Rescuing Old Arcade Cabinets Is A Sacred Hobby

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Rescuing Old Arcade Cabinets Is A Sacred Hobby

For a couple generations of folks, old arcade cabinets are sacred relics. The amount of nostalgia both from childhood memories of gaming at the big arcades and from folks who relish in the early days of computing and game development is quite high.

This log, detailing the revival of an old Defender arcade cabinet just goes to show how much effort and love can go into this.

This labor of love started with a defunct cabinet that had seen better days. The goal was to get it back to operational status, with original parts, not to make it brand new.

The bezel has had someone’s initials carved into it, Meh, I can live with that. I’m not into restoring cabs to make them look like new. I’m happy if they run and look like they did in the arcade. A few battle scars are fine.

This machine had been upgraded at some point to the JAMMA system, which worked vaguely like a console meaning that it had a main processing unit and you would plug a different board into that for each game. That, however, is not what it originally shipped with, so it all had to go.

After tons of sourcing parts, and wrestling with a very confusing wiring loom, the machine has been returned to operational status.

I really love these passion projects. There may not be anything new or fancy here technically, but the love shown to this old hardware, and the effort to find the pieces needed, is heartwarming. Unsurprisingly, ClockworkRobot who did this project also co-produces Maker Faire Glasgow, which is hoping to return in the near future, so keep your eye on that!

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at

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