Hello World! My name is Alexander K. Haley. I am a 18 year old Christian and have spent the past several years of my life doing various electronics projects and fixing vintage arcade games.
KincaidArcade.com started way back when I was really young. I forget exactly how old I was, but I know I was younger than 10. I had discovered GameMaker Studio and was really enjoying making fun little games in my free time (most of which were knock-offs of other games). I really enjoyed going on websites with games, so I decided that one day I wanted to have my own website that was filled with games that I had made. When that was finally possible, my parents and I had to figure out what web domain to register. We came up with Kincaid Arcade because Kincaid is my middle name, and it made sense since my website had a ton of games.
I was able to use my understanding of HTML and CSS that my Dad had taught me to make the website. If you take a look at my really old Garden of Eden page, you can see what I was able to do as an 11 year old. I've redone the entire website since then, and it's all hand-coded by me! Perhaps someday in the future I will learn how to use a good web developer software to facilitate making improvements to my website.
Back in 2018, I had started collecting vintage arcade PCBs and decided that after several years of doing nothing with my website it was time for a change in the direction of the website. It went from being a website full of my junky games to a website about my projects and the various arcade games I had fixed. I also figured it would serve as a good future resume when it came time to apply to colleges or get a job.
The electronics aspect of my skill set began around when I was in 3rd-4th grade. I remember being bored with my Legos, and I told my Dad that I wanted to make things that actually do things. Well, my Dad liked the sound of that, so he did some research and got me an Arduino. He started with teaching me how to use it, but eventually gave up because I was learning faster than he could teach.
Things were really kicked into gear when the Headmaster of my school started the Eden Exposition. He more or less summarized it like this: "As Christians, we worship a God who created the universe; a God who is a Creator. He has given us all sorts of gifts, talents, and abilities because he wants us to use them. What I want you all to do is a 24-hour project where you use the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given you."
The very first project I did for this was back when I was in 5th grade. It was a little autonomous rover that could navigate mazes. It was just a simple Arduino with 3 infrared distance sensors and wheels. Even with help from my Dad, it took me much longer than 24 hours to accomplish. Most of that time was spent realizing that there is a difference between = and == in C++ programming.
The Eden Exposition was a success the first year, and it has continued after my graduation (I am now a freshman in college, studying Electrical Engineering). Back in my second year of the Eden, I had no idea what I wanted to do for my project. My Mom wanted to get a Funhouse pinball machine, and my young, naive self suggested that I do a pinball machine as my project. My Dad thought we'd just do a little wooden tabletop game until my Mom suggested that we get real pinball parts. My parents fully expected that I would be a wreck the night of the exposition because doing a full-sized pinball machine would be too difficult for me, I'd have nothing to show for all the effort. With help from my Dad, I beat all odds and finished my first homebrew pinball machine, Garden of Eden. My Dad has taken to calling it the single best $5000 he ever spent because of how much I learned from that project. If you look at the My Projects page, you can see all the things I have done since then. Nobody's ever surprised when I tell them that I want to become an electrical engineer.
In addition to doing a whole bunch of electrical design projects, I also collect vintage arcade games. I had wanted to collect them ever since the days I had spent at the Pinball Wizard Arcade doing "research" for the Garden of Eden pinball machine. The main problem I had was that circuit boards were expensive, and I didn't have the skills or money to have them fixed.
Fast forward 4 or so years. I had done several more projects and had begun to learn how to read large schematics. My parents had decided that I was old enough to start mowing the lawn. Since the lawn is quite large and I have to do it every week, I started making much more than the five or so dollars I'd get each week from dusting the house and doing other menial chores. All of a sudden, at 14 years old, I had enough cash to buy something vintage arcade-y. I had no idea what I wanted, or what I could even do with it. Then I discovered Ed Fries' website and read about his experiences with fixing "bronzeage" TTL arcade games.
For those who are unfamiliar with the lingo, a bronzeage game is a video arcade game made between Computer Space (1971) and Space Invaders (1978). A TTL game is generally a video arcade game that does not have a microprocessor in it. In the context of my website, when I say a "bronzeage game", I am generally referring to TTL games produced between 1971 and ~1976
What struck me was the simplicity of the really old bronzeage TTL games and that they could be tested with minimal components (an edge connector and the appropriate controls.)
