elvis' retro gaming log

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
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    Keeping a log of stuff here for laughs.

    My once beautiful games room has fallen into disarray. Cables and crap everywhere, cabinets not working, consoles out of working order, etc, etc.

    Had a couple of weeks off over the holidays, and started fixing it. Want to open it up in March for a birthday bash I'm having, so it needs to be ready and child-friendly by then.

    More photos later.

    Things done so far:

    * Built a high bench in my man shed for soldering (I'm tall, hate sitting, hate leaning over low desks)

    * Bought a bunch of generic no-name brand Sega Dreamcast controllers off ebay, ripped them open and soldered wires to the connectors.

    * Pulled the PC out of my first MAME cabinet (31+Khz SVGA 21" PC monitor inside it) to be moved into another cabinet with a proper 15KHz CGA arcade monitor and J-Pac (both purchased > 1 year ago, and unused!).

    * Plugged my second Dreamcast and VGA box into the old MAME cab, verified 31KHz VGA signals and audio are all good from the Dreamcast. Modded controllers are ready, just need to fix up the control panel.

    * My head to head Sega Versus City cabinet with Street Fighter III: Third Strike CPS3 PCB (my pride and joy, and a surprise gift from my awesome wife) had one of it's monitors fail recently. I'm not very cluey about repairing monitors, so a good friend of mine who I help with IT stuff occasionally agreed to take it away and fix it for me (and I'm very grateful!). So that cabinet is dismantled until the monitor+chassis are repaired and returned.

    * I currently have a generic Chinese "candy cabinet" which is a pretty great machine for the price (nowhere near good build quality as a proper Japanese cabinet, but a fraction of the price). Inside that is a hacked PS2 (RGB/SCART hacked into a JAMMA fingerboard). The PS2 is modded to play my Japanese games (originally Third Strike until I got the surprise Versus City and CPS3 kit from my wife, so now just a bunch of other Japanese arcade ports that appeared on PS2). I've also put a hard disk in the fat PS2, and gotten Open PS2 Loader working on that so I don't have to open up the cabinet to switch games (and hopefully the laser on the unit will last a bit longer too). Still some tweaking to be done, however.

    * I bought a second Wii and soft modded it. I've bought all of the SEGA lightgun games for Wii, which are all brilliant ports from fun arcade games. The plan is to set up an old 80cm CRT with my PSX and twin Namco guns, as well as this Wii, and eventually build a cabinet for it to be my lightgun setup. I want to reduce the need to swap disks inside a cabinet, so HDD loaders are a great option for these setups.

    Stuff to do:

    * Tidy up cabling in the games room!!!

    * Build a new control panel for my MAME cabinet, using some aluminium composite panel

    * Maybe build a new control panel for my Dreamcast cabinet, maybe transplant the old one with some button hole covers. Unsure on that currently.

    * I've got another fat PS2 that someone gave to me where the memory card and player one port have been bashed in (looks like it was dropped/kicked). It powers up fine however, so I'll crack that open and see if I can fix the front connectors. I also have another fat PS2 that doesn't give a picture that I want to look at.

    * Buy a cheap DX PS2 "Network adaptor" (with no network, but with SATA connectors) for my other fat PS2s.

    * Investigate ease of making AD725 based RGB->YUV converters. I want an easier/cheaper way of sending 15KHz progressive scan modes to CRTs from a PC video card, rather than buying a Universal Chassis and hacking the CRT every time. While that gives a much better picture, it's difficult when multi-game cabinets are set up, because different games require manual re-syncing and adjustment of the screen every time. Hopefully I can generate a single mode (NTSC 240p, for example) that will look "good enough" for games the kids want to play. TV-out from video cards suck, as they interlace the picture and make everything look horrible for games.

    * Lightgun cabinet (PSX, potentialy PS2 instead, and Wii)

    * Scratch-build 4 player cabinet based on TMNT/Simpsons original cabinet dimensions for my three kids (MAME cab with all the practical 3 and 4 player games to be added).

    * Mods for all my older consoles (region free, 50/60Hz and RGB out for all my old 8 and 16bit consoles)

    * Scratch build two Taito Vewlix cabinets (I have 2x 27" LCD monitors set aside for this from an old job - the internal power supplies blew and they threw them out, so I got them fixed). These will be single player per side, head to head, and be set up for XBox360 and PS3 (dual input joystick controls). I have a tonne of fighting games on PS3 and Japanese arcade shoot 'em ups on XBox 360, all ready to go.

    More later...
     
