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!
Well, another year has come to an end.
Completed The Getaway pinball restoration. Bought new decals for the cabinet, and they just *barely* fit. Did the polyacrylic clear and wet method. No issues, thankfully. Game came out great in the end.
And with that, I have completed my 100th arcade game restoration!
Junkyard had to go to make space for it, unfortunately. Don't have enough room to keep them all.
I picked up a Zeke's Peak that I've been looking for since I played one at California Extreme and decided I needed to pick one up when I got the chance.
Finishing up two more Eliminator 4-player cabinets. A lot of work goes into making these, so I try to build them in pairs.
I've got a few more project ideas up my sleeve; let's see I ever get to them *looks at stack of Universal Sound Boards mocking him*.
Attended CAX this year. Great event! Highly recommend going whether or not you are an arcade game collector.
Completed my Arkanoid multi-game. Took the Taito cabinet and bought some stencils and gave it a custom color combination. I created my own take on the artwork and printed it out on my wide format inkjet printer. Since none of the Arkanoid games have free play, I decided to go with a coin up 1up circuit. In addition, I used a simple reset circuit board to switch between the games. To deal with switching the games, I used a 6 slot JAMMA switcher and used a jamma adapter on the Arkanoid board. The 6 slot switcher uses a RF interface to switch games, so I hacked it to use direct wiring select instead. The direct select is controlled by a stateful arduino that controls the game selection. When you press both player buttons at the same time, it switches to the next game. Pressing either player button starts a game for that number of players. Also had to hack the 6 slot JAMMA switcher with custom control routing for the encoder wheel. A lot of work but it came out great!
Lately I've been working on restoring a Getaway pinball machine. Playfield is in good shape, but the cabinet needed the faded decals replaced, as is common with this game. Cabinet prep takes a while, and I want it to be as nice as possible for the new decals go on. So much sanding. Looks good so far. I think Junk Yard will have to exit stage left to make room for it.
Sold my Demolition Derby four player cabinet. Such a great looking game, but I have plans for something else to go there...
Finished repairing 30+ Sega CPU boards. Next are the universal sound boards. I started building two more Eliminator four player cabinets. Hoping to finish them this fall.
This has been the self proclaimed "Year of Sega". So far I have created high score saves for all of the Sega vector games, and setup a repair bench and fixed over 30 CPU boards.
I wrapped up my Addams Family Gold project. The pinball came out beautiful, and barely fit in the lineup, so no more pinball projects unless I get rid of one (I'm looking at you, Junkyard).
As for video projects, the last cabinet I picked up was a classic Taito that I plan on turning into a multi Arkanoid, as it's a fun, approachable game.
Time for another update! Been a slow year. All previous projects have been completed. The only thing I'm working on now is a Addams Family Gold pinball that I picked up locally. It had major corrosion issues, but Evaporust, a polishing wheel, and an ultrasonic cleaner have done wonders for it. Should come out really nice.
Other than that, I'm toying with the idea of building some more Eliminator 4-player cabinets.
Well, apparently yearly updates are my thing now...
Since the last update, I was able to complete my Tron restoration. There were a few bumps along the road with this one, but I'll live with the results. Restoring the shroud was a major pain.
After my Eliminator 4-player construction, I figured I'd take on another difficult project.
How about making a Medieval Madness pinball?
Yep, I did that. Took nearly a year, lots of parts searching, documentation, and creating a few unobtainium parts, but it finally got done. I used a trashed NBA Fastbreak as the basis for the conversion. Came out really nice.
I also picked up a few neat things to toy around with. One is a Wiltelco 5000 payphone that my friend Rick gave me. It doesn't work, but I'll see if I can make some progress with it. The other is a Forgotten Worlds game that I've always wanted. I had the boardset and could play it out of my big cabinet, but I decided swapping around the controls was too much of a hassle and it warranted a dedicated cabinet in my collection.
I also picked up an Arduino Mega and will be playing around with that, seeing how I can either use it for some mods, diagnostic tool, or other cool project.
Wow, more than a year has gone by since my last update! It's been so long that I just realized I never posted about a major achievement...
At the end of 2011, I finished a true-to-original-as-possible reproduction of a 4-player Eliminator cabinet. It was quite an intensive project, with MANY hours and dollars spent. I will do a whole page on the project at some point.
