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BSS
Oh. It has been a while. Actually not as much progress as I'd like.

After the Starmaster disappointment, I went shopping for more carts on eBay. This time I'm specifically looking out for the Activision embossing on the bottom, and even asking sellers to check. I didn't ask them to check if the dust cover posts were spring loaded, thinking the logo was enough... 

First was a Fishing Derby with the label torn and half falling off anyway. Looked like a decent pickup.
fdebay.jpg 
Next was a Chopper Command. A somewhat sketchy buy, since I already own one. But I get it because it's for a good cause anyway.
ccebay.jpg 
This is what arrived in my mailbox:
2and3.jpg
So when sellers put that disclaimer that the photo may not match the actual item, you assume it means the item will be worse than the photo. Imagine my disappointment at that Chopper Command.

Next problem is that the Fishing Derby dust cover post isn't spring loaded! Now my disappointment turns to determination. I manage to peel the label off in one piece. It didn't argue much.
fdlabel.jpg 
Pop him open and here's what's going on.
fdopen.jpg 
Really, the only difference between this and the spring loaded poles are those two little wings at the end which catch on the case mold preventing it from moving. Everything else is identical. Still enough space to fit the switch.

Solution: Filing down the wings is enough to make these carts functional for turbo mode.
filed.png 

Now that I know the Starmaster cart will be useful after all, I turn my attention back to it. After trying every cheapo "lifehack" trick in the internet book, I couldn't get the screws out. Fortunately I live shockingly close to a Bunnings. A drill and a screw extractor later, and here we are:
smopen.jpg 
Yeah. I was not expecting to see a glop top. The internet has some evidence of this sort of chip-on-board thing happening, but not often and I don't see any like this. So who knows if it's real.

Anyway, some more filing, populating a couple more of my boards, some brand new shiny brass screws. I present to you specimens number 2 and 3.
2and3ready.jpg 
2and3ready2.jpg 
Chopper Command is still in original condition. If I need a fourth, it's next on the chopping block.
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Mar
Quote:
So when sellers put that disclaimer that the photo may not match the actual item, you assume it means the item will be worse than the photo. Imagine my disappointment at that Chopper Command.


I love this line.

Also, what do you mean by a 'glop top'. I've never heard the term.
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bakersnarkMDW
Mar wrote:


I love this line.

Also, what do you mean by a 'glop top'. I've never heard the term.


If you look at the exposed board of the Starmaster cart there is an oval-shaped black blob where you would normally expect the big ROM chip to be. It’s basically the functional part of the chip attached directly to the board rather than being housed in the rectangular chip with the legs of the chip attaching it to the board. It then has some sort of black resin (epoxy probably) “glopped’ over the top to protect it.

It’s done for good ‘Stern’ reasons - it’s cheaper. I have a HES cartridge for C64 with the FORTH programming language on it that looks like this. I speculated with Matt at the pinball comp as to whether this was a HESware standard.
Random item from my Tabletop Games Collection
[image] 
See it & the rest here:
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BSS
And there it is:
labelled.png 
There's a print centre at UNSW, which I thought only did official things. But I just asked and yeah, they also will print one-time, casual, copyright-grey-area things.

The colour turned out a little darker than I thought it would be. Not having a real River Raid cart on me, I don't know how far off it is. It's darker than it looks on my screen. It's darker than my River Raid wallet.
On the other hand it's similar to this HES box:
hesbox.png 
Which makes me think I made a grave mistake, because I know I started with a repro HES label as a template and used that colour.

Here's an NTSC set:
rrbox.png 
I dunno. I guess it's close enough.

It's printed straight onto an adhesive label thing. Glossiness is spot on. I had six made.

What isn't done is rounding the corners. Still have to figure that out.
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bakersnarkMDW
So you get to keep the Game Cube!? 😁
Random item from my Tabletop Games Collection
[image] 
See it & the rest here:
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BSS
Hello thread. Been a while. Let's go back in time.

Once the first three carts were built and labelled. One was sent to Tasmania so that we could meet again in Melbourne for PAX. But before we get to that, there was one extra component I wanted to organise.

Patches!
activision_patches.jpg 

Not patches like, "oh we released a game full of bugs and now we have to fix it in the field". Patches like what goes on your heavy metal jacket.
f1010u016-720x1080.jpg 

Back in the day, all Activision games had these proto-achievements. As explained in the manual, if you get a score above the specified amount, you take a photo and mail it to Activision. They'd send back a patch as if you were initiated into a special club for whatever game it was.
m_RiverRaid_5.jpg 
01-River-raiders.png 

Most of them have the signature Activision styling and name of the club. This is what I would replicate. Back to work in Inkscape. After some struggles this is what I came up with.
patch3.png 

I found a place in Melbourne that would screen print custom patches in any colour, with a similar overstitch around the edges, done in about a week. Sounds perfect, right? Well the website looks like it was made at least a decade ago, so I thought I'd send them a message asking a question I didn't really need an answer to, just to see if anyone was home. No response after a week. So I dialed the phone number on the website. It rang for about a minute before someone answered. Not super convincing, but it was something, and with PAX looming close, I didn't feel I had any choice. There's one or two foreign patch printeries that may have worked, but I thought international shipping would have taken too long. Anyway I placed the order.

Next, because it's a small business and apparently not particularly modern with regard to internet facilities, there was an email confirming the order, but nothing after that to give progress updates. This adds to the thoughts that they may have just taken my money and ran. Or that their promise of a week lead time may not be accurate. But at this point it's either coming or it's not. Nothing else to be done.

Then a miracle occurred. This arrived two days before I would fly out to PAX:
MVIMG_20181023_182516.jpg 

Two minor issues. The stitching around the border is not quite what I was expecting. Maybe technically it is overlock, but the thread is tiny, and the colour is only on the top side. Close enough I guess. Also, this is when I realised that I had submitted the order using a file format that doesn't embed the font inside. So the text "Tournament Raider" still uses the Activision Futura typeface, but isn't bold like I had designed. Overall they're fine though.
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Mar
Wow, it's been that long since you updated the thread. I'd forgotten about all that patch business! Looks like you've still got a fair bit to catch everyone up on... I'm looking forward to you talking about a particular issue that arose due to those patches... But I'll leave the story to you.
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bakersnarkMDW
I sent away for very little game-related swag, but I did get an achievement related T-shirt for the computer pinball game Crystal Caliburn back in the mid-90s. 
B851DBBC-6351-4021-98CB-447B62ED5672.jpeg 
FF7E735B-B7DD-4C7B-B95C-F6FCA5986CDB.jpeg
It can be seen that, because I foolishly use my collectibles, the T-shirt is in a fairly dire state but the printing has survived remarkably well!
I, of course, also got my gold-plated floppy disk keychains from ECP.
A0936644-BD07-4AD1-84CF-AD4A93EC9DBB.jpeg 
But that was just for having ECP games and was, presumably, an old-school data gathering exercise.

I wish I’d known about the Activision patches, as I could have got appropriate recognition for my ‘Supreme’ asphalt-laying skills!
800E337D-C505-4E14-B359-27CEF4887664.jpeg 

The small issue with Matt’s patch is that he’ll now have to make the SLIGHT additional adjustment to the River Raid code to make it a side-scroller...
Random item from my Tabletop Games Collection
[image] 
See it & the rest here:
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Mar
You having trouble sleeping BakersnarkMDW? You've been posting at 3am!
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