Joust Champion Lonnie McDonald is coming to the arcade!

July 20th, 2012

Monday, July 23rd, the Robotron/Joust machine will be reserved*, because Joust Champion Lonnie McDonald will be bringing his quest to post 9,999,999 scores on every Joust machine he can to our arcade.

More information on Lonnie and his quest can be found at the following links:

KLOV message board thread about the tour

Joust expert taking his classic arcade skills across the country

Joust Tour USA Tracker

Anyone who wants to meet him, see just how hard Joust gets, learn some new game-play tricks, or just use this as an excuse to  hang out with/connect with other arcade game enthusiasts in the area, is encouraged to come in and watch/hang out.

*not going to keep people from playing it before he arrives, of course, but in the unlikely (and AWESOME!) event there is a huge crowd playing the game, he has the right to cut in front of the line.

***A note about this post.   Off topic content is included.***

This is a largely unedited and unfinished post.  Checked the news while typing this up, and am currently not in much of a mood to hype things right now.  I don’t generally get this emotional about events like the theatre shooting, but…

As most of you know, I co-owned a comic shop for quite a long time.  I also can vividly recall the fun and excitement and anticipation going to see Tim Burton’s Batman on opening day.  It’s hard not to put myself in the position of the moviegoers.

Maybe when this has settled in I’ll go back and edit this post better, or make another one, but for now…my thoughts are elsewhere.

The Star Wars update I don’t want to make

July 20th, 2012

Obviously, I haven’t posted the update on the repairs to Atari Star Wars’ monitor I promised.  After a few attempts to track down the problem, I had to throw in the towel.  The monitor has been sent out for repair.  With any luck, it will come back sometime in August, and Star Wars will be playable again.

Star Wars updates

May 28th, 2012

Quick updates, because it’s later at night than I planned.  Will post more Monday/Tuesday, but for now:

First, the picture of the test rig for Star Wars Trilogy I promised.  The video is running to a monitor that isn’t really capable of running it, but if I’m wrong about what caused the monitor to fail this monitor needs repairs anyway, and it’s easier and cheaper to repair than the one that will be going into Trilogy.

So far, so good.  Nothing on the monitor has failed, so hope to have it back in the arcade sooner rather than later.

And, second, Atari Star Wars is out of order.  Again.  Haven’t had time to test it yet to determine exactly what’s wrong, but we have narrowed it down:

First step (after discharging the monitor for safety), will be to check under the burned area and make sure the circuit board doesn’t need repairs.  Then replace the burned resistor (the white thing over the burned area) and blown capacitor (the orange thing to the right, under the wires), and test all the other parts to make sure nothing else is damaged.  I also just realized looking at the picture that I need to check and make sure the power cable isn’t damaged.  I also need to dig up my troubleshooting guides and make sure that there isn’t something else that could be wrong with the game.  Should have a better idea of how long it’ll take tomorrow.

On the plus side, the current problems seem to be completely unrelated to what put it out of order last time, so at least I can be happy about that.

Thanks for reading, and please check back in the next day or two for updates.

Updates. No, really!

May 5th, 2012

Been a while.  It’s easy to get into a rut where I’m going to update this blog after X gets done.  Then something breaks, so I’m going to update after whatever broke gets fixed.  And little things KEEP breaking.

So, yeah, at some point I just need to take a minute anyway, so that’s what I’m doing.  With luck I’ll get into a habit of doing this…

Currently state of repairs:

Star Wars trilogy:  I _think_ I’ve figure out a fix for the problems plaguing Star Wars Trilogy.  Spending some time making sure, and need to get another project out of the shop before I have the space to finish it up, but I _hope_ to have it back in the arcade in a few weeks.  By the way, playing the game on an out if sync 19″ screen sitting on the floor next to the game is even weirder than you’d think.  I need to see if I can get enough light to take a picture to post.

Point Blank 2:  The second gun continues to not work.  Three replacement boards later, and consulting with a professional tech, we’re positive the replacement boards are defective.  Not HAPPy.  Not sure if we’re going to take another stab at trying to convince the supplier that they need to test the boards, or what.  If nothing else they refunded us the first two times, so no complaints about their sales department, but this is getting frustrating.  Will try to keep you posted.

Donkey Kong:  As soon as I have space, I’ll be fixing the joystick.  It’s playable now, but could be better, and I finally found the box of spare parts.

The project that’s taking up space in my shop:  Would a picture do?

There is a lot of work to do on this game, but I have most of the parts, have the rest on the way, and am probably about 1/4 done.  I will be so happy to have this working again after 11-12 years!

Thank you for reading and playing, I should be back with more updates within a week (or sooner, if I can get a picture of the current test setup for Star Wars).

