Today I brought home a Sega Astro City Cabinet.
I decided I would document my restoration in this main post, while asking for your expert advise along the way. I hope by sharing this knowledge it will help another member purchasing the same cabinet.
I have placed this post on my favorite forums.
Sega Astro City
Monitor 29 in 15/24 kHz. Mine has a Nano MS9-29A, 100v 50/60hz (Nanao MS8, or Nanao MS9)
Rotatable Monitor Yes
Astro City Arcade Cabinet - $610
Petrol for pickup- $120
Fiberglass buffing compound - $15
Torx Hex Key Set - $14
Ozito Buffer Polisher - $39
Aliminium Cleaner - $16
Fiberglass Polish - $17
Stainless Steel Polish - $16
Asus ATI 5450 - $33
2x Speakers - $40
1 x Sub - $40
Speaker Amp - $40
PS2 Keyboard (test J-Pac) - $15
Conductive Carbon Paint - $45
22 AWG Wire - $10
3.5m to RCA Plugs - $2
4 Input 1 Output AV Switcher - $5
Multimeter - $40
Subtotal: $1,117 AUD
To Do List
[*]Gut & Clean
[*]Speakers and Amp
[*]Adding a PC
Gut & Clean
Are you as shocked as I am? Yes that is an Intel Pentium II processor sticker you see there! When was the last time you have seen a 1.44mb floppy drive and HDD's with IDE cables? It has a huge 6.5GB HDD included. Well it's been a while for me. This has got to go. The good news we have a J-Pac inside!
The J-PAC (JAMMA interface for Pc to Arcade Controls) is a board which allows plug-in connection of a JAMMA arcade cabinet to a VGA card and keyboard port or USB port on a PC motherboard. It incorporates all the advanced features of the I-PAC with an on-board JAMMA connector. Awesome hey! The J-PAC sells for $59 USD.
The Cabinet has a few marks here and there, a little rust, perhaps typical for its age. Can this old cabinet be brought to life again?
Now for a look inside with the old PC removed.
Removing The Coin Box
Please tell me how to remove the coin box? I couldn't get this sucker out. I thought I would call it a night before I damaged something.
UPDATE - Friday 6 February, 2015
I was definitely tired the night I tried removing the coin box. I left one screw in there The good news is it's out now. I cleaned the coin box with stainless steel polish. I know its just a box, buts it's sparkling now and doesn't scrape your hands when you handle it.
Next used some boat fiberglass cut and polish on the whole chassis. She came up pretty clean.
The bottom plate was up next. I used aluminium cleaner to help remove the rush and grime, then finished it of with aluminium polish.
I'm not sure if this is bad or not, so please tell me. I started polishing the back plate of the monitor, then got an airgun to remove the dust of the monitor. Layers of black filth were flying everywhere so I decided to give it a clean. Now I could see more of the tube and it was the very first time I had seen one this clear. I asked myself was it really that dirty or was some kind of black protective layer sprayed on it. Then I tell myself why would you spray it with a black dust. Who knows but it's clean now.
Before (I had started polishing in this picture)
What ever you do, make sure you have some strong mates around when handling the monitor. I did all the lifting while telling my partner to tighten those screws as fast as she could as I held the monitor in position and got a good workout.
Nice and clean the Astro City could now enter the house and meet its cousin.
I decided to remove the body restoration part. I am happy with the way the cabinet came up with the cut and polish, and like [MENTION=2636]Rat[/MENTION] said on AussieArcade it gives it a bit of character.
UPDATE - Sunday 8 February, 2015
Wow the weekend went to fast. I spent a lot of time cleaning and researching so the fun stuff will be coming up.
Lucky me. This cabinet has been professionally wired up. It has one cord to the wall socket and a PC cable has been hacked to fit in the cabinet. It looks to me it has been properly grounded as well. Awesome!
