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Author Topic: Sega Aero City  (Read 866 times)

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opt2not

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Sega Aero City
« on: November 17, 2020, 04:38:26 am »
I recently picked up a couple Sega Aero City's for a great price. One of them I'm going to keep, the other is going to a buddy.
Both cabinets are in decent condition, have working monitors, but are missing some of the stock parts that Sega released these cabinets with.  For example, the CP's were converted to north american controls so they're missing the original Control Panels and the surround housing. Both cabs also came with non-original marquees, as well as height risers to get these to be standing cabinets.
One of the cabinets has a working Moon Patrol board, while the other has a Centipede that seems to not want to boot-up.  This thread will concentrate on the plans for my cab -- the Centipede one.



First, I love this cabinet.  I think it's one of the most perfect cabs for shmup's and vertical games. The lines of the design being angular, the size being smaller than your average candy, and simplicity and ability to separate all the components and internals make for a wonderful cab to own.  It's got a cool 80's vibe to it, and I really love that the entire cabinet is made out of metal. This cab is a workhorse.

It's about 2 inches less in width, about a couple in height than my New Astro City. It also hosts a 26" Nanao CRT, compared to 29" in the NAC.
I will be dedicating this cab to mainly tate orientation.

The cabinet I'm keeping already has the monitor vertically mounted, but was also adapter to play Centipede, via a Sega->Atari Adapter, and a trackball North American panel was installed. I've got a replacement CP and surround housing on the way to me, as well as various small parts to get this bad boy back to stock.



At first powering it up, the monitor works, but the colors and brightness was very dim. After playing with the pots I was able to get it to show up a bit brighter, but I'm pushing it to the limit here. So a cap-kit and B+ filter cap are in order to start.

My plan is to restore this cabinet in Two Tiers:


Tier 1
Since the holidays is right around the corner, my money has got to be more strategic right now, so I'm considering the first Tier as a parts gathering, cleaning, paint touch-ups, and functionality.  That is, it's got to be cheap, but I wanted to make sure I got all the right parts installed as well as getting it bulletproof in function.

To break it down into goal pillars:
- Aero must have the necessary parts to be returned as close to stock as possible
- thoroughly cleaned cabinet and parts for in-house worthiness
- rustless
- paint and art must be touched-up and presentable
- Bright and beautiful vertical "tate" orientation monitor, suitable for shmups and classic games


Tier 2
In the new year, my plan is to fully strip this cabinet by means of sandblasting, then getting the entire cabinet powder-coated for a brand new finish. New reproduction side-art and stickers will be applied to it, and the wiring will be converted from the early Sega wiring to dedicated JAMMA.

This of course is a bigger financial investment than Tier 1, so that I'll save for when I don't have to buy a billion presents for friends and family. ;)


Pics and Details

In case you were wondering, 2 Aero City's fit inside of a Honda Odyssey minivan:


How they looked when I picked them up. Just sitting outside in the dirt and dust:


The seller had these stored under an awning outside of his home, for lord knows how long, so they accumulated a lot of Californian dirt and grime over that time:




You can see in the above picture the Moon Patrol harness was adapted to the Sega wiring. Here's the Centipede. All said, fairly tidy conversions -- no hack jobs:


Overall decent condition, considering where it was stored.  There are a bunch of scuffs around the cab, and scratches on the side-art. For now I'm going to razorblade the artwork to get the flappy tears flush, then fill in the blemishes with blue enamel paint to touch it up.  Same goes for the glossy white.
Also you can see a bunch of scuffs along the bottom at the base. That's gotta be sorted out to get those clean lines along the edges:


Hardware-wise there are a lot of missing torx screws around the cabinet, some panels are being held by 2/4 they should be secured with. But also, the monitor glass is also missing the thicker torx screws, and one of them was stripped. I had to use pliers to unscrew and completely compromising it. I'm going to have to find replacements:


Got all the original legs:


Inside the cabinet the monitor has a model sheet, and from all that I've seen on PCB comparisons it looks like this monitor is a Nanao MS8-26SG. I will need to further confirm this though:





This is going to be a great cabinet when I'm done with it. For a $400 candy cabinet purchase, who could resist? But if you've followed my restorations before you know I go all the way, and I try to do it quickly.
My goal is to have this up and running in 2 weeks time, at least that's what I'm shooting for. The main thing that's holding me up on this cabinet is waiting for parts to ship. As long as I keep making progress every day, I should be able to get Tier 1 completed in a good sprint.