I figured that bronzeage games would be the perfect thing to begin with since they were relatively cheap to buy off Ebay, and were simple enough that I could learn to fix them myself. I started with two unknown Pong Doubles clones, which in hindsight was a pretty bad idea. I thought that all "4-player pong games" used the exact same circuit board. They do not. Imagine my face when I discovered that these two knock-off pong boards (which I later discovered belonged to See-Fun's Olympic Tennis,) did not have a schematic or pinout diagram anywhere on the internet.
Yeah, they tell you to start with working games first for a reason. Well, I wasn't about to let that stop me.
Despite not having any idea with how to fix these pong boards (which I thought were as simple as they get) I continued buying old PCBs. The next board I bought was QWAK!, which probably wasn't a good idea either. I figured I was just going to dump the ROM and be done with it. Well, you can't dump a ROM that is dead. So now I had 3 boards, none of which were working. What did I do next? I bought another.
The next board I bought was Atari's Anti-Aircraft. This game will forever have a special place in my heart because it is the very first PCB that I ever fixed. After fixing Anti-Aircraft, I knuckled down and finally fixed one of my Olympic Tennis boards by testing every function of every chip with my oscilloscope until the game was entirely working. It took about 6 hours, but it was worth it in the end. Since then, I have learned a lot, and fixed some other boards. Check out my repair logs!
As I mentioned before, I am an Evangelical Christian. I came to Christ in the second grade classroom of my school, and was baptized when I was 10. Becoming a better Christain man and growing up is hard, so prayer is always appreciated.
It didn't really mean much to me back then because I was so young. I had grown up in a Christian home and was largely surrounded by Christians so it just became more of something I did without ever really thinking much about it. I eventually encountered evolution and other things, and began to doubt the existance of God. After all, with living in Christian circles, the existance of God was accepted as a fact but I had never really heard any good reasons to believe that God existed beyond "the Bible tells us so". At one point, I almost turned my back on God because I didn't think there were any good reasons to believe that He existed apart from the Bible.
That changed during my High School years. We had absolutely amazing theology classes that answered a lot of the questions that I had about God. Theology 1 and Theology 2 at my school were dedicated to working through all of the school's statements of faith, which are basically short statements that describe what we believe. In Biology, not only did we learn about Evolution and other things, but we also learned about Intelligent Design and why Evolution and Science in general has not disproved the existance of God. In 11th grade, we took an Apologetics class and I was amazed at all of the good reasons there are to believe that God exists, and that pretty much none of them involve "the Bible tells us so."
I found all of the stuff that I learned in these classes absolutely amazing. If anybody has any questions about God, Christianity, Evolution, Science, etc. then feel free to send me an email. I will do my best to make sure my answers as nuanced as your questions (or as much as is required to adequately answer your questions).
You have probably noticed that my grammar isn't very good on some pages, especially those from 2018. Sorry about that. That's the difference between my understanding of grammar as a 9th grader and my understanding of grammar as a 12th grader. This is most visible on my QWAK! page.
My favorite music groups are Owl City, Michael W. Smith, Hillsong, and I absolutely LOVE Switchfoot. I also used to listen to Minecraft parodies, which absolutely drove my parents crazy. I have listened to some songs so much during my projects that I have conditioned myself like Pavlov's poor little dog to think of the song when I think of the project...
My favorite snack foods are Almond Joys and Cream Sodas. I've negotiated with my parents that instead of going trick-or-treating each year (I'm too old to) that they'd instead grab me a bag of Almond Joys from the grocery store. That always makes them chuckle.
When I grow up, I want my future basement to be filled with pre-microprocessor bronzeage games and Vectorbeam vectors. I also want to get a bunch of EM pinball machines because it looks like it would be a lot of fun to fix them.
I figured I'd move on from bronzeage games after learning to fix them, but I was surprised to find that I enjoy them a lot. Some of my friends call themselves hardcore gamers, and chuckle when I tell them that I'm more of a hardcore gamer than they are because I fix the systems required to play the games. (I've fixed a Vectrex. I might write about that someday...)
I have a VAPS account, but am not on the KLOV/IAM forums yet. (I'ma just gonna stay away from the Asteroids Joystick and Abandoned Sundance madness for now.)
Questions? Comments? Concerns? I love getting emails from people who've read my website, so feel free to send them to me!
Please do be aware though: I do not do board repairs for random people off of the internet. Please, please, don't even ask.
My e-mail is alexander "at" kincaidarcade "dot" com
You are allowed to use my website, but keep this in mind:
I clarified that all the text of the website is under the CC license, but not all my designs.
This page was last updated 1/5/2022
Spelling, grammar, and readability corrections
This version of this page was originally written on 9/6/2020.