GD-ROM spine labels

I got a request for a post on the spine labels I’ve done for my NAOMI GD-ROM’s. Never really thought anyone would be interested in them but wrong I was 😛

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I use a Brother QL-570 label printer and design the labels in Brother’s P-touch Editor. It’s got an express mode and a pro mode. For doing your own designs Pro mode is preferred. The GD-ROM spine measures 184 mm x 12 mm (H x W). Even though there is a 12 mm wide roll I use a 29 mm wide roll for printing the GD-ROM spine labels. The reason being that the QL-570 wants a bit of margins on all sides. For this reason I’ve also made the label 187 mm long.

GD-ROM spine labelResources

Here are a few image files for getting started. I’ve picked them all from the Intertubes and I don’t make any claims as to owning any of these.

And here’s my label design in case you want to use it 🙂

Naomi Spine Label

Sega Net City HD – part III

Going wide

In my previous attempt on an HD cabinet I was planning on using an Atomiswave SD cabinet. This proved to have more than one drawback. It could only house a 26″ monitor and the tilt of the screen was too large for providing a decent viewing angle. In the Naomi/New Net City we can squeeze in a 27″ wide screen monitor (which is much easier to come by) and it’s also more upright and since viewing angles are an issue with LCD/LED monitors this is preferred. Apart from the usual criteria when selecting a monitor; low input lag and response time, we also had the following:

  • Case (frame) had to be possible to remove.
  • Centered VESA mount directly on the panel (since the case has to go).
  • Easily detachable control panel.
  • Fast switching between 16:9 and 4:3 screen formats.

The big issue of course was how to know what the panels looked like on the inside without taking them apart? Luckily an acquaintance works for a company repairing monitors and he was able to help us in our search. In the end we let go of the fast format switching and decided on a Philips 273E3LHSB. DSC09610 As you can see from the picture above the monitor will fill up the space entirely. There’s gonna be a lot of sawing in both the bezel and the front cover! In the pictures below you can see the bare panel and how it fits behind the front cover. Notice I had to cut away the bezel entirely on the sides – maximized monitor area 😀

Part of the front cover also had to go for allowing space for the monitor.

To test the mounting and rotation I used a plywood board I had lying around. There’s plenty of space between the back and the front cover and I ended up constructing a riser for the monitor mount. I feared the monitor would become wobbly but no. It sits sturdily behind the front cover. There’s enough room around the monitor for housing the front, center and surround speakers without getting in the way when rotating the monitor. Speaking of the speakers…at the moment we’re looking at the Logitech Z-906 system. Plenty of good sound and the satellites are small enough. Only issue is how to house the sub-woofer. But more on that later.

Next up: a new lamp cover.

Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf. Achse

Akatsuki Blitzkampf (アカツキ電光戦記) is a Japanese dōjin 2D fighting game.

Originally developed by the dōjin circle SUBTLE STYLE for Microsoft Windows in April 2007. The title earned reputation both in Japan and elsewhere for its high-resolution sprites and older style gameplay.

Later on in 2007 Arcadia Magazine confirmed that the game would be launched for the arcade. The arcade version was called Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf. Achse and was released in February 2008 for the Sega NAOMI system.

Akatsuki Blitzkampf is set in a fictional future with many characters borrowing visual style from German soldiers of the World War II era. Many of the characters in Blitzkampf previously appeared in an earlier game, Akatsuki Shisei Ichigō, also by SUBTLE STYLE, released in 2003. In-game visuals supplement this sort of specific militaristic theme and environment, portrayed by the flat and somewhat cubist character portraits and story sequence images.

The game play is considered somewhat old-school in comparison to other dōjin fighter games of the time, relying more on parrying, space control and footwork than chaining combos and heavy aerial combat.

Links

Sega Net City HD – part II

Cutting it down

Our plan is to make a sit-down cabinet, much like the New Net City. So the first step in order to get a feeling for the profile of the finished cabinet was to cut the legs down.

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I shortened the legs by 338 mm. Easiest way to get the holes correct was to start with the holes for the two bolts on the base. Then mount the legs and mark up the holes for the three remaining bolts.

