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Author Topic: Centipede Mini Restoration  (Read 19202 times)

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SirPeale

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Centipede Mini Restoration
« on: May 29, 2008, 11:24:05 pm »
I picked this cab up in a lot of ten about two months ago.  The rest are in storage, but I thought I'd pick away at this one a bit at a time.

Vacuumed it out a couple days ago.  It was filled with mouse nests.  Gross.

Replaced a couple of the T nuts on the bottom with new leveler mounting plates, as well as the levelers.  All of them had holes thru them.

The power cord had its end torn right off.  I took a PC power cord, cut off the end and crimped on new Molex pins.  Good as new.

Next I thought I'd tackle the power distribution block.  Taking cues from BrentRadio's restorations, I disassembled it.  Scrubbed as much rust as I could from it.  I've masked off the original labels, and tomorrow I'll paint it brass.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008, 12:33:29 pm »
Cleaned the power distribution block a ton.  And reassembled.

Before and after shots.  It's good, but it could be better.  Still...I'm happy with it.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2008, 01:06:19 pm »
Did you just dust it off with a brush or did you disassemble it and detail it?

Also, in your first post....no pic of the cab??

SirPeale

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008, 02:17:27 pm »
Did you just dust it off with a brush or did you disassemble it and detail it?

Did you read or just skim? 

Quote
Also, in your first post....no pic of the cab??

I haven't taken one yet.  I've got ten other cabs I still have to take pictures of.  Don't worry, I'll take one eventually.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2008, 03:48:42 pm »
Did you just dust it off with a brush or did you disassemble it and detail it?

Did you read or just skim? 


Oops!  :-[ I skimmed.  ;D

Anyways....nice job indeed.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2008, 11:15:54 am »
I've had problems with the board since day one.  I'd cleaned the legs on the ROMs before because they were heavily oxidized, but it only helped a bit.

Last night I took my soldering iron to the board and resoldered every socket on there, as well as any component that connected to ground.

Today I fired it up, and it still comes up with errors, but at least I can get it into test all the time now.  Comes up with ROM errors 2 and 4.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2008, 12:47:29 pm »
Oh  hey...picture...

ChadTower

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2008, 12:59:14 pm »

That one has a good monitor-cab ratio.  Must be top heavy. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the coin doors.   ;D

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2008, 01:03:32 pm »
Nice work on the power brick, but shouldn't you replace the Big Blue ?

And don't you have a bit better resolution picture of the cab ?  Please ? :D

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2008, 01:15:12 pm »
I'll replace it eventually.  Right now it's doing it's job.  Money is tight, and I've been funding cab purchases with store sales.  Sales have been slow lately, so that's why there have been no updates.  What it really needs is boardwork.  I want to replace all the caps, but more importantly either I have a bad socket or a bad ROM.

Yes, I have a hi-res photo, but it's huge.  That's why I resized it. 

I've already pulled the coin door.  Most of the old coating came off in one big sheet.  The rust just tunneled under it.  Regrettably there was a tube lock on the bottom, and it was locked with no key.  I crowbared it.  Didn't want to, but I wanted to get to work on it and stop screwing around. 

The last of the coating didn't want to come off easily with a wire wheel, so I'm going to do some chemical persuasion next.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2008, 01:49:06 pm »
The last of the coating didn't want to come off easily with a wire wheel, so I'm going to do some chemical persuasion next.


I was at Harbor Freight the other day for 20 minutes staring at the sandblasting cabinets... so tempting it's not even funny.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2008, 01:57:54 pm »
If I had a place to use/store it I'd have built one a long time ago.  Living in a two bedroom apartment my choices are unfortunately limited.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2008, 02:04:44 pm »

I bet we could design one for occasional use that's easy to take apart and store.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2008, 03:44:42 pm »
Coin Door: Lots of sanding and spray paint = Will look new
« Last Edit: August 07, 2008, 05:09:56 pm by RayB »
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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2008, 04:47:28 pm »
Why replace the coin door? Look up my Centi mini thread. Lots of sanding and spray paint = Looks New


Who's replacing the coin door?  We're talking about replacing Big Blue.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2008, 05:10:25 pm »
Saw Chad's post, saw your reply. Level42's was not noticed. Strange. I must have had him on Ignore. (Just Kidding!!!!)
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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2008, 05:19:41 pm »
Hehehehe, must be your spam filter...  :laugh2:

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2008, 07:28:50 pm »

I bet we could design one for occasional use that's easy to take apart and store.

I'd have to worry about the compressor too.  Until I get a "real" workshop this is on a back-burner.

I've looked before in the area for people that sand/bead blast, but didn't find anyone.  I should ask again.  Concentrate on body shops this time.  I hear they use them a lot.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2008, 08:54:05 pm »
I'd have to worry about the compressor too.  Until I get a "real" workshop this is on a back-burner.


I have a compressor I haven't learned to use yet and a lot of stuff I could use a sandblaster on.    It's worth thinking about and you'd be able to box stuff up for me to blast in a batch.  If we could come up with a design that allows us to take it apart for storage it would be easy to build two and you just sit on yours until you have a compressor.  Or build it later.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2008, 09:01:20 pm »
If you weren't so damn far away I'd consider it.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2008, 07:39:07 pm »
Actually worked on this quite a bit today.  Pulled the harness out and monitor, sanded the heck out of the bottom of the cab, vacuumed and wiped down everything.  Started wire wheeling off the bezel retainer rust to repaint. 

Then I pulled the board to clean the heck out of the ROM legs.  Thought (hoped) that this problem might be solved by dirty legs.  It's been reporting ROMs 2 and 4 as bad.

When I pulled 2 I found that one of the legs was gone entirely!  I was really excited.  I soldered on a cap leg I cut off from when I did cap kit.  Little change - now the P1 and P2 start buttons light up, but nothing else seems to be different.  I have to bite the bullet and get new ROMs.  Sucks they're so expensive.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2008, 08:26:39 pm »
I've been scrubbing the heck out of the coin door to get the old coating and the rust off.  I wish there was a sand blaster in this area, this is a big pain.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2008, 07:53:20 am »

Any chance of getting just a sandblaster?  I think Sears carries them cheap, no cabinet, just put the door against a rock and blast it.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2008, 08:40:33 am »
Also no compressor to drive the sandblaster.  And the fact that I live in the downtown area, I don't really have a place to do that outside of a cabinet.

I'd be fine taking it somewhere...IF there was somewhere to take it.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2008, 09:00:42 am »

There has to be an easier solution to this.  Chemical stripping?

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2008, 09:16:57 am »
no powder coaters in the area?  they always have a sandblaster.  they could even just powder coat the door for you
If you are helping someone and expecting something in return, you are doing business not kindness.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2008, 09:41:25 am »

There has to be an easier solution to this.  Chemical stripping?

Stripping just removes the old coating.  I still have to deal with the rust.  Which isn't hard, it's just that there are all these impossible to get to area with my wire wheel.  Likely I'll just do it with sandpaper by hand.

no powder coaters in the area?  they always have a sandblaster.  they could even just powder coat the door for you

Not that I'm aware of, or I would have gone that route.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2008, 11:20:19 am »
Stripping just removes the old coating. 

There are chemical strippers for rust too.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2008, 12:05:37 pm »
If you have a compressor, the sandblasting attachment is only 12 bucks at HD.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2008, 01:19:13 pm »
If you have a compressor, the sandblasting attachment is only 12 bucks at HD.

I don't.  Wish I did.


Stripping just removes the old coating. 

There are chemical strippers for rust too.

They don't do nearly as good a job as an abrasive, IMO.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2008, 07:27:34 pm »
I just used an ordinary Mouse sander. Wasn't 100% down to the steel either. So long as it was smooth and no rust, it was ready for spraying.
(And results look like it's NEW!)
« Last Edit: August 19, 2008, 11:39:25 am by RayB »
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ChadTower

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2008, 08:10:42 pm »
They don't do nearly as good a job as an abrasive, IMO.


No, but they do the first 85% of the work for you.  Then you finish with an abrasive.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2008, 08:15:59 pm »
if you are ok with shipping, I know the owner of Powder Barons (a local PC'er) and I could get you a great deal, he'll blast and coat it whatever color you want

http://www.powderbarons.com

just email him and tell them 3fastperformance referred you
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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2008, 08:49:11 pm »

Holy snot that guy's work is pretty.


