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Author Topic: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab  (Read 23068 times)

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meyer980

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A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« on: March 29, 2021, 10:17:36 am »
Well, I'm diving into my first real restoration! I've built numerous MAME cabs, but other than working on other people's, I have very little experience with original arcades.

Figured if I'm gonna do it, let's do it right. Purchased a Nintendo Red Tent that needs some love. I'm going to try and get it back to proper order over the next year or so.

Getting it inside wasn't exactly easy


Most items I'm confident I can take care of. One monitor works fine, but going to do a cap kit on it. Power supply is old, so probably swap that out. Sanding/repainting the parts. One piece is NOT fixable though - the broken neck on monitor #2


So, I'm on the hunt for a replacement tube or complete monitor. Hard to find, I know, but I'm not in a hurry. If you know where to find one, hit me up! I'll pay what it's worth.

Broken monitor is nothing but trash now. I'll save the parts off it though.


Starting to take it apart


I ordered caps and flyback for the working monitor. Gonna do that in a couple weeks. I got a quote from a local powder coating company that will do everything for a decent price. Gotta decide if it's worth the cost though. Lots of other stuff to do while I decide that though. Wish me luck!

wp34

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2021, 10:38:34 am »
Nice!  Should be a fun one when you are done.  You are right finding that monitor may be tricky.

What ROMS did it come with?

meyer980

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2021, 10:48:26 am »
Hi wp34, you're right it should be fun!

Came with Vs. Goonies and Vs. Super Mario Bros. I know at least one side works (got an image on the Goonies side which had the functional monitor). I know there are all sorts of options for swapping chips out, or installing a multi-board that has multiple sets. Something to investigate down the line.

Mike A

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2021, 10:56:24 am »
Nice.

I used to play one of those at Pizza Hut.

It had Excitebike.

meyer980

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2021, 11:24:50 am »
Nice.

I used to play one of those at Pizza Hut.

It had Excitebike.

Yup, Pizza Hut for me too. As a kid, I was a child of the "Book-It" program. Free personal pan pizza, plus my parents would toss me 50 cents for a game or two. It would have already been an older machine by the time I was playing it in '94 or so but I still loved it.

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2021, 11:32:43 am »
Dr Mario is the only VS game with any legs.  The damn music loops endlessly and loudly, though.


Mike A

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2021, 11:39:36 am »
Quote
It would have already been an older machine by the time I was playing it in '94 or so but I still loved it.

You are making me feel old.

The other Pizza Hut near me had a Wizard of Wor cocktail and a Warp Warp upright.

Later on that Pizza Hut had a Neo Geo 4 slot, a Daytona, and a Police Trainer.

meyer980

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2021, 11:46:21 am »
Dr Mario is the only VS game with any legs.  The damn music loops endlessly and loudly, though.

I *mostly* agree except the 2 sided games can be a real blast. Vs. Wrecking Crew or Vs. Balloon Fight are great co-op games.

Quote
It would have already been an older machine by the time I was playing it in '94 or so but I still loved it.

You are making me feel old.

The other Pizza Hut near me had a Wizard of Wor cocktail and a Warp Warp upright.

Later on that Pizza Hut had a Neo Geo 4 slot, a Daytona, and a Police Trainer.

Mike - not my intent at all! I may have technically been a 90's kid, but the 70's and 80's is where my heart is at.

pbj

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2021, 12:08:16 pm »
Hm. Yeah, I could see Balloon Fight being fun.  I didn't know of that game's existence until my tent was long gone.

VS Super Mario is hard and will annoy everyone.  We've also all played that game to death.

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2021, 02:31:59 pm »
It's only hard if you suck at SMB.... now smb 2 (japan) on the famicom... that's the hard one.

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2021, 05:37:08 pm »
Mario 35 upped my SMB game a lot. Shame it is going away in a couple days.

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2021, 09:22:20 pm »
I only started playing a few days ago.   Why in the world they would make this a limited event is beyond me as I would gladly pay a years worth of online just to be able to play it. 

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2021, 09:43:10 pm »
I only started playing a few days ago.   Why in the world they would make this a limited event is beyond me as I would gladly pay a years worth of online just to be able to play it.

