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Author Topic: Robotron Restoration  (Read 2588 times)

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8BitMonk

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Robotron Restoration
« on: October 28, 2016, 03:11:03 pm »
Robotron Restoration



This is one of my all time favorite games. I never really liked it in the arcades back in the day, it was too difficult for me as a kid and ate my quarters at an alarming rate. I rediscovered it through Mame though and couldn't get enough. Finding an original was tough, I was finally able to get one from a local collector in trade for a Burgertime.



You are the last hope of humankind.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 05:55:09 pm by 8BitMonk »
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n3wt0n

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2016, 07:36:37 am »
It looks to be in pretty good shape. I can see the sticks are missing (or  you have already pulled them for rebuild??). How thorough are you planning on restoring it?

8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2016, 11:12:54 am »
It looks to be in pretty good shape. I can see the sticks are missing (or  you have already pulled them for rebuild??). How thorough are you planning on restoring it?

Planning a very thorough restore. I have a pair of sticks, I had just taken them out before I snapped the photo. Cab's not in too bad of shape, the worst part is the bottom sides (which you can't see very well in the photos) that are completely swollen and cracking. I'm completely replacing the bottom 6 inches or so with new wood on both sides.
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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2016, 11:23:36 am »
Initial condition

The cabinet overall is in good shape other than the bottom of each side piece, no other edge chipping or big gouges.



Inside's fairly clean, I may have to cut a new back door.



CP inside is clean.



Base damage





The video below shows the base damage better. Sorry it's vertical, braincramp! :banghead:

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:00:10 pm by 8BitMonk »
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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2016, 11:47:07 am »
Color decisions

I picked up paint to do some testing. The general consensus seems to be either Rustoleum Aluminum or Stainless Steel for the silver and either Rustoleum Painters Touch 2x rattle cans for the red (Apple Red) and blue (Brilliant Blue) or a gamestencils.com match.



Silver

Aluminum is a bit too silver while the Stainless Steel is a bit darker. I think I prefer the Stainless Steel. Not sure how much a white vs. gray primer might affect the end result.



Red and Blue

The gamestencils red from Sherwin Williams is way off, too pink. The blue is alright but a bit brighter. I prefer the Rustoleum rattle can options, they're a really close match and glossier.



« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:00:53 pm by 8BitMonk »
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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 11:55:39 am »
Remove coin doors

The main coin door lock was shot but easy to get at the lock nut for removal and cleaning.



The coin bucket door was locked with no way to open it, had to drill it out.



Went a little too far and drilled through the coin box, d'oh!  :banghead:

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:01:38 pm by 8BitMonk »
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vwalbridge

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2016, 11:58:22 am »
Went a little too far and drilled through the coin box, d'oh!  :banghead:

I immediately thought of this:

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If you can read this, it means Photobucket's money grab ruined my signature photos.

8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2016, 12:01:58 pm »
I immediately thought of this:

Haha, exactly what happened, classic!  :lol
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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2016, 12:02:14 pm »
Strip the sides

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:02:41 pm by 8BitMonk »
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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 12:50:46 pm »
Replacing the side bottoms and feet

First time I've attempted this type of repair, there are some good tutorials I used for guidance like this one on Arcade Bodyshop.

Remove old feet.

These were kind of a pain to remove, lots of staples.

 



Cutting the sides

I decided to replace the bottom 6".



The removed piece has a tongue and groove join to the other pieces. Rather than cut grooves in the replacement board I removed the slot pieces so the replacement can lay flat. The new board will be held in place with Kreg Jig screws and wood glue.



The replacement.

I used high quality plywood.



Below shows the inside of the cabinet where the Kreg Jig screws are connecting the replacement board. This is a super strong connection, Kreg Jigs rock. I do wish I had used a Biscuit Joiner (unfortunately don't own one) in addition to the Kreg Jig to help keep the two boards completely flush on top, they were off maybe a 32nd or a 16th and I had to sand and bondo a little to even it out.



New feet

Measured the size of new base plates and then setup a stop gate on the mitre saw to cut 8 pieces of the 3/4" plywood.



Glued 2 pieces together for each corner.



