Neo-Geo.com Arcade Cabinet Group Buy Guide and FAQ

ookitarepanda

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Arcade Cabinet Group Buy Guide and FAQ

So you want to get in on a group buy!

Group buys are some of the best ways to get an arcade cab. There are a number of pros that go along with it: they're cheaper, the import is handled by someone else, and you have a whole crew of people getting them at the same time that can help out with anything. You can find out a whole lot just based on the other people in your group buy finding out things on their own, and you can contribute to the collective experience of group buys on neo-geo.com or elsewhere, the reason that this document exists.

However, some say that the concept is too good to be true and, unfortunately, sometimes that is the case. There is a large risk associated with group buys and many of them experience SNAFUs. There is a great deal of financial risk, with many questioning whether what they're purchasing is really worth the money they're paying. It is not uncommon for many people within the group buy to be unhappy when things don't go their way, no matter whether anyone else in the group is suffering or not. Also, some sellers only see group buys as opportunities for people to restore cabs they receive for cheap, rather than an opportunity for those people to get into functioning, good-looking equipment. In short, you must be ready for anything or you will be disappointed.

The purpose of this guide is to utilize the shared experience of forum members to help newcomers and experienced cab owners with regards to group orders online. If any information is not found directly in this thread, the guide will hopefully be able to direct anyone to the resources they need through links or references. Thanks for reading!

Writing credits:
Chief writer/compiler - ookitarepanda
Additional ideas and proofreading - electricgrave, poodude, VanillaThunder
Tips, tools, and the motivation to make this guide - everyone in the 2009 New Astro City Group Buy thread
Special thanks - arcadeotaku.com, hard--candy.com, and the neo-geo.com forums


TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Getting started

II. Getting prepared
A. Shipping
B. Payment
C. Control panels, accessories, and games
D. Space and measurement​
III. Receiving the cab
A. Tracking
B. Checking the merchandise
C. Reporting or disputing​
IV. Cleaning and/or restoring the cab
A. Dismantling
B. Cleaning
C. Painting and artwork
D. Reassembling​
V. Enjoying the cab

Appendix Alpha. Profiles of cabs often found in group buys
A. Sega Astro City/New Astro City
B. Sega Blast City
C. SNK Neo Candy 29
D. Taito Egret II​
Appendix Beta. Collection of links


I. Getting started

First, you surely have a number of questions:

Who organizes these group buys and how often?
Not many people have ever done more than one group buy on this website for one reason or another. If the person organizing has experience doing the cab group order, that is invaluable. Otherwise, make sure to check trader ratings on this site and elsewhere to make sure that it is a reliable, easily dealt with, and most importantly, very communicative seller.

Cab orders are not necessarily a regular occurrence. If there aren't any current or upcoming group orders, don't go into previous threads and bump them just to ask when the next one is. That's not to say that they are rare, but you should be on the lookout.

What kinds of cabs are good?
You shouldn't even be asking this question. There are so many different models of candy cabs with so many different features that make them unique. While a Taito Egret II has a rotating mechanism for allowing "tate" (tah-tay, Japanese for "vertical" - yoko means horizontal) games, Sega Blast City cabs have a tri-sync monitor that allows for 31hz refresh rates.

Think about your gaming style and what you would like to have, and talk to other forum members if you're wondering if the specific group order is for you. Make sure that the cab you order is the one you want - buyer's remorse is terrible on something that costs this much.

Check Appendix Alpha for more information on different popular cabinets.

In what condition should I expect my cab?
One of the shortfalls of group orders is that the arcade cabinets have usually been well used and are not in mint shape by any means. After spending probably years in an Asian arcade, the cabs are subject to a lot of smoke, spilled drinks, and other nasty situations. However, this does not mean all cab orders should be expected in poor condition.

The place of origin plays a big part in the condition of your cab, too, so pay attention to that detail. Japanese cabs are treated with a little more respect, whereas those from Hong Kong may be rougher.