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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2008, 04:54:08 pm »
There are powder coaters in practically every city.  IMO it's not worth it for most arcade parts though.  You'll spend a lot more money because you are paying someone else the labor to blast the part and then to coat it.  Typically you'd spend $25-50 for one thing like a coin door.  Not worth it at all IMO.  Besides, a good $5 can of Rustoleum spraypaint looks just as good, if not better in most cases.  And in a home environment, the extra durability that powder coating sometimes provides is not really a concern.

All just my opinion of course.  I don't see anything wrong with powder coating, I just think it's wasted effort and expense on video games.

Wade

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2008, 05:02:26 pm »
I guess it depends on the powder coater.  I've heard insane prices of like $75 to strip and recoat a door.  I've also heard of dudes that do it dirt cheap.  I'd at least check things out - IF there were guys that did it in my area.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2008, 08:45:58 pm »
The way to get it done cheap is to have the parts slipped in with other parts being done of the same color, and the guy gets paid cash. Know what I mean?
 ;)
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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2008, 05:47:46 pm »
3fast sends alot of business his way; cant hurt to drop an email, thats all Im sayin. If you have a buncha stuff you want done at the same time and the same color; even better for you.

I wouldn't suggest him if I hadn't used his service before. Just trying to help out a fellow BYOAC'er
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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2008, 08:56:21 pm »

Thought about this some today... while not quite a full stripper, how about a powerwasher?

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2008, 04:59:46 pm »
I guess it depends on the powder coater.  I've heard insane prices of like $75 to strip and recoat a door.  I've also heard of dudes that do it dirt cheap.  I'd at least check things out - IF there were guys that did it in my area.

Peale, where do you live?  IF you really want powdercoating, I'd bet there's a powdercoater somewhere nearby.  You might want to call some body shops or car/truck accessory places.  There are tons of guys that do this kind of work, especially since it can be done with minimal tools.  Find someone who is into classic cars, hotrods, or import sports cars.  They will probably know someone who does it.  My city is only 50,000 and I have run into several powder coaters before, and could probably find a dozen if I really looked.

Wade

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2008, 05:20:00 pm »
I live in Southern Vermont.   There are places I can go to within 75 miles, but with gas the price it is, I can't/won't get there.  I'll just make due with what I've got.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2008, 07:05:28 pm »

Hrm... try a VT classic cars forum?  I'd be shocked if there aren't a couple of guys somewhere that have setups for themselves.  Hell I might look around myself for that now that I think about it.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2008, 06:11:06 am »

Hrm... try a VT classic cars forum?  I'd be shocked if there aren't a couple of guys somewhere that have setups for themselves.  Hell I might look around myself for that now that I think about it.

I could give it a shot.  The two places I know are my cousin's garage in Springfield (Green Mtn Classics) and Hemmings Auto in Bennington.  Both places are kind of far to drive, though.  :(

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2008, 07:52:37 am »

Those are commercial setups... I'm thinking some forum guy that has a personal setup.  He gets a little cash on the side and you get a cut rate.  Maybe he ends up buying one of those games once you're done.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2008, 09:54:50 pm »
So...what kind of ROM chips does Centipede use?  I consulted the drawing set, all it lists is an Atari part number. 

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #45 on: August 25, 2008, 09:19:33 am »
So...what kind of ROM chips does Centipede use?  I consulted the drawing set, all it lists is an Atari part number. 

Was finally able to pull the board out to examine.  It's got 9316 ROM chips on it.  According to Mikes Arcade, they're nearly impossible to source.

Recommends replacing with 2716 instead with some minor work.

http://www.mikesarcade.com/cgi-bin/spies.cgi?action=url&type=info&page=9316.txt

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #46 on: August 25, 2008, 10:11:01 am »

Hey nice site... and for once I can see it from where I'm sitting.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #47 on: August 25, 2008, 10:36:43 am »
And reading further into it 2716 is a direct replacement for 9316B, which is what I've got.  Good, that makes the replacement a cinch.

Now to find a really cheap place to get them.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #48 on: August 25, 2008, 04:25:28 pm »
And reading further into it 2716 is a direct replacement for 9316B, which is what I've got.  Good, that makes the replacement a cinch.

Now to find a really cheap place to get them.
I've seen about 5 Centipede boards now. All but one had EPROMs on them. The other one had ROMs. Don't remember what types, but I don't think the board needed any modification for either.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #49 on: August 25, 2008, 04:49:39 pm »
I was talking with James Sweet on RGVAC.  He said that the ROMs go bad on these very rarely.  Likely it's either a bad socket or something in the addressing line has gone bad.  I need a logic probe.  And a bit of know-how.

I wish I had a spare set of ROMs so I could rule them out.  I had to solder new legs onto one of the chips.  Coincidentally it's one of the chips that, if I'm reading correctly, is giving me an error.  I get errors 2 and 4 in self test.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #50 on: August 25, 2008, 06:17:57 pm »
http://www.arcadecomponents.com/memory.html

and

http://www.coinopchips.com/

usually have 2716 pulls. Mail them and ask for a price on a set, I got better prices than on the site.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2008, 10:10:37 pm »
With the ROM errors I've been getting, I wanted to 100% eliminated them as being part of the problem, especially since I've soldered more than one leg on the old ones to try and get it going.

So a buddy of mine burned four new program ROMs for me.  I'm pretty sure it's even an upgrade to the original program.  I think I was running v2 before, and now I'm running v3.

Success!  Kind of.  I'm still getting error 4, but I think it's voltage related instead of being ROM related.  If I had a coin door on there I'm pretty sure I could have played a game.  The text is a bit garbled. 

Last I checked I was only getting 13V on the 30 VDC test point.  I replaced a couple caps on the game board (with what I had around) and it didn't help.  I need to replace the rest.  But I'm out at home, and I'd prefer to replace them with axial caps instead of the radial ones.  I know it doesn't make any difference performance-wise, but I like the look better.  :P

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #52 on: September 06, 2008, 07:26:55 pm »
I made a replacement cardboard bezel using the old one as a pattern.  Using regular poster paper, I wasn't thrilled with the thickness, as it is about half as thick.

Since it was just sitting around I decided to pop it in the cab today to see how it would do.  It looks great, actually!  I'd thought about gluing two pieces of the paper together back to back and making a new one, but I'm happy with this for now.

I still need to cap this fully, it still comes up with graphic errors.  Need to raise the capital first, though.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #53 on: September 06, 2008, 08:13:00 pm »

Nice.  If you glued two together it probably would have come out with glue warping anyway. 

I know you carry leg levelers... do you have the base for them too?  My Berzerk has none at all.  When I cut the base off and replace I'm going to have to put some on to prevent the same thing from happening again.  I need some locks, too, since a lot of my games have no keys. 

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #54 on: September 06, 2008, 10:16:58 pm »
Isn't the base in my store?  Yes, I have them.

edit: I'll be darned.  They weren't in there.  They are now.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 10:22:33 pm by Peale »

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #55 on: September 07, 2008, 12:30:25 am »
FYI....I just bought a Centipede UR and so I was cruising eBay for spare parts. I noticed that there are 2 or 3 really cheap untested Centipede boards on there right now.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #56 on: September 07, 2008, 06:33:27 am »
FYI....I just bought a Centipede UR and so I was cruising eBay for spare parts. I noticed that there are 2 or 3 really cheap untested Centipede boards on there right now.

There always seems to be a few.  My board is 95% working right now, and I'm pretty sure the problems it's having are voltage related.  Once I work out those issues, if I'm still having problems I'll concentrate on board level stuff.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #57 on: September 07, 2008, 10:33:46 am »
I think the Mulitpede is responsible for a lot of Centipede boards being on offer :D


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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #58 on: September 07, 2008, 08:18:39 pm »
FYI....I just bought a Centipede UR and so I was cruising eBay for spare parts. I noticed that there are 2 or 3 really cheap untested Centipede boards on there right now.
Untested usually means not working. It's not worth the gamble.
NO MORE!!

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #59 on: September 07, 2008, 09:09:47 pm »
FYI....I just bought a Centipede UR and so I was cruising eBay for spare parts. I noticed that there are 2 or 3 really cheap untested Centipede boards on there right now.
Untested usually means not working. It's not worth the gamble.


He already has a board, I was thinking more for "parts" to fix the board he has now.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #60 on: September 08, 2008, 12:46:01 am »
I *think* my board is actually working, just not getting the voltages it needs to work properly.  It's reporting an error "4" which usually means (and I've confirmed it with my meter) bad voltages for that particular ROM, an EAROM.  I checked the +30V and was only getting something like +13V or something close.  Once I recap the AR2 and mainboard I think I'll be okay.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #61 on: September 08, 2008, 07:02:55 am »
FYI....I just bought a Centipede UR and so I was cruising eBay for spare parts. I noticed that there are 2 or 3 really cheap untested Centipede boards on there right now.
Untested usually means not working. It's not worth the gamble.

