Welcome To NYLatenite's Gamer's Paradise
3/21/04 - Time passes and passes and passes. I finally got a chance to take some time and work on the cabinet this weekend, so here's what was done so far. (Pictures coming soon)
I measured out the spacing for the Oscar Controls Model 3 Spinner, drilled a hole through the top of the left side of the control panel (roughly below the black buttons on that side, between the 2nd and 3rd button) and installed the Spinner. Initial tests indicate that with some tweaking it will work reasonably well. If you're building a new cabinet and space is not a concern, then I'd suggest going with one of Oscar's spinners with a larger flywheel as this should make tweaking the spinner a lot easier. (The larger the wheel, the more spokes it has, the easier it is for the optics to track how far and fast its moving.)
I finally got off my lazy butt and re-wired the entire control panel. This was simply a task of pulling all the wires one by one and replacing the quick disconnects with much smaller quick disconnects which fit the button and stick connectors much more snugly (No more electric tape!) and will not fall off. While I was down there, I also tied a lot of the wires together using cable ties just to make things a bit neater and tightened all the screws and holders for the sticks and buttons.. Use your imagination on this one cause it's a boring job and can pretty much be described with "Remove tape, remove quick disconnect, strip wire, attach quick disconnect, crimp, replace, rinse, lather and repeat." Here's a VERY important tip... ALWAYS keep your instruction manuals. The re-wiring was made so much easier by the fact that I still had all the UGCI wiring diagrams and notes I made when first building the control panel.
I measured out the holes for the removable 2 way, 4 way and diagonal restrictor plates. To say I'm not happy with them right now is an understatement. There seems to be very little room for movement with the 4 ways in place AND they bounce up and come loose pretty easily. I'm going to need to find a way around that. This was just a task of placing the mounting plate over the controls, marking the drill slots, drilling down without cutting completely through the surface of the control panel and then fitting them in place. If you're wondering how I darkened the holes in so they dont show as easily the answer is... I put shoe polish on a cotton swab and put the swab in the holes. No muss, no fuss.
I Darkened in the area around the scoreboard slot with the same shoe polish and used a permanent marker to darken in the sides of the LED's on the Dragon's Lair scoreboard and Scoreboard Overlay. I then soldered the needed wires to the board and ran them through the machine towards the back. The scoreboard was then temporarily put in place to allow the proper alignment of the overlay. Once lined up, I screwed the overlay into the machine. Some work still to be done here securing the scoreboard pcb and finishing the wiring.
I tested the lights I purchased to FINALLY illuminate the trackball. I took the Happ arcade power supply I purchased way back when, extended the wired on the light I planned to use powered it up. It looked really nice on it's own, but once I placed it in the machine under the trackball, it became apparent that it was not going to be bright enough to fully illuminate the trackball. I tested several other lamps as well, all with the same result. I've e-mailed Happ Controls about pricing on a lamp & assembly their 1999 catalog listed as good for the job.
I also ran a test of the UGCI (The board that controls most of my control panel) - I did this because A.) I just finished re-wiring the whole panel and B.) I'm most likely going to be running the machine from my current desktop (Pentium 4 2.53ghz) and needed to install the interface. Unfortunately, it keeps popping up as an "Unknown Device" and Windows cannot find drivers for it. This problem was also e-mailed to Happ Controls.
So thats where I stand right now. Coming weeks should see the completion of the Dragon's Lair scoreboard (including the walkthrough on how to get one to work under Windows XP), the hopefull resolution of the UGCI problem, the addition of a light gun, the beginning work on a new marquee with side art and finally the return of true arcade gaming to my home.
Finally, some pictures of the machine as it stands now - don't mind the sawdust - upgrading is still underway.
The new Oscar Controls Model 3 Spinner with MAME logo.
The scoreboard overlay in place with the pcb behind it. (Please note the pcb behind is not fixed in place and is still being adjusted. Also keep in mind that when not being hit with an extremely bright flash, it appears as the same color as the cabinet)
8/10/03 - There was a slight break in the heat this weekend, so I took the opportunity to get some work done on the cabinet upgrades.
First off, I measured out and cut the Dragon's Lair Scoreboard Plexiglass to the size that I wanted. The Plexiglass melted a bit due to the speed of the Roto-Zip I was using to cut it and some scuffs appeared in the black portion of the plexi. Using a file and a sharpee, I made the needed adjustments to the plexiglass, and with a bit more work, it will look as intended. (Other than the one point where the Roto-Zip snagged and cut a small nick in the side of the plexi - working on how to fix that up - maybe some clay and paint.)
