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My Christmas haul: A Sega Genesis kiosk & games! (RESTORED!)


billybob884
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EDIT: See my post below for pictures of the finished restoration!

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I just added this beautiful Sega Genesis store kiosk to my collection! This style of kiosk was sold by Kidzpace (the frame was reused for several different systems), and this dark cobalt colored variant typically comes with a white "Sega Sports" poster as the front artwork. From what I've seen, they don't usually come with the DS-16 cartridge switcher, so it's possible this unit was custom ordered or modified sometime later (DS-16's were supposedly made available for sale to retailers to upgrade their already-owned kiosks).

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Picked this beauty up off craigslist just a week ago and it's in good shape all things considered, surprisingly-so given the conditions it's been kept in. The seller unfortunately wasn't a collector or enthusiast; he only picked it up from a video store that had gone out of business 20-odd years ago as a toy for his children, and after they grew up and moved out it spent the next few years languishing in an outdoor storage shed. Now I'm working to restore it!

It definitely needs some love, but the essentials are in good condition. When I went to get it, it was absolutely covered in caked-on dust and grime, the "Sonic" art was stained and water damaged, the "Sega" marque was yellowed from the sun, and the controller mount was nowhere to be found. But despite all that, the plastic and paint don't have any notable cracks, scratches, or other damage (other than very light wear -- it must not have been a popular video store 馃槒).

Amazingly, and probably unbeknownst to the seller, tucked behind the displayed "Sonic" artwork was the original "Sega Sports" art, and it's in mint condition!

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The missing controller mount will be the toughest piece to restore; but fortunately there's a kiosk at a retro game store somewhat nearby that I can visit to model my replacement off of. I've made some paper models of how the original mount wraps around the controller, and I'm going to try to cut the shape from a steel plate.

As for the rest of the electronics..., the only piece worth keeping is the DS-16 (and begrudgingly the case light, as it's riveted in place). The switcher didn't work at first, which was disheartening, but it saved me a hundred off the list price. I was eventually able to repair it after noticing the flex in the expansion port's connector, it just needed a solder reflow (and a good cleaning).

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The Genesis is a Model 2 VA0 (which has pretty bad audio and video output as far as model 2's go), so I'll replace that with an s-video modded VA3 (despite HDG model 1's having proven higher-quality audio/video, I'm sentimental for the model 2). The TV only has RF input (and a bit of burn-in, it was made in 1987 after-all...) so I'll replace that with a newer Svideo-capable monitor I have on the way (it'll also match the kiosk better as it doesn't have the garish faux wood appearance). The original speakers are completely shot - the cone on one is damaged, and the other outputs a horrid static noise. In addition to replacing those, it turns out the original audio amplifier circuit board only takes mono input despite having a chip capable of stereo output, so I'll replace that with a stereo-capable one (not technically historically accurate, but I'll live with it).

I'll add progress pictures as I go!

Edited by billybob884
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  • 1 month later...

After on and off work over the last two months, it's finally complete! (or at least, for now it is)

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Shout out to all the support and comments from @NES CONNOISSEUR, @dyer, @Ghost Soldier, @Sign Collector Guy, @SilverspoonGaming, @drxandy, @portabello, and others!

I could write a small novel on all the work I had to do here, but to summarize,

- I completely disassembled the frame (as much as I could, parts were welded) and scrubbed it inside and out (my god, the dirt and grime...),

- I replaced the Genesis*, TV**, controller, audio amplifier (the original did work, but it was mono audio, so I found a stereo-capable amp), and the fluorescent bulb

- I handmade a replacement controller mounting bracket (which was missing) from sheet-steel and covered it in plastidip/spray gloss

- I repaired the expansion port connector on the DS-16 (had some bad solder joints, presumably from being flexed when connected/disconnected)

- Fabricated the rear locking compartment door (which was missing)

- Modified the new power strip with an in-line power switch, so you can turn it on/off without having to unplug it (or daisy-chain power strips)

- I also attempted to polish the blue plastic sheet behind the TV using 2 parts of a 3-step plastic polish (Novus 1 & 2), but didn't have much luck with that, so I didn't try it on the clear window in front of the console. It did help wear down the worst of the scratches, but it left the sheet with a cloudy appearance overall... fortunately it's mostly obscured by the TV so it's not a big deal.

* From my research, these kiosks originally used a monitor with rear composite AV ports, but I couldn't find one for a reasonable price/close enough to pick up, so I used an old broadcast monitor with S-video in, so I modded the Genesis with an S-video jack (not technically authentic, but the improved picture is a nice trade)

** The TV was a disaster in and of itself. Found it on eBay for $40 with free shipping, but when it got here, it was smashed to hell; the seller barely put any padding in the box. He had a second, which was a few years older but nearly the same model, which did eventually make it in one piece; unfortunately the second didn't have an auto-on feature like the original one did, and the speaker inside it wouldn't stop making a very loud hiss even when muted, so I had to get creative. For the sound problem, I opened the TV and cut the wire to the speaker, and for the power problem, I figured out if the power button was pinned down the TV would turn on automatically when plugged in, so while I had the set open to fix the speaker, I soldered a small toggle switch across the power button's pins to create my own auto-on feature.

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There's still a few things I want to do some time, the case on the replacement TV is worn and I've been reading about painting plastic, and I also want to try retrobriting the "SEGA" marquee (it's even more yellowed than it looks in the pictures). I also want to do a short video showing it off, but it'll have to be some other time. For now, I'm calling this one complete!

Edited by billybob884
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Thank you all for the nice comments, I had a blast restoring this!

On a side note, if anyone knows of someone looking to offload one of the silver variants (either style - there are two), I'd love to add another to my collection! Northeast US here, but I'd be willing to go pretty far to get it.

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