In the mean time, I've picked up a few more projects: another Cheyenne, Star Trek upright, and a Tron. Not just any Tron...after I got it home, I found some notes regarding the sale...my own notes! It was the same Tron I had sold 16 years ago! Small world...
As I said, I'm out of space, so most of these projects will be for sale soon, including a Fish Tales pinball, some misc parts, and for the right offer I might entertain selling my restored Cheyenne with Exidy 440 Multi-Kit.
Hope to have more updates soon!
The Dark Silhouette: Silent Scope 2 restoration is complete and it came out nice. I also picked up an Asteroids Deluxe that didn't require too much work to restore, though it still needs a replacement overlay.
My space is pretty much filled up at this point until I sell some stuff off, so less game restorations will be occurring and more projects and board repairs will be up next.
I picked up a Dark Sihlouette: Silent Scope 2 recently, and should have a Silent Scope board on the way. Needs some TLC, but have been looking for one for a long time.Also, looking for a tester for my Domino Man freeplay hack.Not many posts this year (been busy again), but should have more soon.
Turns out I have a rare version of Showdown pcb, version 4, which doesn't use a special PAL chip. And the boardset does not appear to work with the Exidy multigame I bought, so I'll be looking to acquire a Cheyenne boardset.
Restoration of the Centipede continues with preping the sides for new side-art installation. Bondo, sand, bondo, sand, prime, sand, etc.
Finally got a day to work on arcade restorations.
Cheyenne: Able to cap kit the monitor in about an hour (WG4900). Then, took a coin door from the garage and did a full restore in exactly one hour (tear down, cleaning, new locks, repaint, etc). Has the original "Exidy" logo screened onto the coin door, so I carefully masked it off with scotch tape and an exacto-knife. Cabinet is nearly complete; just need to install the gun and test it out.
Centipede: Stripped the control panel and bought a controller rebuild kit from arcadeshop.com, along with a new control panel overlay. Also picked up a set of replacement side-art from Darin at phoenixarcade.com. Thanks Darin!
The Exidy 440 shooter restoration has begun. Got the multigame kit, though I'm probably going to have to hack the ROMs in order to set all the games to freeplay. Bought the vinyl needed for the sides from QuarterArcade.com along with a Cheyenne marquee.
Also picked up a Centipede that needs some TLC, but I'm sure it will turn out fine.
Been a busy year once again, so not much progress made on game projects.
Updated the parts section; mostly parts from the Roadshow and Dr Who pinballs I'd worked on.
I picked up an Exidy 440 shooter and plan on installing the multigame kit. Restoration has begun on it.
Installed the artwork on the Demolition Derby. Got the artwork from ThisOldGame.com. Very pleased with how it looks.
I'm looking to trade Safe Cracker domestic and/or international tokens for other domestic tokens (different designs) so that I can complete my set.
Also looking for a good vinyl woodgrain that could be used for a Sega vector restoration.
I'll be completing a high-score save circuit board for Eliminator 4-player in the near future. Once it's done and working, I'll be looking to apply the same board to the other Sega G-80 games.
A recent harddrive crash caused me to lose my previous website updates, but motivated me to make some additional changes. A few of them include updates to the Sega XY FAQ, the beginning of a new parts section, new game additions, and miscellaneous site updates.
Doctor Who is finished, complete with moving Dalek head. Adjusting the mini-playfield was painful, but the game is playing fine now.
I got some additional artwork for my Demolition Derby, so I'll be installing that soon so I can officially call that project finished.
Projects coming up include adding High Score Saves to the Sega XY games, and with any luck, an Exidy shooter restoration.
The Demolition Derby is as complete as it can be for now. Still need to get some repro artwork for the monitor bezel and the coin door sides. But it's huge improvement from where I started.
Still waiting for the Doctor Who playfield to be finished.
Added a few more rom hacks, including Punch-Out!!, which was in high demand. Looking for testers for a few others as well.
Last but not least, I finally got around to updating The Almost Complete Guide to Video Arcade Games in Movies . Take a gander!
Doctor Who restoration has begun. The playfield was sent out for touchup and clearcoating work. Work on the rotating Dalek head is underway.
I recently picked up a Bally Midway Demolition Derby "Island" (that's the technical name that Bally Midway gave to the four player cabinet). I'm suprised at how little documentation I could find online for this particular game, considering it has a considerable fan base. I'll be creating a webpage documenting my particular restoration, as well as a general "home page" detailing the game.
