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Thread: Arcade Games

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Arcade Games

    I do not know how much interest there is here in this, but I recently decided to get back into Arcade game collecting.

    About 15 years ago, I worked as a Technical Manager for my local Chuck E Cheeses. My job was to maintain all of the games and animatronic show. During my time there, I discovered that most of the video games were essentially the same inside, with just either a different board or a different set of chips.

    Fast forward a few years later, I decided to build my own game setup with parts off of ebay. I did not have room for a full on cabinet, so I bought all of the controls, a professional video monitor, and a few game boards. I built my own "Universal control set", which had a standard 8 direction joystick and 6 buttons per player, as well as some buttons for the test modes and coin inserts.




    I then put it all together in the living room, as a massive joystick.


    I focused on the fighting games and puzzle games at that point. The NeoGeo MVS (which is playing Metal Slug there) and Capcom CPS2 platforms were great for fighting games, and I bought a Taito F3 board from Korea.




    After then, I moved a few times.. and lugging around the large 29" video monitor and finding a place to set it all up became an extremely low priority. I ended up selling off most of the games, but I kept the Taito games and a Super Street Fighter 2 game along with all of the wiring and the control panel that I made.

    Fast forward again to today. I now have the space to set this all up again, and the finances to get into some more advanced games. The developers who make the games have shifted more towards "platforms", where you have a standard motherboard and the game is just basically a cartridge or CD/DVD that you can change out. The NeoGeo MVS and Taito F3 above are good examples of that, but there are newer ones such as the Sega Naomi (The arcade version of the Dreamcast), and the Namco System 246/256 (The arcade version of the Playstation 2). Of course there are newer versions too, but the newer you go, the more expensive it gets. As such, I picked up a Naomi setup along with its GD-ROM addon and a System 246 from Japan.

    After accumulating these games, I decided to start looking into game cabinets. I figured I would buy one and just swap games in and out of it. This lead me to my latest purchase, which is not the stand-up cabinet that I was looking for.. but a sit-down driving game.



    It is a (mostly) complete dedicated Cruis'n World game, I was able to pick it up for $50 (plus $120 for the U-Haul). The only thing it is missing is the power supply, which I should be able to replace later today. Hopefully all of its boards work correctly.

    Using this chassis, I should be able to get a number of driving games working, such as Crazy Taxi or Initial D (both Naomi games), or other Midway driving games such as Crusin USA or Crusin Exotica.

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    Th3 EviL OvErLORd Reason's Avatar
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    I always wanted a mini arcade. I even started building the space for it at my parents house when I lived there. Even though I still own the place with them, it just doesn't make sense to continue it. Beside, my dad took over the space and has a nice man cave.

    Anyway I was always interested in the 4 player off road stand up, Mortal Combat 1 and Super Street fighter 2. I never thought about building my own cabinet before, that's a good idea though. Great work!
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  3. #3
    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    I am not sure if I want to build a cabinet from scratch.. but that option is there. My current thought is to find some 2 or 4 player cabinet and refurb it into a generic unit. I also want to do some LCD conversions, as the big CRTs are such pigs to work on.

    I just finished converting an old computer power supply to get this running. I hope to see life this evening!

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    This is WIN. I have been lurking around for years wanting to build a mame cabinet. I realllly want the old multi player Ivan Stewart off road, and definately do a Mortal Kombat machine, and maybe one like Time Crysis. 3 units would cover everything I want. Driving with wheel standard joy stick and buttons, and the shooter games with light rifle. Once I have the space.. I think this will become a priority!
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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Well, some progress. I managed to get it started up, but I apparently do not have the key for the coin acceptor door. That normally would not be a big deal, however the test mode buttons that I need to get it started are in there.. and I cannot access them. The key that I have for the back is different, so either I need to get my hands on the key, or drill it out. I have a feeling I will be drilling it out.





    I also noticed that the board is for Crus'n USA and not for World. Luckily, I have the ability to program a new (correct) set of chips to make it the right game. I just need to buy a bunch of EPROMs to start.