  2. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    What a pigsty!
    [​IMG]

    No-name brand Dreamcast controller hacks:
    [​IMG]

    Dreamcast and VGA box in the VGA MAME cabinet. Cabling is a mess too.
    [​IMG]

    Shoving PS2 RGB/SCART direct into the arcade monitor. The monitor takes composite video directly and strips the sync for me, so I don't need to strip it with an LM1881N
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The good side of my Versus City
    [​IMG]

    And the missing monitor that's off for repair:
    [​IMG]

    The awful control panel on my blue lowboy. Someone just hand-guestimated the hole cutting (you can clearly see the original three button blue/orange/yellow buttons, and them the others haphazardly added in afterwards), so it's got to be changed. It's going to become a Neo-Geo machine with 4 buttons per side.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  3. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    Nice.

    Consider me shocked though, I would have expected better from you :weirdo::tongue:
     
  4. ShaneHm2

    ShaneHm2 Member

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    Nice

    Definitely looking forward to the end result
     
  5. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Trust me, I'm pretty appalled at the state of disarray compared to what it used to look like.

    Compare to back in 2007 (pictures below). Yes, 7 YEARS AGO. That's a long time for stuff to sit unused, collecting dust (and in Brisbane humidity, so much mould :sick: ).

    I've had a few bumps in the road since then (cancer, depression). But both are under control now, and this log is the next phase of getting back into the things that I used to love.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Alby1976

    Alby1976 Member

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    The disarray shall let Elvis Mk2 make improvements over the previous trophy of a games room. :thumbup:

    Looking back at the original pic from 07 had me thinking about back in the day, playing Double Dragon at the local pizza shop.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I promised myself I wouldn't buy new toys until my games room was back into running condition.

    And then someone offered this for $30...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. lupin

    lupin Member

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    Don't worry too much the mess is part of old console life. You seem to be always in the back of the cabinet giving something a wiggle to keep it working.

    I'm the same my room seems to stay tidy for about a week then I either get something new that I need to make room for or pull something out.

    Glad that your better now though.
     
  9. flugle

    flugle Member

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    My collection has gone through the same stages, my room is a mess too currently as I decide what Nintendo stuff goes. It's now a decade long pastime so I guess it's natural that things change in priority.

    Good to see you're on the mend though. Games are good therapy

    Oh and thats an awesome score on the C64, you have a couple of pretty rare carts in there
     
  10. Draebor

    Draebor Member

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    Pitfall II!!

    i played a crapload of that game when i was a wee lad, happy times :)
     
  11. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    First ever experiment with Aluminium Composite Panel. This is going to be the control panel for my Dreamcast cabinet.

    The stuff is great! You can treat it like timber - cut it with a saw, sand it back, route it, paint it, whatever. I wish I'd know about this stuff years ago.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Slow going at the moment, as I'm back at work and lately my weekends are booked solid. :upset:

    Tracing out some laser cut joystick templates I have lying about for my button layout on the ACP. Using arcs and tangents to find the centres (yay maths!)
    [​IMG]

    ACP cut, sanded and attached to an MDF backing.
    [​IMG]

    A few gloss coats, 24 hours dry time, and sanded back:
    [​IMG]

    Then a new coat:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Akh-Horus

    Akh-Horus Member

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    Keep at it!!! Want to see an improvement on the old version :):)
     
  14. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    OMG the pic from 7 years ago!!! I have to change my pants now, cause I just made a mess, that is the dream sir.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Giving it every spare moment I have lately. Tough to do some days, but persistence is the key!

    Thanks. :)

    Revision 2 will be bigger and better!
     
  16. Sebstar

    Sebstar Member

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    I'm a complete noob with this, but is it possible to somehow make the controllers wireless? I dunno like

    plug - wireless adapter ---- wireless adapter - controller?

    Or is that blasphemy?
     
  17. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Are you talking about retro consoles? Probably a lot of effort for little gain.
     
  18. hsvguy

    hsvguy Member

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    I just use cable extenders, available dirt cheap off of ebay for most consoles. :thumbup:
     
  19. Sebstar

    Sebstar Member

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    Yeah but this is to combat billions of cables...
     
  20. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Wireless brings it's own problems. Lost controllers (kids walk off with them), constant battery purchasing and/or recharging, fiddly electronics that can go wrong and aren't easy to repair, etc, etc.

    Yeah, wired is messy, but I can clean up mess. I can also fix 25 year old wired hardware a lot easier than modern wireless stuff.

    Plus, there's a big part of this hobby which is about trying to keep things authentic. I do my fair share of hardware hacking, but I still like to keep some things original.
     

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