Author Topic: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points  (Read 441 times)

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Offline erockbrox

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Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« on: February 06, 2018, 06:19:26 PM »
Hello DKF. This is my first post here. For many years now I've been trying to find a way to get my Donkey Kong machine in working order. And when I say "DK machine" take it with a grain of salt.

Basically what I have are some Donkey Kong arcade parts and I would like to try and see if I can restore this back to a fully functioning cabinet. I don't know much about arcade hardware so I am reaching out to this Donkey Kong community to see if anyone here can help me with this quest. FYI I'm in the state of Texas.

If I can get a working DK machine I will work on putting up a serious score in the Donkey Kong arcade track. I just recently submitted a MAME DK level 1-1 score of 10700 to Twin Galaxies.

Here is the link:

http://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/181697-M-A-M-E-Donkey-Kong-US-Set-1-Points-Level-1-1-10-700-Eric-Schafer

Here is the video of me showing off the parts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f30qhye0_v4

Here is the video of the level 1-1 score.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OKxN7Aua7Y
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 12:40:17 AM by erockbrox »

Offline YesAffinity

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 08:33:19 PM »
Welcome to the forum!  Maybe I'm doing something wrong but the video if your parts doesn't seem to be working for me. 
Matthew 21:22

DK Arcade PB (verified): 970,200 KS
DK Start PB (verified): 126,600
DK L1-1 PB (verified): 11,400
DK PB 1st Man: 622,000

Donkey Kong Direct Feed How-To - http://donkeykongforum.com/index.php?topic=1413.0
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Offline KongTower

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 09:05:43 PM »
Hey Eric, watched your 1-1 score.  Better than I could do for sure!  Very nice!

Offline erockbrox

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 09:19:28 PM »
Welcome to the forum!  Maybe I'm doing something wrong but the video if your parts doesn't seem to be working for me.

I just changed the tag to "public" so try it again.

Offline KongTower

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 09:45:20 PM »
Welcome to the forum!  Maybe I'm doing something wrong but the video if your parts doesn't seem to be working for me.

I just changed the tag to "public" so try it again.

That second link is broken.  Take a look at the original post.

Here's the last cabinet that I restored.  I sold it for $800 to another enthusiast about ten years ago.  It was tuned up and playing good!

Offline erockbrox

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 12:43:04 AM »
Okay its fixed for sure now.

Offline KongTower

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 08:08:31 PM »
I watched your video.  Now let me warn you that it's been over 12 years since I have done this, but I'm going to do it again here pretty soon, so maybe we can motivate each other to make progress.

Players like Steve Wiebe and other hard-core players will tell you that all of the details matter.  At California Extreme 2005, Steve Wiebe and I were both frustrated with a jump button that did not work well enough for the game to be played.  At the time, I was developing UltraPin (the first cabinet to, basically, run Visual Pinball and emulate ROMs).  So I had been doing stuff with building my own cabinets and so on.

It seems that you have the right idea to pick up that control panel.  It's an important piece and there are a lot of cabinets out there that are lacking the original joystick in good enough condition to be competitive with it.

On my DK cabinet, I bought a joystick off e-bay but it still needed help.  It took quite a bit of tuning and manual labor to get that joystick functioning properly, and if you have DK motor memory from the 1980's you can score more easily keeping the controls up to snuff.

The jump button is equally hard to find replacements, and you want to keep it all original, IMO.  But do a little digging and replace that jump button if you think it's not up to par.  If you have problems locating where to find that button, ask I'm sure there are lots of people who would know.

To use the control panel on a mame setup, I would recommend setting up groovy game gear and wiring up the controls to a PC.  I just made a 4-way controller and a button to record my game, but it would have been nicer to do with a real control panel like what you have.

Any groovy game gear I/O controller will do, but I seem to get the GPWIZ-49 a lot even when I'm not hooking up a 49-way joystick.  It's a nice option to have, and that I/O controller is very versatile.  This was 12 years ago, but he probably still has that one.

http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_81&products_id=233

When you get to the PC, any computer will do, pretty much.  But I would recommend a Windows setup that will support the latest and greatest WolfMame to get the best and most respected .inp file.  There is a long history behind WolfMame and why you want to record with that to avoid being a <Billy>

It's a long process, but I'd say, maybe buy an I/O controller next and see if you can just play on MAME.  That's your cheapest way to put what you have to use.

As far as what to do with the board, I'd just put it on the shelf myself and focus on WolfMame recording .inp files assuming that this community supports both environments equally, which they should with all that goes into WolfMame to enable players to create .inp files with class.

I apologize for anything I have wrong.  I did not do any Google searches.  This is all from 12-year-old-plus memory.  But I did want to say a few things.  It can be lonely out there trying to make progress and nobody understands the "whys" and doesn't get it what you're doing.