    While I was down there, I snapped some pictures of the other game boards that I picked up thus far.
    Sega Naomi w/NetDIMM board


    Namco 246 w/ Gundam vs Gundam


    Sega GD-ROM addon for multiple systems including the Naomi, Chihiro, and Triforce.

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    Way above my head but really cool either way!

  7. #7
    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    As an update to this.. I managed to get it up and running. I drilled out the back and removed the lock to get to the buttons.. just to find that they didnt work. Turns out that there were a few wires that were broken that kept them from working. It took me a bit of time to track them down and correct them, but it seems that there are a few other broken wires as the right side speaker and the manual shifter does not work. I will deal with that stuff at a later time, but a more pressing issue was the display.

    The display itself was having issues where it would not work properly until it warmed up quite a bit. Sounds like old/bad capacitors, but replacing all of the caps on a 20 year old CRT just does not sit well with me when I can replace it with a better, lighter, lower powered LCD. It took me a bit to find one that fit properly within the cabinet, and then it took me a bit to find a way to mount it, but I got it working today!


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    Super Moderator Dead91silvia's Avatar
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    HA! Thats awesome! How much work will it be to fix the shifter?

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    I am not sure, I started to trace the wiring but it may be a problem with the game board itself..

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    Thats a bummer. You can just upgrade it to a newer shifter cant you? Like say one from an Xbox or a PS?

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    The shifter itself is fine, it is just 4 switches, which all work. It is just not registering.


    In other news, I had a box show up today from Japan with some more games in it. A few more NeoGeo games, and a Sega Naomi2 which is the improved version of the Naomi I photoed earlier. The Naomi2 has a couple of good driving games for it, which is what I was really after.. but this particular setup came with a Volleyball game, hah! I never once thought I would own an arcade volleyball game, but I didnt have much say in what came with it.



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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    The most recent acquisition.. A big thanks to @Muse for helping me get this one home.



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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Well, the game had to be disassembled quite a bit in order to it into the room. The entire steering tower was removed and it is just sitting on top in this picture.


    I took this opportunity to clean up the game. It may be 13-14 years old, but it looks like it may have never been cleaned during that time until now. After a good wipe down with simple green and glass cleaner.. it is looking 10 times better.


    Right now, I am trying to figure out how to get the system to play some other driving games that I own. Even though Club Kart is a standard Naomi2 game, it does seem to have some oddities that keeps it from playing the other games.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    After some interface module re-wiring.... It lives!


    Next step.. get rid of this huge horrible projection display. I have an extra 37" LCD TV that I can use to replace it. I just need to make up a mount for it that bolts to the game chassis.

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    I built a mounting point for the TV and hooked it all up today. I still need to finish fixing all of the wiring to swap back and forth between the Club Kart game and Initial D, but I have them largely working at this point.

    I ended up bolting a mini wall to the end of the game itself. This way the game can be moved around without worrying about pulling cables off of a wall mounted TV.



    It now nicely fits in the corner of the room, and it even let me put the door back on the hinge.


    Final result of the display portion. As I said before, there are still some wiring changes to be made so it is not yet fully assembled.



    I am toying around with the idea of installing my extra black leather passenger seat from my BE. It would be comfy for sure, but I will loose the seat-mounted speakers...

    I also made a quick video of the Attract Mode of Initial D.

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    So much winning here. Hugely jealous!


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    Cool

    Arcade games are an instant throwback for me. A chunk of my childhood and teenage years were spent pouring quarters and tokens into those things. Just finished scrolling through this post, now caught up (and thinking about doing something like this myself).
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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    I havent done much with these in the last few months.. I have been converting the ClubKart into a Mario Kart GP Arcade, and I am going to convert the Crusin' World/USA into Initial D. I also want to get a sit-down "candy" cabinet for my non-driving games (I have a Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Unlimited game waiting to be put into something), but the house has been more demanding on my finances than I would like right now.

  20. #20
    Th3 EviL OvErLORd Reason's Avatar
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    You could make a "T" stand behind the seat with 2 speakers or a small sound bar. Either way, the sound would be a hundred times better.
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  21. #21
    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    The ClubKart cabinet has speakers built into the seat, so that one is good. The Cruisn' could use that treatment, but I do have other things that I want to do first such as a much larger screen.

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