Sunday, 10 November 2013

Fire Truck. Pye update.

Well after being tipped off on the Jamma+ forums that a Black and White TV made by Pye had gone unsold on Ebay, I made no hesitation in getting in touch with the seller and striking a deal. After a 100 mile round trip one evening this week I had an 'untested' monitor which seemed to suit FT's needs. 

It's a 23" screen, had already been modified with a composite video and audio circuit (not that I need the audio) and it has no screen burn, things were looking good!

Crappy photo but this is the TV
First thing first, there was no fuse in the plug, an easy fix but I did wonder why it wasn't fitted, next up was to remove the back cover and see what was inside.

Back cover removed
Well nothing on the inside looked smoked or burnt, there was a bit of cable hackery going on for the extra circuit that been added, after 10 mins of checking the connectors were all seated, I plugged in a video feed from Fire Truck into the input on the back of the case, made sure it was switched to video input and powered up...

First power up with FT's video input
Well it was a good start, you cant tell from he image above but the image was rolling in horizontal and vertical directions. So at this point I powered off the monitor and discharged the tube, I needed to see what adjustments were going to be available to help me fix this issue. There were a few adjustable variable resistor's on the board but from the component side there were no markings as to what the were for, a bit more luck... on turning the board over to solder side there were some nice markings on the underside depicting what they should do.

Click me for larger photo!
So after tentatively making these adjustments which the chassis back in place, I got a good solid image which filled the screen nicely. The next job was to de-case the screen and remove all the unnecessary bits which I didn't want cluttering up the cab.

TV innards removed

Tube mounted in Original Atari frame and Pye TV chassis mount attached. 

At this point I decide that I would power up the screen with the parts loose fitting and try and work out what parts I could remove to leave the chassis as lean as possible in terms of parts. This is an arcade machine and doesn't need to that tuning dials still attached.

Mains transformer, video input board, and tuning dials laid loose to test
Mains transformer mounted, tuning dials gone, video board in process of being remounted
I was now in a position where the tuning dials were gone and I had removed the brightness and contrast adjusters from the original circuit and traced their wiring so they could be re-soldered onto a mounting plate that needed to now make.
Video board with brightness & contrast being wired in 
Video board all mounted
In the photo above the red wire is powering the video amplifier board, the left side mini coax is the video output which is wired directly onto the chassis circuit board, the other mini coax is he video input from a BNC connector which I mounted on the plate below the PCB with the brightness & contrast adjusters.

After a few evenings work this is how it turned out, I'm very happy with how minimal it became considering it was once a TV sitting in someone's front room no doubt. 

Completely remounted. click for a larger photo
Here's the parts left from the original TV

Leftover Pye...Case, audio amplifier, tuning dials, speakers and some wire
And finally...Mounted in the cab, and powered up :o)

The way it was meant to be played! 23 inches of black & white magic
Thanks must got to Tony (tb2000) for making me aware of this screen, the seller for not binning it when no one bid on the auction, This has been a great week for me and the FT cab, the Karma gods have finally paid me back after what feels like a long absence.

Next time will end the rebuild with a new back door, locks and monitor bezel. Until then thanks for all the comments, its been great to have such enthusiasm for the cab shown. I'm looking forward to completing this now getting lots of plays on it, initial testing has put a smile on my face for sure!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Fire Truck. 1st power up

Well after the game board came back from repair, I couldn't hold off and wait for everything else to be completed so decided I needed to power it up and see what would happen...

The video is a genuine 1st power up once everything was plugged back together:

It turned out pretty successfully, with only a couple of LED's on the Control Panel buttons having failed, I have since swapped these out with some working ones, the image from the monitor is poor in the video but I can assure you that's a temporary measure and will be rectified in the future before I declare the cab to be complete.

The rubber matting was completed when I made my last post, but I forgot to add a photo.

New rubber matting installed.

Since the above video was made I have put a 19" temporary video monitor in the cab and have been busy play testing it.  :)

Play testing with a larger monitor

I have also fitted a 'non invasive' credit button which is activated by using the coin reject button on one side of the coin mech. The left side is for 'free' credits and the right side still take 25 Cent coins. I've also fitted a bulb holder to replace the one that had been cut off so the 25 cent sign is now illuminated.

