Sunday, January 4, 2009


I haven't been posting much lately because I've been spending more time working on these machines. Track and field is now among the living! This is the first time I started with just a cabinet--no monitor, power supply, boards, lights, marquee, control panel.. just the wood and a beat up coin door. It wasn't my goal to build a Track and Field out of this (I got the cab from someone who had made a MAME panel for it) but things kind of fell together over the years.

Starting with nothing, power was a necessity--so I went with a switching power supply that I had yanked from my Mania Challenge-turned-Centipede, and finished it off with some parts from Bob Roberts' AC power starter kit. The kit has some nice stuff in it, including a fuse block, distribution block, isolation transformer, line filter, plug/cable, power switch, wires, and a bunch of other stuff. If you are looking to build a game from the ground up, these things are a necessity. Many of these items (like the fuse block and the isolation transformer) are there for your safety. Here's what I put together--it's all mounted on a 3/4 inch thick piece of MDF, about a foot square:

Now I needed to connect this thing up to the Track and Field board set I got on Feebay. As luck would have it, after digging around a bit, I found out that Track and Field (Konami) had the same pinout as Mania Challenge (Memetron/Taito). Apparently some manufacturers latched on to the Konami standard for a while there. This meant I didn't have to track down or build a wiring harness--I could just use the one that was already hooked up to my switcher from the Mania Challenge I deconverted. Sweet! One thing to note--Track and Field does not use -5V, so I disconnected that wire. (No need to send voltages to the board that are not neede--not that it did any damage--yes, I had it connected that way for a short while.)

Here's a shot of the boards being tested:

I had my eye out for a monitor, and managed to pick up an Electrohome G07 for $20. That's it in the picture above. I like these monitors because they are easy to work on, reliable, and produce a nice picture. I bought it in untested (aka sitting on a shelf for 15 years) condition, but it fired right up! Sometimes in this hobby, luck is on your side. Next up I had to rewire the connections for the Track and Field control panel. (Mania Challenge had things going on joysticks/buttons, whereas Track and Field is a nonstandard layout.) It took a lot of molex crimping and fiddling with pins on the board's edge connector to get everything going, but in the end, it was worth it! I bought a new fluorescent fixture from Home Depot and wired that in to my AC power center. I also picked up a marquee from Quarterarcade--it's fine for right now, but will keep my eye out for a nicer one. The machine needs some cosmetic work, but here's a picture of it in action:

We had some friends over so I hastily buttoned it up and we tried it out on a 4 player match. It worked like a charm! This is going to be a great addition to the arcade.

1 comment:

Dan Amrich said...

That's awesome -- and funny, since I was playing T&F on my MAME this weekend. You were busy playing it original!

Looks great; a bezel shouldn't be too hard to find, or you can do the black-mat-board trick I did with the Tetris conversion, just to cover the space. I wasn't worried about instruction cards or anything.