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…

Crimp, seat, repeat

The ‘Gallag’ Galaga bootleg board I was planning on dropping into my project Midway cocktail cab shit the bed at some point during handling. I got it staged for installation, partially wired up, and then found I couldn’t get a useable video signal out of it. I could get a few frames of the attract screen when it wasn’t uncontrollably rolling, but even then everything was tinted red. I thought the G07 monitor chassis might be to blame, but swapping that out with a known good one didn’t elicit any change. Time for plan B.

Earlier this month the Gorf control panels I bought came in the mail. They were cheap, match the original equipment for the cab, and are a two axis joystick with single button configuration which works for a ton of games. This past Friday I picked up a pair of 60 in 1 multi game boards locally for a pretty decent price. Finally, I had a generic JAMMA standard harness from a cut corner Dynamo cab I salvaged parts from several years back when the High Score arcade in the Dimond Center closed.

I started combining all of these bits and pieces, got stuff laid out on Friday and was able to get video from the multi board. Good sign…

I used connectors salvaged off of the super hacked up Galaxian harness that came with the Gallag bootleg board to interface the JAMMA harness cleanly with the Gorf control panels. I picked up a ton of tools and pins to use with Molex connector bodies over the past few weeks. My end goals are making everything I build from here on out very modular, and cutting out butt splice and blade connectors as much as I can.

Ended up having to special order the .084″ MLX style connectors that are common in the golden age arcade games since they’re obsolete and weren’t carried by URS electronics. I was able to get the .062″ and .096″ standard and KK stuff from them though. I’m told I’m their #2 consumer of Molex products now… That’s a little scary.

Getting things squared away. I was testing intermittently here to make sure I had my inputs wired up correctly, and noticed the colors were distorted on one side of the monitor, but only when the cabinet was closed. At first I though it was due to the speaker coil being close to the tube, or maybe the isolation transformer… Turns out though that if you drastically change the orientation of a monitor some funky stuff can happen with magnetic fields and you’ll get odd results. Fortunately, degaussing will fix it, and in this case the built in degaussing coil on the G07 was enough to solve the issue.

The finished product, more or less. I need to clean up the AC wiring a little bit still, there’s a lot of slack in there from the pigtails I built for the power switch and ventilation fan.

The cab is totally playable at this point, I’ve got it booting straight to Galaga. Might try to find either a Galaga or Gorf top glass, but that’s pretty low priority since this thing is a total Frankenstein regardless of any changes. The things I 100% need to do are get a set of the plexiglass filler pieces that go behind the control panels, and wire up lighting behind them, and a set of strike brackets for the latches that hold down the table top.

Might also try to shore up the far side of the table top from the hinge since it’s bowed a bit which allows a lot of stress to be placed on the glass on that edge. Happy with the results so far though and looking forward to getting some competition going on this one since I know Galaga strikes some nostalgic chords for a lot of people.