Welcome to My Place Arcade!
What a great day to be alive and a collector of vintage arcade games! I thank you for stopping by and checking out my piece of the Internet.
Hopefully you'll find some information here that is both entertaining and informative. I've been collecting arcade games on and off for many years.
One thing that never seems to amaze me is the community of folks that are willing to help you when you need it. This is a vast fellowship and there
are a wide range of collectors that have a tons of knowledge on just about any topic. Learn as much as you can from those folks.
If you're into slapping a switching power supply, a 60-N-1, or a JROK into it and calling it a day, then this website is probably not for you. I'm much more of a "traditionalist" where I like to stay true to the original as much as possible when restoring or working on an old broken down game.
There are tons of ways you can start collecting games. Craigslist, LetGo, auctions, eBay, and forums are just a few ways to buy games. It all depends on how deep your pockets are and how complete/working you want a game. I personally like the ones that are broken down and need work. They are my favorite because they need help. : ) One of the biggest resources for the collector is the forums at Killer List Of Video Games (KLOV). Here you will find a wealth of knowledge about this amazing hobby.
So while you are out there checking out all this information, chances are I'm going to be in the garage working on a game that needs to be rescued. Drop me a line if you have any questions. I hope you enjoy this site!
July 7, 2019
WOW! I haven't had a chance to post anything on the website in a while because I've been so busy! Graduations, more auctions, more projects picked up, and more soldering that I even care to think about. I even threw in a Disney vacation in there since I've posted last. I managed to snag a few new boardsets over the past few months, more notably an Atari Football and a pair of Make Trax PCBs. I haven't touched the Atari Football yet, but I've completely rebuilt the two Make Trax PCBs. They were in terrible shape. Both were missing ROMs and other various chips and I had to replace every socket on the board. I've got them both about 95% working. I'll get these done before I start on the Atari Football. Oh, and I completely refurbished my Area 51 Site 4. I'm getting ready to take it to action at the end of this month. Then I have a lead on another grail game! I'll be picking up an original Atari Star Wars at the end of the month. I can't wait!!!
Apr 27, 2019
Fresh new Fingerboards in from France. I like these because of the quality. I need to simplify my test bench set up. I just don't have time to build a new harness every time I put a new board on the test bench. I'll build a simpler "JAMMA-Style" connector for power that way I won't have to change out the power wires each time I change boards. I got this idea from Arcade Doc524 on the YouTube. Thanks for the idea Doc!
Apr 21, 2019
Christ is Risen! Happy Easter Everyone!
Mar 22, 2019
We have a FLIR TG165 Thermal Imaging camera at work, so I borrowed it for the day and took some screen shots of a set of Robotron boards I had on the bench. I thought it would be neat to see the delta temperatures between the boards being on for 5 minutes and 30 minutes. Can you imagine looking at the thermals after the boards have been on for a full day! I'm thinking it may be worth buying a thermal imaging camera to help visualize troubled thermal PCB hot spots. Very interesting.
Mar 18, 2019
I figured out a good way to mount the AA batter pack on Williams CPU boards. Simply mount it on the metal backing place. Checkout my Stargate page to get a more detailed description.
Mar 2, 2019
Went to the American Amusement Auctions today in Lewisville. Was a fair turnout. Nothing there that I was interested in but a Stargate (not working but complete) that sold for $850 (hammer price) and
a empty Dragons Lair cabinet. The DL cabinet was in descent shape and I tried to stay as long as I could but got fed up with the auction speed and the prices were going WAY too high. So I left before
they got to the DL cab.
I sure wanted this emtpy cabinet, but didn't feel like spending $500 on an empty cabinet, DL or not.
Jan 20, 2019
I picked up five monitors at the last auction. I'm pretty excited about it because none of the tubes had any burn in. Two are Hantarex MTC-900E, two are Wells Gardner K4900s, and one Wells Gardner
K4600. Since I've never worked on a Hantarex before, I put one of those up on the bench and started working on it. There are some parts for this monitor that are hard to get. I'm in the process
of collecting parts to complete this build. You can check out my progress here.
Dec 1, 2018
It's not often that I find something that REALLY helps me out on the test bench. Especially something that makes me want to write about it. I've been looking for a RAM tester for a while now. After a thorough internet search, I found this little handy gadget. It's a NeoLoch Inquisitor IC Testing System. I initially wanted it for just testing some RAM, but after looking at all the add-ons to the core system, it does much more than that.
