There was a time when we thought that all JAMMA wiring harnesses were created equal. We would just order them from whatever vendor was the cheapest or that we were purchasing other parts from at the time. That all changed recently when we received one that was an absolute mess. The harness connector was labeled in a language other than English, the colors did not match the standard color layout, it was missing wires in key pins, and it did not have terminals on the ends of the wires among other issues. After working with that harness, we have discovered that JAMMA harnesses are indeed different and there is one in particular that we think is the best. In this post, we will discuss the JAMMA harness that we recommend and where you can purchase it.
Buying A New JAMMA Harness? This One Is The BEST!
Now, you may be asking yourself, “What in the world is JAMMA?” If this is the case, we highly recommend that you check out our post on Getting Familiar With The JAMMA Standard before you continue. This post will give you a basic overview of what the JAMMA standard is and how the harness works.
So, after using many different JAMMA harnesses from a variety of vendors, we have found that the Retroarcade.us / Holland Computers JAMMA Full Cabinet Wiring Harness is the best. Below you will find the many reasons why we recommend this harness.
One of the main benefits of this JAMMA harness over many others that we have used is that the pinouts are printed on the harness connector in English. Many harnesses that we have worked with will have the pinouts labeled in another language which is not helpful unless you read that particular language. While you can always print out the JAMMA pinouts from our website, having them on the harness connector makes wiring your cabinet MUCH easier. Some vendors will place or provide a peel-and-stick label to go on top of the harness connector which is helpful when you initially wire up your cabinet. However, we have found that these labels tend to fall off over time which adds to the trash that accumulates at the bottom of your cabinet and makes it useless if you need to know the pinouts while the game is on location. Printing the pinouts on the harness connector gets around both of these problems and ensures that the pin locations will be preserved for years to come.
Another reason why we think this JAMMA harness is the best is that the colors all match the common JAMMA standard. For example: the +5 VDC wire is red, the +12 VDC is yellow, all of the ground wires are black, etc. While this may seem like a minor thing, it can help you quickly identify the wire that you need when you are looking at the bundle of harness wires from the opposite end of the edge connector. Speaking of the voltage wires, this harness uses heavier gauge wire on these pins (18 gauge for the power supply, 22 gauge for the rest of the wires) in order to ensure better throughput and connectivity. We also appreciate that they include a wire for the -5 VDC line as well as many older games rely on this in order for the audio or other parts of the board to work properly.
It can be frustrating to receive a JAMMA harness and see some slots that are missing the pins and wires. This harness includes pins and wires for all slots including buttons 4 and 5 for both players 1 and 2. These are often missing from JAMMA harnesses as the JAMMA standard originally only had support for 3 buttons. Several boards expanded that functionality in the 90s to allow for more buttons to be available for each player. Since these pins and wires are installed on this harness, there is no need for you to break out tools such as an edge connector pin, wiring, wire strippers, and a crimper which will save you a lot of time on your projects. This harness also comes with all of the quick disconnect terminals installed and the grounding loop, or daisy chain, for the control panel crimped which is another big time saver.
Finally, we can’t say enough about the quality of this harness. All of the wires are soldered and then wrapped with heat shrink to the pins on the harness connector which strengthens their connection and prevents them from detaching. We’ve had several JAMMA harnesses in the past where the wires would come right off the pins because they were not soldered properly during the production process. By soldering AND heat shrinking the wires to the pins, it ensures that they will not come loose unless an incredible amount of pressure is applied. It’s this type of quality and reliability that we really appreciate in this JAMMA harness.
When you have several games on location on an arcade route, you can’t afford to have issues. Problems like wires detaching from pins on a JAMMA harness can cause you a lot of headaches even if they save you some money upfront. Making sure that you buy quality parts like the Retroarcade.us / Holland Computers JAMMA Full Cabinet Wiring Harness will help ensure that your games continue to operate as intended. Please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments section below.