Which game? Well it was a Donkey Kong. How do you flip a game? Did you throw it in the air? No... TO FLIP means to buy something and turn around and sell it at a profit. I already own a Donkey Kong, why do I need 2 for? Alas, I bought, flipped and sold a Donkey Kong all in a matter of 2 weeks. That's some quick turn-around there. Cha-ching! {That's a cash register sound}

So... tell me about this tech gig. OK I will. I received a phone call from someone that said "Randy" says I can repair arcade games. I didn't know who Randy was but I told him I can fix them. He told me that he has a Capcom Bowling (Super Sports) game that the monitor screen kept shrinking as he left it turned on for 3 days. Finally all you could see was a thin white line on the monitor. I told him I could fix it and to bring it on over. I did a cap kit on that bad boy, charged the guy, and educated him not to leave old video games on for 3 days straight. Heat is NOT your friend. Monitors get really, really warm. He picked it up, paid me, he was happy, I was happy, it was a good day. I found out later it was my uncle Randy who referred the guy to me. Thanks uncle Randy, keep sending them my way, I'm saving for a Funhouse pinball! Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

So what's the point of an arcade if you don't fill it up with people every now and then? Kicking off the summer last Sunday with an awesome gameday. There were 27 people, 9 large pizzas, 165 cans of soda, chips, cookies, candy, 33 arcade games and endless fun. Other activities included non-stop karaoke, swimming at the lake, pool and basketball games outside.

What happens when you have been out swimming and eating BBQ all day, come home exhausted on a Sunday evening, have to work the next morning, and find a deal on Craigslist the moment you come home? Well you grab your 16 year old daughter with a drivers license and have her take a mini road trip with you so you can score your latest haul. And... that's exactly what I did. It was about a 3.5 hour round trip, but a little dad and daughter time was good. Hey, you have to break your kids into the hobby some time, right?

To read more about the Donkey Kong road trip click here.

One Vapor TRX, one new flyback...check. A flyback is a type of transformer that generates high voltage to power the game monitor. These things a are a pain to replace. The monitor on my game worked, but after leaving it on for a few hours the picture started getting brighter and fuzzier. This is a sure sign of a flyback going bad.

So in this game I couldn't figure out an easy way to take out the monitor. As you can see from the left picture I could still get to the solder pads on the flyback from underneath the monitor. So I just left the monitor in there and replaced the flyback that way. That still took some time and effort as the soldered prongs on a flyback don't like to come out easily.

After I was finished the final test is powering up the game and hoping nothing blows up. After turning the game on it was a success, I now have a rock steady picture. Say Vapor TRX, thats a nice new flyback you got there.

Come on, what did you think I mean? Flash drives, they are all the rage and a wonder of modern technology. Hard drives, they are nothing more than an ancient relic. Computer manufacturers haven't figured that out yet. Your typical hard drive runs on the same technology as your parents 45 records. Yes, computer hard drives are nothing more than spinning record players. Instead of records, they use platters. With moving parts, your typical hard drive will only last 3 to 5 years. Yes there are exceptions, but they are not the norm.

Here is the dilemna. I have 30 year old video games still running, but these newer games use hard drives. So by all standards, they are destined to break in 3 to 5 years. That...IS UNACCEPTABLE. What to do? Put all your hard drive data on these nifty compact flash drives. No moving parts and low power consumption. Then use an IDE to compact flash adapter to make your game think the flash drive is the original hard drive. Sweet! So I have 3 games with hard drives, Rush the Rock and 2 Vapor TRX's. I pull the hard drives, copy the image using a MAME utility called CHDMAN, then restore the image onto a compact flash drive. Finally I install the flash drives in my Rush the Rock and both Vapor TRX's. Now I have decades of worry free service from these games, at least where the hard drive is concerned. Like I said boys and girls, Flash Em If You Got Em!

It happens again in 2010! Another racing game. Not just "any" racing game, but some monster, 3 piece sit down driver with a 50 inch video screen which I have lovingly called SAMSON. This...thing...is...huge...

I happen to answer a Craigslist ad that someone was willing to trade some stuff for this video game. I respond to the ad with something to trade (not another game & not cash), and the guy sends me back pictures of the game. I was shell-shocked. Maybe I was dumbfounded about how big this thing was. Maybe I was confused because he had this thing set up in his kitchen inside a mobile home. What??? His wife wanted him to get rid of it to make room and I was the lucky recipient.

Not only do I now own this game, but what I call the North Wing of my arcade is now complete with my newest racing game. I call it that because its at the north end of the gameroom and as of a few months ago had no arcade games in that section. To read more about the Sega Rally Championship road trip click here.

I already have a working Vapor TRX in the arcade. This was made by Atari games and is a cool hover racing game. At the time I thought it would be great to pick up a second Vapor TRX and link them together. Lucky for me I was able to pick up a second Vapor TRX about a month and a half ago. Unfortunately the game needed a new board because of a graphics issue and one of the springs was busted in the flight controller.

I finally found a replacement board (see below) and installed NOS Springs - New Old Stock - in the flight controller (see below). The game now works perfect. I had an extra 5 port ethernet hub I hooked up and networked both games together. This means you and a friend can race each other which is just really cool. Plus I now have 3 late model Atari games arcade racers side by side. That is just a pretty sight in itself.

Now if I can just find another Rush The Rock... :)