Here's the core system with the 4116 DRAM Blade module plugged in.
Simply plug in a RAM chip, press start, and seconds later you get the results. There are two different test the system will run (long and short). I opted to run the long test for each RAM chip I tested just to be thorough.
I literally have tubes and tubes of untested RAM chips. Not anymore. This handy little device helps weed through RAM chips really quickly.
A fresh new pile of bad RAM ready for the trash.
I also purchased these other Blades for the system, but I haven't put them together yet. I opted to purchase the kit(s) instead of the completed modules (much cheaper). When I get around to putting these other blades together, I'll be able to test another pile of chips I have. Albiet a little expensive for everything I bought, it definitely saves time and gives you a definitive answer on whether a chip is bad or good. In the end, I'm very happy.
Oct 6, 2018
Went to the DFW Auction today. I picked up a very large box of coin mechs, five complete WG K4600 chassis, and a MASSIVE box of joysticks. Most of the joysticks were Pacman, Ms. Pacman, Galaga, etc. (Midway joysticks). However, I found a Monroe joystick in the box (Gyruss) and four Robotron 4" joysticks. I don't know why I get so dang giddy when I pick up something Williams. It's a curse. Anyway, these will definitely clean up nicely. I've already dropped them in my secret secret sauce to eat away all that paint and masking tape. These will look like new when I'm done with them. I'll post an after pick in a week or so.
Sep 19, 2018
I got this in the mail today. I like it. Thanks Jason!
Aug 25, 2018
I picked this little jewel up off eBay for $135 and free shipping. It's working 100%!!!! All these adapters came with it, including two #23's. Score!
Aug 10, 2018
Got home the other day and found a grail game in my garage! My most favorite game of all time...ROBOTRON! I picked this baby up off eBay from a guy in Florida. Had it shipped here via YRC Freight for $264 and it took about a week. I can't be any more excited!!! Big dawg is excited too.
July 28, 2018
There is so much I need to catch you up on since I've last posted. I bought a complete Robotron 2084 off eBay a couple of weeks ago. It is supposed to arrive Monday, July 30th. I can hardly wait!! You know I'll be posting some updates on that one once it gets here. I also bought back a Raiden DX from a friend of mine that I sold him back in 2007. Head on over to "My Games" for and update on both of those. I always get really excited when I get a new game.
Now on to the auction...This was the best auction I've been to this year. Since I've been attending the American Amusement Auctions in DFW, this one had the most games. There were also a ton of people at this one. I only bought a fully working Megatouch Force 2007 for $175 (hammer price), since I just spent a bunch of money on a grail game off eBay. But more on that later. Here are a few pictures of today's offerings. I snapped most of these while the auction was going on in a different place of the building. I didn't get to check out many prices as I didn't stay very long after I bought the Megatouch.
A nice working Frenzy.
These don't come up for auction much, but when they do, they command a pretty penny.
A nice Space Invaders cabaret.
I don't think I've ever seen a Space Chaser.
A working Berzerk to go with that Frenzy. I wonder if the same person bought both of them?
This Gauntlet had monitor problems. I think I'll buy one of these one day, just not today.
The remnants of a Crystal Castles. What a shame. Hopefully the person that bought it will turn it back into a CC.
They had a fairly good selection of pins. I particularly like the AC/DC and the Lord of the Rings, both Stern offerings.
And the star of the show....not working. I still bet it went for a huge price.
May 10, 2018
Well, I've got the Laserdisc, the Laserdisc Player, the TV that tops the cabinet, and the control panel. Now all I need is an empty savable cabinet and a couple of PCBs and I can put this beast together...one...piece...at...a...time.
May 6, 2018
I just finished rebuilding my friend's WG 25K7193 monitor that is in his Marvel Super Heroes game. Since it has the same monitor that is in my Marvel Vs Capcom game, I decided to rebuild both of them at the same time. This crappy cell phone picture doesn't go it justice. I hooked one of my test Robotron boards up to see what it would look like on 25 inches.
