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!

The things you’ll find

Going through Badlands I discovered a couple interesting things. One, it was either originally a Peter Pack Rat or was converted using a kit. The control panel has the right part number for that game. With production under a thousand that makes parts of it at least rather rare.

I also found a neat bit of ephemera under the coin box.

Three quarter slugs. There are some ghostly markings on the faces that make me think they’re probably nickels that were hammered thin and then shaved down to finish. Kinda interesting to see, one of them even passes through the coin mechs successfully.

I also failed miserably in my goal to avoid acquiring any more games until my car would fit in the garage again. Someone posted a link to a Hydra for sale in an Atari System 1 cabinet like the one Badlands inhabits. It looked pretty solid from the ad and had side art. I also thought I saw what looked like the corner of Stargate side art in one of the ad photos… So I went and checked it out.

Long story short, I brought home a fully functioning Hydra for $75. The cabinet is missing the front door, but otherwise there’s little wrong with it. I’m told the door was lost due to an overzealous cop when a warrant was served on the venue the game was in. Either way, I’m happy with the find. The cabinet was originally an Indiana Jones, from the serial and operator tags on it.

I’m thinking I’ll repair the door and keep it as is for the time being. Hydra itself isn’t that common of a game and is pretty fun.

I drove back for the second cabinet today. Got it thrown in for $50 more since I was taking the two of them. It’s a Stargate cabinet, converted to Golden Axe. It looked like this when I first brought it home…

A little tugging…

The crappy leatherette vinyl came right off, revealing nice Stargate art underneath. Very cool.

The cabinet is a little thrashed around the bottom. It’s been missing the levelers for a long time I suspect, and the plywood took the punishment. Still quite solid though, the MDF back doors had some bad swelling but the rest was spared. The game didn’t come up, seems like there’s something wrong with the monitor. The game board came with a JAMMA adapter though, so I plugged it into another cab and it works great.

I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with this one yet. It’s a nice enough conversion with mostly solid wiring work. On the other hand, original Stargate cab. I’m thinking a multi-Williams setup will win out in the end.

Getting a bit crowded…