Mini Arcade

Completed Project

With most simple games going to touchscreen these days, I wanted to capture the thrill of an arcade cabinet, while remaining portable. The CRT screen, amplifier,CRT and circuit and power supply are all recycled from a karaoke machine. This means it gets loud! Experience every beat on Pac-Man. I modified the karaoke circuit to accept any NTSC input, so all plug-n-play TV games are compatible. No need for batteries as there is a 6 volt power supply onboard! Simply plug the unit into a wall outlet and play.

Finish wood RightThe cabinet is recycled wood. The bezel around the screen is actually cut out of the karaoke machine. Originally, the TV game controller would just sit in place. I later screwed it to the wood for stability.

I love the heft of this project. Thanks to the solid wood and large speaker, it feels solid. No wimpy thin screens to break here.

Finish ElectronicsThis was a fun project to build. Most of the challenge was getting all the circuitry to fit in the tiny space. Analog circuitry is very forgiving, and has a nice look and sound to it.

Younger Brother PlayingMy brother playing Rally – X

5 thoughts on “Mini Arcade

    1. Most home karaoke machines are quite cheaply built. The display circuit already accepts a NTSC signal from the video chip. Usually there is a video out for connecting the machine to your TV, so it’s easy to use the NTSC standard throughout the machine. The key is finding the connection between any video output chips and the TV display circuit. Every karaoke machine I’ve taken apart has the video chips (for making the text and whatnot) on a smaller board, maybe even below the disc drive. The chips will be blobs or flat with lots of pins. Sometimes the wires leaving the board are labeled near their connections. Look for any that say “video”, “vout”, “v”, etc. Try cutting this wire and putting your NTSC signal on the side going to the TV display board (the one wired up to the CRT picture tube). Basically, just trace wires and see what they go to. No electrical modification was needed on my karaoke to accept NTSC. Feel free to ask more questions!

    1. Interesting, you may have to adjust the contrast, brightness, and v-hold knobs. Usually these are user accessible on the back, but they may be mounted on the board.
      If you’d like, send me a picture of your screen with the video showing, and perhaps a picture of the circuit. I can’t promise a fast response, but I’ll try to help.
      warner ( at) robowarner (dot) com

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