I Wrote This JAMMA 48-in-1 FAQ
April 16th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

“There is… this machine!” — Nick Montfort

The machine we’re talking about today is a circuit board that lets you make your JAMMA-compatible arcade cabinet capable of playing 48 games instantly and easily. It really is an amazing piece of work, and I am going to hotlink a picture of it from Lizard Lick Amusements.

It’s a cute little guy that I’ve had the pleasure of installing and running the last couple of nights.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of JAMMA, it basically allowed arcade operators to swap circuit boards and have themselves a brand new game in a cabinet they already owned, to generate more CASH. Ops love CASH. (Usually, when swapping a board in this manner, they’d swap the marquee and control panel at the same time, but hey, not always.) JAMMA eventually had some extensions to account for the extra buttons in a Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat machine, but for the purposes of the 48-in-1 you just need three buttons wired up, a joystick, and then some for service and starting the game and so forth.

If you’d like to buy one of your own, check out the KLOV forum here, or just leave me a comment in this post. This post over at Engadget shows you how to get JAMMA going if you don’t happen to have a full-size arcade cabinet, y’know, just hangin’ around not doing anything. �For the rest of the FAQ, I’ll see you after the jump!

JAMMA 48-in-1 FAQ by Ice Cream Jonsey
Please distribute, link to, archive, and toss all over the place.
Latest update: 4/16/2008

Q: Are there other FAQs available?

Sure. For instance, this one is a little outdated, but still good:

Q: What games are available?

There is a list here:

In case that goes off-line, the lineup is:

Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Pengo, Gyruss, Mr. Do!, Pac-Man Plus, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Galaga, Frogger, Galaxian, Dig Dug, Galaga3, Ladybug, Millipede, BurgerTime, Jr. Pac-Man, Mappy, 1942, Centipede, Phoenix, Time Pilot, Super Cobra, Super Breakout, New Rally X, Arkanoid, Qix, Juno First, Xevious, Mr. Do’s Castle, Scramble, Bomb Jack, 1943, Zaxxon, Donkey Kong 3, Dig Dug 2, Crush, Tank Battalion, Hustler, Space Panic, Moon Cresta, Pinball Action, Shao-Lin’s Road, King & Balloon, Van-Van Car and Amidar.

Q: Is the manual that comes with it available as a PDF on the Internet?

Yup. Right here:

Q: What buttons do I need?

You’ll want TEST and SERVICE hooked up to something, whether it’s on your control panel or elsewhere.

The games themselves use buttons 1, 2 and 3. (3 is only used to select a starting level in Super Breakout.)

Player 1 Start is used to start the game in free play mode, and to save your settings during the setup. (I assume Player 2 start does the same for a two player game. Have not tried it yet.) The Player 2 Start button will save settings as well.

This list also says what needs what:

Q: What is the best joystick to use? (4-way/8-way)

The games that use an 8-way are 1942, 1943, Juno First, Scramble, Super Cobra, Xevious, Bomb Jack, Galaga 3, Gyruss, Time Pilot and Zaxxon. Millipede and Centipede also support 8-way movement, since they can’t use a trackball. The decision for each gamer – assuming you do not have one of those sticks that are easy to change without ripping your control panel apart – is a little sketchier control in the 4-way games versus more movement for the 8-way games. It basically comes down to what games you’ll play more, I suppose.

Some people have also installed two joysticks on their control panel, one 4-way and one 8-way, so that works too.

Q: How do I get power to the board?

You can do it through your JAMMA connector. I personally used an ATX power supply. I shorted two wires so the PS comes on every time the toggle switch on the PS is flipped, and then used the molex connector that would normally go to a hard drive. More info is about getting the ATX going is halfway down the page here:

modessitt: Also, a switching power supply can be connected to the JAMMA wiring for power.

Q: How does the VGA monitor support work?

All you need to do is plug the VGA connector on your monitor into the VGA port on the board. (And you’ll want to rotate your monitor on its side. No bars here!) If you want to use an actual arcade monitor, you’ll be going through your JAMMA connector for red, green, blue and sync.

Q: How does the CGA arcade monitor support work?

modessitt: If you are using a normal CGA arcade monitor – the sync is composite negative sync and must be hooked up that way. Also, there is a dip switch setting to use it with either standard-res or medium-res monitors.

Q: The screen image is upside down! Do I have to remove/rotate my monitor?

modessitt: No. The screen image can be flipped by switching dip switch #1 on the PCB if the picture comes up upside-down.

Q: Can you use a trackball for Centipede and Millipede?

You can’t. The 48-in-1 doesn’t support it. The 60-in-1, which is a separate board that does a lot of the same things does, though.

Q: Can you use a spinner for Arkanoid and Super Breakout?

cadillacman: As i have learned… 48-in-1 does not support a trackball or anything except a 4 or 8 way joystick. The 60 in one is supposed to support a trackball[…].