New bulb holder and Credit button.
After having some fun playing I decided to have a look at the monitor mounting framework that was part of the original monitor. It turns out that some woodwork was missing from the cab, I made a new part and fixed it to the cab, which is highlighted in the image below.

The monitor (that I don't currently have!) will now sit in a wooden framework that attaches to the two pieces in the image above.

Sorry for the slow progress, I'd have liked this resto to have been finished a while back but I've wasted a few days trying to get some colour monitors to work unsuccessfully with the game, I really need an original black and white CRT if anyone has one laying around spare?

Next time... The cab will be completed. Remaining items to completion are as follows:
  • Find, fit and test a suitable monitor.
  • Make a new back door for the main cab, paint it or cover it in black vinyl.
  • Make a cardboard monitor bezel to fit the cab.
  • Fit locks to the main coin door and the back door.
Once the above are complete I'll make another, better produced video and post up some quality photos of the finished cab.

Until next time, thanks for reading, Mart. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Fire Truck. Gas pedal clean up.

Small update from my last few evenings work...

The gas pedal on the cab looked in a pretty bad state, plenty of wet shoes and cold storage had caused the surface of the pedal to to turn a lovely glowing rust colour. I wasn't sure if I would need to spray this black to 'hide' any damage but as things got this has turned out nice :)
The metal backing plate was also sanded back, primed and sprayed in black, I with I had shares in black spray paint as I have used lots of it in the past year or so.

Pedal ass'y as found on the cab
Eek! elbow grease required, anyone got some!
A good bit of cleaning and polishing later...

Gripped up, with metal plate sprayed. Mmmm.
That's all folks! Only a quick update as time permits, the next update will hopefully be of the cab cosmetics complete, minus the monitor which will require a lengthy post as I've got some work to do retrofitting an LCD monitor ;o) a CRT monitor to replace the missing 23" Black and White which would have originally been installed.

Thanks, Mart.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Fire Truck. Main cab, Work begins...

Moving on from the rear seat, its time to get the main cab on the road so it can put out some fires! Work carried out so far in no particular order.

  1. Cab stripped out of all components and thoroughly cleaned.
  2. New Leg levellers fitted and the cab had none, no doubt this had caused some of the damage around the bottom of the cab.
  3. Laminate sides glued back on.
  4. Small repair to a bottom section of the cab that broken off.
  5. New T-Moulding fitted.
  6. Top and rear section of cab re-fitted back into place with glue and original nails.
  7. New power switch fitted as the last one had been home to some wasps and I think they ate most of it!
  8. Wire loom had a bath and some new connectors fitted as the plastic had become brittle and snapped off the locking lugs.
  9. Power brick stripped and cleaned. All five fuse holders replaced as the old ones had gone brittle, both the internal metal and the plastic cases broke off when opening the holder to check the fuses.
  10. Steering assembly stripped and cleaned
Time for some photos...
Empty cab full of grime.
All the innards.
    I thought about taking the whole cab to bits but decided against it!
    After a clean up with paint on the transformer and new fuse holders
    Damage to the laminate side. New screws adding strength to the base.
    More T-Cut applied to clean the sides.
    Steering assembly stripped for maintenance.
    There's plenty more to do but things are moving on nicely, more soon.




Thursday, 5 September 2013

Fire Truck. Rear seat Complete.

I have a couple more items that I've completed in this update. The rear seat now has new T-Moulding, and I've refurbished the coin door metal work along with the bracket that links the front and rear unit together. First up are the brackets that link the two halves of the cab together.

Before. Tardy, rusty paintwork.
With the help of my small hand sander, I got things looking like this.
Primed up in a matt finish.
Completed Item ready to fit back onto the seat.
I have also give the coin box a covering in the direct to rust primer, and I think I'm going to leave that in the matt black finish as it looks pretty good.

Coin box painted
Because the laminate sides has lost their stick to the main wood sides of the cab, I decided I would put the cabinet on its side, remove the T-Moulding, glue the sides back on and then refit the new T-Moulding.

There's no really much to show, but I used some spray contact adhesive on the wood of the cab and the laminate sides then after a few minutes the parts were pressed together. Once the glue had cured I then moved onto the T-Moulding. Starting with the underside of the cab to avoid any joins showing it was a case of using a mallet to guide the T-Mould into the existing slot, I did cut some of the groove out on the tight corners to make sure it pushed home and was a nice tight fit. The same process was repeated for the other side.

