Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Quick update

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

No pictures, I left the camera out in the shop, but re-assembly has started on Doctor Who. All of the targets on the Time Expander test as working, but I won’t know for sure until I have it all reassembled and play a few games. The right lock is refusing to work atm, but with luck it’ll just be a loose wire.

As promised, links!

First, a slightly slow, but very informative promotional video for the game. I recommend watching this to anyone who hasn’t played Doctor Who much and wants to compete in the tournament.

And second, a page I found a few days ago that contained a lot of information about the game that I hadn’t known, from Bally/Williams pinball programmer Pfutz. I actually like the origional cabinet better, but that’s me speaking as a Doctor Who fan. As an operator, the cabinet they used would be much more eye catching in most arcades.

More news tomorrow, if not sooner!

Doctor Who, in progress

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Work continues on the Doctor Who pinball machine. Most of the work is just basic cleaning, replacing of bulbs, and whatnot. The faulty circuit board has been replaced and no problems have been found.

And then there are the repairs.  I started rebuilding the pop bumpers, which have over the years become badly chipped, as you can see below:

New bumper skirts are being installed, and a new light in the lower bumper (which was already removed when I took this picture).

And the other repair, and a major one, is that I am rebuilding the Time Expander, installing a new set of optos in the switch bank, which will make the Dalek Bump targets work properly for the first time since before we bought the game.  Here is the Time Expander removed from the playfield:

And here is the gaping hole it leaves behind:

After the playfield is torn apart, cleaned, and put together, I will also check the wiring under the playfield for loose or broken connections, replace lightbulbs, and clean the under-playfield ramps.  If you’ve ever wondered how the pinball works, this may give you some idea:

In other news, as you have no doubt noticed, we we removed Doctor Who for repairs, we replaced it with Tales of the Arabian Knights.  The game will be filling in for the other pins as we rotate them out for repairs and maintenance.  Currently, the skill shot is broken (we replaced the broken ramp with a good one, and we think a wire broke in the process), but that should be fixed within the next few days.

With any luck, I should be back Tuesday night/Wednesday morning with pictures of a newly repaired Time Expander and a clean and bright game, ready for the upcoming tournament!  I’ll also post links to the Doctor Who programmer’s blog, where he talks about designing the game, and to the Bally promotional video for Doctor Who on YouTube.  It’s a little slow, but has a lot of great gameplay information.

Pinball Tournament

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Friday, Sept. 19 – Sunday, Oct. 5th
Win a Data East Laser War pinball machine!

How do you win? Register your initials with Dan, then play the Doctor Who pinball machine any time during the tournament period. The high score on the game at close of business October 5th wins! The only entry fee is the 25 cents per game, and you may play as many times as you like!

An information sheet will be provided on the starting date of the tournament with some basic gameplay information for the Doctor Who pinball machine, tournament rules, links to internet sites related to the game, rules that will be in effect in the event of mechanical failure of the Doctor Who pinball machine, and suggestions for what to do if you want to compete, but don’t have the space to own a pinball machine.

About the Laser War machine: A fun, laser-tag inspired game from Data East. The specific machine is working (see note below), in average condition for a game of its age, due to damage to the spaceship toy and some wear, fading, and discolouration on the playfield and artwork. Game will be cleaned and checked for burned out lights prior to being awarded. The game currently has an electronic problem, causing it to occasionally reset during gameplay, which means it is not suitable to operate for money, but for most people will not affect their enjoyment at home. Included with the game will be the operator’s manual and an information sheet with a list of internet resources for parts and repair, should you wish to repair the game or have it professionally repaired, as well as basic maintenance information.

In other news, unless anything else is found wrong with it (when I’m done, something on that pin will work that hasn’t worked since before we owned it, which I will post about tomorrow night!), Doctor Who will be returning to the arcade Wednesday, at which time Addams Family will rotate out for some MUCH needed work. Then either Simpsons or Lord of the Rings, depending on which needs tlc more.

I will be catching this blog up over the week (things have been a little hectic, with the amount of things around the house I need to do before fall weather sets in), and probably posting updates daily while I finish up Doctor Who and work on Addams Family. Anyone curious about what the inside of a pinball machine looks like, tune in tomorrow!

(please note, links to the Internet Pinball Machine Database might not work intermittently for a few days, as their physical site was in the path of Hurricane Ike.

Catching up

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

First of at least two changes in the arcade this week, as Dig Dug leaves (and is available to play on the Namco Classic Collection Volume 2) to make room for Captain America and the Avengers!

Captain America

Finally, a comic book related video game!  Cap is a personal favourite of mine (and anyone who knows me knows I generally don’t like side scrolling beat-em-ups), costing me a small fortune in quarters when it was new.

In other news, still no word on the replacement board for Doctor Who.  As soon as we have an eta on the board arriving, I’ll post an update.

Finally, the Namco Classic Collection volume 2 control panel will be going in before Monday.  There was a defective part in the joystick, so getting it done has taken longer than expected.

Next post should be this week-end (Monday at the latest) with an update on the Namco controls and the upcoming pinball tournament. 

Doctor Who

Monday, July 28th, 2008

As you may have noticed, Doctor Who is out of order.  Again.  Not finding anything obvious wrong with the board, so going to call around and see about getting it looked at by someone more qualified, or even professionally repaired.  Too many people like that pin (myself included) for the amount of downtime it has.

Beginning work on Captain America and the Avengers in the afternoon.  Should be quick to get up and running, but I’m working on a broken toe, so it might take longer than I want.  I’m also going to try to finish up the replacement wiring for the Namco Classics with Pac Man (so it can finally be played two player…hooray!) today as well, since I can do that sitting down, assuming the cat lets me.

