Topic: Atari Vindicators Repair Log  (Read 37373 times)

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Offline Womble

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2015, 11:08:42 AM »
Update time, another whopper.

Of all the parts needed for this cabinet T-moulding has been the biggest pain, again it is the old metric vs imperial problem but there are two parts to the problem. Firstly there is the width of the actual t-moulding itself, i.e. what width of panel it will fit. This machine was born in the California, so imperial measurements are everywhere, the sheets of particle board used throughout were 1/4" thick. However down under MDF seems to only come in 16mm or 18mm sheets, and even the 18mm is harder to get. I am sure there are suppliers somewhere that stock every variation but for people with day jobs that don't involve a van the options are limited. Even Bunnings only sell one sheet that is 18mm and it is a monster, I had to get it cut down multiple times just to get it all in the car.

So when you want to get t-moulding you could look for 18mm stock, except you never know whether what you are buying is actually 18mm, or 19.06mm badly measured, or something else entirely. It gets worse in that some seller sell t-moulding for 18mm but it is actually 20mm. They may or may not clearly state this in their listings and when asked they advise that yeh it is 20mm but you just use a knife to trim it, all 30 feet of it, sounds like a great plan. Some sellers in Oz have bought their stock from US suppliers so it will be 1/4", but they may sell it as 18mm or 20mm as it is kinda half way in between. Stock from non-US countries probably are made in metric measures, probably, possibly, who the hell knows?!!!

Then you have the second problem, what size slot should you cut for it. Am surprised how many online sellers do not state that critical fact, get it wrong and you will struggled to install it, risk splitting the edge of the panel, or have it so loose you need to tape or glue it in. In my searches I have found what seem to be a number of standards, most quoted in imperial but that map roughly to 1.4mm, 2.0mm or 2.4mm.

My problem was amplified by the fact that this cabinet now contains original US 1/4" (19mm) panels in good condition, my new 18mm panels, and areas of the superstructure that were 19mm before they got wet and are now actually 20mm. Clearly one size would not fit all, but if I get multiple types to cover all areas there is the issue of what slot I need in what areas, and also whether colour/finish will match between types.

A while ago I jumped the gun and bought some t-moulding locally so I knew what slots to cut in the edge panels, trouble was I then decided that that was far to glossy for this cabinet and that I needed matte black not mirror finish black. What I really needed was matte black in two sizes that looked identical, which meant from the same vendor so I could ask about the colour match, and also from a vendor who clearly stated the exact dimensions of the slots required for each. This really narrowed my choice of vendor down to being only in US, who were excellent in answering my crazy questions and also selling non-standard lengths on request. I had hoped to avoid overseas shipping costs but T-moulding is light and the whole lot was about $55 delivered.

In the end I decided to go for 1/4" inch for the front panel edges, the track side panels and the original rear edge of the CP which was an undamaged 1/4" panel. I will have 0.5mm over hang on the raw panels either side, but after priming and the finishing this is probably not a problem. The other size is 13/16, which is 20.6mm in new money and a decent fit for both the worn existing slots and the areas I need to cover, especially the front inner "toe" sections of the tracks. This was the area where colour matching was going to be the problem as the outer face of the tracks are my 18mm panels and the inner faces are the original, swollen, glued and clamped up panels which are now 20mm.

Buying from one vendor almost solved my problems, except the 1/4" stock for my 18mm panels from them needed 1/16" (1.6mm) slots, and all my panels had beautiful 3/32 (2.4mm) slots. Both sizes had perfect colour and profile matched, in fact its hard to tell them apart by eye, but my slots were far too big, the groove only lightly gripped the t-moulding and it would just ping out around the corners.

I had no interest in chucking these panels away and making new ones , even if I could be bothered I was left with the problem of alignment, these ones had the dowels glued in place to ensure the panels get installed in exactly the right spot. Those holes were now drilled and filled, so doing that all again wasn't an option.

Opinions online about this problem are varied, some people say just bondo the slots and cut new ones, this sounded reasonable except for the fact that bondo is not fun to work with and trying to shoe horn it into the grooves before it set was going to be an epic battle over the 6.6 meters of slot I needed to fill. I also didn't want to have to sand the edges on these panels as they were already perfectly straight. Any changes there would impact the alignment and if I broke that I might as well start again anyway. Also, one commenter on Klov said that bondo isn't ideal as the new grooves have edges like polished glass, and the t-moulding doesn't grip very well. Having met routed bondo on the training edges of the cabinet this sounded very plausible and a good enough reason to ditch that idea. Another option was to cut strips of cardboard, bent into V shape which you hammer into the groove along with the t-moulding. This probably would work, especially if the cardboard was covered in glue on the wood side. This just sounded a bit too bodgy for me and I can imagine it is hard to get the thickness right, and getting it all to go in straight is probably not as easy as it sounds, corners would be a nightmare. The other suggestion is to glue it in, with hot glue. This would take hours, plus I would have to find someway to hold it all in place perfectly while the glue set, plus any glue oozing out would make a mess and you only get one shot at this, try to remove a section and you would wreck the slot, the t-moulding and possibly the panel.

I needed a better solution, ideally what I needed to put back in the slots was actual wood, something I could route normally and have a nice rough surface for the t-moulding to grip, but where do you get long thin strips of wood for such a task? The answer is probably every supermarket and $2 shop in the country, introducing - Coffee Stirrers :)

By some fluke of good fortune, two coffee stirrers back to back are the perfect width for the slots I cut and two pairs side by side were the perfect width to fill the depth of slot to the original surface. Plus at $2 per pack it's by far the cheapest of all the options I discounted anyway. Of course with this project things are never quite that simple, because I had primed the edges, the primer filled the slot ever so slightly and now the coffee stirrers wouldn't fit any part that was painted. Scraping the primer helped a bit but the simplest option was to re-route the wrong sized slots with the bit I originally cut them with to restore their fully width.

Getting the bit alignment is the hardest part of using a router, but once set I buzzed along the grooves creating a fine mist of dust and not much else, but the slots were now ready for filling.

While the front panel was clamped to the workmate I also took the edge cutter bit to the lower section of the control panel, it was too tight at fit against the inner track edges. If the fit was tight now it would be impossible when there is vinyl on the track inner edge. I had sanded these sections down and re-primed them but I wasn't happy with the straightness of the edge. A piece of wood clamped as a guide let me trim it completely straight again, I think I was only 1mm out but it looked wonky before.

Coffee stirrer and PVA glue time, this is one of those jobs that you think will be quite quick, and on the straight sections it is, trouble is the angles and fiddly bits slow you to a crawl.