In addition, I will be looking into making a free-play hack for Bally Midway's Kick! game.
I've been doing a little ROM hacking in my free time and finally decided to post a few patches I've done. See the link below.
I've got a few Road Show pinball parts available; see the Want/Trade list below.
Liquidated a lot of Sega XY hardware lately and got very family with Space Fury sound board repair. I should probably add some information on that to the Sega XY FAQ so I don't forget.
Work has begun on the Robotron. Lots and lots of sanding to get the cabinet into shape.
Also, I picked up a Doctor Who pinball. It needs quite a bit of work, but the price was fair. Plus, I'll need to modify the Dalek head so that it moves.
Later this month there will be another addition...
Finally the weather is getting nicer so I'll be able to start work on some projects soon. Here's a little hint of one of the projects I've been working on.
Also, since my "build an arcade game" project went so well, I've decided to take the next step. I picked up a Road Show project pinball which was a mess and have begun shaping it into a new creation...
Finished my project. See it here.
Next project in line is another Robotron. This one will be for sale. After that? Who knows...
I've got a few vector monitors for sale; see my want/trade link below.
It was a busy summer, but now I've settled down and gotten serious about completing my secret project. I hope to have it finished before Halloween.
I completed a bunch of Sega XY Free play ROM hacks. They are posted at www.ionpool.net. If you don't see one for the Sega XY game you're looking for, bug the web master because I know he has them all :-).
Dragon's Lair is finally finished. It was a ton of work but it came out great. The new monitor makes a ton of difference. Thanks goes to the good people at The Dragon's Lair Project for providing a valuable source of information during the restoration.
The Space Fury cocktail is sold, so there's a little more room in the gameroom for the next project...
I've been working on some free play hacks for Sega XY games, and should have them released shortly, once I burn a few ROM sets and install them in my own games for their final testing.
Hope to have some more interesting updates shortly...
Ok, just three site updates last year? Pathetic. That tells you a bit about how busy I've been with our new child.
The Dragon's Lair is still being stripped of its black siding. It's a bit too cold to work on it in the garage. I'm considering putting a furnace in the garage to make it heated, but that means finishing the interior of the garage, which means reorganizing...
Also, I'm working on something very different than my normal restoration projects. Going out of my element to complete what should be (at least as I've imagined it) a very cool (read as: geeky) project. Stay tuned...
Apologies for the long delay between updates. As you can imagine, things have been busy around here with the new arrival.
Completed a dual Cruis'n USA setup. See pictures of it in the collection area.
Also picked up a Valley Cougar SM dart board. Works and looks great.
The Ms Pac-Man cocktail was finished and is already out the door.Remaining projects include the last Cruis'n USA cabinet, and a Dragon's Lair. Not sure what I'm going to do with the Cruis'n USA cabinet. As for the Dragon's Lair, let me just say that I should have left the original vinyl on the cabinet, as removing it has turned out to be a major pain! I don't even wanna look at that project anymore.
Also, some progress has been made on the Sega Vector Development Kit. A utility has been created for viewing, drawing, and recording vector data for the G-80 system, and I've done some work on disassembling the code for Eliminator. One of the first things out of this project will hopefully be a way to implement free play (or a least a less strict way to coinup the games).
It's been a little crazy here lately. Lots of updates!
The basement is finished! Decoration of the game room continues, but the games are in place. A few pictures here.
Finished a Tapper restoration. Nicer than my old one, with polished brass foot rail (original) and replated coasters.
Work continues on the Ms. Pac-Man cocktail, and three (!) Cruis'n USA cabinets. Also started working on a Dragon's Lair. Getting hard to keep track of all the moving pieces.
Last but not least, my wife and I had our first child! She was born March 20th. She was nice enough to delay her arrival until after I got the basement finished :-)
Finally started on the gameroom. Design is complete, and some construction has begun. The deck is finished, too. In my spare time, I managed to complete the restoration of one of the Robotron machines. Came out pretty sweet. Of course, during this time I added a Cruis'n USA and a Ms Pac-man cocktail to the restoration queue as well. Does the fun ever stop? Does the madness never end?
No progress on the gameroom yet; it's been preempted by building a new deck. In the meantime, I've been working on pimping my TZ. Also sold off the Missile Command cockpit, as it wouldn't fit in the house. Cosmic Chasm is also gone. On a positive note, I will be restoring another Tapper in the near future.
