Obliq Museum: Galaga Cocktail Lives Again

I grew up in a small town, Johnstown Colorado, along the Front Range in Northern Colorado.  We had one of those classic 2-block downtowns that you see on road trips!  On the far end of the downtown was an arcade.  If you ventured two blocks to the other side of downtown, there was another arcade.

I lived all the way on the other side of town; but every summer day I remember walking downtown and hitting the arcades!  So did many other kids my age and older.  This is the way we spent our summers that I’ll never forget!

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Fast forward about 15-20 years.  I end up with a Galaga cocktail of my own.  Procured from a closed mall arcade in southern Kansas.  Having it via MAME is cool and all, but nothing beats this Galaga!  I have hot-rodded it in the following ways:

  1. Rapid Fire
  2. High Score
  3. Ship Clock Tripler
Here are all the mod chips in my Galaga.  Notice the Z80s...multi-Z80 machine.  Awesome computing power!

Here are all the mod chips in my Galaga. Notice the Z80s…multi-Z80 machine. Awesome computing power!

This machine is amazing.  As fast as you can pound the button, it will fire.  The Clock Tripler makes the joystick control three times faster.  You can dodge enemy bullets and kamakazee with ease.  Challenging Levels are pretty simple to defeat.  The game gets really difficult still, and once in the high-20 level and above it is a showdown (at least with my skill; some could do it on the un-modified machines).

About 4 years ago my Galaga went bezerk (not Bezerker).  It was left on overnight and there was a lightning storm and in the morning it was dead.  Looked at the PSU and it had several components visibly fried.  I bought a Galaga replacement power supply PCB several years ago and it just showed the machine booting and then freezing.  No dice.  So assumed the worst; something on the Motherboard also got fried…

Here is the Galaga after the replacement CPU.  It was frozen; many of the colors were "twitching" so not completely frozen i guess.

Here is the Galaga after the replacement Power Supply board. It was frozen; many of the colors were “twitching” so not completely frozen I guess.

I bought a working PCB set including PSU recently and installed into the machine. Immediately I was playing Galaga again, but just the normal version, which is boring compared to my ultra-hyped out machine.  Knowing that the PSU was rock solid, I then put my original modded motherboard set back in and was playing my hot-rodded Galaga again.  I’ve been waiting for this day for a while.

Here are the Motherboards.  Notice the three connectors.

Here are the Motherboards. Notice the three connectors…very simple to change the PCBs out!  Ensure you note the polarity of these connectors; they are keyed on the PCB but not in the connector themselves so you can put it on backwards.  The power connectors (both) are keyed so no worries there…

Power Supply PCB.  Just two connectors on this one.

Power Supply PCB. Just two connectors on this one.

This is the funnest version of Galaga available that I’ve seen.  I forgot how tired my firing wrist becomes within just a single game.  There is a physical aspect of playing this game; part of the challenge of success over these lethal aliens!

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I now have my Galaga functioning again, which is worthy of me getting off of the computer blogging and playing again.  Cheers!

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Early Season Palmer Divide Lightning

Was sitting down at the computer after the kids were tucked in expecting to do some armchair chasing action with the upper air trough and severe weather digging into the plains states tonight, and started hearing some pellets hit the windows of the house–it was graupel coming down. Graupel is pellets of snow/ice that is much smaller than hail which is not unusual for this time of year. About ten minutes later the first bolt of lightning lit up the house!

Larkspur Colorado Lightning

One of the first bolts I caught, only about 8 or so bolts left in the storm before it was over…

I wasn’t prepared for this like I usually am during the monsoonal flow in late July/early August, so I jumped into high gear and grabbed the tripod and camera and got everything ready. Focus is always a problem with the DSLR but I pointed it at a neighbor’s houselight (I usually curse this light because it is on all night, every night of the year, and makes watching meteorite showers frustrating) but tonight it seemed to have a purpose to get me a good focus as I changed the lens to manual focus mode. As you may know focusing lightning can be very difficult!

I then jumped out on the porch hoping for some visible bolts not obstructed by the clouds and immediately the bolts were flying over head. Being on a porch with lightning this close is extremely dangerous (by definition overhead is very close) so I quickly put the camera on autopilot and headed back to the safety inside.

Larkspur Colorado Lightning

Mother Nature’s show lasted no more than 15 minutes and was very localized; as luck would have it many of the bolts were in the least obstructed view from my porch! Nice! Captured several good shots making me even more excited for this upcoming chase season!

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Crystal TV

Crystal TV

All Action!!! No Drama!!

 

Here’s your first source for Crystal TV!  All action with none of the drama!

I’m not sure how many of you like to watch excavations of crystals from the ground; but as an avid rockhound / picker I love to see crystals unearthed!!!  I also learn from seeing it done, so I have been seeking out likeminded folks doing likeminded things!

Here is my YouTube playlist of videos of folks digging crystals from the ground including my own videos!  If you have video(s) that should be included make sure you let me know!

Looking forward to a fun Rockhoudning Season!