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With the legs in place it was time to get a glimpse of the future. Since my donor cabinet used to be a Wild Riders I had to find both a control panel surround and bucket. Luckily Johan, who sold me the cab, also had a surround and moshpit over at AO had a spare bucket lying around – et voilà – meet the Net City HD – the WIP version 😉

NCDH-WIP

The looks

Stompp and I have been throwing ideas back and forth for a long time. This is one of the mock-ups we’re working on at the moment.

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Base color of the cab is going to be gun metal gray, the bezel will be modified to fit a 27″ wide screen LED monitor and get covered with a carbon fiber vinyl (looks awesome and will be much easier to apply than an A-grade paint job).

Left, right and center speakers goes below the bezel and the VMU cover gets replaced by black speaker grid. The surround speakers will be placed where light cover is and the cover also gets replaced by a speaker grid.

The notch between the bezel and the surround speakers will get a new lamp cover and house a blue LED strip.

No Wild Rider part were harmed in the process!
No Wild Rider parts were harmed in the process!

Stompp took pity for the Wild Rider parts and some day, hopefully, they’ll go Vrooom!! again.

Next up: the monitor

Sega Net City HD – part I

Never heard of it? Well, it’s probably because it doesn’t exist – yet.

The Net City HD is a project between Jonas (Monouchi) and myself. We’ve been planning this for some while since Jonas abandoned his Atomiswave HD project a while back. The background to the project is that both of us has been wanting an HD cabinet for playing newer arcade games and also taking advantage of the many good titles developed for (or ported to) the Xbox 360.

While there are a few HD cabinets out there, like the Vewlixes and Deltas, we feel most of them are quite bulky and not too great looking. Jonas’ Atomiswave project fell short due to a number of reasons, most of them related to the monitor. So, which arcade cabinet would lend itself well as a donor for being converted into an HD cab?

The victim
The victim

We decided on the Sega Naomi Universal.

It has a more upright profile than the AWSD, it will be extremely slim removing the bulky back cover, it’s easily transformed into a sit-down cabinet, there’s plenty of room for making cool mods and last but not least – it will look AWESOME!

Looking for scrappy Naomi cabinets proved much harder than we thought. Suddenly the market was empty of them. Jonas ended up picking the short straw, getting a Wild Rider cabinet for which he had to find a whole new control panel surround since the WR of course is a special one. I was lucky to find a Virtual Striker 2002 cabinet in decent shape only a 2½ hour drive away.

The pickup

A few weeks ago my wife and I jumped in the car for picking up the Naomi at Motala Arkadhall. MAH is a place run by three arcade game/pinball enthusiasts; JFH, Larsson and priest.

Taking the Naomi apart took less than half an hour leaving some time over for coffee and a few credits!

The brainstorming

At the moment Mono’s already cut the legs on his Naomi and started with the refurb. Me, I’ve got two rooms to renovate that kinda takes priority. Meanwhile we’re throwing ideas back and forth: monitor selection, rotation mechanisms, sound system, speaker placement, electronics, wiring etc.

One thing’s for sure: there will be carbon fiber!

Next up: Cutting it down.

Dead or Alive 2 Millennium

Latest addition to the Sega Naomi stash

Traded a couple of MVS titles for a DoA 2 Millennium kit. Not that I’m a super fan of the DoA franchise and I’ll still be netbooting the game but there’s something special about the Naomi cartridges. I just love them. They look classy.

DoA2 was initially released for the Sega Naomi system in 1999 and the Millennium update a year later.

DoA2 kit

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Naomi Pi

Netbooting your Naomi is about to get Raspberry flavored. Naomi Pi 1 For a while now I’ve been thinking about different ways to netboot the Naomi. Yes, it’s quite handy being able to load games from your nearest computer but why not take it further?

How about doing it from your arcade machine? Pretty handy, no?

I had a Raspberry Pi lying around I didn’t know what to do with so I thought what if it had a display and some way to control it? After some search I found an expansion board with a 20 x 4 LCD display and some buttons from BitWizard. The Naomi Pi was born.

