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Author Topic: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..  (Read 1144 times)

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Zeosstud

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Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« on: July 16, 2019, 01:34:04 am »
Good buddy of mine knows Robotron is my favorite game, he came across a very poorly converted Joust cabinet, that had a feature he knew I needed, it had a like new Vision Pro Monitor installed, so he reached out and asked if I would interested. I told him I would love to see what my JROK board would look like in this cabinet but am short on disposable income at the moment. He said not to worry about $$$ right now and said I could pay him $300 when I could, that seemed more than fair so he brought it over.

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2019, 01:48:43 am »
The screen looked fantastic, like a dream come true.. I knew immediately I was gonna keep it so then I spent several hours trying to see what all it needed.
I ordered a Jamma cable and a PC power supply which I modded so that it would just power up when plugged in and could also be turned on and off with the built in atx switch, easy enough with a paper clip and some black tape. Done.
Wired up the video connection on the chassis to the Jamma cable and got the 110v power going, so the power from the monitor and power supply are wired into a long cable that has a notch cut out of the back of the cabinet, all works great.
Next I looked at the marquee light, it was crap, tore it all out but save the cable that was connected, then I got a hold of the resident solder expert in the house and boom, we have 12v LED light strip.




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« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 02:18:43 am by Zeosstud »

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2019, 01:51:26 am »
At this point I was itching to play, so I cut and drilled out a temp control panel, Brad nailed in some support brackets and got it secure enough to play.

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2019, 01:59:42 am »
The knockoff leaf joysticks I got with the cabinet did not work well enough so I pulled the Dominux8 sticks from my JROK Pedestal ( hell I already grabbed the board so what the heck )
Got everything wired up and playing it was a real treat, immediately got my 2nd and 3rd highest scores, I was hooked, playing with this setup was gonna be how Robotron gets done in this house going forward.
At this point I went back and reviewed Gilrocks Robotron build pics for some reference on how a proper control panel should look, I unbolted the hinge from the useless metal control panel and started to work on a wood replacement.
Here is version one of what I was able to do.


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« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 11:52:56 pm by Zeosstud »

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2019, 02:10:53 am »
I am not blessed with a CNC machine currently but I have to be honest, I am pretty happy with what got done with my Kreg K5, Precision Measuring Mitre Saw and the new Kreg Track Saw and table.. I know this is a temp solution, but making a new top when my CPO comes in will be easy enough, remove 5 screws, cut another piece, make a 30 degree cut on the end that goes against the monitor bezel, apply the cpo, cut the holes where they belong and wire it back up, piece of cake.

You may have noticed that the coin return slots were lit up. I had a bunch of LED replacements bulbs in a drawer, turns out if you just bend the 2 little wires and provide them 12v and ground they work perfectly, she soldder those too, then I wired  them up using some .250 Male/Female connectors and cut off cables from the pcie connector of the power supply and boom, done, works perfectly.

The wife is not only hot, she has talent with our Dremel Wireless Soldering iron.

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« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 02:21:54 am by Zeosstud »

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2019, 02:15:41 am »
I have new control panel clamps that need installing and once that is done I will begin to tackle the cosmetic issues this cabinet has, that is going to be a challenge, but I really enjoy it and in the end it will look pretty good and will play as close the the original as I am every likely to come.

Stay tuned for more updates!!

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Gilrock

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2019, 10:52:27 am »
Nice!  You won't go back to playing Robotron with the old setup.  I've only been playing difficulty 5 now and I had one game I hit 2.25 million making it to wave 85 but lately haven't been able to get back that high again.  Every so often I hit 1.5 mil but usually I'm between 800K to 1.1 mil on average.  My control panel ended up not being perfect.  The angle near where you palms rest I had filled with nice wood filler and sanded but apparently the curve wasn't perfectly even all the way across.  So with the stiff overlay there was one spot just under where my left hand rests that kept buckling a little so now there is a tiny little crease there.  I guess after I wear a hole in it I might strip it off and try to even it out and apply a new overlay.

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2019, 11:35:35 am »
My games in the 700k range seem to be coming more easily, 870k is still the high and I did that on my LCD screen. I have an overlay coming from escapepod, I have this sanded with some 150, and the edge was rounded with 1/2" round over on my router, hopefully it is rough enough for stuff to stick well but smooth enough to feel correct. Time will tell. I am running the tie die rom with the setting on 3 as I recall, that is how my buddies emulated cab is setup, once I get into the 7 digit realm a few times, I will up the difficulty to 5 on them both.

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2019, 09:06:48 pm »
Control Panel Clamps adjusted for wood control panel and they lock my control panel up tight!! Love the "Thunk" when they close..
Also tested the Dominux8 joysticks in the shorter mode, not for me, not in this wood control panel, I like the feel of them in the taller configuration for sure!

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« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 10:32:50 pm by Zeosstud »

Gilrock

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2019, 09:45:22 pm »
Yep I'm using the tie die rom as well because I like seeing the extra men count if I get it above 8.

opt2not

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2019, 10:51:02 pm »
Heh, Iím still rocking yellow. I should probably get on the tie die train as well.

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2019, 11:15:24 pm »
I agree, the rom seems solid!! You should kick all our butts on the same rom!!

