Monday, October 24, 2016

HOW TO: Use PIUIO with Stepmania 5 and OpenITG


Once you have installed the drivers for PIUIO on your system, you will need the software to be able to interact with your PIU drivers. PIUIO drivers are natively supported in Stepmania 5 and OpenITG. There may be older flavours of Stepmania which include PIUIO support, but your mileage may vary.

1. Open the file: (Stepmania.ini - OpenITG or Preferences.ini - Stepmania 5). TIP: Make sure Static.ini does NOT contain this line as it'll override the setting if so.

2. Find the line that begins with: "InputDrivers=". Modify this line so that it begins with PIUIO after the equal sign.
I.e. "InputDrivers=DirectInput" should now read: "InputDrivers=PIUIO,DirectInput". (No spaces and case sensitive)
This tells Stepmania/OpenITG that we want to add PIUIO as an optional input driver IN ADDITION to DirectInput (A standard keyboard (Handled by Direct3D))

3. Still within this file, find the line that begins with: "LightsDriver=" Modify this line so that it begins with PIUIO after the equal sign.
I.e. "LightsDriver=" should now read: "LightsDriver=PIUIO". (No spaces and case sensitive)
This tells Stepmania/OpenITG that we want to use PIUIO to manage the lights for the arcade cabinet.


BONUS ANNOYANCE: Disable Floor Panels from Selecting Songs in the Song Menu Screen
1. Open the file: (Stepmania.ini - OpenITG or Preferences.ini - Stepmania 5). TIP: Make sure Static.ini does NOT contain this line as it'll override the setting if so.

2. Find the line that begins with: "OnlyDedicatedMenuButtons="
Modify this line so that it reads: "OnlyDedicatedMenuButtons=1"

Installing PIUIO Drivers for Windows


If you're building an MK6/MK9 for Pump It Up, or, OpenITG for In The Groove, or, simply a Stepmania setup... You may have opted for using a PIUIO to communicate with your arcade cabinet. If running a distribution of Linux, then installing PIUIO is a very simple task. However, if your are running Windows, you will need to build the driver yourself using Libusb.

Installing PIUIO on Windows
1. Download libusb-win32 here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/libusb-win32/ libusb-win32 is a port of the USB library libusb-0.1 (http://sf.net/projects/libusb/) for 32/64bit Windows (2k, XP, 2003, Vista, Win7, 2008; 98SE/ME for v0.1.12.2). The library allows user space applications to access many USB device on Windows.

2. Unzip libusb-win32 and run inf-wizard.exe (This will build a Windows driver for PIUIO).

3. Connect your PIUIO to your computer via USB (The fake PCI slot on the PIUIO is merely to sit it in a desktop computer properly, it does not communicate with a PC via PCI in any way at all.). To power the PIUIO, it will need power via Molex cable. If using a laptop, then you can use an old PC ATX power supply to power the PIUIO board via the molex connector. You will need to jump a couple of pins in the ATX connector to start the power supply once it's plugged in (This acts like a power switch on a desktop computer to start the power supply! More info: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-power-up-an-ATX-Power-Supply-without-a-PC/).

4. Hit next in inf-wizard.exe. Within the list, you are looking for a USB device called EZ-USB FX2... This is the PIUIO! Select it in the list, then hit next twice. We can now build a windows driver! Choose where you want to save the driver to (The driver is an INF file).

5. You can then install the PIUIO driver via inf-wizard.exe on the last screen, or, within Device Manager.


Getting PIUIO to detect within Stepmania 5 or OpenITG
Click here to learn how to use PIUIO with Stepmania 5 / OpenITG.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

HOW TO: Building a Pump It Up Arcade MK6 v1 Main Logic Board


This blog post provides technical information on how to put together a Pump It Up MK6 v1 arcade main logic board.

Why Choose MK6v1?
Throughout the years of Pump It Up AC releases, we have seen many main boards such as: MK1, MK3, MK5, MK6v1, MK6v2 (aka MK7), MK9v1 and MK9v2 (MK9v2 being the latest at time of writing). In short, the MK6 v1 allows the widest selection of playable arcade games, allowing Exceed 2 through to Prime (Yes, with 2-4GB, F2/Prime do run correctly). MK1 - MK5 have proprietary hardware and while being costly to build, it will only support older games. MK6v2/MK9v1/MK9v2 boards do not have the correct sound chips to provide sound in games such as Exceed 2, Zero and NX.

FACTORY INFO
The MK6v1 was originally Shipped with Exceed 2, Zero, and some NX cabinets. When taking a peek inside a factory MK6v1, you will expect to see the following:
  • Motherboard: GA-8IPE1000MK (rev. 1.x)
  • CPU: Socket 478 Intel Celerons
  • RAM: 128MB or 256MB DDR1 (varies)
  • HDD: 160GB+ HDD (Exceed 2 - NX used IDE stock drives... NXA and onwards used SATA)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 AGP (The factory videocard is very unreliable due to a defective heatsink design. Replacing with a retail / off-the-shelf card is strongly recommended. The vast majority of surviving MK6s do not have their original videocard)
  • IO: Official USB PIUIO and JAMMA Interface
  • Security: A USB security dongle.


COMPATIBLE PARTS LIST for the BEST UPGRADE
Here is a list of compatible parts in order to obtain the BEST upgrade when building an MK6v1 main board. If you purchase different hardware to these listed, then the official drives will not boot as they require specific hardware to run correctly. In some cases, they may boot, but have side-effects like no sound.
  • Motherboard/s: Gigabyte GA-8IG1000MK (rev 1.X or 2.X) or GA-8IPE1000MK (rev. 1.x) - These motherboards have the necessary Realtek ALC655 CODEC sound chip for Exceed 2, Zero and NX. Otherwise, games will not have sound.
  • Processor: Pentium 4 Socket 478 - 3.4 GHz, 800 MHz FSB (MAX on both boards)
  • RAM: 4GB DDR SDRAM 400mhz PC3200 (MAX RAM SETUP on both boards) - More Info
  • RAM Notes: Exceed 2 through to Prime and Infinity (1GB is fine... More RAM (2GB) required for Fiesta 2 and up)
  • Video Card: Geforce FX5200 256mb AGP (Low Profile Preferred to fit in case - Not Essential). Any memory (128mb, 256mb etc), any manufacturer (Pny etc) and any output type (VGA, DVI etc) will work.
  • HDD: Image official drive (with security dongle) or put in any IDE or SATA drive to run emulators like StepF2
  • IO: Official USB PIUIO and JAMMA Interface
  • Security: A matching HDD USB security dongle for an official mix, or no security required when using emulation.


EMULATION
Of course, if you are ONLY interested in building a system for emulation (Running Stepmania, StepF2 etc), then there is really no point spending more money on old MK6 hardware. You would be better off buying something current as it would be not only easier to find, but also cheaper. Again, you will not be limited by the limitation imposed by old motherboards and such. It's also the cheapest option! You would just need to purchase a J-PAC (or something similar) to get your computer to "talk" with the arcade cabinet. The J-PAC is a replacement for BOTH the PIUIO AND the PIU Jamma Interface parts.

The best (and most expensive) solution would be to build an MK6v1 machine as outlined in this post and also place a secondary drive inside the system. You could install Windows XP SP3 on this secondary drive (I say Windows XP due to the old hardware, so it would run faster than Windows 7,8,10 etc - and also Windows, because StepF2 is Windows only software and is a really great pump it up simulator). I personally have a bunch of ~160GB drives will many OS' and games pre-installed. It's very easily to swap them out when you want to play a different mix. The possibilities are endless!