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A Few Things

Thursday May 30, 2024

This cab arrived in great shape, so I haven’t had to do much since getting it. This post is a quick summary of the things I’ve done so far. Welcome to the first Astro City Log post, by the way. I came up with a new outfit for Naomi, and I wanted to make a fresh drawing just for this post. It has been way too long and the drawing still isn’t finished, so I’ll just post this WIP screenshot.

WIP Naomi Astro Outfit

Square Gates

I don’t know what the norm is for playing shmups, but there is no way I was going to keep the octo gates this cab came with. As a usual square gate user, I was initially disgusted by the octo gate. It grew on me after a little while, but since this cab is also used for old shit like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, the option to use a 4 way “diamond” gate was essential. It’s very easy to switch an 8 way square to a 4 way diamond. In an instant, all “this stick is terrible” comments were hushed.

1 Player Panel

The seller was very generous and threw in a 1 player (1P6B) panel along with the preinstalled 2 player (2P12B) panel. After a few weeks of playing on this cab, I realized nobody uses the 2P side, because nobody plays 2 player games. Even though some games have a 2 player option, everyone just plays a game until they game over, then gets up so the next person can sit down. It is much more enjoyable to have your hands centered when sitting.

I put plugs into the bottom 3 button holes because I will never need them. This cab doesn’t even have a kick harness. I have realized that button plugs are better when they’re long term. I used plugs when running Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure on the Versus and Virtua Athlete on the Blast, since I was hosting a party with lots of non-gamers. Ripping those fuckers out the next day and reconnecting all the buttons sucked so much. Everyone just mashed every button as hard as they could anyway, so the whole idea was pretty pointless. I’m getting off track.

Slight Monitor Adjustments

I don’t have before and after pictures, but I think the colors on the monitor were a little off at first. It was noticeably too blue. Sometimes I still think it’s a little too blue, but I’ve only ever eyeballed it. One day I will follow this guide and get it right once and for all.

Projector

The Astro has a 30mm hole in the back next to the power switch that can be punched out.

The 30mm hole

I connected a 25 ft HDMI cable to the MiSTer, ran it out that hole, and hooked it up to an extremely cheap and Chinese projector.

The projector screen

It looks… kind of bad. It looks much better with the lights and other cabs off. I also think my projector screen (shower curtain) having so much white space around the game looks pretty weird. I tried rotating the projector 90 degrees, but that just introduced more problems. I might be able to put it further back to increase the size. I’ll keep experimenting.

ESP. Ra. De. Stuff

I wanted to get the marquee and strips for either DoDonpachi or ESP. Ra. De. but I couldn’t find the DoDonpachi stuff anywhere. Like, I couldn’t even find a picture of it online. ESP. Ra. De. it is. I got the same protective sleeves I have on the Versus so that I wouldn’t have to tape or glue the strips directly to the bezel, but since they’re vertical, the strips fall right out the bottom. I put tiny little pieces of tape at the bottom of each sleeve and that keeps them in fine. They’re super reflective. I think it makes more sense to have these on the Versus since I have strips for multiple games and I swap them around sometimes. Maybe some day I’ll take the out of the sleeves, but for now I’ll leave them alone.

ESP. Ra. De. Stuff

Conclusion

There is no way this will be my last cab. I already miss horizontal games too much. ONE more. Eventually. An Aero City would be so fuckin’ cool.

One thing that does concern me about this cab is that the monitor is extremely blurry when I turn the machine on. It clears up after a few minutes, but I think that means the chassis needs to be recapped. I have never done that before, but I figured it was only a matter of time before I’d need to learn.

😇
Running a dehumidifier in the garage has completely eliminated the blurry monitor problem. I am safe from buying a cap kit. For now.

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