I have been working on and off on the bavacade, and I am pretty close to having every game working perfectly, that said actual perfection continues to allude me. But we need lofty goals and standards, right? -so the hunt continues.
At the end of June I did my first capkit on a G07-CBO chassis that was removed from Robotron. This chassis is now a backup given I put a replacement G07 chassis the Arcade Buffett fixed into Robotron and it works beautifully. After doing the capkit on the bad G07 I tested it on my Condor machine because that also uses a G07 (I have 4 games that do: Astro Invader, Bagman, Condor, and Robotron) and the picture suffers from some waviness at the bottom, so I figured it would be a good candidate for replacement. I tested the chassis with the new capkit on and it was out of sync for about 5 minutes or so when turned on, but once it warmed up it was perfect. I read around and there might be an issue with my capkit—surprise, surprise—so I’m gonna to have to try it again, and if that works I will do another on the original G07 from the Condor that was wavy.
Also, I played a bit of musical chairs with the G07 chassis, so gonna document that here. During testing I moved the G07 Arcade Buffett repaired that was in Robotron into Condor, and that looks awesome. I then took the G07 in Bagman and put that in Robotron, and that might be the best G07 chassis of the lot. So gorgeous.
So, right now Bagman is without a chassis, but I will rectify that once I re-do the capkit I flubbed. And even if that fails, I have the original G07 from Condor that I can do a capkit on—practice makes perfect—and then take the working G07 from Condor that was in Robotron previously and put it in Bagman, after thatI should be all set until the next one goes down. Also, are you following all of this? 🙂
Another point worth mentioning is that while working on the G07 capkit and testing it on Condor the tube was making a crackling noise, which is not good. This is what they call “arcing” and it means the high voltage from the anode in the tube is somehow jumping. The solutions I have read about suggest taking out the tube and cleaning the tube as well as you can, and then clean it again and again and again. I did a bit of cleaning and it got much better, but there is still a slight crackle so I may have to clean it again and then use some isolation lacquer around the anode. Here is a post on KLOV that describes a similar issue.* I also noticed on the chassis I did the capkit for had issues with the suction cup that connects to the anode hole on the tube. It was not grabbing well. and was in overall bad shape. So, I will also be replacing the flyback on my next attempt, which includes a new suction cup for the anode.
In terms of the Condor, I got the PCB issues with the audio fixed (it was really low and staticky), and turns out it was a bad volume pot (or potentiometer), so that works perfectly and the monitor looks good. The original board, which is now the backup, was having some graphical issues so getting it looked at locally before committing to sending it off to be fixed. Condor will be like new with a capped chassis, a refurbished board, and if the arcing gets out of control, a new tube might be next 🙂
The other game that has had some issues is Cheyenne. At first it was the curling of the monitor image that led to getting a backup Polo 20″ chassis (that was itself having issues and went back in for repair, and while I jut got it back today I still need to test it). The original monitor chassis seems to be working well now, but in the interim issues with the audio started to occur. We tested the original speakers and they seemed to have some power-related issues, so they were replaced with new speakers. But despite that there was still no sound and it seems like the issue might be related to some resistors on the sound board that might have gotten damaged. We tried routing around the board based amplifier to test that theory this morning, but we still got nothing, so Roberto took the audio board with him for more testing. The board work continues to fascinate me, and watching Roberto read a schematic has given me some hope, but the fact he doesn’t speak English and my Italian sucks is definitely a challenge 🙂 But the problem seems to be related to the arrow at P8 (closest to the margin in image below), which is the audio connector from the board to the speakers, he tried to by-pass that and tap into the audio signal before that connector to test where the issue was occurring, but the test didn’t work, so he will be digging in more on his bench and I will be cheering him on via email.
The good news is I have an extra Cheyenne/Crossbow board coming from the US that should arrive any day with the rest of my containerized belongings, so we should be able to test even further with a different audio board, and hopefully solve this issue.
The one last thing I need to do is re-visit Asterock and add the voltage regulator we removed to see if that is fixed because right now we are using a switching power supply and I think that when the voltage regulator goes back in the machine we can have everything run off the original power supply. Will need to look at that this week, as well as doing a capkit or two of the G07 chassis I have in front of me. Unfortunately it has been so damn hot that the idea of doing any soldering-related work has been less than appealing, unless I take care of it at 5 or 6 AM. Nonetheless, this gets me caught up on recording the on-again, off-again work that has been happening the last month or two.
*Although I just turned this game on and I am not hearing any cracking, so perhaps this is sorted.
Longtime listener and fan 🙂 These posts always inspire me to jump back on the blog and document the repair work. The fact you’re up there doing cap kits and shit is amazing, I gotta stay fresh! We got an Area 51 in the other day that was a converted Smash TV cabinet which was wild to see given I had blogged about removing the holsters and art from an Area 51 control panel when restoring my original Smash TV. It must have been a popular conversion. I have monitor work to do on that one since I tried to drop in the spare 25″ I had gotten a long time ago from Buffett and it worked for all of 3 seconds before what I think is the flyback blew and is just clicking now. Mabe I’ll see if the ole Ghost blog still loads and write some of this up myself. Keep up the Bavacade updates!
Your repair work is what motivated me in the first place, and the fact that what was completely Greek to me 4 years ago is actually making a little sense gives me no end of satisfaction and misguided confidence. I am doing the capkits tomorrow morning, so will update you on that. If I can get comfortable with capkits that will save me some money for sure. Board work is still the dream, but maybe a bit more accessible might be rebuilding power supplies, or even converting my machines from 115V to 220V for European wall sockets. That might be a fun project to figure out. The crazy thing is I am one sound board repair away from perfection before the container gets here, and I really want to achieve it—if only for 15 minutes 🙂
Speaking of Smash TV, that is a game I really want. Robotron has been an amazing addition, and Smash TV might be next. I have a list of games I want that I have plans to push and store around the country and then get them all shipped as part of an epic cross country adventure. I already bought two games, but I think I need to get to another 15-20 to make it worthwhile. I really need to stop, but I can’t!!!