Originally was going to add a t-nut as well but it was unnecessary and made aligning the screw in foot tough so I just went with the plate.



Attached to cab



Finished product



« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:03:38 pm by 8BitMonk »
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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2016, 05:27:22 pm »
Priming and painting

After sanding the sides I applied primer. The bottom repair wasn't quite as flush as I normally would've liked it. That's because I didn't use biscuits and didn't take more time to sand and smooth. It still looks good, just not perfect, ran out of time for that with cold weather approaching.



How noticeable it is depends on the light, you can kind of see the line where the repair was done below.



Trying to speed things along I also rattle canned the black using a Rustoleum Satin black paint+primer. The black is pretty forgiving so I thought it'd be ok however, it didn't cover as well as I'd hoped and had some weird reaction where it cracked/bubbled in a couple spots so there was some touching up to do as you can see below. Ideally it should've been roll primed separately. 



With the black done I moved on to painting the sides the Rustoleum Stainless Steel.

Thinned for the HVLP and a little test spray on the cutoff pieces for practice.



Finished product.



Still some imperfections since I was short on time. Notice how you can see a slight shadow where the bottom repair is. Also a couple small nicks I missed and had to ignore for time. Daylight is really unforgiving for exposing flaws like this, luckily they are barely noticeable indoors. It's not perfect but still looks good imo.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:04:34 pm by 8BitMonk »
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Ian

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2016, 08:51:05 pm »
 :applaud:

I like it... a few minutes sanding those scratches will blend right in... as far as the shadow from the repair... that happens with paint. Another coat may fix that.
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2016, 05:03:02 pm »
:applaud:

I like it... a few minutes sanding those scratches will blend right in... as far as the shadow from the repair... that happens with paint. Another coat may fix that.

Thanks! Unfortunately no more sanding or coats of paint, just the stencils. The reason I was rushed was that yesterday was the last day of 50 degree temps in my area, winter is finally here.  :-[  It looks fine though, the natural light and zooming in on one small spot makes it look worse than it is.
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Ian

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2016, 05:34:14 pm »
Yep same here in Wisconsin. It got cold.  :badmood:
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

ChanceKJ

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2016, 06:34:32 pm »
Nice paint job ;)

harveybirdman

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2016, 06:43:21 pm »
Yeah BulletReign has a similar issue  with the repairs at the bottom, laminate is slightly bent their and reflects light different but it still looks good.

Looking forward to the pic of this and dig dug caberet and all your other sweet ass restores all lined up!

8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2016, 12:23:20 am »
Nice paint job ;)

Thanks, great vid! Happy it came out decent considering it was cold and windy and I sprayed it at the mouth of my garage. Didn't have the time to make one of those fancy DIY paint booths. ;D

Yeah BulletReign has a similar issue  with the repairs at the bottom, laminate is slightly bent their and reflects light different but it still looks good.

Looking forward to the pic of this and dig dug caberet and all your other sweet ass restores all lined up!

Thanks! Yeah I noticed the shadow at the primer stage and had to make a decision whether I wanted it perfect or just done and in the house for the winter. I could've easily spent another 8 hours filling sanding and re-priming. It still looks good, only the most discerning eye would notice. 


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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2016, 12:47:34 am »
Stencils

This stencil is childs play after just completing a Pac-Man, slightly easier than the Joust as well.

I use padded clamps to hold the stencil in place to align it to the cab and then remove the backing from top first then bottom.



Then tape the edges and remove the paper from the stencil areas.



I only remove the paper from the areas where paint will go. I've found removing it all takes longer and by pulling away the paper just near the exposed areas it minimizes the risk of lifting or tearing the stencil. Plus you want the extra around the edges for masking anyway.



Masked edges.



First color.



Second color.



Holy overspray! It's just paint dust that sweeps up but the red spray is insidious.



A view from the garage door.



