Welcome to Insert Coin

Insert Coin


Project Aim

Materials & Costs


Documentation & Resources

To-Do List


Copyright 2005 Mike Donley.

The website author cannot be held responsible for anything (global warming or global dimming included). If your stupid enough to go and stick a screwdriver into a socket, or touch a nasty part of the gaming monitor then it's your own fault. This webpage tracks what I did - if I continue to update it then I've obviously not killed myself, but your mileage may vary.

Hosted at donley.org.uk



Welcome to Insert Coin - Project Aim - last update 23 January 2005

So what’s this project all about?

As a kid, I spent a huge amount of time in the amusement arcades, playing many classic video games and spending a silly amount pocket money. My plan is to timewarp myself back to those long sunny days. When 50p would last for hours. When the only time I went home to was to eat and sleep. When I could buy a pound of tripe and a bag of coal and still ‘ave change from a shilling (OK, I lied about that part) and paedophiles were still called ‘strangers’.

So you’re trying to relive your childhood?

Well, kind of, in a grown up sort of way

So what exactly are you doing?

I’ve played with MAME since early in 1997 (v0.12 if I remember correctly) which brought back some fantastic memories. The next logical step beyond playing old games on you PC sat at a desk was the return the games to there rightful place: The Amusement Arcade. I thought owning an original video arcade machine at home was some sort of pipe dream, but with the disposable income that comes with being a ‘thirty-something’ and places like Ebay, finding such machines is possible with prices that are within reach.

So you’re basically just getting a beer soaked lump of wood with an old telly in it and connect your PC to it, right?

No, it’s more than that

…But, everyone is doing this, what’s so special about yours?

If you give me chance to finish… It’s more than that. I won’t say my project is unique, because I’ve found at least one other project on the Internet which is very similar, but basically I want to:-

  1. Relive the excitement of the amusement arcade and play classic video games (nothing different so far)
  2. I want to be able to use MAME to play such games (nothing different so far)
  3. I want to use an original video game cabinet from the time, specifically an Electrocoin Goliath, as I used to play games this these fantastic machines (starting to sound interesting)
  4. I don’t want to simply gut the cabinet and stick a PC in it, but sympathetically restore it (it sounds like you care)
  5. I want to retain the ability to play original JAMMA video game boards but also have a PC with emulator installed to give maximum flexibility (this is starting to sound different)
  6. And, on a technical note, I want to document the whole process of what I’m doing, along with full documentation on the re-wiring and since I live in the UK, a full parts list, suppliers and prices. Many projects are US based and it seems materials are easier to come by over the pond, but in the UK things are a little more backward and monopolised by B&Q (educational as well…)

It does sound a little different doesn’t it?

I think so. To summarise:-

  • I want to restore an original video game cabinet.
  • I want to strip out the cabinet if only to work out how everything works to rewire it and reassemble it.
  • I want to retain JAMMA compatibility to play original video game boards.
  • I want to have to put 10p’s in to play the game.
  • And last, but not least, I want to document everything, so it isn’t just a weblog, but an educational resource that will hopefully encourage others to follow.

Anything else?

I also want to do a few extra things to make it special and bring it into the 21st century. The cabinet I’ve acquired is big….very big, so it will live in my garage. With the wonders of wireless networking and broadband, I plan to have stats (what I’m playing, high scores, game stats etc) accessible over the Internet. Other ideas will probably come with time.

One last thing, I’ve read your blog; who is ‘our kid’?

Our kid is my older brother, Dave Donley without whom this project wouldn’t have progressed anywhere near as quickly as it has.

‘Our kid’, what sort of language is that?

‘Our kid’ is a North of England colloquialism used to describe your brother though some people use it to describe their sister also (weird folk from Lancashire no doubt). In Yorkshire (where I come from) ‘our lass’ would is used to describe your sister….If I had a sister that is….!