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Finding the Cabinet

A lot of people build their own cabinet.  You can even buy a complete MAME cabinet.  That's cool in most cases.  I've seen a lot of really nice cabinets.  Some were down-right awesome.  I'm a nastagic kind of guy though and I thought it would be great to use an old cabinet that looked authentic.  I didn't want perfection.  I wanted to see wear from years of abuse.  I hunted around for a cabinet.  A call to a game vendor called R&R Games lead me to an old obscure game cabinet called Astro Invader, which was sitting in his barn.  It was coated with a thick layer of dust and had bird crap all over the top of it.  The game didn't work, which was good. I was going to gut it and I'd hate to rip apart a perfectly good game.  The graphics on the cabinet, marquee and glass around the screen were in great shape and had a very cool early 1980's look to them.  Perfect for my desire for an authentic look.  The guy wanted 50 bucks for it.  Sold.  I loaded it up in the F-150 and headed home.

Gutting the Cabinet

The first order of business was to Clean it up pretty good.  I used Simple Green and a bunch or rags to remove all the dust and bird crap.  Then I removed all of the un-necessary hardware within the Astro Invader cabinet.  Surprisingly there wasn't much within the cabinet.  There was the monitor, a CPU chassis, a power supply, and a bunch of wire harnesses.   The bulk item was the monitor assembly.  This was a heavy item.  19 inches worth of glass tube, metal chassis and old circuitry.  Four bolts and it was out.


This was a cool item within the cabinet.  It's a counter logging the number of Astro Invader games that were played during the life of this game.  It says 59,152.  Amazing.  The tamper-proof lead crimp was still in place.  I left this item in the cabinet however later I think I'll take it out and display it on the wall next to the game along with the original control panel and the tag below.


These tags are the original tags that I guess identified the parts.  the main tag is stamped TESTED, which I suppose meant it was tested and passed.  Very cool items.  I plan to display these tags with the control panel and counter, maybe frame them and hang it on the wall next to the game.



The rest of the items were easily removed.  A few screws here and there.  The only items I left in place were the marquee light, which ran off of 110 volt and worked.  That's up there behind the vertical board.  I also left the coin slots.  The rest is plywood.  The cabinet will house a computer and monitor so there is plenty of room.



Cabinet Repair

The location where the rear panel's latch hooked to the cabinet needed to be repaired.  This was minor.  I just cut a piece of plywood and glued it in.

To the Control Panel and Controls





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