It depends. Most of the untested boards I bought worked fine.
SW (bought as a spare set for my cockpit, though it was worth the gamble at Ä18 !!!)
MB
DK
Asteroids

Non working, sold as untested:
DKjr. (original)


Of course it's a gamble. Guess I was lucky most of the time. On every occasion I weighed price against risk. Worked out very cost-effective.
And I can do basic repair jobs myself on the boards.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #62 on: September 08, 2008, 09:14:59 am »
It depends. Most of the untested boards I bought worked fine.
SW (bought as a spare set for my cockpit, though it was worth the gamble at Ä18 !!!)
MB
DK
Asteroids

Non working, sold as untested:
DKjr. (original)


Dude, you used up so much karma, you may want to avoid leaving the house for a few months.  In my experience untested means no chance in hell of working.  Even "tested and working" most of the time around here means "I played a game once and then turned it off before it blew again" at best. 

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #63 on: September 08, 2008, 10:43:33 am »
 :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

I just called my boss to explain why I won't be working/leaving the house for the next 6 weeks ;)

Maybe we are more careful or honest overhere ? ;) ;) ;)

The SW, DK, Asteroids and DKjr. all came from Belgium or Germany. The guys who sold the SW and Asteroids didn't have "equipment" (read vector monitors) around to test them. I know nothing about the e-bay seller that sold me the DK boards. Both mentioned untested, one worked right away, the other I think may be a small problem.

I've also bought two boards advertised as tested and working (DKjr. bootleg (Austria) and Popeye(Germany)) and both work fine indeed.

Only the MB came from the US. Seller told me it was pulled from a working game when it got converted (poor cab) and was stored by the operator ever since. He thought it would be working, but couldn't/didn't want to test and also sold it as untested.

Yes I've been pretty lucky :)

P.S. Funny story about the Asteroids board. I got it because I wanted to have a back-up plan in case the Meteor PCB couldn't be repaired. I brought it over when I visited Andreas (who masterfully repaired the Meteor PCB) and asked if he could test the Asteroids on his cocktail. He had a look at the board, and a second look and said: "I'm pretty sure it will work". I asked why he though so. He said "I repaired this one". He recognized some parts (like low profile x-tals) he had replaced. I did buy it from a German guy and he wondered how the PCB ended up there. This hobby is a pretty small community, especially overhere in Europe :D

O and the board indeed ran fine. I still am thinking about putting it in the Meteor cab at one point in time, so that the games are switchable. Although I didn't notice any difference at all in gameplay, it could be good for having a kit on the original Atari board...

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #64 on: September 23, 2008, 12:43:27 am »
I did some asking around.  Turns out the low voltage on the -30VDC is *only* for the EAROM, and it won't affect the graphics.  So I've still got a board issue.

The sprites are okay, but the text keeps getting screwed up.  I'll have to snap a picture.

And I either need to hook the coin door back up or put the machine on freeplay to see how it does.  I really want to try it out!

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #65 on: October 05, 2008, 01:49:53 pm »
Still having graphic issues.  The game plays fine, but text gets scrambly.

When you first power up everything looks pretty good, but gets worse the longer it's on.  Slapping the side of the cab can actually change things on screen.  That means a loose connection (cold solder joint, whatnot) but I've not been able to find one.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #66 on: October 08, 2008, 12:41:55 pm »
Just ordered a bunch of caps and some misc parts for the boards.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #67 on: October 08, 2008, 01:52:51 pm »
I went to town with it today, touched up every solder joint on the A/R II and a bunch on the main board.

Surprise!  No more graphics glitches.  I figured it had to be something like this because you could slap the side and the screen would change.  Not anymore.

New issue: the archer now moves on his own.  I remember seeing something like this on a repair log.  I'll have to dig it up.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #68 on: October 08, 2008, 03:12:48 pm »
Too many "electronic" problems are actually mechanic problems like these. Glad you found it.

The archer on my Centi didn't go in one certain direction IIRC. Had to replace the buffer IC that's between the IR boards and the rest of the PCB.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #69 on: October 08, 2008, 03:33:24 pm »
Mine goes in all directions, but tends to drift if you leave it alone.  I'm not worried about it during game play (how often do you stay in one place?) at least for the time being, but I do need a trackball rebuild kit.  It spins like crap, and the trackball is 1/4" below where it should be.  I keep pinching my fingers.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #70 on: October 08, 2008, 03:37:21 pm »
I just realized I appear to be having a color problem.  I brought Centipede up in Mame and things are a bit different there than on-screen.  Pictures later.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #71 on: October 08, 2008, 04:36:11 pm »
Mine goes in all directions, but tends to drift if you leave it alone.  I'm not worried about it during game play (how often do you stay in one place?) at least for the time being, but I do need a trackball rebuild kit.  It spins like crap, and the trackball is 1/4" below where it should be.  I keep pinching my fingers.

I don't know if this is possible, but I wonder if the ball itself can get worn down. I replaced my centipede trackball ball with a new cue ball since it's been claimed that atari actually used cue balls, and I swear there is less of a gap between the ball and the housing. Seems more likely to me that the original ball and my new ball were manufactured with just a tiny difference in size, but it did get me wondering if the balls actually can get smaller over time from wear.
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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #72 on: October 08, 2008, 05:01:37 pm »
Heh...my rollers have huge wear in them.  I'm sure that's the reason.  :D

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #73 on: October 08, 2008, 05:43:41 pm »
Sorry, didn't mean to imply it might just be the ball. I had to install a rebuild kit too. It's just that you mentioning getting your fingers pinched reminded me of how a new ball gave me a tighter fit.
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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #74 on: October 08, 2008, 06:06:44 pm »
Mine goes in all directions, but tends to drift if you leave it alone.  I'm not worried about it during game play (how often do you stay in one place?)
More often than you think. This will definitely hurt game-play. I think this is a known-problem but forgot what the cause was.

Bob Roberts' rollers and bearings rock. Bob breaks-in all the bearings himself and greases them (I wonder how these things came past the customs drugs dogs  :laugh: they smell very strong). His rollers' are stainless steel, not the regular steel version that others use.


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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #75 on: October 08, 2008, 06:55:20 pm »
Bob Roberts' rollers and bearings rock. Bob breaks-in all the bearings himself and greases them (I wonder how these things came past the customs drugs dogs  :laugh: they smell very strong). His rollers' are stainless steel, not the regular steel version that others use.
That's good to know. My rollers (from Arcade Shop?) leave marks on the ball!

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #76 on: October 09, 2008, 08:14:22 pm »
I went out to the shed to take this picture.  Looks like the colors are accurate, but all washed out.  Not surprising, it hasn't been capped yet.



I was just about to pack it in when I got this screen



What the...reset the game...four beeps.  Crap!  One of the RAMs has gone.  I do have a couple replacements on some junk boards, but I want to put a socket in there.  And, of course, I *JUST* placed an order with Mouser.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 08:16:16 pm by Peale »

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #77 on: October 10, 2008, 11:28:01 am »

I hate when something pops up right after I place an order.  Happens every time, too.  That's probably why every one of my orders is $60 and involves 5 each of a bunch of things I don't need at the moment.   :banghead:

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #78 on: October 10, 2008, 02:50:22 pm »
I've been putting together that order over the last couple months.  Most of it's caps.

With Halloween looming on the horizon (I put games on freeplay outside on the sidewalk) I want to get a bunch going rather soon, that's why I bit the bullet. 

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #79 on: October 10, 2008, 03:01:00 pm »
I put games on freeplay outside on the sidewalk

That's awesome! I bet you attract some crowds! :applaud: Take some pics and post them here please.
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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #80 on: October 10, 2008, 04:03:09 pm »
So far I've only done it the once.  I did have one kid that said "I've been trick-or-treating for like seven years, and this is the coolest house I've ever been to".  That made the whole thing worth it.

Last year I was going to do it, but things came up and I couldn't.  This year I hope will be different.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #81 on: October 10, 2008, 06:08:12 pm »
So you give tokens instead of treats ;)

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #82 on: October 11, 2008, 12:47:49 pm »
Nope - everything set to free play. 

And treats too.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #83 on: October 11, 2008, 01:34:18 pm »
You're too kind ;)

Regretfully we don't celebrate Halloween here although there are certain things (like parties) coming up now.

By the way, here's how NOT to treat a Centipede Mini.