Somebody in marketing still believes that absence makes the heart grow fonder
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2021, 02:26:04 pm »
First update on this. Before doing body work, I wanted to get the electronics in order. That meant monitors.

After some searching, I found someone about 4 hours away willing to sell me his XM-1801 monitor, working. 1 down! Here's a shot of it in action.



The other monitor had all it's parts, and showed an image at first, but stopped working a short time later. So, decided to recap it.




I'm fairly new to soldering, only done a few small projects, so this was very slow for me. Anyway, once I have good picture on both sides and playing games I'll tear it apart to prepare for cleaning and painting.




wp34

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2021, 11:23:41 am »
Awesome that you found a monitor!  I figured that would be unobtanium.  Great news.

meyer980

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2021, 01:59:29 pm »
Some small updates this week. I have two fully working monitors. The monitor I recapped and replaced the flyback on wasn't starting for some reason. I couldn't find anything I had done wrong so brought it to a local repair shop (Paradise Arcade) for their opinion. They quickly determined the replacement flyback was faulty. We put the old one back in and it's good to go, great picture. Apparently, this is a known problem. Many (if not all) of this specific reproduction flyback just aren't working for people. A real bummer.

Separately, I finished removing the hood from the machine finally. This took forever because several of the small brass screws were impossibly stuck and strip super easy.



I ended up using a combination of WD-40 and a high torque low speed drill to remove most, and a screw extractor set on the two worst ones.

The Isolation Transformer was missing the power switch (a common mod operators did back in the day) so I put one back in.



Finally, cleaned up the coin plates. Here's a clean one next to how it started. Both of mine have a lot of scratches that I can't do too much about but I think they still look good.




wp34

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2021, 07:50:30 am »
That's cool that Paradise helped you with your monitor.   Great to see you making progress.   :cheers:

meyer980

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2021, 11:18:29 am »
That's cool that Paradise helped you with your monitor.   Great to see you making progress.   :cheers:

Thanks wp34, working on an original is very new for me. Learning a lot!

Along those "learning a lot" lines, I'm learning how long/hard it is to disassemble a Red Tent. There are bolts everywhere and I think most of them are original because they're practically locked in. I've had to use a vice grip on a large number of them. Anyway, I finally have the top half off. Each day I make a little progress here or there.



« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 12:07:51 pm by meyer980 »

Mike A

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2021, 11:44:42 am »
When you disassemble take more pics than you think you need along the way.

wp34

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2021, 11:44:53 am »

Along those "learning a lot" lines, I'm learning how long/hard it is to disassemble a Red Tent. There are bolts everywhere and I think most of them are original because they're practically locked in. I've had to use a vice grip on a large number of them. Anyway, I finally have the top half off. Each day I make a little progress here or there.





Yeah this picture gave me nightmares.  Like working on an old car.   ;D



meyer980

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2021, 10:45:45 am »
After a lot of wresting, I have it almost completely disassembled and can move to paint soon. The final, and hardest, piece was some extra bars someone drilled into the thing to accommodate extra padlocks. Problem is they used carriage bolts but round holes, which also started to rust a bit. The coin bucket versions were hard but not impossible. The ones on the cab itself were extra difficult because you can't see what you're doing - they're inside a coin bucket slot. I had to use a camera to take some pictures, and eventually found out they used a combination of both hex and square nuts willy-nilly of several different sizes. Ended up having to cut a few bolt heads off for the absolute worst cases.





I also wanted to clean the shiny metal parts. Someone had painted many of mine black, so I first removed much of that by sanding.



Then cleaned them with a tumbler



They came out great



Joysticks are another problem. I was able to clean most of the parts with the tumbler, or vinegar/soap/sandpaper. But the shafts themselves aren't doing great yet. I've also found the small "ball" thing in the center of the joystick plate is extra gunky. Several rounds of WD-40 and scrubbing are necessary to get them real good. I'm not done yet but I'll post final pictures soon.





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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2021, 12:44:15 pm »
Glad to see this is progressing!


Joysticks are another problem. I was able to clean most of the parts with the tumbler, or vinegar/soap/sandpaper. But the shafts themselves aren't doing great yet. I've also found the small "ball" thing in the center of the joystick plate is extra gunky. Several rounds of WD-40 and scrubbing are necessary to get them real good. I'm not done yet but I'll post final pictures soon.


