Every journey starts at the beginning, and where else with the restoration of a Williams Defender arcade machine to start with where, what, how and who (blame eBay).

December 2011:

I’d been looking on and off for a Williams Defender cabinet in the UK for about the last 18 months as it’s always been an ambition to own one (since playing them very badly at the Wessex Super Bowl as a kid) and our new office had enough extra space and a team of people young enough to appreciate it the second time around.

I’d picked up the pre-requisites for converting our existing mini-Jamma machine into a Defender cabinet – two Defender CPU boards from the US, a set of green Defender ROMs (from the US too), some spare RAM chips (from Sofia, Bulgaria no less, where apparently they still use them in some live machines!!) and a Joust CPU board and ROM set for good measures, but really wanted to get an original cabinet if I could.

Came one night in December just back from Christmas festivities and probably still a little tired from enjoying oneself, 4 individual posts arrived on eBay for a Williams Defender CPU, ROM set, Power Supply and Multi I/O Adapter.

Sounded to me like there might be a cabinet somewhere nearby if they were all being listed together (or someone who had amassed the pieces but then given up before making it work) – so I dropped them an email to ask if they did.

Bingo! They did, although their original plan was to break it and sell the parts, so we did a deal that if I bought all the parts then they would throw in the cabinet for free 🙂

A frantic 10 minutes later of “Buy It Now’s” on eBay and I’d get all the parts to seal the deal so sent a final email over before the nightly fox chasing with the dog.

“CPU 120836103432,ROM 120836106770,sound 120836111729, interface 120836112824, power 120836119743. When you purchase these just don’t pay the shipping and I will put them back in the cabinet they came out of and I can ship it all at once when they pick it up, once they are purchased I will send you an address for pickup .”

We were off!

Williams Defender 1980