Here's the scoop: Put our house up for sale in May to move into a bigger house. At that time, I had to move all my games into storage. The house sold and we've moved into our new house, and I just now got the games out of storage and into the new house. Game on!
The site for now is going to continue being what it is; eventually I'd like to move to another hosting service and get some actual applications running, but I've got too much on my plate to get to that now.
As for projects, finishing the basement/gameroom is probably first on the list, and after that two Robotron restorations and maybe another Sega XY.
Zoo Keeper restoration is complete! See the project results here.
My site has been migrated to http://users.rcn.com/jenison/mars. Update your bookmarks! BTW, if anyone can recommend an ISP that provides JSP support, preferably with Tomcat 4.0.x and MySQL, please let me know.
Been busy lately, but did manage to finish the Frogger which is now for sale. Zoo Keeper restoration is going slowly but surely. I will definitely have some pictures up of that restoration. And two Robotron cabinets are up on deck after that.
I picked up two machines that were on my wantlist: Zoo Keeper and Robotron. Both were conversions, meaning stencils for Robotron, and massive artwork touchup for Zoo Keeper (if anyone has a bezel or scan of the bezel for this game, please contact me!)
Also, a Frogger should be emerging from the garage sometime next year.
RCN (enteract) no longer allows shell access to their machines, so I can't login and edit my html files with emacs anymore. I have, however, downloaded my web site to my computer where I can use actual web development tools and upload the changes to my web site later. So basically, they've forced me into doing real web maintenance/development instead of what I have been doing :-). So you should be seeing changes and improvements to the site over the next few weeks. Thanks for your patience.
Wow! I actually *did* somethings recently!
For starters, I actually put up some pictures of my Missile Command sit-down. Check them out here.
Then, I decided not to post pics of my Safe Cracker because it looks just as nice as the flyers, so you can have a look at it there. However, I did make up some instruction cards so those of you who need new ones can print some up.
Next up...? Stay tuned...
The Missile Command sit-down is finally getting close to completion; just needs a boardset and then to test this beast of a monitor. The cabinet was a major pain to touch up, but I'm fairly happy with the results.
The newest edition to the collection is a Safe Cracker pinball. This one is in very nice condition. Again, I will tell you I will have pictures of these games up soon (and as usual, you won't hold your breath :-)).
I was able to repair the Tailgunner, so I'll be adding that to the collection. And I was able to repair a spare Cinematronics B&W monitor so I'll have a back up if the current one goes south. Turned out pretty nice. I'll be adding some more B&W Cinematronics game repair information to the site in the near future.
Now for the big update: I now have a Missile Command Sit-down (some people call it a cockpit) that I'm in the process of restoring. It does have some minor water damage and needs a fair amount of work overall, but nothing that prevents it from turning out decent in the end. This baby is huge and heavy! Not sure if it will stay in the collection or not; I could be tempted by offers I suppose ;-)
We'll be doing some work on the house in the near future, so I'll have to move some games around. I hope to get some better pictures of them for my site in the process.
Well, the Tailgunner is still giving me fits. I got the monitor repaired, but something is still not working correctly.
The Donkey Kong Trilogy game is finished, and came out very nice. Open coin door, move connector to desired game, close coin door. This one is for sale. All new art on this baby!
And I finally picked up an Atari System 1 cabinet. It did have Road Blasters in it, but I have already converted it to Marble Madness. Just a few more cosmetic touch ups and parts and it will be ready for the collection. The Road Blasters kit is for sale as well.
I recently picked up a Tailgunner, which is a Cinematronics B&W vector. Unfortunately, it's got some problems with the monitor. Hope to have that fixed shortly.
The Atari Football is finished and came out as well as expected. Mine has the uncommon plays (plays such as "punt" and "down and out"). Very fun game.
Oh, and look for a new version of the G08 FAQ to be coming out soon in new improved PDF format.
I survived the holidays, as did my games for once. The Donkey Kong is all finished; in fact, I made it into a 3-in-1 multigame that plays every game from the Donkey Kong series. I'll put some pics up of it eventually.
Also, the Atari Football is coming along fine. I rebuilt the trackballs and control panels and scanned in the artwork and placed it at CAGA so hopefully someone does something with it some day.
