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Battery Covers
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vcoleiro1
Tiger Jawbreaker


Joined: 08 Jan 2012
Last Visit: 06 Jul 2014
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:48 am    Post subject: Battery Covers Reply with quote

I see quite a bit of games these days for sale on ebay that don't have a battery cover . I was wondering how much this actually devalues the game ie 10% - 50% , what does everyone think?


Also, Can battery covers be recreated?. For example if you had the battery cover from another copy of the game you already own, could you use it to mould and cast another. I guess matching color would be tricky. Anyone have experience with this or know people who can do it?.
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Rik
Site Admin


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Last Visit: 23 Oct 2014
Posts: 1736
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:38 am    Post subject: Re: Battery Covers Reply with quote

vcoleiro1 wrote:
I see quite a bit of games these days for sale on ebay take don't have a battery cover . I was wondering how much this actually devalues the game ie 10% - 50% , what does everyone think?


This would probably depend on the rarity of the game. If the game is really rare, it won't have as much affect on the value (and also whether the cover can be obtained from other machines easily... Like other games in the same series).

If it's a game that can be readily found on eBay, I won't even consider it if it's missing the cover... My Entex Black Knight Pinball is, however, missing the battery cover, and I wasn't going to let that stop me from having the game! Cool If it's a game that rare, it probably won't affect the value at all...

vcoleiro1 wrote:
Also, Can battery covers be recreated?. For example if you had the cover from another copy of the game your already hadm, could you use it to mould and cast another. I guess matching color would be tricky. Anyone have experience with this or know people who can do it?.


This depends a lot on the shape of the cover, and the skill of the molder... I've tried it with the Adventure Vision battery cover, but because of the u-shaped hooks (and my battery cover missing one of these anyway), a more complicated mold has to be created to make it perfect (a two-part mold vs. a single piece mold). I tried doing a single-piece anyway, and I can get a functional battery cover out of it, but it's missing a lot of the detail of the original.

I did manage to make a mold for the Adventure Vision cartridge though, so I can make resin duplicates of the cartridge shell. Since the cartridge is just an EPROM, I can effectively make cartridges for the system (and when I put an AV on display at a convention for people to play, I use these replica carts in case someone walks off with one.) The plastic isn't as strong as real plastic (but I suppose a different material than resin could be used), and they are white instead of black (again, that's just the resin I'm using). But it can certainly be done...

I see replica Nintendo Game & Watch covers on eBay all the time, and the Vectrex community actually went so far as to have a real injection mold manufactured at a plant in China to make perfect, actual plastic cartridge cases so people can make homebrew games easier. You can't tell the cartridges apart from real (vintage) ones. That was expensive though, but the huge demand for cart shells made it worth it.

I also want to find a way to make replica styrofoam box packing inserts. I'm always needing those... Mr. Green
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vcoleiro1
Tiger Jawbreaker


Joined: 08 Jan 2012
Last Visit: 06 Jul 2014
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have got Silicon moulding and resin cast which I use to make the mini coin doors and some of the side art on my micro arcade machines. I noticed when I bought it that you can get a number of different casting agents which will dry from soft to real hard. You can also get coloring to color the cast material any color you want. The trick would be getting the color exactly right. Also, as you mentioned a 2 part mould would probably be required.

It can be done I guess , I wonder how people would feel about it though. Might turn people a bit off when you came to sell it , however, it's certainly a lot better than no cover.
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GameHoarder
Entex Crazy Climber


Joined: 25 May 2010
Last Visit: 23 Sep 2014
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Location: Minnesota USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have put some thought and a bit of research into this subject.

Resin casting in silicon molds seems like the answer. But the materials are not cheap and then there are the other items that are required as well as the KNOWLEDGE and experiance to do it right.

There are many sellers selling resin cast items on eBay, from movie prop items to "plastic" replacement parts. I would say that the replacement covers that are sold on eBay for the game & watch handhelds are made by the resin casting, silicon mold process.

There is information that can be googled on resin casting and making the molds. It seems from what I have read that it is something that takes a bit of know how and experiance to get it right so you end up with a cast item that is "just what you want".

Many battery covers are thin and may have clips, so they would be a challenge to find the correct material and proper process to make. The reason that many battery covers are missing is that they become cracked or the retaining clips break and the cover becomes tossed or lost.
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blanka
Adventure Vision


Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Last Visit: 22 Oct 2014
Posts: 454
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a very precise 3D model of the Coleco cover now, and I want to try it out on a 3D printer. Still looking for a good service. Shapeways charges around 40$ for the 24 cm3 volume, a bit too much for a Coleco cover.
Why weren't they all doing like Tomy: Tomy games never miss battery covers Cool
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vcoleiro1
Tiger Jawbreaker


Joined: 08 Jan 2012
Last Visit: 06 Jul 2014
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it is tricky making the moulds in particular. The trick is not to get any small bubbles in the mould when you pour the silicon mould in. There are 2 ways to do this : buy and use a vacuum chamber or pour the silicon mould from a height in a very thin stream to remove the small bubbles. It takes some practice, my first attempts had small bubbles around the fine detail which show up badly in the cast.