If your supplier is going the extra mile and says they will clean and/or recondition each cab in the buy, you should make sure to find out the exact details of that cleaning. Will they be taking each one apart? Will they clean off the chassis? Will the wires and circuit boards inside be cleaned thoroughly? How will the cabs be packed before shipping? If they don't tell you exactly what they plan to do, then you can't hold anything against them. Keep track of everything your seller tells you, whether in the thread or by private message or by e-mail, because should something go wrong, you'll need the backup.

Also, the joysticks and buttons on your cab will likely need replacement. This is the case with most group buys, but is variable depending on your seller. Check section II-C for details.

How much should I expect to pay?
All candy cabs are different, and this treatise is not a price list. Typically, the rule is: you get what you pay for. The word, "typically" is used only because some sellers are not good at pricing their materials. Check other group buys considering your specifically desired cab, or ask around. Most people on this forum should know what a fair price is.

Shipping depends on the seller, the distance, and the cab itself. Most cabs are very heavy, and will be shipped via freight. One cab could be anywhere from $150 to $500, depending on who you use.

However, the cab plus shipping is not all you'll pay. There are usually import fees that come from getting the cabs from overseas. These vary, but should not exceed $75 for each cab. Then there are any extra charges. Should the seller provide the cleaning mentioned above, that may come at a price. If the cabs are coming with new control panels or new locks, that also will cost extra.

I still feel new to all this, shouldn't I get a super gun setup first?
Simply put, cabs are for pimps. If you have the space and the money, you will rarely regret having a cab. But don't let this guide convince you of that. Again, this all depends on your playing style. Group orders are a great way to get into cabs because you'll have the chance to see a lot about how cabs work and you'll make your baby your very own.

If you have further questions on how to operate your candy cab, check out this guide from arcadeotaku: http://wiki.arcadeotaku.com/wiki/Beginners_Guide_To_Candy_Cabs

How do I play a game on my cab, do I just put the CD in the slot? What's a 100 yen coin? You can get these cabs for like, a hundred bucks, right? Can I play NFL Blitz on my candy cab, bro?
This whole thing is obviously is not for you.

I'm not a Neo-Geo.com forums regular, does that mean I can't get a cab?
No, but as a new member, you may receive flack for that. Our market was built on the idea that the people discussing what they do on the website may also want to trade, not on the idea that the internet needs another marketplace. We take our market very seriously, and to that end, a couple of policies have been put into place:

Posting in the market does not add to your post count. This is only important because the moderators often purge all 0-post members as a precaution against spam bots. If you are a member of the website, make sure to at least post something so the other board members will recognize you.

The trader rating is taken very seriously. Some people try to direct others to their eBay feedback but are not always convincing. In a group buy, this is not as necessary because the seller is not concerned about the buyers' trader ratings, but it is something to keep in mind.

Another related note is that many people find out about these group buys on Neo-Geo from Google, and we get an influx of new members whenever it happens. However, you do not want to be the guy who comes in when a group order's cabs are about to ship just to ask if you can still get in on it. The threads should remain clean from this so people in the group can discuss the specific group order's cabinets and so on.
 

ookitarepanda

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II. Getting prepared

You've decided you're going to get a cab. You have the conviction and the power, and now it's time to get to business! This section will cover most items from the moment after you've gathered your cojones until you're refreshing a shipment tracking page every five minutes. It goes without saying that all this time, you should always be watching the group buy thread for new information.

A. Shipping

To ship a cab requires a great deal of work, and sometimes a great deal of money. Sellers will sometimes know how they will ship each cab; otherwise, it will be upon you to figure out how it will be done, and there are many avenues to do so. First, you can check a number of freight options, companies like Saia, NAVL, or others. Make sure you find out people's experiences with these companies before you make any decisions. Again, you get what you pay for.

Another option is to go with uShip: http://www.uship.com/freight/

With uShip, you fill out information about what you are sending, and companies will give bids for your post. You'll want to pick Freight -> Less than truckload -> Household goods -> Arcade equipment in the filing. Once you've set it up, you wait and find out who will ship your cab with the best benefits. However, you don't want to just go the cheapest route. Some shipping companies are little mom 'n pop startups that can only ship on a Saturday or something bizarre like that. Look out for what works for you.

