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Author Topic: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST  (Read 951 times)

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alfonzotan

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Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« on: August 16, 2020, 01:04:06 pm »
I really thought I was done with "new to me" cabs for a while after finishing up the long-delayed restoration work on Eyes and Kickman last month.  But instead I started obsessively scrolling through Craigslist and LetGo and other sales sites, and lo and behold, there it was:



Over there on the right, the one game that was my favorite since the first time I laid eyes on that gorgeous color Quadrascan monitor, but after prices started skyrocketing over the last 20 years I'd lost any realistic hope of landing one.  This particular cab was listed as part of a package deal, but I emailed the seller and asked if they'd let me know should they decide to break up the lot.  To my surprise I got a near-immediate positive response and started planning to check it out.  The Tempest was listed as "dead vector," with no other details.  On inquiring I learned that it played blind, and a picture of the monitor looked clean and repairable.  So off I went, couple of hours drive away, with a Uhaul reservation in my back pocket in case everything worked out.

It worked out.  The seller, who was unloading his old collection ahead of a divorce sale of the house they were in, said he'd bought it at a Super Auction about 20 years ago, and that it had stopped working maybe 10 years ago.  He'd checked the board with an o-scope and gotten X and Y, and the monitor had a good neck glow; the Spot Killer light comes on.  Really as soon as I saw the tube was intact I was ready to make a deal, and got a pretty good one.  For $500 (by far the most I've ever paid for a cab; it's actually more than I'd paid for all my other cabs combined, but still) it was mine.



Got it home, and was pleased to find that it still played blind.  The monitor is going out for repair work on Monday.  In the meantime I'll be cleaning up and fixing some of the cosmetics:  the grille below the marquee is missing, some nimrod had gouged out the rear door lock, and there's a chunk of laminate missing next to the coin door.  I should be able to clean up the latter two.  For the grille I'll probably have to fabricate something, it doesn't look like that part is available much of anywhere.







But I did get off to a good start, replacing the marquee bulb and starter.



I'm stoked.  This is literally the game I've always wanted.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 08:56:21 am by alfonzotan »

bobbyb13

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2020, 01:20:36 am »
I'm stoked FOR you!

I would pay $1000 for a real Tempest if one ever existed in my neighborhood.
Have to settle for emulation myself for pretty much anything/everything until I become a millionaire though.

Hope your monitor repair goes well and that thing is spinning away soon.
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alfonzotan

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2020, 06:31:49 pm »
A little light restoration work while I'm waiting on the 6100 to be repaired.  First, that nasty hole in the top of the back panel.  Got a couple of lock plates and proceeded to fill with wood putty. 



Not as clean of a job as on my Kickman, but the hole was bigger and it was difficult to alight the cam lock.  Still, it's an improvement.  Since this picture I replaced the screws with carriage bolts.



Here's the spinner from the day I got the game.  You can see the ring of the blue nylon bushing around the shaft, and sure enough the spinner had that signature Tempest "BURRRRRR" sound.  I picked up a set of brass replacements on KLOV (sorry, I didn't take any "after" pics), and now it's both smooth and perfectly silent.



Finally, I did some preventative maintenance by cleaning the oxidation off the main board edge connector fingers (no pictures), and replaced the bane of 80's Atari technology, the bottlecap transistor, in the power supply.  I also added in a replacement part for the long horizontal grille below the marquee (missing when I picked up the game).  Now if I can just get that monitor back...

« Last Edit: August 30, 2020, 06:35:59 pm by alfonzotan »

alfonzotan

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2020, 01:08:58 pm »
Still waiting on the monitor, so I did a little more cosmetic work.  I wasn't happy with the ragged way the back panel lock patch looked, so I gave it another try.  Still not exactly perfect, but a lot better now.  Don't know if I'll paint the patch or not.



After cleaning off the coin door, it was time to do something about the patch where somebody in the past drilled into the kick panel, presumably to install a lock (but who knows).  There was a big chunk of the laminate missing and a couple of holes in the particle board underneath.  I grabbed a lock plate just to use as a straight-edge and scored the laminate to make the missing chunk an even rectangle.  Then I snipped a piece of laminate from a sheet remnant I had left over from a long-ago MAME cabinet project and glued it into the gap.  End result isn't seamless, but it's a lot better than what I started with.

Before:


During:




After:


I'm about out of things to fix on this cab until the 6100 is ready to go back in...

bobbyb13

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2020, 01:52:05 pm »
Painting the back patch is a slippery slope since you'll want to paint the whole panel after starting I imagine.
Looks better of course, but pacing around waiting for the monitor to come back would make me nutty!

Did you send out the whole monitor or just the boards (and to whom?)

I'm sure I'm over my head with one of the monitors I have and would greatly appreciate a recommendation on someone to send stuff to for repair.
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alfonzotan

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2020, 01:57:21 pm »
Painting the back patch is a slippery slope since you'll want to paint the whole panel after starting I imagine.
Looks better of course, but pacing around waiting for the monitor to come back would make me nutty!

Did you send out the whole monitor or just the boards (and to whom?)

I'm sure I'm over my head with one of the monitors I have and would greatly appreciate a recommendation on someone to send stuff to for repair.

In this case I pulled the whole monitor, I have a local repair guy who's done me right over the years:  http://davesarcade.com (Atlanta metro) 

For repairs on vector screens, check with andrewb at the KLOV forums, he has very good prices on repairs and is a true expert.  For regular raster monitors I would just ask around in your area, there's bound to be a repair tech or two who can revive or rebuild a CRT chassis without you having to mail anything away.

alfonzotan

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2020, 05:36:58 pm »
Finally got the word today that the monitor has been repaired.  Will pick it up and install tomorrow.



Rush's "Subdivisions" is already cued up...
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 05:51:06 pm by alfonzotan »

alfonzotan

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2020, 06:45:09 pm »
IT LIVES



... and it has... Tubes?!?

The main board turned out to be loaded with Tempest Tubes.  There's an Atari PROM in the coin box, I assume (but don't know for sure) that swapping it in the right place would re-converts to the original game.  Going to find out soon.. (EDIT: yes, it does.)

The monitor needed a deflection board rebuild, the LV section was fried (no great shock).  Dave installed an LV2000 and did a general reflow.  It looks great. 

Oh, and I did find an original marquee grille, so this one is pretty much finished, other than (most likely) installing a switchable Tempest/Tempest Tubes PROM.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 10:24:39 am by alfonzotan »

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2020, 08:36:11 pm »
Such a great game. It looks awesome. Well done.  :cheers: :applaud:

J_K_M_A_N

bobbyb13

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2020, 01:09:54 am »
Outstanding!

Good on ya for not just saving it but making it awesome.
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Mike A

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2020, 11:48:00 am »
Very nice. Tempest is a great game.

Howard_Casto

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Re: Just when I thought I was out... they brought me a TEMPEST
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2020, 02:47:07 am »
I dig it man... so dang clean.