The material needed is expensive as you noted . You really only want to do it if you have the moulding and casting material already or the battery cover is for a quite expensive and worth while game.
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Rik
Site Admin


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Last Visit: 23 Oct 2014
Posts: 1736
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vcoleiro1 wrote:
Yes it is tricky making the moulds in particular. The trick is not to get any small bubbles in the mould when you pour the silicon mould in. There are 2 ways to do this : buy and use a vacuum chamber or pour the silicon mould from a height in a very thin stream to remove the small bubbles. It takes some practice, my first attempts had small bubbles around the fine detail which show up badly in the cast.


Very high pour, VERY thin stream in a completely wind-less room... If you are in your house, turn of the air conditioning. Cool And don't pour directly on the object, pour next to it and let it flow over it. Once the object is covered, you can pour a little faster to get the desired thickness...

The problem I had with the AV battery cover is that it wouldn't lie flat on the table, the clips lift it up a little (enough for silicon get under it). I didn't take the time to seal off those gaps properly, so I had to cut away parts of the mold... Just made it sloppy. And I'm just using a basic prop-making white resin, so the parts are soft when thin like this. Of course, with flexible clips, you don't want it too stuff either. Nice thing about the mold though is when you get a good one, you can test different resins/materials in it. I have yet to get into playing with other materials, but it is something I want to do... They can be pricey, and you can't always buy a tiny quantity, so it's hard to buy pints of the stuff for one battery cover (it only has a shelf life of 6 months or so I think. The stuff I have is over a year old and it won't harden properly anymore...)

The hardest thing I have to deal with in regards to bubbles is air getting trapped in the mold when pouring the resin. Little corners and such, I didn't properly anticipate all the vent holes on a couple of molds.

I have a mold of a small jeep that was used in a movie made by a professional prop company. you can see it here:
http://www.teamamericaprops.com/TeamAmerica/TeamAmerica_JeepMold.htm
It looks like Swiss cheese when closed... They weren't taking any chances. Smile

There's several videos here:
http://www.tapplastics.com/info/video.php
on how to make molds and use them (as well as lots of other interesting things like plexi-glass boxes and such). I buy materials from a local company, but the instructions all apply regardless... These are pretty much how I learned to do it. Saw a couple of live demonstrations from a prop maker too, but the videos are good since you can back to them if you need to.
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GameWatchGuy
Bandai FL Burgertime


Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Last Visit: 29 Mar 2013
Posts: 110
Location: Pigeon Forge TN

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi.
Did anyone see this on Live a few weeks ago.
"Print" your own battery covers!

http://www.makerbot.com/

~John
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GameHoarder
Entex Crazy Climber


Joined: 25 May 2010
Last Visit: 23 Sep 2014
Posts: 69
Location: Minnesota USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a site/link that I found interesting when I was looking for information on the silicone molds. I thought the idea of using legos for a molding box was a great concept.

http://www.b9robotresource.com/molding1.htm
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bretthorror
Microvision


Joined: 13 Apr 2012
Last Visit: 03 Aug 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How easy is it to makeshift a battery cover for a device? I'm just starting and really just into playing and haven't any C batteries for the one unit I actually have at this point. I'm just worried I'll buy a game without a battery cover and without it, the batteries won't stay in to make the game function or pop out with a little movement and ruin a high score. I suppose it'd be as easy as taping a piece of cardboard to the bottom. No one would ever see the bottom of the game anyways. Anyone know something better that doesn't involve tape?
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Rik
Site Admin


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Last Visit: 23 Oct 2014
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Location: California

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually there's a hole in the plastic on two of the four sides of the battery compartment. These holes are the ones the battery cover itself would clip into. It's not too difficult to make a strip of metal about 1/4 longer than the battery compartment, and insert it into these slots after putting in the batteries.

That's the quickest/cheapest thing I've seen someone do that works well, and doesn't damage or gunk up the game...

I've received two different games over the years with solutions like this...
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woolfman
Entex Crazy Climber


Joined: 12 Aug 2008
Last Visit: 05 Oct 2014
Posts: 93
Location: AUSTRIA

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be in for battery covers too. Is there anyone able to create 3D models? I would need covers for SPACE HURRICANE and ROMTEC Tabletop....

Anyone tried a 3D Printer yet?
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blanka
Adventure Vision


Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Last Visit: 22 Oct 2014
Posts: 454
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woolfman wrote:
I would need covers for SPACE HURRICANE and ROMTEC Tabletop....


How many here have Space Hurricane uberhaupt? Well Rik, Linda or elepla, how are your 3D modelling skills?

And what romtec do you mean? It is a brand with several games.
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Rik
Site Admin


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Last Visit: 23 Oct 2014
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Location: California

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not so much on modeling... Cool Haven't done that in years... I'd be better off trying to seriously make a resin mold. I've made a couple of 'iffy' ones that don't really make perfect covers, but the idea seems sound...

What's the cost of good 3D printing these days? I'm not sure how durable the plastic is for something like the clips on a battery cover. I know the cheaper 3D printers that you can buy now wouldn't really make a usable cover, but some of the online services with high-tech printing gear might be an option...
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woolfman
Entex Crazy Climber


Joined: 12 Aug 2008
Last Visit: 05 Oct 2014
Posts: 93
Location: AUSTRIA

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Havenīt used a 3D-Printer yet...but what I heard from friends itīs quite stable what you get from it. Iīd give it a try.

BTW, I am talking about the Romtec COLORVISION - so if anyone here has a spare battery door, Iīd want it Smile
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Wolf

*** since 8/8/2013 lucky owner of VTech ProScreen NCMIB ***
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