Last but not least, I added a Parts page that contains a few ICs that I have for sale. Take a look; I really tried to make prices reasonable, so if you see something that doesn't look like a bargain, feel free to make an offer.
Happy Holidays everyone!
Boy, this last few weeks has been busy. I picked up a Donkey Kong cabinet and an Atari Football that are now in the restoration queue, along with a bunch of monitors. Lots of trades and deals recently. All in all though, it's been a slow year, hampered much by the lack of available room.
I have a lot of updates to make to the site though, so look for things to change around here in the near future, especially related to the wanted and for sale sections.
My ISP is cracking down on disk space account limitations, so I had to chop out the Events section to free up some space. Not much new; Asteroids cocktail, Ms Pac-Man cocktail, and Frogger upright for sale currently, so if you're in the Chicago area, send me an e-mail if you are interested in one of those. May be picking up a Donkey Kong soon.
Sorry about the long absence, but I started a new job and have been busy with all kinds of things involved with that. However, there are some updates worthy of mention...
The Frogger upright is finished and looks very nice. The Asteroids cocktail is almost finished and will be for sale soon...just need to find a source of white buttons, and need to get an Asteroids PCB fixed/repaired/replaced.
The hot news is that I finally picked up a Junkyard pinball machine. I am going to start restoring that very soon.
My friend Rick has upgraded his hobby into a business...check out his site at www.ricksgamerepair.com. His place is a must-stop-at if you are in the Chicago area. You know he's good when he's refered to by Eugine Jarvis as "The Legend" :-)
Hi all! With summer in full swing now, I have some room in the garage for some more projects. I picked up a Frogger and Asteroids cocktail which should keep be busy for some time. If anyone knows of a nice condition Junkyard pinball around for a decent price, send me an email. I'm still looking for the front access panel of a Converta-cab for my Space Fury.
I've been fooling around wth Taito Zookeeper hardware for a while now, and finally got a set working! That game rocks. Also received my converter from Hi-Tech Mechanical, and now I have Dragon's Lair running in my JAMMA cabinet.
The Cosmic Chasm is now in full working order, and I now I am just waiting for the control panel overlay to be reproduced. My Discs of Tron is still having trouble with the fluorescents; I guess the next step is to replace one of the relays and see if that helps.
Still looking for Converta cabinet front access panel...
Over 10,000 martians served! It's a banner day ;-)
Lots of things accomplished since last update. I have completed the cosmetic restoration of my Cosmic Chasm; you can see pics of the process on my Cosmic Chasm page. They will be removed after a while (too much disk space), so enjoy them while you can. Ask questions even.
Finished my Ms Pac Man cocktail finally. Came out nice. Space Fury is all fixed up except for the access panel. I'm looking for a nicer access panel, so contact me if you have a junker Converta cabinet that you're parting out.
And just as quickly as projects pile up, they're gone again...
Finally! I received my Cosmic Chasm this weekend! It needs some work, but it will be nice when I get through with it :-). I've been anticipating it's arrival for almost two years now, and it's finally here!
Besides that, I attended the Kane County auction this weekend (see the Events section below) and picked up a Space Fury in working condition. The projects are starting to pile up again!
Hi all! As you can see, I've updated my web page. Hope you like the new look! Let me know if you find any mistakes (like links to other sites which end up in one of the frames. Ugh!).
I finally got to the G08 monitor the other day. The deflection board I was working on had a deflection problem of some sort, so I pulled another deflection board out of my parts box and after changing about 15 parts on it, I was able to resurrect it on the first try! Doing the convergence for a brand new tube is a pain in the butt! I will add new information to my G08 faq soon, as I took some notes this time.
There is an auction this weekend in St. Charles, IL, so I'll be sure to write up something in the Events section regarding it.
Oh, and check out my Trade page; lots of good stuff.
Well, the Holidays are over and there are a few changes. I bought my wife a Who Dunnit pinball for Christmas (she really wanted it; she wants an Addam's Family pinball next!), so I had to rearrange my collection to fit that AND my Discs of Tron environmental in the game room.
The Discs of Tron environmental is still having strange problems with the rapid start fluorescents. They only light if you run your hand across them. Everything is grounded, so everything should work in theory. It is very aggrevating. I am working on a web page for Discs of Tron which should be helpful.
I still have the Centipede mini, Tornado Baseball, Star Wars, Tempest, and Battlezone for sale.
I got my NOS G08 monitor tube yesterday, so I guess I'll need to work on that soon, as well as finishing up a Ms PacMan cocktail.
Hi all! Well, I've got all my games restored just in time for the holidays. However, there is an auction this weekend that I will be attending, so the vicious cycle may start all over again! I am selling the following games, so contact me if you are interested: Battlezone, Centipede Mini, Tornado Baseball, Star Wars, and Tempest.
I have 6 Bally Midway MCR power supplies which need fixed in some way or another. I have posted the schematics and text for them online under my troubleshooting section. Please, someone come up with a nice flowchart for debugging these things!
Also, I will be starting work on my next G08 monitor soon, so hopefully I'll add some more info to the FAQ when I'm finished with it. Happy Thanksgiving!
Hello everyone! I'm back! And I'm ready to get back into some projects, too. I've got a Tornado Baseball, Discs of Tron environmental, Battlezone, and Centipede caberet on my pile of projects which should keep me busy for some time. I've made some updates to the Almost Complete Guide to Video Games in Movies for starters, but I plan on adding some more restoration articles as well as I make progress on these games.
MARS UPDATES POSTPONED UNTIL OCT 1ST
Hi all! With a wedding coming up in the next month, I'm putting my collecting hobby on hold until the wedding is over. I will continiue to read my mail, but I will not be updating MARS for the next month. Still, look around as there have been numerous updates to the Events section, The Almost Complete Guide to Video Games in Movies, and some of the FAQs. See you after Octorber 1st!
Well, NOW I have every cabinet configuration for Eliminator! I finally fixed a bad sound board to finish my 2-player setup. I put my "rare" version of the Eliminator marquee on the cabinet, and it...well...kinda sucks. Other than having a few scratches in the art, the marquee screening looks very poor; it almost looks like I have the art on a piece of paper behind a piece of plexi glass. The screening for the "Converta-Game" logo at the bottom right is off by about half an inch. The art is still unique, so it's not completely a screening mistake, but this must have been an early attempt of the marquee. The purple color of it doesn't even match the rest of the artwork, which is blue like the standard marquee.
I got crazy on projects this last weekend and JAMMAtized my Discs of Tron (which is very hard to play mirrored; time to and another hack to my JAMMEGA cabinet to be able to flip the X-axis), and Demolition Derby. I am almost finished with Space Lords.
I will be heading to a few auctions this week, so I will let you know how they go. Look for more changes to MARS coming up!
Finally! I put new carpet in the basement and had to move out all my games. Before I moved each one back in, I did a "re-restoration" of each one. Most consisted of maybe some paint touchup or a good cleaning, but the Sinistar got a complete overhaul, getting a new coat of black paint (don't worry, the artwork was saved) and having the coin doors repainted. Came out pretty slick in the end. While I had the control panel off, I got of picture of it. It is the rare "ships" version. Check it out on my Sinistar page.
I have been working on JAMMAtizing my Discs of Tron upright boardset. Turns out my EPROMs are different than those found on the web, so I archived them and sent them to the MAME group to fool with. My version has "Derez a Disc - 2000" on the scoring screen; if you have this version, contact me!
Other updates: I moved around the game section a bit so it is more organized. I added a detailed description section to my JAMMEGA game. More pics to come! Also, the wishlist has been updated.
Last but not least, I am looking for contributors to the MCR FAQ. Please help out if you can!
I recently attended a party celebrating Defender's 20th Anniversary. It was cool to meet some of the designers of a game which I am still playing 20 years later. Also, in talking to Mark Turmell of NBA JAM fame, he brought up the fact that not only had he played 4-player Eliminator years ago, but the particular cabinet he played on had the promotional canopy attached!
All games are going into the garage temporarily while new carpet is being put in. Hopefully this will give me a chance to get some detailed photos of them.
All games are restored at this time, so this will give me a chance to catch up on some JAMMAtizations; hopefully I can get Space Lords going sometime soon now that I have the control pods for the analog stick and shifter.
Over 5000 visitors! And who says MARS exploration is dead (well, maybe NASA). A few updates: I just realized I *don't* have all three versions of Eliminator! I don't have a 2-player set yet (can you believe that? I collected them in order of hardest to find to easiest :-)). Anyway, I need an Eliminator sound board (talk about irony); the one I was keeping especially for this boardset has crapped out, and I'm out of spare parts. Contact me if you can help me out; I'll trade other stuff for one or whatever.