Finally, if you havent seen the news, visit  It should come as no suprise that I’m excited about this one!

Spiderman Tournament

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Phoenix Nest Classic Video Arcade is happy to announce our second monthly pinball tournament, which will take place on the Spiderman pinball machine on July 18 – July 20.  To enter, give Dan (the store owner) your name, phone number, and the initials you will be using, then go play.  Tournament games will cost 50 cents, and you must start the game using the tournament button.  First and second prizes will be determined by the machine based on number of tournament plays, minimum $10 for first place.  The more tournament games are played, the bigger the prize!

And coming in August, we will have a longer tournament, lasting two weeks, with first prize being a Laser Wars pinball machine!  Details will be posted in a few weeks.

In other news, one parts shipment still hasn’t arrived, so I can’t reveal everything, but expect a few changes in the arcade later this week, check back here for details as I can post them.

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Parts arriving mid-week for several games.  In the mean time, I wanted to share some of my favourite collecting resources with you.

A new favourite is, a new alternative to eBay that focuses exclusively on arcade and video game collecting.

For Atari fans (and classic consoles in general), I love, which has lots of information about classic systems, an active and friendly forum, and most important, sells NEW games for classic systems, thanks to the hobby and homebrew programming scene.

Arcade game parts.  I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve been asked over the years where to get parts for classic games and pins.  The three places I find myself using the most often are:

Marco Specialties, Inc., who have a great selection of pinball parts.

The Real Bob Roberts, for arcade game parts.  One of the nicest and easiest to deal with people in the entire industry, with a great selection of parts at great prices.

And finally, Quarter Arcade is a site I check often for game specific parts and circuit boards.  Their stock is constantly changing.

The other question I’m asked the most often is ‘will you fix my pinball machine?’ or some variation.  The answer is almost always going to be no, because I’ve usually got too many other things to fix (but it never hurts to ask anyway), but a lot of the time, the website can help you narrow the problem down, and if you have a basic knowledge of electronics or know someone who does, wil usually have all the information needed to fix most problems.

And finally, the best piece of advice I can give to someone learning to repair their own arcade games and pinball machines.  Unless you are absolutely sure you know what you’re doing, UNPLUG THE GAME BEFORE WORKING ON IT.  Even something as simple as changing a fuse can lead to an electrical shock if you’re not careful (and I speak from experience there, having run wall current through my had replacing a fuse in an old coctail pinball machine).

Return of ‘Catching Up’

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Sorry about the continued lack of updates.  Been dealing with construction at my house and a sick cat.

New games in the arcade:  Namco Classics volume 1.  The return of Mappy!  Also featured, a new version of Galaga, and Xevious.  I recommend the Remix version of Xevious, the soundtrack is much less annoying, and the game is a blast!

Time Soldiers has been replaced with Victory Road.  I put far too much money into this game when it was in a small arcade in Sedro-Woolley when I was younger, and although I still love the game, I do not recommend it to anyone with wrist problems!

The Playchoice 10 now features the console classic Contra!  Another much-requested game.  At this time, I have no idea if the Konami Code (UUDDLRLRBA) works on the PC10, but when I find out I will post it here.

And finally, the Addams Family pinball machine.  Currently not in the best condition (eBay purchase), I will be installing a new ramp and some other parts soon, then posting pictures.  Anyone wishing to view the credits for the game, enter the code 13 Left, 1 Start, 1Right, 1 Start, 2 Left, 1 Start when there are no credits in the machine.

In other news, I am working on new main pages for the arcade, as well as Docking Bay 93, now that I actually have some grasp of HTML.  I hope to have that done within the next three weeks (remembering the Scotty rule), so check back periodically.  Next update to the blog will occur on Sunday, as I’m going to try to get on a schedule of making a post here at least once a week.

Thanks for reading and playing!

Catching up

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Belated congratulations to BEN for winning our first, semi-impromptu pinball tournament!

As for why we kept the tournament small, short notice, and unpublicised…the documentation on Spiderman’s tournament software is, shall we say, lacking.  We knew there could be problems, and there were.  With luck, talking to Stern support will be able to clear up our issues before the next one, which we hope to be publicising soon.

Changes to the arcade:  Removed Mappy (see note below), added NAMCO Classics volume 2 and (after having it dark FAR too long!) one of the greatest games of all time, ASTEROIDS!

Mappy will be returning soon, in the form of NAMCO Classics volume 1 as soon as we get some wiring done.  It will be going in the cabinet volume 2 is in now, and volume 2 will go in the PacMania cabinet.  PacMania will be leaving, but we think the original and two-player versions of Pac Man on the volume two board more than make up for that.

Pinball Tournament!

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Phoenix Nest Classic Video Arcade is proud to announce our first ever pinball tournament.  For our first tournament we decided to keep it small, to work out any potential snags.  If all goes well there will be a longer tournament later in June!

The pinball machine will be SPIDERMAN.  Players will need to register their name, initials, and phone number with Dan at the store prior to playing.  There is no entry fee other than the cost of playing the games, which will be 50 cents in tournament mode.  Tournament will run from opening of business Saturday (May 31) until close of business Sunday (June 1), with the player with the highest score taking top prize:  a $10 gift certificate for Docking Bay 93 and a piece of pinball art, the backbox translite from Capcom’s last prototype pinball machine, Big Bang Bar.

We plan to run at least one tournament/league every month in the arcade, and hope that you will play!