Monday, 16 April 2018

More inspiration!

Wow, hot on the heals of the Vect-Rex Vectrex arcade cabinet by "Guys, Games and beers", Jason Kopp has also  built a Vectrex based  full arcade upright and this one uses a colour vector monitor!

Of course Vectrex games were never designed from the beginning to have colour  other than through pseudo colour using coloured overlays. However, Jason as built some electronics that generates different colours on a colour Vector monitor  according to Vectrex brightness. As a result some of the standard Vectrex  games already look pretty good as a result of the colour mod and with no change to the program code. New home brews should be able to take advantage of the relatively simple programming (through change in Vector brightness) required to generate colour to make even more impressive colour displays.

For those lucky ones who attended the Midwest Gaming Classic trade show, Milwaukee, USA,  this weekend gone, they got to see and play  both this and the Vect-Rex.

The bar has been set!

Sunday, 1 April 2018

I’ve just seen it was February 2014 that I made my last blog entry!  The Vec-Cab reached 65% completion and then other projects became more interesting.

But it’s amazing how priorities can change because of a chance encounter, and as such I now officially re-open this blog to continue documenting my endeavours for creating an upright Vectrex cabinet J

The chance encounter was seeing the video from the collective known as "Guys, Games and Beer". They have developed a full size Vectrex upright cabinet with a 19 inch monitor and it looks beautiful. 

“Guys, Games and Beer” informed  that they were inspired by the work of Jason Kopp aka Arcade Jason.
In the last quarter of last year Jason posted a couple of  YouTube videos where he had taken a 19 and 23 inch vector arcade monitors and converted them for use with the Vectrex. At the time I  was also captivated by the thought of a 19 inch monitor for displaying Vectrex games and purchased a spare monitor Jason had found end of last year. This monitor would be too big (wide) to fit in my Vec-Cab, but already in my mind were thoughts about a bigger sister cabinet to house this monitor.

Unfortunately, the courier(s) had been rather unkind to the package USA to UK travels and I received a half open box from the post office and a letter saying the delivery had been damaged. Early attempts at getting a  correct picture were not successful. 

The vector beam was shown at full brightness and I could not turn it down – this meant that all the vector drawing was visible.  This project is on hold until I have more dialogue with Jason - but as and when there is a postive update I will report here.

Anyway, back to the “Guys, Games and Beer” system which they call Vect-Rex. They took an old cabinet and mounted in it a 19 inch monitor in vertical orientation linked to a Vectrex with multi-cart. Vect-Rex is a standard size cabinet so they could fit a two player control panel.

The most ingenious thing about the Vect-Rex cabinet is how the overlays are changed according to the game being played. This is achieved by a scrolling overlay. Basically, a number of enlarged overlays have been printed on a roll of transparent sheet. Through markings on the sheet and use of a light sensing sensor, the roll is advanced in the upward or downward direction on motorised rollers. A button corresponding to up or down needs to be pressed to advance the roll one overlay at a time. 

Thanks "Guys, Games and Beer", you’ve given me a push to continue with my VecCab developments.