Another thing to note with uShip is that it is the eBay of the shipping world. So just like on eBay you should be constantly checking shipper ratings and previous experiences. You may get a lowball offer just because a shipping company has a worse rating and have damaged people's shipments in the past.

Needless to say, it is also generally cheaper if there are others in your area that are getting cabs. The shipping costs more, but per palette, and therefore per person, it is a lot easier. If you can round up other people nearby to get in on the order, then you will no doubt save money!

B. Payment

There will be a number of things that come up during payment. Your seller may even have you put down a deposit at the beginning of the discussion if you want the cab. Whether or not this is the case, keep up the communication with the seller and follow the group buy thread very carefully.

Payment itself can be handled any number of ways based on the preferences of the seller. Paypal is a popular choice, but often sellers will ask that you also pay an extra 4% unless you are paying by gift. While many argue about this process, it is an unavoidable fact that Paypal will not help you in a dispute if you paid by gift. You as the buyer have a considerable amount of power if you are smart in your preparations, should something bad happen with the order. If it seems like the seller wants the entire payment long before the cabs are shipped, be very conscious of the fact that any dispute on Paypal must be within 45 days of payment.

Other payment options may be available, but make sure that whatever is done is trackable and disputable. Even a reputable seller may make some mistakes with your items, and you should always have a backup plan. To reiterate, the buyer has the power.

C. Control panels, accessories, and games

Many people know, but few people pass it along, that because of the condition on a cab (see section I-Condition), you will very likely have to get new equipment in addition to the cab itself. Generally speaking, people often will purchase new buttons or entire control panels to have ready for when their cab arrives.

It is vital to check with your seller whether or not you'll need to get new sticks and buttons - if they aren't too beaten up, you might be willing to use them to test out the cab when it comes (section III-B), and you can get buttons later. If they have been removed, you will be very sorry to see an arcade cabinet show up in full working condition except that you cannot even hit a start button. If you need to buy new pieces, one very helpful resource is http://akihabarashop.jp/. They have a wide selection of panels, populated (having sticks and buttons) or not, as well as a big stock of joysticks and buttons.

Another good few resources are the following American companies where the shipping will be less expensive and ship faster. However, you may want to check prices before you make any decisions:

http://www.gamingnow.net/

http://www.lizardlick.com/index.shtml

http://www.southtown-homebrew.com/

If you don't know what kind of sticks or buttons you would prefer, you can consult with other people in the buy. Some people speak of a "rule of thumb" with the differences between Sanwa and Seimitsu parts that Sanwa is for fighters and Seimitsu is for shooters, but generally the preference is subjective.

Another good resource is of course these very forums. If you post a wanted thread in the Zelda Doll Trading Forum, someone is bound to at least point you in the right direction.

Surely the reason you are getting an arcade cabinet is because you want to play arcade games in it. It is also important to either have your own game or have a game on loan that you can use to test your equipment. If you don't have any games, then there is no reason to have a cab. If you are really experienced in the field, you can even modify your cabinet to play MAME through a computer in the board compartment. Otherwise, make sure you have software to play. We shouldn't even need to tell you that.

As for other accessories, some people get ashtrays for their cabs, which you can find on eBay and the like. If you feel like an authentic experience, you should get a number of 100 yen coins for your candy cab so you can actually insert a coin rather than tap the coin mechanism inside. Another important "accessory" is a stool. Sometimes there are distinct group buys for Japanese arcade stools, but you can also buy your own from any furniture store like IKEA or any general outlet like Target. Don't forget to test how long you'd be able to sit in a seat like that comfortably. Some go so far as to buy drum set thrones.

Lastly, if you are planning to clean your cab when it shows up, check out section IV for details. Keep in mind, if you are a perfectionist and want to get your cab into mint condition, then no matter its starting condition, you should prepare to spend hundreds of dollars more on new materials. You can easily spend more than you paid for the cab on new stuff for it.

