Monthly Archives: August 2008

link love 08-29-08

All Tron and link love, the new Let’s see what we’ve got for you today…

Brandon digs up a whole bunch of old video game patents.

The new Surface Tension arcade table. Excellent WAF on this one. More background on the BYOAC forums.

Dearest GameStop Girl

Kill a few hours with Steve Fulton’s extensive history of Atari: 1971-1977, and 1978-1981.

And finally, Duelling Computer Spaces – A Stellar Barn Find. Here’s the epic original KLOV thread.

Tron Restoration – Primed

Bondo dust gets everywhere. Wear a mask when sanding it, and work in a well-ventilated area. Also, buy or borrow an electric sander; sanding isn’t fun in the first place, and doing everything by hand would take forever. You really don’t need a whole lot of power tools to restore a cabinet, but a sander is one of ’em.

Here’s the cabinet with finished wood repairs and a coat of primer. I filled in a handful of holes and repaired the corners, working in layers until I got the shape and fill I desired. I was pretty proud of my bondo work, corners turned out fine and the holes were untraceable after the first coat of paint. Not too bad for my first time using the stuff.

Primed cabinet

Here’s the note I wrote to myself as a reminder to drill out the four coin box bracket holes I’d just filled in and painted over. Sigh.


Restoring Tron – Repairing

First, a couple more Tron restoration links: Peter Hirschberg’s gallery, and another from BYOAC.

Lots of cabinet repair progress this week. While most of the woodwork is in decent shape, the back was pretty shot (lots of water runoff) and the floor had seen better days. Time to repair what I could, and replace whatever couldn’t be repaired.

wood repair

The back doors are trashed, many orders worse than the rest of the cabinet. I’m guessing that the previous owners each swapped out door sets for their other Trons, leaving the worst of the lot for mine. I’ll be building new doors in a later episode.

And speaking of rebuilding new doors, I broke down and bought a Ryobi jigsaw. While I don’t loathe the thing as much as the Home Depot reviewers do, it does have some issues. The jigsaw feels rugged enough, but the actual construction could use some improvement. On first use, the laser sight was misaligned and blade angle wouldn’t stay positioned; breaking down the bottom base and aligning and tightening everything helped, but I still have problems cutting a perfect line. I figured it was my lack of skill, but with the universally bad reviews, I may end up exchanging this one for another brand.

Sideart removal was just as easy as it was with the control panel. Slathered on the Citristrip, went to bed, and scraped the next morning. As you can see in the image below, the end result is something like a giant glob of chewing gum. Wiping down the cabinet with Goof Off afterward removed the final remaining bits.

stripping sideart

The first complete piece! I’m impressed with the Phoenix Arcade reproductions, so far the quality is top notch. I tend to be pretty obsessive about proper alignment, so I went with the wet application method just in case things went a bit off-kilter. Happened to have a window film applicator kit handy, but windex or a squirt bottle with a dash of dishsoap added will also do the trick. Wet application is what you see window tinting guys do: spray the entire surface area lightly, then apply. This let me slide the artwork around a bit to get everything lined up just right along the main control panel area, then I wiped off the front and back lips and folded the rest of the artwork over. Finally, I ran over it a few times with the squeegee and clamped the edges to keep them down until the surface area was completely dry.


Finally, priming and bracing the interior. I decided to retain the original bottom piece, but added braces for some extra strength. Additionally, the braces will serve as risers onto which I’ll mount the power supply board, bringing it up from the floor of the cabinet.

floor braces

The big Bob Roberts parts order came in:

  • used Midway Service Panel
  • 8 ohm 15 watt shielded 6X9 speaker x2
  • Set of 4 Black steel cabinet corner protectors
  • Video game leg levelers (4)
  • Video game leg leveler mounting plates
  • K4900 19″ color cap kit
  • Tron MCR 4″ SCSI cables
  • Tron/MCR Replacement Video Cable
  • Tron Lithium Battery Conversion Kit
  • Lock set keyed alike 641 (1)1 1/8″ & (2) 7/8″
  • cable clamp assortment bag of 25 each size (100 total)
  • cable clamp pan head screws 1/2in (100) black
  • .084 Plug & receptacle 3 position w pins & sockets
  • xcelite flushcutter
  • (and bonus, they sent along a free wire stripper for lagniappe!)

Next time: sanding, and then some more sanding!

link love 08-22-08

Alongside the very kick ass Bionic Commando Rearmed OST, Sumthing has also released the original NES soundtrack. It’s three bucks, go get it.

Retro Space, the newest entry into the pre-built MAME cabinet scene. These things are supposed to sell for around 5000-6000 Euros (I think that’s like $40,000 or something these days). Kinda nice, but not that nice.

Speaking of paying lots of money for your games, here is Rotheblog’s writeup on the 15 most valuable classic arcade games.

And finally, Multiple:Option has released the newest version of Game Trivia Catechism DS (the iPhone version we’re working on is an expanded branch of this). It’s one of two apps he’s entering into the NeoFlash Summer Coding Compo, so wish him luck!