Tron Restore

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We salvaged a 1982 Tron arcade, of which the motherboard is fried. The goal is to make it work using a normal computer inside the tron and with the MAME emulator.

  • The project code wasGitorious
  • Tron manual: File:Tron.pdf
  • 2018: The Tron has been reinstalled using a Raspberry Pi 3 and Retropie. It's now on You can upload roms on smb:// without password


The first step was to connect the screen over VGA. The problem was that modern drivers did not regonized there was a screen connected. The fix is to put resistances on the 3 colors. An other problem was getting the right modeline for the screen and having a compatible graphic card.


FIXME: Schematic of the connection

Screen pin-out:

Raspi3 HDMI - HDMI-to-VGA converter - GBS-8100 VGA-to-CGA - Arcrade monitor

File:GBS-8100 VGA-CGA Manual.pdf

J2 - 9 pin (MONITOR)

1 - RED
2 - GND
4 - GND
5 - BLUE
6 - GND
7 - KEY
8 - /HBLNK
9 - /VBLNK

Graphic Card

  • Model: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon R200 QM [Radeon 9100]
  • Driver: radeon
  • File:Xorg.conf

Tips and Tricks

The arcade should auto-launch advance launcher.

Round, red buttons switch between categories (MAME, NES, ...)

Trigger starts the game.

You want to change the game? Press both buttons, the trigger, and move the joystick UP!



The audio amp is alimented by the computer power supply (+12V DC).

Volume Control

To change the volume:

  1. Open a terminal with: Ctrl+Alt+F2
  2. Login
  3. Change the volume with the command: alsamixer
  4. Return to the game with Ctrl+Alt+F7




FIXME: Translate to english, better documentation of what we did, what problem we encountered


Remettre en état la borne d'arcarde de Tron

Tron Manual

A faire

  • Démonter la borne
  • Nettoyer et poncer la borne
  • Repeindre
  • Coller de nouveaux autocollants
  • Brancher un pc engine (ou autre) sur l'écran
  • Interfacer un pc avec les commandes de jeu => fait partielement
  • Faire marcher l'audio
  • Re-mapper la roue dans Tron
  • Cable PS/2 plus court
  • Activer les core dumps et analyser la cause des freezes (après N heures, M fois, la machine s'est retrouvée freezée)
  • Upload facilité de ROMs PD / relaunch du frontend (if not too insecure)
  • Backup!Backup!



To convince the video card that a monitor is present, you need a VGA dummy.

From [1]:

  8.10) Building a 5 BNC cable

This is straightforward, if time consuming and tedious.

The five coaxial cables (75 ohm, RG59 typical) are wired as shown in the
table.  The corresponding VGA connector pin numbers are in ().

     Coax Center         Coax Shield
    Red Video  (1)      Red Return (6)
    Green Video  (2)    Green Return (7)
    Blue Video  (3)     Blue Return (8)
    H Sync (13)         Ground (5,10)
    V Sync (14)         Ground (5,10)

Tie pin 11 (ID0) to Ground to indicate a color monitor.
Leave pin 12 (ID1) open.

Make sure that the lengths of the cables are fairly well matched - to within
a couple of inches - to assure that the 3 color channels line up precisely.
(One foot of cable is about 1.5 to 2 ns of delay which is significant for
a 10 ns dot clock!).

Also note that you will lose your 'Plug-and-Play' capabilities without the
direct control connections to the monitor (or for monitors without these

That's it!

You will wish that your fingers were about 10 times smaller than they are,
however. :-)



IMAG0126.jpg IMAG0128.jpg IMAG0129.jpg IMAG0131.jpg IMAG0132.jpg IMAG0133.jpg

Notes (2015+)

  • L'Ubuntu n'étant ni LTS, ni à jour, j'ai installé un GroovyArcade (Arch-based). On y gagne le mode texte utilisable (dès que l'initrd est chargé).
  • Avant l'update, j'ai of course imagé le HDD. Ayant des secteurs défectueux, il a été swappé.
  • J'ai court-circuité /PSON et GND, histoire que la machine soit moins galère à allumer. (Censé booter tout seul, mais non... faut toujours appuyer sur le uswitch sur le petit PCB dans la coinbox)
  • Si la machine est freezée après un message "GPIO uninitialized", verifier que des touches du claviers ne sont pas coincées, et hard-reboot

Remote Access (SSH)

Remote access is back with wireless connectivity!


It is connected to the `FIXME-NAT` network (


Personnes interessées

  • Fred, JB, Simon, François, Arnaud