After 7 fun years doing arcade enhancement kits and providing
technical help, I've decided to exit the arcade business.
I want to thank everybody for their continued support over
the years and hope you have enjoyed the kits I have
provided. Thank you!
My kits will continue to be available
from Steven Gregory at
and Mike Haaland at
Looking back, I never really had any grand plans of having
an arcade side business, it was just something that sort of
happened, and happened quickly, and with more success than
I would have ever imagined.
Here are some parting words, a little personal history, and some
details about continued product availability.
I grew up as a kid in Michigan playing pinball and arcade games starting
around the mid 1970's.
I spent most of my time at Pinball Petes in East Lansing which
by chance I was just lucky enough to visit again recently
and it got me reminiscing all over again.
In its prime there were several different Pinball Pete locations, including
my favorite which was just a short bike ride from home located in a tiny
little building which used to be an old H&R block located next
to the Coral Gables.
Money was tight during those years.
When I wasn't scrounging around outside for returnable beer and
pop bottles to be cashed in at Toms Party Store, I was begging the
the owners of Petes to let me clean the pinball glass in exchange
for free games (credits).
By 1980 I was busy at Michigan State University chasing girls, skipping class,
and doing whatever the minimum was to keep my athletic scholarship intact.
Extra time for playing arcade games had quickly evaporated in priority.
I finally graduated, moved 800 miles away and became part of the
full time work force and rarely ever played an arcade game again.
By the late 1990's I was again reacquainted
with arcade games as a close friend of mine got me hooked by taking
me to an auction in Winston Salem.
Like many of you, my first purchase was a Ms. Pacman.
It was in a beat-up cabinet, found on the next to last row,
and for dirt cheap.
The Ms. Pac title would surely help ease things with the wife.
Well, you all know you cannot own just one game, and in the next
few months the collection would continue to grow and I would
very slowly start to understand that there was more to collecting
than just the game inside and that such things as the condition,
beauty, and rarity of the cabinets actually mattered to some people.
As an embedded software engineer by trade (before I retired in
2005), it didn't take long before I became greatly interested
in how these games work and what might could be done to them.
The idea of making modifications to the original game code
or making simple hardware modifications perked a special interest
I had never had any real formal hardware training,
so the idea of designing a simple hardware circuit and laying
out a printed circuit board seemed like something fun to try
out as a hobby.
My job offered me access to lots of engineer type friends who were
more than happy to help me out once I mentioned old arcade games.
Pacman it seemed already had different enhancements for it,
speed up chips, maze variations, and the two-bit multi-kit.
For whatever reason, and I'm not totally sure why, I some how got
centered on Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Junior.
It might have been just because from a glance the boardsets looked
I really cant remember.
This is actually quite odd, because as a kid I rarely played
Donkey Kong and don't ever recall even playing Donkey Kong Junior.
So it was strange that my first venture into arcade enhancements
would be Double Donkey Kong.
Go figure! In fact I was so bad at these two games that I had to
have my friend come over and test it out. Attaining high scores
and testing subsequent levels was something that didn't come easy.
Well things moved fast and before I knew it there was less and
less time for the hobby part and the fun was slowly disappearing,
I never had any intention at that time of building thousands of kits.
I was mainly intrigued by and driven by the challenge, and I was enjoying
the end-to-end business learning experiences.
I was still gleaning a lot of personal satisfaction from helping others and
breathing new life into these old games for their owners.
While there was enjoyment on parts of it, other aspects seemed
just like any other job.
I continued to try and streamline my home production
such that I could keep a decent supply of kits on hand and
with enough encouragement I was able to introduce about one
new kit a year.
I continued always to provide prompt service and personal help
even though it was starting to impact to my other day to day work
and family responsibilities.
Unlike the other multigame kit vendor, I have and still have
high standards for how I believe customers and potential customers
should be treated and I have tried my best not to compromise on this.
But I can no longer offer my services at the same level anymore.
So now I find myself ready to move on. I no longer have the passion I
used to have for this business, my wife no longer supports it, and with
kids ages 8, 7, 5, and 2, every day there is less and less extra
time with all their extracurricular activities.
Its a time in their lives when they actually want to spend time
with their father and I want to absorb it for all I can.
So with this notice I bid farewell.
Again, I thank you for your support over the years.