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My Konami Windy 29" cabinet.
I've had several JAMMA cabinets over the years.  Most were converted classics with black latex sides with burned in 19" monitors and horrible control panels.  I did have a nice 25" Dynamo cabinet that I held onto for quite awhile but it, too, was eventually sold.  Several years ago, I came across a site that had these really cool looking Japanese JAMMA cabinets with 25" monitors that I really liked.  At the time I was about maxed out on my games-to-available-space ratio, so I didn't follow through and buy one and I've regretted it quite a bit over the years.  Time passed by and my interest in game collecting waned.  I got back into cars and soon money that used to go towards games was slowly funneled into the toys for the car.  Fast forward 5 or maybe 6 years and I've come full circle.  The car finds most of it's days under wraps in the garage and I have started to buy games again. 

This time around, I was determined to get one of those neat JAMMA machines.  Research soon started and I initially wanted to buy a Taito Egret 29" cabinet as it was just super cool looking and the monitor was able to be easily rotated.  No need to have to have two JAMMA cabinets, one for vertical and the other for horizontal!  YIPPIE!  My desire for an Egret cabinet was further ignited when I came across Josh McCormick's excellent Egret site here.  I quickly found the main source for these cabinets, Arcade Infinity in California, and fired off an email asking for pics of what was available.  Unfortunately, the Egret cabinets that they had on hand wouldn't cut it for me as the condition of them was less than desired.  I saw another cabinet in the background of one of the Egret pics they sent that turned out to be the cabinet that is pictured to the left, a Konami Windy 29" JAMMA cabinet. 

I was undecided if I wanted to hold out for a nice Egret to show up or to pursue the Windy cabinet, so I requested additional pics of the Windy cabinet and it looked to be very much complete and in nice shape.  It was a 2 player cabinet with the full six buttons per player, which is what I was after (it's not much fun playing Mortal Kombat without the lower three buttons!)  Condition was verified and price as agreed upon.  Payment was then rushed off and 2 weeks later, the game was at the local shipping agent waiting to be picked up.  When I went to get the game, I wasn't sure how big it really was.  The seller stated that it was 36x36x68" and the shipping company stated that it was 36x36x50", so I trusted the shipping company and went outside to the driveway to measure up my wife's 2002 Honda CRV.  If the game was truly 50", the game would fit in the back, except that because of the way that the rear seats fold downward, they would take up much needed space.  There was one option if I were to avoid getting a trailer for my car and 20 minutes later, the rear seats were unbolted and sitting in the garage.  The game was shipped via Stevens Air and it arrived bolted and strapped to a pallet.  It was wrapped completely in bubblewrap, surrounded then in cardboard and then finally sealed in shrink wrap.  The packing was dinged up a bit, but the cabinet arrived intact.  The loading dock guy was cool and helped me unbolt the cabinet from the pallet and the game easily slid into the CRV on it's back.  The shipping tab of $156 was paid (not a bad price considering the game was shipped from California to Pennsylvania) and I was off.


 
 
 
The game arrived sporting only the top 3 buttons installed on each side.  The lower button holes were already there, but were plugged and not in use.  I knew this when I bought the machine, so I ordered additional buttons from Arcade Infinity at a cost of $5 each at the time of purchase.  These Japanese games utilize large 30mm buttons from a company called Sanwa in Japan.  At the time I was unable to find a North American source for these buttons and all of the overseas dealers wanted you to place a ridiculous and expensive minimum order, so I closed my eyes and 'happily' forked out the extra $30 and called it a day.  I have since located a source for new Sanwa buttons - Himura Amusements.  They have the large 30mm buttons in five colors and the smaller 24mm "start" buttons in two.  Prices are cheaper than Arcade Infinity, at $3 each, and they were quick to reply to emails and shipping/packing was superb. 

To access the wiring for the controls, I had to first open up the enclosure.  The control panel is locked into place with two coindoor-style locks that are mounted on the underneath of the control panel.  Unlatching these allows the top panel to open outward and permits access to the control wiring, the monitor adjustment panel, and also access to the monitor bezel/facia.  I wasn't aware of this at the time, but the Sanwa joysticks are adjustable from 4-way to 8-way with the simple twist of a part of the joystick base.  This is great in that Pac-Man wasn't all that easy to maneuver using the joystick in 8-way mode.  Once the joystick was switched to 4-way, the game controls as normal.  I put together a little "how to" page to show how this is done.  The control panel "insert", that is, the portion that has the graphics and the controls, can unbolt allowing control panels with different controls or layouts to be easily swapped in/out.  The panel that came with my machine, strangely enough, is from a Sega BLAST CITY cabinet.  I have also scanned most of the manual and placed the images that are helpful on this page


The hinged control panel and what's a Sega overlay doing on my Konami cabinet? 

