What is MiSTer
MiSTer is an open source project that aims to recreate classic computers, video game consoles, and arcade machines using modern hardware. It is based on an FPGA development board from Intel (See here)
What is the Bally Astrocade Interface
It is an interface card that allows you to plug a DE10-Nano on one side (the core of the MiSTer project) and the cables from your Bally Astrocade based arcade cabinet on the other (Gorf, Wizard of Wor, Adventures of Robby Roto or Space Zap)
The interface board connects the relevant outputs from the MiSTer to the cabinet, so that the video, sound, controls and in the case of Gorf, lights are all driven from the core code that is loaded into the MiSTer.
The core for Arcade Astrocade is written to be as close as possible to the original hardware so that you can use this in your cabinet in place of a real PCB set.
MiSTer also has many other arcade cores and you may be able to use some of those in your cabinet as long as the monitor orientation and controls used in the game are covered by the controls on the cabinet. (Some cores on MiSTer also need an additional ram option to be fitted to the DE10-Nano. None of the Astrocade games require this)
The Complete Setup
This example is for Gorf, there will be changes on what components are populated on the interface card for the other games. To replace the PCB set you will require an Intel DE10-Nano board (blue one at the top). This connects via a 40 pin IDC cable, an OTG USB cable and a power cable (*) to the interface PCB (green one at the bottom).
The normal cables from the Gorf cabinet connect to the interface board, with the exception of the video cable, which can be removed from the RGB board and instead connects to a satellite PCB connected by the 6 pin IDC cable you can see on the left.
An SD ram card is prepared with the necessary image and this is plugged into the card socket on the DE10-Nano.
When you power up the cabinet, the DE10-Nano is powered from your cabinet supply and this quickly loads the MiSTer framework and then the necessary core to enable you to play Gorf. (or Wizard of Wor etc.)
* The DE10 does not have to be powered via the interface card, you can use the transformer that was supplied with the DE10-Nano and just connect it to the 110v / 240v supply in the cabinet instead.