Front panel!

Corners are less of a problem as the spline gets cut away there to let the t-moulding bend to take the turn, so there is nothing needing anything to grip in those areas anyway.

All in all it took me about two and half hours to fill up the track edges and the front panel but the result is a very neat job. Some areas had small gaps that needed filling but I could cope with that small amount of bondo work. These needed a good few days drying time as lot of glue was used, so I got on with some other routing job.

I decided to do the coffee stirrer trick to the front inner track areas, these were originally badly water damaged and I was not totally convinced they would hold the t-moulding in place. After a rip through with the router it was clear that they will be a lot better after the coffee stirrer treatment than before.

While the router was out and set up I quickly re-cut the slot on the rear corner of the monitor shroud as that had been completely filled when that area was rebuilt.

Straight as an arrow!

A bit of a side story now!

A few weeks ago a thread popped up on AA with the title "Free Vindicators Cabinet", and I admit my heart sunk, I had visions of a perfect cabinet, complete with artwork, probably missing some of the electronics but available for free, and probably just down the road from me.

Actually it was in SA and it was a gutted shell, in far worse condition than my one had ever been.

I know how bad things can be on these cabs and still look mostly OK, but this one looked dreadful so was probably even worse, but between AA members Camaro and Phreak97 I was able to get some useful parts and some missing info that will help mine live again. Many thanks guys!!

Amazingly it was Serial number VIN1229, mine is VIN1222!!!

It is very likely that they rolled off the Sunnyvale production line on the very same day back in 1988. Sadly it was basically just the wooden shell, all the electronics, PSU, control panel and wiring was gone, in fact some of the doco suggests it was converted to a Pit Fighter, which was released in 1990, so this was probably only a vindicators for a couple of years.

It did still have some of the original grey t-moulding, which was great news as a section of mine is chewed up. The t-moulding on VIN1229 would have come from the same batch, probably the same roll in the factory, in fact probably within 10m of each other on the roll so the colour match will be guaranteed if I can splice some of it in. I was also able to get some photos of what remained of the rear lower fan grille, it was completely trashed, in fact am surprise it was still hanging on as they are usually missing on rescue cabs.

It sticks out too far so it gets knocked and bashed about, and crushed if the cabinet is ever laid on its back. Knowing what it should look like I was able to find a very good replacement with a bit of Google image hunting.

It fits the bill of being as close to the original style as I could get plus it has a similar looking cover and a foam filter to keep the spiders from moving back in.

It needs to be installed once I am past the point of laying the cabinet down, which means after the front panel is fitted, but now is the time to pre-drill the pilot holes for the screws while I can still get comfortable access to the area.

It looks huge but the screw holes line up with the originals so it is spot on.

All in all I got some grey t-moulding, the service instructions that live inside the machine, the serial stickers and a selection of the screws they used on these cabs as some of mine were missing and a few were rusted and snapped on removal.

With a free afternoon and nothing more I could do until all the coffee stirrers and glue set, I moved on to another one of the final items on the check list - the coin door.

This had been kicking around the toy room for 4 years and wasn't in great shape, I stupidly had taken it apart back in 2011 and then lost a few pieces, which I have slowly been finding again. It looks ok, a bit tired, with some chips and rusted bits. Not pretty enough!

When the cabinet arrived, the coin door looked like this, even worse...

The really rusty coin return flaps were quickly sanded back to metal, cleaned and then hit with primer.

The other parts were just hit with the spray can.

The monitor bezel had taken a couple of coats of primer to get an even finish in the previous week.

So it was propped up on the triangle off-cuts of the track panels, on one of the scrap ones for easy of transport, and given a light coat of black.

The rear power switch plate which was on its second painting attempt after a gust of wind caught the cardboard it was sat on last time, throwing the whole lot down the drive onto the concrete completely wrecking the pain job. That had to be sanded back to bare metal a second time due to all the chips and grit on it.

I hate spray painting, if you want to invoke wind and rain the best way seems to be to shake a spray can, suddenly the wind just appears. To avoid over-spray this was done down the far end of the driveway, and the parts were carried inside on individual planks of wood immediately after painting to fill the toy room with fumes, but to dry out of the wind and dust.

The only other parts needing attention were the collection of rusty screws that were destined to go back on the cabinet. A wire brush and a couple of hundred rpm in a drill soon sorts that out.

Before and after!

One the set was complete, the whole lot were primed...

...and half painted, I knew the spray can was nearly empty but it gave a final cough and died, about 4 seconds too early.

Another can needed to finish the job, and in fact everything got another coat anyway as the coverage on a couple of areas wasn't as good as I had hoped and also to ensure a colour match.

The final result was a much tidier kit...

...with all the original texture effects intact.

Sic Transit Gloria Atari

Offline Womble

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2015, 11:09:00 AM »
Which when assembled and combined with two new locks...

...resulted in this!

It will look even better when the orange coin reject buttons are clean, which they weren't.

Destined for a wash!

The coffee stirrers were now solidly glued in place, so I forced myself to get on with the task of re-routing the panels.

Setting up the bit depth takes at least as long as the job itself I find, but once it is set the rest is very quick. I had assumed that the coffee stirrers would be easier to cut than MDF, the router didn't seem to think so, and it really took its time to cut. The end result is exactly what I wanted, a thin film of wood replaced on the inner faces of the cut and nothing too smooth either. Its just a shame the router did kinda wreck my paint job.

Power supply time again, well power supply switch panel. The final coat of spray paint was well and truly dry so this lot needed to go back together.

The main switch was pretty tarnished originally but had cleaned up really well with some metal polish, I had confirmed it was still electrically sound, and jaycar had nothing close, so I wanted to keep the original.

Mains connector and grounding lug refitted...

...followed by the mains lead, cable clamp and some new spade connectors.

The mains cable is part of the original one, it had damage in a few sections and was far too long before. I chose the best looking 2 meters worth and binned the sections with crushed cores and nicks in the insulation.

Looking sharp!

It would be shame to put the manky old original plug back on this, it was corroded, chipped, bent and discoloured, so I found a replacement off an old computer monitor that was an exact match, you can't buy these piggy back sockets anymore. The original plug on this would have been a US three pin plug so this plug is only as original as its time in Australia, but might as well keep it correct.

Job done!

Next big item on this list - controllers! Except the blanking plates still needed something doing to them. They had been badly spray painted along with the rest of the controllers at some point in the machines history. So they had splodges of black paint where they were exposed by the controller plates. I had got a lot of the spray paint off with a fingernail and hot water but I was still left with this.