Next up, I re-measured the area on the machine where the scoreboard will be placed, fired up the Roto-Zip again and got to work. The cut isn't pretty, but it doesn't need to be - the plexi will cover it up easily. The big part was getting the hole in the right place and the right size - and that was accomplished perfectly from what I can see so far - the big test will be when I actually mount the scoreboard in the machine and place the plexi over it. The entire area is now covered in sawdust - I'll be shovelling for awhile now. On a side note, thank God for safety glasses - the way wood and sawdust was flying, I'd have been blinded without them. A big thanks goes out to Pat for the loan of the Roto-Zip.
As always, show electricity and power tools the proper respect. Take no chances, follow all directions and unplug everything when not in use. When you are using a tool, be as careful as you can be around it. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - what good will that perfect cabinet be if you don't have enough fingers to play with it. I'll post a full walkthrough on today's updates soon, right now I'm just concentrating on getting the sawdust off of everything.
Next, I still have one or two e-mails left from this weekend to answer. If I haven't gotten back to you yet, no worries I will as soon as possible - just don't like rushing answers to questions.
Finally, for those who are wondering what the whole "Dragon's Lair Scoreboard PCB and Plexi are, here's a shot taken at the completion of the cuts - it may give you a better idea of what's going on.
7/21/03 - I haven't started work to install the spinner yet, but work is underway on the Digital Scoreboard. I ordered a reproduction Dragon's Lair/Space Ace scoreboard online and have been working on getting it up and running with the machine. It's been pretty frustrating so far, but once I get it done (and I will) I'll be posting a full walk through on it so no one else has to go through this hell! I've also ordered a reproduction of the plexiglass the covered the scoreboard in Dragon's Lair. Right now, I'm planning on putting it in between the speakers, which means I'll be moving the receiver for the wireless keyboard. Here's to hoping I can get the scoreboard working before the plexiglass arrives!
7/3/03 - Just a quick update today. I've been working with Adobe Illustrator on a possible redesign for the control panel, but nothing concrete yet. Still a little up in the air on where exactly I'm going to put the Oscar Model 3 Spinner. Hopefully I should have that decided after I do some maintenance work on the control panel this weekend. Finally, I may have gotten some good news in my quest for a digital scoreboard today, but I don't want to jinx myself by saying anything yet. Finally, I'm keeping my eyes open for a Soul Edge PCB as I've recently found out that the Zinc emulator is capable of running it. I'd love to be able to have some friends over and play Soul Edge on an actual machine instead of my PSX or DC (Soul Calibur). Okay, it's past 3am and I'm rambling, so it's time to sign off.
6/30/03 - Times comes and times goesÖ itís almost scary when I look at this front page and realize that not only havenít I made any updates in ages, but that Iíve had my cabinet for 4 years now. It still seems like almost yesterday I was building it.
With that time passing, things change. The emulation and cabinet world has made huge leaps forward Ė many of which Iím still just coming up to speed on. Some of it I think is great, other things I have a few reservations about Ė Iím sure Iíll rant on those topics in future news bits. I look at my beloved cabinet and remember how when I first built it, it was cutting edge and realize that itís fallen a bit behind the times now. I just canít let that happen. =)
SoÖ what Iím saying in my usual long winded way is that itís time to make some modifications to the NYLGP Arcade Machine! In the coming weeks Iíll be updating the galleries and filling those interested in on the changes, how theyíre made and any problems I encountered. For now, Iíll just give a list of some of the changes Iím considering.
1.) Adding a Spinner. (ALREADY UNDERWAY) This is something I always wanted on
the cabinet, but back in í99 there just was no simple way to add them. Well, as
I said earlier, times have changed. After doing some research (and measuring)
Iíve decided to go with Oscar Controls Model 3 Spinner (with the cool machined
MAME logo spinner head) connected via the optional USB adapter. Depending on
itís performance and where I mount it on the control panel, I may eventually add
a second and use MameAnalog+. I chose Oscar controls for three reasons.
1.) They have an excellent reputation.
2.) Their Spinners do not require a mounting plate, which means I can install it without removing the tile on top of the control panel.
3.) I e-mailed them with a question one night at 11:30pm figuring it would take a day or two to get a response. I was shocked when about an hour later I got an answer. Any company that is THAT customer oriented gets my vote of confidence any day.
