bavacade Updates: Moving the fleet to bavastudio, Millipede Monitor Woes, a Rogue K4600, and Phoenix Board Weirdness

Nothing gold can stay.

Those good old days of arcade perfection are long behind me now, and that became readily apparent as I prepared another 11 games for the move over to bavastudio.

Wave two of games to be moved to bavastudio

The most concerning issue is what seems to be the death of Millipede‘s Matsushita TM-202 monitor chassis. I had read that this is considered to be the worst chassis ever made, but for a good couple of years Millipede was looking solid. That said, after moving it up from the basement to the foyer on Thursday, the game only plays blind.

Millipede Black Screen

There is power to the chassis (often apparent if the neck tube glows), and oddly the image did come back once or twice intermittently, but definitely more dead than alive. Many folks on the arcade forums just recommend throwing the chassis away, or parting it out. But I happen to have a cap kit lying around, so I may try to repair this monitor—-making it the first project for the bavastudio location. I have even read some who have said the picture quality gets even worse after a cap kit on this chassis, and all logic suggests this is a colossal waste of time. Nonetheless, hope springs eternal and my soldering skills are still basic, so if nothing else they will get some much needed practice.

Matsushita Chassis Parts List

Plus, the even scarier alternative of scrapping the chassis means I will have to refit the tube for another chassis (I have an extra G07 and K4900 hanging around), but from what I understand that process requires an entirely different level of skill. We’ll see….

On top of that, I was experimenting with doing an entire monitor swap between my Centuri Challenger and a Centuri Phoenix given the latter’s monitor is a bit dull, and I wanted that game to pop in bavastudio—it being a personal favorite. My exuberant initiative, as is often the case, led to more issues than solutions and the Challenger‘s K4600 monitor started acting up when I tested it on Phoenix (thankfully I did not do a full monitor swap before testing). I’m going to have to look at that chassis more closely, but luckily that game is not slated for the bavastudio just yet, so I have time.

Finally, I spent much of yesterday trying to figure out why my Phoenix game board is starting to occasionally throw garbage, and even when it’s working there are specific audio issues when firing at the those fierce alien birds, as well as when they destroy your ship.  The shots are too bass-like, and the explosion sound is partially interrupted. I tried to highlight the sound issues in the video below:

This post on KLOV pointed to a similar issue and recommended a possible fix on Mike’s Arcade site.* He soldered cold joints at cap 34 and resistor 67 on the game board, and then replaced chip IC 45 (a 4006) altogether, but I’m a bit confused given IC 45 seems to be a ROM chip, which is not a 4006 version? Anyway, I re-soldered the resistor and capacitor, but I did not feel comfortable replacing the ROM chip. I need to get a logic probe and up my game for tracking these issues down, because I’m pretty much shooting in the dark with these forum posts at this point. They can been helpful, but like anything as complex as these boards, you really need to begin by tracing the issue yourself, otherwise you’re flying blind.

Centuri Phoenix Logic Board

Another thing I struggled with on the Phoenix board was getting a sense of whether the issue might be related to the high score save kit I installed a while back. I had a similar throwing of garbage back then, and my hacky fix to a broken chip legs may have been coming back to haunt me.  Turns out, in the exploratory process, I broke two more legs on IC 48, so I decided to call it a day, and settled for the game working normally with some sound issues, and the high score names and numbers having stranger characters. I’m going to see if I can get a logic probe soon, and learn how to use it on this board to figure out what happened. I have a rough idea of the issues at hand, and I just need to learn how to literally trace the problems on the board, so I am going to setup a full blown arcade repair corner in the bavastudio for sure.


*I love the way he organizes all his fixes for each of his games. I have much of this buried in this blog, but a more methodical approach is most useful for others looking on the web.

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