Offline YesAffinity

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 09:58:02 PM »
Control panel
Looks all original.  Hard to tell the buttons are for sure due to video quality but they look and sound right from what I could tell. The plungers should be relatively tall, compared to every other button ever in an arcade cabinet.  The stick definitely looks too stiff.  Sticking down might be the spacer missing between that microswitch and the main body of the joystick.  That was the case on my red dk when I got it. I ordered a replacement from mikes arcade and it works great.   And of course I found the original a week later, under the power supply/iso mounting board.  But it had corrosion starting to build on it so better it was replaced anyway.  But the stick being stiff could also be someone replacing the stock spring with some junk off the shelf from home depot.  Mike's arcade has good replacement springs also.  But, first things first, just tear down the joystick, clean the crap out of all the various components, and throw a drop of 3-in-1 oil in the pivot ball area when reassembling.  Mike's arcade also has a schematic of the joystick and tons of schematics, pinout, etc, in addition to tons of great replacement parts.   Have i mentioned mikes arcade is awesome?

If after a good cleaning and lubing,  it is still stiff, then diagnise what the siurce of the problem is, but its likely time to get a replacement spring. 

Next question from your video - mikes arcade also has a Nintendo to jamma adapter.  It plugs onto that edge connector you were noting.  The "rainbow" cable that is connected from the upper left hand side of the video board to the upper right hand side of the cpu board is needed if using an adapter to run it in a jamma cabinet.  That routes power between the boards.  So good news that you have that cable.  HOWEVER, donkey is displayed rotated.  Monitors in dk cabs are actually rotated.  So if you try to hook up that board with the nin2jamma adapter, in your sf2 cab, it will be sideways....unplayable.  if the sf2 cab is the only cab you own, then youre out of luck with that option.  If you own a vertical monitor cab like sum up then it will work and be displayed correctly.

Also, just for extra information, that rainbow cable will not be needed in an original dk.  Do cabs all wire directly to the board, 7 total connectors I believe, plug directly in to some of those headers on the 2 boards. 

Now, and if I can make a recommendation for a general strategy.  hold onto the parts, but focus on getting a working complete cab.   There's a discussion around here somewhere, and i put together a bullet list of things to look for when buying a dk.   I meant to revisit it and make it more thorough but its already pretty exhaustive.  I suggest getting a complete working cab and if anything on the cab isn't to your like as far as the parts you already own, then swap them out and sell of the spares...or hold onto them and be a hoarder like some of us.  I think that cp is going to be your prized piece, and as KongTower mentioned, thats often the part that is not original or missing parts.  And of course a spare dk 2 board stack is never a bad thing to have.  At the same time, working 2 board sets sell for $225-$250 All day long, more to the right person.  A good complete working cab can be had for $500-$600 if your patient and know what to look for.   Yes, they go for more on average, but good deals also come up often enough. I mean shoot, you found those prized possessions at a garage sale... 

Well, I hope I gave good info.  Good luck in your search, would love to get updates.  :)
Matthew 21:22

DK Arcade PB (verified): 970,200 KS
DK Start PB (verified): 126,600
DK L1-1 PB (verified): 11,400
DK PB 1st Man: 622,000

Donkey Kong Direct Feed How-To - http://donkeykongforum.com/index.php?topic=1413.0
DK Killscreener Twitch TV  Streamer DKF Blogger

Offline erockbrox

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 11:54:38 PM »
Thanks to everyone for your input. I guess I might just have to be on the lookout for a fully working cab and hope one pops up. The funny thing is that many years ago back in the 90's I remember seeing a fully working DK machine for $100 at a gym on time. But I was just a kid and didn't have any money nor the interest at the time.

Making my DK joystick panel work with MAME sounds good for arcade practice, but if I were to try and get MAME scores I would actually prefer the keyboard buttons as it seems as if I have more precise control over my character in the game.

Too bad that my SF2 arcade setup wouldn't work for DK. Seriously they should have just made all of the arcade monitors square. lol

The only other thing that seems practical at this point would be to get a supergun. If I get a Nintendo to Jamma adapter and then hook up the Donkey Kong PCB to the supergun and maybe I could also restore the control panel to be compatible with it then I might have a working solution to set scores on. What are you guys thoughts on this.

Again thanks for all your feedback on this because I don't have a lot knowledge on arcade hardware.

Also here are some close up pictures.

https://imgur.com/EhUMu7o

https://imgur.com/BuTNLvH

https://imgur.com/D9LCj7d

https://imgur.com/vCUGqFv



« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 11:57:31 PM by erockbrox »

Offline JAM

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 05:55:49 AM »
X-Arcade sells a microswitch to USB adapter if you want to use a real DK joystick to play MAME.  I have that setup.

All of the parts can be found online.  You just need to be patient and monitor Craigslist, Ebay, and KLOV.  I found a really beat up DK cab for very cheap locally.  Don't let a bad looking CRT or broken joystick scare you away.  The worse the shape, the better.  That way you can get a good deal.  Most monitors look great after just a cap kit.  Burn-in is the only thing you can't fix.  Well technically you can swap the tube to fix burn-in, but finding compatible tubes is tough.  I've been looking.
My current PR (6/10/2017) 473,000

Offline KongTower

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 09:46:13 AM »
When you are doing it right, the cost of a cabinet is not the purchase price.  That's more like a deposit because you'll get it back.

