William Chow's Personal Web Page

How To Maintain Your Own Para Para Paradise Arcade Machine 

Ok, this web page isn't gonna apply to many people, probably very close to nobody. After all, I am one of the few people in the world who is lucky enough to buy and own his very one arcade game unit.

So here is my story and the pictures for it. Even though you don't own such a machine, maybe you will find this information facinating or if you are trying to build your own unit, find this ulimately useful.


It was April 22, 2004 Thursday, I was at Staples to pick up some more ink for my inkjet printer. As usual, whenever I am at Metrotown killing time, I will go to the arcade CHQ to kill it. Low and behold, my favourite arcade game Para Para Paradise, the 2nd Mix, had a for sale sign. Very strange. Usually, your favourite game at the arcade just one day disappears and you always wondered where it went. But this time, I came early enough to see it. I inquired to the owner of the arcade about the price and what sort of response he has received. It was $xxxx Cdn, and the only person that approached him was a teenaged girl. Now, I had Sakura Con next week as well, I was still on jury duty this week too, so I had my hands full. However, I told the owner Graham that I would come back next week and look at it more carefully.

After getting home, I got on to the internet and did some research. It is always good to read up on anything big you are going to buy. The only real information that I found was that a used Para Para Paradise 2nd Mix machine was going to cost $3000+ USD! Holy Shit! I knew arcade games were expensive but not THAT expensive.

Anyway, I went to Sakura Con 2004, in Seattle. You can see my notes and pictures on that under my notes for the year 2004 on my main front page. They had an arcade Para Para Paradise 1.1 machine there which was supplied by Illusions arcade and was set to free play. Ahhh... that was a lot of fun. It got me thinking that I should buy that machine and I would the "man". The MAN that had the Para Para Machine!

So, first thing after we returned to Vancouver and my jury duty ended on Tuesday, I went back to the arcade on Wednesday night, I play tested the game, works just like it always did. I asked Graham, if the girl came back. He said yea. She came back with her mother, and he said that she kinda gave him the impression "You're NOT bringing THAT THING into the house!!!" repsonse. So, after that, I put the money the down and made it mine.



It became apparant that I will have to disassemble and reassemble this machine a couple of times since I will need to transport this thing around. From CHQ to my store Anime Jyanai, as well as to and from Anime Evolution. So, I better really know how this machine is put together and how to fix it.

Now, of course, there is no online tech support, there are no drivers pages, hell, there isn't going to be a manual in .pdf format. That is just not gonna happen... Until now... I will "Make It So.." 





You can click on the thumbnails for detailed pictures.



Ok, as I said above, I knew that I was going to have to disassemble this this thing at Metrotown and move it to my store in pieces and then reassemble it. So I did a very smart thing. I brought a camera along and took pictures of the machine getting disassembled so I could review how it all comes back together again by reviewing the photographs... So without delay, here are the pictures.

Ok, this is a before picture where we have the machine still at CHQ. Also pictured is Colin, my scale model. 

Ok, first thing to do is remove the top sensor array. It is attached using metric hex bolts, 2 on the right. 

And two on the left. 

Now, remove the screws for the top ring that hold it to the back poles. 

Unplug the molex connectors for the top sensor ring. One of them is for power the other is for the detection. Now you can lift and remove the entire top ring. You might want 2 people for this job. 

Removing the poles is pretty easy since now, they are only secured by the bolts coneected to the base. There are 3 on this side and 2 on the other. 


So, loosen off these 5 bolts and you and remove the poles. 

Thus revealing the frame underneath. 

Alright, the last big piece is the base. It is removed by taking out these bolts. 


Pulling the base away will reveal the molex connector for the sensors and lights. Unplug this. 

This leaves the base free to move. 

Now, the cabinet itself is easy to move since it is on caster wheels. The trick is the feet locks are probably on. As shown here, you use a wrench to lower the balancing feet to bring the wheels off the ground so it doesn't move. So use a wrench to tighten that up and the wheels should roll. 

One of the last things to look at is where the coin slot mechanizism is. You change it here but unlocking it and sliding it out. 



This is one big heavy piece of machinery. Maybe not quite as heavy has a full standing fridge it is certianly as bulky (if not more bulky) than moving a fridge.

Alright, I won't get into the cabinet or the poles since those fit into the back of a Ford Voyager.

First thing on the top of the roof rack is the 123 lb base. It actually says the weight on the base, so make sure that is bungie corded down good. 

Secondly, put the overhead sensor down and bungie that thing down. 

Here, we have Colin and his Voyager with a racing spoiler!

Oh yea, hot pink! That will surely add 10 more hoser power to the car... 


Like most big cabinets and furniture, you might find some missing screws or bolts. It is highly possible to lose these little things when you are taking it apart and moving it and re-assembling it. So what does it use? For the most part, the small machine screws are M4, 16mm and M4, 20mm. The bolts holding the panels on, are a bit bigger. They are M6, 16mm.

