Sunday, September 1, 2013

My first MAME Cabinet (Step Two - There's so much we can do!)

Nothing says 90's like New Kids on the Block.  Alright, that's not true.  In actuality there are about a million better examples of the 90's, such as Orbitz, The X-Files, Redemption MUD and video game arcades.

In my previous post I covered why I would buy an old beaten up arcade cabinet.  In this post I'll cover some of the things I found upon further inspection.  I'll take off the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia and start to look at restoring this cabinet as an actual project.

So, to start out I pulled off all of the panels I could.  Once those were off, I could see that no one had done anything productive inside for a long time.

Well, that explains the smell.

The original Isolation Transformer was still affixed to the cabinet, but that's about it.  Having read up on these to figure out what it did, I realized that they're not really worth much.  Apparently Hydro Ontario had mandated that all arcade cabinets had to be equipped with one of these devices, so it would seem that there is no shortage of them.  With today's copper prices it may have a decent scrap value, but I think I'll hang on to it for now.

Hey, remember when Ontario actually made money in the manufacturing sector?

Apart from the 'Frost' brand boat anchor, there really wasn't much there.  Lots of dust bunnies and accumulated crud, a nickle (1981), a dime (1986), some wire anchors, some sort of plastic doo-dad, and some old paper labels.  Oh, and a Bubblicious gum wrapper!  Now we know we're dealing with the real thing.

Is the plastic doo-dad some sort of arcane tool, or just a piece of random garbage?

This picture is pretty terribad, but does anyone recognize those tags?
There was a fixture for a light bulb and a speaker, but neither looked original in any way so I pulled it all out and scrapped it.  In retrospect I probably should have taken a closer look at the speaker, but in my ignorance I just assumed it was a crappy automotive speaker.

Funny I can say 'it didn't look original' when really I have no idea what original was.  Oh well!

Once all that extra wiring had been removed, as well as the plastic wire anchors, I took out the coin mechanism and the connected counter.

At some point someone drilled two holes in the front panel to allow for two push buttons.  I assume these buttons were meant to be for '1-ups'.  Regardless, the saw dust had settled to the bottom of the cabinet and needed to be cleaned out as well.  Within the pile of sawdust there were a few nuts and washers which I assume fell down there when someone was trying to affix the coin mechanism.

The coin mechanism has obviously seen some use, the look of which I really like.  I would like to fill in the holes, presumably drilled for a lock & hasp, but I think matching the original paint will be a job in itself.  It seems that the paint had a kind of dimpled effect so I'll have to see if there's something out there that will match the texture.

The sticker on the back says, "Date of installation July 8th 83 meter 000000"

Despite the mess I'm still really pleased with my purchase and I'm still super excited to get everything cleaned up and looking pretty.  It's kind of fun to think that something that was once housed elsewhere, making money on its own, is now living in my garage.  I wonder where it lived before?  I wonder who played it?  Heck, at this point I wonder what game it was.  Did someone look forward to going to a specific business in hopes that they could beg some quarters from Mom & Dad to play a few rounds on this machine?  In any case I'm hoping I can live up to my name and preserve a piece of the past which many are nostalgic about.

My next article should really get in to the nitty-gritty of getting the cabinet looking good again.  As always, if you see anything in the pics that you can shed some light on, please leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. hey buddy it's looking good man I can't wait to see the finished product keep up the good work