No announcement yet.

Wondering about a Taito cabinet


For general stuff about Arcade.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Wondering about a Taito cabinet

    Hey all! I'm a relative newb to classic arcade ownership. Picked-up a Taito cocktail cabinet locally that was converted into Ms. Pac-Man seemingly a long time ago given the screen burn-in, and was wondering if anyone has any idea on what it used to originally be. A previous owner put in these curious metal covers over where buttons used to be on the control panels and it seems like perhaps 4 way joysticks were put in, though not sure. The monitor seems like it's original and it's color. I see a piece of paper stapled into the underside of the top that talks about sound controls for UFOs and invaders, which sounds like Space Invaders to me, or some version of it, as I know the original had a monochrome screen and a color overlay. Anyway, attached is a link to some pictures I took of the guts and the controls. Wondering if anyone has any ideas on what it was. The immediate previous owner seemed to think it was a Stargate arcade, though in Googling the images of Stargate cocktail, it seems different, plus Stargate seems to have been Williams, not Taito. Though again, newb here.

    Pondering what to do with it -- keep it a Ms. Pac-Man (and ditch the bootleg PCB for a bonafide Midway PCB), try to restore it to what it was, maybe turn it into a Mr. Do sans the artwork (as it's a fun game), or maybe even stick a Raspberry Pi in it and program my own retro arcade game.

    It's also missing the coin box, though the coin mech works. Seems like coin boxes are a little hard to come by. I bought my dad a Taito cocktail arcade of the original Space Invaders so was thinking of seeing if that coin box is a match for this cabinet and if it is, perhaps trying my hand at building a coin box out of hardwood with a drawer lock and maybe some rollers to let it slide in and out of the slot.

  • #2
    Welcome to AA. Good luck with your project.
    This is where it ends!


    • #3
      Hi FeedTheCoinMech, I'm new here too but think I can answer that question - The Japanese made Taito cabinets are more common here in Australia (both upright and cocktail or TT) as we didn't get the licensed Midway versions - at least not originally anyway.

      After the original monochrome release of Space Invaders Taito produced a Space Invaders Color (or Colour) TT (for TableTop) and I think that's what you have. The game was really just the black and white game but with a colour monitor (probably made by Toei) and a colour 'overlay' circuit to change the colour of the image at various parts of the screen simulating the cellophane which was attached to the screen of the monochrome version.

      It preceded the Space Invaders part II (or Space Invaders Deluxe) which was true colour as the invaders stayed the same colour throughout rather than changing as they advanced down the screen.

      It used a 3 board set (commonly referred to as a 3 layer PCB for some reason, incorrectly) and the board numbers were prefixed with CV. Hence in MAME the ROMset is sicv.

      It would have had just the two way joystick and a single fire button which is not required for Pacman, of course.

      The coin drawer is probably the same for all Taito TT machines. There was a coin meter attached to the back which unplugs as you pull the drawer out so you can read it.

      I don't have that exact machine but I do have a Taito Missile Command TT which was licensed from Atari and sold in Australia and Japan, I believe - which is similar but has trackballs and a horizontally mounted Toei 14" monitor.

      I also have a Taito upright cabinet (not a dedicated SI) which has had the SI 3 board set fitted, probably originating from a cocktail machine such as yours. I'm working on it at the moment.

      Here's a couple photos of the 3 board set. I'm documenting the repairs to my units on this web page:

      Hope this helps, Regards, John
      more from John's Retro Workshop -


      • #4
        more from John's Retro Workshop -


        • #5
          Hi again FeedTheCoinMech, looking at the remains of the control panel overlays in your photos it probably is a Space Invaders Part II machine after all, which used a different version of the 3 board set. Regards, John
          more from John's Retro Workshop -


          • #6
            Thanks for the reply! Guess I'm better off just keeping it as a derelict Taito cocktail with Ms. Pac-Man or maybe adding a Raspberry Pi and programming a game of my own. Of course, with all the Ms. Pac-Man burn-in, eh, maybe just better off keeping it a Ms. Pac-Man, though thinking I should be legit and ditch the bootleg and try and get a legit Bally Midway board. Already replaced the chassis fan, spent the better part of last weekend builting a custom locking coin door out of wood that I'm going to paint this weekend, and plopped in some dummy fire buttons as the metal coverings looked odd. Did all that then lost player 1 right on the joystick. Fortunately found a short from the previous modder doing a sloppy splicing job. That control panel sure comes out way better than I expected! Very nice design!


