Donkey Kong Junior and Asteroids Deluxe Restorations
Well it has been a couple of busy months for me. At 45 years old I have started my pursuit for a 3rd college degree. In addition moving to Seattle from Houston has been a somewhat enjoyable but emotional ride. At the start of the summer I had dedicated myself to finishing a restoration on our Simpsons which is in the need of some cabinet repair and electronics work. Soon after moving to Seattle I picked up two additional games. An Asteroids Deluxe cocktail for the $250, and a former Donkey Kong Junior which had been converted into a Final Fight for $400. Donkey Kong Junior has been on my "Top 5" games to own for quite awhile. I would often miss out on Juniors by weeks or almost comical happenstance. And despite the conversion to a Final Fight the overall cabinet was solid and had no signs of water damage.
I was surprised to find Nintendo VS. Unisystem artwork under the black vinyl of the sides of the game. I was even more surprised to find scratches in the shape of of poorly removed Donkey Kong 3 artwork under that. Classic Nintendo cabinets have the reputation of being somewhat flimsy, but this one had done pretty well over the years.
The two big challenges I had with this restoration was the monitor and the front ledge of the cabinet where the control panel sits. The monitor was a Sanyo 20EZV, originally pulled from what appears to have been a Punch Out looking at the monitor "burn in". I have never spent so much effort trying to get a monitor to work and then not look like crap. The results were disappointing thanks to broken convergence rings on the neck and a very weak green gun in the monitor. The front ledge on these early Nintendo cabinets are often "fixed" by operators with extra screws or plates. This one was no different, requiring a good bit of patch work and repainting to look good again.
Overall I am very happy with the results of the restoration, despite the disappointing results of my monitor repair attempts. A new monitor is on the way, and a cap kit should fix the slightly buzzy sound of Junior's jumping. It's a great addition to the home arcade and one that will surely bring hours of enjoyment over the years. I enjoy making these montage music video style ... well videos after I finish a game so here is the one for Donkey Kong Junior.
The Asteroids Deluxe was also an interesting if unexpected project. The prospect of buying a vector game for $250 was just too good to pass up. The restoration consistend of some light monitor work (mostly new capacitors and fixing several broken pin connectors) and some light cabinet restoration. I also restored the control panels, replaced the incorrect artwork, put on a new glass top, cleaned the heck out of it, and ended up rebuilding the audio board as well. Below is a montage video of the restoration with clips of Space 1999 and my cat thrown in for good measure. Enjoy.
Next up on the restoration wagon trail (did I really just type that?) I will be FINALLY getting to the cabinet restoration on our Simpsons, doing some work on our Tempest, and there is a new mystery project on the way. Stay tuned!