Also, most of the items on my Stash or Trash page has been put on ebay; find me as seller mjenison.
Last but not least, I built a "JAMMA Sync Booster" adapter for my JAMMEGA game; there were a few JAMMA games (Captain America, Block Out, Metamorphic Force) which were not syncing correctly with my monitor. I created a small adapter which contained a small circuit to boost the sync, and now alll three games are playable. I have written up a small article about it in the troubleshooting section under monitors.
Turns out I had the wrong security chip on the CPU board of my Eliminator cocktail; my ROMS are fine. The game works! I now have all three cabinet configurations for Eliminator! Everything is proceeding as I have forseen...
I am almost finished with my resotration of my Space Fury cocktail. I am working to make it convertible to Eliminator also, but my copy of the Eliminator cocktail ROMS is corrupt. If anyone can help me out with the ROM images, let me know.
Hi all! It's been a while since my last update. I recently finished a Ms Pac cocktail and am starting on another. I also recently JAMMAtized a Robotron boardset and an Alien Arena boardset. For those of you who don't know, Alien Arena is a ROM swap for Robotron/Joust/Stargate. It is really a neat game. I added a page for it in the troubleshooting section, since I had a little trouble wiring it up. Also, I've had a lot of people comment on my super JAMMA cabinet, so I will be expanding that page in the future.
I've been looking for a reason to update my web page, and I finally got one! M.A.R.S. won the Underappreciated Site of the Month award from the Classic Video Game Nexus! See below. Both Rodney Dangerfield and Bob Uecker called to congratulate me (and I hadn't talked to them since High School!).
I got a digital camera for Valentine's Day, so you should see a lot more pictures of my collection, auctions, parts, etc on my website in the future.
For starters, I tried to document the Funhouse Ramp Kit installation. I need a little more practice, but check out the article here.
The last 3 Sega XY cases I've dealt with all had confusion about how the connectors to the video boards go on, so I updated the Sega XY FAQ with information on how to put these on correctly.
I received my TZ clock opto board. Interestingly, these do NOT come with the headers for the connectors, so don't throw your old minutes opto PCB away before you receives this. However, it was nice to see that they do come with all new bulbs. Also note that the optos on these board have +E and +S on the top of the optos which will be visible in the clock (unlike the originals which had no markings). After installation, the minutes opto board worked fine, but someohow I got the black clock gear out of alignment, so I'll have to figure out the correct procedure for re-aligning it (and the hits just keep on coming).
Well, the QVE11233 optos did not work out; not only that, but after a few swaps I eventually trashed my minutes opto board, so I just broke down and ordered a brand new one through Mazzco for like $50.
I ordered some optos for my TZ clock which started freaking out last week. Apparently the origianl part number is QVE11233.0086, which are like $5 a piece. I am experimenting with QVE11233, an opto that is found in the Mouser catalog for like 90 cents. I will report back if I have any success using this as a cheap replacement.
The Tac/Scan is finished and came out great (it's even better than my personal one). However, I've got no room for two, so if anyone out there is interested in a Tac/Scan with a brand new tube, let me know. I would be interested in trades as well.
Geez, I just looked at my previous updates and it sounds like I pick up a game just about every other week. Some day I'll have what's called "free time".
Also, I figured out that this is my 50th game! How appropriate that my 50th game is a Sega XY game! So that averages about 10 games a year...almost one a month! This is getting outta hand...awesome! :-)
Also, I got engaged this weekend!! Yeah, can you believe she said yes?? Crazy stuff. I've got to be a little more careful about my spending habbits now. However, I will be at the Iowa auction around Thanksgiving looking to pick up a decent game.
I picked up a 4-player Gauntlet last week. All the artwork is intact and nice! Should not take long to restore. I'm going to look into putting a multigame kit in it.
The Space Fury glass was the wrong thickness, so I have to re-order :-(. Still working on the Ms. Pac-Man cocktail. The main wiring is finished, just need to install the controls and the monitor.
The Space Fury cocktail is almost finished; just waiting for the replacement table top glass to come in. Started work on another Ms. Pac-Man cocktail.
Added Lunar Lander and Tapper pages to my collection.
03/29/99 - M.A.R.S. goes online.