This is just a quick update to document some of the work happening recently in the bavacade. It has a been a bit of catch as catch can given how busy the last month has been with the Reclaim open conference the and coming virtual event in July. That said, I’ve been sneaking in work here and there in the mornings, and as usual it adds up. I already blogged about the Yie-Ar Kung-fu custom cabinet project, and will be a summer long endeavor, but it’s very exciting. I also documented some of my work a couple of week’s ago testing various parts I bought in the US in the “Arcade Therapy” post, so things are definitely moving along.
More recently I have been testing some spare boards I have, namely a spare Make Trax board as well as spare Super Cobra board. This was also part of my attempt to start organizing all my parts and spares in the basement and get some semblance of order. I find testing and labeling when things worked saves me a ton of time, and some of the metadata on the boxes noted that these boards were questions marks. Also, I was looking to test a Crush Roller board in Make Trax I was sure I’d bought and brought to Italy over, but turns out I am either delusional or simply left it in Fredericksburg. Either way, because I’m obsessed I bought another Crush Roller board I found for a decent price in Germany along with a spare Moon Cresta board. The latter board is for the cocktail cabinet in Zach Davis is minding for me in Portland, Oregon, and I want to install and test the high score save kit on this one before shipping it back once I am in New Orleans next month.
Anyway, back to the spare Make Trax and Super Cobra boards. The Make Trax spare works, but the sound is noisy. It’s as if the sound pot is not working correctly and there it is too loud and scratchy, so will need to track that down a new potentiometer (pot) and see if tracing the audio gives me any insight. This board will be the first real PCB work (besides my botched Stargate repair attempts) I’ve attempted in earnest, and I’m hopeful it’s the start of some basic board work.
If it goes well, the second project will be Super Cobra, which has an issue with the high score save kit. There are weird special characters in the high score save (HSS) kit and free play is not working. When I substituted the original roms—this board has several ROMs removed given they are programmed on the HSS kit—and Z80 chip from the working board the special characters went away. That said, there was then a strange rebooting issue with the game that did not happen with HSS kit in, so I’m going to buy new chips and burn the Super Cobra roms (a first for me). After that, I’ll try to track down the random rebooting issue, which is definitely an issue I can isolate to that board, should be fun!
As far as other work, I am making headway on monitor chassis repair. I had the spare Hanterex Polo in Cheyenne sent in for diagnosis given the original is stuck in the US on what’s shaping up to be an almost a 6-month wait, which I’m not thrilled about. I’ll keep pushing on the US repair, but in the meantime if the spare board is fixed here in Italy I can finally get this game back online. If that happens, then I’m just one G07 chassis and one K4600 chassis away from having everything running. I was able to repair the Condor G07 chassis that was dead by doing a cap kit, swapping out a new B+ filter cap as well as a horizontal width coil, and the chassis is working pretty well, but there’s a slight undulating wave that Tommaso tells me is good enough, but it’s annoying me, so I do think I need to replace all the adjustment pots, especially for vertical linearity and vertical hold.
In fact, I was certain I bought spare G07 pots, but I can’t find them for the life of me (part of the quest for order undertaken this week), so I’ve been parting out one of my extra, non-working G07 chassis. I’m also waiting on some 1.25 AMP fuses that should come today to try and get the chassis that came out of Pole Position working again. I think this chassis has either a bad flyback or a bad voltage regulator given there has been a recent cap kit done already. I might also need to swap the B+ filter cap. If that works, it will be put in Robotron, which leaves only the K4600 chassis for Challenger (I put Challenger‘s 4600 into Venture to get that game up and running) to repair. I’m not sure what is up there cause I swapped flyback and there was a recent cap kit, so a bit perplexed, but hopefully we some poking around and testing that will be the final piece of the puzzle. This is where the chorus sings, “Hope springs eternal in the bava heart.”
Finally, I have the Make Trax cabinet totally stripped and with Alberto to add wheels because every game will be on wheels sooner than later in the bavacade. The cabinet, overall, is close to mint save the control panel overlay which cracking. When Tim and I were getting Reclaim Arcade up and running I came across an original control panel overlay for this game and snagged it, it was one of the things that came over with the container so I asked Alberto iof he could remove the old one and add this one, and as he says to everything, “No problem!” He’s the best! He removed the old one, which by all accounts from Tim is a totally nightmare, and got it sanded and cleaned up.
After that, he put on the new overlay and it looks like new! So good. Sometimes those things I bought that I thought “Will I use this” are now almost all in use, and that makes me happy.
I think the next game to go on wheels will be Elevator Action, so will start taking that one apart, and that will mean 16 of the 30 games in the bavacade will be on wheels, and that means I am have crossed the half-way mark, which is encouraging progress! It also means I will have stripped almost every game down to just the cabinet if I manage to get wells on all of them. That’s pretty awesome.