This is the step down transformer that came with the cabinet. It's old, heavy, and does the job, so back in it goes. I'm unsure if I will need -5v. I still don't know what boards require it. At this point in time I only have Naomi, Jamma, CPS II boards to play in this cabinet.
I bought an Asus ATI HD 5450 (I couldn't find a 6450 for sale). The reason I bought this card was that [MENTION=13805]Calamity[/MENTION] mentioned in this post that the HD 5450 and HD 6450 can support 15 kHz under Linux. [MENTION=13805]Calamity[/MENTION] also mentions that Atom-15 can also be used on this card. In summary ATOM-15 works by modifying the BIOS firmware in such a way that the output frequencies of all video modes are adjusted into the user's specified frequency ranges. Its purpose is to reduce the possibility of sending pontentially dangerous frequencies during the BIOS post and loading process of the operating system, when using these cards with standard resolution and multi-sync CRT monitors.
My original thoughts were to run Groovy Arcade in the cabinet. I really wanted to run GGPO which you can play some awesome MAME fighting games against people online. The downside it's Windows only. I thought I could use wine to emulate it. However after browsing to the GGPO web site it said they were getting DDOS'd and recommended FightCade. I've never heard of this however there is a FightCade linux client! Awesome, Groovy Arcade is still looking good.
Now the moment of truth. I completed wiring most of the cabinet up (this is an earlier photo) turned it on.....and.....nothing....I kind of went in oh ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- mode. I thought I had done everything 100% correctly so I must of damaged or done something bad. It sounded like something was getting power, I stuck my head in to have a look around. Great! You left the PSU switch on off!
Another one of those moments was the seller of the cabinet mentioned the audio didn't work. I thought the speakers were gone. Nope! After tracing all the wires and trying different speakers I stuck my head in the cabinet only to find the volume level was down all the way. Pumped it up and we are on our way.
After telling myself how stupid I was it was time to move on. I decided I will put a 2.1 audio system in the cabinet. I'm discussing my options over in this thread for those interested.
I came across this site, which had a write up of a stereo mod. Most likely I'll follow the same path.
Next week I'll be focusing on the audio setup, JAMMA harness to make sure I have everything to play my boards. I'm pretty sure I'll need to find a way to wire up the CPS II kick harness, as well as ensuring comparability with the PC-2-JAMMMA card and Naomi board. I would love to hear any suggestions. Oh! I almost forgot. The control panel. Yes it needs new buttons. What are your favorite buttons and joystick? Have you seen any cool CP overlays? Is it difficult to design and print one out yourself? I have no idea how these stick on. I do have a friend who is a graphic designer so that would work out nice! However I could just leave it stock. Thoughts?
UPDATE - Wednesday 11 February, 2015
I have prepared a very average diagram of what I intend doing with the speaker setup. Parts are on order so I'll see how it all sounds when it arrives. I was going to hack some Logitech Z213 Speakers. I bought them for $30 and wasn't very impressed so I'm hoping I've made the right choice with the amp and speaker setup. I thought the audio switcher would work great as a plug and play solution.
Here it is in all it's glory!
@jase mentioned on the Arcade Otaku forums that the monitors have aquadag on the back of them. I know have to see if I removed this and if I need to reapply it.
I'm starting to work out the control panel now. There is such a range of choices of buttons out there. The LED's look really cool. You can buy them pre-made or hack some seimitsu buttons.
UPDATE - Monday 23 February, 2015
Nothing exciting has happened in the last few weeks as I have been researching and ordering parts.
Onto cleaning the control panel.
I just used some rust cleaner then used a dremel piece to sand away the rust.
My left speaker grill was showing a little rust. I couldn't work out how to remove it so I just covered everything up and spray painted it.
You could only see the difference if you opened the original and zoomed in.
The speakers I ordered are to long, and don't fit into the screw hole moldings. I'll work out how to secure the speakers, and then probably remove the marquee light. I don't think I'll find an 100v lamp in Australia. I'm thinking about wiring up some LED's in there. What are your thoughts?