            • #7
              I have to agree, if the maze is burnt into the screen it would be less obvious to leave it as is. At least in Ms. Pacman the screen doesn't scroll (is that right? I think Pacman Jr. scrolls...)

              I have a machine where a previous owner sliced into the button 3 and coin wires with a knife, then tied another wire between them and hey, presto, credit button! no solder, no insulation...

              Best Regards, John
              more from John's Retro Workshop -


              • #8
                Another quick newb question. So I clearly have a bootleg PCB. I count 36 contacts -- 18 on each side. If I wanted to get a legit Bally Midway Ms. Pac-Man PCB I know I'd need to adapt it as the connectors and pin-outs are different. I see adapters for sale that adapt non-JAMMA PCBs to JAMMA connectors and others that adapt JAMMA PCBs to non-JAMMA connectors. Though unless I'm just missing something, I don't see anything that can adapt pre-JAMMA Ms. Pac-Man or JAMMA PCBs to a bootleg Ms. Pac-Man connector.

                My thought was to find the pin-out for the Ms. Pac-Man bootleg PCB I have, cut all the wires and crimp on insulated quick disconnect terminals, labeling the terminals, then get a JAMMA harness and install insulated quick disconnect terminals on that and connect everything so that I can make it a JAMMA cabinet, yet still retain the ability to go back to the bootleg Ms. Pac-Man if I wanted to. Does that sound reasonable?


                • #9
                  Hi again, there's a long answer to that and it's just my own opinion so please feel free to disagree - it's your choice entirely. It does no harm to take your time, see what's available and be sure before you proceed, especially if your machine is working as it stands.

                  Personally, I would avoid adding crimp connectors or using any individual connectors which could be connected in the wrong order at some point. Anyone who has had to troubleshoot cabinet wiring would possibly agree with me on that point.

                  If the original cabinet wiring hasn't already been hacked up too badly, my approach would be to leave that as original and then make or buy an adaptor to take you from there to whatever you need to connect.

                  The Space Invaders II TT would have had 2 x 36 pin (each 2 rows x 18 contacts) edge connectors, labelled G and T. All the power rails, control inputs, RGB and Speaker outputs originally appear on the G connector while the T connector has additional 'booster' power connections to minimise voltage drop across the 3 board set so for a single PCB setup you wouldnt normally need that one.

                  The Space Invader colour boards also have monochrome video output on the T connector which is normally unused apart from testing or perhaps installing into a black and white system.

                  Do your cabinet controls and video still go via the G connector? It looked from your photo that someone may have cut off and reused the original T connector for the Ms. Pacman PCB or maybe the label has been swapped.

                  If the G connector is there, with all the original wires still going to it, it would be possible to make or possibly buy an adaptor which uses a 36 way PCB 'biscuit' or 'finger' which plugs into the G connector and then wiring from there to the appropriate connector for your PCB of choice. Any extra signals such as joystick up, down etc which are not originally used in space invaders can be wired directly to the latter connector, or via a multi pin molex style plug and socket if you want the adaptor it to be removable from the machine by simply unplugging it. Again, avoid individual crimp plugs and sockets to reduce the risk of inadvertently crossed wires.

                  That setup, using a secondary group of wires for additional controls is often seen in the form of a 'kick harness' when machines are converted to later games which use extra buttons such as fighting games with six buttons per player, extra wires are needed for the 'kick' buttons etc.

