Vapor TRX, one of the last great games produced by Atari in 1998 before they closed their doors forever. I always wanted one of these bad boys, due in part to being a sitdown game, having a pseudo Star Wars flight stick and being one of the last of the Atari line. Now I haven't been really looking for new games, but sometimes deals just seem to find me. This game was located just 15 minutes from my house and was advertised as working. However, after I contacted the guy he tried to start it up again but it had an error on the screen. I shot the guy my lowest price for a non-working game and he accepted. This game has a hard drive in it and the error pointed to a bad hard drive. I knew that this game's hard drive was readily available for a reasonable price on ebay so I could easily get it working again.

Now the only problem was picking it up. This thing was too big to get in my van, I had to pick it up by truck. Now this is an amazing coincidence, but right after I got off the phone with the guy after making a verbal deal, my father-in-law pulled up to my house in his truck to visit. I let him visit for a few minutes, then told him my dilemna. He happily agreed to help me go pick up the game. Now this game is much bigger in person, and with a 27inch monitor in it the game weighed around 350 pounds. It was heavy. Luckily, the guy selling the game had a truck with a lift in the back. He lifted the game into the back of his truck and then we slid the game over to my father-in-laws truck. We strapped it down and we were heading home.

We get back to my house and realize one thing. We used a lift to get the game into the back of the truck, but we didn't have a plan to get it off. I've moved a lot of games, but this thing was heavy, huge and awkwardly shaped. On top of that while we are getting ready to unload the game it just started to snow. Lovely. We decided to slowly start to tilt and slide the game backwards off of the truck with both of us on the ground to lower it. Unfortunately while getting the game out the game started to tilt in my father-in-law's direction and he lost his grip. Next thing we know we are watching the game come crashing to the ground on its side with a large thud. This kind of thing has never happened before to me and it was quite shocking to watch, it was more like in slow motion. Anyways, we stand the game up and give it a once over. Monitor looks like it is in one piece, nothing is broken, side art doesn't even have a scratch. I plug the game in and it comes up to the same error that it had at the sellers house. That is a good thing and means nothing new is broken. A catastrophe has been averted and the game is now safely inside.

Next stop is ebay to order that hard drive. I can't wait to play this game!

This is a problem I had with my Megatouch Maxx touchscreen game. No boot up, nothing, it was in all essence... dead. Of course this came about after one of my kids asked if they could "play" the game, and then came back to tell me it was not coming on. Guess who I blamed for this, of course they had to have done something to the game, all my games work perfectly everytime I start them up. The girls love the touchscreen game so it was important to get this bad boy up and running fast.

So I open up the game, and as you can see from the bottom picture it is one tightly packed rats nest in there. I check for loose connections, it was a no go. A Megatouch Maxx is basically a fancy computer, so my next thought was that it was a bad power supply. I put in a spare power supply and get nothing. I then see a test switch on the spare power supply, touch it, and the game sprang to life. It comes up to a CMOS settings lost. This means the motherboard can't start up until you reset the settings. I reset the savings, save it and the game boots up into game mode. Great, problem solved. I put the game together, Put it back on the bar top and turn it back on. Nothing.....Ugh......

I take back it apart again, hit the power supply test switch and it came to life again. What is going on here? Again, CMOS settings lost. I go into the CMOS settings and find an usual setting, "startup motherboard upon power failure". Ah, with that setting, when you "kill" the power by turning off the switch in the back and then back on again, the motherboard senses the power and initiates a startup. Now with the CMOS settings being lost each time it can't do this. So what keeps CMOS settings in place? A 3v backup battery, a coin cell that you might find in watches, calculators and some small remotes. I pulled it out and it was reading 1.5V. That's a bad battery. Culprit found!

I relaced the motherboard backup battery, a CR2032 type coin cell, reset the CMOS settings, put the game back together and fire it up. It works! And has been working ever since. What started out as a Maxx headache soon became a Maxx victory. Now to play some Word Dojo and Photo Hunt. Hip hip hooray!

I was contacted last week by a local collector who was interested in a trade. He was going to sell or trade his Baby Pac-man and he was an avid collector of vintage EM pinball games. He knew that I had a Time Zone EM pinball game, and I mentioned in passing 6 months ago that if he ever wanted to sell his Baby Pac-man to contact me. So with that the stage was set for my first game of 2010. The trade was a done deal.

