The magic smoke came out (not a 4/20 post)

So this happened…

Weird, because it was a non-original flyback transformer. I guess the reproductions aren’t quite as long lived as the factory item. It stunk up the office for a few hours and put Do Run Run out of commission until I could swap the G07 chassis I just finished rebuilding in…

…But what this post is really about is a new mystery cab I picked up!

Came to me totally gutted, but set up with art for a Taito Twin Eagle conversion. First look indicates it’s been painted at least twice.

Pulling the coin door reveals its original color, white.

The inside is marked up with circular quality control inspection stamps in several spots, along with a single date code on the left under the control panel.

Control panel is swiss cheese…

This tag on the back ended up being the big clue. I thought at first that Tuni Electro Service must have been the operator that owned this cabinet, but it turns out to be an alternate brand that Century Electronics games were marketed under.

From what I’ve been able to find online, Tuni/Century marketed a set of games designed to be easily interchangeable in a standardized cabinet design. The lineup for this cabinet design included Dazzler, Cosmos, Radar Zone, Dark Warrior, Space Fortress, and 8-Ball. Unfortunately there’s no real way to determine what game this cabinet originally contained, since it was completely stripped and finding production records is extraordinarily unlikely.

Researching this one led me to a few helpful pages:

KLOV entry for Dazzler (small cabinet pic)

Radar Zone flyer with Tuni Interchangable System blurb and some cabinet pics

Century Electronics Cosmos flyer with cabinet pic

A KLOV thread with pics from someone who picked up an unconverted example of this cab

Detailed history of Century/Tuni and the CVS system

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.

Radical joystickectomy

This is a relatively minor repair but I thought I’d put a post up about it because of the parts involved. The Do Run Run I got this weekend came fitted with really cruddy quality components. One piece buttons that aren’t serviceable and a joystick set up with some really crummy switches. I also found it suffered from disintegrating microswitch syndrome, as the Frogger player 1 stick did.

The Mr. Do on the other hand had relatively nice hardware, if a bit weathered. All leaf switch stuff, which is preferable for many older games. I spent a couple hours today carefully desoldering the joystick and buttons from the Mr. Do harness and transferring them over. The joystick ended up being a bit of a rare bird. Here it is disassembled:

It’s a Monroe Electronics model (they’re still in business, but no longer apparently making anything video game related). Has some interesting characteristics, most notably that it uses an all metal ball joint instead of the usual rubber bushing thing. Once I polished off the built up rust and oiled it it actually took on a very smooth movement.

It also happens to be the correct model for games such as Gyruss, Rampage, and Time Pilot. Used prices seem to be in the neighborhood of $20-50 depending on condition, and the NOS examples that pop up from time to time go for $50-100. I was a little surprised to find it was worth more than the entire cabinet it came in.

It helped out Do Run Run a lot, no longer sticks left and kills you at random :P Unfortunately the power supply gave up the ghost while I was testing and my spare seems to have issues too. I’m picking up a new one tomorrow but the sudden failure put a damper on things.

Also managed to find this (cropped from an ebay listing for a NOS stick: original instruction insert for the stick in question.

Might be useful for anyone looking for the correct way to put one of these things back together.