. Any idea what one would weigh minus the monitor.Ive got to try to get one upstairs, so Im going to leave the monitor out and take off as much as possible, do you think it'll be possible with 2 adults?

  8. Hi endoe. If you remove the monitor from the cab, then the frame is very light, one person can move it up stairs no problem. The hard part is just removing all the outside plastic parts to fit through a doorway.

  9. ..and by one person I mean using the handles on the back, and pulling the cab up one step at a time. With two people (second person lifting from the bottom) is possible as well.

  10. Any chance I can pay you to make me one of these? Trying to do this with my exceleena 2?

  11. Sorry, I don't have time. Does your exceleena2 already have a tri-sync monitor that can accept a VGA signal? If not, then you're going to need some more equipment to downscale 480p to 240p.

  12. It does, but no worries, I found a solution. Thanks! =)