Let's get started.   :cheers:
« Last Edit: November 17, 2020, 04:44:14 am by opt2not »

opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2020, 04:42:05 am »
First order of business: Gut it.

I gotta remove everything from the shell and take it apart so that I can give it a thorough cleaning.

Remove the CP and Monitor. I love how the monitor bezel just lifts up like a Delorean :D


I pulled my buddy's monitor to take a look at his chassis as well.  Man, I do have a lot of monitors, only 4 are in the background but there's another 4 hiding off camera:


Here's a look at the inside. Not too terrible, but still really dirty and grimy. Also, lots of spider webs and nests. So yeah, maybe kinda terrible LOL :lol :


Removed all the hardware inside, here's what nastiness I was left with:



Second order of business: Clean it.

After a good shop-vac I sprayed the cabinet down with a hose and simple green, and began scrubbing it from top to bottom, in and out.

Here's a look at what the insides look like now:


The cabinet cleaned up really nicely, and I was able to get rid of a bunch of scuffs and marks on the sides:








There was a bunch of rust building up along the bottom edges, and lot around the cash box door. So I removed the base of the cabinet, and took some sandpaper and scraped off the rust and made the paint smooth around that area so that I can apply the touch-up paint later:





Overall I'm very happy with the condition and cleanliness of the cab.  Since it got dark outside, and I couldn't start applying the touch-up paint (would rather do that during the day), I re-focused my efforts to the monitor.

Before I service any monitor chassis, I like to give it a good cleaning. Time for a bath!


Scrub-a-dub-dub, dirty chassis in the tub:


My method for cleaning monitor chassis' is to spray it down with warm water and simple green, then take a medium soft paint brush and use it to scrub the grime out. The long bristles help in reaching under caps, or in tight spots, but also is flexible enough that you can't apply too much pressure to damage anything.

After a rinse, I pat it down with a cloth, drying up as much of the main moisture as I can.


Once that's done to satisfactory, I blast it with some canned-air, especially in the small holes and connector ports that might keep the water inside.

Next, it sits in front of a fan overnight to dry-out even more:


This is where we're at right now. In the morning I will then put the chassis in the oven at 170F and let it sit for 30-40 mins drying out any moisture that is hiding under components or inside sockets.  This has been my tried and true method for years.

During the day my plan is to apply the touch-up paint to the glossy white parts, as well as the blues in the side-art. Stay tuned   :cheers:

Arroyo

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2020, 07:33:17 am »
Subscribed!  And nice write up.

Mike A

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2020, 07:53:05 am »
Nice pickup. I like the fact that these are all metal.

My Okay Baby is plastic.

Arroyo can tell you how hard it was to change the monitor orientation on my cab. The fact that it has a 29 inch monitor didn't help.

The Nanao in your cab is a much more manageable size.

I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2020, 04:42:14 pm »
Thanks bros.

I baked a pie today:


170F for 25 minutes, then turned off the oven and let it sit in there as it cooled down. Once cooled, remove and serve. ;)

So fresh and so clean-clean!  Ready for fresh caps.


opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2020, 11:31:15 pm »
Letís keep the momentum going!

I hit the sides with some gloss white krylon, mostly on the blemishes and bottom edges. Also bent the bottom edge to get it more straight.





And of course, the coin box frame looks a hellava lot better:

Didnít bother painting the footrest area because that gets covered by a bracket and rubber mat.

I popped out the coin door hardware and threw it in my drill chuck, spun it up and pressed it on some 120 grit sandpaper to shine them up.


I think it turned out well! Itís not a perfect match, the krylon is a slight shade brighter, but you canít really tell unless youíre up really close.
Also, the krylon is not as glossy as the original surface so I plan on hitting this thing with some Novus polish and see if I can get it to look more consistent.

Allís done, Iím happy with this.
The monitor bezel needs the same treatment, that should be tomorrow.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2020, 01:35:51 am by opt2not »

AstroPanthera

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2020, 04:14:00 pm »
These are going to be gorgeous. Awesome pickup!

opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2020, 04:30:50 pm »
Thank you, AstroPanthera.  :cheers:

Last night I took the cleaned-up chassis and started mapping out the caps.