                  If the original G connector has been cut off at some point and all the wiring has been connected directly to the repurposed T connector visible in the photo then I would work out the pinout for that connector and construct an adaptor from there to your new PCB being Midway, JAMMA or whatever.

                  Only if the original wiring was completely unusable, would I take the more extreme step of installing a complete new harness to go from your new game board directly to the controls, monitor and power supply.

                  I hope that makes sense, if anyone can suggest a better method or explain more clearly please do.

                  Having said all that, If the machine is not being used commercially I'm not sure it is worth all that trouble and expense just to install a genuine Bally Midway PCB and play the same game which the machine already plays. It wouldn't be returning the cabinet to its original configuration in any case - purely my opinion...

                  All the best, regards John

                  more from John's Retro Workshop -


                  • #10
                    That cabs in good nick and sounds like it plays. When I first got into arcades I was really hung up keeping things original as well, but most cabs in Australia were generic and when a game stopped earning it was swapped out. Your cab is a survivor and has history, Ms Pacman was released in 82. I wouldn't be concerned about it being a bootleg as that also what happened back then. You could clean the control panel and add a Ms Pacman overlay, maybe some instructions cards under the glass. But don't MAME it!

                    Also those vertical control panels aren't great for button mashing. Mine has a single fire button and you can get away using your knuckle, but I couldn't even think of playing a two/three button game on it.

                    Get another cab to play around with as your are going to end with more than one anyway.


                    • #11
                      Have you tried tracking down the machine's origin though Taito America?. All the stuff here come in through Taito Australia, ( was eaten up by AMF Bowling), but I do know there was a Taito America as we here at Taito Australia bought in parts from Taito American when Japan couldn't supply.
                      The early TTs had the metal plate cut to suit the joystick / button combo the TT was made originally so you should be able to detect the original factory made holes and work out what the machine was originally made. Later TTs had a large rectangular hole punched in the metal plate, plywood over that with holes machined in it to suit what ever game they or you choose with an alloy "Taito" dress plate with holes to suit. The blank plywood panels and the blank "Taito" alloy plates were sold as spare parts. This later idea was so much better.

                      As for your wiring, Taito cabs and TTs were made to be repaired so every part has connectors so they can be completey disassembled with virtually no need to de-solder anything. Good idea, makes working on them a breeze however, now every circuit goes through a number of connectors and most problems you get with now old Taitos is connectors.
                      I personally would rip out the "original wiring" and replace it with a brand new Jamma harness simply to get rid of all the potencial connection failures that you can spend hours on finding and fixing. From Jamma you can convert it to anything older to suit the board using an interface.

                      The tube, can't help burn in. Should be easy in the states to track one down. They only used Wells Gardener's in the states unlike out here were we used Kargas, Toshibas, Hytachis and Omrons plus a few others in much smaller numbers but no two are compatiable as in chassis to tube that I'm aware of anyway.

                      Might want to look at changing to a 20" from the 14". Pretty easy to mod changing as necessary but make sure you have a tube surround to suit prior to buying a 20" tube/chassis. It will be the hard part to get. Get a new glass cut and spray the glass in bitumous black paint or the paint will fall off over time to suit the now bigger tube surround.
                      We did heaps of these mods for customers as well as the large rectangular hole in the hinged player metal panel.

                      Unfortunately I spent most of my time working on genuine Taito 20" TTs so most of my parts are to suit 20" Taito TTs but some parts are compatiable so I may be able to help with some parts.

                      Good luck which ever way to go and I'll continue watching your post.


                      • #12
                        Thanks again for the replies, everyone!

                        John, yeah, it seems that the previous modder used the T connector. I don't see any signs of the G connector. What you suggest sounds smart -- to be less invasive and keep the original modded connector as-is and maybe try and make an adapter. Guess I'll have to look into that. I was hoping I could find a 36 contact finger board with screw terminals and then use that to wire-up a JAMMA connector and maybe try out some other JAMMA PCBs. Mr. Do is a title I like and seems like it was released in a TT/cocktail form factor. In the back of my mind, I'd like it to have the potential for it to be returned to a commercial environment, even though that probably would never happen.

