Cactus Flack's II: The Flackening

Funny threads throughout the site's history.

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Flack
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Post by Flack » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:22 pm

Sounds good. You'll be in town two nights and I have four games so if we work it just right ...

(Just kidding. I'm not going to make a guest help me move shit up a flight of stairs. I've been watching a lot of Three Stooges films lately and I think I can now build a dumb waiter to hoist one up there. I'll let you know how that goes.)

When I bought our new flat screen television at the old house I had to move the 35" CRT television out of the entertainment center by myself. I can't remember who helped me lift it up there but it may have been the entire fucking US Army. (Actually I think it was Jeff, but in the dark, if he were wearing camouflage, you could mistake him for the Army.)

So anyway my theory was, if two of us lifted it up there, then two of us -- me, and gravity -- could get it down. Seriously, I thought if nothing else I could do some sort of "controlled fall" and at least slowly lower it to the floor.

I just looked it up and a Sony 35" CRT television weighs 183 pounds. Maybe my television had another television inside it or something because it seemed a lot heavier than that. All I know is, the minute the bottom of that television cleared the bottom of the entertainment center, it started dropping quickly and I was shouting, "OH, JESUS, OH, JESUS!" really loudly. Did I mention I was doing this at 2 in the morning? That TV hit the ground so goddamn hard that I thought I had broken the concrete foundation underneath my carpet. Thank goodness for my foot, which somewhat cushioned the blow.

It's funny when you get so mad or frustrated with a project that you just decide to ignore reality and try something. Like when I was a kid I remember reading a story about some guy that saw his kid run over by a car and the guy had an adrenaline rush and he was able to pick up the car. Too bad that television I had weighed like 4x as much as the average car. It would have crushed the Hulk.

But that's kind of what we did with the arcade cabinet, too. I was like, screw it, let's just drag the thing up the stairs. It'll work ... "t-r-u-s-t me!" And then one step up I was like, "OH, JESUS, OH, JESUS!" and down it came.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Flack » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:10 am

I've mentioned and harped on this before ... but goddamn, does it suck to sell something as "working" only to have it arrive as "not working."

I have never, ever been involved in a hobby where shit just continually fucking broke just by siting around. Moving them is bad enough. I'd say one out of every three or four I have breaks in some manner by moving them, but, Jesus work with me here, I've had machines die by just sitting there. How many times -- how many times -- have I gone and turned on a (formerly) working game only to find that yet another one has died.

One of the problems with buying cheap games is that the cost of repairing them quickly exceeds the sale price, if not their net worth. Of course, as I've found, their net worth is a lot less if they don't work.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:59 am

That's great that you consider me a "guest" but I am going to diaperize Oklahoma, and I will be moving games with you.

I am willing to fight you over the moving of arcade games. Moving these fucking abortions of technology? KINDA A MY THING, FLACKWELL.

>.....

..

You have no idea how much I want to fight you right now.

How many times -- how many times -- have I gone and turned on a (formerly) working game only to find that yet another one has died.
I will posit that some of this may be done by keeping them outside.

So, our realtor sees the arcade games, right? Right. She has some comment about how I should put them in storage if I am going to try to sell my house. And you'd be proud of me, Internet: I didn't escalate that. I let it go.

We're looking at some house later, and someone comments on how they -- MY BABIES -- could be kept "in the garage." Again, I did not escalate this. I didn't say "All of you go live in the garage." I didn't say anything about something that so clearly is never going to happen.

I know the temperature changes in Oklahoma aren't quite what they are in Colorado (I think, right? You guys get mild winters?) but my games are never going in a non-room temperature environment, ever, and I will nailgun my wrists to Spy Hunter before it ever happens.

(I did like the Shed Arcade setup of Cactus Flack's, mind you. I wish that shed came with you.)
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:03 pm

... I thought I was finished, but I am still fuming. I'm moving the games, and that's final. Something is getting moved, and it will either be the Williams Arcade Classic or my fists.

I'm just standing here, pacing back and forth near my desk, with the rage and hate boiling through me.
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Post by pinback » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:36 pm

"Maybe you could leave them on the street, next to the trash cans?"
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by Flack » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:20 pm

Yes, it is true; realtors, and spouses, and girlfriends, and "people with common sense" do not understand this hobby. I would say that yes, your machines could be stored out in the garage, as long as the wall between your house and garage gets knocked down and "the garage" becomes "that big room with the concrete room, just off the living room."

That didn't come out very funny, but you get the idea.

In February of 2011, I had a 34" deep snow drift in my backyard. This past winter, it didn't snow. Our weather is just a year-by-year thing here, depending on what the weather patterns are doing. I can't remember if it was last year or the year before, but one year was the summer from hell, the one where we broke the record for the most days in a row over 100 degrees and it was freakin' miserable.

So yeah, I'm sure neither the cold of winter nor the heat of summer were good for the machines. I had a window-mounted heater/AC unit which died and I replaced with just a windows AC unit, but as Jonsey can attest to, it was really taxed to cool down the room, and I didn't run it 24/7, only when I was expecting company. And sometimes not when I was expecting company.

As a kid I thought these things were indestructible; as an adult collector, I feel like they are so, so fragile.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:35 pm

pinback wrote:"Maybe you could leave them on the street, next to the trash cans?"
Ha heh ha.

I didn't ask for this. I didn't ask for this hobby, it's just that my parents didn't drop us off to a peep show during Parent/Teacher Conference Days, they dropped us off at an arcade. This is just the way it is. It just came out this way.

