Flinnster's Dino King Mods 'n Stuff

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    • Flinnster's Dino King Mods 'n Stuff

      It was requested I show what I'm doing on my Dino King cabs. I'm actually mid-way through a bunch of conversions (nope they are never finished), but started another recently, so probably a good time to start a thread.

      This is actually Dino #5 for the mini-cab lineup! =O I was a bit lazy and grabbed a white-body one that had already been converted. But everyone does their stuff in their own way, so I'm reworking this one to be more in line with the others I've done. Think of it as an improv-a-thon.

      I had already seen the cab running on collection so I know things are working OK, so straight into stripping the cab back to basics for a really good clean (previous ones that I'd grabbed from operators had half a beach in the bottom of them!).
      Thankfully this one isn't quite a bad as that, but I still go through the process of removing all the internals and giving everything a really good vaccum and wet-wipe, discarding any worn or rusty bolts, cleaning up all the shelves and removing the residue of previous wire-tie points, and finding lost coins, bolts and all the other bits you really don't want rolling around near your power supplies.

      Once I have the naked chassis of the cab remaining then it really is a case of getting into it with wipes, cleaning spray and vaccum.
      Both the outside, and the inside. Oddly sticky stuff remover is amazing at removing permanent marker security codes written on the paintwork!

      So the first job is done, one slightly more pristine, sparkly cab chassis to work from ... :)

      [astrocity] Wanted: - PGM Cave conversions, Dino King / Mushiking / Love n Berry coin box, coin chute, back door. Time machine.
    • So coin boxes....

      If I have any advice for any Dino King owners out there, it would be 'Don't drill sega locks'.
      I'm ashamed to say I did... if I'd just been patient (in hindsight) I would have found out that they are all keyed alike, and that there are other collectors who would happily
      make copies of keys or send me them in the mail just to save an irreplaceable A-001 sega lock from being destroyed.

      In all honesty many cabs arrive with the lock missing anyway, as the sellers or ops have usually drilled the coin box in order to get at what could be inside.
      Anyway sometimes we want to get at whats under / behind the coin box, not what's actually in it, so they can be drilled... but I'm not proud :(

      So on the outsides of these cabs there is usually a robust hasp/security bar that covers the coin door.
      Obviously for a home arcade, I'm not so paranoid about my arcade-playing-punters.
      The security bar gets in the way when you have a bunch of cabs to fit in a small space, it also is prone to swinging open, taking out other cab doors and people's ankles.

      So, it has to go.

      My first attempt at removing one of these was with a Y-box wrench. There are 3 bolts on either side holding the security bar hinges in place.
      You need to get into the coin box area to remove the left 3 bolts of the security bar, the ones on the right are easily accessed.
      So those coin box area bolts.. 1 & 2 came out easy, but the third wasn't going anywhere.
      After a bit of swearing and sticking my head in with a torch, I realised the bolt length was long enough to stop the wrench head from even getting close to the nut itself.

      Cue more expletives... I then realised a local hardware store was open late. A quick google and a drive, and I came home with a set of short box spanners:

      And... thankfully the 10mm one fit in the coin box. So off I started again.
      And boy......was that last bolt tough to get out! Turns out it was pretty
      much glued into place with a load of red loctite style adhesive! It had
      even been squidged out onto the exterior cab metalwork underneath the
      triangular mounting plate for the security bar.

      Thankfully it cleaned off pretty well, and no security bar getting in the way
      and making dents in nearby walls and doors!
      Valuation on a spare security bar for a Dino King if anyone wants one?

      Really happy it's gone, I think these cabs look a ton better without them (eventually)!

      [astrocity] Wanted: - PGM Cave conversions, Dino King / Mushiking / Love n Berry coin box, coin chute, back door. Time machine.
    • Not updated here in a while so I thought I'd stick up some recent bits I've been working on for the recent Revival X event that went off last weekend here in the UK!