Link
Poor little fellow. Weird, not a single bid yet at 300 Euro's ! (Paid that for my upright !!) Some people really over estimate what they can get for it overhere.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 03:38:52 pm by Peale »

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #84 on: October 11, 2008, 03:37:35 pm »
Dammit...

Pulled the board, cut off the offending RAM @ K5.  Unsoldered the pins, lifting a trace as I did so.  Fixed the trace, was more careful with the remaining pins.  Cleaned the holes out. 

I have an old Merit board that has sockets of the correct size.  Got my blowtorch out and pulled it out.

Soldered the socket in place.  Pulled a 2101 out of a Galaxian board I have in the attic.  The ending numbers are slightly different from what was in there, but I suspect that's a manufacturing code, not anything to do with the chip itself. 

Popped the board back in the machine...still coming up with RAM K5 error.

Okay...let's do the basics first...let's resolder the pins on the socket, put the RAM back in, and fire it up.

This time, partial success.  Boots to text garbage, but the sprites are mostly okay.  Figured "what the heck, I'll play a quick game even though it's mostly garbage"

Got about a minute into the game when it freaked out again.  Put it in test mode and...you guessed it...K5 bad.

So what's toasting my RAM?

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #85 on: October 11, 2008, 04:09:42 pm »
With working Centipede boards going for a pittance on eBay, is getting this board fixed just a personal crusade?

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #86 on: October 11, 2008, 04:12:25 pm »
I don't see the sense of replacing one old-bad-cheap socket for another ?


The sockets used on arcade boards I've seen so far are of the cheap kind:



Those make contact to the IC pins using "pressure", much like a PCB edge connector does. They also use lesser quality metal. So why did they use them ? Well, they were fine for as long for the games expected life-time in arcades, 2-3 years and they were cheap !
We all know they can oxidize but even worse, they loose contact because of the "pressure" is getting weaker when they get old.  (Like a spring loosing it's tension).

When I replace IC sockets I _ALWAYS_ use sockets with wound contacts. You can recognize them by the circular shaped holes:



Inside of the holes, the metal contacting the IC leg is wound like a spiral. This way it has  LOADS of contact with the leg. They do not rely on a "spring" tension so they cannot loose it and they are usually made of better quality metals.

Needless to say they are (much) more expensive. It's not too bad if you need a couple of sockets, but it really adds up if you need large numbers. Often the IC's I use in those sockets are cheaper than the sockets themselves.

Still, I would never use anything else.

You should really try to remove an IC from a cheap socket and then from the same socket in "wound" version..... You can _feel_ that it's better, it has a very firm grip on the chip.


The numbers you mention (the one's after the -) are an indication of the possible speed of the RAM IC.

The lower the number, the higher speed it can handle. However, I've replaced RAMs on my SW that were -10 with new versions that are -15 without any problem. It just depends on how fast the memory is accessed by the system in which it's running.

Also: if you insert a "faster" chip, the board will NOT run faster because the memory is still accessed at the same frequency.

I remember some service bulletins from Atari telling not to use certain brand of RAMs but I can't remember what brand...Think it was in the Arcade Archives somewhere...


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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #87 on: October 11, 2008, 05:12:50 pm »
I used it because it was what I have on hand.  Like I said above, I had JUST placed an order with Mouser.  I'm doing this on an extreme shoestring here.  A lot of time when I need a part I don't go with brand new, I scavenge them from boards I have here.

I don't think it's the socket.  Possible?  Perhaps, but I'd sooner think another issue.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #88 on: October 11, 2008, 05:24:53 pm »
With working Centipede boards going for a pittance on eBay, is getting this board fixed just a personal crusade?

Define "pittance".  So far I've got nothing but time into it.  Right now money is more valuable than hobby time.  And yes, I'll learn a little something as I go. 

This was my first chip replacement.  I knew how to do it, but I've never put the knowledge into practial use until today.

There could also have been a problem with the RAM chip from the start; I pulled it from the Galaxian board I bought from CSA3D a couple years ago.  I'm pretty sure the board has issues (I've never plugged it in) because there's a chip missing.  It would not surprise me if the RAM I put in there was already bad, or on the cusp of going over.

Unfortunately now I have to get some 2101s.  Yes, 42, I'll get new sockets at the same time (though they probably won't be the wrapped ones unless I can get them from the same place).

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #89 on: October 11, 2008, 05:54:12 pm »
Well, there's an easy way to check if the socket is a problem: measure resistance between the leg of the IC and the soldering on the other side of the board. If they all beep out, than the socket shouldn't be the problem.

Also check the traces from the islands to where they connect to.

Tracks coming loose usually means either too hot solder iron or too long applying it. The Atari boards are good quality (esp. compared to the Wells Gardner ---Cleveland steamer--- I've worked on) so the tracks should stay put normally.

It would surprise me if Mouser didn't have the wrapped ones....

Aside from the money, there's also something called "satisfaction" in repairing a board. I've repaired my Centipede board myself and I'm pretty proud of it. Was able to trace all problems to 3 bad IC's (one in the watch-dog circuit, the LM324 (audio-amp) and one was the trackball buffer IC.
Yes I could have ordered a working board from the US, but this was so much more satisfying and I learned a great deal from it.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 05:59:35 pm by Level42 »

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #90 on: October 11, 2008, 08:37:42 pm »
Well, there's an easy way to check if the socket is a problem: measure resistance between the leg of the IC and the soldering on the other side of the board. If they all beep out, than the socket shouldn't be the problem.

That was the first thing I did after it didn't work the first time.  I touched up the joints again, and went thru one-by-one.  They metered fine.

Quote
Also check the traces from the islands to where they connect to.

Also done.

Quote
Tracks coming loose usually means either too hot solder iron or too long applying it. The Atari boards are good quality (esp. compared to the Wells Gardner ---Cleveland steamer--- I've worked on) so the tracks should stay put normally.

There's another one - user error.  I started pulling way before I should have (before the solder had completely melted).  I repaired the trace.

This isn't my first time at the rodeo, 42...it's just my first time with this level of board repair.

Quote
Aside from the money, there's also something called "satisfaction" in repairing a board. I've repaired my Centipede board myself and I'm pretty proud of it. Was able to trace all problems to 3 bad IC's (one in the watch-dog circuit, the LM324 (audio-amp) and one was the trackball buffer IC.
Yes I could have ordered a working board from the US, but this was so much more satisfying and I learned a great deal from it.

Agreed.  Every time I do something like this I learn just a little more.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #91 on: October 12, 2008, 08:27:59 am »
My mouser order showed up yesterday.  Caps caps caps!  I recapped the mainboard and the A/R II.  Good news...at least for now...the RAM error isn't coming up.  Graphics are still a bit scrambled.  I'll have to try another  RAM just to rule it out.

I also retinned the edge connector.  Colors are much better now.

I do have a wave going thru the picture now that wasn't there before, but that's likely because of the Big Blue.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #92 on: October 13, 2008, 11:05:29 am »
Cut out a back door yesterday.  Not the best (I used woodchip board) but it was cheap (wood cost me a buck).  Now I'm not so worried about slipping and smacking the neck when I move it around.

It's still "operational" ie you can play but scrambled graphics.  I need to start hitting solder joints again.  It was the same problem before and it helped (at least for a couple days).

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #93 on: October 13, 2008, 12:06:54 pm »
Peale I just wondered why you order with Mouser instead of Bob Roberts. Apart from the time (selecting all the required cap values) do you actually save any money ? I usually order with Bob. Of course I can get all caps locally but it's more expensive and cumbersome. Also I always combine orders with parts that I cannot get here at all.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #94 on: October 13, 2008, 12:27:10 pm »
I buy in bulk when I order caps, so yes, I do save some $$$.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #95 on: October 14, 2008, 09:51:24 am »

I usually order from Mouser too.  Monitor cap kits don't get you game board replacement caps.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #96 on: October 14, 2008, 12:11:34 pm »
I completely recapped the Centipede board.  Mostly a bunch of 1uf @ 50V caps (very cheap).

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #97 on: October 21, 2008, 11:40:44 am »
I got a Centipede JAMMA adapter off eBay.  Since the cab is out back, it really helped to be able to try things out and be able to test in the house instead of having to trudge out back and haul the kids out with me every time I wanted to test.  Plus, it cost me next to nothing.

I found one cap I neglected to replace the first time around.  Replaced that. 

Next, touched up the solder on the RAM I replaced.  No change.

Then I went to town with the solder, touching up every solder joint that even remotely looked bad.  And now I have the game back with no glitches.

