Pacific Gunner

Project: Pacific Gunner: another zero-dollar project. We had an old computer with an old video game program that had until recently occupied an old cabinet. Someone decided it would be a good idea to get it back on the floor and so asked me to refurbish the cabinet and spruce up the game. Well, the cabinet was past the point of refurbishment and the game would brook little sprucing. Fortunately, someone had (long before I arrived) purchased large stick-on graphics for the sides.

So I designed a new cabinet around the graphics. The finished product can be seen above; the yet-to-be finished product is pictured below in its natural environment.

Problem: No budget. Sub-problems caused by the primary problem: 1) No proper button interface for the program and 2) no money for a proper sound system.


1) The primary game controls could be adapted to a modified joystick control, but the “gun selector switches” were controlled by the number keys on a standard keyboard. Lacking a proper button interface, I rigged up a way to press the keyboard numbers without having to have the keyboard exposed. I made a little Plexiglas holder for a series of Delrin plungers that are precisely aligned with a keyboard hidden under the control panel. The holder for the keyboard is here:

The guides for the little plungers are here:

Here the plunger holder is seen in place over the keyboard.

Finally, you can see the little plungers as they appear on the control panel.

2) Lacking money for a proper sound system, we scavenged an old 15-watt amplifier, scavenged two speakers from a boom box, and scavenged (are you sensing a theme?) a 3.5 mm splitter jack. Put it all together, throw it in the cabinet, mount the speakers on the control panel with grills that were scavenged from yet another old boom box, and (voila!) a semi-plausible, old-school video arcade game.