D. Space and measurement

This should even be at the beginning of this guide. If you don't have the space to put a cab, don't bother. Make sure that you have enough space in the final destination for this cab so it will sit nicely. You should also make sure you can get the cab to that destination. Measurements for each cab can be found on http://www.hard--candy.com so you can figure out if it will fit through your doorways intact or if you will have to take it apart first. The monitors are often very heavy, in excess of 100 pounds, so you should make sure you can lift that sort of weight.

Don't let your space for your cab be a pit of stink and messiness. It is a new addition to your home, and it shouldn't be thrown in like a piece of junk that plays games. To keep your cab running, it's best to keep it in a place that has stable temperatures and not a lot of humidity. Dust can also be a problem you will want to keep the area near your cab clean if you've spent the time cleaning it to begin with.
 

ookitarepanda

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III. Receiving the cab

Now that you've done a lot of preparation for your cab's arrival, you're just waiting for the seller to send everything out. You have the space for it and the means to play it, so what happens next? The important part!

A. Tracking

You should make sure to write down your tracking code so that you can check often where your cab is or is headed. This is not just for the compulsive people who want it to show up faster! It's very important that you know when it's scheduled to come in so you can make an appointment with your shipper to have the cab dropped off. If you are getting your cab in a residential area, that is, a place without a loading dock, then you should make sure you can be home for it to arrive.

Most shipping places should be willing to set up an appointment pretty much whenever you're available. Of course, they can't time everything perfectly, so allow for a little time before their arrival and a lot afterwards, because you're going to need to make sure everything's ok.

B. Checking the merchandise

DO NOT SIGN FOR YOUR SHIPMENT UNTIL YOU HAVE UNCRATED/UNWRAPPED IT AND TESTED IT.

It is so unbelievably important that you follow that rule. If you report immediately that your shipment was damaged or not as promised, then you have all sorts of avenues to fix the problem. If you wait at all, then it will become an immense pain to file a claim with the shipping company, and in the end they will say that you signed off on the manifest so you can just eat it anyway.

This is the part where your preparation will pay off. You can bring out a game and test it in the machine. If the person delivering your item refuses to stay while you test it, just remember that they can't leave unless you've signed for it.

Move it into a garage or something to keep the weather and elements from attacking your cab, and start inspecting it. Is it as promised? Are you satisfied? Post up in the thread some pictures of your new baby, and let everyone know that it arrived. If there are any problems, then we move on to...

C. Reporting or disputing

Before you read this section, it is important to note that this guide is not intended to inspire conspiracy among buyers against sellers, or to imply that group buys will have problems that are only resolved by legalities. Yes, you have taken down everything your seller has told you, but for good reason. If your seller delivers on promises, then that seller reaps rewards. If not, this is the neo-geo forums, let alone a part of the internet, and things can get messy for a seller who does a poor job.

So what happens if your cab shows up and isn't right? Perhaps the control panel is missing things the seller said would be there or there is sufficient burn-in on your monitor when your seller promised no burn-in. Then read these rules.

Rule #1: Check your options. First and foremost, you should try to resolve everything with your seller personally. If they are willing to send out new pieces that you need or refund you or whatever it is that satisfies you, let it rest. If that does not work, then you can file a Paypal dispute if you went that route, or you can dispute the payment through your bank. If you have no financial pull, then you do have the might of the forums behind you. No seller is really going to screw you over that badly and permanently unless they really are a scammer, so if they are, keep your cool because things will get fixed.

Rule #2: Don't be a jerk, but be a jerk. If your seller missed a scuff mark, you can deal with it. If your seller forgot your monitor, that's a problem. And with any problem, it's important to make sure the seller understands your view and will do what they can to fix the issue. What Rule #2 means is that you shouldn't be going out of your way to find problems and accuse your seller of screwing you, but you should be firm in that you are the buyer and your satisfaction puts the seller's reputation on the line, among other things.

Shipping companies make claims painful and long in an effort to make you give up, so don't give up. If you go the route of filing a shipping claim and it was nothing your seller did wrong, then see if you can get the seller to help out on filing the shipping claim. Since you did nothing wrong to the cab, you should get the help needed to make it right. Pester the shipping company until you are satisfied.