I've also stripped and resprayed the coin door, this looks really nice now and I'm happy with the results.

Below are a few photos of how the seat looks now. At this point there's not really a lot more that I'm going to do to the seat other than fitting a lock to the coin door and a bulb holder for coin door light. The next update will be when I make a start on the main cab.

Since the last update I have also resprayed the bolts that hold the 'Horn' button in place as well as the rounded head bolts that go through the control panel, even though the Control Panel isn't in great condition these items looked out of place in their original condition.

Finally, Andy from Andys-Arcade is in the process of looking at the game board. Hopefully it won't be a too painful repair for him, I'm really looking forward to making progress with the main cab now.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Pole Position. Prepare to Qualify...

Well I've jumped the gun a bit and got myself a PP board from Mark at I say jumping the gun only because the other parts on the cab are are not finished but anyway. Everything fired up OK with the exception of the Audio, it is coming through both speakers but it sounds heavily attenuated so I have some work to do to hunt down what wrong on the audio amp side of things. My monitor still requires further adjustment to get some more width out of the game image but as a 1 hour test session tonight I'm happy :)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Pole Position. Small update.

Small update to my Pole Position cab. I finally had a bit of spare time to sort the coin box and the service panel out. A quick respray and a clean of the wiring loom and counters.

Finished Coin box photo 1

Finished Coin box photo 2
My list of remaining things to do on the cab now are as follows in no particular order off the top of my head:
1. Re-spray the coin door and re-assemble coin mech wiring etc.
2. Fit new steering wheel sticker to replace manky old one. I already have a replacement.
3. Renew/tidy the black formica front of the cab, as its pretty messed up. I think its been spray painted in the past and touched up all over the place.
4. Make a cardboard bezel for the monitor.
5. Make a replacement back door.
6. Fit some locks.
7. Locate a gameboard i can call my own :)

Thanks, Mart.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Subelectro cab. Nearly complete.

So the cabs been up and running now for a good few weeks now, in its current configuration it running a dual Jamma adapter with Wonderboy & Pac-Land, I had to make a new frame for the monitor to turn it into the horizontal position, but all is now good with this cab. Photo below:

I'll have one more update on this cab when I get some marquee artwork and a gameboard back from repair.

Mart. ;)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Subelectro cab. No more rot.

With a long weekend ahead and good weather forecast, I decided to try and get the Subelectro cab back on its feet and get rid of all the remaining rotten chipboard. I was pretty much a case of using a jigsaw to cut away the damage then reconstructing the cab using new wood. I also primed and painted the new section of cab, sanded and sprayed the marquee holder and metal control panel, coupled with starting to put components back into the cab. Photos below. Enjoy :)

Completely rebuilt base of cab
Primed and ready for top coat
I decided on dark brown as the colour instead of the usual black

Mains transformer and monitor being reinstalled

Marquee section complete, cpo sitting loose. I also fitted some new rubber matting at the base of the cab which was originally there.

I'm pretty damn happy with the results so far. The G07 monitor fired up which was a bonus to say the least. I couldn't get my test board to sync up correctly but I'm sure that was more to do with me rushing to test it with loose wiring than it being an actual fault. I also made an adapter to Jamma for the Hunchback board that was in the cab which I fired up on my test rig.

Hopefully in my next post, the cab will be pretty much complete, with controls reassembled, and with any luck I'll have decided which game/s will run in the cab.

Regards, Mart.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Subelectro Cab. Rotten Chipboard

Well I know the cab had some rot, after moving it around the garage to make some space one side of the base gave way.

Flipping it onto it's back and removing some rubber matting I was presented with this:

Rotten Chipboard at its best!

The was only one thing for it. It had to be removed, so out came the jigsaw and hand saw and below is where things currently stand.

Most of the rotten chipboard is gone

I still have more wood to chop away from the left side, I think I will probably make a complete new base section and fix it onto what remains of the existing cab.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Subelectro Hunchback.

I just picked up this cab from ebay today, it had been stored in a farm barn for years and had a been home to a mouse... The bottom of the chipboard cab has been ruined by the damp or mouse pee.
I'm not sure what is going to be done to this cab yet.... Photos below:

In the back of the car before being unloaded at home

Paper instructions and an official License sticker 

PCB. Is this a Hunchback board?

A fairly popular game going by the coin counters

Greeted by this when the rear door came off.

Cleaned up marquee.