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Sega Aero City

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade Worklogs' started by mR_CaESaR, Mar 20, 2022.

  1. mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    3,079
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Through the Candy Cab Gods (namely DRAGONKZ), I've been able to secure one a candy cab grail - the Sega Aero City! It wouldn't be a Caesar cabinet without a respective work log thread :D

    Long story, short, Dragonkz moved heaven and earth to secure this cab and once secured, he told me it was mine because he knew it was one of my grail cabs. What a LEGEND!

    The space in my area is very very limited, but an opportunity like this doesn't come up that often, so I've gone with Dragonkz's motto - "store to have and not store to play" :D :D, so I'll store now, worry about space to play later.

    Bill delivered the cab on Friday and spent most of yesterday working on it.

    How it arrived

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    I was umming and ahhing for a little bit about keeping the stickers to add to the character, but I knew deep down, the stickers needed to come off :D

    Given it's condition, I decided I won't do a full repaint and my first initial impression about the cab is as follows:
    • heavy AF but a very solid build
    • can tell its an old cab, it's very simple (can't find a volume pot)
    • monitor will need calibration and turn it 180 degrees
    • a few rust spots here and there
    • light doesn't work
    • internal wiring might need some re work
    • internal cp wiring needs some work
    • will need a new cp
    • need the outer decal around the cp (need to confirm if that should be flush with the cp or not)
    • speakers appear to be ok, not busted
    First order of business - the stickers :D

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    I spent a couple of hours on this side and the bezel with the heat gun, fingernails and IPA

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    After spending all that time, I thought I'd give the heat gun "longer" on the stickers and it was like reflowing solder - it gets hot enough, it just bubbles up and she comes off in one piece! I wish I learnt this earlier yesterday morning hahaha I was just scared I'd stuff the paint up

    The right side took me a whole 10 mins!! FMD lol

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    Next order of business was the monitor - the monitor was already in Tate position which is great, but when I loaded the game it was upside down

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    Rather than just changing the yoke wires around, I wanted to take it out - the anode cap is on the left side on all my other Tate cabs, so this one also needed to be on the left side :D

    After switching the monitor around, I calibrated it to the best I could and I think the red and blue guns are a lot weaker than the green gun - when I had them all lined up exactly the same, the image was waaaaay too much green

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    But with the green dialed back, the image is perfect!

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    One of the best things about this cab is that damn MS8!! Love it's thick scanlines and the PQ on it.

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    Vanne, Trizae, flain and 14 others like this.
  2. badmofo

    badmofo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,843
    Location:
    Australia
    Freaking awesome! Some of those stickers were totally rad I agree, but go and be rad somewhere else mofos :lol:
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2022
    adz and mR_CaESaR like this.
  3. /invariance\

    /invariance\ Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,233
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hey, I remember that "Super Octane Body Fuel" sticker. I can't remember where from; handed out in schools in the 80's maybe, or in wheat-bix packets?
    I can see it was originally from Queensland with the 4IP and the R.Q.S.P.C. stickers which I just looked up to be from 1955 to 1981.
    Bit of history in the stickers on their own. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2022
    BistecConBigote, adz and mR_CaESaR like this.
  4. bYrd

    bYrd Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    2,474
    Location:
    NE Melbourne
    Glad you found one - what a fun restoration this will be.

    I used to collect stickers as a kid, most of mine came from the Melbourne Show and many of these look familiar; possibly this originated from a show ground? I'd almost keep them and display them "photobomb" style inside a photo frame nearby the cab.
     
    adz and mR_CaESaR like this.
  5. Sledge

    Sledge Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Messages:
    9,499
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Nice one mate

    What is it about the Aero city that made you want it so much?
     
    mR_CaESaR likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    3,079
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I agree man, in another life, I so would've kept those stickers, I think it adds character and a sense of history to the cab, but I'm way too much of a stock guy for cabs so unfortunately they had to go :)

    Wow. Spot on! This cab was from QLD. There's definitely a significant chunk of history in this cabs stickers.

    I found an ET one inside the cab haha


    To be honest, this cab is in such a great condition that there's really not much to do compared to other cabs I've restored..

    I would love to do a full restore of the cab, but it'll end up costing way more than I really want to spend. Powder coating alone will cost an arm and a leg, the decals which are pretty much perfect will cost also decent coin to add back what is already there.

    Yes, there's a couple of runs spots, but it's not significant.

    It's like a classic car, really old, but oh so elegant :)

    It's a combination of things really, it's the 26" size which is perfect as a shmup cab, it's just not as in your face as a 29" cab..

    It's the full metal design, it's one of segas first candy cabs, it was created the same year I migrated to AU and my dad worked for sega.

    I think it's rarely the rarity of the cab, since properly jumping into the hobby about 4 years ago, I've seen an aero come up for sale twice. One was over 3k and one was so cheap that it went within minutes of going up for sale.

    Add to the fact that it became extremely popular due to Netflix's Hi Score Girl anime and I will admit, I became quite obsessed with the Aero :)
     
  7. bYrd

    bYrd Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    2,474
    Location:
    NE Melbourne
    A bit of patina is good - real rust I'd grind off and respray with Rustoleum (and interior casing too).

    I'm dreaming of a fish n chip shop lowboy, that'd do me. I own an LAI cocktail arcade which I love but if the lowboy came up I'd make the switch - can't have two.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm sure those who have been keeping a close eye on my cabs know I have a silly theme of having pairs! Just because this cab is pretty rare in Australia, is not an excuse! :D

    About a month ago, I got delivery of another Aero City - once again thanks to DRAGONKZ! This time, this was imported from Japan and probably cost a bit more than I would've liked but it's the price you pay for wanting pairs :D

    She traveled from Japan, to Melbourne to Sydney before arriving like this on my driveway

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    After unboxing the cab and doing the initial inspection, I can say 100% that this cab is nowhere near the condition of the first one. I'm actually amazed at how good the first one was. The condition of this second one is how I expected a cab from 1988 to be really so there's no real big surprises there.