Finally, you may be wondering why I didnít go with the more advanced Oscar Pro Spinner. Iíd have loved to have bought the Pro, but the diameter of the spinner wheel under the control panel was just too large.
2.) Add a Light Gun.
3.) Add a digital scoreboard.
4.) Reconfigure the control panel for fighting games.
More on the status of these possible changes will be listed here as I get a
better idea of what Iím going to do.
9/29/00 - Yes, I am still alive - I've just been really busy. If you've got any questions on cabinet design, feel free to e-mail me.
4/15/00 - Tax Day! Thankfully I got my taxes in early and got my refund already. Not much to report as I've been working on the Flash redesign. CLICK HERE to see part of it. Those reviews I promised on the 21st are coming, as are reviews for Sword of the Berserk (DC) and Star Wars Episode 1 Racer (DC)
4/02/00 - Added a review for Resident Evil: Code Veronica to the Consoles section. Check it out. (and if you have a Dreamcast and haven't picked it up yet, run out now and do so. If you don't have a Dreamcast, this could be enough to make you buy one. It's just that good.
3/29/00 - Just a quick note: I picked up Resident Evil: Code Veronica for Dreamcast today. This game will be a mega-hit. Sega should start advertising it even though they're not the publishers. This game could sell a million consoles easily. It feels like the first Resident Evil all over again! Also, if you've e-mailed my recently and I haven't gotten back to you yet, sorry. Things have been a little hectic lately as I was finishing up the last week of my Flash class. I should be answering all the mail I've gotten within the next day or two.
3/22/00 - Fixed the counter!!!
3/21/00 - All sorts of server problems. The worst part is I had to restart my counter :( (The old one was at 2549). Anyway, I'm almost done with the Flash class, so the full site update should be coming soon. Well, at least the server problems have been straightened out and I can start making updates again. Coming up in the reviews section are: Fear Effect (PSX), Chu Chu Rocket (DC) & Dead or Alive 2 (DC).
2/27/00 - The first fruits of my Macromedia Flash labor are up online now. You will need the Flash Player to see the page in question. ( If you need it, just click on the link below) - Check it out HERE
2/13/00 - Added complete cartridge listings for the Atari 5200, Atari 7800, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Odyssey2 and Vectrex systems. Check them out in the consoles section!
2/12/00 - Added the complete cartridge listing for the Atari 2600. Check it out in the consoles section.
To those of you who've sent in questions in the last few days, I'm sorry about the delay in getting back to you - I should have your answers shortly.
2/05/00 - Added reviews for Crazy Taxi (Dreamcast) and Hydro Thunder (Dreamcast) to the consoles section. Coming Soon on the site will be a classic game section featuring full game lists for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, ColecoVision, Odyssey2 and Intellivision.
2/01/00 - Well gang, I'm finally getting back on track. Sorry for the lack of updates but it's been pretty rough lately. Anyway, as you can guess I won't be posting most of the reviews listed due to their increasing age. However, I should have a review for Crazy Taxi (Dreamcast) coming up by the weekend.
In other news, I'll be starting a class in Macromedia Flash in mid-February, so expect to see the site getting a major overhaul within the coming months.
Several MAME releases have come and gone. Be sure to check for the most recent update at your local emulation site. Unfortunately, no emulation of Tecmo's Super Dodge Ball has appeared yet.
1/01/00 - HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS! - Here's to hoping all the best for the world in 2000. May we all see a better tomorrow.
11/25/99 - HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! - Just a few notes since I've been pretty lazy this month. 1.) Biohazard 3 has been dropped from the review bench for obvious reasons and replaced with Resident Evil 3. 2.) Reviews for both Hydro Thunder (DC) and Resident Evil 3 (PSX) should be up by the end of this weekend. 3.) MAME 36b10 has been released. Still no Super Dodge Ball though. 4.) Cyber Tiger (PSX) has been dropped from the test bench because I couldn't stand playing it long enough to write an indepth review. 5.) Metal Gear VR Has been dropped from the test bench as it too bored the hell out of me. 6.) GTA2 (PSX) is still on the test bench and a review will be coming shortly. 7.) Ready 2 Rumble (DC) is still on the test bench - review coming soon. 8.) Spyro the Dragon 2: Ripto's Rage is also now on the test bench - review coming soon. 9.) Still no progress with the JAMMA Box as I haven't had much time to work on it. 10.) Crash Team Racing has also been added to the test bench.
In case you have to get some of the above games here's a quick look at what's been on the test bench...
