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Author Topic: Centipede Mini Restoration  (Read 19204 times)

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SirPeale

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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 ;)

SirPeale

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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?

Level42

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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...


SirPeale

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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.

SirPeale

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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.

SirPeale

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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.