I had considered painting them with matte black spray paint, but as these things slide back and forth the paint may start to show signs of wear, plus I didn't want to in-fill the texture with yet more paint.

The solution - Simple Green, it seems to feature in most arcade restoration threads from the US and surprisingly enough, seeing as it is just a cleaning spray, Bunnings sell the exact, made in the USA, stuff.

Despite being a decent cleaner it also will eat paint if you give it enough time, apparently model makers regularly use it to soak old paint jobs off plastic models. There are a lot of threads about people trying alternatives, but for efficacy and the fact it doesn't seem to damage the plastic underneath Simple Green seems to be the top rated option.

All up it took 48 hours in the stuff neat to get all the paint to lift off, minor encouragement required an old toothbrush and a needle mounted in a pen drill to pick the last bits out of the texture.

Then I had to do it all again as for some reason I forgot that two controllers = 4 plates and had only done two, but it takes no effort beyond setting it up and leaving it alone.

After, and before.

While the last pair were soaking, a parcel arrived from a locksmith I found via eBay. I had hoped to keep the lock on the rear hatch original, firstly because it was original, secondly because the cam arm already had the right bend in it, and thirdly it seemed pointless to buy a new lock that will get virtually no use at all. He supplied me with the right key for it with the two locks that are now on the coin door, but even though it was the right code the lock would not turn. So I posted the key and the lock to him, and it came back fixed. So it seemed a good time to fit it, except that it needed a bit of TLC first. So how to polish and barrel lock? Simple, use the drill again and spin it up against some polish lint.

Worked a treat so it went back in its rightful place, I wonder how many decades since this was last lockable without needing to use a spanner from the inside.

With the controller blanking plates free of paint, extremely clean and now dry, I could get on with the controllers.

The powdercoaters had fixed their cock-up, striped and re-coated the top plates without clogging the threads, so it was just a case of picking off the masking tape...

...and starting to build...

...face down on a towel to protect the finish...

... and test fit the blanking plates, looking great!

Now to the tricky bit, and the first problem, powdercoating adds thickness, probably more than paint would, and the controller hand grips would not fit over the tubes. They would slide on up to the bend and then jam solid.

Just what I wanted, an opportunity to scratch the crap out of the powdercoat finish. My allegiance to the expensive powdercoat was greater than to 0.5 mm of scuffed blue plastic on the handle grips. So the holes were given a light sand with very fine sandpaper to smooth them and also to make the hole slightly bigger. Sand paper wrapped around a finger seemed to be the way to go here.

With the grip now engaged on the inner plate I screwed the two halves together to stop it flapping around loose and scratching up the tube, onwards!

Armed with photos from the disassembly, the original manual that vaguely describes the process, and a tray of parts...

...the rubber bump stops go back in, and the first test install of a controller arm plus blanking plate revealed the second problem. The arm was too tight in the main cage, thankfully this was more due to the alignment of the parts and not the powdercoat thickness.

So I removed the arm, and loosened the nuts holding the top plate assembly together and it freed up.

Onwards, the cleaned Nyliners go back on.

I did actually find the missing one, lying in the middle of the floor a week after I claimed it was lost, and it was in very good condition, but another one I had in the set was very worn, so the new one replaced that one. The lost/found one went through the degreasing solution, had a wash and went straight back on.

I was pretty paranoid about scuffing the powder coat so I ignored the instruction order in the manual and went to fit the lower anchor rod that is the arm pivot point, or tried to, on one of the arms the rod would only go through the holes in the arm tube with a lot of force, and on the other side no amount of pressure or colourful language would move it - the powdercoat strikes again

Thankfully this point is completely out of sight so more brutal methods were available. After matching up a drill bit to the pivot rod diameter with some vernier calipers I was able to drill out the excess...

...and fit the anchor rod.

With that in place along with the rubber stops, the arms, and the powder coat finish were safe from flailing parts. The next section I assumed would be hard work, but getting the springs in proved to be very easy, when paired with the nylon washer they just slid along the tube until they were lined up and the actuator rod could be dropped through.

The middle link rod proved useful in holding the actuator rod half in place while the second spring was loaded in.

Then the middle link was fitted, with its clips to hold the actuator rod to the controller arms.

It was seconds before I was about to battle the very last split ring into place that I happened to spot something nasty, throughout the entire controller build I had failed to notice that when I took the first arm back out, to loosen the nuts, I had let the blanking plates slide out, and I had not replaced them. So I had just built the entire controller without them, and the only way to get them installed was to strip the whole thing down and to start again, from scratch. Not pleased!

Having built the first controller twice, by the time I got to build the second one I knew every trick and short cut to the process, so instead of nearly an hour, that one took ten minutes. Which left me with these fine looking fellows!

I haven't refitted the internal wiring and the buttons yet as they both rely on the actual switches to hold everything in place. The original switches are Omron B3G switches, a very common type in the mid 80s on computer keyboards, in fact the Vindicators manual refers to them as keyboard switches on the diagram. The blue controller grips are designed for those switches to slot into place exactly and the fit holds everything together. Back in 2011 when I found the original switches were completely wrecked and Omron B3Gs completely unavailable for anything less than insane money ($20 each), I tracked down a couple of old PC keyboard that had very similar looking switches. A few weeks ago I decided to desolder a couple to check them out, only to find they look the same but lack the grooves that the originals had, without those they do not lock into place in the handles. I could cut the grooves into them but they are needed at the exact place that the clasps which hold the two halves together were located. So I could make them fit, but only if I want them to fall apart as well.

Thankfully, in the intervening years, Ali Express has popped up, which I think is the Chinese equivalent of eBay and two sellers were listing new old stock Ormon B3Gs for $10 for 10. So the old keyboards went in the bin and I now await a parcel which hopefully contains the right thing and ones that actually still work.

So whats next? Still some cab work to do, some final painting mostly. I have bought the vinyl for the front panel but completely failed to find any vinyl remotely close to the original grey stuff used on the monitor shroud and the track panels. I can have light grey and I can have silver, but bugger all in between, unless I want to look at the vinyl wrap sold for cars at an eye watering $60 per meter. I would need $240 worth to do this cabinet which seems excessive, especially as I intend to eventually track down the side art  which will  cover up over 90% of the grey anyway. So I have decided for the sake of sanity to get paint colour-matched to a sample of the vinyl and go with that. It will be quicker than driving all over the city trying to find a source for the mythical vinyl, plus it will be a lot cheaper too, probably less than $10. I doubt I would be able to get an exact colour match even if I could find suitable vinyl, so paint it is.