I had a couple foldback issues removing the stencil and having it touch the painted area. It's tricky to remove. Should be easy enough to touch up.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:05:44 pm by 8BitMonk »
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Ian

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2016, 12:49:44 am »
 :applaud:

Looks Good!
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

ark_ader

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2016, 04:38:25 am »
Did you match the red correctly?  I don't remember it being that bright.  :o
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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2016, 10:21:31 am »
Did you match the red correctly?  I don't remember it being that bright.  :o

See the spray paint test pictures in a previous post where I sprayed/painted over the original cab. It's a little brighter but very close. Not worth the effort to try to get a closer color match imo, it looks great and the Rustoleum rattle can colors are cheap, easy to find and easy to use.
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opt2not

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2016, 01:51:05 pm »
Nice!  I really need to restore my cabaret after seeing this. Love the paint job so far.  I've always debated if I want to go that clean stencil look, a lot of robotrons had overspray on the stencil lines. Mine does, and it kinda bothers me, but the purist in me is saying keep it the messy look. 
 :dunno

Sparkolicious

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2016, 04:09:20 pm »
Great job!  :applaud:  I had a hard time getting the stencils to line up perfectly on mine. At the end of the day I just had to live with it.

Ian

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2016, 10:38:38 am »
Nice!  I really need to restore my cabaret after seeing this. Love the paint job so far.  I've always debated if I want to go that clean stencil look, a lot of robotrons had overspray on the stencil lines. Mine does, and it kinda bothers me, but the purist in me is saying keep it the messy look. 
 :dunno

Keep it messy!
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2016, 11:48:59 am »
Thanks for the props all!  :cheers:

I've always debated if I want to go that clean stencil look, a lot of robotrons had overspray on the stencil lines. Mine does, and it kinda bothers me, but the purist in me is saying keep it the messy look. 
 :dunno

I don't mind a little overspray but if the rest is fading, chipping, scratched etc. it bugs me. Personal preference but I like seeing them restored to their former glory, especially an iconic game or one that's going to wind up in my permanent collection.

Great job!  :applaud:  I had a hard time getting the stencils to line up perfectly on mine. At the end of the day I just had to live with it.

Luckily I did this after a Joust and a Pac-Man so it seemed really easy to line up in comparison!  :laugh:

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GearHead

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2016, 01:49:28 pm »
I like the idea of only removing the backing paper around the areas that are going to be sprayed!
Makes repositioning and removal a lot easier.  My next resto is my Robotron, I'll be trying this technique out.

8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2016, 10:51:14 am »
I like the idea of only removing the backing paper around the areas that are going to be sprayed!
Makes repositioning and removal a lot easier.  My next resto is my Robotron, I'll be trying this technique out.

Definitely give it a try, I found it much easier. The trick can be getting it started in the spot you want. I found it easiest to make a small surface cut with an Xacto and then slide my finger across the surface so the sticky back would catch and it begin rolling back. Make sure not to cut into the mask or the cab, or if you nick the mask throw a piece of tape over it to make sure no paint gets through.   
Games: Asteroids Deluxe | Atomiswave | Centipede | Championship Sprint | Defender | Donkey Kong | Dig Dug | Frogger | Ikari Warriors | Missile Command | Pac-Man | Pole Position | Robotron | Spy Hunter | Tempest | Super Mario Strikers

8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2016, 11:12:20 am »
Stencil touch-up

I decided to try and touch up the paint in the couple spots where the stencil had flopped into it while removing. It didn't look too bad and I figured I was probably asking for trouble but was really curious how a touch-up like this would look for future reference.

Mask off the areas.



Close-up.



After touch-up. As I suspected it looks a little different but you can see it muted the dark spots.



It looks better from a little ways back. Not immediately noticeable unless you're really looking for it.



Overall I'd say it looks slightly better, here's the before.



 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:06:50 pm by 8BitMonk »
Games: Asteroids Deluxe | Atomiswave | Centipede | Championship Sprint | Defender | Donkey Kong | Dig Dug | Frogger | Ikari Warriors | Missile Command | Pac-Man | Pole Position | Robotron | Spy Hunter | Tempest | Super Mario Strikers

8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2016, 11:33:52 am »
Polycrylic

I decided I wanted to do a polycrylic coat over the top of the sides for protection and to adds some uniformity with the silver and red/blue. The red/blue was a little glossier than the silver.

My first coat of poly I did with the cab standing up and it's really hard to get a good coat without it running. Since it dries clear it's not super noticeable but in just the right light you could see it.



