This janky hardware nonsense is a lot more of a pain in the ass than software.

Previously.

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17 Responses:

  1. funjon says:

    Jesus christ that's scary looking.

  2. marklyon says:

    The solution, as we have learned from our transformer experiments, involves micturition.

  3. fantasygoat says:

    Too bad it's not a pinball machine, they're simple. Dealing with the flyback circuitry on a vector Atari, that's voodoo.

  4. taskboy3000 says:

    why not sacrifice a chicken on the circuit board? may the blood will make the machine spirits happy.

    I think you would have been better off building a MAME cabinet. If you're going to do this kind of wiring, at least make a sexbot.

    • scullin says:

      MAME cabinets are at their least satisfying when emulating vector games. Add to that the Tempest controller, and you have total emulation fail.

    • jwz says:

      My experience trying to play MAME on MacOS and Linux, even using a big X-Arcade controller, has been very, very far from satisfying. Most of the games I'm interested in don't work properly, and those that do just feel wrong.

      I gave up on MAME and just bought a few of the "arcade classics" PS3 collections. Those are probably MAME inside, but someone actually made them work right.

  5. Eric Jones says:

    But can software put 20K volts across your chest?

    I gather that Q606 wasn't the problem. You shouldn't have to pull the chassis to get to the deflection Q's. Oh wait...standup or cocktail?

    • jwz says:

      As far as we can tell, all of the case-mounted transistors are good, so the problem is upstream somewhere. Since there have been occasions where percussive maintenance temporarily fixed the problem, I suspect a bad solder. Of course, the thing is so flaky that I'm afraid something new is going to break every time I put it back in the case to test it again (the cables aren't long enough to fire it up without re-installing the board in the monitor.)

      It's a standup.

      • Trying to do a subtle diagnostic on these isn't worth the time. If you get one of Bob Roberts' kits with all the extra parts (about $40), it will only take about 45 minutes to install them.

        If this were a Space Duel or Gravitar you could just slip the monitor in and out in a minute without doing all the bolts, but Tempest is particularly tricky to install/remove the monitor, so it's best to test without reinstalling. My advice is to set the monitor on something like a barstool set right behind the game, and plug it in. If you leave the test switch on, then it's relatively easy to go through the test screens.

        -- Mitch

        • jwz says:

          If someone who had a working web site would sell me a cap kit, I might consider that, but neither of those sites you linked to do online sales, so fuck it. I can either talk to a dinosaur on the phone and replace everything; or I can figure out what's wrong and replace just that.

          If there was even one electronics store in San Francisco (absence of continues to boggle -- is there nobody who both owns a soldering iron and lives north of Palo Alto?) I'd just go down the parts list and buy them all, since I imagine that would cost about $10.

          But I will go to great lengths to avoid talking on the phone or getting on a freeway.

        • jwz says:

          Man, every third time I pull the board to look at it again, another damned wire breaks off. Spending another $250 on a whole new XY monitor and dropping this one off a god damned roof is sounding more economical by the minute.

      • It also looks like you might have an early revision of one of those low-voltage replacement boards. You might replace it with a more recent LV2000 board.