I'm still getting a 4 FF error.  I replaced the 555 since I had it in hand and the iron was already hot.  Rules that out.  Of course, the EAROM itself may be bad.  Since the game itself works without it, I'm not so concerned.  It just won't save high scores.

Now I have to finish up the darn coin door. 

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #98 on: October 21, 2008, 12:48:03 pm »

It's amazing how many times we go to town troubleshooting when a good thorough reflow job would have fixed most of the problems.  Been there.

I've tried the adapter method twice.  Both times the adapter was troublesome and just added variables.   :-\

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #99 on: October 21, 2008, 02:33:24 pm »
I don't see the sense of replacing one old-bad-cheap socket for another ?

Another note on this: the 2101 RAM on Centipede boards aren't socketed.  So since I didn't want to wait, I scavenged.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #100 on: October 21, 2008, 09:15:00 pm »
Years ago I bought a 2 1/4" trackball on eBay for a pittance.  I'd forgotten all about it, only finding it a couple days ago in a box of other stuff.

Glad I did; the original on this needs a serious rebuild as the bearings stick and the rollers are so worn you pinch your fingers constantly.  This one has nearly *no* wear on it at all, plus handles like a dream.  I need to swap a couple input wires as the up/down are backwards, but that's it.

And I realized I can't rule in/out the EAROM yet because I still haven't gotten the voltage correct yet.  Can anyone tell me what kind of caps are @ locations C87 & C88?  They *look* okay, they're not burnt or anything, but I'm still only getting 1/2 the voltage on the -30VDC test point.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #101 on: October 22, 2008, 11:31:43 am »
Years ago I bought a 2 1/4" trackball on eBay for a pittance.  I'd forgotten all about it, only finding it a couple days ago in a box of other stuff.

Glad I did; the original on this needs a serious rebuild as the bearings stick and the rollers are so worn you pinch your fingers constantly.  This one has nearly *no* wear on it at all, plus handles like a dream.  I need to swap a couple input wires as the up/down are backwards, but that's it.

And I realized I can't rule in/out the EAROM yet because I still haven't gotten the voltage correct yet.  Can anyone tell me what kind of caps are @ locations C87 & C88?  They *look* okay, they're not burnt or anything, but I'm still only getting 1/2 the voltage on the -30VDC test point.
You could also use the "old" optic boards on the new trackball, simply move them over.

About the C values: it's time you download the schematics....
http://arcarc.xmission.com/

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #102 on: October 22, 2008, 04:10:35 pm »
You could also use the "old" optic boards on the new trackball, simply move them over.

The optic boards work fine; I just have to swap the two wires in the trackball harness.  Ten seconds with a Molex pin removal tool vs ten minutes of disassembly/reassembly.

Quote
About the C values: it's time you download the schematics....
http://arcarc.xmission.com/


It's not the values I'm concerned with; what kind of caps are they?  I already have the schematics.  They say they're a ceramic disc type (.1uf), but these don't look like other ceramic disc caps.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #103 on: October 22, 2008, 04:15:34 pm »

Not all ceramics are discs... learned that on the Tank II.  Mine looked like corn dogs.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #104 on: October 22, 2008, 04:22:26 pm »
More importantly, how do I test them?

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #105 on: October 22, 2008, 04:28:32 pm »

I don't think ceramics have anything like the failure rate of electrolytics. 

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #106 on: October 22, 2008, 05:29:30 pm »
You could also use the "old" optic boards on the new trackball, simply move them over.

The optic boards work fine; I just have to swap the two wires in the trackball harness.  Ten seconds with a Molex pin removal tool vs ten minutes of disassembly/reassembly.

Quote
About the C values: it's time you download the schematics....
http://arcarc.xmission.com/


It's not the values I'm concerned with; what kind of caps are they?  I already have the schematics.  They say they're a ceramic disc type (.1uf), but these don't look like other ceramic disc caps.
My bad Peale, sorry. I'd have to check my board but the machine is DEEP in the shed at this moment. Like Chad says, they don't fail very often.  So you already replaced C83,84 and 85 ? (Sorry if I missed that). Those are the electrolytic one's.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #107 on: October 22, 2008, 10:12:51 pm »
My bad Peale, sorry. I'd have to check my board but the machine is DEEP in the shed at this moment. Like Chad says, they don't fail very often.  So you already replaced C83,84 and 85 ? (Sorry if I missed that). Those are the electrolytic one's.

I replaced every electrolytic on the main board. 

I know ceramics don't go bad often.  There is no sign of them being bad (burnt, etc).  I'm at a loss as to why this is happening, but truth is I haven't been checking too thoroughly.  Since the graphics are okay, the high score saving isn't that important to me.  But since it's not working properly, I am curious as to why.  I'll figure it out sooner or later.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #108 on: October 24, 2008, 03:10:29 pm »
Peale, does your cabinet have a light fixture for the marquee?
NO MORE!!

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #109 on: October 24, 2008, 03:22:23 pm »
No.  Minis didn't come with one, did they?

I'm seriously thinking about putting on in there.  It would look cool, IMO.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #110 on: October 24, 2008, 06:26:18 pm »
I agree. It's pretty strange that the mini's didn't have lit "marquees" where the cabarets did.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #111 on: October 25, 2008, 03:21:25 pm »
I agree. It's pretty strange that the mini's didn't have lit "marquees" where the cabarets did.
This is the first time I have seen someone show a distinction between "mini" and "cabaret". Aren't they the same thing?

(No, my Centi doesn't have a marquee light either (and parts manual makes no mention of one), but my Missile Command cabaret does, so I thought I'd ask you about it.)
NO MORE!!

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #112 on: October 25, 2008, 03:31:01 pm »
I agree. It's pretty strange that the mini's didn't have lit "marquees" where the cabarets did.
This is the first time I have seen someone show a distinction between "mini" and "cabaret". Aren't they the same thing?

That's what I was thinking.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #113 on: October 26, 2008, 03:46:05 pm »
Son of a...

I swapped the inputs on the replacement trackball today.  Took me a few minutes to figure out what was what.  Once I got that set, I had nice smooooooth action.  A pleasure to play.  Or it would be, if the archer would stop moving on his own.  What controls that?

Left it alone for about an hour, then came back to it.  Garbage on screen.  Flipped it in test mode, knowing what I'd hear...sure enough, four beeps!  Shut it off, waited a few minutes, turned it back on...it's fine.  It's got to be a problem that's thermally triggered, but I don't know what.  I even had the back door OFF because I was still working inside.  :shrug

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #114 on: October 31, 2008, 08:50:03 pm »
Bloody hell...I moved it to my porch, and now it boots to nothing but garbage.   :angry:

Put it in test mode and it beeps forever.

Now what?

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #115 on: November 08, 2008, 01:13:45 pm »
Yesterday I want to town soldering stuff.  I got changes, but nothing brought the game up again.

Without a decent place to to test work I'm not going to be able to fix this properly on my own.  Guess I'll have to send it out.  :(

On a brighter note the coin door came out awesome.  Looks brand new.  I finally ended up just using a wire wheel to remove everything.  Coat of rust converting primer, then a few light coats of Rust-Oleum brand Hammered paint, followed by a couple light coats of gloss black Rust-Oleum.  It looks like a brand new door. 

I still need to paint the frame.  I didn't strip it down because it's not rusty, but there are a few paint chips and it could use "brightening".  And of course the insides a nice brass.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2008, 01:17:39 pm by Peale »

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #116 on: February 06, 2009, 04:32:19 pm »
I finally bit the bullet and bought boardsets on eBay.  It was a lot of six of them.  Figure I'll sell off the ones I don't need.  I just hate that I won't have matching serials any more.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #117 on: February 06, 2009, 06:49:22 pm »
I finally bit the bullet and bought boardsets on eBay.  It was a lot of six of them.  Figure I'll sell off the ones I don't need.  I just hate that I won't have matching serials any more.
Some careful peeling, a little glue... they'll match. ;-)
NO MORE!!

