Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Restoration - Boardset

I pulled the PCB out of the machine and connected it with my test harness to a CRT TV. After sitting in a garage unused since the 90s it was surely never going to work?

I couldn't believe my eyes - it booted up and everything seems ok. Maybe I won't need that spare PCB after all. There's a bit of an audio hiss under the sounds but that's it. I'm going to leave it running for a bit to see if it explodes. ;)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

OutRun Mini Restoration

Back in 1997, I bought an OutRun Mini cabinet. It cost £200 and had been in use in a youth club. It worked, but had been well used and seen better days.

When I left London and headed to university in 1999 the cabinet remained in my parent's garage. It's resided there for the past 15 years gathering dust.

Most of the cabinet was unwisely painted black at some point and the red side art covered. The black paint had started to flake off, taking the red stencilled side art with it; it looked pretty awful as you can see below. 

I got in touch with a chap called Rudy who has reproduced the side art. This is in the post and will serve as a nice motivational reminder of the way things should be. 

The control panel has also been painted black, the sticker ripped and the start button replaced. Everything works fine however. There are no broken cogs and the original OutRun steering wheel emblem is present. 

I have a replacement control panel in great condition, so I have a few options here for the restoration, so it should be one of the easier parts to get right. Some of the chipboard is in particularly poor condition at the base of the cabinet. 

The insides of the cabinet are dusty, but thankfully not rusty. I was quite concerned that storing the cabinet in a drafty garage for 15 years would have caused more obvious problems. 

Even the PCB shows no obvious signs of corrosion which is pleasing.  I doubt it still works, but I will check it in my test harness at some point. 

The bottom interior of the cabinet is filthy. As a bonus, I found 20p amongst the dust. Evidence below. 

It's nice to find out when the cabinet was born; 22nd July 1987. It was last serviced in 1996, a year before I bought it. 

There's a lengthy task ahead, and I will be stripping the cabinet down for a full refurbishment over the coming months. Hopefully I can restore this cabinet to its former glory and learn something along the way. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

CannonBall 0.3 - Widescreen Tilemaps & Freeplay

This is a version of CannonBall I meant to release a while ago, but moving house and family commitments ended up causing me to sit on it for a while. I suspect there may be some new bugs as there was a gap between coding and release, so please report anything found.

I also spoke with Colin who is going to carry on with CannonBoard work soon. Behind the scenes a lot is done and ready to go from a software point of view.

- Widescreen tilemap support for music selection screen.

- Widescreen support for map screen. The sea on the left now extends further.

- Freeplay Mode (enabled in config.xml for now)

- Optional Timing Fixes (enabled in config.xml for now)


Also of note is the following project, which is a port of CannonBall to Android phones, tablets and other devices. There are some bugs and suggestions I have for the author, but overall it runs nicely!

You will need to enable the installation of APK files from unknown sources in the Settings -> Security section of your device to use it.

The author has kindly released the source code, which is available here.

Cabinet Restoration

One benefit of moving is that I finally have space for my OutRun cabinet. It needs a lot of restoration work, so I will be devoting a lot of free time to this project in the coming months as well as supporting Colin with his CannonBoard work. I'll post some pictures once I get going.