                        Also, I don't like the notion of possessing bootleg hardware. I get that something this old it's not like Midway is going to be coming after me for possessing counterfeit hardware if it's not used commercially, but it's the principle of it. Though perhaps just possessing a genuine PCB even if it's not installed will make me feel better. :-) That and I guess bootlegs are a part of arcade history, especially considering Ms. Pac-Man started as an unauthorized hack. Alas, this seems like it was more nefarious. This cabinet seems like it did see commercial use with the bootleg hardware considering "Insert Coin" is burned into the CRT, unless 2+ owners was just of the mind to use it as a piggy bank, like I am!

                        Poidapoida, yeah, kind of wrestling with the notion that it's not all original by any stretch, certainly a bit of a derelict cabinet, yet it also has some unique history, so perhaps best left as-is, or at least go as least invasive as possible. I'm definitely not going to just MAME it as I like the notion of collectible, original hardware. When I speak of Raspberry Pi I'm referring to programming my own homebrew games, as what I lack in electronics skills I kind of make up with some game programming skills, at least in the 2D realm. A dream of mine is to cook-up my own 80s era arcade game and have it be in a commercial environment devouring quarters. Alas, with this unit and all the Ms. Pac-Man burn-in and history, yeah, perhaps done with another cabinet. I kind of want to build a cocktail/TT cabinet now that I have one in front of me and see how nice it's constructed. Plus, having the arcade actively accommodate adult beverages is a bonus!

                        Autosteve, thank for the suggestion on trying to contact Taito America. Didn't think of that. Worth a try. Yeah, fun with CRTs for sure. I come from a previous hobby of user-level tinkering with CRT projectors for home theater (as in dialing them in but not serious enough to pull off replacing a picture tube). I actually had this one CRT projector that had some not so good 16:9 burn-in and fired-up GNU GIMP, drew a feathered white pattern over the virgin CRT phosphor area and "counter-burned" that in. It actually worked! Though with a more unique burn pattern like a Ms. Pac-Man maze, yeah, that would be madness. Interesting I see a Hitachi label on the tube and an TOEI label on it as well. Working in IT I have a whole slew of LCD monitors just collecting dust, though I'm sure putting a LCD monitor in this is just as sacrilegious as MAMEing it.

                        I added all the pictures so far of the project. Undoubtedly super basic compared to actual arcade refurbishing, but still fun getting it spruced-up a bit! Thanks again for the comments! This weekend will hopefully be painting the custom-built coin box, finishing that up.

                        - Mike


                        • #13
                          Seems like I could get a JAMMA to Konami cabinet adapter...


                          ...a JAMMA to terminal adapter...


                          ...and a JAMMA harness...


                          ...and try wiring it up. The 36 contact "T" connector measures out at 67mm from center of far left to center of far right pin, and in comparing it with the picture of the adapter, it matches. 56 USD for all of this is kind of a bummer, but no soldering is nice, as is not butchering the existing wiring, which while not pristine, is functional.


                          • #14
                            Hi again Mike, by the way - have you looked under the glass on your machine? When I came to replacing the (cracked, not toughened and non original) glass which was on my Missile Command TT I found the original game instruction cards were still there. They just couldn't be seen as the entire glass had been sprayed black except for the CRT area. I haven't masked out my new glass at all yet, just bought a roll of black paper, carefully cut out the three areas and laid it on top of the table under the glass. I'll do it the proper way one day, when I find the courage...

                            Thanks, Autosteve for the hint about using bitumous paint to spray the glass, when I do.

                            Regards, John
                            more from John's Retro Workshop -


                            • #15
                              - just noticed your latest post Mike - I think it's time to brush up your soldering skills, well worth it in the long run and you can do simple repairs or make up any adaptor you can dream of cheaply and easily! Best Regards, John
                              more from John's Retro Workshop -


                              Users Viewing Topic: 0 members and 2 (guests)