Saturday, January 24, 2009


Well, I finally did a cap kit on my Sanyo 20 EZ monitor in the DK Jr. It did a nice job fixing the vertical fold over problem. Also, the screen size was set way too small due to poor adjustment (which is usually the case with malfunctioning monitors). Instead of fixing the problem, people will try to 'adjust' it away. Check out the before and after pics:
You can also see that I was able to find a replacement control panel overlay; with it, the last vestiges of 8 Ball Action have been swept away.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dragon's Lair

Yay! After a bit of searching, I finally snagged a Dragon's Lair cabinet today. It's pretty cold up here, so I'm just glad to have this one in the garage. I can't wait to dig into this one..

Lead on adventurer.. your quest awaits!

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.