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About this blog

This is just a blog for me to store my repair logs. I think it would be useful to others here if I post them as I am doing more repairs on arcade PCBs.

Entries in this blog

Konami Hypersports - Blue Screen/No Moving Objects

This was a fun one. I have a whole box of these boardsets and I figured out which ones had working CPU boards, so I was able to immediately narrow it down to the video board. The initial problem with this board was that the board was doing nothing, just displaying a blue screen. Just randomly probing around randomly at the buffers going between the video board and the ribbon cables going to the CPU board. The overall goal was just to make sure that the two boards were talking to each

Gyruss - No Moving Sprites

First time that I've ever worked on a Gyruss. I have to say, the fact that it had any custom ICs at all kind of intimidated me a little bit. I am not the best when it comes to video issues, but is something I am working on getting better. But anyway, this was a pretty straightforward repair. So the problem at hand was that there were no moving sprites at all. Text would appear, but nothing that moved. This is great because it really helps narrow down the circuit. After doing a bit of r

Donkey Kong - No Boot/Resetting

Yet another Donkey Kong boardset that boots to garbage. This one was a bit more interesting as there were two main problems with this board. Whenever the game does not boot, I always check the ROMs and make sure that the game can read the ROMs if I can check that. The ROMs all checked out good using my programmer, so now it was time to check to see if the game board could read them. The way I check is by using a Fluke 9010a with a Z80 pod. What this does is it emulates the Z80 CPU and allows me

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Space Invaders - No boot

Yet another space invaders boardset on the bench, this time it isn't a deluxe boardset. After hooking it up it would boot to only showing one invader, not making it any further than that. First thing I do in a case like this is double check the ROM strapping so I can hook up the test ROM. This one was configured for 9316B mask ROMs, so I was able to just drop my test ROM in with no issue. From there, the test ROM told me the the exact issue, it was RAM C. Before I flat o

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Space Invaders Deluxe - Bringing Back A Parts Unit

On the bench today was a Space Invaders Deluxe that I had grabbed off the pile. This one had unfortunately been a parts unit, as someone had taken several parts off the board, probably to fix another Space Invaders board. It was also pretty dirty, so I had to give it a bath. After washing the board, my first thing was to attend to the missing parts. It was missing a 9316 (Really a 74161 counter), a 74ls04, and an Intel 3245. The intel 3245 has become a bit more difficult to get a hold

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Atari Centipede - No Boot

Last repair from today's pile of Centipede boards. This one kept on resetting when it loaded the initial mushrooms. One thing I noticed is that all the legs on the ROMs were corroded, so first thing I did was clean them using TarnX as the legs were made from silver. Just as a note, the easiest way to tell whether or not the legs are silver are if they turned black from corrosion. Normal EPROM legs will not do this. Even after cleaning the legs, the game still would not boot, so th

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Atari Centipede - Quiet/Distorted Sound

This isn't going to be as much of a log, but I had a centipede on the bench with really quiet and distorted sound, it ended up just being a bad LM324 preamp at K10. The way I troubleshooted this one was literally by stacking a known good one right on top of the bad one. I did a little video to showcase exactly what I am talking about:   Edit: just to emphasize how common of a failure this is, I worked on 8 centipede boards today, 3 out of the 8 had a bad/failing LM324. It's g

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Atari Centipede - corrupted graphics

This was probably one of the quickest repairs I've ever had. I got a pile of Atari Centipede boards I needed to test and get up and running, what's nice about that is that I can swap things around quickly. First board I looked at had corrupted graphics. The game was running just fine, but the sprites were all wrong. Some were fully corrupted and most were completely wrong. So with centipede, it has two 2516/2716 equivalent ROMs for storing the sprite data. They are located at F7 a

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Midway Space Invaders Deluxe - Sprite Errors

It's been a while since I did an actual board repair, but this was a cool one. So I was testing a midway space invaders deluxe and noticed that there were whole lines in which there were no pixel data for all sprites. There would actually be other graphics glitches where lines would just appear randomly.  Since the game actually booted, I went ahead and burned myself a copy of the space invaders deluxe V1.3 test rom. This is where having some 28C16 EEPROMs around is super useful, I don

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Track & Field - Running forever

Here was a fun one, several months ago I worked on a track & field pcb that was having some werid issues. The first issue was that the game refused to boot. What this ended up being was a bad interconnect ribbon cable. Easy enough fix. The second issue was that the game would actually run forever on the 100m. Typically it is supposed to end at some point, however in this case the runners just kept on going, going to a black screen until it timed out. This was a quick fix, the problem wa

