I always wanted to restore a cocktail cab, but the space was an issue. It would have looked awkward in the loft, and the first Australian house was definitely too small.
But here we are, in the new house, with a game room, a bar and… Wait a second, did you just say bar? YES! There’s a proper bar in the game room so I HAD to get a cocktail cab.
I looked around for a while, saw a lot of overpriced ones, and then, tadaaaa, the holy grail, a cocktail cab in very poor condition popped up on eBay, very close to where I live.
Yeah, not the prettiest cab, but it’s complete, and almost working (I’ll get back to the almost part in a second).
There’s even a PCB with it, which triggered something I had never thought about before: restoring a cab and keeping it as original as possible. I’ve already done multiple MAME cabs, I still have this Mac Classic Arcade Cab project in mind (stay tuned), so, well, why not running this cab with original PCBs to keep the true vintage cocktail spirit?
Hang on, is this a Gallag instruction card I see there?
Holy shit! A Gallag PCB!
Gallag? What’s Gallag? I know Galaga, and this looks very much like it, but how could they possibly swap the letters like this on the card?
Well, Gallag is a Galaga bootleg. An illegal copy of the original Namco cab, in other words. Resell value, not as good as a the real deal, but still high because those bootlegs were even of a better quality than the original, which is why you can get a perfectly working copy of it 30 years later.
The screen looks weird. I know. There’s a slight vertical collapse, which should hopefully be fixed once I change all the electrolytic capacitors on its chassis. I already check all the solder joints and they seem good.
So, first of all, fix the monitor and test it with the current spaghetti, urm, wiring, because even if it’s not pretty, it works, so I’m sure not to mix chassis issues with wiring issues by attempting both at the same time.
Once the chassis is fixed, I can convert the wiring to Jamma. Galaga/Gallag was not Jamma but I also bought an adapter so I can connect it to a Jamma harness. That will clear things out quiiiite a bit.
Talking about Galaga, my bootleg already has the Namco roms and shows the correct Logo/Namco copyright. If you don’t open the cab, there’s no way to tell this is a bootleg.
Stay tuned for the cap kit installation, we’ll see if it’s a flawless victory or a massive fail!