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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.

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One year on.... - Thursday 4 August 2005 19:43 Permalink

So. It's roughly one year since I bought my Electrocoin Goliath and it's still not (quite) finished. If it looks like I've not done any work recently, you'd be right in that assumption.

I still have to buy the black faced card to surround the monitor (it's actually proving quite hard to track some down which is big enough and that doesn't cost the earth) and I still have to do some software 'stuff'.

I'll try and get some time over the next few weeks to progress things, but at the moment I'm trying my best to catch up on two month's worth of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on TiVo before I run out of disk space again.....
PC gets named - Wednesday 22 June 2005 19:49 Permalink

I haven't completed the PCs configuration yet. Last weekend was very very hot so the idea of spending it in my garage wasn't very appealing.

So, what's the PC called you might ask? Well every computer I've ever owned have a spacey themed name (except for a time when I name my PCs are various curry dishes, but that's another story...).

My current 'interest' is Star Trek. In my old job I named a couple of servers Archer (A Domain Controller. Archer; the Captain, get it?) & Hoshi (A Mail server. Hoshi, the Communications Officer, get it? Doesn't matter). My current PC is called Voyager. So it seemed appropriate to call my arcade machine 'Seven'. Why Seven? Because it's a thing of beauty, it's very clever, but sometimes quite stubborn!
Last item to purchase - Wednesday 22 June 2005 18:54 Permalink

It's reached that point in the project where I only have one item to still purchase (assuming nothing unforseen comes up).

I need to buy a large sheet of black faced card to surround the monitor. The original card was torn when I bought the Goliath so it needs replacing. I've already looked in the local 'Staples' store, but they didn't have anything, so I'll have to go around a few local art shops...

Software Tweaking - Monday 13 June 2005 20:52 Permalink

I've done a bit of tweaking with Mamewah. The main area of work has been sorting out the screen resolution for each game. I've done some playing with the 'MAME Resolution Tool' from the authors of Mamewah and most of the games are now playable.

I also really need to spend some time sorting out the mame roms. When I set up the PC, I simply did a dump of the ROMS archive (it's useful as a backup as well). Unfortunately, this contains a few hundred games for which the emulation doesn't run yet - so I need to clear these out. I also need to find my screen shot archive for the mamewah navigation screen.

This is all fairly straight forward stuff, but it'll take me a few hours to get it sorted.. Perhaps a job for next weekend!

Obviously, whilst I have a significant archive of Mame ROMS, I only intend to play those I actually own ;-) The rest are there purely for educational purposes!
Cabinet reassembly - Monday 13 June 2005 20:41 Permalink

A good few days methinks. I can now safely say that my Electrocoin Goliath cabinet is 99% reassembled. A quick summary.

PC power connection

As mentioned a little while back, I connected up the wiring from the external power panel to the PC motherboard. It's interesting, I spent ages hunting around to those little jumper type connectors to attach to the new wiring loom, but could I find them? Could I hell! In the end I had to chop some old connectors off an old PC Case and solder them on. The finished article isn't the tidiest in the world, but it works.

Metalwork refurbishment

This is something I started last August and has been sat around since as it has been fairly non-essential. Over the last week I've prepared, cleaned and resprayed the cash box door, control panel/PCB shelf hinge and retainer and the marquee retainers.

I did the hinge, and retainers first as they're not very prominent and it gave me a chance to perfect my spraying technique. As mentioned before, I've used black, spray, hammered finish Hammerite. It's not a patch on the power-coated finish of the coin door, but it doesn't look too bad at all.

One word of advice here. Take your time. The first couple of items, I tried to rush and didn't really give enough time between coats, however, by the time I'd got to the cash box door, I'd realised that giving 30mins-1hr between coats does make a difference to the finish.

With the respraying complete, it was time to reassemble everything. First was the cash box door (remember to Earth it!). When I came to reinstalling the hinge and marquee retainers, I realised I needed some more nuts and bolts, so a quick (if not rather expensive - ?1.30 for 4 locking nuts - daylight robbery!) visit to B&Q and I was in business. Ideally I would have liked to use black bolts, but I didn't have much choice, so the polished, pan headed nuts had to do.

Now everything is assembled, it makes opening up the cabinet a bit more straightforward as it means you don't have to dismantle everything to perform the simplest of jobs.
Pictures page now up - Monday 6 June 2005 20:21 Permalink

The pictures page is now up. It's not the high resolution pictures I originally planned, but instead a chronological list of all the pictures that have appeared throughout this blog.
Cross referencing in To-Do - Saturday 4 June 2005 17:38 Permalink

After putting it off for a long time, I've finally cross referenced most of the entries in the TODO list. Hopefully this will make it easier to follow the restoration process from beginning to end rather than wading through each blog entry when you're looking for something..
Some progress - respraying - Saturday 4 June 2005 15:34 Permalink

After a well earned holiday and a few weeks not getting much done, I've finally make some progress.

I've started to respray the various metal components (hinges, marquee retainer, etc). In fact, I'm just waiting for the Hammerite to dry in between coats. There is a skill to spraying: A skill that I don't really have! I'm sure it'll look fine when I finished though...

A couple of weeks ago, I connected up the PC Control panel (mounted on top of the cabinet) to the PC motherboard, so I can now control all power functions from the power control panel. I have a couple of pix, but I don't have my digital camera to hand. I'll post them later.
Web site changes - Saturday 4 June 2005 15:33 Permalink

As you may have noticed, this blog has now migrated to insertcoin.org.uk and is running on a new host (Windows Server 2003 no less). Along with various reliability issues I've had of late (problems with DSL, migration to a virtual host, wireless network problems, router upgrade, migration back to a physical host, etc) things look like they're settling down nicely. If you're still using the RSS feed from donley.org.uk, please point your subscription to the new RSS feed location - whilst I think the old one still works, I might end up breaking it.

Also, a new logo which definately denotes a separation from donley.org.uk.
Intro Movie - Monday 2 May 2005 17:26 Permalink

Every game these days has an intro movie. I figured my machine also needs a little intro to get you in the mood. Googling for something I came across CinemArcade. What a cool website. Dave Dries has produced lots of movies, posters, desktops, icons etc, all in a retro arcade style.

My favourite piece is Arcade'84 - A beautiful piece of work which counjers up ambience of the Video Arcade, but, I'm sorry to say a little impractical as a intro at 3mins 10secs. Luckily, Dave has also produced 'MAME Arcade', a short (<30 seconds), fast-paced intro movie based on 'Arcade84'.

I watched it a few times and it provokes the sight, sounds and the sensation of a typical 1980's amusement arcade (I'm sure I could even smell it). What memories: The excitement and euphoria as you enter another world, a fantasy world. The darkened room, glaring screens, bleeps and squeaks, neon lights, the sound of cascading coins, thumping music. Your clammy hands clutching a few heavy coins, as you prepare yourself for your mission. Your mission? The high score, always held by 'KEV' or 'GAZ'. And when the money has gone, the weird sensation that comes over you as you step outside, sometimes hours later, into the damp evening air. As you walk away into the silence of reality, the arcade ambience still buzzing in your head. I think I've died and gone to heaven.....

A little over the top? Maybe. But watch it for yourself, in a darkened room, with the volume high and tell me you don't get the same feelings....

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