Changing the lineup

Today I traded my way into an unidentified but very nice cabinet that is set up with Do Run Run sans monitor.

It’s covered top to bottom in neat but generic space themed art. The only identifying mark on the entire thing is ‘FF’ in the middle of the top marquee hold down bar.

Control panel is kinda interesting, with another possible clue as to what game originally occupied it. It’s got markings and a cut out on the back for one more button, though the control panel overlay is uncut.

Oddly, the wiring harness is also provisioned for a second button, even though it seems to have been made for Do Run Run from the start.

I dropped in my highly specialized test display and played a few rounds. Pretty fun game, but the controls need some attention. The buttons and joystick are some of the cheesiest components I’ve seen in a while and stuck with enough frequency to kill me about once every other round.

The cabinet itself seems designed for multiple possible games, and includes provisions for switching between horizontal and vertical monitor orientation. That means I can put the original Mr. Do in it too, and I took it as an excuse to rid myself of the rotten Megatack cab the Mr. Do hardware I have came in.

I won’t miss moving that waterlogged heap of MDF.

Bonus pic of the interface board pinout sticker on one of the monitors I traded for the cab, a Wells Gardner K4600 series. Label on the sticker is 69X0984-100, not sure if that relates to what type of interface card it corresponds to. The card itself was missing its identifying sticker when I got it. Figured I’d post it up regardless, since there seems to be precious little information about the different boards for these monitors available on the net.

We got the power

The Neo Geo I picked up on Saturday came with a handful of relatively minor issues. Among them was a noisy power supply fan that quieted down after a few minutes of operation. Fine if it’s living in a basement arcade, not so much in an office, so it was one of the first things I wanted to fix.

The power supply in the Neo Geo (an MVS-6-25 oversize upright unit) is a Happ Controls Power Pro. It’s extremely easy to extricate, held in by four screws and hooked up to the rest of the machine but three modular connectors. Once you’ve got it out there’s a handful of standard computer case screws to remove and you’ve got it open.

Roomy inside, and we can see that the fan used is the same style found in pretty much every desktop computer ever.

The spare I had on hand was a new Rosewill unit from Newegg, and it had an extra lead for speed monitoring. The one in the power supply had a 2 pin connector so I needed to splice on the old connector to the new fan for it to work. Couple minutes spent soldering and some heat shrink tubing and the operation was complete.

Everything stitched back together. Overall a very simple repair, but it will make the machine way more pleasant to be around. As a bonus I found an original SNK mini marquee blanking plate and a few dollars worth of quarters under the power supply when I pulled it. Yay!

Spent all my quarters

My company just moved offices and as part of the deal each department was allocated a redecorating budget to make their slice of the new space their own. I suggested we look for a Neo Geo, and ended up with enough support to go a good bit further.

After spending the last few weeks combing Craigslist and lining up deals (and one afternoon driving a Uhaul all over the Portland metro), I ended up with these!

Centipede was the first acquisition for $250. No video, supposedly was playing prior to the monitor going out. It’s in quite good shape aside from some peeling white paint on the edges of the cabinet sides, and the display issue.

Put together some tools for discharging the tube and filter capacitor.

Still have some further diagnostic work to do but I believe it should be repairable. Right now the display shows some blotchy color patterns in the center inch of the screen, so I know it’s mossssstly working and probably just needs some components replaced.

Second pick up was a Frogger cocktail table. Advertised at $250 but negotiated down to $200 since when it was set up for testing it showed some color issues on the monitor. In kinda rough shape, missing the top glass and placards, coin mechanisms, and has a kinda hack job switching power supply install, among other things.

It played when I got it, and after a little bit of fiddling with the pots on the monitor I got the color back to where it should be without having to do any repairs (yay!). Foolishly, I opened the control panel and found this. That’s half of a microswitch missing after the wiring harness was tugged on, whoopsie. I never did find the rest of the casing so I think it’d been that way for a while and I just had the misfortune to disturb it.

Fortunately my new friends at URS Electronics on NE 7th had a replacement in stock (along with the inevitable pile of other things I suddenly realized I needed when I stepped through the door). A few days later I also picked up a piece of plexiglass for the top from Pearl Ace Hardware and mounted it up to with the clips I got from the PO. They weren’t quite right (I think they may be from a Namco game?) but they worked. Also have a set of coin mechanisms and instruction placards from a guy on eBay who parted out an identical machine, should be getting a spare set of joysticks too later on.

Then came the Neo Geo, a Mr. Do conversion, and an old Keno machine. The Neo Geo is a six slot monster that a PAC member gave me a deal on for $350 delivered with a couple of cartridges. The Mr. Do and Keno machine were $50 from a seller in Corvallis. I was all set on Friday to drive out there and make the deal, spending who knows how much in the process, but UHaul was closed by the time I got off work. I called the seller up and dejectedly explained what had happened and crossed my fingers that he’d hold the games for another day, and then he told me he was actually driving up to Portland Saturday and could bring the games up then for another $50. Overjoyed doesn’t scratch the surface describing how happy I was about that.

The Neo Geo was host to a few Puzzle Bobble duels immediately after arrival. The Mr. Do and Keno are a bit less turnkey. The Mr. Do had a burnt fuse in the power supply and after replacement powers up with an unholy racket from the cranked sound control and tortured old marquee ballast. No video, though I can see glow from the monitor neck, and the game coins up and makes happy noises so I think I scored nicely.

I discovered an interesting thing about the Mr. Do while checking it out. It’s housed in an old Game Plan Inc. cabinet, and the art on the front and sides says it was originally a game called Megatack [1]. It seems to be a bit of a rarity these days, one of only a handful of video games produced by the short lived company. Nothing except the cabinet and art are left of the original game, and with the amount of water damage I don’t think a restoration would be feasible even if it were originally something magnitudes more desirable.

The Keno machine is an old IGT game, I probably never would have picked it up if it wasn’t so damn cheap and easy to acquire at the same time. It’s actually pretty solid, and I was able to power it up though like Mr. Do it has no video at the moment. Unless I discover an underground contingent of vintage Keno enthusiasts I think this one is going to donate some square buttons to my bartop trivia machine in AK, and then be gutted and converted to a JAMMA harness or a MAME setup and become something a little more suited to its environs.

1: Solarfox has a good write up with pics of this game here!