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Author Topic: Basic Safety question on removing an arcade monitor  (Read 3959 times)

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Basic Safety question on removing an arcade monitor
« on: July 31, 2002, 08:48:07 am »
I have a very basic question to which I haven't found an answer in these forums, or maybe I haven't read it correctly 8)

I just got an old arcade cabinet with a Jamma system inside and an old vertical arcade monitor (which I can't or don't know how to identify). After having browsed the forums and arcade sites, I have been quite scared off with all the warnings about handling arcade monitors.

Here's my question: Do all these warnings apply in general to touching or removing the arcade screen or only for repairing it?
I just want to remove it since I want to put a PC screen inside and convert it to a MAME cabinet.

Do I have to discharge it?
Can I just unscrew and unplug it without any precautions?
What cables do I have to unplug?

I've also noticed a converter which is screwed to a wood board of the arcade, do I have to remove it as well or is there to power the Jamma board?

I'm a beginner and don't know much about electrics, but I already know I must avoid touching the back of the monitor.
Is there any other parts I shouldn't touch?

The question is very basic, but I hope the answer will help other very begginers such as me  ;)

I'll try to upload pictures of the cabinet since I have a digital camera, if needed.


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Re:Basic Safety question on removing an arcade monitor
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2002, 09:53:53 am »
I've posted some other messages to this forum in the last week with regards to safe discharging/etc.. of monitors.

Basically, YES, you do need to be *careful* around open frame (e.g. arcade) monitors, however, once you have the basic knowledge, and practice it every time, you will be safe.

The best analogy is this: You have yourself, a bathtub, an outlet and a blow dryer.  By now, you realize what you should NOT do with the 4.   The same applies to an arcade monitor. Once you know what you shouldn't do, then it becomes like riding a bike--you won't forget it.

You can just as quickly kill yourself by plunging one finger from both hands into the two slots of an outlet.   Follow these tips and you'll be safe.

1) Work with monitor unplugged from isolation transformer, of it not possible, then cabinet unplugged from wall. (Obiously if you need to work with it on, then ALWAYS have connected to an isolation transformer... I'm only talking about removing it/discharging it here)

2) Avoid pressing harder than you would type against any part attached to or directly on the picture tube neck (starting with the wire wrapping (called the yoke) back to the tip of the tube where the PC board attaches. This is the weakest point of the tube where the glass is thinner than a drinking cup.  Whereas the front of the tube can be as thick as 2" on some.

3) Avoid touching the thick red wire going from the board to the tube with the suction cup. It MIGHT have cracks in it that may cause a spark to occur if you get your fingers too close to it.

4) Avoid touching the components on the bottom board directly, especially around the area of any large (e.g. 3" high, 1" diamater) capacitor "cans", especially if any of the fuses have blown/the monitor wasn't powering up.   Normally these disappate quickly when shut off, but can hold quite a shock if you touch their leads and they're not discharged.

5) Discharge the tube if you remove the circuit board from the frame (ie. if you're going to replace the capacitors on the board, or if you are going to do a tube swap from an old TV set)

That said, if you simply want to remove a dead and/or unwanted monitor from a cabinet, you don't need to do _much_.

1) Get some protective goggles and wear long sleeve shirts/pants (protect against skin touching something it shouldn't and protect you against flying glass should you drop it!)

2) Get some leather gloves...thin enough to let you move/grab things easily--not bulky where you might drop something carrying it.

3) Unplug the monitor from the isolation transformer

4) Unplug the RGB and Sync wires (should be in 1 or 2 plastic jumper connectors comming to the monitor from the wire harness) from the bottom circuit board in the monitor

5) With a friend's help, if it's titled, use socket wrenches to remove the nuts from any bolts holding the OUTER metal frame into the wood cabinet. (Do NOT remove the 4 bolts from the corner tabs holding the picture tube into the metal frame)

6) Lift out the monitor.

You're done.  

Ideally, if you're not keeping the monitor, don't just throw it (as many areas charge you for disposal). Find someone locally who might pay a few bucks or definitely just give it to them free if not, that would be able to use it.

However, If you're going to keep it, place it high and out of the way (e.g. put it in a box and wrap it with plastic bags and place up in the attic of the house/garage), but do NOT remove the anode cap/discharge, as that will help the tube from gathering up a charge just "sitting"

If you must dispose of it yourself and have no use for the tube, then do this:
1) Wearing the same safety things described above, discharge the tube. (Look for another post in this group, or check google or check for info on safely discharging). Remove the PC board from the neck of the tube, pulling straight back (no twisting/rocking), ensuring there are no cables attached to the tube on it. Remove any wires wrapped around the tube from the main PC board (should all be socketed)

2) With a friend's help, remove the tube from the metal frame by removing the 4 corner bolts.

3) Set the tube face down in a metal garbage can.

4) Stand back about 10 feet, and lob something large and heavy into the can (a large rock, an old heavy VCR, etc..

5) The glass should shatter and remove any potential harm for others electrically.   Pour the glass into a box and take to your hazardous waste disposal center (there is chemicals in/on the glass that most areas deem hazardous), if your local garbage route wont take them.

6) Remove the electronics from the frame.  You can likely sell these on eBay for $10-$40 depending on type of monitor, if it worked or not, etc...  Or throw these with the tube.

Good luck!


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Re:Basic Safety question on removing an arcade monitor
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2002, 10:22:15 am »
 :D ;D :D ;D :D ;D

Thanks MamFan, that's great and very easy to understand explanations!

I just want to remove it, so it won't be too difficult, as the monitor is already screwed into a removable board...

Thanks again for taking the time to explain all this!


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Re:Basic Safety question on removing an arcade monitor
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2002, 11:30:14 am »
You're welcome. Just be safe from imploding glass and electric charges!

PS (to all): I've contribued a lot over the last couple weeks (mainly in this monitor fourm) I am wondering if anyone can help me a bit...  I posted a request in the main forum asking for measurements on a Moon Patrol cabinet.

Does anyone have or have easy access to a cabinet that could do some measurements (and/or pics--but measurements most important)?  I want to build my MAME cabinet using Moon Patrol as a template.

If you have a Joust or Robotron, I'd appreciate those as they're virtually the same I believe.

I can't find anyone with them locally, and would like to know the side, front, back measurements and monitor shelf angle.

Thank you!


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Re:Basic Safety question on removing an arcade monitor
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2002, 11:26:38 am »
        I'm not sure, but when I purchased my Arcade game, the gentleman said that it was a converted X-men game, and what he thought was converted from Robotron.  I have posted pictures of the cabinet for your viewing at  Let me know if this is indeed what you were thinking, and I'll get any dimensions you would like.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2002, 12:01:36 pm by Davestar »


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Re:Basic Safety question on removing an arcade monitor
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2002, 08:37:59 am »
OK, so now to fulfill all of my curiosity...
Here are two pics from my arcade cabinet open, monitor stille not unmounted. Before I do that, I'd like to know if someone can put names and maybe explanations on the cables that run all over the back of the cabinet. (best would be to edit the picture and repost it or send directly to me)
Just in case I can reuse them. I'll also make a FAQ for very beginners like my pictures and step-by-step instructions!

Thanks in advance!  ;D ??? ;D