First off: please excuse my stupidity in this post - I'm quite new to arcade hardware and I'm not all that great with electronics (I'm a software guy). On with my story/questions...
After reading through a few posts in this sub-forum (mainly the great thread spawned by Twimfy, which answered many questions I had), I decided to delve in to the world or arcade stuff. My plan was to get an MVS (I've always enjoyed Metal Slug and a few other games on the system) and a simple supergun. So I bought myself a cheap Vogatek supergun from another forum, then bought a nice 4 slot MVS system (with two games). The 4 slot seemed to have a few benefits over the 1 slot models and space isn't an issue - plus, it was cheapish.
I had read that, whilst the MVS systems are not 100% JAMMA compatible (I've seen the term "JAMMA+" applied to them), it was mostly compatible. Due to this, I figured my setup would work.
After firing up, in order, the PSU, the PSU plus supergun, the supergun plus empty MVS (which gave the expected grid test pattern) and, finally, the full setup with a game, it all seemed fine. I didn't get any sound through the TV, but plugging my headphones in to the supergun's headphone port did result in sound. Worryingly, there was a lot of other noise mixed in with it. At this point, I hadn't realised that plugging a standard JAMMA supergun in to an MVS unit can apparently destroy the sound amplifier (or something along those lines).
The second game worked fine, too, but starting it up with both carts in at once took me to the config/setup page (not a problem - everything seemed fine). It detected both carts, but I couldn't boot to either one - it only worked with one cart at a time. I put this down to the lack of a fourth button on my controllers and/or lack of the game-select button.
About six hours later, finished with work, I decided to fire it up again, but was greeted by the MVS's setup system each time. No matter what cart I tried, it always took me to the same thing (and selecting "Exit" from the menu just took me back there). One time it even gave me a Z80 error. It was at this point I started searching Google for some answers and realised that I may have damaged the MVS thanks to the supergun I was using.
Despite my Googling, I've not been able to find any solid answers to the questions I have; hence my post here. Here's what I want to know:
I'm pretty sure that I may have borked the sound system on the MVS: is this fixable? I've read that replacing the capacitors is simple enough (some people even sell kits), but isn't that something different to what I've likely damaged? I can use a soldering iron, but anything more than that may prove a little... challenging. I don't even have a multimeter, but am willing to spend a few quid to purchase one (and other such equipment - I have a soldering iron, though).
Is the system's inability to play games likely to be caused by using a JAMMA supergun instead of something more suited to the MVS? Or is it more likely that I just need to clean the contacts on the carts/board? Or is this the sign of a more serious problem?
When turing on the system (even the very first time I tried, with no carts), the first thing displayed is what looks like garbage. It only appears for a few seconds on a mainly green screen - and the pattern used to be the same each time (as far as I could see, at least). However, after the system stopped playing games, the pattern seems to have changed slightly (although still appears to be the same). Should I be worried about this? Or is it normal?
Assuming I've not completely trashed either my supergun or MVS, I'm planning on building (or buying, depending on the cost difference and my level of lethargy at the time) an MVS to JAMMA convertor. Is it worth it, or should I just attempt to build a simple MVS compatible supergun? I'm quite happy to follow guides on building things from veroboard/stripboard (and the like) -- it's something I've successfully done before -- but if it requires an actual knowledge of how it works, I could mess something up and make things worse.
I've got my supergun with me, but I left the MVS at work (which is where it is to live - much to the delight of my cow-irkers), but I can pick it up and take pictures/videos to show what I mean. If you need any more details or information, please let me know. Sorry for such a long post.