Rule #3: You did this for the hobby, don't let it kill you. Self-explanatory. You can worry about your money and such, but you're an adult and can deal with the problems if they arise.
 

ookitarepanda

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IV. Cleaning and/or restoring the cab

You have your cab and all your prayers have been answered. Hopefully you've had no problems or you have sorted them out along the way. Perhaps you've received a cab that requires a good scrub-down, whether you've intentionally purchased it that way or not. Now that everything has been realized, you may want to consider getting to know your cab inside out before you set it in the house for playing.

A. Dismantling

If you're going to clean your cab, the first thing you're going to need to do is dismantle it. Sure, it's sad to see the thing taken apart, but when it's back together you will be thankful you did it. If you didn't expect it already, you'll need a good tool set.

The main key to dismantling is to take pictures of the way things are, and when you take pieces out, label everything. A picture perfect memory won't help you sort screws that are in a big pile together. Use sealable plastic bags with labels for screws and small pieces, keeping track of where everything went. Use small amounts of tape on other pieces like brackets to make sure that you know which way is up, or which part is on top. Also, label your ground wires (typically green).

The other important part is to make sure everything is done carefully. Metal may not break that easily but screws can be lost, monitors and chassis can be damaged, and you even risk electric shock just by tampering with things the wrong way. Keep the lights on high (and a flashlight nearby) and maybe keep a buddy around to help keep track of everything. When taking pieces apart, make sure to check the structure and see what makes sense to take out first. Each cab is different, so details on that are sparse.

When handling the monitor, DO NOT TOUCH THE BACK PART. The rubber cap on a monitor is the anode cap. The tube works like a capacitor and will store electricity from the last time you turned it on, so it will cook you straight through if you touch it before it has discharged. Because different tubes discharge at different rates, it's important to not take any chances. If you want to discharge the monitor so you can clean the chassis and back of the monitor, do some research elsewhere. For liability reasons, this guide will not include instructions that are highly dangerous.

Don't set things down in places you'll forget them, nor in places that they are at risk for damage. If you have pets, keep them far, far away from these pieces.

Now that your cab is apart, you may want to write down your serial numbers of all of your equipment. If something goes bad, you don't want to have to take the whole cabinet apart again just to find some text.

B. Cleaning

Everything's apart, now you have to do something with it. There are two important reasons to clean well: keep your cab running smoothly and keep your cab looking smooth. Check for frayed wiring or loose connections while you have everything apart to make sure it all looks ok.

The following comes from forum member VanillaThunder:

Cleaning solutions: Simple Green works wonders. Other "nice" solutions (they all have their place in arcade gunk removal):

a. Baking Soda and Water -- Good Scrubbing Action
b. Vinegar and Water -- Takes dirt off like nothing else
c. Naphtha (lighter fluid... nice for buffing and getting sticker gunk off)
d. Citrus Cleaner and water (diluted) takes the dirt off of plastic in a hurry.. also good for de-stinking the guts of your cab

For the larger pieces, a hose will be your best friend. Take Windex (the one with vinegar works great) for smoother parts or citrus cleaner and water for rougher parts (generally the interior) and scrub for a while. After you let it sit with the first coat of cleaning material, use a hose and spray off what you set. Keep scrubbing to your own satisfaction, but don't overdo anything lest your cleaning attempts end up hurting your cab.

For smaller pieces, let some Windex or whatever cleaner you are using sit on the piece for a while, and eventually come back and wipe it off with some extra-tough towels. That usually gets off the first and toughest layer of grime before you can move on to the details.

Some people suggest the dishwasher for cleaning wires. If you do not mind this technique, you can certainly research a little bit before trying it. Otherwise using forced air, a paintbrush, and/or a towel with a little alcohol will work well.

Lastly, if you have any cracks, you should inspect them to find out the best course of action. For strength and reliability, look for a fiberglass mesh and resin, and see if you can fill it. For smaller projects, a plastic or fiberglass epoxy should be just fine. If the cracks are any bigger than either will take care of, you have more problems than just the crack.

C. Painting and artwork

There are many options when it comes to painting your cab. Of course, your decisions will be entirely based on how much of a job you want to get done. There is no definitive answer for painting a cab, but if you want to spend the money, it may be worth it for the cosmetic upgrade.

