Gamers really do Mod everything!
I used to have a website that I let expire called Modeverything.com and it's sad that no one is using the domain now and they're just squatting it. I decided to get back into modding new things and showcasing things I've done in the past. I need to dig through some of my early projects. Here's the latest content I will add bellow.
I'm really working on so much stuff right now at the same time. These are things that i'm active on:
Countercade kits are ready to ship. I have two more V1 18" Tall Countercade kits with a monitor for $220 plus shipping. The monitors went up in price and I ordered a few just in case they went out of stock. Because the buttons are up front I needed to prep them so that these buttons don't get hit because I have the monitors butt up against the acrylic and the Bezel.
V2 (16" tall) countercades can take a 10" monitor. My kit is $100 and I tell you which monitor to order on Amazon and you do you install and I assist you.
So yes you could go about figuring out your own kit if you figured out which monitor would fit into these countercades. It's not that hard to figure out. I did all the figuring out so really I'm just charging you for my R&D time, The time to hand build the pieces for the kit and me walking you through the build process for these.
Arcades I have in inventory to work on and rehome later on are. (6/1/23)
Ms Pacman Stencil cab I just got a new one
Koam K3 Zback cab with a fighting control panel. (ordered parts to dress it as a SF2 CE)
Dynamo HS1 Will dress this as a World Warrior
Dynamo HS7 have some more plain Capcom art pieces on this. CE Marquee, Diamond Plate CPO.
Dynamo HS5, have only barely begun to work on this.
Lethal Enforcers 2 (have LE original board) just need to get the guns working.
20th/25th anniversart Namco Mini (custom 48" mini with 60:1 multi board set to about 2 dozen games 17" monitor0-
A local collector missed out on purchasing the Ms. Pac-man Stencil cab and he had one in slightly worse off condition and brought me two machines to work on. One was a Project Koam K3 Z-back cab with a SF2 CE art kit and a Pandora Box 3D. The K7000 was in vert collapse so I had to work on that first. Then much of wiring was a mess from the previous owner that didn't know what he was doing and never got it working correctly. I capped the chassis and put tube on my BK 467 to balance/clean the color guns after fixing the vert collapse issue on the board. (diode and two resisters were cooked) The blue and the red were weak on the tub so everything looked green. Tuned it up and it looked pretty good to me.
The Ms. Pac-man he thought was in not the best condition but I thought it was a pretty solid machine. It had a K4900 monitor that was fine. The chassis had original caps so we went ahead and capped it. Put the tube through needed color balance and cleaning. The big travesty was that the display stack over the Monitor Tube as very dirty. The tint layer and Bezel got a good cleaning and things became less fuzzy after that. Capped the main board. After discussion he decided to have it get the top to bottom treatment. Got the Marquee working with new bulb and starter. New Marquee from Phoenix Arcade (proper silk screened graphics.) HSS board kit with extra games (Pengo!!!) I rebuilt the Control Panel and stripped off the Willis graphics CPO. I rebuilt the joystick and cleaned off all the rust. Installed new joystick grommet and button tops.
On the personal side, I've been picking up some parts. Getting some garage game projects worked on. Making sure every machine inside is working. I put together an Aliens VS Predator 3P machine in a HS5 to enjoy some multiplayer games with the kids. It's a great machine for D&D and AVP. The Garage is getting reorganized. I wanted to make sure every monitor and TV is on the rack. All my tools need to be centralized as well.
New Countercade KIts!!!! 16" mini and beyond
So I had been working around with getting something done for the new smaller countercades. What I built is an example of what you can do with my simple kit.
My mounting kit is for a 10" IPS 4:3 monitor that takes HDMI and VGA. There is no remote in this kit and unfortunately the monitor is $100 so I'm not taking on the costs for these. My kit is a mounting kit for a monitor you buy off of Amazon. The kit includes Vesa mount board, Bezel, hardware and front Acrylic. There will be a private link to instructions.
With the Monitor Mounted I decided to test out my options and I went with a full JAMMA conversion because it would be a solid solution and I had a game board I could use. It's an early blueelf board that is set to verticle games much like a 6t0:1 but this has like 200 games.
I did my power port install in the back so that I could use a standard 3 Prong PC cable. It's fused and with a lighted toggle that always stays lit.
Switching power supply is small by PS standards so this was good. It even has 24v which was not required. The -5V was not there but also was not required for this game board.
EGStarts Sanwa Clone stick with a Sanwa shaft cover and Clone GTY gate. I wanted an 8 way gate so that there was a notch at NSEW as well as diagonals. I didn't want it 4 way but needed the notches for Pac-man type 4 ways games. Pink ball-top!!!