 

 


Monitor access as well as the monitor controls. 
The monitor is a 29" monster.  It's a dual scan monitor capable of displaying standard 14khz as well as "medium res" 24khz.  This is done via a plug swap on the monitor board.

Also worth noting is that the monitor can be rotated from horizontal to vertical, but it's not quite as simple do move as the monitor that's in the Taito Egret cabinet.  The Taito Egret monitor is mounted in a chassis that sits in a groove and can be freely spun in place by removing the four corner securing screws.  This is great except that the monitor has a limited swing range and the it can only move from vertical to horizontal within this 90 degree range.  Some PCBs allow a quick fix for this and have either a DIP switch or software adjustable "flip" screen feature that allows the screen image to rotate to a playable view.  An example of this would be if you were plugging in a PCB that required a vertical monitor.  You rotate the monitor to vertical and power up.  The image on the screen is upside down!  Not an issue, just pull out the switch settings and find the flip screen DIP and you're home free.  There are exceptions to this though - Namco's "Classics" PCBs, for example, can't play in the Egret as there is no flip adjustment and the game displays upside down. 

The Windy monitor is simply held in place with four screws and you then have to pull the entire chassis out of the game and rotate to the desired direction - no free spinning chassis here unfortunately.  This can be tricky as the monitor weighs a bundle and it's also hard on your lower back as you're leaning over the control panel to get to the monitor and you don't have a free arm to use as leverage.  The benefit though is that the monitor can be rotated in any direction, so there is no issues with having to flip the screen images.  I wasn't aware of this at the time of purchase, but the monitor is adjustable between standard and medium resolution.  While I haven't switched out of standard mode yet, the manual included a nice drawing clearly showing how this is done - check it out on the left. 

Anyhow, to get to the monitor, the control panel needs to be opened.  Then there are 3 screws holding the front fascia of the monitor surround in place.  Unbolt these and the front monitor surround opens upward like a hatchback on a car.  You then undo the 4 screws holding in the monitor chassis, grab the monitor chassis handles and pull the entire monitor outward and rotate as desired.  Place the monitor back into the game and bolt it back in.  The black monitor bezel needs to next be rotated around and there are several screws holding that into the front surround - see the drawings on the left.  When done, close the fascia and bolt it back down.  Close up the control panel, lock it in place, and it's time to play!  The monitor control panel is located inside of the control panel.

 


 
 

The top left photo shows the rear of the cabinet - note the center access panel and the power panel on the bottom right.  The Bob Roberts modular "kick" harness can be seen dangling in the bottom photo as can the service switches.  The top right photo shows the cabinet side of the kick harness plugged into the Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 end of the harness.  The top section stays in the cabinet and the lower section stays with the PCB.
On the lower left section of the front of the cabinet, there three access panel doors.  Opening the large one on the left (see photo on the left) allows access to the PCB mounting base and JAMMA wiring connector, the test switch (top red button on the left), a credit button (top red button on the right), and the monitor degaussing button (lower red button).  There is also a power switch, a power cord outlet as well as an audio amp and volume adjustment knob in this cavity.  I do believe that the amp and volume knob are only used on certain Konami games as the harness is unconnected, and yet I still have sound (volume is controlled on the PCB or via software adjustments).  The top right door is where the coin mechanism is and under that is the coin box and the counter - this cabinet has less than 9000 games on it. 

There is one last access panel, and that is on the rear of the machine.  Opening this allows somewhat cramped access to the monitor PCB.  Also on the rear is another power switch and a holder for the power cord. The cabinet came already fully JAMMA "plus" wired, but the connectors that they use in Japan are different than what I am used to (AMP/Molex) here in North America.  I am sure that if I were to really search, I would be able to find out where to get the proper connectors, but it wasn't that important to me in the end.  Even so, I didn't want to hack and slash my cabinet wiring all up, so I opted to remove the included "kick" harness entirely and rewire this section with a Bob Roberts modular JAMMA "plus" harness.  This method allowed me to keep my cabinet unhacked sans two inline wire taps for my ground wire loop and it also allows me to swap in PCBs that utilize special "kick" harnesses (SF2/MK2/MK3/CPS2) quite easily and they are quite affordable. A complete scan of the schematics for the cabinet can be found here. A complete zipped copy of the manual can be downloaded here (note 11.4MB).

 


 
The Windy cabinet is a fantastic addition to almost any home arcade.  The small foot print is very accomodating.  The low control panel makes the game easily accessable to young children.  The dual resolution rotatable 29" monitor is large, crisp, and displayes very nice colors.  Another added bonus is the switchable 4/8-way Sanwa joysticks and the fully populated six button control panel.  The only cons to the cabinet for me personally is the lack of a Egret-style spinning monitor chassis.  I can live without the Egret cupholders.  These cabinets are the bargain of the year - grab one - you'll not regret it.   :)

 
 
     
 
 
 
 
       

 


 

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