One of my online buddies, Xavier, known on Instagram as RetroEscape, has a strong arcade focus in his home gaming collection. As you can expect, one of the challenges of collecting arcade boards is the storage and maintenance of the boards. While we go into more detail of his processes in his full interview, I wanted to share more photos of his storage process along with excerpts of his interview. I hope you find this useful!
When asking him about how many boards he has in his collection and how he goes about storing them all, he responded,
“I currently own approximately 120 arcade boards not counting SNK MVS, IGS PGM or Atomiswave Motherboards or games. I store every single one of them in their own Electrostatic Bag (ESD bags). Should the board be multi-tiered (layered) or should it have a large heatsink where it’s raised much higher than the rest of the components on the board, I use padding in order to even out the dimensions in order to pack it away.”
“For the padding I use Anti-Static Bubble Wrap (pink in color). To seal the ESD Bags I use good old Scotch tape, take out the majority of the air from the bag, fold the bag opening over and tape it. Should the board have a large footprint such as the Sega System 16/32 or some of the Atari Boards I use two EDS Bags and cut them then fit them as if it’s a much larger bag to accommodate the board size ensuring the board is wrapped completely. I’m simply making a larger bag.”
“After the board is protected/bagged I use USPS Priority Mail Boxes or FedEx boxes to store them. ULINE boxes are better but will cost you especially if you require 100+ boxes, the USPS and FedEx boxes are free. Smaller boards will require one box either a medium or large, longer boards and Capcom CPS2 A & B Boards require two boxes. Please Note – you can’t fit both the Capcom CPS2 A & B Boards together; each has to have its own boxes. I use two boxes because the board/CPS2 is much longer than a single large box, you will not be able to seal the box. I first build the two boxes sealing only one end of each. I then pad the inside of one of the “built” boxes with regular bubble wrap and place the board /CPS2 (either an A or B Board) inside making sure it’s a nice and snug fit, then pad the exposed top of the board/CPS2. Afterwards I take the other box I assembled and slide it over the box with the board/CPS2 and the boxes effectively seal themselves by sliding into one another, creating a longer box to accommodate the board length/size. You can sometimes fit two smaller, thin boards in one large box but you have to make sure there’s sufficient padding to protect the boards from damaging each other.”
“For approximately 120 boards I have three 4-Tier Wire Garage Storage Shelving Units (36 in. W x 54 in. H x 14 in. D) up against two walls, with each box marked of what is inside, the condition and including wire harnesses or board converter. It’s better to keep these items together so you’re not running around trying to find it somewhere else.
One very important item that I have yet to see online is storage temperature and more importantly humidity. I have a dehumidifier in the room these Arcade Boards and the rest of my Retro Gaming Collection are kept in. I keep the temperature between 60 and 76 degrees and the humidity no higher than 50%. It is critical that the humidity levels do not exceed 60%. I also do not have the racks near any heaters or vents.”