The general idea is to hook it up with keyboard and monitor for some easy config (setting up IP addresses the mounting NFS volume etc) and then setting it up inside the cabinet for easy loading of games.

Stay tuned for updates 😉

Sega NAOMI

Naomi Motherboard

Sega NAOMI logoThis is the first in a series of articles about the Sega NAOMI system. Later posts will cover the hardware (I just love taking things apart :P), connecting the NAOMI to JAMMA cabinets, setting up the NAOMI with a GD-ROM and netbooting (loading games from a server).

The Sega NAOMI (New Arcade Operation Machine Idea), first shown at JAMMA in September 1998, is the successor to the Sega Model 3 platform.

Sega Naomi System

It’s based on the same hardware components as the Dreamcast game console. Though the NAOMI has twice the amount of system memory and video memory and four times as much sound memory as the Dreamcast. Multiple units can be linked to improve graphics performance or to support multiple monitors. The NAOMI Universal Cabinet was developed specifically for the NAOMI system and can house up to 16 units.

GD-ROM

Sega Naomi GD-ROM reader

Another key difference between the NAOMI and the Dreamcast is how the game media is handled. The Dreamcast streams the data from the GD-ROM while the NAOMI arcade boards features 168 MB of solid state ROM or GD-ROM’s using a DIMM board and a GD-ROM reader. The contents of the disc is downloaded onto the DIMM board’s RAM on start up. Once the disc has been read the game is run from the RAM for better performance and reducing the mechanical wear on the GD-ROM reader.

Even if the system is turned off the game will load from the RAM when powered on again. Only if the game data in the RAM gets corrupted of if the system’s been powered off for about 72 hours the game will again have to be read from the GD-ROM.

Licensing

Unlike Sega’s previous arcade platforms the NAOMI was widely licensed for use by other game publishers. Besides Sega about 20 companies has produced titles for the NAOMI system including Capcom, Namco Bandai, Tecmo, Cave, Sammy, SNK, Jaleco and Koei.

Taito launched their G-Net system (based on Sony’s PlayStation hardware) the same year as the NAOMI and, as Sega, tried to license it widely to developers. While the NAOMI became a huge success the G-Net never really made it and only some 20+ titles were ever released for the G-Net.

Connecting the NAOMI to JAMMA

Capcom I/O AdapterThe NAOMI uses the newer JAMMA Video Standard (JVS) for I/O. The JVS uses a USB A port for inputs and VGA for video output. The NAOMI is able to output graphics in VGA and CGA resolutions. There are three different I/O boards available for interfacing the NAOMI with JAMMA setups. Two were manufactured by Sega and another from Capcom.

The Capcom JVS/JAMMA converter is preferable since it offers a voltage converter for the needed 3.3 V line, and audio amplifier with volume control, the JAMMA connector and a JAMMA+ kick harness compatible with CPS2 and CPS3 games.

Trivia

  • The Atomiswave system from Sammy is based on NAOMI hardware.
  • Theoritically a 16 board NAOMI system could do (16 x 3.5 mpps) = 56 million polygons/second. In reality it won’t manage more than around 20 to 30 mpps.
  • Naomi is a Japanese female name that translates to “above all beauty”.

System Specifications

CPU Hitachi SH-4 32-bit RISC CPU (200 MHz 360 MIPS / 1.4 GFLOPS)
Graphic Engine PowerVR 2 (PVR2DC)
Sound Engine ARM7 Yamaha AICA 45 MHZ (with internal 32-bit RISC CPU, 64 channel ADPCM)
Main Memory 32 MByte
Graphic Memory 16 MByte
Sound Memory 8 MByte
Media ROM Board (maximum size of 172MBytes) / GD-Rom
Simultaneous Number of Colors Approx. 16,770,000 (24bits)
Polygons 2.5 Million polys/sec
Rendering Speed 500 M pixel/sec
Additional Features Bump Mapping, Fog, Alpha-Bending (transparency), Mip Mapping (polygon-texture auto switch), Tri-Linear Filtering, Anti-Aliasing, Environment Mapping, and Specular Effect.

Game List

Game lists for the NAOMI system are available at

More info