Major progress since the last update, if the end was in sight before, this is the end straight I think.

ETA? About two weeks, which is what I said two weeks ago, and four weeks ago.  :P
« Last Edit: March 15, 2015, 11:39:30 AM by Womble »
Sic Transit Gloria Atari

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2015, 11:59:32 AM »
Looking better than ever

Offline Womble

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2015, 02:21:09 PM »
Well as per usual, my prediction on time remaining was way off, its already six weeks after my prediction of two weeks and although I have made progress, it isn't finished, but I do have a decent excuse.

Anyway - dropping into Bunnings with a cleaned up section of the grey vinyl got me a 250ml pot of optically colour matched paint for the princely sum of $8. The match isn't exact, but it is very close, probably a closer match than random vinyl would have been.

First coat, looks like a good match compared to the sections not in shadow.

A light sand an another coat later and this was the result!

Depending on the angle the top section looks lighter than the bottom, or darker. From front on both seem roughly the same so am very happy with it.

Along with the paint I also bought a 2 meter straight-edge clamp while I was at it, which save some sanity when attacking the rubber.

Using an off cut of the track upper MDF strips I had cut as a width guide...

... got me some perfectly sized strips.

Looks great when loosely draped on, with a side panel for a quick test fit.

With the cab paint now fully dry I could finally fit the new handle up top...

It's a small job but one that I have been keen to get done, initially I assumed this would be the very last thing I do so it took on a bit of a milestone quality, either way it felt damn good to get it installed.

At this point I was raring to go, then I fractured my elbow (nothing cab related) and spent two weeks looking like this.

Anything heavy was out of the question, but I was able to crack on with some wiring.

This lot are the wiring harnesses for the controllers, the micro switches that register the forward and reverse position of the controller arms and the brackets that hold them to the controllers.

Pretty filthy...

So after copious photos showing which wires went where...

... the switches were removed and the wiring looms went in the sink.

As did the wiring loom from within the cabinet as that was pretty horrible too...

I think this had had stuff spilled on it in the past, potentially its old oil from the controllers, or coke.

As it was a nice day the whole lot spent the afternoon swinging in the breeze...

...while I cleaned up and reassembled the switch brackets.

Based on the pattern of corrosion on them its easy to work out which one goes where on the two controllers too - rust can be useful!

The power of soap and water on old electronics never fails to impress me, these look brand new again.

With everything clean and dry I moved on to reinstalling the original three wires that were broken when the cabinet arrived. I had quickly rigged up some wiring to get the game running but it was too thick to go into the original sleeving and not as flexible as the original stuff. I just had to get the original three wires back into their sleeve, so a guide wire was soldered to the trio to pull them through.

This wire is so flexible it doesn't really feel like wire, but considering it will live its life getting bent back and forth I preferred to keep the original as I guess it was chosen specifically for its ability to take constant flexing.

Next on the list - the micro switches, or more to the point, recovering the mini PCBs that the old switches were fixed to.

I had 5 of the original 8 as the second player controller was missing all its switches on arrival, thankfully it still had the actual buttons, and was only missing a couple of the plastic button joints. One of the PCBs was in a bad way, with the pads starting to lift so about 3 years ago I bought 4 new old stock PCBs and two replacement button joints.

The new old stock switches arrived too and were an exact match for the originals.

Any excitement was short lived, of the 8 switches only 2 were working, the others had the same problems my old ones did, dirty or oxidised contacts inside. Clearly these switches have a shelf life and time is not kind to them. The working two had a resistance of 2 ohms and a very clean on/off action, the bad ones had resistance that would creep higher and higher from 6 up to 15 ohms, the continuity would come and go as the switch was pressed and often they would be open circuit when the button was fully depressed.

I had tried to get to the contact points on the old switches but the actual switching portion of the guts is a semi sealed thin plastic package within the switch body, the majority of the space inside the body of the switch is used by the triple sprung system that makes the physical key press smooth.

While googling around for contact cleaner I found that the web is full of people singing the praises of Deoxit contact cleaner, and surprisingly Jaycar sell it, so I got a twin pack of the Deoxit D5 cleaner and the Deoxit Gold sprays.

To check it didnt eat the plastic I tried it on an old faulty switch that was originally on the cabinet, and the D5 did bring it completely back to life, but after a day or so the resistance started to creep up again. So I hit it with the D5 again, and then followed up with the Gold, which is supposed to be the protector you use after cleaning with D5, and it worked like a charm. The switch has been working perfectly for a couple of weeks now, and the switch is still perfect, all I have to do is treat the new switches with it, and hope they stay working long term

A combination of Easter and life in a plaster cast derailed me for another fortnight, but with some strength back in the elbow I could at last get on with the cabinet again. Track time!

To ensure a good join between the two pieces of matting needed to cover the length both were clamped in place at the ends and masking tape applied so I could glue them in stages.

The glue required that both surfaces be coated, and left separate for 20 minutes, then brought together, at which point the glue grabs instantly. Not ideal, but the plan was to roll the pieces together, hence the need for clamping in place at the ends.

With the track peeled back and supported on a plank it was time to get the glue going.

It is horrible stuff, it only seems really keen to stick to itself, and has a tendency to peel of the surface entirely and wind itself up into a ball.

I ended up picking the snot like bundles of glue off the woodwork...

... and trying again. I did not have high hopes that this was actually going to work, but after 20 minutes the glue did seem ready to do what it was supposed to, so with some careful rolling out and some rapid clamping I got the top surface down.

Time for the rear ends, purposefully did the rear first, in the hope that by the time I did the fronts, which will be very visible, I would be better at it and have worked out what not to do.

Damn this glue is horrible to work with.

Looks like far too much, but it worked.

With the mat down and hammered flat with a block of wood I moved to quickly installing the wheels again. I had marked on the edge the lines on which the screw holes were, and they were a neat 5cm and 7.5cm in from the edge. So after a quick go with a finger drill at the right points, followed by a bigger bit in the power drill...

...I was able to fit the wheels for the final time.

Same deal on the other side...

The trick seems to be to pour the glue on, then work very fast to spread it out before it starts to bundle up. After 20 minutes it grabbed on and the top part was done.

End piece down...

... and wheels back on.

Not a bad looking rear!!

The front sections had to wait a day, to be sure the back sections were fully bonded before they had the full weight of the cabinet laying on them while the front sections were glued. I needn't have worried, if I prop the back up on a foot stool and a blanket the rear rests solely on the wheels, which makes it easier to work on the tracks anyway. Same deal as before, makeshift platform to roll the track back onto while the glue gets ready...

