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Thursday, December 2, 2010

NASA Phone

For those of you old enough to remember using a rotary phone this is an old North Electric payphone. I wanted to put a working payphone in the arcade but was very disappointed to learn that my current service did not support a rotary dial unit. I wasn't keen on the fact of hanging a phone on the wall that did nothing but loved the old school utilitarian look of the phone. I imagine it is similar to something you would have seen at a government facility such as NASA in the 1960's. Thus, with inspiration from another collector and some elbow grease I created the "NASA Phone." I wired in a playback module with a USB port so you can download various WAV or MP3 files. Of course, I put the sound bite of when Apollo 11 landed at the Sea of Tranquility (Tranquility Base) on July 20, 1969. Now when visiting the Tranquility Base Arcade you can actually hear the astronauts as they land on the moon!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I had been planning to add some LED features to the arcade and finally had a chance to do so earlier this month. Both doorways in Tranquility Base Arcade now feature custom lighting. I designed a custom cross section consisting of Plexiglas, white masonite, standard case molding and drop ceiling trim strips to make plain looking door jambs during the day turn into a spectacular light show when the arcade gets fired up. All components were custom fit including the LED strips. The lights are controlled via a wall mounted keypad. This allows for custom color mixtures, strobe lights, fades and more!

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Joust World Record!!!

Tranquility Base Arcade extends enthusiastic congratulations to John McAllister of Portland, Oregon who set the world record on Joust. McAllister, who played the game for over 53 hours straight, finished with a final score of 107,301,150. The mark eclipsed the previous record of 107,216,700, which was set by James Vollandt in 1985. In a great display of sportsmanship Vollandt joined a live streaming of the event to urge on and later congratulate McAllister on the new record.

Monday, September 13, 2010

1981 Atari Asteroids Deluxe

An Asteroids Deluxe has been added to Tranquility Base Arcade! This is the sixth and final game of the "time capsule games" I purchased a little over two years ago. The game was in storage since 1983 and the condition is simply amazing! Even though Asteroids Deluxe is considered to be a disappointing sequel to the smash hit Asteroids, it is a very fun and fast paced game...and most importantly...I am a HUGE fan of it! Asteroids Deluxe has been sent to the Repair Station for diagnosis.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tank Undergoing Restoration

The Atari/Kee Tank I recently acquired is being thoroughly gone through before it is subjected to the rigorous environment of the many arcade enthusiasts who frequent the Tranquility Base Arcade. Board repairs, monitor rejuvenation, cap kit, cleaning, tweaking have all been completed .Nothing is being left to chance. Here she is just after I installed the rebuilt Motorola XM 701 monitor. Tank is almost ready for battle!

Houston...We Are Fixing Problems Here...

The Tranquility Base Arcade has recently completed another upgrade to the onsite Repair Station. As the collection grows and the arcade draws more visitors the amount of repairs necessary to keep the games running grows as well. All board repairs, monitor rebuilds, restorations, etc. are performed by yours truly. Thus, whenever I have the opportunity to purchase a piece of equipment to help me with these repairs I jump at the chance. Recently, I picked up a vintage B&K 467 Analyzer/Rejuvenator and an HP 10529A Logic Comparator. Both pieces of equipment were immediately put to use. If you have a vintage arcade collection these two items are a must have!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Go For Landing!

What in the world is going on at Tranquility Base Arcade? Houston, are extra games landing? Some people say the original lineup is always the best but in the case of Tranquility Base Arcade the lineup keeps getting better and better! A home use only Sprint 2 along with an excellent condition Asteroids Deluxe and a Kee Tank have been unable to stay in orbit and have been pulled in. How is extra room being created? I have no idea but I hope the patrons of Tranquility Base Arcade like the new additions!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

1976 Atari Sprint 2

I recently acquired a HUO 1976 Atari Sprint 2. Sprint 2 was my favorite game as a kid so when I began collecting arcade games I started to search for one. Over the years I found several of them but they usually were in poor condition so I was extremely pleased to find such a nice example. This particular game was purchased new along with several others by a wealthy businessman for his home game room. Due to the current poor economic conditions, the gentlemen liquidated some of his assets, which included the contents of his now vintage game room. The game appears to
have seen very little use and is in near mint condition. Sprint 2
is historically important, as it is the first driving game to use a microprocessor. The game does not work and has been sent to
the Repair Station for diagnosis.

