People keep offering me "minis" AKA "cabaret" games (which is odd, because when you're actually looking for one, they are "r@re" and worth their weight in gold to the people who have them). Well, there's no reason for me to mind being the "mini guy". Maybe one day I'll give Todd of TNT Amusement a run for his money (check the link ;-) ) .
What is a mini arcade game? These are original coin-operated arcade games, but in a small form-factor. They were meant as a better solution for locations with limited space for amusements, like restaurants. Most of them use 13" monitor rather than the standard 19" size.
So the latest is a Midway Omega Race. Complete but filthy and presumed non-working since it has battery acid damage on the main board. I sold my Atari Dominos to pay for and make room for this one.
WHEELING AND DEALING - December 2 , 2008
I've imposed a freeze on any purchases and this includes even arcade related desires! This time of year is always expensive, for a variety of reasons (Christmas shopping, holiday travel, prepping two cars for winter, needing to reduce debts, etc). However I did have the good fortune of being offered a complete but non-working Star Wars in exchange for my Crystal Castles. It was tough to part with Bently Bear, since the cabinet, like most Atari cabinets has a lot of charm, but alas, I really wanted a Star Wars much more.
Trades like this are always a little risky.You never know when one person's "good condition" really is everyone else's idea of crap, but I had faith in this one, and a broken Star Wars is still a good deal. Luckily it turned out to be in really nice condition and complete. The only down side is that it has a problem where no visuals show up. (I've narrowed it down to a board set problem, but there could still be a monitor problem as well). Hopefully I'll have the funds to get the board fixed soon, and be shooting down some tie fighters! In terms of restoration, I'll be doing some minor art touch ups here and there, and need a new yoke overlay, since it currently has a "Fire Fox" yoke.
I've also been cleaning and prepping the Missile Command cabaret cabinet for a part swap with the cocktail. I got most of the musty stink out of it, repained the metal parts (not the control panel) and swapped in my rebuilt power supply, AR-II and game board from the cocktail I have. I also fixed a couple broken cabinet parts. I then promptly killed the monitor by adjusting a voltage poteniometer that I thought was something else. So now I'll need to swap the monitor out of the cocktail too (followed by the new rebuilt trackball). Hopefully I'll be able to fix the monitor and then sell off the cocktail once and for all. (OH! I repainted the legs for it, and the Asteroids cocktail too).
MAKE IT STOP! - June 12 , 2008
Not much to report other than I sold off Star Trip (don't know enough about the power supply to repair it). But it did pay for a Sega Turbo mini. I also recently acquired a Missile Command mini and Asteroids cocktail. All three of these machines work, except Asteroids has a screen problem that may be solved with new caps or flyback.
I SUCK AT UPDATES - March 16 , 2008
I've been busy with a project called Rise & Ruin. It's eaten up time in just about everything from hobbies, family life, household chores and even the bank account! Here's a quick run down of what's new:
Lastly, I've somehow gotten my brother in law sucked into this hobby, and now he has a bunch of classic machines too.
NEW PROJECT: CENTIPEDE CABARET - August 28 , 2006
Went to an auction with no intention of buying anything--came home with an Atari Centipede cabaret. It's stinky, but completely intact and not missing any parts. First inspection revealed one popped fuse and a power plug with no plug! I'm crossing my fingers for an easy fix here.
PROJECT UPDATE: JUNO FIRST - February, 2006
Thanks to fellow Canadian collector Daryl Pike, I now have the artwork for the front of the cabinet, as well as the complete glass, bezel and smoked plexiglass that goes over the monitor. He also provided an original coin bucket!
And from BYOAC, a lurker sold me a Gottlieb logo coin door. These are hard to find. Unfortunately, there seems to be a mismatch between that door, manufactured by Wico, and my cabinet's coin door frame which is by Coin Controls.
MAME CABINET NEARLY COMPLETE - December 30 , 2005
Just a quick update, since I got alot done in December. My PC based arcade cabinet is now fully playable. I'd say it's over 90% complete. You can seel below it needs a couple small cosmetic touches on the CP, a marquee, and maybe some side-art. Like the control panel art? Designed it myself and had it printed over at MameMarquees.com.
