The following will detail the conversion/restoration of this cabinet.

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PERCENT COMPLETE

 

Here is the cabinet I probably will keep for myself (at least for a little while) :)  It's great, it's not a super-duper classic, it's already been converted and kind of butchered, so I'm going to make a mame cab out of it, but hopefully a tasteful and reversible one.  Let's get started!!

 

Well at first look, this is a nice conversion.  I guess in all fairness it is... I might leave the graphics on the side of this panel intact, but likely not, since it won't match with the sideart or the graphics I intend to do for the underlay and marquee.

 

Not too much destruction under here.  I was prepared to replace the whole panel, but it looks like it will work.

 

What panel is complete without masses of cigarette burns around the player start buttons.  I'm measuring this panel now and plunking the dimensions into CAD so that I can plan out a useable panel. 

 

   
The sideart is nicked and scuffed and drilled, but looks so damn nice there's no way I'm removing it!  Besides, it looks MUCH better than just black, and again, if someone wanted to turn it back into a Golden Axe 2, it wouldn't take too much!

I Pile o' parts showed up.  Happ buttons and super joysticks for the 2 player setup.  I still need to order the trackball and the interface card.

 

 
 

 

I cut a new piece of plexi for the panel.  I used fairly thick plexi this time so that it will take a real beating.

   
   
 

The new underlay graphic is printed!  Now I need to place the controls.  I'm glad I decided on a more Golden-axe themed panel (thanks to some input from the BYOAC'ers  thanks guys!)

Got a new drill press, so things should speed right along.  Look at the reach on this thing, and the coolio laser system.  This will help my productivity and my accuracy tenfold, since I don't have to line my drill points up by eye, and I can do a lot of holes that my old press couldn't reach.  I had to take some of the plugs I made drilling out the new holes and glue them into some of the holes that were already there, for strength.  There were a lot of holes!

Here is the drilled panel.  Hole for the trackball is missing, but I want to wait till it shows up.  Coming along nicely now!!

 

Stripped right down, and now I'm filling the scrapes and gouges with extra strength wood filler.  I'll sand it all smooth, mask the sideart and give it a new spray coating to make her look as good as new.  Ultimarc interface and trackball is on the way, and I'll have to make an order to t-molding.com

 

Trial run with the controls.  Protective plastic still on the plexi, but the panel looks like it will work!

Controls installed...well minus the Votex spinner.  No worries that will be on there when I install the Pinmame flipper buttons.  I don't know if you can make it out in the pic, but I put a nice bevel in the overlay around the trackball, to make it much less likely fingers will get scraped, plus it looks good!

   
That monitor is huge!  Even though a 25" monitor was in here when it was in the arcade, the 21" computer monitor pokes way out the back!  It's held in place by a single piece of stock steel that I measured, bent and drilled.  It's strong enough to hold it in place even when moving it around.  The back won't fit on, but it won't matter when it's against the wall.

   
   
Oh boy!  Vortex "V2" installation!  In order on the right: Installation spot on the panel, the V2 with push feature, the single hole drilled and spinner shaft installed, and finally the knob attached.  The whole procedure took only about 10 minutes to do.  Plug it into the minipac and go! 

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It took me AGES to get the bezel art done for this.  Now I have a complete cabinet.  Hard to believe this one moved houses before it was completely functional! Now it plays visual pinball, future pinball, Mame, Daphne and 100+ gigs of mp3 files.  The 21" monitor looks almost tiny in there, but it does the job.  The kids play it all the time, in fact a lot more than I would have expected, so I'm pleased with the outcome!

 

 

One final shot of the bezel. It was some kind of desktop wallpaper, and I just resized and added an instruction card and a title. 

   

UPDATE!!!! NEW IMPROVEMENTS!

The 21" monitor started to turn a bit nasty- a lot of horizontal lines, and a bleached look.  Instead of messing with it, I decided to put in a new LCD.  Now the back fits on the cabinet easily.

   
I grabbed some Groovy Game Gear lighted buttons, and one of the new LED wiz controllers.  I've got the buttons set in place, but I can't hook it up until I finish the next step...

   
I also grabbed a 3" lighted trackball.  The ultimarc trackball was too small for the surface, and honestly it didn't stand up well to even moderate use.  I grabbed the multi-colour module at the same time and a mounting plate.  Here you can see the old one and the new one.

   
The cabinet still gets a lot of use, we placed it next to the dedicated wii setup, and it proves perfect for parties.  It just needed more bling! (and a trackball that doesn't kill my wrist!)

   
Here, we go, the lighted buttons, and the trackball.  It works perfectly, and I polished the edges of the plexi.  Pretty good effect!

   
   

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