This post is a bit of a cheat because I originally posted most of the following text as part of the bavacade repair log from February 9, 2023. That noted, I want to break it out as its own post given getting Venture up and running has been an ordeal, and it deserves its own permalink and tags 🙂
The bavacade Exidy Venture cabinet fully operational
I was beginning to think I would never see this game running. When we bought it for $400 over two years ago, I knew it was going to be a project. It’s a game that doesn’t really come available all too often, and a good condition working cabinet is not only hard to find, but also fairly expensive. The only working example I’ve seen since my childhood was at the Terminal in Nashville, and it was in pretty rough shape and played terribly.
Broken upper-back corner of Exidy Venture cabinet that was fixed by Alberto
The first thing we needed to do was get the cabinet in good condition. The top-back corner of the cabinet was broken, and the back door and lower portion were falling apart—old, deteriorating wood glue was the only material holding this thing together. It was in pretty rough shape; it had been neglected for probably 30+ years, and it showed with dead leaves staining the cabinet floor. Alberto took this one and worked his magic, he sent me a bunch of images of the work as he did it, and I really love to see the process visually….
Once I had it back from Alberto I had to paint the cabinet white. I did the first couple of coats with a matte white, and I still want to do a final coat with glossy, but before I did that I needed to re-assemble the cabinet because the power supply guru Roberto was coming by to bring the re-built (for the second time) original power supply that can’t be easily replaced with a switching power supply given it uses hi and lo +12V and -12V for the sound board, which also helps power the video. This power supply has been a beast, so given Roberto was coming with a fixed unit I was thrilled, but when he arrived he noted that the -5V was not working, so we (royal) added a rectifier bridge for -5V that was pretty cool:
-5V Rectifier for Venture
-5V Rectifier for Venture connected to Ground and -5V from power supply
-5v from rectifier to board
We tried that and the board was now getting -5V, which was a win. But, but, but, for some reason the +5V was not getting to the board cleanly anymore. I was depressed, I really thought we were going to finally cut through this Gordian knot of a game. But despair is not an option, so we re-grouped and re-traced everything again, ensuring the edge connectors were attached correctly (they were), and still no dice for the +5V, although every other voltage was arriving to the boards as expected, so it was at least isolated to +5V.
Venture‘s edge connectors connected correctly
As a last ditch effort we decided to install a switching power supply to get the +5V to the board to see if that will work….and it did, dear reader! It was a moment that had been a long time coming, but bringing a game back from the dead that I’d not seen working since we got it was amazingly rewarding.
Venture Switching Power Supply for +5V
I can now take the -5V rectifier and use the switching power supply for that, but it is pretty cool to see how the rectifier works, that is yet another thing that enthralls me about electricity, all these gadgets to control and temper the flow of energy are truly amazing, and I’m reminded once again it’s always power with these games.
The Venture board I bought worked perfectly and the monitor is gorgeous. I do need to try a cap kit on the K4600 monitor chassis for Venture given it’s not working, so the current chassis is on loan from Galaxian. The other bit is I need to clean-up and possibly re-build the the 8-way joystick. It is a bit of a rat’s nest right now, and it could use some new leafs and general TLC. But, the good news is Venture is on wheels, cleaned-up beautifully, and working a treat!