Pac Man Battle Royale tournament

April 15th, 2011

On Tuesday, April 26th at 5:30 PM, we will be holding a tournament on Pac Man Battle royale, with the winner to recieve your choice of a Pac Man or Galaga ornament (shown below.  Action figures not included).  There will be no entry fee, beyond the cost of games played.

Pac Man Battle Royale and more

February 14th, 2011

The new Namco arcade game Pac Man Battle Royale is now in the…store.  Yup, Dan has agreed to let us place the game up front and center, because we really wanted to get this amazing multi-player game, and had no clue how to re-arrange the arcade to make it fit.

Pac Man Battle Royale on location in Mt. Vernon, WA

Forgot to post a picture of Rampage, so here it is on location:

Upcoming events and tournaments:

This evening (Feb. 14th) starting at 10 PM, Docking Bay 93 will be hosting a release event for Marvel vs. Capcom 3.  For more details, contact the store.  We should be adding MvC3 to the LAN soon, watch this blog or the Facebook page for updates.

Sunday, February 20th, Pac Man Battle Royale tournament.  No entry fee, just the cost of games played (3-5 at 50 cents each, depending on number of participants), first prize will be a vintage trucker-style Pac Man hat and a card for some free games.

My mouse is randomly clicking, which is making this…fun…to type, so more updates in the next few days.

Big changes in the arcade

February 9th, 2011

There have been several big changes to the arcade that you might like to know about.

First, Guitar Hero has sadly left the arcade.  There are a variety of reasons for this, and I will try to sum them up in a later post (no promises).  Primarily, without the online feature and new songs promised when it came out, it wasn’t making as much money as it needed to.

Second, we knew we needed a big game to physically fill the void Guitar Hero left.  Deep in the dark corners of my garage, there lurked just such a game.  The first game we ever bought, which died BEFORE the store opened.  The game that almost killed Scott W.*  Rampage!

Of course, there was a tiny little problem.  Not only did it not work, but we had traded away the parts long ago, leaving the cabinet behind as an empty shell.  While sorting through our spare game boards, we found we still had the non-working Rampage board we had picked up for parts.  We kludged some wiring up, piggybacking from a second game’s power and monitor, and found out that the dead board (mostly) worked.  After around 16 years, I can finally say that after some minor repairs, a few more parts, and a LOT or wiring, RAMPAGE LIVES!

There is a third big change, but that will be posted later this evening.

Finally, Marble Madness has been removed.  Again.  It will not return until we are absolutely sure it is fixed, and would like to thank everyone who played it for your patience.  Thanks to it being in the arcade, we _think_ we have figured out why it worked in my shop, but not on location, but are making absolutely no promises on when it will return.  Especially since I have an Atari vector monitor ahead of it on the repair list…anyone who knows which games that could go to, keep your fingers crossed!

*He was removing the power chassis from the unplugged game, and somehow it shocked him.  Badly.  No permanent damage, but he had a small burn and numb hand, and I heard the zap from across the room.  Always be careful when working with electronics!

Second HALO tournament

October 20th, 2010

Out second tournament for HALO:  Reach will be Tuesday, October 26th.  Pricing and start time will be posted later.

This tournament will have a first prize consisting of HALO:  2600 and (tentatively) an ATARI 2600 to play it on.

Updates coming soon!

HALO tournament

October 11th, 2010

Posting this a little closer to the event than I would like, but we are having our first HALO:  Reach tournament on October 12th, starting at 6PM.

Tentatively, we are planning to have two or three tournaments a month on the LAN.  The next HALO tournament will be in a few weeks, and have a first prize consisting of HALO 2600, and an Atari 2600 to play it on (tentatively.  I have to verify that the 2600 works first).

Interested in more tournaments?  Besides playing in the tournament (and playing on the LAN and in the arcade outside of tournaments), please let Dan know what you are interested in.  And if you want to volunteer to run a tournament or two, we’d be interested in hearing what you have in mind!

(side note, I know I am …er… a _little_ late with the updates promised in the last post.  Life got rather spectacularly more in the way than I expected.  No guarantees, but an update should be coming soon)

Happy Birthday Docking Bay 93!

July 15th, 2010

A quick note to say Happy Birthday to what was started 15 years ago as a small toy store by two people who had absolutely no clue what they were doing!  A larger post will go up this week-end, with some photos of the various stages of the arcade (regrettably, it took us a while to realize we might want to take pictures, so there will be no photographs of the arcade being only Donkey Kong 3, Xenon, and Discs of Tron).

To everyone who has supported the store and arcade, whether for 15 years or one day, I’m sure we speak for Dan as well as ourselves when we say THANK YOU!!!

In catching-up news, some major upheaval in our lives has put this blog on the back-burner, as well as all the project games into storage (Addams Family…>sigh<), but rest assured we are getting back into things finally, and I _should_ have news about the future of the arcade to post over the week-end.  Thank you for your perpetual patience!