Happ style verticle mounted switch button for clearance underneath. The speaker needed to be relocated over for clearance.
Full JAMMA harness was left uncut. It's not expensive but since I was able to barely stuff it all in, it's used also to keep the board from rattling around too much and fits. I can always move all the parts again and need the length of the full harness.
The latest bit of news is that I'm going to bring back the 12" monitor kits for a limited run for anyone that wants to preorder one. I have a customer and one personal build I'm going to do. I'm going to let others get in quicky for this summer.
NEO GEO MVSX with HYLOX
In doing my research into 3/4 arcades, I felt the need to play around with the Neo Geo MVSX. It's a charming little unit but they do have some fundamental design flaws.
The prebuilt countertop unit is interesting so that you have less assembly issues but because of this they needed to make it small for boxing. I find that the unit is too shallow. It lacks the depth of a real arcade and even the A1UP machines. I find it easy to rock and push back on. I did not like this at all. It racks up poorly with the A1UP so I need to put boxes behind it so that it feels more stable.
With my height (5'11") the marquee cuts off the viewable area of the screen. Even this 17" monitor gets cut off. Wait till I get a 19" in there, how much will it get cut off then.
The 50 stock games are quite lacking. They really needed to partner with a few of the publishers to get their games in this selection. Whoever curated this list has a difficult time as it's lacking to me outside of MSlug and SS.
Controls are decent. Once I got HyloX on there I was able to test out how SF2 plays with these controls and although they used similar ones to A1UP I found them to be pretty passable. I think it has to do with their CP design.
The scanlines options are pretty good and make it look pretty decent. Much better options in comparison to A1UP
Once you get HyloX on there it's quite a good little machine.
Their inclusion of a 6 button layout was pretty amazing in the sense that the HyloX team was able to make use of this immediately and then the re-playability of this cab is quite high. With HyloX you will not run out of games to play on hear anytime soon.
Once I figure out how to rack it up side to side in my 3/4 arcade line up I should be able to address its height and depth issues. Now onto playing around with my Neo Geo Mini to get HyloX on there too.
Arcade 1up Street Fighter 2 "big blue" review
Heres a link to my Youtube video on the new Arcade 1Up Street Fighter 2 Big Blue machine that has online features. I did not go over things about the machine that many other people have gone over but I tried to provide info that people might not know about the machine.
Yeah it's been a little while since I've had an update. I have been playing around with my A1U uprights actually. So I have the RBPi3B+ SF2, Rampage, Asteroids DLX, Space Invaders and Mrs Pacman.
A bunch of these are getting the boards Flashed as we speak by Berry Berry Sneaky and he effectively enables them to be 12n1 boards so with the right control configurations it's a nice alternative to going full mod to RBPi. I'm downgrading my Mrs Pac to a Gen 1 board just to make it fully a 12n1. More on those mods later.
One project that I'm still printing at this moment is a collectable's shelf to be installed via mounting tape on top of the cabinet and an alternatively hooked up 12v LED strip to underlight this shelf. Collectables should look pretty nifty on top of the arcade cab and some mounting puddy hold them in place. I 3d printed it with the personal liscense. I'm contemplating and pricing out how much time and materials it may run me to make these available in the US. I had to modify/cut it to be compatible with the Arcadegamefactory Lighted Marquees that I use on a few of my cabs. My best guess is $35 and $40 with the LED strip + wiring.
Gen 2 Countercades.
So I finally got my hands on a A1Up Gen 2 countercade and as I has suspected they rescaled the thing so that the 8" monitor is about right for the size of the machine and therefore sticking in a 12" monitor is really not feasible. The window between the CP and the Marquee is smaller than my width of the actual 12" screen without the frame. There's just absolutely no way to make this work. I think that the size and weight of the Gen1 makes a superior machine when fully modified so I won't at all look to producing anything for Gen 2 as it'll be an inferior product in the end compared to a modified Gen 1. I suggest Space Invaders and then Galaga as they both give you three action buttons for single player. These two make the easiest countercades to modifiy with SI giving you an ideal joystick and button layout. Pac-man is doable but I added buttons to the front of the console and the joystick I prefer left justified vs centered as it is on Pac.
There's not much to be done on the Gen 2 other than waiting for the community to figure out how to do PCB hacks involving loading different images and rom sets to the original boards. It's in process and not exactly will be available to every single version of the PCBs cause they are up to Gen 6 for the boards using various vendors and emulators. I'm going to pack my G2 MsPac up and table it for work down the road cause it's not going to be something I think will be an ideal machine or good experience to play on.
