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Author Topic: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede  (Read 4400 times)

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StuDaBaker

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Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« on: October 20, 2009, 02:11:08 am »
I picked this up about a year ago off Craiglist and pretty much brought it in the house and plugged it in. It plays well, and the one of the previous owners had started a restoration on it, story I was told is that he moved out of state and couldn't take it with.

The left side art has been replaced, and the vinyl is in good condition, but there was no prep work done before it was applied by whomever did it. The cabinet should have been filled and sanded. They also put the vinyl over a strip of non-skid type tape that was on the bottom of the cabinet. Other than that, the application of the decal looks good. It bugs me, and I'd like to remove it and do it properly.

The right side is blank. It's got laminate on the side and it's got a few scrapes and chips, but seems in better shape than the opposite side. You can see the strip on non-slip black tape at the bottom. It's got a grit factor to it. I can't believe they didn't remove it from the other side before applying the side art vinyl.

The marquee and monitor glass are in good shape, a couple small scratches on each, hardly noticable, and the CPO had been replaced as well. Pretty good job here, only one of the carriage bolts was barely too tight and cause the slightest wrinkle. The blue color is quite a bit darker than the blue in the monitor glass, not sure how different that is from an original CPO. The cone buttons work properly and the trackball, although in need of some new rollers and maybe new bearings, still works surprisingly well. Of course, the ball itself is yellowed and well used. When that gets serviced I'll clean up the bolt heads as well.

The coin door itself seems to be in pretty good shape, I'd like to get it working but the wiring is a mess. Cut wires and loose ends are plentiful. Needless to say, it's on freeplay. I've only got 1 side of the 24 pin connector, and I'm not sure the wires are supposed to loop back into the connector like that.

The inside of the cabnet is not bad, it had probably been gone over not too long before I got it. There's a few loose connections on the back as well

It's got a Goldstar monitor in it. Chassis says manufactured in 1994. The picture is good, but the color is off. Look at the difference in color from the top right towards the bottom left. The color is worse toward the left side of the screen. The monitor has a degauss coil, but it either doesn't work or the color too far gone for it to do anything. Doesn't really affect gameplay, but I'd like to eventually have that corrected.

Overall, I like to think this cabinet is in pretty good shape, being almost 30 years old. I'd like to get it close to an original state though. Especially since it seems I'll keep it a while. I like playing it and so do my kids and our guests. I've been researching building a mame cab, and came across Peale and Spyridon's Centipede restoration threads and it's got me wanting to do this as well.  I'm going to put together a plan and post progress here (which I'm sure will take a while, I'd get the mame cab together before I disassemble this for restoration, but in the meantime, hopefully work out some of the wiring and trackball issues before that project gets underway.

Spyridon

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009, 09:02:59 am »
The left side art has been replaced, and the vinyl is in good condition, but there was no prep work done before it was applied by whomever did it. The cabinet should have been filled and sanded. They also put the vinyl over a strip of non-skid type tape that was on the bottom of the cabinet. Other than that, the application of the decal looks good. It bugs me, and I'd like to remove it and do it properly.

Looks like a solid cab and the artwork side looks good in the picture.  I'm sure the photo doesn't show the details that you can see in person.  Since you are going to replace the art on the other side, you'll most likely end up purchaseing both sides.  May as well replace both at that point.

Quote
the ball itself is yellowed and well used.

Centipede used an off white trackball so that may not be too far off from the original.  A good cleaning should be fine.  I think white looks better so I replaced mine with a new white one (you can get new off-white as well if you want to go that route)

Quote
The coin door itself seems to be in pretty good shape, I'd like to get it working but the wiring is a mess. Cut wires and loose ends are plentiful. Needless to say, it's on freeplay. I've only got 1 side of the 24 pin connector, and I'm not sure the wires are supposed to loop back into the connector like that.

Yeah, that's quite the hack job on the wireing.  Looks like you have the connector for the PCB side and you are missing the coin door side.  Those wires looping back in are correct.


Quote
The inside of the cabnet is not bad, it had probably been gone over not too long before I got it. There's a few loose connections on the back as well

Looks like they replaced the ARII board with a switching power supply

Quote
Overall, I like to think this cabinet is in pretty good shape, being almost 30 years old. I'd like to get it close to an original state though. Especially since it seems I'll keep it a while. I like playing it and so do my kids and our guests.

Definitely a good restoration candidate.  I started with practicaly nothing original and was able to find all the parts realtively easily.  Depending on how original you want to go, and since this is on the back burner while you finish your mame cab, you can start looking for parts now. 

ARII board if you want to remove the switcher. 
Coin door wire harness.
Maybe a complete new wire harness to make it easier to undo that hacked wire job. (I may have a partial wire harness that will work for you)

Good luck!