I've started preparing the OS. I patched the ATI 5450 card to 15kHz using Atom15 http://geedorah.com/eiusdemmodi/forum/viewtopic.php?id=64.
This week I'll focus on getting the speakers mounted and the marquee light in order.
UPDATE - Monday 23 February, 2015 - PM
I decided to drill holes into my speakers so they fit into perfectly into the plastic speaker mold. It came out fine.
I removed the fluorescent light mount and I think I'll just replace it with an all in one solution like the below so I don't have to worry about the speakers pushing on the original mount. The bonus is it's all 240v so I don't need to worry about finding a 100v light.
UPDATE - Thursday 12 March, 2015
The carbon conductive paint arrived so I gave the monitor a good coat of it.
I hooked up the speakers to the AMP and connected the 4 In 1 Out switcher.
It's a bit messy at the moment. I'll clean it all up once it's complete.
I have a hole heap of parts coming from akishop.jp.
I bought the Seimitsu PS-14-KN clear buttons and a pacled64. I'm hoping adding LED's will be worth the effort.
I finished writing a GroovyArcade installation guide on the GroovyArcade wiki. https://code.google.com/p/groovyarcade/wiki/GroovyArcade_Install_Config_Guide
UPDATE - Thursday 19 March, 2015 - PM
My new J-Pac arrived, however it wasn't shipped with the PS/2 to USB adapter so I need to await for that to be sent.
I'm also waiting on my high to low converter for the audio, push buttons, and some other components to make my own kick harness.
In the mean time I have been reading more about CPS2 boards and found out about the "Suicide Battery". In summary if this battery loses charge it renders your game board useless. This is due to encryption keys/table being stored in RAM and the 3.6v battery keeping the RAM alive. I have read people say you should replace the battery every 5 years to be safe.
I'm not sure if my battery is original or not, although if it is this board has been kicking on for 17 years or less (depending when it was built).
History of the board.
I bought this in Japan in 2009 for approx 3,000 yen. It was sold as junk/unknown working order. Late in 2010 I bought an Atomiswave SD cabinet plugged it in and it didn't work. I put it in storage and thought I would get to trying to repair it one day. Fast forward to now. I got all of my gear from storage and instead of fixing the Atomiswave SD straight away I bought another cabinet. This is when I found the board works perfectly and the issue it had is a common voltage problem with transformers in the Atomiswave SD. Here are the pics.
Lots and lots of dirty disgusting dust.
My rookie soldering skills.
UPDATE - Monday 6 April, 2015 - PM
It was time to make a kick harness for my CPS2 and Naomi boards.
I obtained all the information to make one from the ArcadeOtaku WiKi.
I also made a kick harness for my J-Pac. This means anytime I need to use buttons 4,5, and 6 I just swap out the looms.
I have two wires coming out of SW4. One for the control panel loom and the kick harness loom.
Unfortunately I didn't use the standard wiring format for the CP4 loom (kick harness) as I discovered it on the Arcade Otaku wiki after I had completed it.
The control panel is all wired up now.
And my Seimitsu buttons arrived. I have a PAC-LED so I plan on hacking the buttons and putting RGB LED's in them to use LEDBlinky.
Yes another balltop is on the way so that won't say pink for very long.
I also finished cleaning all my Naomi systems, and just have the CPS2 A board to clean.
Now my To Do List is this:
- Configure PC, frontend, launchers, roms, artwork etc.
- I have decided to use Windows 7. This is mainly due to emulator support for systems like Naomi, Dreamcast, PSx, etc. I am now searching for a ATI HD 4xxx card to use CRT_EmuDriver
- Setup shelf's inside cabinet to hold PC and Naomi system.
- Make a new front door to hold the sub woofer and amplifier controls.
- Buy a Naomi net dimm and make NaoPi. I'm now looking for Naomi 2 systems. Will I see any improvement using a Naomi2 vs Naomi1?
- Setup the High to Low audio converter.