... frantic glue smearing before it turned to snot.

Then twenty minutes later the surfaces are pressed together and the glue slams shut.

Two milestones got knocked over today as Radirgyman popped round to help out with applying the vinyl to the front panel, another job I wasn't looking forward to. On his advice I had picked up a length of PVC pipe to roll the backing off onto, and a plastic scraper, armed with those it went on pretty easily.

The end result looks stunning...

the areas where it is wrapped around the 90 degree bend seem less keen to stay stuck, especially around the coin door cut out as I don't recal taking too much care with the inner surface, but as the coin door itself clamps in hard around those edges the best option to keep the vinyl behaving was to fit it.

The outer edges are less of a problem, but they will need a trim anyway to reveal the t-mould slots, to avoid any vinyl escape attempts I am leaving the trimming until I am going to fit the t-mould, other wise it has more time to misbehave. I expect the t-moulding will keep everything nicely clamped on the edges so am not concerned.

Time for another dry fit!

The front face will remain clamped for at least 24 hours minimum, if there is any section of rubber that needs to be well bonded it is that portion.

I predict t-moulding installation is on the cards for this week. I also need to trim some of the installed rubber tracking with a razor blade as for some reason its a couple of millimeters proud of the edge at the back along about 10cm, but then the side panels will get t-mould and will be finally glued in place. As will the front panel, and then it is time to reinstall all the good stuff as the cabinet exterior will be 99% complete, just a few tweaks here and there.

If the t-moulding goes well I think the reinstall of the monitor, PCBs and PSU will be happening this week, along with the first power up since 2011.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 12:44:11 AM by Womble »
Sic Transit Gloria Atari

Offline AndyRCM

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2015, 05:46:18 PM »
OMFG . . . this is immense mate but looking fantastic. ;) Can't wait to see the finished article - might HAVE to visit to have a play too! ;)

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Offline Womble

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2015, 12:20:16 PM »
Onwards - time for T-moulding, thankfully this was not the shit fight I was expecting it to be. After the issues with me cutting the wrong width slot, and then fixing that with coffee stirrers, plus the copious amount of bondo work, and old sections of slot that I couldn't get a router bit near to re-cut, I was expecting this to be a bit of a battle.

Starting off midway along the underside of the track panel...

...with nick cut out of the tongue to let it bend neatly around the corners...

... and it all went on very easily.

I ended up using a soft cloth between the rubber hammer and the T-moulding as it did leave slight marks on the first bit, thankfully those are on the underside so completely hidden.

First lap completed...

...with a sharp knife to get a neat joint.

Just one to go to get the matching pair.

When trying the sides on for size I discovered that I had cut the rubber matting slightly wonky at the rear of the left track, it was overhanging the wood by a few mm which meant the side panel would not fit properly. I cut a notch in a piece of scrap MDF to act as a guide to allow me to line up a steel ruler with the wooden edge under the overhang to use as a cutting edge, and ran a razor knife along it.

Time to seal up the tomb, it got a final clean up and vacuum...

... followed by one last dry fit...

...which showed that it had a slight bow outwards in the middle which would need persuasion to behave. I also took some sandpaper to the areas where I wanted a good bond to remove the primer back to the bare MDF to let the PVA glue do its work.

A decent amount of glue I admit (the flash makes it look worse)...

...and the panel went on., and was weighed down with some improvised weights, an easier option that trying to clamp it while lying down.

I rubbed some more glue into the cabinet rear edge as it was still looking a bit uneven at the edge. That got clamped up tight using the vinyl backing paper as the non-stick divide between the MDF block and the cabinet.

The intent was to leave it for 24 hours, but it stayed that way for three days. Meanwhile I turned my attention to how I was going to fit the front panel, which I wanted to be removable as potentially I will get the artwork for it one day. The upper section has 4 of the original screws holding it on, the lower section was originally stapled and glued, so it needed some fixings there. Four screws of the right length found...

... and pilot holes drilled. The screws in the photo are just in there for safe keeping, when installed they will be the other way round obviously. I drilled 3 holes at the bottom but ended up only using the two outer ones, the other two screws ended up half way up the cabinet one on each side level with the coin door.

Right hand panel time!

This one was a much tigher fit on the dowels, so much so that I could barely get it off again after the dry fit. I didn't want to lay the cabinet down on the newly glued panel as this thing is bloody heavy so I didn't fancy risking it stressing the recently glued joints or squashing the T-moulding from the side. Thankfully this side didn't show signs of needing much assistance...

Running out of things to do that night I decided to refix the coin door/coin mech serial number sticker that had fallen off years ago.

It went back where it came from, in the same wonky position as before.

A bit of a dry run with the T-moulding highlighted that I needed to touch up the black undercoat on the rear edges, I think I had been a bit too effective with the masking tape, so the vinyl got masked up again and the black edges got a second coat to hide any edges that might show through.

An hour later it was dry enough to move on to the next stage - T-moulding the rear.

This takes the thicker of the two sizes I bought as the edges are now thicker than they originally would have been. It went on like a charm!

Straight down the cab, out and round the base, the old slots turned out be be no problem at all!

Side two was much the same.

That's the last time the cab should ever need to be face down!

On to the front "toe" sections, which needed the cabinet to be flipped on to its back with the back of the monitor shroud on a foot stool.

The inner sections were just paint at this stage, they needed vinyl and a dose of new T-moulding, or should I just re-fit the original pieces?

I used a track off-cut to get roughly the right sizes square of black vinyl...

...and rolled it into place.

The slight overhang was trimmed, wrapped round the edge and locked into place with the T-moulding, which again went on with only a slight hitch when some of the slot edge decided to break away and block the slot. That got cut back with a knife, vacuumed out and the installation went on.

Side two was much the same...

...except underneath where the slot was slightly too worn to make a good fit. It would got in but wasn't that tight, so some wood glue was injected into the slot and it was clamped up for a couple of hours.

On to the cabinet front, the rear of the control panel this time...

...coming along really nicely.

Those tracks look good enough to EAT!

Only one thing missing now - the front panel...

... which went on next. The white sheets on the toes are the backing paper from the vinyl, it is there to stop the font panel scuffing them up as it was lowered into place.

The four square head fitting bolts go back in, these are a set salvaged from the Adelaide cabinet as my originals were half snapped and very rusty.

The new internal screws were done up with an arm through the coin box door...

...leaving the cabinet looking extra awesome and only really missing the T-moulding around the front panel edge, which goes on next.

As this is a new metric panel it gets the 1/4 inch stuff, which is 19mm in new money, which on 18mm thick MDF gives a half mil lip around the edge.