Working on Nintendo joysticks always reminds me of auto repair.

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2021, 06:29:01 pm »
I'm cleaning up an old happ trackball i got cheap off ebay.
the shafts were rusty.
after letting them have a few rounds in the ultrasonic cleaner after a night soaking in CLR, I stuck them in a drill and and rotated them while holding 220 grit sand paper around them.
wet.

then finished off with 500 grit.
wet again.

while there is still some slight discolored rings where the ball wore the shaft down a little they are mostly shiny and smooth.


Mike A

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2021, 08:08:07 pm »
Talk dirty to me some more.

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2021, 09:54:34 pm »
I hate nintendo joysticks with a passion.  They just feel off to me.  I've got a couple that I really need to sell but they are unobtanium at this point and I'm always afraid they might come in handy.   I'll be on hoarders before I'm 50.

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2021, 04:23:18 am »
Glad to see this is progressing!


Joysticks are another problem. I was able to clean most of the parts with the tumbler, or vinegar/soap/sandpaper. But the shafts themselves aren't doing great yet. I've also found the small "ball" thing in the center of the joystick plate is extra gunky. Several rounds of WD-40 and scrubbing are necessary to get them real good. I'm not done yet but I'll post final pictures soon.


Working on Nintendo joysticks always reminds me of auto
repair.

THIS is funny

Talk dirty to me some more.

THIS is ---smurfing--- hilarious

I hate nintendo joysticks with a passion.  They just feel off to me.  I've got a couple that I really need to sell but they are unobtanium at this point and I'm always afraid they might come in handy.   I'll be on hoarders before I'm 50.


THIS I can identify with in numerous ways

 :laugh2:
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

meyer980

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2021, 04:10:39 pm »
Been a while since I posted an update! I've been keeping a tighter log on KLOV (since they're more original cab enthusiasts) but BYOAC is my oldest forum home so can't forget it!

Past couple weeks I've done a few things. Finished cleaning and assembling the 4 joysticks. I ended up re-cleaning them all again, I just wasn't happy with what I was getting. 2 or 3 more rounds with WD-40, then soap/water took care of that. I used a couple drops of 3 in 1 to lubricate them in the end. Real good movements now and no more gunk anywhere. BTW, I broke one of the e-clips while disassembling them. Not cheap for a tiny little thing! $1.75 for a single clip at my local Menards and couldn't find them cheaper online unless I was willing to buy a bundle or wait a month for shipping.

Next, I had to repair the holes in the coin buckets and frame a previous owner made for his added locks (see previous posts). I went with JB Weld for that and it worked pretty well. You can see my repair easily right now but I'm pretty confident it's smooth to touch so shouldn't be obvious once painted.

Lastly, cleaning the legs. Started with high grit sandpaper to removed some of the very top rust. Then I went with diet coke and aluminum for  (similar to some of the other metals I cleaned). That worked real well. Much shinier and most marks removed. Not perfect but I'll take it. I tried using Brasso and another metal polisher I had but honestly, it actually dimmed the mirror shine a bit when I compared two legs so I didn't use it all over.

Lastly, you'll a quick shot of my work area. The Red Tent has completely dominated my space!

Edit: Sorry about the skewing. I know there's a way to fix it but can't remember how. If you download the photos they look fine. They also uploaded in the wrong order but I'm sure you can figure it out!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 04:31:09 pm by meyer980 »

Mike A

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2021, 04:46:10 pm »
Next time you need something small like that clip just ask. I have a bunch of stuff like that scattered around my shop.

I could have popped a few of those in the mail for 51 cents postage.

Nice work restoring that cab. :cheers:
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 08:32:09 pm by Mike A »

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2021, 08:07:17 pm »
Harbor Freight sells boxes of those clips in various sizes.  Iíve got a million of them and needed like three.


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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2021, 10:17:32 pm »
That basement looks like a south Minneapolis house. :)

Looking great. I always wanted to play against my brother in Tennis on one of those. We used to play on the NES but we couldn't play against each other. We always played on level 5 on the same team.

J_K_M_A_N

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2021, 09:12:18 am »
That basement looks like a south Minneapolis house. :)

Looking great. I always wanted to play against my brother in Tennis on one of those. We used to play on the NES but we couldn't play against each other. We always played on level 5 on the same team.