PROJECT UPDATES - November 21 , 2005
been a while since I updated this page, but that doesn't mean there
has not been any progress...
JUNO FIRST: Thanks to "Menace", I acquired a vertical shelf-mount monitor. I have not yet tested it, but I did mount it in the cab, along with the control panel I got from QuarterArcade. And then the most important piece of the puzzle should be arriving any day now: The original PCB! (bought through Ebay)
MAME: My horizontal mame cabinet received some coats of paint, blue t-molding, and PartsExpress self-adhesive black vinyl on the front. I finished setting up all software, and hardware. A brand new monitor was installed, and most hardware is mounted with wiring cleanly routed and mounted with cable clamps.
MAME CABINET UPDATE - July 22 , 2005
of a couple weeks ago I have room to move in my basement. So I have
jumped on the chance to finally move ahead on my projects. Here's my
generic "Sega/Gremlin" style cabinet which I am turning into
a horizontal monitor multi-game machine. The original finish on this
thing is a wood grain veneer. It looked good and is in great condition,
but I'm not a fan of 70's wood grain.
JUNO FIRST UPDATE - July 21 , 2005
I've cleaned up the inside of the Juno cab (vaccuum and a wipe-down). Also used a Mr Clean Magic Eraser on the art inside the monitor area. That cleaned it up to a near-new condition. Wow! Used the eraser on scuff marks on the side art too and it took them right off. Next time you get a dirty control panel, I suggest giving it a go with the Magic Eraser before jumping on getting a new overlay.
Here is the cab with the marquee installed:
also ordered a control panel from QuarterArcade.com.
The overlay is in good condition, but "average to poor" where
it bends at the edges (cracked and peeling). I will most likely scan
this in and create my own vector art to print a new overlay.
JUNO FIRST PROJECT - July 11 , 2005
Well, I guess this is sort of my holy grail machine. It's been on my want list for a long time, and it's a rare machine. It's JUNO FIRST, my favorite space shooter. I don't know why it wasn't more successful, but it had a low production run. I played it for about a month at a local convenience store back in '83 but never saw it anywhere else. I managed to roll-over the score (rolls at 1 million) and get something like 1,067,000. It took me about a half hour to get that score. When I entered my initials, my score was stored as "67,000" so it wasn't even at the top of the list! Grrr!
Here's the original marquee that I won off Ebay a few weeks ago:
is going to be my last full sized upright video game for a while until
I get them all restored. Moving these things into a basement is a 2-man
job, and even there I'm putting alot of strain on my back and shoulder
MINI CAB - Some time in May, 2005
a mini (aka "cabaret" style) from a local collector. It looks
like a generic; maybe even started out as a poker machine. It has an
Arkanoid spinner on it, but no game, and no proper monitor. This was
going to be a vertical MAME cab, but that might change due to the news
in my next update...
CRYSTAL-CADE MAME CABINET!! - Friday, April 1st, 2005
I decided that it costs too much to restore an old crusty game like Crusty Castles, and it got really boring real fast. It's more fun to play lots of games instead of just one stupid one, so I have converted this machine into a MAME station.
called "Crystal Cade". I started by ripping
out the main guts and throwing them in teh trash. MAME can play Crystal
Castles, so that stuff was no good. I wanted my own marquee name, so
that went into the trash too (it was all damaged anyways). As you can
see I made my own marquee. I junked the speaker grill too. It got in
the way of my marquee.
Teh old trackball that was in there was faded and I don't know how to
hook it up to my PC, so I threw that out. I was left with a big hole
in the middle, so I came up with the coolest thing: BEER HOLDER! *Woot!*
(click the photo up there to see it larger).
To be done:
I GOT A CRYSTAL CASTLES! - Saturday, February 26, 2005
I just acquired a Crystal Castles upright by Atari.* It's a little beat up, but completely functional. As with most games I acquire, the fun is in restoring them. Already I have purchased new reproductions overlays for the control panel, marquee and speaker grills. And I have replaced the trackball bearings. The monitor is really burned in, but crisp.
