Vids & Pins

Welcome To The Basement

Coke Machine

This really is the first thing to come to the basement.  It arrived before we were finished finishing the basement many years ago.  It’s a Vendo V-23 and has always worked.  The only thing that need to be done to it is to replace the power cord.  I did build a base with wheels because it had no casters.

The machine came from the brother of a friend who had it stored in his garage somewhere in the middle of nowhere in northeast Indiana.

MAME – Original

This is a scratch-built machine made from MDF (medium density fiberboard).  It’s on wheels, the front opens, the control panel hinges open (but is to heavy to stay open on its own), and below the control panel is a slide out keyboard and mouse drawer.

It’s got a PC inside running MAME.  The control panel interfaces with the PC via an I-Pac encoder.

Pacman Cabaret

Pac-Man was the first “real” arcade machine to come home.  It was a local pick up in Fort Wayne, IN.  I hadn’t planned on collecting cabarets but after I had this I found that I liked it.


Arkanoid was the second “real” machine to come home.  It came from Cincinnati, OH.  It was in the dingy basement apartment of a chain smoker with his family of chain smokers.  It wreaked of smoke.  I tried cleaning the outside, putting charcole in the inside but nothing got rid of the smell.  The monitor looked out of focus.  There had been years of nicotine build up, and multiple cleanings with Simple Green and Windex put it back in focus.  Ultimately, I stripped it down, sanded the wood, and repainted it INCLUDING THE INSIDE.  That got rid of the smell.

This had originally been a QIX and the control panel was hacked.  I removed the plexiglass and old overlay.  I sanded it down to bare metal, cut a piect of metal and JB Welded it to the back, and Bondo-ed it to fill in extra holes, sanded it smooth, painted it (also for smell), and put on a new overlay.  Finally, I replaced the crumbling t-molding.

MAME – Original

This was my first pin.  It may have arrived before the Pacman.  I don’t remember.  It wasn’t working at the time but thanks to John at Elkhart Pinball, it’s playing again.  It’s an EM (electro-mechanical), full of switches and relays but no computer or electronics.  Consequently, it weighs a lot more.

This came from a guy in Indianapolis.

Galaga Cabaret

This picture is Galaga as it arrived to the garage.  At some point someone had painted the fake wood-grain vinyl side art black.  Unfortunately, it didn’t survive the attempt to strip the paint.  There was also a crack in the marquee, the T-molding was in bad shape, and the control panel overlay had been cut in two when it was applied.  I re-painted the sides black, replaced the marquee, put on new green T-molding, and put on a new overlay. This was a pick up from Indianapolis.

Atari Football

Atari Football goes way back to the days of my misspent youth.  You can really tear your hands up trying to spin an oversize trackball faster than the other guy.  It’s a game that’s great fun for two people but not much for one person. This was a pick up way north of Chicago following the pick up of Galaga in Indianapolis the night before.  It was a real challenge for myself and friend Kent to take down the steps to the basement without killing ourselves.

Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter has to be the biggest, heaviest, most unwieldy game that I’ve brought home.  It does have unique controls and is great fun so that made it worth it.  It just barely fit into my Honda Pilot, and that was only on its side.  It wouldn’t fit in the door on its back.  Like Arkanoid, it had a slightly smokey smell.  The sides got cleaned.  The front and inside walls had a vinyl covering which I took off and painted black.  I may ultimately replace the vinyl but for now that’s the way it is.  For now this one is wintering in the garage.  The leg levelers really should be replaced and I don’t quite know where it’s going to land in the basement.

​This game from another Indiana collector in LaPorte, IN.


Kickman (sometimes called just Kick) was the one I thought I would never find, let alone in a cabaret cabinet.  This is the clown on a unicycle game.  The idea is to catch or pop falling balloons.  A collector from Indianapolis was selling his vids because he was moving and wasn’t going to have room.  His loss was my gain.  Now it has a happy home in my basement.

Track and Field

Track & Field is mid-restore.  Someone had converted it to a poker machine.  I’ve removed the dollar bill changer and patched that hole.  I’ve also patched the holes that were drilled on the sides for a lock bar to go across the coin door.  That’s as far as it’s gone.  In 2018 the plan is to finish the restore by stripping the side art, sanding, painting, etc.  I have acquired parts such as a PCB, control panel, marquee, and buttons/leaf switches.  I’m not sure about the harness.  It may get a JAMMA harness and a JAMMA-to-Konomi adapter.  We’ll see.

Track and Field was one of those lucky right-place-at-the-right-time Craigslist pickup’s.  It was ultra-cheap and I was the first guy to call.


This was my second scratch-build.  I had been looking for a Battlezone but couldn’t find one so I decided to build my own.  This cabinet is made of melamine and is bolted together.  The idea was to minimize the cabinet work (i.e. no/little painting).  Bolts were used to add strength.  It’s also comprised of a prefab computer hutch that was in the neighbor’s trash.  The “brain” is a multi-vector board that among other things runs Battlezone.  Amazingly enough, not long after completing this a Battlezone cabaret popped up.  It was a group sale of the complete battlezone, another Battlezone cabaret cabinet in better shape, and a scratch-built Battlezone cabaret cabinet.  When it rains, it pours.  This one made it to the basement but it may not last long if other things come down.