So I decided to do the final coat with the cab on it's side, it takes a day for each side but works much better as the poly doesn't drip and self levels.



Shiny.



Also wasn't happy with the couple areas of black that had trouble spots so I re-primed and rolled black over them. The original white Kilz works much better than the gray for covering and I used a nappier roller.



Before and after. Darker, more uniform and hid things like the football shaped mark in the wood.


« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:08:03 pm by 8BitMonk »
Games: Asteroids Deluxe | Atomiswave | Centipede | Championship Sprint | Defender | Donkey Kong | Dig Dug | Frogger | Ikari Warriors | Missile Command | Pac-Man | Pole Position | Robotron | Spy Hunter | Tempest | Super Mario Strikers

8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2016, 12:17:33 pm »
Control panel

My recent system for removing overlays has been: 1. Heat gun to remove the overlay material. 2. Citristrip to remove bulk of adhesive 3. Denatured alcohol to remove any remaining adhesive. 4. Bondo touch up. 5. Sand with hand sander. 6. Denatured alcohol to clean before applying cpo.



My existing Robotron cp had these cardboard inserts which I swapped with metal versions sold by Broodwich on klov.



Made sure washer was under plate. Forgetting this would suck.



Ready for CPO application.



Swap in new WICO 8-ways, needed to re-solder leaf switches.



Got some new buttons but they're quite a bit darker than originals, think I'll keep the originals.



New balltop, shaft, actuator, springs from Paradise Arcade. New overlay from Phoenix.



Applying the overlay.



Touch-up edges, install joysticks. Notice you can partially see an indent for the plate and screws under the joysticks. Not sure how you'd avoid this other than bondoing smooth over the plates which I hadn't considered until after the overlay was applied. :-\ Oh well, still looks good.



Finished CP.



« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:09:12 pm by 8BitMonk »
Games: Asteroids Deluxe | Atomiswave | Centipede | Championship Sprint | Defender | Donkey Kong | Dig Dug | Frogger | Ikari Warriors | Missile Command | Pac-Man | Pole Position | Robotron | Spy Hunter | Tempest | Super Mario Strikers

vwalbridge

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2016, 05:03:52 pm »
Lookin' good, as usual! I love the satisfaction of restoring a CP.

Good note on the bondo to keep the CPO flush. I'm taking a mental note on that.  :cheers:
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opt2not

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2016, 09:51:36 pm »
CP is looking clean!
Not sure what you're going to do about the Start Button lighting (the original cabinets had incandescent bulbs installed that "faintly" lit the blue buttons), but old-time BYOAC member whammoed turned me onto his LED solution to brighten up the lighting on those old buttons:

http://www.nicemite.com/LightmiteLB/LightmiteLB.htm


8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2016, 01:21:00 am »
Lookin' good, as usual! I love the satisfaction of restoring a CP.

Good note on the bondo to keep the CPO flush. I'm taking a mental note on that.  :cheers:

Thanks, yes learn from my mistakes! ;D Didn't even occur to me that the metal plates and screws would'nt be flush. :banghead:

CP is looking clean!
Not sure what you're going to do about the Start Button lighting (the original cabinets had incandescent bulbs installed that "faintly" lit the blue buttons), but old-time BYOAC member whammoed turned me onto his LED solution to brighten up the lighting on those old buttons:

http://www.nicemite.com/LightmiteLB/LightmiteLB.htm

Thanks for the suggestion. I only recently heard of nicemite, some cool stuff. I'm going to use super bright Blue LED's from Comet pinball. Haven't had a chance to add it to my Joust restoration thread yet but here's a comparison of the color difference with a normal bulb vs. a superbright red LED.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:10:04 pm by 8BitMonk »
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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2016, 12:22:17 pm »
New Back Doors.

The old back doors were faded and one swollen from moisture it picked up somewhere so I decided to make new ones.



2 pieces of Birch plywood cut to size at Home Depot then notched with a router.



Inset for the lock. I only had a spade bit and was a little lazy, would've been cleaner/better with a Forstner bit.





Used the old door as a template to drill holes for the pcb, hinges, etc.



