Old News (September 2000)


September 21, 2000

After looking for wire to re-do my Zaxxon harness, I discovered a perfectly good Zaxxon harness in the Karate Champ machine!  I didn't expect that since the Karate Champ machine is a  wiring nightmare and has another hand-made harness inside of it. But way in the back was a Zaxxon harness that's only missing the speaker and monitor connectors!  Tonight I'll hopefully pick up a couple connectors and take care of the missing connections.

Photos of my Zaxxon progress should be coming tonight.  It's early morning and I have to get ready for work.  Otherwise I'd post them now.

September 18, 2000

I received a Pole Position Marquee in the mail from an e-bay auction. I was quite surprised to see it "rolled up" in a box. It's just a piece of mylar/vinyl with printing on it. I think it's clear with the artwork imprinted on the back and then covered with an opaque white paint/plastic. I also took off my Pole Position II marquee and found it was the same but was glued to a piece of glass.

September 17, 2000

Zaxxon Restoration: I re-assembled the transformer board, slid it in, powered it up and checked the voltages to see if the power supply is good. Everything checked out perfect!  I also checked the fluorescent and the monitor power. Replacing the lamp took care of the lamp going out intermittently every few seconds. 

September 15, 2000

Zaxxon Restoration: I sanded the board that the isolation transformer and power supply sit on. The whole thing slides out and you can get to that "hidden box" underneath in the back. I found three quarters in there - whoopee! I took the transformer assembly off that board and sanded the board to clean it. It's better than a wet rag and it looks nicer in the end.

September 5, 2000

I worked on Zaxxon/Galaga last night, specifically the wiring. It looked like sh!t! Sort of like someone ripping out a car stereo. I carefully seperated, clipped and straightened out the wiring to trying to keep the connectors intact. I'd like to restore the wiring to it's initial state using all the original connectors but that might be expecting too much. I soldered in a new power cord late last night but didn't test it. I need to wrap the soldered ends and I haven't yet.

September 5, 2000

The worst has happened!  Last night I fried my Space Invaders boardset while trying to fix the power supply.  Apparently the +12 surged to +23 and  caused a cap to explode and some burning on the PCB traces.  The 8080 CPU package blew  open and a leg was burned off.  It sounded like a gun firing!  Of course I'm not happy at all, considering how this project was just about finished but I can't give up!  I'll try replacing the caps that blew, the CPU and the burns on the PCB.  Here's some photos of the damage.

On the upside, I decided to plug in Street Fighter II and found that it pretty much works.  The monitor is very dim but has a picture.  The boardset runs although it doesn't coin up and there's no sound.  My assumption is that a DIP switch will fix the sound and  some  re-wiring will fix the coin-up.

September 4, 2000

Does anyone know anything about the game Karate Master?  I have a machine with graphics for it but can't find any info on KLOV, VAPS or anywhere else on the web.

A friend of mine has offered to send me a Zaxxon flight stick to aid in the restoration of one of my Zaxxon machines.  Thank him here by visiting his web site OK!??  Dave's Arcade.

With nothing better to do, I tracked down manuals for some of the games I have, printed them out and put them each in their own binder along with switch settings and pinouts.  I'll keep the books in each cabinet so I don't have any extra clutter.  A further search through my Pole Position machine yielded an instruction sheet for test mode and switch settings.  I also found a very small manual for Street Fighter II Championship Edition, hidden inside the cabinet.

September 3, 2000

Success!  Finally tonight at 11:18 pm I got my Space Invaders PCB to power up!  After talking to some new people who repair PCB's (who's link I'll post later), I tried pulling the reset line to ground.  This had some but little effect in the cabinet.  The screen was however moving around!  After a little probing I finally realized that the -5 was dorked  up on the power supply.  Removing the entire boardset from the machine and connecting it to an ordinary IBM PC power supply yielded Space Invaders on an old Commodore 1702 monitor!  Check out the photos!  

S002I003.JPG (130021 bytes)  S002I001.JPG (128388 bytes)

Now I just have to focus on getting -5 out of that power supply, which is MUCH more within my capabilities than board level repair on logic boards.  Or I could always snip a  couple of wires and mount that PC power supply!  What do you think?

September 5, 2000

Looking for soda money, I rummaged through my newly acquired cabinets and found some cash!  Pole Position yielded $7.24, one of the Zaxxons held an entire quarter and the other held a lowely token.  That only puts me  out $12.76 for the 4 machines I picked up last Sunday.  

I also ordered a cap kit for the 25" Wells Gardner monitor.  I figure that getting Street Fighter to work would be easiest.

September 3, 2000

Well good morning!  I just woke up from my 3 month nap and decided to pick this web site up where I left off!  Here's what I've been doing lately...

I went to an arcade auction in Atlanta back in June/July? but didn't pick anything up.  It was my first auction so  I was just bumming around and checking things out.  There was another one in Atlanta in August but I missed it.

I sold my shuffle bowler to free up some space in my house and my schedule.  I also bought an Elevator Action PCB from e-bay for $20 or something like that.

Yesterday I drove up to Atlanta to pick up 4 cabinets on a tip e-mailed to me by a friend of mine.  You should check his web site out Dave's Arcade.   Anyway, I picked up a Pole Position with no monitor  and no boards, a Championship Street Fighter (Turbo) with a 25" monitor (bad chassis but boards are included!), plus 2 Zaxxon cabs that were converted.  The first had been converted to a Galaga  but has not boards.  Zaxxon is burned in pretty good on that monitor.  The other Zaxxon conversion is a Karate Champ.  It has a brand new monitor tube but no chassis.  It had a Karate Champ Boardset and in the back was still the old Zaxxon boards! 

The monitor for my MAME cabinet went out.  I have parts on order so I haven't done anything with it.  I also ordered parts  to switch the monitor on from ArcadeOS and to setup a joystick 4/8 way convertor.

Need any t-molding?  There's a site now that sells just t-molding and they'll make it any color you like.  Check it out: http://www.t-molding.com

April  4, 2000

Since I know where the monitor wiring goes, I cut off the alligator clips and soldered/shrink wrapped all of it.  It looks much, much better.

S052I001.JPG (122586 bytes)

I started to buy to parts I needed for the automatic monitor power switch but couldn't find everything.  I'll probably order what I need from Mouser.

April  3, 2000

The power supply for Space Invaders is now working.  The final items I replaced were the regulators (for good measure).  A couple of loose pins in the harness connector stole about 30 minutes of my life but at least it's working.  If I could only get my boardset back now...

April  2, 2000

I found a barstool  that matches the color of my cabinet!  Check it out in the photo below.  I also added a photo of another game running because only 2 photos came out OK.

S050I002.JPG (119123 bytes) S050I001.JPG (115768 bytes)

My next task is building an automatic monitor power switch using a binary comparator and some transistors.  I'll post the schematic when I get it finished.  I have a couple regulators to replace on my Space Invaders power supply and then I need to start bugging the buy who's fixing my Space Invaders boardset.  With any luck I can wrap up 2 projects in the next couple of weeks.