I have already removed the marquee assembly. It looks like this machine took a tumble off a truck or something! The whole top has gaps where stuff just isn't fitting together properly. The marquee asembly was smashed into 4 pieces, and everything was held together with wood screws and other hack-job techniques. The front of the speaker grill is now a square of plexiglass poorly hot-glued in place. I'm in the process of fixing all this as properly as possible. This web page here is proving to be very helpful.
To be done:
* As of October 2008 this game is no longer in my possession; I traded it for a Star Wars.
MISSILE COMMAND FIXED! - Wednesday, December 22, 2004
acquired this machine 1 year and 2 weeks ago, in non-working order.
After many bouts of letting it sit there and occasionally patching up
some problems with it, I
finally have a fully working machine. Thanks go to "Vader88"
who sold me his working board.
To be done:
NOW SELLING BALL-TOP WITH BUTTON! - Thursday, August 5, 2004
I gave plenty of advance notice to people I had on my list wanting the Wico ball-tops with fire button installed, so now they are available to anyone else who wants them. I offer a variety of options. You can buy just the ball-top shafts with nothing else (add your own button, or LED or whatever). You can have them fit Happ Super joystick bases. And you can specify the length of wiring.
Update August 27, 2004: ** SOLD OUT!! **
NEW MAME CAB MOCK-UPS - Wednesday, July 21, 2004
the joystick shafts are at the machinist and my order's been put in
with Radio Shack for several of the buttons needed for the RetroFX joysticks
mentioned before. In other news, I mocked up some new designs for my
upright MAME cabinet. This time I opted to see what colors might look
cool, and also I'm toying with using the RetroFX logo as the marquee
(apologies to Dirk! :-> )
JOYSTICKS WITH FIRE BUTTONS UPDATE - Monday, July 12, 2004
been posting most news and updates about the Wico ball-top joysticks
with fire buttons mounted in the tops, on ArcadeControls.com.
It's just a motor attached to a rubber wheel, which rotates the joystick shaft, which is held in place with a knitting needle. As the shaft rotates, I can use the Dremel on it. There isn't alot of torque, but it works. In order to know how far up to shave off, I had the shaft taped with painter's tape to mark where I should stop. The end result is this:
MAME CABINET MOCK-UPS - Friday, July 2, 2004
I'm going to put together all the parts I've gathered for my MAME cabinet
*any day now*, I thought I'd mock-up some images to plan out what the
art design could look like. So I took a photograph of my empty generic
Double Dragon cabinet,
and I Photoshopped it to look like the pics below.
Which one do you vote for? * *
next part to figure out is the side-art. There are two options shown
here that can be purchased from MameMarquees.com.
But the thing I never liked about small decals like these is the way
they just sit in the middle and don't really work with the
shape of a cabinet. What's always impressed me, and attracted me about
older classic games was the elaborate full side artwork. That leaves
me with the option to design and paint my own. But of what? So far,
I have no ideas...
EXPERIMENTS WITH BALL-TOP FIRE BUTTONS - Tuesday, June 22, 2004
posted my idea with the Command Control joysticks on ArcadeControls.org,
I of course received some questions about the shafts. I took some pictures
to show how the shafts needed to be machined (lathed) to fit the arcade
bases properly. In the process I figured I might as well just go ahead
and try out some buttons as well, and document the whole thing with
length is a problem because the original button "rod" ends
up being too short for these new shafts! But that's not quite a big
deal. Those buttons stick up a little high, are very visible (they are
white) and they'd be pretty hard to come by anyways, requiring that
you gut a Command Control joystick in the first place.
you can see, one button is a perfect fit but it sticks out way too much.
I'm going to have to try and dremel out the inside of the joystick hole
deeper and see if these could ever be of any use (*update July 3rd:
they don't fit at all). The second kind of button I got to fit,
but it required some dremeling of the inside of the joystick hole, as
well as sanding off the button's threading.
MY MAME CABINET WILL GET CLASSIC RED BALLS WITH TOP FIRE BUTTONS! - Tuesday, June 22, 2004
week in the message forums of ArcadeControls.org, I
alluded to a "special" joystick I was going to use, but
I was being very hush hush about it. Basically, I didn't want to talk
about it because I still had to get my hands on one more stick, and
I didn't want the Ebay bids run up by other MAME-iacs wanting to use
the same idea.