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #118 on: May 12, 2009, 02:22:23 pm »
Sorry for the lack of updates on this.  Right now left to do:

  • Finish the control panel.  Stripping this hasn't been easy - the damn CPO adhesive is really nasty stuff.  I was able to very easily strip 90% of it down using electrolysis.  I have to finish stripping, paint and apply the CPO.
  • Paint the coin box/coin box holder.  It's rusted much like everything else was.  I don't currently have a container large enough to use electrolysis on it, so it'll have to wait.
  • Though I bought several working boards on eBay, I'd like to get the original working again.  The serial numbers match everything else in the cab, and it's a very low number.  But I do have several I can just pop in.
  • cap the monitor.  Though this isn't a big priority, because it's working perfectly, I'll do it for longevity, and the fact that I want to staple the cardboard bezel into place.
  • paint the front.  I would like to replace the serial number sticker as its' already 1/2 peeled off and faded, but I'm not sure where to get one.
  • replace the T molding.  It's pretty cruddy.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #119 on: May 12, 2009, 07:39:51 pm »

Is the matching serials issue all that big a deal if the serial number sticker has been replaced?  If I were a buyer I would immediately throw out the matching serials in that situation.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #120 on: May 12, 2009, 09:55:52 pm »
I only care because it's my my machine.  I'd like the label for the sake of authenticity.  I think the serial is on other places in the cab besides those two spots, so it's easy enough to tell what's what.


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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #121 on: June 08, 2009, 03:51:01 pm »
I primed the whole control panel, but only painted the inside semi-gloss black. I debated painting the top since it'll be covered with the overlay anyway. What say you all? Is there a risk of the primer coming off or anything?  I'm just terrified that this will happen, rendering my expensive CPO useless.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #122 on: June 08, 2009, 05:05:12 pm »
Paint the top side too and then put the CPO over it. Either you leave it blank and then CPO, but I prefer complete painting and then CPO. Best way to prevent rust from button and joystick hole edges. And it really is not that much more effort.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #123 on: June 08, 2009, 07:21:55 pm »
Painting around here is always an effort.  I live in a two bedroom apartment.  Anytime I have to paint I have to drag everything out to the curb, then precariously bring it back to the house without trying to touch it.  And if a fly lands on it, or cottonwood seeds...dammit.  So I try and avoid it wherever possible.

I'll do it anyway, but I'll be gritting my teeth the whole time.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #124 on: June 11, 2009, 02:56:30 pm »


Iíve been biting my nails over applying the artwork on the control panel becauseÖwell, itís an expensive learning experience if I screw it up.

Iíve taken way too long on preparing the control panel. Mostly because the old paint/CPO adhesive was such a pain to remove. But partially because Iíve been putting it off.

I didnít want to misalign it, and I didnít want it to slowly peel off because I didnít stick it down properly.

Finally I figured Iíd just have to ďgo for itĒ and put it on.

Sarah has some kind of rubber roller I used to help remove air bubbles from under the overlay. It helped some.

I had plans on using the heat gun to help the overlay bend over the curved edges, but Riley distracted me and I held it in one spot too long, and it promptly warped. Not terribly so, but I definitely notice it. Argh.

All in all I had to peel one corner or another about a dozen times to get the air bubbles out from underneath. There are still a couple, but I had to finally give in and say ďthis is about as good as itís going to get.Ē

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #125 on: June 11, 2009, 05:13:50 pm »
Wait a couple of days, The tiny couple of bubbles that were on my Centi CPO were gone after a couple of days....

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #126 on: June 12, 2009, 09:46:42 am »

If you used the right primer it should be hard to scrape off, nevermind peel on its own.  That's what primer is for - adhesion.

I have found a laminate roller works really well for decals and overlays.  Easy to find and designed to do the same job on much heavier materials.  Just don't let the kids play with it as it can be amusing and they'll never put it away (like mine).


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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #127 on: June 12, 2009, 02:40:08 pm »
Peale, is that a repro overlay, or NOS? The texture looks NOS. Mine was a repro and I now have cracking along the bend. White shows in the cracks. I had applied it in late 2006. That's not very long for it to be cracking, though I admit I didn't apply any heat when doing so.

(As a comparison, my Galaga's NOS overlay, which I applied in 2002 (also without heat) shows some light cracking at the bend too, but no "white" showing through. The overlay is thicker and sturdier.)

US Amusements has NOS Centipede cabaret overlays. I will probably buy one as a backup, cuz at this rate, the current overlay is going to look like crap within 2 more years.
NO MORE!!

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #128 on: June 12, 2009, 04:12:39 pm »
It's a repro.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #129 on: June 17, 2009, 10:47:56 pm »
I know it's too late now but I'll mention this for others reading.  I always paint CP's either white or light grey primer, and black around the edges/holes.  The reason is bare metal or black WILL show through the lighter areas of every CPO I've ever had, and make the colors look darker/dull.

For an inkjet piece that already has a layer of white vinyl before the ink, it might not matter as much, but every quality screenprinted repro I've had showed this problem so I now paint white with black borders.  Definitely makes a difference.

Wade

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #130 on: June 20, 2009, 12:14:18 am »
About six months ago I learned that black bolts aren't actually black...they've been blued using the same process that they use to "blue" gun barrels.

There are two different processes...hot and cold.

Hot involves chemicals and temperatures that I have absolutely no way of achieving here @ Casa del Peale.

Cold is easy, but involves toxic chemicals.  I just bought a little container of the solution, dipped in my part, rinsed it off and wiped it down.  Repeated that a couple times.  Turned these zinc plated bolts black in nothing flat.

The bolts were also polished down to remove the raised lettering on top.  Started with 120 grit, then moved to 400, then to 800. 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 07:42:45 am by SirPeale »

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #131 on: July 03, 2009, 08:15:37 pm »
I put the cab into storage today.  There's not much more I can do with it until I get some more cash.  I swapped the game out with the Galaxian cab.  Stay tuned to that thread for updates.

I did snap a picture of it just before I loaded it into my van.  I'll post it later.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #132 on: July 05, 2009, 08:58:51 pm »
Last picture of this beastie for a little while.  Since I view this as a "keeper" machine I put it in storage to get one of the machines I'm flipping.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #133 on: October 11, 2009, 05:15:59 pm »
 :angry:

I'm in the process of moving the machines from their storage space to a place within walking distance that will be both storage AND a workshop.   :applaud:  Today I moved the games I have at the house to the new space, then I decided to try a run to see how long it'll take me to get one, pick it up and drop it off.

The Centipede mini is (of course) right where I left it, right in the entryway of the space.  I hauled it out, and I noted something on the CPO.  When I set it down to examine it closer, I noted it was just a piece of fluff.  But that's when I noted...

The trackball bolts - the heads are completely rusted!  They're zinc plated bolts that I sanded down the letters on, then dipped in gun bluing solution several times.  When I put the game in storage it was pristine.  I have to find some way to stop it from rusting.

In addition, the CPO around one of the bolts has cracked a bit around the bolt head.  I made sure not to over tighten it, so I don't know how this happened. 

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #134 on: October 19, 2009, 04:14:20 pm »
The trackball bolts - the heads are completely rusted!  They're zinc plated bolts that I sanded down the letters on, then dipped in gun bluing solution several times.  When I put the game in storage it was pristine.  I have to find some way to stop it from rusting.

Now I am by no means a firearm expert, nor an arcade expert (as you can see by my noob status here), so flame away if I talk out ---my bottom--- :whap, but my understanding is that guns need to be re-blued from time to time. Maybe priming - painting them as Spyridon did on his Centipede restoration would be a better solution?

The issue with the CPO could be that while in storage, changes in climate, expansion/contraction scenario (unless climate controlled storage), or possibly some undo pressure on the cpo while man-handling the machine during moving and transport? Just a guess. Either way, I feel your pain. Good luck with the rest of the work.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #135 on: October 19, 2009, 04:39:59 pm »
I've got a better explanation.

The original bolts were blued, but either it was a hot process which has a better coating (likely) or the zinc coating was all over.  Note that I had to remove the lettering on top, and as such stripped the top of zinc.  AFAIK only the tops rusted, the rest is fine.

A temporary measure could be to lightly oil the bolts.  That's how firearms are prevented from rusting.

And the place the games were was terribly humid and dank.  I'm not surprised it happened, but it still irks me.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #136 on: October 26, 2009, 06:34:06 pm »
I've got a better explanation.

The original bolts were blued, but either it was a hot process which has a better coating (likely) or the zinc coating was all over.  Note that I had to remove the lettering on top, and as such stripped the top of zinc.  AFAIK only the tops rusted, the rest is fine.

A temporary measure could be to lightly oil the bolts.  That's how firearms are prevented from rusting.

And the place the games were was terribly humid and dank.  I'm not surprised it happened, but it still irks me.

Bluing is a black oxide finish. When done to guns it is usually called "bluing". When done to other things such as bolts, it is usually called "black oxide". Bluing provides a small degree of rust protection; enough to prevent rust while just sitting around in normal indoor conditions; but it doesn't handle harsh conditions well (even repeated exposure to the salts in fingerprints will cause rust).