April 1, 2018
March 25, 2018 - DFW American Amusement Auction - First auction of the year happened on the 24th of March in Lewisville, TX. Not a bad turn out. Still haven't found a Robotron or Dragon's Lair cabinet at any auctions (even bad conversions), but I'll keep looking. A friend of mine has been wanting to buy a fighting game (JAMMA) with six buttons for a while now and he was able to attend the auction with me yesterday. It was good to have someone tag along for a change. Highlights of the auction were a Williams Bubbles cocktail (working), a Bezerk cocktail, a dedicated Gauntlet (not working), a sweet looking Defender (working), three Galagas (all working) went for $800+ each, and a couple of OLD games from the mid-70's (Tank, Pong, and Gun Fight - all working!). I also bought a box of old boards. I haven't gone through it all yet, but I did find a board in there that had an ellusive Votrax SC-01 Chip. Don't know if it works or not, but I only paid $70 for the entire box. It's worth the gamble. Here are the picks I took.
This is two auctions in a row I've seen a couple of rare Williams cocktails. This one went for $750 (hammer price).
OK, somebody was out in the parking lot doing crack and must have ran out. Then they walked into the auction and thought this dedicated NON-WORKING Gauntlet had a few more bags of crack in the back of it and bought it. This thing went for $1400! (hammer price) Are you kidding me? The monitor needed replacing as it has some serious screen burn. Crazy price...
You don't see these often, but somebody really wanted this Lunar Rescue....paid $1050! (hammer price) Missing the lower coin door.
My friend managed to pick up this Marvel Super Heroes for $750 (hammer price). It needs to be dressed up a little and probably a cap kit, but I'll hook him up and make it look nice.
The next auction is on May 19, 2018. Click HERE for the location.
December 16 - DFW American Amusement Auction - Well I went to the December auction this past Saturday. I had hoped since it was so close to Christmas that there would be a lot more games there and a lot more people. But I was disappointed as the turn out was like the other auctions I've been to this year. Not a big turnout of games and not a big turnout of people. However, there were some interesting games at this auction, some stuff you just don't see everyday. Here are some of the highlights that caught my eye:
Not every day you see a Make Trax Cocktail
Ah, one of my Holy Grail games! Sweet...
I really wanted this Smash TV!
I also wanted this Scramble. You just don't get enough time playing a Scramble. I used to play this one a ton back in the day.
It would not have hurt my feelings if this Phoenix had of made its way onto the back of my truck.
There was also a Buck Rogers, Skull & Crossbones, and a Galaga 3 (bad conversion). But in the end, I had to leave before the auction started because I had purchased tickets to another event and I didn't want to miss it. So I had a good friend of mine bid on some games for me. I was happy to walk away with the Wizard of Wor as it is one of my "grail" games. Somebody had obviously painted yellow over the sides of the factory white cabinet. This thing doesn't look like a Wizard of Wor, it looks like a big Tweety Bird! LOL. But, after getting it home and checking it out thoroughly, it's 100% original and working! I probably won't start restoring this one until spring because I'll have to do all the body work on the cabinet outside and it has now turned cold in north Texas. It will give me plenty of time to get my Defender up running 100%.
It definitely needs some TLC, but this one is completely savable as there is no water damage. Somebody broke into this machine and damaged the cabinet and mucked up the coin door, but my buddy that bought it for me gave me a NOS Midway coin door! Some new paint, new CPO, and some new side art and this one will be like new! I have an excellent Wizard of Wor marquee in my office at work mounted in a window that will fit in this machine nicely. I'm VERY please with this purchase. Merry Christmas to me!!!
November 27 - I recently started using this stuff at work to make things out of and it is simply amazing. I like it so much I bought some for myself to use at home. It's called 80/20 "The Industrial Erector Set." If you are a maker of things like I am, you're going to love this stuff too. I recently purchased one of those cheap Chinese USB microscopes for the bench that has up to 1000X zoom. It could NOT have been easier to set up and for $14 it's funny how well it really works. I bought it because these tired eyes are not what they used to be. I plan on using it to look for cold solder joints on PCBs. I'm not digressing, bear with me. The base that came with this USB microscope leaves much to be desired. For one it's really cheap plastic (what do you expect for $14), and secondly it is not that deep. It's hard to center it over a large PCB like a Williams CPU board. Jump over to "My Bench" and look at the picture for the USB Microscope and you'll see how short depth it is. So I put two and two together and decided to buy some of this 80/20 stuff and build me a mount for this USB microscope that gives me more control on its location. I know some of you are already thinking that I've completely over engineered the solution for this, but hey, I like making things and this stuff is impressive. All the pieces cost me more than 3X the microscope, but I'll have this mount forever. And if I ever decide, I can use what parts I've already purchased for another project.