Clean the pcb with a brush and alcohol if there are really dirty areas.



Prime and roller black for the outsides.



Spray the insides black.



End result.











« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:10:39 pm by 8BitMonk »
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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2016, 12:35:58 pm »
Nuts and Bolts

All the parts tumbled and bolts painted.



Bleach/clean cable guides.




Speaker replacement and grill touch-up





Back handle repainted



Clean up power supply and AR board, new power cord.


« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:11:21 pm by 8BitMonk »
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opt2not

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2016, 08:50:34 pm »
CP is looking clean!
Not sure what you're going to do about the Start Button lighting (the original cabinets had incandescent bulbs installed that "faintly" lit the blue buttons), but old-time BYOAC member whammoed turned me onto his LED solution to brighten up the lighting on those old buttons:

http://www.nicemite.com/LightmiteLB/LightmiteLB.htm

Thanks for the suggestion. I only recently heard of nicemite, some cool stuff. I'm going to use super bright Blue LED's from Comet pinball. Haven't had a chance to add it to my Joust restoration thread yet but here's a comparison of the color difference with a normal bulb vs. a superbright red LED.


Ah cool, so you're sticking to the original sockets and just plugging these in. Good idea, keep it original'ish.
I'd like to see how lit the original Blue buttons will get with these bulbs.

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2016, 10:27:29 am »
Monitor

Original monitor with bad Robotron burn.



I had a nice K7000 I wanted to use, the only trick is that the frame is made for a WG 4900 chassis.



The solution was to first remove the little plastic pcb holder from the largest metal tab on the chassis mounting area of the frame and hammer it flat.



Then I removed the metal pcb holder from the original K7000 frame, the width matched almost exactly the width of the two smaller remaining metal tabs on the 4900 frame, the depth was also an exact match. Since the underside of the K7000 pcb holder is hollow I placed it over the top of the two tabs and tapped it into place with a hammer. I thought I might have to put a mounting screw through it to secure it but it was really snug just from the pressure of underlying tabs alone.



Chassis back on and mounted to the wooden baseboard. Chassis is a little snug to the tube but otherwise works great, relatively easy fix.





 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:12:07 pm by 8BitMonk »
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8BitMonk

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2016, 11:29:47 am »
Back door re-attached.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:13:13 pm by 8BitMonk »
Games: Asteroids Deluxe | Atomiswave | Centipede | Championship Sprint | Defender | Donkey Kong | Dig Dug | Frogger | Ikari Warriors | Missile Command | Pac-Man | Pole Position | Robotron | Spy Hunter | Tempest | Super Mario Strikers

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2016, 11:51:50 am »
Re-doing the joystick plates

The joy-plate indents were really bugging me, enough so that I decided I'd try removing the top part of the cpo and fix with bondo.

Top of cpo peeled back.



Bondo applied.



Sanding was a trick, didn't want to get dust on the exposed cpo's adhesive so I used a piece of plexi as a shield while I sanded. Even with the shield some particles made their way onto it.



Used some 3M spray adhesive just to make sure it stuck again.



The surface was a little bumpy from the particles I missed or couldn't remove but no joy-plate indents and much improved.



The plastic nose piece needed replacing as well. Here's a picture of the old piece with it's neoprene padding degraded along with the new padding I planned to use.



I used a pin nailer to attached it and attached the new neoprene padding.



Finished nose piece.



Blue LED comparison to normal bulb.

 



« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:13:46 pm by 8BitMonk »
Games: Asteroids Deluxe | Atomiswave | Centipede | Championship Sprint | Defender | Donkey Kong | Dig Dug | Frogger | Ikari Warriors | Missile Command | Pac-Man | Pole Position | Robotron | Spy Hunter | Tempest | Super Mario Strikers

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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2016, 11:57:44 am »
Coin Door

Simple Green bath and rinsed with water after which you can still see a bit of rust and wear.



After a light sanding, repainting and cleaning up the rejects.



« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:14:29 pm by 8BitMonk »
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Re: Robotron Restoration
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2016, 07:08:19 pm »
Subbed!  Wow, nice work so far man!   :o

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