We're preparing for a renovation in the High Voltage gameroom, and some maintenance outside too. Literally everywhere around the house and arcade some form of work is being done, and it's wearing out the dog days of summer. Even entire trees and rows of evergreens have been removed outside to give us a nice flat new look.
Coleman wasted no time yanking this and several other similar '"bastards" out of the Earth outside the gameroom.
Cables and adapters are everywhere, dirt is everywhere, and can after can of garbage from renovating and beer drinking is hitting the curb- the place is getting a facelift. After this weekend I hope to be able to sit back and relax a little bit, but the way things are going, I could be asking for too much.
walking through the arcade with the lights off could be hazardous to your health this week.
So, as I have been shoving things around and getting organized, I've unearthed a few retro boards and systems that have been boxed or shelved for ages. But tonight was a real treat, because I found our VecFlash cart that had previously been missing for over a year! Last I remember, we added 15 more games to the memory, the afternoon of the advent of 'burger surfin'! Now to play it! Wait...It's not going to be that simple, because I'm going to have to find the Vectrex too. This won't take long, but it will take some work. I decided to remove the picture I had here of the grossly overstocked and 'jenga'-ish tower of shit I had to move out of the closet to get to the Vectrex, so you wouldn't get the impression I'm a hoarder- because I'm no hoarder...I'm just a poor stacker.
And finally, after some moving and rearranging, and about ten minutes with a duster- the Vecflash is inserted and the Vectrex is powered on...and there is that familiar buzz once again! Man, I loved Vectrex so much! There's really no comparison to playing one in the dark- it simulates vector games with a real arcade authenticity that can't be duplicated by any other console- it's just like the real deal. I'm opening a cold beer and getting set up on the bar to play some wormhole... I'll see you on the other side- or once the renovations take a break!!
|Xevious - the bastard years|
|Written by Arcot Ramathorn|
|Tuesday, 28 August 2012 18:45|
About 3 months ago I made another trade deal with our good friend Coleman. But, something about this trade was a little different. This time, instead of trading arcade machines and parts with him, nothing left the shop- something left the rehearsal space. And with the new baby just a few months around the corner, this was probably a good decision. It's time to finish the projects that have been building up, and one thing is certain- I'm not taking on any new ones. So, Coleman had been expressing interest in a set of Borg drums I had that were collecting dust, mostly because the Ludwigs just get more play.
Not a bad little kit. The outrageous orange shells really helped it stand out.
I had no room for the second kit anymore, and as Dr. Ramsey had made such an outstanding deal on them to begin with, I found it easy to part with them. Coleman had just raided a warehouse and pulled out several non-working and horrifying machines, most of which would need lots of work, or just be rebuilt (or skipped) altogether. But one stood out for me, an absolutely awful 1982 Atari Xevious machine. Filth was stuck to it like shit to a blanket.
EEEeeeek!!!! Hideous. And look at that factory monitor on the right- that bleed...that's gotta go, forget doing a cap kit- no time for that, plus the blue drive is dead too. Yank it outta there.
So out came the power washer, I figured I had very little to lose. The machine was in such bad condition in fact, that if I screwed anything up any worse, I'd lose no sleep just throwing into a QuikTrip dumpster at 4 AM. Besides, I'm usually up around this time on the weekends anyway, especially if the Maupins come to visit.
Here, notice the letter "F" I added to the back of Cody's shirt, to fix the obvious misspelling.
Coleman pointed to an area of damage, a section on the front of the machine to the left of the control panel where someone had bashed into it, ripping the left side off at the T-molding groove, and almost ripping off the artwork on the front left portion. Why does this always seem to be an issue on graveyard machines we've been restoring these days? I swear we've had to fix more wood damage lately than any other kind of injury. But, with this came experience in solving the problem, and it became less complicated, this being the 5th time this year. See below, left to right, before and after.
After sanding out the jagged areas of the t-mold groove, a liberal amount of wood glue was mixed with Elmer's filler, and applied to the center of the groove, creating a tacky surface to both reattach the broken portion of the wood side with artwork on it, and create a new groove for the t-molding to adhere. After stretching the molding across the surface, the clamps were added and extra wide painter's tape was applied to keep the molding in place for 24 hours while the solution solidified. The clamps were placed over the stretched tape, so the firmness would not relax. The next afternoon the clamps and tape were removed, and the artwork near the break was sanded and touched up (not pictured). It looks fantastic. But look at that disgusting control panel and overlay. It looks like an albatross has been nesting on this damn thing for the last two years, and it'll need a brand new control panel overlay, and some new buttons. This is where Killerbrew comes in. And the CPO he found wasn't bad for the price, just a little short- but you'd never know that now after I've touched it up. I donned a disposable FEMA mask (thanks to Mayor Pat Kelly) and went to work removing the 32-year-old overlay from the metal- which is completely difficult.
One thing's for sure- if you wear a respirator or mask when stripping metal, your lungs will thank you...
After a good two hour or so session on the loading dock at the college, the panel had been stripped of the old overlay and sanded down to bare steel. After soaking the panel in the largest basin I could find, we dried it and very carefully John and I applied the new overlay, with brilliant results...in fact, as good as it would look on a brand new cabinet from the factory.
Finally, a new look for the old girl, one that should last for several years to come. In addition to the CPO and t-molding/woodwork, we also removed the original 'over/under' coin door that was in the machine, and replaced it with a new one. What a huge difference that made. We also removed all of the old wiring and harness, and the original arcade monitor and Xevious board, and installed a new monitor, and an Icade 60-in-1 JAMMA board too, which includes Xevious- so just about everyone can enjoy the machine now- not just Xevious fans. The machine is almost 100% done now, and we only need to replace the marquee sign for it to be fully restored. It's not in terrible condition, but a brand new one would be a wonderful finishing touch. Stop by and play a few rounds if you like, and til' next time, cheers- and happy gaming!
Got it installed on the machine last night, and repaired the control panel light ballast- there is starting to be hope for this machine...
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 13:54|