Welcome to M.A.R.S. (Mark's Arcade Retro Site). This is my web page dedicated to those who love coin-op video arcade games. There's lots of information and hopefully some entertaining stuff, too.
Time for my half year update!
Picked up a Defender from friend of mine. The joystick that was there was some third-party hacked stick with micros, so I had to rebuild one from scratch. Turns out you can! I got the joystick rebuild kit from Arcade Shop, but it lacked the metal spring steel needed for the switches. I was able to pick them up from Mike's Arcade, so just a tip there if you ever need to build a complete Defender joystick from scratch.
I made some more updates to my Forgotten Worlds free play with fixed text EPROM hack (more spelling/grammar fixes). I've been working on a 3D printed mountain mod for my Getaway pinball machine. Takes a long time to print, so prototyping this particular mod has a lot of material cost, but look better IMHO than the others I have seen.
I've also slowly been collecting parts to build my own Ice Cold Beer game. Might be time to finally get a CNC...
2018 has been a pretty slow year for arcade collecting.
I was able to figure out how to convert a regular Arkanoid pcb into a Tournament Arkanoid pcb, and was able to add that game to my multigame by updating the Arduino code that drives my 6 slot JAMMA switcher. Now I can cycle through all three games.
One of the frustrations with Sega G-80 EPROM boards is how to figure out what is wrong with them when they fail. If the game won't even boot or get far enough in the diagnostics to show what is wrong, how you can fix it? Swapping around 24 EPROMs and testing their sockets just won't cut it. So I hooked up an Arduino Mega to an 86 pin edge connector and wrote an EPROM board validation program that would read each EPROM location, cross-checking it with the checksum for each EPROM. This way I was able to determine which EPROMs were bad. Not only that, but using this approach, I was able to fix an EPROM board where one of the addressing chips had failed. By looking at the binary output, I could figure out which address line was stuck. Replacing the addressing chip fixed the board. Troubleshooting this the old fashioned way would have been a nightmare. With this new tool, I was able to go through and repair and repopulate my stack of EPROM boards in short order.
Another project I did this year fulfilled a curiousity of mime. Whenever I played Robotron, I tried to see how quickly I could finish the first level. I decided to automate the tracking process and created the Robotron Speed Tracker! You can see it in action here! In case you haven't noticed the trend, I've been messing with Arduinos a bit.
While I haven't picked up or restored any games this year (as of now), I did get on the sign-up list for the upcoming Kingpin pinball release. Looking forward to it!
My troubleshooting page contains links to repair FAQs, sites, tips, and people who can help you to fix your favorite arcade game or PCB.
Need help remembering an arcade game from your past? You'll most likely find it here. Ignore all the rarity information, however.The Video Arcade Preservation Society (VAPS)
An arcade game collection site showing game owners' collections from all over the world.The Sega Vector Game Page
More selfless promotion of yours truly.The Basement arcade
A great site by a different Mark...he's got the most comprehensive list of video arcade game links I've seen, so instead of replicating them here, I'll just point to his page and he can deal with the maintenance :-)Rick's Game Repair
The man, the myth, the Legend. Now working full time in the restoration business, Rick has done a lot of work for Williams in the past and knows his stuff. Has the BEST quality machines available for purchase and does service as well.
M.A.R.S. is dedicated to providing a quality web page for coin-op video arcade information. This web page is "comment operated", meaning the more comments you send me, the more it changes. Contact with compliments or criticism, comments or corrections, and what you'd like to see (or not see) on M.A.R.S.
Listen to what Arnold says about M.A.R.S.