The type of bolt you are looking for are Cap Tops since the top of the bolts are rounded, You can get hex tops or you can get countersunk bolts too if you want but they don't look as asthetically pleasing.

I don't recommend going to Home Depot, because they are primarily an American company and thus would not have a great need to carry things in metric. I suggest Rona (Revy), proudly Canadian eh...

The hex keys you are going to need for the cabinet, the sensor array and the poles are going to be metric 5.0 cm and 6.0 cm hex keys.



Shortly after I moved the Para Para machine into my store, the sign started to blink. I didn't think much of it because I thought it was suppose to. However, soon clicking and crackling came from the speakers. I started to think that the bulb behind the sign might be going,

So, I decided to remove the sign and replace the bulb. Yup, sure enough, there is a flourscent ballast there. It's specifications are 100V, 20W, 50hz and 26". Yea right, what do you think the chances of me finding THIS at Home Depot. If you guessed "No hope in Hell" or "Very close to zero point zero" then you would be right. Fortunately, I have enough experience of being the handy man, I have replaced light ballasts before. Simple, 120V, 20W, 60hz, 26" (T-12 type 20W, 1R 1L 20W product 1625. Dimensions: 2.75" x 24" by 3.75". Stock code 52-3223-8) elements are quite common and so are the bulbs (T-12's). The element is about $22.00 cdn and the bulb is like $4.99 cdn.

Here is how to replace the ballast.


First remove the 3 top screws and 2 front panel screws to take off the Para Para sign. 

This will reveal the old ballast. now locate the 3 wires white, black and green.

Cut the white, black and green wires and leave yourself enough slack to reattach them. 


Unscrew the old ballast, and mount the new ballast in there.

Feed the wires through the bottom hole of the ballast and use murettes to reconnect them back up. Again, follow the colours, white to white, black to black and green to green. 

Your finished result should look something like this. Note that the three orange murettes that reconnect the wires that I had cut. 

Put the cover back on the ballast. Click in the flourscent tube.... 

Taa Daa!! There it works! 



After I moved the unit into the store I started tuning it up. One of the things I noticed was the two outside green lights were not blinking only the centre two red ones were. "What the heck?" I first thought they were just burnt out and the lazy bum at CHQ didn't bother replacing them just like the ballast in the sign.

OK, So! I take off the front light green cover, and low and behold, the light bulb wasn't even there! Thus the guy even knew the bulbs burnt out and I guess he had problems finding the bulb and left it empty. What a bum...

The bulb you need for this bitch, is a bitch. It is 12V, 20W halogen bulb with a SCREW thread. Hm...... 

Well, a quick trip to Revy or Home Depot will quickly reveal that 12V, halogens are mounted using screw threads. They use 2 pins. Better known as a MR16 mount. I figure I could try looking for this bulb in an automotive shop but knowing how much car stuff is over inflated, I didn't bother. So it is time to replace both the bulb and the mount.

The mount is a standard MR16 plug ($2.99 Cdn) and the bulb I got was a Sylvania EXN 50MR16Q/40/FL (12V, 50W, 40 degrees C temperature, FL beam) which I actually got free at the flea market but they sell for around $6.99 cdn. 

So climb up to the top of the Para Para Machine, you will notice a plate screwed into the top the machine. This plate holds the assembly for 2 of the blinking halogens. So unscrew the 4 screws to lift the panel up. 

Lifting off the panel reveals that the light sockets are mounted using an "L" bracket welded to the panel. The sockets are screwed on to the "L" bracket using 2 screws. Undo these to free the socket. 

Ok, so now I got the socket free, I can now cut and splice the wires from this, on to the new MR16 socket.

You will find that the socket was a EZ-10 from Ceramics ( hiragana is Serammiku) (30 Volts, 7 Amps). Pretty hefty stuff for something that only needed to be 12 Volts and probably only 2 Amps. 

Do one wire at a time so you don't lose the wires in the machine. Use marettes to twist and secure the wires.


Once it is all connected again, now you gotta remount it to the "L" bracket. Most likely you will only be able to get one screw in not both. In my case, I was only able to use one screw. I took a #8, 0.75" wood screw and just twisted that in. It holds well. 

You can see the square Roberston screw that I used to hold the MR16 in place better in this picture. 

Ok, as a comparison, I took the cover off the adjacent bulb. 

As a note, I said, I used a 50W bulb in this project when I should have used a 20W bulb. It is quite notably much brighter, but then again it is also light green while the centre two are darker.

No point changing it now, but when the 50W burns out, I will be glad I spent the extra time to replace it with more stanaredized. 

And here you have the final results. IT WORKS!!! 

Well, I hope this information helps you out with your project. If you need additional assistance or pictures or explanations, feel free to email me and I will see what I can do to help.

Good luck with your machine and Para Para on....