    The one thing I was really hoping not to have was a burnt screen, but again, this is a 1988 cab that's been in circulation, so enter Rygar burn in :D

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    Inspecting the wiring was fun... I refused to turn the cab on until I had probed everything and made sure things were wired to where they were supposed to be. Here's the nice little rats nest :D

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    The control panel itself was in decent condition, however, the shell of it is plastic and not original. As you can see this one is "centred" versus the first one which is "offset to the left". The original is with the offset, so I have purchased the outer part off yaton, but still need the metal plate to mount the cp on - this will come in time.

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    Once the wiring was confirmed, I was confident to plug her in and voila! Missing the red channel :(

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    In my experience with a colour going out, it's been due to a cold solder joint on the neck board, as such, I quickly inspected the neck board and couldn't really find any cold solder joints, so I moved to something else.

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    I noticed when I gave the cab a bump, the red would come in and out, so I secured the RGB signals tighter on the harness and that seemed to have worked. I didn't reflow anything as of yet, but I have all three colours at all times now

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    It wouldn't be a CRT cab without in my house without this game being loaded! :D

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    The next stage was to move a few things around to try and have them next to each other so now, I finally have both of them turned on!! :D

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    The Aero City is a great size cab with a 26" monitor, but this second one could definitely use a new tube and I'm hoping to have one in the next few months. The cab is definitely old, but ever since watching Hi-Score Girl, I've been wanting Aero's so it's finally good to have them both.

    There's a few patchy areas on this second Aero, but I'm not going for a full restore. I will embrace the war wounds and enjoy playing the games on them.

    The only other thing I need to do is really buff out the marquee, purchase some 1p control panels and call it a day.
     
    Sledge, Vanne, Trizae and 4 others like this.
  9. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    3,406
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    DXB.. mostly.
    holy shit.. 2... nice!!!!! :D congrats
     
  10. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

    Joined:
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    Yeah it's a stupid obsession ‍:lol:
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
  11. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Since I've pretty much decided on putting the DS CPS2 Multi on the Horizontal Aero, I figured it'd need a 2P panel. It most likely won't be permanent, but having the ability to swap it around is always handy.

    Enter a 60 dollar Aliexpress repro...

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    The post man delivered the Aero panel and I must say for the price, it's usable

    The buttons fit, the overlay is back printed on a thin perspex, the artwork looks solid - it doesn't look like a scanned and blown up

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    The back looks and feels powder coated in white with the typical sanwa mount

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    The one caveat is, the overlay doesn't have the carriage bolt holes cutout correctly, it's way too small

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    The panel itself has the correct size, but the overlay doesn't

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    Carriage bolt fits on properly from the bottom. Nothing major, I will just drill gently so it doesn't crack the overlay

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    However, after a proper test fit, I found I needed to drill out out a bigger hole than what it came with. I totally forgot about the carriage bolts having that square piece. She's all good! And she fits!

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    For the price I paid, I honestly can't complain. I wrote it off before I purchased it thinking it was going to be rubbish, but I'm surprised with how well it's turned out. I would take this over a rusty CP (that i'd have to restore) any day of the week. Of course, if you wish to pay a premium, there's alberto and Raf, but this will work especially for those that aren't too fussy

    Was purchased from here: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004102674938.html?spm=a2g0o.order_list.0.0.24bc1802tGCrvH

    Now it's all about wiring the buttons and JLF as it came stock with a Semitsu. I took out the original and trusty multi meter to identify the wiring schematics, 30 mins in, I looked at the Aero City Manual online and also found the wiring schematics (RTFM/Facepalm moment).

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    Fortunately for me, I had the correct molex connectors except for the 3 way which is now in transit, but I have something I can use as an interim.

    An hour and a bit later, we've got a JLF and 3 button harness setup!

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    A quick test had me stumped as only the "up" input was registering when I hit left - on both harnesses, so I obviously had my wiring incorrect.

    After reading the wiring guide again, I realised I had placed the wires based on the bottom left instead of the way it should be wired. I went yellow, green, red, orange, black instead of black, green, yellow, orange, red - yep! another facepalm moment :D. I've done these almost over a hundred times and I've still screwed it up. Fortunately for me, the JST NH pins are easy enough to take out without damaging anything, so a quick change around and all is well!

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    The last challenge was the kick harness! I didn't realise, but the Aero city hasn't got any pass through cabling for kick harnesses. Every single cab I've ever owned has kick harnesses installed, so it was time to build one in the same logic as my Astro city - it's a 3 part thing. The kick harness from the game board to the pass through, the pass through kick harness and then the pass through to the actual buttons. Sure I could've just made it one component, but I figured I'd do it like the way all other cabs are, even though it takes a little longer (and by little, I mean A LOT :D)

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    Top right = molex to molex pass through (the same purpose as the 10 way in the astros)
    The middle = molex to te amp converter (so I don't have to do a cps2 to molex, since I've already got cps2 to te amp)
    The bottom = molex pass through to buttons

    After installing all that wire (about 20m of it), cable ties are a persons best friend - here's the best I could wire manage it.

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    Grabbed together whatever spare sticks/buttons I could find to test (will eventually buy some brand new ones) and to my delight, the kicks work first go!

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    Sledge, Trizae, adz and 2 others like this.

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