The easiest option, but probably the most expensive, is to take a couple pieces into an auto-body shop or some sort of custom paint store. Remember to show them each kind of piece, whether yours has metal doors and plastic/fiberglass shells. They can give you instruction on how to prep your materials, but just based on labor alone you could pay a few hundred dollars to get work done.

Other options are to find a paint that matches your style. If you can find a paint that matches the luster, that usually is best. Fusion paint is also an idea, because spraying is quite easy to do. Just remember, there is a chance the resale value of your cab will go down if you paint your cab a weird color.

If you are looking for side-art, you can ask around for reproductions, but the real stuff may be hard to find. If your cab is a Sega cab, you can always try http://segashed.com

D. Reassembling

Once you're ready to reassemble, start by marking the area where you want to put it and making sure you have the pictures of the interior from part A. Try to do everything in reverse, as sensible and predictable as that sounds. Hopefully your bags of screws will be in reverse chronological order, and you can put everything back together that way. This part can require help, so if you know people who have strong arms or have small fingers, see if they can assist you.

The wires are very important to get back very carefully. Don't ever hold them in such a way that creates stress on the wires or the connections, because things might break. When the wires are in, you can begin putting everything back together. The monitor is nearly the last thing you should put back in, because once it is, your maneuverability inside the cab will be limited, and the cab will be back to an unwieldy weight class.

After you get everything inside, test it to make sure everything's working again properly. If things aren't working out, test individual parts to make sure they're in good shape. Always remember to check the coin slot and mechanism, not just the power supply and monitor.


V. Enjoying the cab

There you have it! Everything is in tip-top shape and you've participated in a long tradition of buying arcade cabinets through the internet. Now pop in some of those games you got and enjoy it!

Make sure to report your findings to the internet and even to this guide. With more and more candy cabs being shipped into the US, the research and study of the buys and the cabs help for people who will be getting cabs of their own later. You obviously love the hobby enough to have your own cab now, so why not help someone else who loves it too?

Thanks for reading this guide. Hopefully this information has been overwhelmingly helpful to you, no matter the stage you are at in a group buy. Feel free to add your tips and comments!
 

ookitarepanda

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Posts
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Appendix Alpha. Profiles of cabs often found in group buys

Though there are over a hundred different models of candy cabs, some find their way to group buys more often than others. The popularity of these cabs can be attributed a little bit to circular logic - people buy these cabs because these cabs have been popular before. Mainly their reputation comes from their solid builds and features for being generic cabinets, and all support JAMMA standard.

The cabs that make up group orders have a lot to do with what the supplier has on hand. Arcade closings are usually what eventually spark cab orders, because some company buys up those arcades cabs for cheap and then resells them out with container pricing, etc. Another attribute is that some Japanese arcades have converted to HD games and thus have no use for the older cabs that aren't capable of the resolutions or frequencies required.

This section will detail 4 (and a half) specific cabs that are more popular.

Disclaimer: This appendix is not to say that any other cabs are inferior at all. For space reasons alone, it is implausible to detail so many cabs in this guide.

A. Sega Astro City/New Astro City





The Astro City is one of the more common candy cabs. Released in 1993, it has quite the lifespan. At the time, it was impressive for its new 29-inch monitor. The Nanao MS8-29FS (or the MS9-29A on the New Astro) runs dual-sync for 15 or 24 kHz. It rests at 93 kg (205 lbs) with the monitor in and the monitor itself can be rotated to play vertical games. For a very long time, this was Sega's flagship model.

The main differences between an Astro City and a New Astro City are the upgraded monitor and upgraded stereo speakers which protrude rather than sit inside. One thing to note about the NAC is that some of them carry a silver power supply that run at a lower voltage, which prevents them from being able to play boards such as SH3 boards, the later Cave games.

B. Sega Blast City



Blast City was Sega's step up from the Astro in 1996. Its most notable feature is a tri-sync monitor capable of 31 kHz, which no game at the time was running until Sega released the NAOMI system. Though the screen size remained 29", the weight increased to 101 kg (222 lbs).