Monday, June 7, 2010

1974 Atari Tank

In a great act of “Arcade Friendship” Steve MacDonald drove this Tank game all the way from Denver, Colorado to Detroit, Michigan which is believed to be around 8,000,000 miles one way! Tank is historically important as it is the first arcade game to use ROM. This particular example, which appears to have been last incensed in Texas in 1978, is in outstanding condition thus making it a true collector’s gem. The Tranquility Base Arcade will be purposely rearranged to make a special spot for this very special game.
“Tanks” again Steve!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Pac-Man!

Pac-Man, the most successful video game ever, turns 30 years old this week. The game, which was designed by Namco in Japan and liscensed in the United States by Midway, sold over 100,00 units and generated over one billion dollars - all in quarters! The game became so popular it spawned everything from a breakfast cereal to a Saturday morning cartoon to a hit song. The Tranquility Base Arcade is proud to have a Pac-Man game in its collection. The game, acquired from the daughter of the original owner has just over 8,000 plays and after 30 years remains in mint condition.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


The floor installation is complete! I selected a pattern similar to "diamond plate" in order to give the room an industrial look. The dark color will also hide dust and dirt and make cleaning a snap! Since most bars have a TV and/or arcades games, I hung a 25" flat screen TV in the corner and added a Chexx hockey.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sand The Floor

I received the tile and it is ready to be installed but first I had to sand the floor. Over the years the floor had been painted several times. I didn't want to strip the paint chemically so I rented a square buff sander. They sure made some tough paint in the past as I went through four sheets of 20 grit paper! Once I finished sanding, the floor was washed with TSP - a commercial heavy duty cleaner/degreaser. I will let the floor dry a few days before I start to lay the tile.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Asteroids World Record!!!

Tranquility Base Arcade extends enthusiastic congratulations to John McAllister of Portland, Oregon who set the world record in Asteroids. McAllister, who played the game for over 57 hours straight, finished with a final score of 41,338,740. The mark narrowly eclipsed the previous record of 41,336,440 which was set by the late Scott Safran in 1982. The former record, one of the most venerable in video gaming history, had stood for 27 years!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Look Up!

I installed the ceiling this past week. I used the same ceiling as I did in the other two rooms in order to give everything a uniform look. The ceiling took just a few hours to complete. I remembered all the time savers from the earlier ceiling installations and they proved to be a big help. I ordered the floor and hope to receive it next week!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I have completed the chair rail molding as well as the trim around the doorway, closet and electrical panel. All nails have been patched and painted over. The ceiling will be installed next.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Paintin' The Blues

Two coats of paint have been applied and the room is starting to take shape. I used the same color blue that was used in the other two rooms. The addition of chair rail molding along with trim work around the doorways and electrical panel is next.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Primed And Ready

Ready for paint that is! The mud and tape has been completed. The walls were sanded to make everything smooth and then the primer was applied. The next step is to get some color on the walls.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I finished the wiring and put up the drywall. I am doing 1/2 sheets due to the difficulty of carrying a full sheet of drywall down my tight stairway. I'll cover the seam with chair rail molding just like in the other rooms. Mud and tape is next then on to the primer!

Monday, March 1, 2010

We've Been Framed!

Well not really but the walls have been! All the studs are up and the insulation is in place on the exterior wall. Some of the wiring has also been installed. Once the wiring is complete, the drywall will be put up next.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pardon Our Dust!

The former downstairs laundry room is no longer needed which opens up this small but interesting space to Tranquility Base Arcade. We are pleased to announce that ground has been broken for the new lounge! Plans are to have a wet bar, Chexx "Bubble" Hockey game, flat screen TV as well as some top secret LED lighting effects. Demolition is complete, wiring is in place and we are in the process of framing and drywall. Please stay tuned as the transformation continues!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

1980 Midway Rally-X

I pulled Rally-X out of storage and sent it to the Repair Station. Rally-X was displayed at the 1980 Amusement Machine Operators of America show alongside Defender, Pac-Man and Battlezone. As unbelievable as it seems now, Rally-X was thought to be the hit among the four games! Unfortunately, Rally-X became a little more than a footnote in arcade history and is best remembered for the game’s distinctive soundtrack. To make room for Rally-X, Kangaroo was taken out of the current rotation moved to the Annex. The game has not been turned on in about 25 years so a thorough inspection is required.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The First And The Best

After a difficult and lengthy repair job, I have finally fixed Defender. Defender is Williams best selling arcade game and is widely regarded as one of the most popular video games ever. In stark contrast is Williams first video game, a long forgotten Pong clone named Paddle-Ball. Harry Williams, the founder of the Williams Manufacturing Company was best known for inventing the “tilt” mechanism for pinball machines. I thought it would be an interesting tribute to Harry to stand The First next to The Best.