The cost is the storage.

Just something to keep in mind.

If you understand this, you'll understand that the worst decision is to buy a cabinet in such poor condition that you can't repair it and nobody else wants it.  (You'll lose your funds, or spend more fixing the cabinet than it'd cost to buy a good one).

There is, almost, negative margin to a cabinet that has been cleaned up as neatly as I cleaned my cabinet up.  In theory it might be worth $2,000.  But I sold it to a friend named Eric for what I paid for it, so he got all the tuned up parts and pieces for free basically compared to my purchase.  But he was a good friend.

These days, there might be more of a liquid market for DK machines.  But ten years ago, that's how it was for me.

The spread between the bid and the ask might be $1,000 because machines don't trade hands that often for cabinets in good working order.  People who do sell for $2,000 might wait a year to find that affluent buyer who can afford to pay a reasonable rate to the person fixing up the machine.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 09:53:26 AM by KongTower »

Offline YesAffinity

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2018, 10:28:16 AM »
The only other thing that seems practical at this point would be to get a supergun. If I get a Nintendo to Jamma adapter and then hook up the Donkey Kong PCB to the supergun and maybe I could also restore the control panel to be compatible with it then I might have a working solution to set scores on. What are you guys thoughts on this.
The monitor you are playing on would still need to be put on its side in order to view the game correctly.  Maybe not an issue, you might have a monitor that this is easily physically accomplished with, just thought I would repeat the warning before you spend the money. :)
Matthew 21:22

DK Arcade PB (verified): 970,200 KS
DK Start PB (verified): 126,600
DK L1-1 PB (verified): 11,400
DK PB 1st Man: 622,000

Donkey Kong Direct Feed How-To - http://donkeykongforum.com/index.php?topic=1413.0
DK Killscreener Twitch TV  Streamer DKF Blogger

Offline JAM

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2018, 11:09:59 AM »
Re: the storage space

Buying a cabinet is a lot easier than selling one.  Cabinets without much replay value are better played at an arcade.

Personally, I wouldn't pay more than $1K for a prestine DK, or $300 for one needing a lot of work.  It also depends on where you live.  Seems like people in Southern CA have high prices.
My current PR (6/10/2017) 473,000

Offline JAM

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 11:28:45 AM »
The funny thing is that many years ago back in the 90's I remember seeing a fully working DK machine for $100 at a gym on time. But I was just a kid and didn't have any money nor the interest at the time.

I saw an R-Type for $500 just last year, but I passed on it because the monitor was faded looking.  Now that I know how to repair monitors I'm kicking myself for not getting it.  That's one of my holy grail games that I want to find one day.
My current PR (6/10/2017) 473,000

Offline KongTower

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Re: Help to restore a DK cab & [level 1-1] 10700 points
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 02:15:43 PM »
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-DK-Donkey-Kong-Jr-3-Eight-8-Ball-Power-Arcade-Control-Panel-Overlay/202222268211?hash=item2f1562ef33:g:-nYAAOSwALtafGqb&autorefresh=true

I just purchased the above item, and I'll go through the process alongside you to set up a real donkey kong control panel with WolfMame.  Let me know if you're interested to do this.

Here's what I recommend for you:

cable:

http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_81&products_id=236

I/O card:

http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_81&products_id=202

If you can, make sure you get the "no solder version" that is compatible with this cable.  The guy who runs this site is top notch.

I already have these parts, but I'll go through the same process with you.

Once you have these two items and a computer, you'll be good to go to record some WolfMame recordings that everyone will know are legit without having to invest in cameras and stuff to do streaming.  That's where I would point you!

Also, I looked through my e-mail and found out I unloaded the sweet donkey kong cabinet to Eric Liddell in 2009 for only $600.

I downloaded and recorded on WolfMAME 0.194 .. I got 129,000 on my first game using keyboard.

I generally never play keyboard and that's not that bad for my keyboard performances.

So I'm looking forward to getting my Kong control panel so I can practice and see if I feel confident to come and play at the Kong Off.

All this DRAMA is just TOO much FUN.

I also tried to talk a Junior High School friend of mine to coming to place a DK JR score.  My high on JR is more than DK, actually.  I got a really high score as I remember on Junior one time, but not enough witnesses.

I'm not looking forward to driving two hours from LAX to Banning.

Is there a closer airport, perhaps?

Dug out my old controller but need to swap from PS/2 to USB interface.  Wow that's old.

This is the Ultimarc Some pac or another, but it's old.

I'll do some research on the various I/O cards and see if there's anything important to think about for a good DK I/O controller.

On the last cabinet/game I worked on, I had interrupt driven input that was accurate to a third of a nanosecond on arrival time.

That was for video pinball, and arrival time was critical for proper play.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 06:26:28 AM by KongTower »