This has been an idea I had since even before I owned my own house, that one day somewhere I would have an arcade cabinet standing somewhere, pride of place in my living room. However, the cost of buying a brand new cabinet goes into the thousands of pounds, depending where you look.
I always have PC parts lying around so I figured if the opportunity ever came up, just to pickup a cheap ex amusement arcade machine I could shove a monitor and barebones PC parts in it and run a bunch of emulators!
Now I know that a lot of people reading this are thinking it would be far more authentic to restore a cabinet with an original JAMMA board and 15khz monitor, and I did consider it, however the following reasons put me off:
1 – 20-30 year old monitors are unlikely to work for much longer.
2 – The parts for these monitors will be difficult to obtain, and someone skilled with them equally as difficult.
3 – JAMMA boards are equally liable to fail, plus can be expensive.
4 – A cabinet limited to a single game would not buy me enough justification for my wife to let me have it!
So for some time I was on the lookout for a retired arcade machine, either working or none working. It just so happened that someone I knew used to have around half a dozen of them in his shop, and when he renovated it about 10 years ago, they disappeared. I eventually asked him what ever happened to all his machines, expecting him to say he had sold them on or something. He told me that he put them into storage whilst he renovated, originally intending to bring them back out again. However so much time passed that he never got round to it and by now he couldn’t be bothered!
Long story short, the next day he brought round the first cabinet.
Yes I called it the first cabinet, because it eventually became a kind of trial run for better things!
Next: Part 1 – First Cabinet