All the caps pulled.  The previous owner told me he did a cap replacement within the last 5 years, but that was only half true.  He replaced maybe 6 caps, but the rest were stock! :(  AND those caps he replaced were cheap low-end ones like Jamicon and Elna.


Here's the mapping. Sorry I didn't sort the list on the right by number, should have done that...oh well.



I found 2 damaged pads when I desoldered those caps. I for sure didn't damage them, as you can see one of them looks like a cold joint, but that's because that one side of the pad is gone. The previous owner must of torched them. Continuity still checks out, but they're hanging on by a thread! I might have to jump these connections for peace-of-mind.



Another annoyance is there's a whole lot of silicone glue/paste holding caps down.  Some of the glue is holding caps that have no business needing to be held, like the bigger 100uF caps that have thick legs and solder. Those things ain't going anywhere, no point in gluing them down.
It's like someone spunked all over this chassis.


I haven't nailed down what variant of the MS8-26 this is, because there are a lot of information out there that isn't clear.  There are a few known variants, MS8-26A, 26SU, 26SG, and 26SE?

I speculated that I have the 26SG due to the monitor model sheet inside the cabinet, but I wasn't 100% sure.  When cabs changes hands in it's history, you never know what was left stock and what was replaced. So I wanted to varify what monitor chassis this actually is.

After talking to Peter from arcadepartsandrepair.com he sent me a cap list of his kit for the 26SG.  I compared it to the caps I pulled from the chassis and neckboard and noticed there are some differences:


2 of the caps are at different values, and 1 of the caps is missing on my chassis.

I am not sure if the previous owner just put in the incorrect values on those caps that don't match, but what's weird is that my chassis is missing a C579.  The serial numbers on my chassis and the neckboard both match what arcadepartsandrepair have listed on their 26SG kit page. So I'm confused as to why these 3 caps are not consistent with that cap kit list.

Anyone have any information you can share so I can lock down this variant? I'm waiting to hear back from Peter at arcadepartsandrepair.  Hope he might know what's up.  It's so weird.

Later today I'm going to tackle touch-up paint on the monitor bezel. This train keeps rollin'!

opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2020, 09:48:06 pm »
I heard back from ArcadePartsAndRepair about the SG kit and the discrepancies between the 3 caps:

Quote from: 'Peter @ www.arcadepartsandrepair.com'
That kit is probably correct for your chassis because that 22uf was upgraded to the 33uf and the cap that is missing isnít uncommon to find and I would leave it out if the solder looks like it never had one installed plus if it was working.  Just add a note to your order to upgrade two of the 33uf caps to 250v just to be safe and someone here will change them in the kit for you.
Iím going to trust Peter and say this is an MS8-26SG. Cap kit ordered. I canít recommend arcadepartsandrepair.com enough, lots of stock for our needs, and great communication and service.

In the meantime, thereís still more bodywork to do.

The monitor bezel was a bit rusty, so I took sandpaper to it then repainted it right at sundown, just before it got dark outside:





Turned out really nice.


While the bezel is drying I went back to the craft store and picked up a darker blue enamel that closer matches the side art.

The blue is definitely a closer match, if not just a hair darker, but you canít really tell unless you were up close:


Tried to blend it as best I could:


The other side is a bit harder to hide. Lots more damage to the side art:


Tonight Iíve got to prep for tomorrowís stream, so Iím probably only going to clean the dirty wiring I pulled from the cab.

morton

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2020, 10:04:26 am »
Wish I had seen this before I stripped my Versus City. Lots of good tips. This is one hell of a restore. Wondering if leaving mine in "survivor" condition is worth it after seeing this. I knew when I saw who OP was that this would be quality posting and you did not disappoint! Loving this thread!

emphatic

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2020, 04:26:21 pm »
Congrats on these. Great work so far!  :applaud:

opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2020, 05:53:12 pm »
The service door was funky, especially on the bottom edge. Bunch of rust and scratches.


So I sanded it down the best I could and prepped it for a fresh coat of paint (making sure to tape off the stickers):


Also got the cash box door prepped for a refresh:


Boom!




