T-5 weeks and counting!

Oh the ticking clock – she saves time for no-one…

The US reveal at the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo in Atlanta is a short five (5!!!) weeks away and the time is counting down fast.  We’re steadily working on the cabinet restoration at this time and will feature the entire restoration process after the reveal is concluded – and we’ve got more time available! There’s been lots of interest in the cabinet being used, the internals and how Sky Skipper is going to be wired up and playing, so to help answer a few of those questions, we’ve listed a few details (and the obligatory ‘before’ pic) to tide you over until the big event – or at least next week…

  • Cabinet(s) – Nintendo VS. Unisystem cabinet with some Popeye donated/reference internals.
  • Japan made, so plywood to match the original prototype Sky Skipper cabinets.
  • Color is remaining blue.
  • Unexpected ‘Inside’ BONUS – found three populated (all working) Vs. PCBs in the cage.  They were loaded with the following:
    • Super Mario Bros / blank
    • Pinball / blank
    • Excitebike / Duck Hunt
  • Outside BONUS – game came with two populated (and working) Vs. PCBs, loaded with the following:
    • Top Gun (daughtercard) / blank
    • Gunfight / blank
  • Cabinet has a fair amount of nicks, cuts, scrapes and a few pretty deep gouges along with needing some corners repaired.  It is probably hard to tell it from the picture, but the Unisystem cabinet is actually fairly rough.  I need this baby to be completely pristine, so it is undergoing a total transformation… more on that process and the end result to follow in the build log (link forthcoming).
  • Monitor is dim, has burn and could really use a cap kit.  I’m planning on swapping in a burn-free Sanyo 20-EZ (Popeye) in place of the current monitor. 


The Nintendo Vs. Unisystem that is finding a new lease on life… The Popeye that is helping to make the internals of the game a possibility Wonder Twin Powers Activate (or something like that…)

A few notes of interest…

  • I don’t feel so bad using a Vs. upright, as it is a perfect donor and it wasn’t leading much of a distinguished life to this point.  Fortunately, I do have a really-nice red tent, so it doesn’t feel like a huge loss to phoenix a ‘faceless’ Unisystem for Sky Skipper. 
  • Much of the Vs. wiring (and the power supply) are of no use for Sky Skipper, so I have to turn to my Popeye for help there.  This is a case where I’m literally having to combine bits of both games into one final game.  Fortunately, I have some spare Popeye harnesses I can use so it’s not a total rip/replace job. I’ll find enough pieces and parts later on to put Popeye back together, but for now, both it and the Unisystem are taking one for the team.
  • The control panel harness has to be wired up to accept the additional button and I’m still researching the proper joystick to use for the game.

More to follow in a T-4 update next week!

Author: Whitney Roberts

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