Job Done!

Now that the cab doesn't need to lie down anymore some other stuff can go on, like the grill to shutdown access to the spider holiday camp at the back.

So, the inner cover goes on...

...and after the air filter and the outer cover clips on I am left with this.

Not a bad looking arse!

The monitor vent can go on too, this is one I bought from a KLOVer from a scrapped Championship Sprint cabinet as the one on this cabinet had been wrecked by the freight company trying to stow the mains lead by jamming the plug into the vent...

...I found a supplier of very similar screws to the Atari ones as I never had the full set and didn't really want the vent to be only held on by 3 mismatched head types originals instead of a matching set of six.

Ideally these should have been hex or square driver screws but that would be a pain to source without getting them from the US and buying through a freight forwarder, which for 6 screws would be pretty insane, even for this project.

Finally - the marquee can go back on...

...first it does need a tube though, which I bought ages ago on what I over optimistically thought was the last Bunnings trip of this project.

With that the perspex was dropped into the frame, with the marquee artwork slotted in next, then it was slotted onto the front of the cabinet, and the CP was dropped into place.

Am blown away by how good this looks, being so used to seeing it in its disheveled state for the last 4 years, seeing it like this is just weird.

The marquee will get its screws installed when I have proven that the tube lights up and the speakers still speak, the screws going back on are painted so I doubt they will take too much screwdriver action before the paint starts to chip.

As great as the coin door looks it is still missing everything that goes behind it, the mech frame, the mechs themselves and the  coin reject buttons that really make an Atari coin door look so great.

Time to reunite some more parts that have been rattling around loose for the last 4 years gathering dust. A quick strip, clean and oil later...

Love that the coin and country designation stickers are still on the US made mechs.

I toyed with the idea of putting the original coin cards back in the eject buttons but they were a very tatty and didn't even match style-wise. Thankfully someone had made up a sheet of "freeplay" coin cards for a range of coin doors with the relevant manufacturer logos that you just print out and cut up.

Which after the mechanism was finally reunited with the coin door (plus a spare key hook pinched from Paperboy which doesn't need it)...

... looks absolutely awesome!

And with that I am calling the restoration of the cabinet portion of this mega project COMPLETE!!!

Now the fun begins properly, after all it is still a mostly empty shell, all the good stuff is ready and waiting for my next free Saturday so I can cross the finish line and flick the switch for the first time.

-----Freeplay - Press Start----

Coming SOON!
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 05:03:53 AM by Womble »
Sic Transit Gloria Atari

Offline AndyRCM

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2015, 01:15:35 PM »
Awesome . . . truly awesome.
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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2015, 11:37:25 AM »
WOW !!  :)

That really is what you call a restoration !

Offline Womble

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2015, 12:54:13 PM »
With the cabinet sorted it was finally time to reinstall everything, the only thing I needed to do beforehand was to check the 5V setting on the PSU as the adjustment pot is pretty inaccessible once everything is installed. Plus I wanted to see whats on the screen while taking the measurements, which would be impossible with my head stuck in the back of the cab and the monitor mounted above pointing forwards. The only option was to get it all set up on the kitchen bench

Time to drag the monitor out of the corner of the room... has been dumped face down on bubble wrap in various places around the room over the last 4 years so am glad to see it going home again.

The manufacture date is a bit surprising, it was 4 years old when it was installed in this cabinet.

It is definitely the original monitor for this cab as the VIN1222 serial number that matches everything is on it... either it was reused by Atari themselves or they had a very deep stock of monitors and it took from 1984 to 1988 for it to find a home.

It was pretty dusty so it got a good going over with a brush and vacuum cleaner, and a slightly damp cloth on the rear of the tube.

Bench time - monitor, power supply unit, main PCB, audio PCB, mains switch assembly and mains harness are reunited!

The 5V measured level was measured with the no load and it was fine, slightly high is good when unloaded.

So the main harness was connected up and I flicked the switch.

It's alive! The voltages were checked again and everything was good.

Now the original board fault on this was a bad Atari LB custom IC, and years ago I had borrowed an LB chip from my KLAX PCB, which was still on the board.

I had no luck in finding a source for LB chips from any of the usual arcade parts places, but luckily eBay came to the rescue a few months ago. A guy about an hour away from here had listed a huge box of arcade crap, cables, harnesses, smashed coin mechs and assorted junk. Almost as a side note he mentioned a single unknown PCB, which for some reason he had on the auction as the last photo in about a dozen, the rest were just multiple angled shots of all the filthy LAI harnesses, spiders and dust.

The PCB was clearly an Atari board and judging by the design and some Google image searches I identified it as a Xybots main PCB, basically from the same era as Vindicators and Xybots has two LB chips.

Sniped the lot for $12 (6 quid) and took a drive out east to collect it.

The Xybots audio board of the set was missing and I had no idea if the PCB was a wreck or not, but I swapped one of the LBs into Vindicators and flipped the switch. Knowing the kind of problems a bad LB causes it was great to see this...

...spritely perfection.

With a good LB on board it was time to start filling the empty cabinet with goodness.

The transformer and PSU block goes in first, because it is bloody heavy and hard to manoeuvre even. The base plate acts as an earthing point for a number of wiring runs, so star washers were added to the old eyelets and the 4 big screws went back in to help gravity hold it down.

The mains input switch plate goes in next to fill the big hole on the back...

...and another two screws hold it in place. The connection to the main transformer block is re-made.

The main PCB finally goes back in...

...and finally the monitor gets rehoused and bolted down...

...and connected to the mains feed from the rear.

Next was the fiddly bit -  getting the audio PCB...

... back in here.

It not only has to squeeze through the coin door, but also slide under the cardboard splash guard and align with a wooden groove at the back, and two PCB standoffs at the front, there literally inst a millimeter to spare, but it does fit, handy as I guess the splash guard was stapled in place once the PCB was originally fitted. The cabling to the audio PCB was mostly done by feel at this stage as there's no clear view to had. The power connector from the rear section comes through a small port hole between the front and rear bays, the speaker connections drop down from above, the SCOM (Serial communications) lead that connects the two logic boards together comes over the middle dividing wall and connects to the main PCB

Finally the coin door lamp 12V output, coin mech input and coin counter outputs all come in from the front.

Back on the main PCB the SCOM (serial coms between the two PCBs) cable, the monitor video cable and the controller/start  harnesses are plugged back in.

With that connected the only thing left to do was an earth test to confirm that the earth pin on the plug was connected to all accessible metal parts, and to flick the big switch.

