Friday, 6 July 2018

Super Operator Raid II’ Turbo Edition

An open road, blue skies and sandy beaches.  Although in this case it was more stony than sandy.  It was a lovely day for a Raid in sunny Weymouth.

Weymouth is a fair old trek from home and so it became part Raid and part caravan holiday. It all started a couple of months ago when I saw an advert for some Electrocoin Duet cabinets.

This piqued my interest and I enquired whether they had any more PCB’s or arcade gear for sale.  It turns out the seller was an Arcade Operator working for Bristol Coin Equipment. The company had operated arcades since 1972, and at one point they had fourteen arcades. They even had a custom built Jamma test rig and a full electronics workshop for repairing boards.  Unfortunately loads of parts had been binned a couple of years ago.  Last year the decision was made to close their last site in Weymouth, Harry’s Amusements.

The Op mentioned that they had twenty BAS Jamma cabs in the basement, and had sold them all to a collector.  He also had three Ridge Racer DLX cabinets which were sold to collectors. 

I visited the arcade back in 2016 when I was working in Portland.  The arcade still had some nice machines, especially Ridge Racer DLX, which was one of the nicest ones I’d seen. Here are some pics.

After clearing out the old office in Bristol, the Op got back to me saying he had found some PCB’s.  During our holiday, I visited the Op.  Everything was sold as untested and supposedly working until it was pulled from service.  It amazes me what’s still out there in storage, lock-ups and old buildings after all these years.

When I got back from our holiday, I started off by checking through and testing the PCB’s in the crate on the right.  These boards have been stored in Namco kit boxes, which were sent from Brent Leisure.  The boards are in like new condition, and amazingly all of them proved to be fully working.  There is a definite running theme with these boards!

1. Street Fighter II’ The World Warrior

2. Street Fighter II’ Turbo-Hyper Fighting

3. Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition
I was pleasantly surprised to find some arts when I opened up this box.

I removed the arts and was in for another surprise.  Check out that gigantic spider!

It was dead and has probably been dead for a long time, but it didn’t half make me jump.  It would be more at home with an Aliens PCB!

Here are the arts.  Unfortunately the Electrocoin marquee has yellowed quite badly.

4. Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition
Yes, yet another one!

5. Street Fighter II: The New Challengers
This one looks like it’s had a hard life.

However the board cleaned up well and is fully working.

6. RoboCop
Now for something completely different!  An awesome game, I have fond memories of playing this back in the day.

The PCB’s in the left crate were more varied, with some very cool and rare titles.

1. Black Tiger
I was a bit stumped identifying this board as it had a Wrestlefest tag attached to it.  I powered it up and was pleasantly surprised to find it was a fully working Black Tiger.

2. Darius
Yes, Darius!  Well this is one you don’t see very often!  It’s such a shame the original cab was scrapped, but at least the PCB was saved.

3. Football Champ
No Raid would be complete without a couple of football titles!

4. League Bowling
Well I wasn’t expecting to find this cart when I opened the box.  Another case of mistaken identity! 

5. Mortal Kombat

6. Mortal Kombat (bootleg)

7. Robo Army and mobo
I’m really pleased with this being a massive fan of SNK and scrolling beat-em-ups, and can’t wait to play it.  It’s a little dusty, but fully working.

8. Tecmo World Cup ‘90

9. Xevious

Raid Highlights

My Raid highlights are Black Tiger, Darius, Robo Army and Street Fighter II’ The World Warrior.  Darius is a particularly rare find, I’ll be looking into that one a bit more on my next blog entry.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

New Arrival from the Bed and Breakfast Raid – Game World Cabinet

This cab was fully working, except for the monitor image rolling.  A tweak of the vertical hold pot on the chassis sorted this and I was able to play some Bomb Jack! 

Released by Tehkan (known today as Tecmo) in 1984 Bomb Jack is an awesome game, extremely fun and addictive.  The premise is simple: collect all the red bombs, ideally in the correct order for the best score, whilst avoiding red-eyed homing birds and other adversaries.  A local pub had a Chinese candy cab clone with a 60-In-1 multi game board installed, and me and my wife often played Bomb Jack on ‘date nights’, whilst listening to some tunes on the juke box and enjoying a few beers, good times!  My wife is still getting higher scores than me though, which is a bit annoying!

The monitor is 14”.  Unfortunately there is some burn, with some light Pac-Man maze image present.

The front of the cab has hinges and can be tilted towards the player, allowing internal access.  This is the first time I’ve seen this and is pretty cool.  The internal light is also a nice feature.

The coin count is very low and comes to a grand total of eleven pounds!  It looks like the cab had a Pac-Man type game installed originally, and the coin counters were probably replaced when the PCB was changed out.

Old ten pence pieces still in the coin box.

The cab had been sat in the former bar / games room for a long time, and was coated with years of grime and nicotine.  After a couple of hours cleaning and polishing, the cab looks almost brand new.  I used Mr Sheen multi surface wipes on the cabinet body, Wilko glass wipes on the monitor glass and baby wipes on the T-moulding.  The pic shows the T-moulding partly cleaned to give you an idea how grimy it was.

I also replaced the fluorescent tube, and I used Steller stainless steel cleaner on the marquee retainer brackets and fixings.  This is great for removing surface rust and making parts shiny again.  I’ve still got to have a clean inside and replace a damaged button.

I find these quirky UK built cabinets really interesting, and so far I haven’t been able to find much information about this cab or the company who manufactured it.  However I have found some pics of the same cab type, but with different artwork.

First up is this Puck Man cab.  This appeared recently on Ebay.

Next is this Vanguard cab.  The source for the following pics is

I really enjoyed cleaning this cab up and I'm pleased to add it to my collection. I'm now looking forward to finishing off my Donkey Kong and working on my next project, Astro Blaster!

Friday, 8 June 2018

The Four Quarters East Out Runners – Synthwave special / OutRun cab reveal

To celebrate the reveal of their new OutRun DLX cabinet, the venue put on a day of Synthwave / Retrowave / Outrun vibes.  Despite being at work, the stars aligned and I was able to go along on a very sunny Sunday afternoon.

Here is a walk round video.

OutRun DLX proved to be a massive hit throughout the day.

The cab was enjoyed by all age groups, from people who played the game back in the day to young children wowed by the machine.

The cab played well, the monitor was great and the cab looked stunning.

I had a chat with The Four Quarters about the history of the cab.  It had been purchased from a Government repossession auction in Belfast, and was in a bit of a sad state when it arrived.  There were mice nests inside and some of the 240V cabling had been chewed.  The game played blind and at some point the monitor had been replaced with a trisync.  Restoration work took three months, and work undertaken includes monitor replacement, renewing the damaged cables and powder coating the base.  The hard work has really paid off.  It’s amazing to see this awesome machine restored and back out there for people to enjoy. 

The course map on the coin tower was a nice touch.

Music inspired by the game and the decade was played throughout the day.

I also enjoyed a couple of credits on Cotton Boomerang, Crazy Taxi, Donkey Kong, Final Fight, Narc and Star Wars Trilogy.

The irony didn’t go unnoticed.

Passarella Death Squad’s “Fantasy Scenes” artwork on display.

Some more pics from the day.