Ay caramba!

Brought to fruition a deal that’s been on the back burner for a couple months now. The same guy I got the Hydra and Golden Axe conversions from a while back had a Simpsons that he offered me in trade for some work on a few pinball machines. We shook on it and I ordered the parts, which arrived and then spent weeks on my workbench. The games were out in Salem and life did its thing and cut off any opportunity to take a trip down there…

Eventually things eased up, and I made arrangements for the 7th. This date neatly coincided with Portland’s annual Snowpocalypse, so I pushed the date forward yet another week. Booked an E-350 from Zipcar and finally made the trip for real this afternoon.

After several hours spent troubleshooting and doing some repairs to a Lethal Weapon 3 and rebuilding the flippers of a Tee’d Off, I made off into the foggy night with my prize. Bezel and monitor glass aren’t pictured but I got those too.

These four player Konami cabinets are fucking huge, and Heavy. I made things easier for myself by pulling the monitor for the move but it was still a chore.

While futzing around with that I found some identifying labels…

I’m not sure what this was originally… Based on the color coming through the painted sides from some shredded old side art I’m thinking originally Sunset Riders, but the official Konami sticker says Simpsons. Either way, doesn’t make too much of a difference. They both use the same cabinet, sharing the platform with a sea of beat ‘em ups from the era.

Cabinet is very clean inside and the wiring all looks original. Will be nice not to have to clean up a half dozen conversions worth of hackery for once. Definitely gotta recover the control panel, or swap on a cleaner one. It’ll also neat a paint job at the very least for the sides, and maybe new art if I can avoid cringing whenever I look at the price for reproduction printings. All in all still a fine deal though, the game board alone would have been worth the time I spent.

Grim and Frostbitten Centipede of the Pacific Northwest

It got Real Cold here, slowing everything down except the accumulation of heating bills and consumption of alcohol. On the less frosty days I’ve been spending a little time in the garage finishing up the Centipede cocktail cab.

Picked up another piece of mat board and made a surround for the LCD. Finish isn’t as nice as the one for the Gun Fight cab but it’s also not nearly as visible once the top is down and the smoked plexi is in place.

Also got the new CPOs on the player 2 side, and wired up both trackballs. I had to swap out the original optical encoder boards with some Happ style ones since the Atari originals apparently don’t play nice with the 60n1 boards. Also had to swap the signal wires on one board for each trackball in order to get proper operation. Without doing so one axis would always end up backwards regardless of how the 60n1 was configured.

Found this too. Hadn’t noticed the old op tag on the player 2 side. Eldorado Products of Gardena, CA seems to have been actively doing business at least up until 1991, but seems to gone defunct before the Internet really took off since the company’s web presence is solely comprised of Yellow Pages scam and directory aggregator spam sites that seem to have picked up its old contact information crawling an old industry mailing list.

Project updates part 3

Last of these bulk updates, I swear!

Lots going on with the second conversion I’m doing. It’s a Centipede cocktail I got without boards or monitor, getting the 60n1 treatment. Not the best end… Not the worst either. I like to think I’m doing it justice while meeting the needs of the person who commissioned it.

A disturbing amount of lint came out of those trackballs. Like, several square inches of it. As well as a toothpick and wrapper, two bits of gum stuck to a roller, and what I’m pretty sure was a receipt at some point. Classy people, those players in the distant past. I got the trackballs performing nicely, though new bearings are probably in their future.

New control panel overlay (from Arcadeshop, amazing quality and I cannot convey how nice having the holes die cut is) for player 1 installed, along with the LCD. Was happy to be able to mount the LCD without modifying the cabinet beyond a few screw holes. I doubt this thing will ever be deconverted, but if it is it’ll be an easier job than a lot of the bullshit out there.

Got the dents (yeah, seriously) out of the player 2 control panel tonight as well, and sprayed it black again. Will get the new CPO on and reassemble later this week and then it’s back to waiting for more parts to come in.

In other news, the boardset for my Space Invaders came in finally!

I ended up having to use half of my original boardset (the audio board) and half of the donor (motherboard) in order to get a fully functional game in my cocktail cab. The end state working set is pictured above.

The donor boards evidently came from an upright. I’d heard all Space Invaders boardsets were alike and there was merely a cabinet wiring difference between the upright and cocktail versions. Given the fact that the cocktail audio board has an extra set of connections versus the upright board I think the difference is more significant than that.

Might also be a change between revisions though… The audio board I bought has older style gigantic caps on it, among other differences. More research is necessary to get that sorted out though, it seems like the Deluxe version of the game has much more info out there about it and there was not much forthcoming about the original.

Thankfully it was my motherboard that was the issue, not the audio board, so I frankensteined it and got a few rounds in tonight!