I'm still stewing about Flack's filthy comments earlier in this thread. Let's see if he has addressed them, Pinner. I'm 6'2 15 stone, good with my "Dukes" too, so watch out!
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:36 pm

I am sorry I kept trying to escalate things in this thread. Let's get back to the arcade talk.
Flack wrote:As a kid I thought these things were indestructible; as an adult collector, I feel like they are so, so fragile.
I know what you mean, though: there are two tiny bolts holding the precious 13" monitor on the Moon Patrol conversion I made in place. I really need to get a bar in there or something. Something. I don't even have it out of my office because it's just too fragile in its current state to let it near people.
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Post by Flack » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:25 pm

In a MAME cabinet I worked on once, I supported the monitor with a couple of 2x4s running from side to side mounted to the cabinet with a couple of metal L brackets. The only caveat was, I had to make sure the screws on the sides were shallow enough not to poke through the sides of the cabinet.

As for the other subject ... I am still undecided if I will let you help me move a cabinet upstairs, or if we will fight. I just watched Rocky III the other day and I'm feeling all Clubber Lang at the moment so ... it'll depend on how training goes. And if your coach has a heart attack.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by AArdvark » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:15 am

Weren't these things designed to have a limited lifespan? Much like the Chrysler K car or a community college education? I suspect, never having been inside one of these cabinets, that longevity means replacing all the boards and support members with better parts.
When do the LCD replacement screens hit the market?


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Post by Flack » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:12 am

AArdvark wrote:Weren't these things designed to have a limited lifespan? Much like the Chrysler K car or a community college education? I suspect, never having been inside one of these cabinets, that longevity means replacing all the boards and support members with better parts.

When do the LCD replacement screens hit the market
I don't know if they were "designed to have a limited lifespan" as much as they weren't designed to be around for 30 years -- the difference in my mind being, they didn't intentionally design them not to last, I just don't think building parts to last 30 years were even on their mind.

The biggest design flaw of arcade cabinets is that inside they can get pretty warm (anyone who's ever wiped the sweat from their brow in an arcade can attest to this), not all cabinets are vented well (some, not at all), and inside, especially the monitors, contain upwards of a dozen paper capacitors (caps). Even worse, the monitor is at the top of the cabinet and heat rises, so all that (typically non-circulated) heat just builds up around the monitor.

Which dries out those caps, which causes problems.

Inside cabinets you've got a power supply, a PCB, the coin door, the control panel, and the monitor. Right off the bat, power supplies can be repaired or replaced (they cost ~$25). Coin doors are mechanical things that can be repaired by looking and them and seeing what's wrong; ditto for control panels.

That leaves PCBs and monitors. PCBs, other than ones with suicide batteries, I don't think I've ever had one just "go bad". Now, I've CAUSED a few to go bad, and I've bought a few that were bad, but I've never had one just go bad, which leads me to believe that typically there is some bad-causing-event that happens to PCBs to make them go bad. And yeah, just like a PC's motherboard they have caps and chips and stuff, but most of them have debug modes and socketed chips which make tracking down problems and fixing them. And this is a part of our society that I don't exactly love, but you can usually buy replacement PCBs via eBay for not too much and solve problems that way, too.

But that leaves monitors, a huge problem for collectors and my own personal Achilles heel. Even the best ones are 20-30 years old, with dried out caps and years of service. You can't easily or inexpensively ship them, and they's a pain in the ass to work on.

(Continued in a few minutes ...)
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Flack » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:54 am

Sorry, changing gears for a moment.

http://excellentcom.net/detail.asp?cati ... 2&private=

I'm thinking about throwing one of these brand new 128-in-1 boards into my Multi-Williams. It looks like the first 19 games are the same as what's in the Multi-Williams, so I doubt it's any worse than what I have, and it has a shit ton of classic horizontal games I like: 10 Yard Fight, Break Thru, Wonderboy, Jungle Hunt, Kung Fu Master, Pac-Land, Yie-Ar Kung Fu, and several others. The only downside I see is that it also has a shit ton of filler. Like, 50% of the games, I've never heard of.

The link to the game has a complete game list in PDF format.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by RetroRomper » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:19 am

Why invest in a 128 in 1 as opposed to a MAME cabinet? I'm honestly curious because this was the market I've always assumed MAME would supplant.

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Post by Flack » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:16 pm

Good question!

The only situation in which I would recommend one of those x-in-1 JAMMA boards over building a MAME cabinet is if a person was installing it into an already working JAMMA cabinet.

Swapping this board into my Multi-Williams cabinet will literally take less than a minute. Not only will it be quick. but I'll be able to easily use the arcade monitor that's in there, which is a plus. So for $128, I will get a big increase in game choices.

If I didn't already have a working JAMMA cabinet, then I'd consider MAME. By the time you figure in the cost of a computer, an iPad, an Arcade VGA video card (if I were to use an arcade monitor) or a CRT monitor (or television) ... the MAME cabinet is going to cost me more and take more time to configure. The payoff of course is maximum configurability, and the ability to play 5,000 games instead of 128.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:29 pm

Flack wrote:Those JROK boards are apparently a lot better and selling for around $200, so maybe in a few months I'll pick one of those up and swap the boards out.
Flack. Flack!!!

The jrok boards are selling again. Here is the link:

http://forums.arcade-museum.com/showthr ... ost2173769

... where jrok says just to send him a PM.

Not sure if you really wanted one, but that is the way to do it, I guess. I just wrote in the thread, but I guess he prefers PMs.
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:12 pm

Whoa, people are getting their boards!
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