I wasnt sure if i was going to do a full DK restore, or go with mame. that depended on if i could find a cabinet with a board set intact. since this cabinet was empty, and i already had a PC and monitor in the basement, mame seemed like the way to go. i want to keep the cabinet looking as close to the original as possible, but with 25 or so vertical classic 4way games. i want to keep the control panel just as it is, a single 4way stick and 1 action button. I want to find a place to put an exit and possibly a pause button...but i'm not sure where yet.
Over the last few days, i started working on it. It is going to go a little slowly, because my wife made the stipulation that i could get the cabinet, but i am not allowed to spend any money on it until after Christmas. SO i have to make due with what i have.
i got it all cleaned up, (then my 8-month-old son crawled over and dumped the bucket of nasty black water all over the family room floor...at least he didnt drown)
i didn't get alot done to it yet, i did remove the nintendo power transformer thing, and the marquee light fixture. I had a small flourescent light fixture i got at walmart that will work perfectly for the marquee light. i didnt actually take a picture of this, since it was a pretty simple procedure.
i was a little concerned about the control panel. it is a DK Jr panel, but it is designed for Nintendo buttons, which are apparently smaller in diameter than happ buttons. i wasnt sure how i would go about making the holes bigger without mutilating the panel, but after i took the panel out to measure it to make a new one, i noticed that the holes in the wood were the 1 1/8" inches, the holes in the plexi overlay were slightly smaller. this meant that i was able to use my flush trim router bit to make the plexi holes a little larger, so i could install the happ buttons that i had lying around. i removed the bits and pieces of the nintendo joystick that was in the panel, and had to do drill a few new holes and route a little more off of the back side to get a standard joystick base mounted in there. WHen i picked up the cabinet, i got a NOS 4way wico joystick still new in the box. it is a little stiffer than i would like, but i am hoping it will loosen up after it gets used a little. i didnt have alot of button colors lying around, but i did have some black, red, blue and yellow. i chose to do black buttons with colored centers, and i think the blue and yellow work pretty well with the dk jr panel. i'll get the blue and orange buttons when i buy the real DK overlay.
it just feels like just a big step getting controls in the panel, even though they arent connected to anything yet.
i also modified the coin mechs to accept steel washers that i have been using as tokens in my other mame cabinet. this was a pretty simple process. here is a pic of the original nintendo mech. (not my pic, got it from TheShanMan..the red arrows indicate the screws that need adusted to get it to accept different sized coins or tokens.
because i wanted it to accept steel washers, i need to remove a few extra pieces.
I forgot to take a pic, but there is also a small magnet that needs to be removed if you are using steel washers.
i started working on the PC for the cabinet. I had a piece of MDF in the basement, so i mounted the motherboard to it, as well as the hard drive. as it turns out, i should have measured first, because the board is a little too long..so i will have to cut it down tomorrow. i will take pics when i do that. TO mount the motherboard, i took someone's suggestion (i dont remember who) and cut a bic pen in small pieces to use as PCB stands. then just used wood screws through the motherboard and through the pen. i also used a piece of this pen to hold the agp video card in place. (like i said, i'll take pics of that tomorrow)
my biggest problem now is trying to figure out how to mount the 19" CRT PC monitor that i plan to use. i'd like to try not to use the bolts that are through the side of the cabinet. i'd like to be able to pull them out and bondo over the holes eventually, before i repaint it and replace the side art. i havent tried decasing the monitor yet...that is on my list for tomorrow. if anyone has suggestions, i'm all ears.
if you notice in the pics, the front board from the black cabinet base was missing....i found it lying in the bottom of the cabinet. i put it back in place and attached it with a few screws. i think i will eventually build a new base, since it is in pretty rough shape.