Monday, December 15, 2008

Board or Computer?

I haven't decided how I am going to run Donkey Kong on the cabinet once it is complete. I could:
  1. Get an original DK board and install it
  2. Get a "48-1" board and install it (includes DK among others)
  3. Put an old computer inside and run MAME. I can set it up to boot straight to DK when turned on so it would appear dedicated but also have it run every 4-way/1 button game out there (DK, DK Jr., DK3, Pac-man, Ms. Pac-man, Pac-man Jr., Mr. Do!, Frogger, etc. - there are TONs of them and most are classics).
I'm leaning towards #3 because it's the cheapest and easiest since I already have a couple of old computers laying around. It's not really necessary though since I have other machines running those games... I guess I'll make that call once I'm finished restoring the exterior of the cabinet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Red or Blue?

I am undecided on what color to paint the cabinet once I'm done filling all of the holes, sanding it down and applying a few coats or primer. Most Donkey Kong cabinets came in powdered blue - in fact, the cabinet I am restoring was powder blue at one point and the only Donkey Kong cabinets I can recall from my youth were all powder blue. However, the first batch of Donkey Kong cabinets actually came in a deep red because they were converted from another Nintendo game - Radar Scope - which failed miserably.

Check it out:

The only reason I am considering red is purely for aesthetics - I just like the way it looks. I am really undecided at this point although I'm leaning towards blue because that is how I remember it...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why Restore?

Ever since I got into this hobby I have been building my arcade machines from scratch. There are a few reasons why I am choosing to restore this one:
  1. Cost: $36 for the cabinet is WAY cheaper than I could have built it using 3 sheets of plywood or MDF. I am estimating that this entire project will cost somewhere between $300 and $400 depending on how much the monitor ends up costing.
  2. Ease: All that I'll really have to do to get this thing back in shape is sand it down, fill any holes or dents and paint it. Not having to construct the cabinet will take months off of the completion time since I move pretty slow with these things.
  3. The "community": For some reason, other people really like it when an old cabinet is "saved" - I don't fully understand it but I guess it is a little piece of history and since no one is manufacturing these things anymore and the arcade era is either dead or on its last legs it will be nice to have a piece of it in my house.
If this one goes well enough I might try restoring another one on my "dream list" fairly quickly.

Friday, September 12, 2008

First Pictures

Here is a picture from the eBay listing. I haven't even picked it up yet so I really don't know what condition the cabinet is in but it looks pretty good from what I can tell. It also comes with a coin door and two coin mechs - hopefully it is not dented and I will be able to restore that as well.

I will definitely be posting more pictures once I have it in hand. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's On Like.... um... Donkey Kong!

Well, here I go again - another project! While completing my touch screen jukebox I had been thinking about what to work on next. I have already made a custom pink mini-arcade and cocktail table from scratch (and I'm in the middle of a slim upright) but ever since I was little I've always wanted a real, working arcade cabinet in my house.

I decided it was time to try my hand at restoring an old cabinet to its former glory so when I saw a gutted Donkey Kong cabinet on eBay that was only about 90 minutes away, I couldn't resist. I managed to snag it for $36! You can't beat that!

I am very excited about this one since it is on the short list of dedicated cabinets I want to have in my basement arcade some day (along with Pac-man, Galaga and others).