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Categories: 6 Days Of X-Men

X-Men, Part Five: Wiring Everything Up

stormThe basic components of most arcade games are basically the same: power, processor, input (controls) and output (audio and video.) Our 6-player X-Men is no different, except that some of the components are big and/or customized. We’ll save the controls for tomorrow and look at the rest of the innards today.

First, a big screen for a big game:


42″ LCD panel. Its image is just as wide as the combined image produced by the two original 25″ monitors.

To amplify the stereo sound, we installed two custom audio amp boards, designed especially for Ground Kontrol’s arcade games by Clay Cowgill:


Custom audio amp PCBs by Clay Cowgill. Note the GK ship silkscreened on each one!

A couple of Pyle car stereo speakers completes the “slimline” cab’s A/V components.

The original marquee, being 4′ long (!), was lit by two 18″ fluorescent tubes, standard hardware for arcade games in the ’90s. This being the 21st century, we’ve got a higher-tech option: Cold-Cathode Fluorescent Lamps, or CCFLs, known to computer geeks everywhere as the light sources for case mods.


Two pairs of CCFLs mounted on a white backing to distribute them and reflect light towards the artwork, which will be placed in front.


Their light output is more than enough to illuminate the entire marquee, while they consume less energy and last longer than standard fluorescent tubes.

On to Part Six: Adapting The Controls

  1. Right, but how did you wire the tv to get the gameplay so fluid?

  2. I’m curious too–how did you wire up the monitor to combine/display the signals normally sent to 2 different monitors?

  3. I am in the process of setting one one these up, how did you get the dual video signals, one being mirrored to present so well on one screen?

    Christopher Diviaio