J_K_M_A_N

Now THAT is a good eye. Yep, south Minneapolis I am. Could you really tell that just from my basement?

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2021, 10:07:08 am »
Well, the basement and the fact that you brought the monitor to Arcade Paradise. :) Lucky guess mostly. Our basement was pretty close to that though. Kinda low. I grew up on 46th and Pillsbury.

J_K_M_A_N

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2021, 12:32:31 pm »
Ah, nothing like ultra narrow streets, alley facing garages and strict winter parking rules.  ;D

I love south Minne, don't get me wrong. But As a former St. Paul resident, I am obligated to tell you that our nonsensical roads, leaky wet basements, and houses built on heavy inclines are a step up. My garage was designed to fit only a model T, but ignore that detail.

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2021, 12:40:16 pm »
I have to play a bit of the waiting game now. I dropped off my parts for powder coating but, like many places, they're busy and I won't get them back until late June. I've also got numerous items I'd like to order from Mike's Arcade (difficult to find Nintendo parts specifically) but because of his recent fire many things are still out of stock. Wishing him the best!

In the meantime, I decided to clean up the metal frame pieces that hold the plexi and glass. Some Metal Rescue from Menards did a great job on the metal. Glass cleaner and a magic eraser took care of the see-through items. Nothing perfect but pretty good.

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2021, 12:54:23 pm »
How did you get a forklift into your basement. ;D

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2021, 08:48:47 pm »
I continue to wait for my large pieces to be finished powder coating (I'm told this week or next, whew) so thought I'd share two things I've done in the meantime - things that really speak to the BYOAC-ness in me.

First, some coin plates. The two "plates" that hold the coin acceptor and reject buttons on my machine were scratched and painted red in some places. I cleaned and polished them as best I could, but there's only so much I could do. I figured there must be a way to replicate them, so gave it my best by drawing them up in Illustrator and have them cut out.

Some things to know: The originals seem to be either aluminum or stainless steel (I think steel because of their weight) and then either chrome or nickel plated. The Nintendo logo is, from best I can tell, etched or carbon printed on. It's not engraved or ink. So, that's what I'm trying to replicate.

No matter what I did, I'm not quite getting an exact shine match and I probably won't unless I spend mucho dollars to nickel plate them. Which of the 3 do you guys prefer?
1. Original but scratched and marked?
2. New Stainless Steel?
3. New Aluminum?

In that same vein, my machine came with only 1 of the tinted plexi pieces. I couldn't just cut a replacement myself, because it uses rounded corners to fit a special bezel they have built for it. No problem, the Internet has it all. I measured the corner radius and ordered two new pieces. Why two? I couldn't quite match the tint perfectly so wanted them to match. The photo shows the difference quite obviously, but in real life they appear much closer.

« Last Edit: July 04, 2021, 08:52:09 pm by meyer980 »

Mike A

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2021, 04:23:27 am »
Keep the original coin plate that looks good for sure.

I know a member that might be able to tell you how to save the one that looks bad.

I will get him to respond here.

bperkins01

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #37 on: July 05, 2021, 09:14:12 am »
The scratches on the stainless can come out..  The issue is the logo because it's in the way.
Removing scratches is really about 'sanding' them out with a low grit paper to make all of them uniform..  then using the next grit of paper to remove the last set of scratches.  and so on..  finally you get to a point where you can use a buffing wheel and compound to polish up the final finish.   

The second part is using silicon carbide sandpaper (easy to find) - the grit has to be harder than the material you are sanding to cut the metal. 
Your 'new' stainless part can be polished with a buffing wheel and compound pretty easily..  Getting the logo back on is the tricky part.
Not sure if that helps of not.

My Arcade Cabinet Build and other projects here:
Centipede, Joust, Joust Cocktail, Asteroids, Galaga, Ms. Pacman Cabaret, Defender, Space Invaders Cocktail
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2021, 11:28:14 am »
Powder coated pieces are in the house! I couldn't resist putting one of the CPOs on, man do they look slick.

Mike A

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Re: A Nintendo Red Tent - My First Original Cab
« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2021, 12:37:49 pm »
Very nice. :cheers: