1. Not old. Vintage. :)

Bally Arcade (Montgomery-Ward edition) full restore

Discussion in 'SIG: 8-Bit Hardware' started by M.D.Baker, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine Captain

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    Ha ha, I knew your viewpoint on finding a woman, so was just being a tad of a dickhead :)

    You grab whatever goodies you can, while you can..As long as you enjoy what you do, then it's the best thing for you.

    Just rejigged my console stand so I can plug everything in and actually easily use it. Managed to lose my Xbox RGB scart lead in all this, one on the way. When I didn't want it, it was the first lead I found in every spot going, now I want it, gone.. Pseuds law.
     
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  2. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    That is the way it goes. My brother likes to joke that it is always in the last place you look, but seriously I always come across stuff I was looking for last week or last month while looking for something currently, which I don't find. I have started taking advantage and not just leaving the stuff where I found it, but getting it more organized in drawers and bins with labels.

    Yeah, I some times forget I've practically shared my entire life history with you guys, at least in some areas. And that I would refer to myself as a "confirmed bachelor" except for the Victorian society connotations as to leave wiggle room for doubt when referring to a homosexual man, who would definitely have risked imprisonment at the time! And I am definitely heterosexual and not in denial.;) And would be happily open about it with you lot, if I was gay.
     
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  3. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

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    Matt, I have a friend who is exactly the same, he's had his fill with women messing him around, and he prefers life without complications. The last two women he had living with him both tried to make off with the house and bank account. Who would blame anyone for not wanting that crap. Has he started stroking my leg and asking me to shower with him, no.. He's just taking his life in a relaxed way.

    And yeah, I'm opened up about parts of my life that have hurt, but it showed I trusted people with the info..

    And yes, I also find stuff I don't want and do like you do and put in a proper place but still lose 100 and 1 things daily :)
     
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  4. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

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  5. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

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    I have added more to the blog in various areas, mostly at the end where I added the tape recorder restoration part. Link above.
     
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  6. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

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  7. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

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    Just a few pictures of my Bally professional Arcade in it's evolution into a computer. I have a custom mechanical 24-key keyboard I ordered and made a case for it with simulated walnut like the monitor, cassette recorder and Bally itself, and I also have a real walnut wood case and am awaiting the arrival of a custom keyboard (shown simulated in pictures) to go with it. I am wiring up my own keyboard/keypad matrix's to work with the Bally and it's keypad interface. All will be added to the blog eventually.

    The keypad has so many labels because it covers the layouts for the Machine Language Manager (labeled in white text with black background and red labels with black text), Bally Basic numeric keypad (labeled in green, got compliment full keyboard) and the built-in calculator keypad layout identical to the original keypad on the Bally (white labels with black text)

    It was $85 for that custom real walnut keyboard case! Less custom keyboard (about the same price) so went with faux/simulated walnut on the recorder, TV/monitor and keypad case. It will all be added, with details to the blog on AA eventually (linked in a post above).

    20220421_203319.jpg 20220421_193125.jpg 20220421_193217.jpg 20220421_193139.jpg
     
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  8. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    I've been busy with my work season well underway, and the little free time I've been posting in a Bally Astrocade community since that's what I'm working on, atm, hence my ghostly presence around here of late. Plus, not much going on from other here, so nothing to reply to either...I hope all are well and are just busy like me!
     
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  9. by Andy Barr
    Andy Barr

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    Lovely to hear from you, Matt. Great work there on all the Bally Pro brilliance - you've done the old gal proud. What a set-up which just oozes 70s retro juices. I sincerely hope your mum's comfortable and you are all managing to keep things going, keep spirits up and work keeps you occupied and the dollars coming in etc. I'm just over a bad bout of Covid and a/w my heart pacemaker op date but other than that, we've all got to be grateful for our semblances of health, the fact we've got loving families and great friends around us, a roof over our heads/food on us plates - and no desperate dictator smashing the shit out of our communities/homes. Keep safe, peeps and keep smiling through these challenging times.
     
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  10. by Andy Barr
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    Apologies in advance if these ads have been posted up already but I just "stumbled upon" them and thought of you, Matt. They're not very large/detailed images but they might be useful to print out/enlarge and display alongside this beauty and it's rejuvenated peripherals?



    bally1.jpg
    bally2.jpg

    bally3.jpg
     
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  11. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    Hello @Andy Barr ! I read your post above, liked it and saved the images you posted, but I didn't have the time for a proper reply.