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Galaga - No Boot and Sound Issues

This Galaga board was a two part issue. Hooking up the board, the game booted to a white screen and zeroes.  First step whenever you get some garbage like this is to check the signals on the CPU, make sure there are no stuck signals line reset, NMI, or other critical signals. Everything checked out fine, so the next step in this case is to check the ROMs. Verifying the ROMs on my programmer, I found that all were good except 3N, which wouldn't read anything back, completly dead. After

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Nintendo Radarscope -Graphics and Sound issues

This was a repair I was super excited to do. For some background, right now I am in the process of restoring an original Nintendo Radarscope arcade cabinet. The cabinet is in super nice shape but was missing several things. Anyway, when I got it last night, I excitedly had to wait an hour for the boardset to warm up as it had been sitting outside in the fridged cold. When I first hooked it up, the game did not boot properly, only showing upside down 2s.  The first thing I did to

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Donkey Kong - Distorted Thump Sounds

This is actually a followup to a previous repair log I did on a previously repaired Donkey Kong boardset. Reason being is that last night I decided to run the game overnight to verify that the game will be reliable. Unfortunately when I ran the game this morning, the thumping sound that Donkey Kong was very high pitched, almost like a beep. When I power cycled the game, it was no longer a higher pitched tone, but rather a low distorted tone (closer to the actual thumping noise). First thing

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Donkey Kong Jr. - no boot

This was a quick one that I did. I recently got another DK Jr boardset as part of a trade for a working one. To make the long story short, the game wasn't running.  The first step whenever you get a game that isn't booting is to check all the control signals such as reset, clock, NMI, Interupt, ect. If any of these are not functioning properly, then you are going to have issues with the game not booting.  So I checked all the control signals, everything checked out perfectly, ever

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Galaga - sprite color issues

Here's a quick one. I wasn't going to do any repairs tonite, but I was pretty bored so I figured I'd start testing a pile of arcade boards. On the bench is a galaga. After cleaning the chip legs of the customs (they are always corroded), I fired up the game. To my suprise it booted up just fine!  The problem was that some sprite colors were off, specifically any of them that move such as the ship and the bugs.  Thinking about the issue, it dawned upon me that the sprites ar

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Donkey Kong - No Boot

So I had gotten some semi-repaired boardsets off KLOV last week. I've been wanting to get another Donkey Kong boardset for a while since I plan on getting a cabinet soon. Both boardsets did not work, both having different errors. When hooked up, it booted to nothing. First thing I noticed was that a bunch of chips had been socketed. None of the sockets were in good shape (one was an old nasty machine pin socket, another was a damaged dual wipe, and there were two terrible single wipe sockets), s

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Pac Gal (Pacman Board Hack) - Video Mess

Here was a quick repair that I did this morning. About a year and a half ago I bought a pacman board that had been hacked to run a version of Ms.Pacaman without the auxiliary board. This was done by adding two extra ROMs and modifying the code a bit. As well as running the additional lines for different enables and cutting a trace so it could address the two extra ROM chips as shown in the bottom two pictures. So I hooked it up for the first time the other day, and saw that there were graph

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Popeye - Bad CPU

This one was probably one of the quickest fixes I've done. I ordered a Nintendo Popeye board as I saw it rather cheap. I got it, hooked it up, and got no boot. First thing I do in games that don't boot like this is reseat all the chips and swap the CPU (if I can easily do that) with a known good one. In this case, I only reseated the ROM chips on the CPU board and replaced the Z80 with one of my new old stock ones I bought recently. After doing such, it booted right up! Tur

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Donkey Kong Jr - Mostly graphics problems

So this was a boardset that I got from 8_bit_guerrilla as he no longer needed it. When he bought it, he got it from a seller saying that it had minor sprite issues. I think the seller lied a bit, because it was a bit more than minor. Essentially, the positions of sprites were all goofed up. On top of that, the original braze kit (an old one mind you) also no longer worked. The first step I followed was finished converting it back to stock, which was a simple as removing the leftover bodge w

SNESNESCUBE64

SNESNESCUBE64 in Arcade Repair

Donkey Kong - garbage on screen

Game - Donkey Kong Symptoms - Garbage on screen. It boots to the highscore table, but full of junk. From there it moves to the attract mode but mario falls below where he's supposed to be, game resets, and repeats this process. (Ignore the inverted color in the first picture, I didn't have an inverter board on hand). Solution - The board was originally missing stuff and had previous work (it was an 'untested' special on ebay). The previous work looked fine so I could start. I fig
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