Keep in mind that a "cold blue" solution only mimicks the appearance of bluing/black oxide; it is not a true black oxide finish (it is a copper selenium compound), and has essentially no rust protection properties at all. Here is a link comparing the two processes.

Finding new carriage bolts with a factory applied black oxide finish (try here and specifically request smooth heads), or taking your existing ones to a gunsmith and having them properly blued would be the best options. However, you can also sand the rust off your bolts, reapply the cold blue, and then protect them from rust with an application of car wax (very durable) or a silicone cloth (wears off easily but quick and easy to reapply - get them from any gunshop or numerous places online).

Of course, you can use oil too, but that's messy. Both car wax and silicone residue from a silicone cloth are "dry" in appearance and touch. Car wax is often used on blued guns that are carried concealed a lot, because it doesn't get oil on your clothes and/or holster, and it doesn't need to be reapplied constantly like oil does.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 06:45:31 pm by MaximRecoil »

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #137 on: October 27, 2009, 06:51:37 pm »
Keep the oil away from your games.  Just resand the bolts and hit them with some rustoleum paint.  Looks even better and they won't rust again.  I have never had satisfactory results from bluing bolts, so I don't even try any more.  I just paint them.  Works great and never has worn or off chipped on any of my games.

Wade

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #138 on: October 30, 2009, 09:06:41 pm »
Just put a carriage bolt in a drill, sand with a foam black, then spray with a black epoxy (Appliance) primer and it will not rust again, and flaking will not be a prolem with the Epoxy coating.  I do this with control panels, speaker grills, marquee brackets, coin doors and carriage bolts.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #139 on: October 31, 2009, 01:56:06 am »
Bluing looks different than paint (and better IMO); and I think that's the point. Bluing doesn't look like a coating, it looks like the steel itself is black to begin with; similar to the effect colored anodizing has on aluminum.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #140 on: October 31, 2009, 05:27:43 am »
Bluing looks different than paint (and better IMO); and I think that's the point. Bluing doesn't look like a coating, it looks like the steel itself is black to begin with; similar to the effect colored anodizing has on aluminum.

Agreed.  I'm researching gunsmiths in my area.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #141 on: November 04, 2009, 04:30:36 pm »
Bluing looks different than paint (and better IMO); and I think that's the point. Bluing doesn't look like a coating, it looks like the steel itself is black to begin with; similar to the effect colored anodizing has on aluminum.

Agreed.  I'm researching gunsmiths in my area.

If you're that bent on the black oxide finish... why not just order some new ones?  I have a variety of sizes I ordered from Bob Roberts or a similar parts shop at some point.  I think mine have lettering on them, but really... are you that particular about your bolt heads?

In my opinion... a decent painted bolt head looks almost identical, if not better, than most factory black oxide bolts.  Painted seems to last longer too.  If you think semigloss looks too "good", try flat or semi-flat paint.  Looks almost identical.

Wade

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #142 on: November 04, 2009, 05:11:56 pm »
Keep in mind I do this sort of thing as a "hobby business".  So although yes, this is just four bolts on this game, I will likely have need of many others in the near future.  So far I have not found a *local* source of hot bluing.  I contacted a gunsmith in the area and he referred me to the guy he uses...in CT.  Of course, this is just the one guy I've contacted and I've made no other moves.  Right this second it's not that high a priority.  I'll return to it when I get the opportunity.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #143 on: November 04, 2009, 06:35:20 pm »
If you're that bent on the black oxide finish... why not just order some new ones?  I have a variety of sizes I ordered from Bob Roberts or a similar parts shop at some point.  I think mine have lettering on them, but really... are you that particular about your bolt heads?

In my opinion... a decent painted bolt head looks almost identical, if not better, than most factory black oxide bolts.  Painted seems to last longer too.  If you think semigloss looks too "good", try flat or semi-flat paint.  Looks almost identical.

The only time paint can approximate the look of bluing/black oxide is when the bolts are blued in a fairly rough state; in which case, it resembles flat black paint or primer. When the steel is fairly smooth before bluing, the results can not even be approximated with paint. Atari's carriage bolts used the smooth process, at least the ones on my Missile Command did.

And to see just how far the bluing process can be taken, take a look at a vintage Colt Python or Smith & Wesson N-frame revolver sometime. Those have blued finishes so "deep" that it seems like you could dive into them; and are as different in appearance from paint as night is from day.

In any event, the point is; the more polished/smooth the steel is prior to bluing, the less it looks like paint after bluing; and Atari used fairly smooth bolts.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #144 on: November 04, 2009, 06:57:40 pm »
It sounds to me like you're just really particular about black oxide finishes. :) We're not talking about show guns, we're talking about bolt heads on videogames.  I've used new blackened bolts and painted bolts on a couple dozen video and pin restorations, and no one has yet to comment about any of the bolt heads not looking right.  Like I said... in my opinion, painted ones look better than the factory finish most of the time.  If you're that particular about your bolt heads, I'd like to see the other parts of your games! :)

Wade

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #145 on: November 04, 2009, 07:01:31 pm »

Gotta admit I don't see how a "hobby business" can make money from the difference between painted bolts and blue oxide bolts.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #146 on: November 04, 2009, 07:48:23 pm »
We're not talking about show guns, we're talking about bolt heads on videogames.

I knew that line was coming. Seriously, as I walked into the kitchen after making that post, I knew someone would misunderstand the reference to the revolvers, despite the fact that I posted the following sentence, which explicitly stated the point of the gun reference:

"In any event, the point is; the more polished/smooth the steel is prior to bluing, the less it looks like paint after bluing; and Atari used fairly smooth bolts."

The revolvers were an extreme example of just how different bluing can look from paint, but it is a sliding scale, and Atari carriage bolts are closer to looking like a gun finish than looking like paint. If talking about the black oxide finish on e.g., a sheetrock screw, then that looks similar to flat black paint because the screws are in a very crude/rough state when they are finished.

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I've used new blackened bolts and painted bolts on a couple dozen video and pin restorations, and no one has yet to comment about any of the bolt heads not looking right.  Like I said... in my opinion, painted ones look better than the factory finish most of the time.  If you're that particular about your bolt heads, I'd like to see the other parts of your games! :)

I'm particular with regard to things being correct; but not necessarily with the exact condition of everything. I'd prefer original bolts with some finish-wear on them to brand new bolts with a perfect, but incorrect finish. The same applies to many other things on the machine, e.g., original art in decent condition vs. brand new inkjet art.

Painted bolts scream "homemade".
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 08:02:51 pm by MaximRecoil »

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #147 on: November 04, 2009, 08:46:42 pm »

Gotta admit I don't see how a "hobby business" can make money from the difference between painted bolts and blue oxide bolts.

Drops in a bucket, but drops add up. 

Paint also doesn't stand up, esp on a control panel. 

Plus I like the way the bluing looks more.

And...oh wait, I don't have to explain anything to anyone.  If paint works good for everyone else, fine.  I'll keep plugging away at getting these properly blued.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #148 on: November 04, 2009, 10:03:11 pm »
I'm particular with regard to things being correct; but not necessarily with the exact condition of everything. I'd prefer original bolts with some finish-wear on them to brand new bolts with a perfect, but incorrect finish. The same applies to many other things on the machine, e.g., original art in decent condition vs. brand new inkjet art.

Okay, well, I can't argue with your preference.  Obviously, I'm in the middle of the road as far as originality is concerned.  I often make compromises in order to have a nicer/newer/cleaner/more durable game, but sometimes those have a drawback as far as originality, durability, etc.  Sometimes I'll use laminate which is more durable than the original finish, other times I'll use replacement t-molding or artwork that looks nicer than a worn original but is not as durable long term.

I've also taken regular non-blackened bolts and polished them to a mirror shine.  Not original or correct, but sure looks great!

Do you have a link to a web album or blog about your games?  Just wondering if you're this particular about all aspects of your games, or just the bolt heads. :)

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Painted bolts scream "homemade".

Now that's just a low blow! :)  You call it "homemade", I call it "better than factory."

Wade

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #149 on: November 04, 2009, 11:29:38 pm »
Do you have a link to a web album or blog about your games?  Just wondering if you're this particular about all aspects of your games, or just the bolt heads. :)

None of my machines are restored, but they are original or OEM in the areas which I consider important, and/or when possible. My Missile Command looks the nicest; almost could be HUO. There are a few things I want to do to it (like rebuilding the trackball, finding a control panel that has the original direct printed art still in good shape, and getting new cones and buttons), but it is pretty nice as-is:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3

Those pictures were taken by the previous owner (it still looks the same).

