Hi and welcome to Phils Arcade    

I’m Phil and interested in arcade and retro gaming

Wot, no apostrophe !!!

I’ve taken the stance to remove the apostrophe in Phils Arcade, simply to keep everything consistent. You can’t have domain names with apostrophes, or other site names, so I’ll simply remove it everywhere and you don’t have to keep commenting on it.


A little bit about me

Ever since the 1970’s and my parents having a Pong game that you played on your black and white television, yes I’m old enough to remember those, I’ve always been interested in gaming and computers. I even remember being told at my schools career’s, mock job interview, that I was, “Absolutely steeped in computers.”

ATARI VCS system

I can still remember, barely, getting an Atari VCS for Christmas along with a Space Invaders cartridge. This was amazing, especially since in the interim time from Pong, we had upgraded our television to a whopping 26″ colour.

Over time the game collection started to grow, though it was only on birthdays and Christmas that we could get one or two, as they were so expensive. £40 – £60 way back then.

One cartridge that they released was a BASIC programming cartridge, that you used special keypads to input your BASIC commands. I had all these visions of being able to write your own games, but to be sorely disappointed when I later realised that you couldn’t. Memory was so small that it barely even managed any sort of programming, but did get me hooked on what the possibilities could be.

programming cartridge

After a bit, I was able to get my hands on a Sinclair ZX80 computer, connected to a small black and white portable. This was a slightly more capable machine which you could at least write some form of code, though in very simplistic terms. If you wanted to try anything more involved you have to resort to assembly language and machine code.

Progressing through the years I had went through the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, a Lynx 48k, and moved onto an Amstrad CPC464 and CPC6128.

Had my first game published in 1986, which was called Destroyer, a submarine warfare game where you, as the Captain of the destroyer ship had to depth charge the enemy subs, while avoiding their bombs.

Over this time I had got interested in electronics, especially digital circuits, as this was what powered many a computer. It wasn’t going to be a career choice, but was fun nonetheless. The career side of things went down the programming path, through various systems, till today, where I’m a programmer for Apple mobile devices, and slowly moving back to their computer counterpart.

Coming from Northern Ireland, exposure to arcade machines was very limited. It was either whatever bootleg was playing at the local chippy, or on a day trip to Newcastle or Portrush, were there was a bit more of a variety. It wasn’t until we traveled as a family over to the mainland to the likes of Blackpool that you could get your fill of arcade goodness. Firm favourites were Asteroids, Space Invaders, Centipede and Space Harrier, especially the deluxe version as shown below, that moved around as you flew.

SEGA Space Harrier

BANG up to date

So what’s been happening in the meantime. Well that’s what this is all about.

This past year I’ve been growing a collection of arcade machines, gaming PCBs, and retro consoles, etc… A large number of machines and PCBs, need to be fixed up and repaired, so I’ll be covering that here. I’ve also a number of projects I’ll be exploring and hopefully get to build out a nice new workshop area to help with the rebuild and repair process. First up will be having to clear out the shed into a new wee shed

Follow along on the journey and we’ll see together where this all leads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *