Last month was almost as busy on the bavacade front as it was on the hosting front. I’ve been using the arcade projects to balance my inclination to become totally consumed by the day-to-day at Reclaim, but then I become totally consumed by the cabinets—so not sure it is much therapy in the end 🙂 That said, there is a great sense of satisfaction in taking the machines apart, cleaning the various parts, repairing and painting the cabinet, and then putting them on wheels. There is a sense of hope in breathing new life into these golden-age arcade cabinets.
At this point I can disassemble or re-assemble a game in about an hour or so, sometimes even re-assembling a game without referencing the pictures I took as visual aides—no small feat for this hack. I’m just a handful of games away from having disassembled and re-assembled every game in the collection, which means they’ve almost all been fully restored and put on wheels. For the time being I’m not touching the three Sidam bootleg machines manufactured in Italy given they’re all but mint already, but they may be the final candidates for wheels once the rest are finished.
Here are some of the bavacade projects:
Painting and re-assembling Yie-Ar Kung-fu, for which the new art is being printed by one of Miles’s friends and will be my first custom cabinet, very excited for this one. Major kudos to Bryan Mathers for the unbelievably awesome side art he created for this one.
Yie-Ar Kung-fu (originally a Defender cabinet) painted and preppped for new side art
Yie-Ar Kung-Fu Waiting for Custom Art
I completely disassembled and re-assembled Joust, and Alberto did some minor touch-up work and put it on wheels. I then got the brown matched and gave it a coat of paint and I must say it came out beautifully, yet another “like new” machine in the bavacade.
Joust looking sharp!
Disassembled and re-assembling Defender, and Alberto put this legend on wheels. Like Joust, this one is gorgeous, nothing a little touch-up paint can’t heal.
Freshly painted Defender Cabinet
When re-assembling Defender I gave the original power supply a hose down to clean it up, and then let it dry-out for about 3 days in the sun.
Freshly Washed Defender Power Supply
After re-assembling the game I was having issues with the image not showing on the monitor. Turns out the FPGA board on this game is having issues with delivering the image (tested it on Stargate to confirm).
The then-working FPGA Board in Defender
The original Defender board set worked, although eventually gave a RAM error as all Williams games will, so I need to hunt down that issue. But, in the interim, swapping out the FPGA board that was in Stargate worked a treat and Defender plays fine.
Joust and Defender side-by-side
With this working and another FPGA board on the way, thanks to the great Tim Owens, I’ll have a completely restored Williams collection featuring Moon Patrol, Make Trax, Robotron, Joust, Stargate, and Defender. All like new and all on wheels.
Super Cobra touched-up and on wheels
I also did a quick clean-up and added wheels to the venerable Scramble sequel Super Cobra. Alberto finished this one super fast, and the cabinet was already mint, so just some touch-up paint and re-assembly and this one was good to go.
Jungle Hunt cabinet that houses Elevator Action
Being a glutton for punishment, I started another big project which will be a complete overhaul of Elevator Action. It’s one of my favorite games in the collection, and not an easy one to find in good shape. When Alberto dropped off Super Cobra he picked-up Elevator Action and has already gone to work on it. It’s actually a Jungle Hunt cabinet that had some significant water damage, and the backdoor was an absolute mess, so I decided to have him clean-up the extensive water damage and refinish the sides of the cabinet so I can re-paint the classic Taito design to the original Elevator Action browns.
Taito cabinet being restructured
I was reluctant to remove the original Taito art, but I decided to commit to a complete overhaul. The classic Taito side art stencil is on order from This Old Game and I’ll be matching the colors so it will remain consistent in spirit, if not original in fact. Additionally, the control panel overlay for this game is a terrible reproduction, so I bought a new metal control panel on KLOV and a control panel overlay from This Old Game to try and raise the quality of the entire machine. The board, bezel and marquee are original, but the side art and control panel will be more recent, high quality additions. This will be a project for sure, but should be done in the next month or two—all things being equal.
Jungle Hunt/Elevator Action Original Back Door Lock Mechanism
After Elevator Action is done, that leaves just Cheyenne, Pole Position, and Scramble to put on wheels (not including the Sidam games). I can see the finish line!
Speaking of Cheyenne and Scramble, the original power supply issues continue. I was able to get a switching power supply with a Stern adapter for Scramble to fix that game while Roberto looks at the original power supply. Turns out Super Cobra is using the same switching power supply, which means the original Stern board for that game might also need to be repaired.
Stern switching power supply for Scramble and Super Cobra
Last week I finally got one of the two Hanterex Polo chassis back, which was the last step to getting Cheyenne back up and running. But, alas, when I turn it on the game it keeps blowing the 5 AMP slo-blow fuse on the power supply, so I need to figure out where the short is happening. The Exidy power supplies are an absolute nightmare, so not sure how this will end, but it does dampen the prospect of bringing Cheyenne back online in the immediate future 🙁
Beyond that, the only thing between Cheyenne and a fully functioning fleet of games is a K4600 chassis cap kit for Challenger, and I’ll try and get that done sometime here soon. I’ve been circling perfection for two years now, and I’ll never give up until that box is checked—if only for a day.