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Thread: My collection, OR, the troubles of a collection

  1. #11
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    This thread is classic arcade gaming at its finest.....the pictures are amazing and kudos for wanting to preserve one of our hobby's greatest forefathers....this project really is a service to the community.

  2. #12
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    Crap, I just realized how far behind this thread was, I have had several additions and I'll catch up on those, here is the latest.





    Last edited by SubaruBrat; 29-04-12 at 01:52.
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  3. #13
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    Heh, I wish I owned a few Arcade cabs, I just don't have the room. And that's the problem with my collection, too much crap in such a small place. It's the reason why I'm up for digital distribution.

  4. #14
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    Or, throw out a chair or couch and build a MAME machine eh eh, nudge nudge wink wink say no more
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubaruBrat View Post
    Or, throw out a chair or couch and build a MAME machine eh eh, nudge nudge wink wink say no more
    LOL

    When I get a chance I'll post pictures of my mega messy room and the 1100+ games I have that occupies it. I need a bed after right? I don't think sleeping on a MAME cab would be very comfortable, lol.

  6. #16
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    I've been putting in a lot of work on some arcade games I recently acquired. Scott is correct, there is always something to do!

    One that I've been working on lately is "Fort Cosmos" - a vector game that's basically a clone of "Star Castle". Even though it's a rip-off, it's a very cool game! And there's a an exclusivity / rarity factor involved - there's very little information about it online.

    In any case, that one more or less worked when I got it, but it had a funky smell, the vector monitor was kind of dim, and the marquee light was out, and it was extremely dirty. The cabinet is in really great shape, but it has a metal coin door, and there was a circle lock on both the coin door and the back panel - and of course, there was no key. I ended up drilling out the rear lock, which allowed me to remove the coin door lock. This showed me one really cool thing, and one REALLY bad thing...

    The cool thing... there was about $50 worth of quarters in the coin tray.

    The REALLY bad thing? I was able to identify the funky smell. Rats had taken up residence there in the not too distant past (they crawled through two small vent holes on the floor of the cabinet). There were remnants of their nests too - they evidently found a plastic plant somewhere nearby the cabinet's previous storage location and thought the leaves would make a swell nest. So, it probably goes without saying, but... the thing was just loaded with rat piss and shit. Lovely!

    Fortunately, the 3 main boards in the game are stacked vertically, in a sort of closed off area that the rats couldn't get to. Well, they built one of the nests beside that area, but didn't directly affect the boards. They did, however, manage to layer their excrement all over the bottom of the cab, and the power board and transformer, as well as all the associated wiring in that area.

    And I quickly discovered why the marquee light was out... they chewed through the fluorescent ballast power wires (and the speaker ground wire), which both fed through a small hole in the top of the cabinet. Evidently, the area behind the marquee glass was the "penthouse" for them. Filthy bastards!

    Well, it took several cleaning attempts (and products) before I was able to get the smell (piss and shit) out. And, being in California, there is currently a Hantavirus scare, with mice (and possibly rats) in the Yosemite National Park region carrying the virus, and infecting several humans. There is no cure, and most cases result in death. Needless to say, the thought crossed my mind as I was spraying Lysol throughout the cabinet interior and picking up rat pellets with a gloved hand.

    I left the back off the cab, and the coin door opened, and cleaned all the areas of the interior with a pet urine eliminating product (which kind of worked, but not really), then Murphy's Oil Soap, then some baking soda, followed by some more Lysol, and eventually left a couple open boxes of baking soda and some Bounce dryer sheets in there for a week. Finally, the smell was 98% gone - good enough for me.

    Some adjustments to the vector monitor to bring up the brightness, and a good exterior cleaning, and all is well... almost...

    I forgot to mention some jackass decided the play-field plexiglass was the ideal canvas for his fucking initials. No worries, the gouges aren't too deep, and I've got my polishing compound and electric polisher ready to go this weekend. I also have the replacement marquee light/ballast ready to wire in, and she'll be good as new.

    I'll post some pictures soon. Trust me, the before pictures were way too disgusting to post. Plus, I don't think I want to be reminded of how it looked before my work!

