Arcade Collecting > Restorations & repair

Markrvp's Donkey Kong Restoration - FINISHED

(1/8) > >>

The two games I played the most growing up were Pacman and Donkey Kong.  I already restored a Pacman cocktail, so I turned my attention to Donkey Kong.

Here is the cabinet arriving yesterday.

Neat, looks to be in pretty good shape.  What do you have planned for the resto?


Well, my advice is to start by standing it up.  It's amazing how much better they look upright.

I love the look on the kid's face....."DADDY DON'T SELL MY DONKEY KONG!!!"..."PLEASE DON'T TAKE IT!"......

you're a cruel man MarksVP.

 :P ;D ;)

I bought this DK cabinet from an arcade operator.  The cabinet is in good condition, but the monitor is fried and the Donkey Kong game boards are gone.  All the rest of the original power supply and wiring are there, but it is unverified that they are working.


I have a couple of options to turn this into a working Donkey Kong: 

1.) Restore it using an actual Donkey Kong boardset,    or     
2.) Put a computer running Donkey Kong on MAME in the cabinet

I have chosen to restore the cabinet using an actual Donkey Kong boardset.  I already have the boardset which I purchased off Ebay for around $125.  That may have been overpriced, but anywhere from $75-$150 is what I have seen.  Donkey Kong comes in both a 2-board and 4-board configuration.  The 4-board set is primarily for cocktail tables and DOES NOT have the option to use a single harness.  The 2-board set which I bought DOES ALLOW the use of a single harness.  Later in this post you will see why that is important.

Now it's confession time.  I asked the arcade operator to hold the cabinet for me back in December.  Without doing any real reasearch, I bought a Happ Vision Pro II CGA monitor when Happ had them on sale a month or so ago.  When I started doing some research this past weekend I found out that a regular CGA monitor won't work in a DK cabinet without a converter.  There are three issues with the video (Sanyo monitors used in Nintendo cabinets) to be addressed:

1.)  DK Sanyo monitors used inverted video which a standard CGA monitor won't recognize
2.)  DK Sanyo monitors have an onboard audio amplifier that is needed for the speaker
3.)  DK Sanyo monitors run on 100v AC instead of standard 120v AC.  Were the cabinet power supply to crap out later I would be in trouble.

Here is what the original Sanyo monitors used in Donkey Kong (DKII, Popeye, etc.) cabinets looks like: has refurbished Sanyo monitors for $190.  Mikesarcade has new replacement monitors for $335.  I don't want to buy either one since I've already spent almost $200 on the CGA monitor with shipping.  It is frustrating that both the video and audio are dependent on that monitor.  If I were going to use the original power supply and wiring with my Happ CGA monitor, then a solution for the video/audio problem would be to buy this board from Mike's Arcade:

This board not only converts the video from the DK board to the proper signal for CGA monitors, but it also acts as the audio amplifier to drive the speaker.  Not bad for $25.  If I were sure that the original power supply in my cabinet worked, I would probably go with this solution.


After talking it over with the arcade operator, he suggested I convert the cabinet to Jamma wiring, use a new switching power supply, and get a Donkey Kong to Jamma adapter from

There are several benefits to doing this:

1.)  The adapter takes the place of the audio amplifier and converts the video to the proper signal for a standard CGA monitor

2.)  The wiring and power supply will be all new (i.e. not as likely to die anytime soon)

3.)  The board will only require one harness to be plugged in instead of requiring separate connections for:
- power to the main board
- power to the video board
- monitor connection straight to board
- audio connection straight to board
- controls connection straight to board

I like the idea of running everything to the boards through one harness instead of multiple connections.  The jamma harness is standard and the new power supply should work great. 

One other necessary cable is what is commonly called the "Donkey Kong Rainbow Cable."  I got this for $2 from when I ordered the DK to Jamma adapter.  It's purpose is to loop power from the DK main board to the video board.

I'm not particular about authenticity on the inside where no one will ever see it.  What I am most concerned with is the game playing like I remember it and not burning out a few weeks from now.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version