Invaders Must Die

Found something I’ve been after for a lonnnnnnng time today…

It was rather serendipitous and I’m really excited about it! My parents had one of these Space Invaders cocktail table machines in their living room when I was a little kid and I was always sad they got rid of it. It’s been something I’ve been hunting off and on even before I leapt back into the hobby for real.

Seems likely that it’s been in the area since new, and probably not swapped between locations too much. The cabinet is immaculate and doesn’t have any water damage, smashed corners, or other signs of hard use. A tag on the coin door identifies it as having been operated at some point by the still existent company Amusement Unlimited out of Eugene.

It’s my first black and white game, definitely a bit different than what I’m used to working on. Right now the monitor works perfectly, and it doesn’t look too daunting to keep that way. Not a lot going on compared to the chassis for a color raster monitor.

Sadly the board has issues. Right now all I get is this little cluster of partial characters.

Again though, this thing looks dead simple compared to the newer stuff. Parts are nice and spread out on the PCBs too, so should be easy to work on. Based on my research so far I’m thinking there may be an issue with some of the RAM chips on the boards.

How we Do!

Spent today giving the mysterious ‘FF’ cab some love. I was initially working towards converting it to use the Mr Do! board I have but I found out the cabinet actually can’t fit a vertically mounted monitor without the back door smacking into the frame. Horizontal mount worked out, so the Do! Run Run board gets to stay.

I had to pretty heavily modify the monitor shelf even to fit it horizontally. Looking at the mounting setup again I think the original monitor was mounted in there without a frame, and the chassis was just screwed to the little shelf below where the monitor sits.

I wanted to keep the Electrohome G07 I was putting in fully intact, so I did a bit of rearranging. The PCB and cage had to come down since with the monitor frame in place there was no longer enough clearance on the side. I’m going to redo the butt splices in the video wiring later, didn’t have any heat shrink tubing on hand to do them properly today.

Also replaced the crappy one piece sealed buttons that came with the cab with the leaf switches that came in the converted Megatack cab and some less weathered buttons from a parts control panel. Installed some real control panel hold downs too since the holes for the slide latches were all messed up, feels much more solid now.

The game looks much nicer on a CRT. I’ve got it mostly dialed in but the width coil is broken on the chassis I am using so that adjustment will have to stay where it is.

The Cars of Others – Subaru XT

Ever since I saw my first, the Subaru XT it has had a place on my automotive bucket list. 80s starfighter styling, all wheel drive, pop up headlights, and crammed full of failure prone but endearing gadgets that are a product of their time in every way. What’s not to love? A little under 100000 were produced over its six year run, so it might just be attainable.

This one lives in NW Portland, displaying a surprisingly nice paint job for its age in that one shade of blue that somehow works only on Subarus of a certain vintage.

The bumper stickers give away the owner as a local.