First sign of life...

...and it boots!

Two problems were pretty apparent, a complete lack of sound and no light from the marquee.

The machine should play a metallic "clank" sound effect when powered up but I had nothing. The only signs of audio life were a crackle through the speakers when the volume pot was moved, this suggested the audio amp was working and also that the cabling to the speakers was good. Flipping the switch on the audio PCB gets you to the test mode, which doesn't do much without input from the controllers to step through the options, but using a piece of wire in the controller connectors to ground the correct pins I jumped through the tests to the audio tests. These test the SCOM (the ability of the audio CPU and the main game CPU to talk), and should play the various tones and sound effects. The SCOM test passed, and the system went through the motions of playing the test sounds, just in silence. At the end of the tests it triggers a reset of the audio board too, which I could hear as a faint pop in the speakers. Its useful info, the system clearly thinks it is playing the SFX as the processor section is fine, the rreset signal pop suggesting suggesting the pre-amplifier Op-Amps were ok too, I was really only left with three chips as candidates for either partial or total failure - the POKEY chip itself, the YM2151 generator, or the the YM3014 DAC chip.

The POKEY chip is the only non-standard part and I thought I would have a load of them across my Atari PCBs, but Indiana Jones and Road Blasters use a later variant, KLAX doesn't use one at all, and my Paperboy and Gauntlet boards are very well buried in their respective cabinets. I did have spare YM2151s and YM3014 chips so I swapped in a YM3014 and reinstalled the board, same problem. So the DAC was replaced and a YM2151 installed, with the board back in the cabinet full sound was restored. The power up clank is all you get for about ten minutes of attract mode before the theme tune kicks in but when it did, it did it well.

Before tackling the marquee I moved onto the monitor bezel, it had spent the last 4 years lying flat on top of my JAMMA cabinet face down so was in good nick still. It slotted right back in around the monitor but it clearly needed some TLC.

The nasty price label had to go for a start, sadly it was fixed in place by a load of folded up brown parcel tape and there was no way to get it off without damaging the card underneath.

There had been a sticker the other side at some point too and removing that had damaged that side too.

The remains of the old foam tape on the edges was so far gone that it just crumbled to dust and could be completely removed with a brush and a vacuum cleaner.

The bezel damage was always less obvious when behind the smoked glass panel so that came out from hibernating between a couple of other cabinets for a clean up.

The remains of the foam tape was there too, the actual foam just crumbled away, and the tape base could just be pealed off leaving the glue on the glass.

Half an hour with eucalyptus oil finally got all that off and the glass was cleaned within an inch of its life.

The bezel was fully dusted off and given a couple of coats of satin black spray paint to cover up the damaged areas.

The CRT face was given one last clean and the bezel and glass were reinstalled.

The glass sits in a groove along the lower edge, and is clamped in place by the speaker grill plate at the top, but I needed to fix one last thing before the grill could be reinstalled, someone (think it was like it when I got it) had dented the center of the left speaker cone.

Not a major issue but usually an easy fix, all you need is a vacuum cleaner and a steady hand to get the nozzle close enough to let the suck do the fixing, but not close enough that it rips the cone clean off.

Job done, so the grill to could go back in place, held by 5 repainted hex head screws.

The only thing holding up the screwing down of the marquee frame was The lack of light, which was a fairly simple fix, there's only really three things that could be wrong, the tube, the starter or the housing/wiring/sockets. The tube was brand new, the wiring seemed ok, at least I had 110V at opposite ends of the tube fitting, and the most likely cause was a dead starter anyway. The starter is about the only thing that is likely to care about the voltage, and for some reason I forgot an obvious solution and went for putting the Vindicators tube into my JAMMA cab (it lit), and taking its starter and putting it and the tube back into Vindicators, which didn't work. Not too surprising as I was putting a 220v starter into a 110v cab. Then it dawned on me that Paperboy is also a 110V cab internally so I quickly whipped its marquee off...

...and robbed its starter, a rather vintage looking metal canned US type, compared to the plastic Korean one in Vindicators...

...once installed...

...success. With the old plastic one in Paperboy its marquee light is now dead, so the starter was the problem.

With that all fixed the metal frame can go on to fit the marquee artwork and perspex in place. Being rather pleased with the paint job on this and not keen on getting 8 scratched circles on from the screws I fitted fibre washers under each of my repainted screws...

...and they look really smart, as does the cabinet...

...with one controller dropped in for good measure.

Sic Transit Gloria Atari

Offline Womble

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2015, 12:55:28 PM »
On to the final straight, fixing those controllers.

The switches on these were the Achilles heal on the cab, a number were missing, most were faulty and could barely be coaxed back to life briefly. The NOS batch of 10 I bought had 8 that were not much better than the originals, so it was time to sort those out.

These are the infamous Omron B3G keyboard switches, designed for 1980s keyboards, it seem overkill but based on the number of expected "key presses" they were expected to get on a machine like this are probably not.

Thankfully the halves just un-clip and are easily taken apart...

...except for the actual switch bit which is the three legged part. That is a fused plastic block with the contacts inside, and an actuator spring clipped to the outside...

...that pushes on a plastic tab when the white plunger is depressed against the central spring. The rest of the body and the opposite spring clip seem to be solely to ensure a decent key-press feel. I had assumed all along that the issue was dirty contacts, and potentially that was part of it, but not all.

A good soak in Deoxit had worked wonders on an old switch I had tried to resurrect, the spray seems to boil at room temperature which is handy as the boiling liquid drags the cleaner deep inside the closed contacts block.

After that all the switches worked perfectly, until they were reassembled, but a number still remained completely dead, or just borderline making contact after reassembly. It turns out the actuator spring clip on some of the switches had become slightly loose over time and did not squarely grip the top of the plastic switch housing. If it is loose then it just rocks when the button is pressed and doesn't even attempt to engage the switch. Thankfully that is easily sorted out by manually re-bending them to a tight right angle at the top. With that issue fixed I had a full set of switches to play with, so the first couple were mounted on the micro PCBs.

The first controller on the bench was player two as its wiring harness was fully intact and ready to roll. The first step was to fit the rubber o-rings that prevents the handles from rattling around, 2 per arm.

I had 4 the right size in my stash, but had to buy a couple of "shower repair" kits with dozens of useless parts from Bunnings to get another 4 that matched as they didn't sell anything remotely close separately.

The switch assemblies dropped right in, with the button cap and joints...

...  and a rubber band and RJ45 block prevent the whole lot from falling down the arm until the case is screwed closed.

Wiring is a bit tight which is why I didn't trim back the old wires if I could avoid it.