  7. #17
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    So I finished up with Fort Cosmos this weekend. I took the control panel off, and removed the plexiglass bezels. Yes, I was surprised to find there were 2 plexiglass sheets. The outer bezel that has the artwork, and an inner bezel that contains the colored circles (that you would know from Star Castle). Anyway, I took them both out, and then wiped decades worth of dust and grime off the vector screen and cardboard bezel monitor surround. The inner plexiglass looked fantastic. But as I mentioned, the outer one with the main artwork had lot's of scratches and the initials of some loser carved into it.

    Well, after a couple hours of work, starting with 1000 grit, then 1500 grit sandpaper, rubbing compound, polishing compound, Meguiar's Scratch X, and some additional applications of another Meguiar's polish (that I use on my car), the initials are gone, and the plexiglass looks nearly flawless. It took a lot of effort, with an electric buffer and HAND polishing, but the end result was well worth it.

    So that game is officially done. I will take some pictures of it tonight and post them to the thread.
    Last edited by Nurmix; 24-09-12 at 06:24.

  8. #18
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    Fantastic work mate... its a lot of effort as you are finding, but that one was probably harder work than most! I have been lucky to avoid rats and mice in cabs so far but heard some real horror stories over the years. Looking forward to the pics.

    So is the monitor looking brighter after just cleaning all the crap off the tube and the plexi? I have had miraculous results from just a good clean in the past!

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by retroshaun View Post
    Fantastic work mate... its a lot of effort as you are finding, but that one was probably harder work than most! I have been lucky to avoid rats and mice in cabs so far but heard some real horror stories over the years. Looking forward to the pics.

    So is the monitor looking brighter after just cleaning all the crap off the tube and the plexi? I have had miraculous results from just a good clean in the past!
    Thanks, mate! Definitely a lot of elbow grease on this one. The rat mess was the worst part of it though.

    And yes, the monitor looks much brighter - so much so that I need to dial down the brightness pot I increased when I first got it (before cleaning). The only issue with the screen is that there are a two small spots where the phosphor has worn off, but it doesn't in any way detract from the game.

    I would like to repaint the control panel, although I'd have to somehow replicate the graphics and helpful "Engrish" instructions.

    Here are some pictures...

    Fort_Cosmos_Cab_01.jpgFort_Cosmos_playfield_01.jpgFort_Cosmos_Cab_02.jpgFort_Cosmos_CP_01.jpgFort_Cosmos_internals_01.jpg
    Last edited by Nurmix; 26-09-12 at 12:22.

  10. #20
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    In additional to Fort Cosmos, I've been working on another one of my cabs recently... World Series The Season by Cinematronics (1985). I didn't think I'd like it that much, but it's a really fun 2 player baseball game. I'll post some pictures this weekend, but basically, it wasn't working when I got it, but now it's fully functional.

    Initially, there were some board connections that were a bit corroded and not making good contact (the game supposedly sat in a garage for over 8 years). In any case, after getting those cleaned up, it came to life. After some sizing adjustments to the monitor, and tweaking the soundboard volume pot (which was pretty hard to get to, underneath another board), and a major cleaning, it was coming along pretty nicely.

    However, this game has some unique controls - small levers/sticks that you pull back and release (as well as aim) for batting and pitching. They were really jittery though; almost to the point of not being usable. But I took the control panel apart, and removed the sticks, and after dis-assembly, and some major contact cleaning and re-assembly, they work like new.

    The control panel artwork is in pretty bad shape - there were smokers in this cab's past who didn't think twice about where they put down their lit cigarettes. Eventually I'd like to redo the artwork, but I've not been able to track down any yet (reproductions or otherwise).

    The marquee light needed replacement, as did the coin slot bulbs, and that was simple once I located the correct bulbs, and bought a replacement fluorescent ballast and tube. I also put on a new power cord and plug, as the original was a fire waiting to happen, with no ground and frayed / crushed cord in multiple places.

    This cab is a conversion. The cabinet originally housed Stern's Cliff Hanger (1983) - which explains the sticker inside that mentions a disc access door. Whoever did the conversion left the front wood pink, but painted the sides black (they were blue originally). And the back is the original blue. The side paintwork was amateur at best. I'm going to have to redo it - as close the the color and style as the original World Series The Season cab as I can get.

    But for now, it's a great playing game (with voices for "out", "ball" etc). Pictures coming tomorrow.

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