Don't get me wrong, I liked my Time Zone pinball game. However, Baby Pac-man was higher up on my wanted list.

On an interesting note, before I knew this collector he was looking at buying this exact pinball game many years back. For whatever reason a deal was never made and I ended up with the pinball. Now flash forward a few years later and the game is now his. Funny how things just kind of work out.

Had the family over for a Christmas party and some gameroom fun! Nothing says Merry Christmas like some vintage arcade games.

I picked up this slot machine last summer in a deal to get a soda machine. Its has been sitting side by side with the soda machine for the last 6 months. The slot machine is definitely a novelty with no computer components and all relays and mechanical wheels. After many game days and family gatherings this machine was the neglected one. As long as I can help it there will be no such thing as a neglected game in my gameroom.

Because of this I went ahead and made the decision to put this one up for sale. Yes, it has been sold and now leaves an empty spot in the Vintage Vault arcade and gameroom. Games will come and games will go. All except for my Star Wars of course! PS. The soda machine IS NOT FOR SALE!

Last Sunday the gameroom had a full house of 33 people from the church youth group. We had an awesome time playing video games, played some pool, played Rock Band, had some pizza, played some basketball, had a bonfire with marshmallows, jumped on the trampoline and had lots of karaoke with the MP3/Video jukebox. My 165 can soda machine was emptied, games and caffeine go hand in hand. It was 7 hours of non-stop fun.

A Star Wars arcade machine. This represents the pinnacle of arcade collecting to me. Ever since I saw the first Star Wars movie as a little boy I was hooked. I had an entire collection of Star Wars toys so I could relive the adventure. Every Christmas, just give me some more Star Wars toys. Then the Star Wars saga became a reality the first time I played a Star Wars video game in an arcade. For 25 cents I could actually play as Luke Skywalker, an X-wing fighter pilot who single handedly blew up the Death Star. The first time I blew up the Death Star I got goose bumps. As a little boy, I dreamed of owning one of these games so I could blow up the Death Star over and over again. Yes, this game represented a grail to me, both from my childhood and for arcade collecting.

grail [greyl] -noun
1. the cup or platter used according to medieval legend by Christ at the Last Supper and thereafter the object of knightly quests
2. the object of an extended or difficult quest

...... And found my grail I did. No, I did not find the cup of Christ, although I have to admit that would have been really cool. However, I did find a Star Wars arcade machine. Yes, this game was the object of an extended and difficult quest. The end of this quest represents years of searching for this game. This road trip crossed 3 states, took 2 days, 1 hotel room and 1,321 miles of road (round trip).

This road trip will be posted in several parts.
Click here to begin reading about The Great Star Wars Road Trip (Part 1: Prelude To A Gameroom)

Interestingly enough, the second part of this saga takes us to the oddest of all places, an arcade auction. Why? Well, why not? It was there, what else can I say. Its like going out for a steak dinner. You pay for the steak dinner and it was good. Really good. While at the restaurant the waiter who served you the steak dinner offers you free desert. Do you need it? No, not really. But how can you pass up free desert? It's tempting, tasty and free.

This is the predicament we were in, and this is why we had to go to an arcade auction that we were previously unaware of. This is the second part of the road trip. Click here to read about The Great Star Wars Road Trip (Part 2: Symphony Of An Auctioneer - The Morning After)

The final leg of our journey has us leaving an arcade auction empty handed, with the exception of what I was hauling in the back, a Star Wars arcade game. From there we head over to Mall of America, the largest mall in the United States.

This is a road trip, right? You're paying for gas, you're paying for a hotel room, you might as well enjoy some of the local sights. Who goes on an extended road trip and does not check out the local attractions? This is why we went to Mall of America. It was simply... well... there.

The Star Wars arcade game had to wait another half day to get played. Mall of America was calling us. It's like a person's wedding day. You've waited all your life for that moment (well maybe not some people) so anyways you can wait just a little while longer before the honeymoon.

This is the third and final part of the road trip.
Click here to read about The Great Star Wars Road Trip (Part 3: The Mall And The Finale)