As read on Hard*Candy, the Blast City models with a newer monitor, the Nanao MS-2931, are referred to in Japan as "New Blast City" cabs. An interesting bit of trivia is that the USA version Blast City was used for "Bass Fishing" and carried this monitor model. Some people stalk local arcade auctions to find this game and get a candy cab for cheap.

C. SNK Neo Candy 29



The SNK Neo Candy 29 (or 25, with a smaller monitor) is the popular Japanese MVS arcade cab. It has a 29" dual sync rotatable monitor and a large marquee holder over the top. Especially for the neo-geo forums, these are well-known candy cabs. Typically, the Neo Candy 29 came with the MV-4F 4-slot MVS system inside.

D. Taito Egret II



The Taito Egret II is one of the fan favorites of shmups and fighters alike. The E2 not only has a rotatable monitor like the Sega Astro City and Blast City, but the Nanao MS9-29T sits on a rotating mechanism that makes switching between horizontal and vertical much easier. It was released in 1996 at the same time as the Sega Blast City, and carries some extra heft at 105 kg (231 lbs). It stands a little taller with the AW marquee holder, but is generally the same size as other sit-down candy cabinets.



Appendix Beta. Collection of links

Information:

http://www.arcadeotaku.com/
Forum for arcade questions and answers. A truly great resource because you can get quick help from other enthusiasts.

http://www.hard--candy.com
This is a sort of wiki website that collects information and specs on most models of candy cabs. Very helpful for measurements as well.


Shipping:

http://www.navl.com/
One of the more trusted shipping companies. They may cost a little more, but that's what you get.

http://www.saia.com/
Another often-used shipping company.

http://www.uship.com/
Shipping site where you set up a post to have shipping companies bid on your shipment. Very useful, but somewhat time consuming.


Parts and online stores:

http://akihbarashop.jp/
The definitive source of arcade parts from Japan. Be careful because shipping costs are high, so it would be better if you can get in on an order with someone.

http://www.lizardlick.com/
Arcade parts from USA. They have much of the same catalog as akihabarashop, but will ship faster since they are located in North Carolina.

http://www.gamingnow.net/
Another source of arcade parts in the US. Mostly just joysticks and buttons, but their "other useful stuff" section has a lot of very useful items should you need to replace anything in your cab.

http://www.southtown-homebrew.com/
One of the more recognized online stores from the Neo-Geo forums.
 

ilazul

Enemy Chaser
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Posts
1,160
Section IV is my new best friend.

Gonna be doing a lot of that pretty soon.

Nice guide!
 

ReplicaX

Unholy Custom Rank.,
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Posts
2,419
Can we have a recommended sellers part in this for ppl that are not interested in group buys? I understand this is a helpful group buy faq but it also should point out other alternatives as well.

I have only dealt with Matsu, but as many ppl have on here and all I've heard is a 100% positive experience.

Matsu - Contact via email: gamemachine2003@hotmail.com
 

loegan43

I've served my time in the Dark Army., Have you?,
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Posts
1,935
Great job ookitarepanda. Very informative and chock full of useful information. Hope this is stickied.
 

Platypus Stan

Bashful Neophyte
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Posts
14
Excellent FAQ panda! I know it can be hard to think of what might be useful info for newcomers when so much is assumed to be common knowledge, but it looks like you covered all the bases.

Only thing I could think of to suggest is maybe a note in the "what condition should I expect" section about how common screen burn is in older cabs. I've seen a lot of people in group buys who didn't know what to expect there.
 

aria

Former Moderator
Joined
Dec 4, 1977
Posts
39,547
GREAT WORK!

I made what will be a closed copy of the thread in ZDTF.

[I deleted Payment_due's posts and its responses because it was inappropriate and, if he continues to be a gadfly, he will be swatted.

If he decides to make additional complaints in this thread, it means he really don't get it. If he doesn't get it, it confirms the Asperger's thing I keep pointing out.]
 