      It was decided that my 3rd cab would become a 'Bubble Bobble' dedicated for the event, so I set to work sorting out the artwork.
      A few people have asked what my process is for doing the custom art - basically I gather as many scans of flyers, marquees and manuals as possible and quickly lay out the elements in sketch / outline form to get a feel for where I want them to be.
      Then I go round cleaning up and redrawing each element until I'm happy with them - ultimately trying to get the art to look like it was originally designed to be that way. A homage to the originals - but a modern take on them.

      Bubble Bobble was mainly a case of cleaning up outlines and adding decent colours after working from a high resolution but badly coloured scan, but I also had to scour Japanese Famicom manuals for the instruction strips, given the aim was to make this a Japanese version of the cab.

      Once complete the artwork was printed onto card, and the original Dino King artwork carefully removed using a hairdryer.
      With the plastic cleaned and polished up, it's simply taped into place with masking tape.
      A few buttons changed to match the colours of Bub & Bob and voila!

      I'm really happy the result - here's how it looked at Revival in the mini-cab lineup:

      [astrocity] Wanted: - PGM Cave conversions, Dino King / Mushiking / Love n Berry coin box, coin chute, back door. Time machine.
    • Started cleaning up a Love & Berry cab that I picked up a little while back. Nothing that special to report really, just the usual
      process of stripping everything back to give it all a really good clean over and check all the connections before firing up.

      I was interested in this cab to see if the wiring differered at all from the Dino Kings I have done in the past.
      I can report it's practically identical - the only difference is the monitor topped single speaker at the top of
      the cab, and the holes drilled in the bezel for the speaker area.

      It was sadly from a ferry company, so the sides have rivet holes drilled where restraining brackets were used to hold it in place onboard ship.
      I am thinking either to put small coach bolts in to mask the holes, or to remove the art and use car body filler and a gloss paint pen to touch
      up the holes.

      Sadly the system SP board didn't have a compact flash card in it that holds the game data, despite what appears to be the proper 'key chip' in
      the mobo. I've managed to grab the mame rom images now, so hopefully I can get the CF card format right and get the
      mobo tested by playing the original game.

      So a few before and after pics.... only got as far as the mains power area so far, still plenty to clean and reassemble.

      Got all of the wiring and components out of the cab frame and gave the metalwork a thorough hoover and scrub down with wipes.
      Tons of that greasy carbon dust you get from the monitors in this one, but not too bad really - just dusty at the bottom, and the usual bits of coke
      spillage stuff and bits of crunchie bar going on in places.

      The bezel had the op sticker removed with the help of a little novus, and the plastic surround actually had what appeared to be very old chewing
      gum on it (it looked like a rusted bolt originally!) that hot air and isoprop cleaned up nicely, leaving a blob of white plastic underneath,
      compared to the yellow of the overall plastic - so must have been there for years!

      Cleaned the base and wheels, just need to give them a bit of wd40 so they spin better now.
      There's a fair bit of orange paint scrape around the back and base of the cab, so I'll likely use a very light bit of magic eraser to get that back to
      white again.

      More later...
      [astrocity] Wanted: - PGM Cave conversions, Dino King / Mushiking / Love n Berry coin box, coin chute, back door. Time machine.
    • Got the main guts of the Love & Berry re-assembled now everything has been cleaned and fired it up for the first time.
      Most of it is looking pretty sparkly now (pretty different from the original stripdown pics above anyway!), just the control panel to do really - the two large buttons are proving to be a right pain in the backside to budge.

      Initially the monitor was dead dark and had no contrast. With a bit of tweaking of the front and rear pots, I got everything sorted and was suprised to find the game boots from the boot eprom with no CF card present. The game must be tiny!

      Tested all the functions, barcode reader and card dispenser are all good and the RFID management chip reader is all working correctly too. Both speakers working without any issues - happy days!

      Sadly the game is even more limited than the Dino King one. At least with Dino King you have a 1/3 chance of winning rock, paper, scissors. Love & Berry is a one button game, you just tap out the beat to watch your character dance. It's a mobile game really. Shame on you Sega..

      Next up, cleaning the control panel, and getting some locks for the doors.
      [astrocity] Wanted: - PGM Cave conversions, Dino King / Mushiking / Love n Berry coin box, coin chute, back door. Time machine.