I am a fan of the classic red ball-top sticks. I also prefer Wico leaf-switch
style joys. So I got ahold of a couple used Wico leaf joys.
And here is another model they sold:
you probably can see based on that last picture, why a light bulb went
on above my head. I wondered if Wico truly used the EXACT same parts??
If so, I could have the classic red ball look, plus the bonus of fire
buttons on top, so I can play games like Assault, or Tron!
NEW ACQUISITION: ATARI DOMINOS - Thursday, April 1, 2004
I picked up a new upright last saturday. It'sa working Dominos by Atari. Made in 1976 (though probably mass distributed in 1977), this game is like the classic game of "blockade" that we've seen so many variations of (the most famous probably being the light-cycle game in Tron). Instead of a line drawing, you're placing a series of dominos. You lose when you hit a wall, your own dominos or your opponent's dominos. When that happens, your row of dominos fall down in sequence. It's kind of a neat idea for this kind of game (makes more sense than just blocky squares drawing in).
YET ANOTHER MAME CABINET - Part I - Friday, March 26, 2004
I'm "Ray B" and you may know me from such video games as Cool
Spot, Looney Tunes BBall, Speedy Gonzales and the infamous Spore Cubes.
I'm also the designer of this website and one of the main artists that
worked on RetroFX Ghosts n Goblins. I
host this site and I wanted to keep it active even though the RetroFX
project is 'dead'. So I launched this section of this website about
my personal obsession with classic arcade video games.
TO BE CONTINUED
MY TRACKBALL & SPINNER CONSOLE - Friday, March 26, 2004
finally found some spare time (miraculous!) and was able to put together
and test my arcade trackball and "spinner" parts. Check out
the photos below for a peek at my engineering skills. Yes, that's a
cardboard box! Weak, huh? :-D It's the kind with the flip up lid, so
I can easily open it up and mess with the parts inside. This is just
a test for parts that will eventually go into my MAME
circuit board you see there is a device from Ultimarc
which takes trackball and spinner input and "converts it"
so that a PC thinks it's a standard serial mouse. I tell ya, it's
nice to play Centipede, Tempest and Arkanoid with these! Not to mention,
Worlds! I may just have to buy a second spinner so I can play
2 player Forgotten Worlds. :-D
MISSILE COMMAND Cocktail Artwork - Thursday, January 29, 2004
been searching and searching for Missile
Command cocktail underlay art, to no avail, until recently, when
I finally found someone willing to photograph his so I can create my
then here's yet another variant, yet this one seems more colorful than
either of the examples above: Photo
NEW ARCADE COLLECTION SECTION - Friday, January 9, 2004
Created this section of the site. Expect more updates soon. For now, here's a quick rundown of things I own, and stuff I'm looking for:
Game cabinets owned: Galaga upright, Missile Command cocktail (not working yet & missing glass underlay), generic upright (empty & bad monitor), and a working Atari Dominos (1976 B&W game that plays like Snake). Added in 2005: Crystal Castles, Juno First, generic mini
Boards owned: Ghouls n Ghosts (courtesy of the great Dirk Stevens), Super Dodge Ball, Galaga 88, Galaga (bootleg with highscore, JAMMA adapter and switchable rapid fire chip), and what I think is Kangaroo.
Manuals owned: Galaga, complete Centipede manual and documentation set, Joust, Moon Patrol, Crystal Castles, and a couple other incomplete manuals.
Used Parts I have: *to be updated soon*, 5 LED Atari buttons with aluminum cones (not black plastic), Sprint 2 control panel (with wiring, but no controls), Gunforce control panel, 2 used 2 1/4" trackball balls, ...
Game cabs I sold: Punch Out! (with both Punch out and Super Punch Out PCBs, a generic Dynamo upright I used for my JAMMA boards, a small generic cab in which I installed a Super Nintendo (that was sweet!)
Boards I sold: Rolling Thunder (with marquee, and control panel--How I miss this one!), Punch Out!, Super Punch Out!, Shinobi, Smash TV, Black Tiger, ...
To contact me,