Electric Grave

So Many Posts
No Time
For Games.
Joined
Jan 29, 2004
Posts
20,259
Glad to see this come out. Panda did an amazing job, I do not think it could have been done any better. Thanks so much Panda for taking all the effort to make this happen.

Inicdentally, thanks to Bobak for giving Panda the chance to come up with somethign great and shutting down the negativity from ignorant folk.
 

aria

Former Moderator
Joined
Dec 4, 1977
Posts
39,547
This is your final warning, payment_due, any more inappropriate comments in this thread and I will take action. Please show some basic self control.
 

ReplicaX

Unholy Custom Rank.,
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Posts
2,419
The funny part about this user is when anyone responds to one of his many "You posted in the wrong section" posts his respond is that they are all children and how he has to inform the OPs because the mods are lazy and don't do shit. :lolz:
 

Tallahassee

Cheng's Errand Boy
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Posts
112
Thanks for the FAQ. I am new and don't want to get involved until I have been around a while but this gives me a lot of clarity on what it is and to go ahead and do more research before jumping in. This seems like a thing that people should put more research in than drooling over. Thanks again.
 

ReplicaX

Unholy Custom Rank.,
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Posts
2,419
Glad to see a new user appreicate this thread as it is based off lessons learned from ppl's experience on these forums in the past. GJ Panda
 

ookitarepanda

rare's hero,
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Posts
1,377
Thanks for the positive words from everybody; I really wasn't able to do this without a lot of the people who posted in this thread, especially Payment_due who told me where to look for arcade stuff.

I don't really see any group buys on the horizon but if there are, hopefully more and more newbies will read this.
 

skeach101

Twinkle Star Sprite
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Posts
32
I know alot of people have sort of a bad taste in their mouths about group buys, but I have to assume that its only a matter of time before someone takes another shot at it. Perhaps a list of all the known "good" suppliers would be a helpful addition with some details on them?

Perhaps something like:

CoinopExpress: From experience, they are *blah blah blah". However, there have been cases where *blah blah blah*

I would really love to get a project Blast City, and this is probably one of the cheaper ways to do it, even if it is risky.
 

wataru330

Mr. Wrestling IV
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Posts
7,618
Group buy Philly, 2k12 bump.

Great guide. Only suggestion I have ATM, is to add, 'focusattack.com' to Appendix Beta.

None of the shops currently listed in the FAQ had all of the parts I needed.

focusattack is stocked to the gills, reasonably priced, & ships FAST.
 

Hellacious

Twinkle Star Sprite
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Posts
31
Shipping

I have been using Specialized Transportation Inc. for all of my arcade machine shipping needs. www.stidelivers.com - NAVL actually contracts these folks out to do all of their shipping so its generally cheaper to just go to the main source.

Parts Stores

Paradise Arcadeshop (www.paradisearcadeshop.com) has also been fantastic in taking care of my needs lately. Especially since Lizardlick Amusements has had its problems as of late.
 

Evilpoptart

Kula's Candy
Joined
Jan 18, 2014
Posts
293
Excellent FAQ for somebody such as myself! I will be referring to this in the coming days. I just purchased a cabinet and can't wait to pick it up! Hope I kinda get out of noobie hell soon so I can post an introduction for myself and hopefully receive some help from you guys on what I need to do. :lolz:
 

Kid Panda

The Chinese Kid
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Posts
12,507
Excellent FAQ for somebody such as myself! I will be referring to this in the coming days. I just purchased a cabinet and can't wait to pick it up! Hope I kinda get out of noobie hell soon so I can post an introduction for myself and hopefully receive some help from you guys on what I need to do. :lolz:

Unless you get to sending me a Pulstar cart you will forever be in Noob-Limbo.
 

codecrank

Whip's Subordinate
Joined
May 2, 2011
Posts
1,750
Shipping

I have been using Specialized Transportation Inc. for all of my arcade machine shipping needs. www.stidelivers.com - NAVL actually contracts these folks out to do all of their shipping so its generally cheaper to just go to the main source.

thanks for sharing, I just requested a quote, blanket shipping with ground level pickup/delivery for 2 blast city cabs , chicago, IL -> wichita , KS = 390 :)

cdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam !!!
 
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