My current collection:  Arkanoid^3, Asteroids Deluxe, Centipede, Donkey Kong w/DIIK, Frenzy w/Berzerk multi, Galaga, Galaxian, Gyruss, Mappy,  Missile Command, Multi-Williams, O'Boyles Arcade (Mame), Pac-man,  Sinistar, Star Wars, Tempest, War Gods

RayB

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2009, 02:38:55 pm »
Wico? Goldstar? In 1994?? wow. don't see those too often!
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StuDaBaker

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2009, 10:09:21 pm »
Ok, first thing I'm going to do, since we're actually playing this game, is give the trackball some attention. I think I'll order the rollers and bearings from Bob Roberts, probably an 8' cord, new trackball. The one in the machine is a bit more yellow than it seems in the pic, and I think a clean white trackball would look better anyway. I thought about opening it up and lubricating the existing bearings, but I can see through the slight gap by the track ball the rollers are actually worn down in the middle and need replacing, and since it is currently usable, I don't really want to open it up until I have the parts to re-do it.

On the subject of if it ain't broke, I've read a bit in other restoration threads about replacing "Big Blue". What is the main advantage to this if the current one is working?

Quote
ARII board if you want to remove the switcher.
Coin door wire harness.
Maybe a complete new wire harness to make it easier to undo that hacked wire job. (I may have a partial wire harness that will work for you)
I assume you suggest the ARII board instead of the switcher for authenticity? I agree on the coin door harness, and possibly on the complete harness since there's a few other loose wires inside the cab. If I go with a complete wire harness would it be easier to connect to the ARII than the switcher? Other than here and klov forums, any suggestions on where to hunt for these said parts? Ebay seems to have nil atm.

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since this is on the back burner while you finish your mame cab, you can start looking for parts now. 
I have to start the project first! LoL! I first considered before I bought the Centipede, and when I got it, I was placated for a little while. Now I've decided that I'm going to do it, and I just bought Saint's book and in the process of reading through it before I begin the build, and thought I'd give the Centipede a little attention in the meantime. Then, when the mame cab is done, the main restoration will begin, so I'm sure at some point in the future I'll be digging deep to resurrect this thread. ;D

Wico? Goldstar? In 1994?? wow. don't see those too often!
What makes that a rare thing?

Thanks, for helping a beginner.


Spyridon

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2009, 04:31:24 pm »
I assume you suggest the ARII board instead of the switcher for authenticity? I agree on the coin door harness, and possibly on the complete harness since there's a few other loose wires inside the cab. If I go with a complete wire harness would it be easier to connect to the ARII than the switcher? Other than here and klov forums, any suggestions on where to hunt for these said parts? Ebay seems to have nil atm.

Yes, strictly for authenticity and maybe to make it easier if you got a new harness.  But there is no issue with keeping the switcher if it works.  Post in the Wanted section over at KLOV and keep an eye out on eBay.  I found harnesses at both locations.  The one from KLOV turned out to be incomplete and the one on eBay that was really cheap had everything complete including the Atari cone buttons.

Quote
I just bought Saint's book and in the process of reading through

That's the route I went.  Good book and it helped me build my mame cab.  It also is what lead me to finding KLOV and getting interested in the real cabs.  (that book is more expensive than you think   ;D )
My current collection:  Arkanoid^3, Asteroids Deluxe, Centipede, Donkey Kong w/DIIK, Frenzy w/Berzerk multi, Galaga, Galaxian, Gyruss, Mappy,  Missile Command, Multi-Williams, O'Boyles Arcade (Mame), Pac-man,  Sinistar, Star Wars, Tempest, War Gods

RayB

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 12:37:11 am »
Original would be difficult to do unless the original wiring is all there, unhacked. It's WAY simpler to connect a switching power supply like you already have.  Big blue has NO effect in the set up you have now, but if you had the original parts instead, then it becomes VERY important. When it fails, it causes power issues that eventually damage the AR-II, which in turn damages your game board. That's why you don't go for the "if it ain't broke..." approach. It's like doing maintenance on a car engine to prevent the whole engine from ever blowing.

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StuDaBaker

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 10:33:41 am »
Original would be difficult to do unless the original wiring is all there, unhacked. It's WAY simpler to connect a switching power supply like you already have.  Big blue has NO effect in the set up you have now, but if you had the original parts instead, then it becomes VERY important. When it fails, it causes power issues that eventually damage the AR-II, which in turn damages your game board. That's why you don't go for the "if it ain't broke..." approach. It's like doing maintenance on a car engine to prevent the whole engine from ever blowing.

So from a preservation standpoint, it's a better idea to keep the switching power supply instead of going authentic with the AR-II?