Gen1 machines are less common now but there is some inventorying showing up periodically at liquidators. I myself have 4 Galagas in inventory for future projects that I got cheap. Often they show up for $100 and dropping as low as $69.
My Modified A1UP SF2 and Flame polishing acrylic
I'm pretty happy with how my SF2 ended up. It's got a long list of modifications but these include:
20" dell monitor.
Tulsa Arcade monitor kit w/ the bezel. (I was lazy)
front panel speaker kit w/ stereo 4" speakers driven by a separate stereo amp.
3D printed button modification to use On and Vol as Start Select. Keeping the stock CP. (black)
IL Competition joysticks.
IL concave "classic" buttons
black anodized hardened button cap screws for the CP.
RBP3b+ in a 3D printed case. (scan line filter enabled)
So I've also been playing around with using a propane torch that I have to polish the edge of acrylic. I cut thin sheets for the kits that I've been building and it's really easy to overheat the edge. It does a really nice job of rounding off the edges if you have the guts to give this a try. It works better on thicker pieces but if you have some scrap pieces, it's worth practicing to see if you can use this technique on your acrylic parts.
Updates on the Gen1 Countercade development system
So it's pretty much done now. I am pretty excited for this new image I'm running in it as it's pretty comprehensive for vertical games. Its Scoony and Hursty's Vertical Rise image on Arcade Punks. The tricky stuff is that I had to figure out power. I originally put in a power switching socket in the back of the rear panel as I got the idea off of a youtuber. I connected it to a square power strip which worked nicely but when switching on the power to the monitor and the RBP3, it often got confused as it wanted to see the monitor on first. My simple solution is to wire in a socket straight to the incoming power side of the socket. This gave the monitor constant power which didn't matter since there is an IR pickup for me to turn on the monitor first via the remote.
I now have a nice solution where I can remotely turn on the monitor and then hit the rocker in the back of the countercade and turn on the RBP3/system.
The last modification was for me to wire up a remote USB extension from the RBP3 to the back panel. This allows me to plug in a usb controller for 2P vert shooters.
I was talking to someone about how they got a new CP with 6 action buttons and I really think that its overkill. What is required for this vert build is Start + Select, three action buttons and one more for home. The best layout is the Space Invaders layout where they have the joystick justified left and not center. This also let them put one action button as well as the two player start buttons to the right where they can be instead used for action buttons. This gives you a nice Punchout layout as well as the three required for any vert shooter games. One more can be added to the front panel for the home button. Since SI's joystick is left justified, you don't have any interference from it being in the center.
Tulsa Arcades 6 button panel is for a Capcom 6 layout. No one in their right mind will be building a fighter cab with this thing. A horizontal monitor is a poor use of the aspect ration of the cabinet design. No one has put in a 4:3 Horizontal and they are using 16:9 instead... EWW. It's instead a perfect vert shooter and classic arcade cab IMHO. If you had a 2P fighter it's drastically unfair to put the 2P player on a wired controller when the 1P has a joystick. This isn't a dig against Tulsa, I think they do great work but that panel isn't very well thought out. I'm all about Capcom fighters. I grew up on them and I even worked at Capcom for a time.
Thanks for the patience folks. I have a few kits going out this week weather permitting that I can get the table saw out of the garage to finish cutting out parts.
Please note that I'm referencing a converted ON and VOL buttons using a Thingiverse 3D printed kit. It's really awesome and I'm offering printing services for it or you can find it on Thingiverse.
The Countercade Monitor kit.
This is a great kit that really does breath a lot of life into the countercade which was being blown out by Target for $100 recently.
Modifying the A1Up SF2 and my thoughts on it.
Sorta History, sorta tech, and sorta a review. I'm Sorta rambling. This video isn't getting many views but I think it's packed full on info on just monitors and how to get LCDs looking more like CRT monitors.
Old Joystick projects
It all started with Joysticks for me. SF2 SNES was about to be released in the US and I had access to a Japanese version. I double checked what buttons were used and then I went ahead and started hacking my gamepads. I managed to make a simple box with no slanted top and things went from there. I had moved and ended up in the Bay Area of CA for a job and met a bunch of SF fans at Sony PlayStation of America. It was there I really got back into SF2 with Super Turbo as we had daily epic battles. I got a full 4P Konami cab with a bad 25" K7000 for building it into a MAME cab... I think back to how wrong this was now BUT it did get me into modding in a pretty serious way. I was building joysticks and afterburner GBAs for coworkers till the GBA SP came out.