    I want to thank you for those ad images. Two of them, if not all three I haven't seen before. I'm not sure about the first one. But I am most excited about the Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog ad, which is of course my branded model; The Montgomery Ward Bally Arcade. Released similarly to what Sears did with the Atari VCS in their store version Sears Video Arcade and the cartridge games labeled under the Sears Tele-games brand.

    Anyway, that's not the part that got me so excited. The Bally pictured in the ad is an unreleased model with unique colouring to any other Bally, including my released version of the M-W Bally Arcade. Though the red reset button and red Bally cassette cart release mechanism were seen in other revisions or models of the Bally Arcade/Astrocade, the eject button was always black with gold lettering on every model but the one shown in that Christmas catalog ad, which appears to be grey.

    But the most drastic difference is the Bally's face plate. With a tan coloured outer trim and wood grain panel surrounding the keypad and cartridge port, never seen in a released model. I find that a shame, as I think it's arguably the best looking version I've seen, including the all-white Bally Library Computer editions.

    With all the wood grain matching peripherals and TV I've assembled to match the Bally I have already, I just might custom paint it and give it the wood grain panel to match! Sort of a homage to what could have been, like my white Atari 800CX system to the vaporware design of the IBM 'Atari' PC.

    Thanks again!
     
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  12. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    Now that I've thanked Andy and covered the images he posted, it's time for a pictorial update of my Bally.

    The parts for my custom keyboard, to go with the real walnut wood keyboard case have started trickling in. All from different vendors as I searched for exactly what I wanted from several.

    Yesterday the metal keyboard chassis arrived. It'll make a nice rigid backing to hold the keys. Though once the wiring harness matrix is installed I will be reinforcing it with some more stand-offs. Normally there wood be another backing to the metal chassis to better support the keys, but I'll need room to run my rat's nest of wiring. As you can see, it's a perfect fit and the screw stand-offs all match up properly to the spots made for them on the metal chassis.

    20220511_182828.jpg

    Today I received the red and black custom key caps, with translucent lettering for LED back lighting, which I don't know if I'll do or not. I can see the text in real life well enough even if it doesn't show in pictures very well. And my keypad is opaque and so I couldn't do a proper back lighting on it to match.

    I set up the key caps how they will be when the keys are installed. I'm still waiting for the Cherry keys to arrive, and the support parts for the larger keys and the space bar. Each coming from different vendors as well.

    20220512_164940.jpg 20220512_165752.jpg 20220512_204511.jpg
     
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  13. by Andy Barr
    Andy Barr

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    Mate,
    I am so so impressed with the way this Bally baby gets better and better and better.
    You're attention to detail, care and skills have transformed this grand old machine back from virtual obscurity to complete love, appreciation and putting her top of the pile in terms of making her look GREATER THAN EVER!
    So glad to hear that some of those ads have ticked the box too and given you fresh impetus with ideas and finishing schemes etc.
    It's amazing what you stumble upon online and before you started this thread, Matt, I'd never even heard of this amazing little wonder.
    Long may you enjoy this hobby of ours and do the great things you do that brighten all our days and make us want to carry on enthusing about retro-computing and seeing what we can get up to next to improve something or another we've got kicking around in a dusty corner somewhere in need of a little TLC etc...
    Cheers, Matt.
    Keep the superb project images and updates coming - they are much appreciated on the forum.
     
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  14. nysavant

    nysavant Chief Officer

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    Just saw this posted on YouTube yesterday

     
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  15. M.D.Baker

    M.D.Baker Chief Officer

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    There are plenty of instructions and documentation for upgrading DIY Z-Grass to a full 64K and the high-res graphics the video chip is capable of too, and use the Machine Language or Z-GRASS languages with it too. But that is a large project to undertake when I have so many on different burners now, and I'm not sure how fond I will become of the Bally, so I decided to hold off on that upgrade for a while.

    Instead buying a 32K ram expansion for that parallel port hidden behind the plastic in the video and with the Bally BASIC and Machine Language Manager cassettes I have a full-fledged computer but with only medium-res graphics. Though the built-in keypad is a joke to use for computing, hence the real keypad and keyboard I'm making myself based off of old DIY instructions.
     
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