Friday, October 3, 2014

My Super Punch Out!! Arcade Cabinet

I just came into possession of an arcade cabinet. It's a genuine Nintendo Super Punch-Out!! cabinet from 1984 (i.e., almost as old as me).

Here it is, in its new (temporary) home on my covered back patio:
 The marquee is in good condition with just a few scratches and the speakers are still intact, surprisingly. The monitors look pretty terrible in that shot, but don't worry: that's not burn-in, just dirt and cigarette tar scuzz. The paint/vinyl on the sides has some cracking/chipping at the bottom and there's significant warping to the first few layers of plywood on top, but otherwise, it's pretty much intact, if dirty. Here's a shot of the inside, full of leaves:
 After applying equal parts rubbing alcohol and elbow grease, I got the dirt scum off the monitors to reveal some light-to-moderate burn-in on both monitors.
 But really, it's not so bad considering this old gal had nearly 50,000 games played on her, according to the analog counter inside (that's more than $10k in quarters; pretty good ROI!):
 The cabinet also came with a piece of smoked plexi that goes in front of the monitors (not pictured in the first image), and this plexi was covered with the same dirt/tar scum that coated the monitors, so it needed a deep-cleaning, as well. During the process, I took a before/after shot to illustrate how thick and nasty that stuff really was (ignore the basset hound on the floor fishing for belly-rubs):
Between the coating on the monitors and the coating on the plexi, I doubt anyone would have been able to tell whether it were turned on or not.

I haven't had a chance to get inside and poke around yet, but I plan to check the monitors' capacitors to see if they've leaked and/or dried out, which would necessitate recapping them, and I intend to pull the actual game boards and see if they've suffered any corrosion from on-board batteries. If all is well there, I'll try to actually plug it in--which will require attaching a new plug to the currently-bare wire-ends--and see if the transformer and power supply are still functional. I will also take apart and clean the coin doors, since they're a little janky, as well.

I'll update this post as I learn more :)

I opened it up and was pleased to find that the batteries didn't seem to be terribly corroded:
I fitted a new plug onto the end of the bare wires, threw in some fresh batteries and powered it on. Everything seems to fire up okay, though there's not a lot of action:
At this point, I'm not sure if have a dicky connection to the board, a dead board or wiped eproms (their UV windows are uncovered and it's pretty bright inside my cabinet, due to the missing control panel). I know a guy who has an identical machine--in much better condition--who has offered to test the board for me, so that will be my next step, I think. In the meantime, I'll continue sprucing things up cosmetically.

I drove my board out to test it in the aforementioned known-working cabinet and the results were less-than-great but better-than-bad:
The picture is blurry and there's a lot of glare on the plexi, but what you're looking at is some garbled graphics (no movement and no sound, unfortunately) and one perfectly-rendered '0'. This suggests to me that the board basically works--that is, it's not totally dead--but my eproms indeed need to be verified and my cabinet needs some more work to get even this far. I also need to go through and check all of my edge connectors and make sure the solder joints are secure and, if not, reflow them.

For the eproms, I'm hoping to borrow a USB programmer from a computer engineering professor at the university where I work. If that doesn't pan out, I can get one on eBay for $40.

It was looking like getting SPO!! working was going to be more involved and expensive than I was really hoping to get into, and I didn't want to risk ruining a board that could actually make a collector very happy, so I traded the boards and cabinet to a really swell collector named Marv for this dandy of a JAMMA cabinet:
This is actually much more appropriate for my uses, since I can drop JAMMA boards in with ease (I intend to purchase a SF2: Hyper Fighting CPS-1 board in the near future) and, with the help of a J-PAC board, drop a MAME PC in with little-to-no modification. I'll be posting about this process soon.

Analytics Tracking Footer