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Thread: My collection, OR, the troubles of a collection

  1. #1
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    Default My collection, OR, the troubles of a collection

    It occurred to me this morning that there is something to be had in describing owning a collection. I hear from people who want to own one or many games and they ask what am I in for? So here I plan to log my day to day issues with a collection of coin-op. You might hear nothing for weeks or all manner of shit within one week.

    Owning a collection can be like operating any arcade of average size in the golden age. That means a weekly order of parts and weekly maintenance. Add into the mix the fact that they are a quarter century old and you are looking at some work. I don't mean to scare anyone off, in perspective owning 4 games might mean fixing one fault a year.
    Last edited by SubaruBrat; 06-11-10 at 02:29.
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    So for the first day, I have an arcade party coming up in early Dec, so what better time for problems to show up than now, and of course I have three new games to restore. Knowing that I had 3 games to restore; PONG, Battlezone, and Sky Kings I had it all planned out for a few weeks. The Sky Kings is being painted (restoring art work) and PONG has been electronically repaired and needs some minor cosmetic work. Battlezone is done. So I get home from work and plan to just work on Sky Kings so I power on the machines and notice that suddenly Revenge From Mars pinball is missing RED in the holograms, and why not, Mappy which has run for years is now dead monitor wise.

    So I hit Revenge From Mars first. It was a simple stupid fault. Tap the game and Red blinks in and out, probably a faulty connection somewhere. There is a cable from the PC to the monitor with an amplifier I added in the middle to improve video quality. I suspected those connections first but they were fine. After checking the header at the monitor that showed it was noisy with movement. I pulled it and cleaned it with 1000grit paper and replaced the connector, video stabilized and problem solved.
    Last edited by SubaruBrat; 07-11-10 at 12:39.
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    Mappy's monitor was an easy resurrection, a zener had shorted taking a transistor with it in the switching power supply. $5 later it was back up and running.

    The next project that I really don't have time for but has been pushed ahead is the repaint of my Computer Space. It was in really good shape and I had just done an electrical and cosmetic restoration a while back but I knew I really wanted to repaint it all together. Given that it is destined for the MAGFEST museum and a tournament I wanted it just right. Step one was doing the prep work, it is really not all that different than refinishing any fiberglass or SMP car, any of your lightweight bodies like a Vette, Lotus, or even a Saturn are done the same way. With all the tedious sanding and filling done to get rid of any scuffs over the years done it was time to order the paint. For this job of sparkle paint blue I needed a jet black base coat over the sanded down cab, over that goes a clear coat with the metal flake mixed in, and on top of that the the clear coat top coat.

    This is the cab, ready for the basecoat, unfortunately it is raining now and the cardinal rule is to never paint when it is raining.

    Last edited by miner2049er; 04-06-12 at 12:27.
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  4. #4
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    This is a really cool thread Scott. It will certainly make for interesting reading and probably be a good port of call for those that encounter similar issues with their collection.

  5. #5
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    Having videos and pins is like having cats as pets.
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    After getting my first dog recently, I've decided that cats are a really low maintenance pet. Not sure what you mean. My cats never shit on the rug if I didn't walk them every three hours. talk about needy.

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    I should also say that I agree with Meu2. This is a great thread. I can't wait to see the Computer Space come together.

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    Yeah, I’m not sure what you mean by the cat thing either. From my experience cats require practically no maintenance (they just eat and sleep), whereas dogs require a lot of time care and attention.

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    I suppose what I meant is that where as dogs have owners, cats have staff. The machines don't serve you, you serve them, sometimes you get a run of arcade repairs that reminds you of the movie Who Made Who.

    So, what your looking at in the above pic, if you look you will see various patches of pink, that is fiberglass filler on damaged/scratched areas. Unfortunately and as I will repeatedly mention, photographing Computer Space proves to be nearly impossible. You can try lighting, angles, different cameras, and it is like photographing a ghost with the metal flake and the contours. I am reminded of a line that I think is from Hitchhikers Guide where he describes a spaceship as "light just falls into it".

    The next photo is the black base coat after all the body work is done. I tried 3 cameras and it defies photography.



    This picture is the mid coat going on, this process is a three step urethane car paint, the first layer being a black base coat, the next is a mid coat which is clear and carries 2oz of metal flake. These are a semi gloss at best, the job turns glossy when the you apply the clear coat over the top, just like painting a car.

    This is the game with the next layer of paint, the mid coat.



    For some reason these pics remind me of my first digital cameras in the mid 90s. And yes the game is hovering, it is that bad ass.





    Here is the finished product, topcoat applied over the base and mid coats, and again impossible to photograph for some reason.



    Here is the one of the better shots that shows the depth of the metal flake finish.




    STILL EDITING THREAD, fighting to insert pics, I hate to even post these because they just don't show how it looks in person.

    Most of the original metal parts had some form of corrosion or tarnish after 40 years. I had finished the electronics restoration and decided it was high time to get the cab up to spec due to an upcoming arcade party and the game being in the MAGFEST museum. Allot of the years I owned the game was hunting down replacement parts. One such part was the chrome coin return, I found an OEM part that was fresh shiny chrome.



    Last edited by SubaruBrat; 19-11-10 at 05:36.
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    Here is the new coin return in place;






    Here is the game with the modified TV and PCBs installed. The wiring is coming along with all the wiring and connections being done with tefzel and PIGN aviation connectors, I am wiring it as if I were doing an instrument panel, I want this game to be around and working to document the history for a long time.



    The original control panel was in pretty bad shape, most of the ink was gone, the replacement is factory fresh.

    Last edited by SubaruBrat; 19-11-10 at 08:04.
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