ChadTower

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 10:50:27 am »

I say go with the modern power solution.  It's safer for the PCB and that is the real value here.

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 11:11:59 am »
I do not agree.

But since the switcher's already in there....leave it I'd say.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 11:13:45 am by Level42 »

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2009, 10:02:02 am »
I do not agree.

But since the switcher's already in there....leave it I'd say.

I agree with both these statements.  The original equipment works well AS LONG AS IT IS MAINTAINED LIKE ANY OTHER PIECE OF EQUIPMENT (emphasis because so many people seem to forget that any machine requires maintenance), but since it's already working with a switcher, it would be more trouble to get an AR/II working with it.

StuDaBaker

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2009, 01:18:58 am »
Slow going here, I gotta try to fit these projects in between a lot of other stuff going on. These are from Friday, Oct. 30, 2009:

First I carved 2 pumpkins, here's one:



Then, I replaced the worn, frayed and sans ground prong A/C cord with a new 8' cord.(on the centipede cabinet, not the pumpkin 8))

Cinchy.

Then I removed and disassembled the trackball assembly to prepare to do a bearing, roller and trackball replacement.

Sure was a lot of crud in there.

and the other side.


Wait a minute. What did that say?


Oh, noob mistake. I assumed that it would have an atari trackball in there. Not so. Wico and so the parts I ordered for the trackball rebuild are useless.

Even the 2-1/4" replacement ball for the atari is slightly larger and gets pinched in the housing so it's difficult to spin. Well, as long as I had it apart, I cleaned out the housing by soaking it in warm soapy water and scrubbed it down with an old toothbrush. Cleaned it right up. Then I cleaned up the worn rollers as best I could and oiled the bearings, and re-installed the Wico trackball with all the same parts that were in it when I took it out. That little bit of attention made a big difference and the tb is very smooth now, but still seems to sit down in the hole a bit more than it should because of the worn rollers. It's not a finger-pincher though as I believe SirPeale said his was.

First, I was pissed at myself for making the mistake of getting the wrong parts, but, I decided I would get an old atari trackball assembly to rebuild with the parts, so it would have a stock trackball with a snow white ball. That made me feel better. ;D

Also, I received a complete wire harness I got off ebay that included the coin door harness and cp harness and buttons, including the cones and original white leaf switch fire button. Maybe I'll see how that cleans up and replace the red microswitch fire button mine has. Hopefully I'll get to fool with it some more in the next week or so.

RayB

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2009, 12:29:00 pm »
The bearings are the same. The ball is the same. If it's touching the lip, then you have something not properly "seated" somewhere. The ONLY difference is the casing, optics and rollers.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 02:15:53 pm by RayB »
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StuDaBaker

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2009, 12:53:09 pm »
The bearings are the same. The ball is the same. If it's touching the lip, then you have something not properly "seated" somewhere. The ONLY difference is the casing, optics and rollers.
As previously stated, I'm no expert, but I will have to politely disagree with you. There are differences on the trackball I have. The bearings for the Wico are substantially larger than the bearings that came with the Atari bearing and roller kit from Bob Roberts, you can see that from the picture, even though the new bearings are still in the package. The Wico rollers are shorter in length and thicker in diameter than the atari ones as well, which is not apparent in the picture I posted as I did not open the package because it was evident to me that the kit would not work with the trackball I had. The pictures I've seen of the Atari trackballs being rebuilt contain 3 rollers and 6 bearings. This Wico trackball has only 2 rollers for the encoder wheels with only a single bearing (the edge of mine is concave from wear) to hold the ball against the rollers on the opposite side . That's the lone bearing you see on top the package in the last pic. 5 bearings total on the Wico. I checked to make sure everything was seated properly a couple of times before giving up and dropping the original ball back in the housing.

You may be right, that Atari and Wico have trackball models that could use interchangeable parts but, as my luck has it, that's not the case here.    :-\

When I get the Atari trackball, I'll post some comparison pics.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 01:17:17 pm by StuDaBaker »

RayB

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2009, 02:14:41 pm »
OK I believe you.
There are two main styles of Atari trackballs... the early generation were machined metal (4" example here):



And then they started using one with a plastic housing:



I'm sure someone on this board can buy the kit off you and then you can buy the proper Wico kit.
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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2009, 03:17:06 pm »
For 15 bucks you get yourself a brand new Atari housing from Bob Roberts !


That is, if the encoder wheels fit....else you'll need those (mounting bolts) too.

StuDaBaker

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Re: Restoring my first arcade cabinet - Centipede
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2009, 03:54:39 pm »
Thanks, but I got one off ebay coming, it was $.01 + $10 shipping. Hopefully I'll get that to work with the kit I already have.

@RayB, I know that is a 4" TB, but that pic makes it seem huge! LOL!