Q: Can you disable games and turn off the default music?

Yes. Hold the TEST button when you boot up, and you’ll eventually go into a menu that lets you disable games. If you disable them all but one, the PCB acts like a “dedicated” version of that game.

modessitt: These changes can only be made if the TEST button is held at boot up. If they hold the SERVICE button down, it will only show the color-grid screen, and the input test screen, not the menu screens. I normally hook the TEST wire to the S2 button, that way I can enter test at anytime I power it up without opening the coin door to get to an internal button. It will say “Setup OK” on the screen when the save is finished. and that saving can be done after all changes have been made (not necessary after each screen), but MUST be made on the volume adjust screen before moving on to the input test screen.

modessitt: If you are putting this game into an existing JAMMA cabinet that doesn’t have TEST or SERVICE buttons in it, and you don’t know how to add them – TEST mode can be entered by flipping dip switch #4 on the PCB.

Q: I want to do things like enable fast shot on Galaga and give myself 5 lives on Donkey Kong. Can that be done?

Yes. When you go into service mode, you can set the specifications for each game.

Q: The volume is too low / too high.

modessitt: There is an orange volume pot on the board that can be adjusted with a small screwdriver, and a volume adjust screen at the end of the menu that can be adjusted. I normally turn the board adjustment all the way up, then turn it down with the screen adjustment. When setting the sound on the screen, note that the music that is playing is a little softer than what the actual game sounds will be. If in doubt, play Scramble – one of the loudest games on the PCB – to see if it’s too loud.

Q: Does the 48-in-1 save high scores?

jethrokiller: I was very disappointed in the high score feature as well. It would be awesome if they would save high score AND Initials. But all the 39/48/60 in 1’s only save the top score, and no initials.

FrizzleFried: For clarity purposes: MOST/ALL games allow you to enter your initials, and even retains full scoring information WHILE POWERED. When you turn off the power all info is lost aside from the highest SCORE ONLY (no initials).

modessitt: Some games will save the highest score only with no initials. Some won’t save any. Some only save if you start another game afterwards…

Q: Are there any 2 player simultaneous games on the 48-in-1 warranting the need for two Joysticks?

“RussMyers”: 1943 is two-player simultaneous. (1942 is not two-player simul).

There is a DIP switch setting to put the system into two-player mode. I assume you need it set that way for 1943. (Need to confirm)

modessitt: The two player simultaneous will require the dip switch setting in the menu to be changed to “Upright – 2 Joysticks” for it to work. And – obviously – you will need two joysticks on your cab, with buttons for each player.

Q: Am I a bad person for disabling Donkey Kong 3?


Q: Seriously?

Fuck, no.

9 Responses  
  • Ice Cream Jonsey writes:
    April 21st, 20081:16 amat

    I am making no claim as to the reliability of the seller, but 48-in-1 boards are currently going for $80 on eBay. If they descend significantly from that, I’ll update this post.

  • Ice Cream Jonsey writes:
    August 5th, 200811:57 amat

    Also, I can confirm that Mappy only saves the high score if you play a game after you set a new high score. I feel like a four-year old playing Mappy, but what the hell, sometimes you gotta game with the lights out and the blinds drawn.

  • Bashlovesyou writes:
    August 17th, 20088:28 pmat

    I can’t get my machine to save any high scores at all. I have the CGA/VGA Jamma manual and it shows that there should be a menu option that comes up to enable game save mode, however my menu skips right to DIPSW setup for each individual game. Is there something i am doing wrong, or am i just the unlucky one who has a board that cant save scores?

  • Ice Cream Jonsey writes:
    August 18th, 200810:26 amat

    I *think* there is a physical dip switch for game saving as well? I will check tonight. I know it’ll save the top score for Donkey Kong and Qix without a hitch when it is working right. Others are fine, too, but those two I can definitely confirm work as designed when it is working correctly.

  • Robert Bowie writes:
    November 8th, 20094:41 pmat

    hi, how do you get a galaga cabinet to move up and down on the jamma board to get it out of free play?
    i cant move down beyond the first dip switch setting to get her to use coins
    Bob in Maine

  • KDJ writes:
    January 24th, 20107:38 pmat

    I have the 48-1 jamma and the dig dug II will not drill the land away on the land pegs with any of the 3 buttons. Is there a way of re-configuring the buttons for this game?

  • Monkey writes:
    May 11th, 201011:09 amat

    Any way to get each individual game to accept more credits? I can get the overall program to accept as many as I want. For example, Donkey Kong only allows one credit, when I run out of lives, thats it, no more credits allowed & it goes back to the main game selection screen. Any ides? Thanks

  • Jeff writes:
    April 7th, 20118:25 pmat

    How do you get the 48-1 to play two players?

  • steven writes:
    June 14th, 20127:33 pmat

    how do i get out of the configuration mode? with the options and settings.

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