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2019, 12:05:12 am »
Crazy hot here in Missouri, had to move my project Joust to Robotron into the Basement, playing it when it is over 100 degrees just seemed wrong and I would come back into the house a sweaty mess.. Got to spend some time and get that blue paint on the front gone, but my darn weekends are tied up for awhile, thank goodness is plays perfectly even though it is not particularly attractive at the moment.

Zeosstud

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2019, 01:22:55 am »
Robotron marquee arrived from escapepod, looks great couple of places where light is getting out, will fix that Sunday.. also got the cpo, it would appear that my initial holes for what I thought were my temp control panel were done so well that this baby will fit like a glove as is.. Gotta love the incra measuring system. Will see on Sunday!!

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2019, 12:40:44 am »
Got the light leaking out of the marquee squared away today, happy about that, still need to tackle the CPO.. Oh, and my 17 year old has a 6 pack..

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2019, 12:13:22 am »
Starting on the clean up, pretty up, restore (sort of) part of the project, wife got the coin door painted, we cleaned the coin returns, they look brand new. I made 2 new back pieces, they even fit together with the groves like the old ones did, could not finish up the install of the lock as I needed a 1 1/4" forstner or spade bit with I could not locate, I dont have new locks for everything anyway yet. Built a new control panel, will be adding the overlay on tomorrow and trying to to Jack it up.

Also got a new high score today, 952,225, it is not a million, but it is closer!!

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2019, 01:56:57 pm »
Control Panel Overlay installed, now if I can just cut the holes without jacking it up..

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2019, 07:11:13 pm »
Turns out I can drill the holes without jacking it up, that is sort of exciting..  :cheers:

In case anyone cares, I applied the control panel overlay, used a hole punch to mark the middle of the desired hole location, used a forstner bit, put the tip in the indentation that I made, with a hand drill got it going 100% while just above the control panel overlay then went down into the plywood and straight as I could applying pressure, trying not to let it slip, kept going until I was clearly into the wood and thru the overlay. 

Managed to get good clean cuts, I hope yours turn out just the way you want them to.




Mike A

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2019, 07:14:01 pm »
Nice work. :cheers:

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2019, 12:42:06 am »
Thanks, managed to get it wired up, even found a few illuminating buttons, I know the original is both blue, but hey, I had a blue and a yellow. :-)  Still plenty more to accomplish, but it is fully functional and not fugly anymore!!

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2019, 07:09:34 am »
 :cheers:

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2019, 02:31:29 pm »
Tonight we paint.. Front, Back, inside the left and right sides.. I am sure it will look much better than it does currently, pictures to follow..

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2019, 10:24:15 pm »
Robotron clearly likes its new paint job and wiring.. I broke a 1,000,000!!!!!

 :cheers:

Will post a few pics of the updated paint job tomorrow.. When I get a little natural light in the basement.. It is just the front, top and back, sides are still a wreck, as is the bottom front really, I think I am going to put some diamond plate on the bottom of the front below the coin door, what ends up happening on the sides is still up in the air..

- Zeosstud



Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2019, 12:26:36 am »
Couple Comparison Pics..  I am pretty satisfied with the updates..


opt2not

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2019, 09:46:52 pm »
Fine work.  :applaud:

Though those start buttons are too bright and are the wrong color. (This is coming from a purist and Robotron aficionado, so take this with a grain of salt. YMMV.)
I mean, it looks like you're going for the look of authenticity, so why stop at the start buttons?

On the original cabs the start buttons are both dark-dark blue, and are dimly lit.

Having them dim-lit is actually a good aspect of the design. When playing this game, where using your peripheral vision is key to success, having a bright light in the corner of your eye is fairly distracting. You don't need that extra glare when concentrating on a game that requires a lot of focus.

If these buttons you have are temporary, then please disregard all this.

Still love that you're bringing back another Robotron. The game is a masterpiece.

Gilrock

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2019, 10:40:24 pm »
Cool so time to up the difficulty to 5?  :)

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2019, 10:57:03 pm »
I acknowledged in an earlier post that I know the buttons are wrong, it is what I had available to test if I wired up the 12v correct. I actually have a set of the actual buttons, they dont fit in a 1 1/8" hole. I actually broke the yellow button housing when messing with this thing, it is put together with tape. I will come up with a solution at some point.

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2019, 11:00:36 pm »
I may have to bump it up to 5 soon, I am sorta enjoying breaking a million a little to much currently to do it.

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2019, 02:08:57 pm »
Cool so time to up the difficulty to 5?  :)
One step closer, I wired up the button needed to get into the settings and change stuff, was able to attach to one of the test buttons inside the coin door, kinda like it should be.. :-)

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Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2019, 03:09:42 am »
Small update, still happy, got locks installed today, front, bottom and back, went ahead and switched out the locks on my virtual pinball and original Mame cabinet too, now I only need one key for them all, silly I know, what can I say.

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2019, 04:26:22 pm »
That's not silly at all, coin Ops did that out on the route so they didn't need a giant ring of keys to fumble through, but when they sold  the machine they would take the fancy double bit lock, and replace it back to the generic version it came with.

Zeosstud

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Re: Joust to Robotron, the struggle is real..
« Reply #31 on: Yesterday at 01:17:04 am »
When I owned Gunthers Games in Columbia MO we made sure our games were keyed alike for the most part, just so much easier when we reclaimed the tokens. I miss that place.

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