Sunday 27th January 2002
After two weeks of upgrading my games PC, I ended up with a number of bits lying around, and thanks to the kind generosity of me mate Chris Cox, a very noisy but extremely effective cpu fan. With a Geforce 2 MX graphics card, Soundblaster PCI 128, 8gb hard drive and spare Athlon rated ATX PSU now idling around doing nothing, I decided to take another look on ebay for an arcade cabinet.
Not really expecting to find anything that was cheap, I found something that was bloody cheap but the description seemed a tad confusing. So I mailed the seller and it did indeed seem that he was offering up to 45 cabinets with full Jamma wiring, only missing a PCB and monitor. The only issue was what condition would it be in? For that I had to wait till the next day to call him on his mobile.
Exciting read this isn't it! Can't wait to read what happened the next day can you?
Monday 28th January 2002
A quick chat with the seller later, and I'd bid on a complete Jamma cabinet for a mere £20. He said he'd put aside one that he considered was in good enough condition for my evil purposes, and a few days later a date was set for collection. Reading is not my usual choice of weekend holiday destination, not because I'm a snob, but because it involves rather too much of M25 usage than any sane person can enjoy.
No pictures yet, sorry, I know they liven up dull boring text such as this but none are relevant at the moment. They are coming, honest.
Sunday 3rd February 2002
Okay I confess to hate getting up early, and today I got up at bloody eight in the morning. Anyway the traffic was light and the journey was as quick as possible, and I had dragged along Mark to give me a hand with the heavy lifting. We had no trouble finding the place, and this guy had a number of rented storage areas full of old arcade machines of varying quality.
I had never seen a Sega Rail Chase unit until now, let alone some of the other stuff he had. It's a shame that someone had bought the whole Chase unit and then only taken the PCB, the rest will probably end up at the dump or sold in bits. In fact that was mostly what the guy who I was buying this cabinet from was doing, bashing up various useless bits of arcade stuff and throwing it on a van.
He gave us a quick tour and offered me some more expensive units in much better condition, with fully working innards, but alas as tempting as these were the Jamma cabinet I bid on was the only option, because it was all that would fit in my BMW 320i Tourer. There were basically two units there, one had a good condition cabinet but the controls where missing or a bit crap, which I can't remember.
Anyway he offered to take the front from one cab and put it onto the other, which he did, and then we attempted to squeeze it into my car.
I asked the guy on the phone before I got there whether it would fit in my car, and he said no worries or words to that effect. It was only when we had trouble actually getting it in that he mentioned it was a 5 series now he came to think of it and not a 3 series which I have. Anyway, it just fitted with the passenger seat pushed all the way forward, and Mark suffered the entire journey back with no leg room, he's 6ft3 so you can imagine how grumpy he was.
With the £20 bargain in the boot, and a quick farewell to that really nice chap who sold it to me, we returned home to take stock of what I'd actually got for me money, which came as an ever increasing surprise as time went on.
Upon arriving home, it soon became obvious that this heavy cabinet would be easier to move around on wheels. Since the guy I bought it off had provided a new set of wheels, we got the saw out to remove the where the old ones would have gone, and hammered in the new set.
You can see the wheel block below, and the wheel-less block above. Sometimes its much easier to get out a saw and then hit things with a hammer than going through the hassle of removing nails, etc. So that's what we did.
With the old block off, the new one went in pretty easily, just needed some hammering in. We debated about adding some nails but really there was no way it would fall out, especially with the entire weight of this cabinet on it.
Did I mention we had to pump the tyres up to a higher pressure as this cabinet is so heavy? No? Well I have now.
After it had a pair of wheels on it, out it came from the car and into Mark's garage where it would sit for a few weeks whilst I made room at my house for it. Since my car doesn't fit in my garage anyway, there was no way this would sit in there as well.
And there things were left for another working week, following which a quick stocktake would occur.