My Super Punch-Out machine would be next; almost as nice as the Missile Command, but I had to search out some stuff for it (like finding a control panel with its original CPO in good shape).

The biggest flaw with the SPO machine is the security bar holes. Ideally the holes wouldn't be there in the first place, but since I don't intend to restore the machine (I'll never restore it unless perhaps if someone can figure out a way of exactly duplicating the original unique Nintendo black finish on the cabinet, which is still in decent shape on my machine), I decided to plug the holes with black carriage bolts. I found some from a pinball supply place with a smooth head and a nice smooth black oxide finish, made by Midway, which were perfect for the job. So yeah, the security bar mounting holes suck, but at least the filler bolts look good (lol):

Picture

My Ikari Warriors and SFII machines are pretty rough (but fully functional). I may restore those at some point. I'm not concerned about using a non-original finish on those cabinets, such as paint or laminate, because those are just dime-a-dozen Dynamo cabinets anyway; not classic cabinets.


Paint also doesn't stand up, esp on a control panel.  

Plus I like the way the bluing looks more.

I agree completely. Paint by its very nature can chip, while bluing can not. Bluing, when it wears, wears gracefully.

And as far as appearance goes, bluing is the next best thing to having steel that is black in the first place (though unfortunately such a thing doesn't exist).
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 11:31:34 pm by MaximRecoil »

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #150 on: November 05, 2009, 07:43:55 am »
Both of those extremely nice for mostly original games.  Very hard to find them in that condition!  Nice job.

And I agree, what can you really do about lockdown holes?  You'll never get the wood back, you have to fill them with a bolt or filler, or live with the holes.

Did you change the Missile Command button cones to black plastic, or the T-molding on your Punch Out?  Is any of the art on that PO repro?  I'm sure you're aware how unlike the original the metal cones and replacement t-molding is.  It seems to me that either of those things are much more significant/noticeable than the finish on the bolt heads.  But obviously, you have a thing for bluing, I think that's the bottom line here. :)

MaximRecoil as your username, does that suggest you have also been into a gun hobby at some point?

Wade

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #151 on: November 05, 2009, 07:58:10 am »
I personally have a thing for rust prevention and longevity, that's why I like the bluing.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #152 on: November 05, 2009, 08:00:00 am »
Drops in a bucket, but drops add up. 


Drops on your end.  Drops of labor.  Drops of time.  Drops of cost.  Nobody will ever pay extra money for a cab because the bolts are blued vs regular black.  Even most hardcore collectors won't ever care.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #153 on: November 05, 2009, 08:36:48 am »
Both of those extremely nice for mostly original games.  Very hard to find them in that condition!  Nice job.

And I agree, what can you really do about lockdown holes?  You'll never get the wood back, you have to fill them with a bolt or filler, or live with the holes.

Did you change the Missile Command button cones to black plastic, or the T-molding on your Punch Out?  Is any of the art on that PO repro?  I'm sure you're aware how unlike the original the metal cones and replacement t-molding is.  It seems to me that either of those things are much more significant/noticeable than the finish on the bolt heads.  But obviously, you have a thing for bluing, I think that's the bottom line here. :)

MaximRecoil as your username, does that suggest you have also been into a gun hobby at some point?

Wade

The T-molding is original on the SPO machine. It's in decent shape (some dings, but no tears or missing sections); and yeah, I know the reproduction Nintendo T-molding that's available is "off" compared to the original stuff, in various ways; and the lack of a perfect replacement T-molding option is another reason I don't want to restore the SPO machine.

The sideart is reproduction, but silk-screened. I didn't have a choice in that matter, as it had zero sideart when I got it, and NOS PO or SPO sideart is like hen's teeth.

Most everything is original on the Missile Command, including the sideart. I haven't changed the buttons or cones from what was there when I got it, and I don't know if they are original or not. The P1 & P2 button cones are short black plastic, and the fire button cones are short silver aluminum. I've been trying to find out exactly what type of cones are supposed to be on there, but I get varying answers depending on who I ask.

I'm not dead set against reproduction stuff, as long as it is a good match to the original (which includes using the original type of process to make it, e.g., screen printing rather than inkjet for sideart); but original stuff in nice shape, and of course NOS stuff, trumps even the best reproductions IMO.

I have two problems with painted carriage bolts. One is the lack of originality; and the other is that I just don't like the way they look (or the way they handle wear and tear). I can tell they are painted, and black bolts are supposed to be blued (black oxide), or in some cases, black phosphate. No bolt manufacturer that I know of offers paint as a finish. That's what people do at home; not what bolt factories do.

"MaximRecoil" is a reference to Hiram Maxim, who invented the recoil-operated machine gun, and was from my father's hometown (about a 15 minute's drive from where I live). I've been in the gun hobby, to varying degrees, for most of my life.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #154 on: November 05, 2009, 08:58:32 am »

Exactly how much wear and tear does a machine get in home use?  Are people wearing sandpaper gloves or something?

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #155 on: November 05, 2009, 09:11:32 am »
Exactly how much wear and tear does a machine get in home use?

It depends on how much and in what manner the machine is used; but you probably already knew that.

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #156 on: November 05, 2009, 11:22:32 am »
So now we know why you're so particular about bluing. :)

You're sure that's the original molding?  It looks kindof rounded in the pics.  If it is original, wow - super condition.  Don't see many like that!  The repro molding for Nintendos annoys even me due to it being so different than the original.

Bolt heads are blued at the factory (and not at home) because bluing bolts is *cheaper* than painting, not necessarily because it's better.  You're entitled to your opinions of course.  I have had more rust/wear on blued bolts in my own games than those that I've painted.  NEVER have I had paint wear or chip off of bolt heads.  Just my experiences...

I like your attitude, and for the most part I agree with the concept of going with what's closest to original.  (I am not going to order blued bolts for my games though.) :)  I mean, "ideally", all my games would be in mint original condition.  I simply don't have the time, patience, or money to find near mint, original examples.  Realistically, we're talking $2-3k for each game if it were in the same like-new condition as a fully restored game.  I can't justify that expense in the name of originality!  Wish I could though.

Wade

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Re: Centipede Mini Restoration
« Reply #157 on: November 05, 2009, 12:12:38 pm »
So now we know why you're so particular about bluing. :)

You're sure that's the original molding?  It looks kindof rounded in the pics.  If it is original, wow - super condition.  Don't see many like that!  The repro molding for Nintendos annoys even me due to it being so different than the original.

It is most definitely original, and it is perfectly flat. The relatively low resolution/quality of the picture (cheap camera) hides flaws of course; it doesn't look brand new in person; but like I said, it is in decent shape. It matches the moderate wear of the rest of the cabinet (brand new T-molding would look a bit out of place without restoring the whole cabinet). The reproduction stuff is not only slightly rounded, but the color is wrong as well (the white has a hint of translucency rather than being perfectly opaque like the original stuff).

This machine was last on location some time in the 90's and had been sitting in an operator's warehouse in PA, JAMMAtized and missing the gameboard, sporting "Time Killers" garb (good grief), until I bought it a few years ago for $50. I already had tracked down a used, mostly complete SPO kit elsewhere, so that gave me the boardset, marquee, and 5-way SPO joystick. Then I found an auction on eBay labeled "Nintendo parts", which was a box of stuff that included a PO PCB cage, complete PO wiring harness, and PO power supply. Eventually I found a nice PO control panel with its original CPO still in good shape, and I was able to ditch the one that got Swiss-cheesed for the "Time Killers" controls. I got both the PO and the supplementary SPO screen printed reproduction sideart for free.

Quote
Bolt heads are blued at the factory (and not at home) because bluing bolts is *cheaper* than painting, not necessarily because it's better.  You're entitled to your opinions of course.  I have had more rust/wear on blued bolts in my own games than those that I've painted.  NEVER have I had paint wear or chip off of bolt heads.  Just my experiences...

Another option is black phosphate, which is an electrochemical conversion process that some factories use on bolts and screws (it is an inherently rough finish though, not as nice looking as bluing/black oxide can be). Have you ever heard of Parkerizing? It is the same type of process, and has been used on military guns for ages. Try to find an M1911A1 (the vast majority of them were parkerized) with a significant amount of rust. Most of them are rust free to this day, and the last ones were made in 1945; and they went through hell and back until their official retirement in 1985. If they'd been painted, most of them would have been bare rusty steel by the end of WWII, to say nothing of Korea and Vietnam.