Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Designing a Flat Pack Cabinet - Needs a name

I started working on the design of a cabinet that is built to specifically support the current tech of arcade games, be easy to assemble, not take up too much floor space, and look good.

Taking inspiration from the Vigolix, I worked out a drawing for one that would be full-size and after a few iterations, I came up with this:

A little over 2 feet wide and 6 feet tall, it measures up to a standard arcade cabinet, but since it wouldn't need to hold a bulky CRT monitor, hold a coin box, or be sealed in the back, it looks pretty good.

I started working on my prototype and made a few adjustments to customize it for me and correct from a bad cut I made (which means I had to lose the marquee on this one). Not bad for a few hours work. I have orders out for the t-molding and controls. The balance of the system is great and the center of gravity on it is very low, so it is very unlikely to tip over.

More in Progress
In progress

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Star Wars Trilogy just about done!

XWing Passing by Yavin

I did what I believe to be the last major part of the repair job and mounted the LCD screen on the system. I then took the Fresnel lens off of the screen and remounted it to see how it looks.

Reassembled, we have the technology
Looks pretty dang good to me.

You can head over to my Imgur album view the full photostream of my reconstruction of the Star Wars Trilogy arcade.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Star Wars Trilogy Display Service Manual - 50P-GHS63

I don't think I have ever seen this online, so I scanned it in. If you have a 50P-GHS63 display, a 3 cathode tube rear projection TV, this is the service manual for adjusting things like the convergence and screen size. This is above and beyond the game's service manual which gives you instructions on setting up the game at your site. This would have been run through by the factory worker building the TV in the first place.

This display was used in several 1990's-2000's era SEGA arcade games, such as Star Wars Trilogy and Harley Davidson Racing.

Before you start anything, go to page 10 and use those steps to write down your monitors settings on page 11 and 12. I am putting this in bold because it is VERY IMPORTANT.

Should you fail to do the above step, I pity you. You may have fun readjusting 171 different settings which can cause other settings to need readjusting.

Also, DO NOT USE THE E2RESET until you have written those down. Read the previous paragraph for exactly why you do not want to do that.


Download the 50P-GHS63 Service Manual

1983 Star Wars out of the house

And just like that, it is gone again. But my loss is everyone's gain.

This beauty is now sitting front and center over at The Neutral Zone in South St. Louis County.

Back in a natural habitat
So, head on over there and give it a play or two.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

1983 Star Wars in the house

I was able to purchase a 1983 Star Wars this week. While it isn't the cockpit version and had some known issues, the progress right.
It is extremely heavy for its size and was a pain to move it from its previous home. As noted, there'd and blue beams were very weak and dim. I spent about 30 minutes adjusting the brightness settings and ended up with this.

Looks great, however there is a slight flicker on the green beam. I may end up putting in one of those replacement bvga vector boards. For now, it plays great and the green isn't noticeable in gameplay.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

SWT: Cleaned out the control panel and put in a 42 inch TV

After an unsuccessful CRT tubes transfer, I ended up getting an inexpensive 42 inch TV to put into my Star Wars Trilogy. I had wanted to keep it as close to original as possible. After weeks of diagnosing the original CRT tubes and then changing out the guts with another TV, only to find out that the Blue CRT wouldn't focus and that I would have to make major cabinet changes to get the angle of the tubes right, I decided to just go ahead and change out the screen entirely.

I spent a day removing the tubes again and trying to determine where to set the tube high-wise. Just when I got it all set, the screen started flaking out as if it couldn't hold sync anymore. I had seen this problem before as there was a couple loose wires between the  screen and the control panel that had been stretched due to improper harnessing. I spent 3 hours going through every cable and did some repairs on all the ones that were questionable and the problem persisted. In desperation, I started playing around with the CGA to VGA converter card and pressed the "Auto" button and it resynced. It turned out that I had pressed that button while the input wasn't plugged in and had lost my previous sync settings.

After calibrating the converter and the screen, things started to look really good. All I need to do is build a bezel to make it look good.

I then opened the control panel and removed about 10 years of soda and ice cream goo along with about $3 in coins and a 2003 ticket stub. Loot! I reconnected a few wires that had come loose and replaced the panel bulbs to try to get the panel to light up, but the bulbs still wouldn't come on. Very odd. Looks like I have some more wire debugging to do.

Of course,  I had to play through the game again to make sure it all worked. Scored in the Colonel rank, again.