With that done its just a case of bolting the handle grips together. The old bolts were pretty rusty...

... so I had bought some brand new black oxide coated 18mm M4 hex head bolts to replace them.

Then it was just a case of repeating on the other handle to complete the job.

Never resisting the urge to slot things back together I dropped it into the CP...

...hooked up the wiring loom and fired up the button test mode.

All switches for player two passed with flying colours.

Player one was not quite as quick and easy...

...both handles still needed their wiring looms to be pulled through the arms and the right arm wiring harness had lost all three of the pins on the Mate-n-Lok connector, these being right trigger button, right thumb button and the associated ground pin.

From memory the wiring to the original pins was badly bodged and the pins were in a bad state.

So left arm first it was...

... and then on to the right. I had to make a small extension to the red wire to reach the furthest switch as the loom was shorter than the other 3 due to past abuses. A small section of heat shrink went on to insulate the solder joint.

I found 3 of the correct type male AMP pins in my stash to replace the lost ones and fixed the connector.

I dropped the controllers back into the CP, quickly connected the looms and ran the switch test again. All switches on both players passed the test.

Controller rebuild complete, and they look stunning!

I had been using the coin box as the parts bin for this project and it was now no longer needed, so it got a bath to remove 27 years of dust and grime.

and once dry it went home.

Time to rebuild the control panel!!!

First up - the player 1 and 2 start buttons. The machine would was born with black leaf spring switches according to the manual diagram, and I had tracked down a couple from the US

Except nothing is ever quite that simple, the white base is a standard part, as is the leaf switch, but the button comes in two types, long and short. If you have a wooden CP, as was pretty common in the leaf spring era, you need the long button to get through the depth of the wooden panel and still have enough throw to operate the switch. Atari was a big fan of metal CPs so you need a short switch, but as Atari was so obsessed with black buttons and as their cabs are regularly restored to original spec there is now apparently a worldwide shortage of short black leaf spring style black switches - I guess no one is making them anymore.

If you use the long body switch and tighten everything as it would be with a metal CP you have a switch that its very very firmly on at all times.

The standard solution seems to be to put a standoff ring under the white switch body, but a simpler solution seemed to mount the switch further away from the panel at a distance where the springs. Even simpler is that a wrecked Midway leaf spring switch contains insulating shims that are a perfect fit for this.

This one came out the Pacman cabinet at Game Masters at ACMI, so if you went to that and were disappointed that the Pacman cab's joystick was knackered then something positive at least came out of it. That one switch got me six thick shims and one thin one, and the perfect standoff distance mod with this CP needed 3 thick and one thin shim.

Actually the screw that holds the leaf spring switch to the base is so overly long that it still has a tonne of thread left even at that standoff, which makes me think that this is the way you are suppose to do it.

The other switch took the remaining 3 thick shims and I made two ultra thin ones by cutting down the metal of the contacts to make up the missing shim.

So, on they go...

...followed by controller two...

Same deal for controller one...

... and it is almost done.

Only thing missing is the small harness for the start switches, which drops back in neatly, the wires even remember where they should hang...

... and it is done!

At this stage the CP should be able to drop back in, except I had forgotten one thing when I was pre-drilling my holes in the front panel all those weeks ago. The coin door harness has a cable strap that is supposed to be screwed to the inside of the front panel. Drilling from the inside out, when everything is installed, cleaned and vinyled is not ideal, but it was the only thing holding me up now. To avoid making a mess inside the cab I taped a match box below where the hole was going to catch the dust...

...and masked up a drill bit to ensure I didn't go ploughing through to the front face and wreck the vinyl.

It was then followed up with a drill bit close to the screw body width. I also didn't want to put in a screw so tight it would cause a bulge in the wood face only a few mm the other side. With that done, the coin mech harness went back where it was supposed to be.

The CP could finally go on for the last time...

... and with everything was connected up inside...

... another switch test was run through to confirm everything was working, followed by an earth test to check I had continuity to earth on the newly connected controllers metalwork, from the inside obviously as the outer faces are all powder coated.

With nothing left to do inside, the six security bolts went on, with slightly over sized black oxide washers as the CP had been held in with big bolts before and the bigger washers covered the past scars better...

...except for the two on the upper face of the CP.

There was one final thing to do, something I have seen other cab restorers do at the end of their projects that I always thought was a nice touch - key rings for the cab locks with the original manufacturer fliers for the game, at $5 each why not.

Looks great!

Up until this point I had not started a game since day 1 when the switches crapped out, in fact I purposely haven't even played it in MAME in the intervening years, as I didn't want to risk getting over the game before I had finished it.

So I went back into test mode, set it to free play, rebooted and hit P1 start.

How does it play you ask?

Superbly, like a dream 4 years, 3 months, 15 days in the making. Has it really been only 1565 days?

And with that I am calling this restoration COMPLETE!!!!

Wonder if I am too late for the T-shirt competition?

Ah crap, just missed it, oh well

Thanks for watching folks :)
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 01:17:52 PM by Womble »
Sic Transit Gloria Atari

Offline AndyRCM

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2015, 02:28:04 PM »
You sir . . . are a genius. It has been an absolute honour to watch you accomplish this - thank you for sharing this one mate. :)
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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2015, 12:37:06 PM »
History in the making.


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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2015, 01:53:23 AM »
Thanks guys, its really good to get it done, for a long while I seriously doubted I would. Probably the biggest bonus is the amount of mess around the place that has all vanished into it now it is all put back together. It was a massive learning experience, so at least I can now look at other cabs and have a good idea of what is really involved. Am currently giving Paperboy sideways glances as that now looks tatty in comparison, especially its coin door is in a dreadful state.

There are a couple of things I still may do with it, not 100% on the monitor bezel still, and I'd love to replace the grey t-moulding as that is very brittle and is starting to crack along the underneath sections. Plans to save the original, or use the sections salvaged from the wrecked Adelaide cabinet were short lived as that stuff just shatters when you try to cut it, it stopped being flexible decades ago. I can get replacement stock, but only from the US and they sell it in a minimum of 20 foot lengths, they can do custom lengths but probably not as one off sales. I will need a load of black for Paperboy at some stage so will tack some onto that order.

For the time being I am just enjoying the very odd sight of it complete and looking mint, that and the lack of a self imposed job sheet for every spare drop of time I could get. I really did force myself to ignore everything else and focus on getting this done, now I have time for other retro things :)
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Offline simon_m74

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Re: Atari Vindicators Repair Log
« Reply #43 on: September 21, 2015, 05:07:39 PM »
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