This stuff is 100% aluminum, thus it is strong and light weight. There are three basic colors for 80/20, silver, black with silver ends, and all black. I opted for the all back version because I did not want any light reflecting off it because the USB microscope has a LED on it and I wanted the frame to absorb that light (or any other light for that matter). Who knows, maybe one day I'll use this stuff to mount my DSLR.
You can see the ends are black as well. I really like the satin finish on these pieces.
I mounted the USB microscope to the short center piece that is sitting on top of the long piece. I drilled a hole in the top of the short piece and installed a lock bold/nut that allows me to loosen it and move the microscope left or right to the full extent of the long piece. This allows me to move the microscope to anywhere on the PCB that I want (horizontally). I simply move the frame or the PCB for the vertical adjustment. It gives me full range of the PCB.
And here you can see the full setup with the USB microscope plugged into the laptop. The free provided software allows you to take videos or snapshots. It's like a web cam that snaps pictures and video that has a 1000X zoom. You folks would love this setup if you tried it. See how easy it is to see those solder joints? No more magnifying glasses for this old dog. I hope you try it, you'll love it!
November 12 - DFW American Amusement Action - I went to another auction today. I'm getting really picky these days for what I'm looking for. I'm particularly interested in Williams games/cabinets at the moment.
There were two Williams cabinets (really bad conversions) at today's auction. One was a Stargate that was converted into a Double Dribble. The cabinet was in savable
shape but it did need a lot of work to convert it back to a Stargate. None of the Stargate boards were there but the original Stargate power supply was still in the bottom
of the cabinet. The other game was a Joust that was converted to....well I don't really know. Some form of MAME conversion I think. It literally had a Dell monitor
in it. It was horrendous. However, the cabinet was in terrible shape. It was almost not savable. I would have had to be really desperate to have bought it and turned
it back into a Joust. The front of the cabinet had another 3/4" sheet of plywood carriage bolted to it with a completely different coin door (the over and under type).
There was no telling what was underneath that. Plus it had this metal diamond plate carriage bolted to the front and sides of it. It was in bad shape. Even the bottom
of the cabinet had some water damage (or what it appeared to be). Such a shame.
I didn't stay very long, just long enough to check out all the games. I wasn't going to buy the Joust (too much work) and the Stargate conversion was the next to last game they would have auctioned off today. I decided that it wasn't worth the effort as I had better things to do today. There's another auction in December and it should be much better than any of the other auctions we've been to this year. I'll save my money for that. Plus, I really don't need another project right now as I have a few in the queue and I need to get this Defender completed.
A friend of mine at work is wanting a Galaga. There was one at the auction today, but it was not working. I didn't stay long enough to see what it sold for.
I guess I'll wait and see what they have at the December auction. Plus, a good friend of mine just sold me five Williams board sets and I need to start working on them.
If I could find cabinets, I could easily fill them with all the boards I've got at the moment.
October 9 - DFW American Amusement Auction - Today's turn out was OK, but not as good as I expected. There were a lot of games there, but not so many classics. Tons of sit-down driving games flooded this particular auction. As far as classics go, I think the highlight of the show was a fully working Satan's Hollow. It went for $795. Ironically, the auction lot number was 666.
It needed a control panel overlay and the black light was out, but it was all there working. I guess that's not a bad price. In addition, I really wanted this non-working Carnevil that went for $200. It didn't have the original guns but it was complete. $200 was too much for a non-working game, especially a Carnevil as they are not that rare. There were a couple of other games that caught my eye like a Data East Karate Champ and a bad Super Punch Out conversion, but I didn't stay until they were auctioned off. I had too many other things to do...
Even though I didn't walk away with a game this time, there will be other auctions. I just don't have
any more room in my storage for another project right now. I need to get this Defender I'm working on completely DONE before I move on to something else.
Even though I didn't buy a game, I did get to see an old friend I had lost contact with over the years. It was good to see you Pat!
Until next time. : )