Also threw some paint on the Control Panel base, getting ready for my top panel surround to arrive:


I pivoted from the painting while waiting for these pieces to dry, and concentrated efforts on the metal parts at the base.  They were suffering from some build-up from the elements, maybe water scum, mixed with dirt...who knows.


As the man of the house, I'm relegated to doing the crappy chores, like putting out the trash, or scrubbing the bathrooms.  So I know the best way to get scum off of the facets is to use CLR. You just spray the metals, let it sit for 5-10 mins and let the foam do the work for you. Then you just lightly scrub it away with a magic eraser and they come out looking shiny.



Mirror-like finish!


I really want to reassemble everything, so after my stream tonight I'm going to try to put all the parts back together and snap some pics.  Exciting!

opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2020, 05:57:48 pm »
Wish I had seen this before I stripped my Versus City. Lots of good tips. This is one hell of a restore. Wondering if leaving mine in "survivor" condition is worth it after seeing this. I knew when I saw who OP was that this would be quality posting and you did not disappoint! Loving this thread!
Thanks, morton.  Honestly, these cabinets are so much easier to work on than stand-up woodies. Less messy. :D

Congrats on these. Great work so far!  :applaud:
Emph!  Good to hear from you, man. I was hoping a candy cab restore would bring guys like you out. ;)  Thanks dude.  :cheers:

opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2020, 06:53:01 pm »
I couldn't wait. Had to see how all these painted parts looked together.








Mike A

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2020, 07:43:38 pm »
 :applaud:

opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2020, 06:58:34 am »
Tonightís task was to clean the topper that holds the marquee and speakers.

It was pretty dirty all-around, but there is no damage that needed touching up:


I took it apart piece by piece, which actually requires you to follow an order of disassembly to get all the parts out.


Simple Green again, and after drying it all off, it cleaned up very nicely:






For reference, this has a F15T8 ďcool whiteĒ bulb inside.


« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 01:01:54 pm by opt2not »

Arroyo

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2020, 08:08:28 am »
Lookin good all around, you are a machine.

opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2020, 10:07:28 pm »
The machine keeps runniní!  :cheers:

Today I got the repro CPís and Surround.


also got an original Sega-to-JAMMA adapter. My monitor cap kit came today too. Lots of goodies to get this done!


The CP Surround was a bit yellowed.


This is actually paint, so I sanded it down and prepped for a fresh coat. Fresh and clean!


I waited for the CP Surround to dry then attached it to the cabinet...


Also added locks to the doors. The service door came with a keyless lock. I like it for the convenience so Iíll keep it.


I attached the topper and the cleaned-up marquee holder. Weíre at the home stretch!



Weíre getting there!
Tonight Iíll recap the monitor, then install the wiring this weekend. I should also be getting the rubber mat for the footrest tomorrow.

Woo hoo!

opt2not

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2020, 04:22:09 am »
Big strides were made in the last 24hrs!

I re-capped the monitor like I mentioned I would. Double and triple checked my work, no backwards caps, continuity checked out.

Nice new Nichicon caps from arcadepartsandrepairís Nanao MS8-26SG kit.





Decided I should test and clean/balance the tube before I installed the chassis onto it.


All guns cleaned and balanced, everything is in  working order. This tube is thankfully healthy.


Top-shelf condition! Colors are back to being vibrant, brightness is great, and the geometry looks fantastic! Iím [size=14]super psyched[/size] right now!






I had to throw a game on this and the easiest board to hook-up was my Namco 20th Anniversary.




Iím so pumped! Happy that the monitor didnít need much more than new caps.

Also got the last physical touches done on the cab.


New footrest rubber mat, courtesy of @'hoagtech', thank you sir. So I installed it with the newly cleaned metal brackets. The glass and monitor shroud was also cleaned up and reinstalled.

I swapped the coin insert from the fairly divoted metal one to a white plastic I had laying around for a long while. Also put the 2L6B Aero panel on there. I wanna get a 1P panel soon as well.



Itís now house worthy. The eagle has landed!


Iím going to rearrange this room to fit in the new cab.

Next up is to bring the wiring and monitor back into the cab. Iím so close to being done!

jennifer

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Re: Sega Aero City
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2020, 06:35:29 am »
I think that's the first time I have seen anyone actually take the time to do that correctly...You have not only restored those guns, but have also restored my faith in humanity.