Resident Evil 3 (PSX) - Another great RE game. Fans of the genre will not be disappointed.
Hydro Thunder (DC) - A little difficult, but a great racing game.
GTA2 (PSX) - A more extreme version of GTA. If you liked the first one, this game is for you. If you didn't then buy a different game.
Ready 2 Rumble (DC) - A great 2 player game, but is waaaay too easy in 1 player mode.
Spyro 2 (PSX) - I normally hate platform games, but lately PSX has been blessed with some good ones (Crash 3, Ape Escape) including this one.
Crash Team Racing (PSX) - A little variety in the vehicles would have been nice. It's a good party game as everyone has equal abilities. If you're not going to play multiplayer you'd probably be better off with Chocobo Racing.
11/02/99 - I finally got around to fully reviewing Soul Calibur for Dreamcast - Check out the updated review in the Console Section. In addition to the titles below; Hydro Thunder and Ready 2 Rumble (Both on Dreamcast) are now on the test bench. Reviews coming soon.
10/31/99 - Happy Halloween! Added a review for Wipeout 3 on Playstation to the Console Section. Now on the test bench for reviews are: Biohazard 3, Grand Theft Auto 2, Metal Gear VR Missions and Cyber Tiger (All Playstation). Keep tuned for details!
It's not looking good so far for my idea about the JAMMA box for a VGA monitor. I have to do more research on it, because I just don't know enough about JAMMA cabinets to know what I'll need.
I'm also considering re-wiring a Dreamcast Control Pad and making an arcade quality fighting stick. I'll let you guys know how that's going and if any progress has been made on the JAMMA Box as updates warrant.
Finally, If you've got a cabinet you want a picture of put up here, send it on in, the Other Cabinets section could use some help!
10/30/99 - Not much to report today. Still no updates to the Build A Cabinet section. I feel bad about not updating it more often, but I've just been lazy. If there's anything I haven't covered yet that you need help on E-Mail me at email@example.com. I still answer mail regarding cabinets within a day or two.
In other news, MAME 36 Beta 8 is scheduled for release soon, hopefully I'll have news about whether or not Centipede has been fixed. (Just got to wait for you Centipede owners to report in.)
IN BIG NEWS --- (well, not really) I managed to get a hold of a Super Dodge Ball arcade board. Now the temptation to get a JAMMA cabinet is worse than ever. I'm also considering seeing if I can jury rig Happ's JAMMA Harness to a control panel and VGA monitor (Because I just don't have room for another cabinet). More on that will follow as the project gets underway.
As for the Console Section, I'm currently playtesting Wipeout 3 and should have a review within a day or so. Those of you who subscribe to Classic Gamer Magazine may have seen the article about Bira Bira (or B'ra B'ra depending on how you look at it). Well, I gave him a shot and have had great luck finding classic game stuff. In addition to the Super Dodge Ball arcade board, I've gotten several rare ColecoVision Carts (Dirt cheap, too), some rare Atari 2600 carts, and some other stuff. Download some pics of him and get chanting at the home of Bira Bira. (www..infinet.com/~rbatina/other/birabira.html)
Finally, I'm going to go off on a tangent here. Recently I've been getting pissed off at all theses companies who continue to re-release versions of their classic games as "Arcade Perfect" versions, just to have those versions be sorry looking, poor playing, general all around unauthentic copies of the originals. With every new system the "Perfect Translations" came out and dissappoint all. How many times do I have to but Pac-Man before I can finally enjoy the true arcade experience. These same companies are the ones who are fighting emulation. I think it should work like this: anyone who has ever bought a home version should have the right to use the arcade roms after 15 Years from the date of the arcade release. If the game was never released, it should be legally available as a ROM after 10 years. They'll never do it though, because they've suddenly realized that they can make money on those old games yet again (and again and again), and will pick and choose what we can play. (As soon as I find a Black Tiger arcade board I'll finally be able to play again) So I'll say this, guys if you want me to believe your argument that these classics mean a lot to your company and you want them to be remembered, then make them cheaper to obtain, have all your titles available and finally MAKE THEM ARCADE PERFECT. In closing, I have this to say - Does anyone who played Namco's Greatest Hits on Playstation really think that the Playstation wasn't powerful enough to bring a perfect version of Pac-Man home? This version was pathetic, it played wrong, sounded wrong and was modified graphically. To make matters worse, this sorry version is why companies like Namco fight emulation - so they can keep shafting us. Thanks for listening guys (and gals)
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