(Topic ID: 241914)

1983 Star Wars Atari Cockpit Restore Project


By TobyH

6 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 45 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by Riffbear
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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    #1 6 months ago

    I was finally able to go pick up my old arcade game. My mom bought this for my brother and I back in 91 I believe for $700. We played the heck out of it. I wish we’d taken care of it more now that I’m what you’d call an adult. Its been under some sheets in a building for around 20 years untouched. Now in my 40’s and with a home with the room for such a beast, I’m going to restore this. I am in no way electrically proficient. I am sure I will need lots of help and have lots of questions. I will take more pictures as the tear down begins. For now, here are a few to start with.

    As you can see, i have two errors that were not there when we turned it off years ago. The crosshairs are in the lower left and won't come up much at all. The handle assembly is sticky and may have some rust. I want to keep the scores if possible as they are representative of my brother and i 20+ years ago.

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    #2 6 months ago

    This is cool. Good luck!

    #3 6 months ago

    Wow! You have a cool mum.

    #4 6 months ago

    Very cool

    #5 6 months ago

    Does it still have the 25 inch ampliphone monitor?

    #6 6 months ago

    Looks pretty darn good to me.
    I would probably just clean her up and get the electronics dialed in rather than go for a full on restore.
    Maybe a few mild touch ups.

    You may also want to look into getting the Empire Strike Back kit.
    It allows you to play Star Wars as well as Empire. It’s a series of daughter boards, so it uses your original PCB and your still running the original hardware.
    Looks like the newest version has High Score save feature added so it also solves the problem of you and your brother competing for scores.
    The original hardware resets the score table every time you turn off the game.

    https://www.highscoresaves.com/star-wars-sw-esb-multigame-kit.html?options=cart&product_type=simple

    I may have to order that. I’m currently running an older kit in mine.

    #7 6 months ago
    Quoted from patrickvc:

    Does it still have the 25 inch ampliphone monitor?

    I believe its all original. No changes or updates that i'm aware of.

    As for the touch up vs restore, I agree. I do not think I will do full restore with new decals etc. Its going to stay in the family and all i really want is to have it cleaned up, fill the holes, touch up the paint and have it working as intended.

    Right now my plan is to take everything out, keeping electronics intact to minimize confusion, open up the handle assembly and just get everything as clean as i can.. Once i have it back together, i'll start asking for help with the errors and how to fine tune it etc.

    #8 6 months ago
    Quoted from TobyH:

    I believe its all original. No changes or updates that i'm aware of.
    As for the touch up vs restore, I agree. I do not think I will do full restore with new decals etc. Its going to stay in the family and all i really want is to have it cleaned up, fill the holes, touch up the paint and have it working as intended.
    Right now my plan is to take everything out, keeping electronics intact to minimize confusion, open up the handle assembly and just get everything as clean as i can.. Once i have it back together, i'll start asking for help with the errors and how to fine tune it etc.

    As far as dialing in the crosshairs, this game is equipped with a test mode and there is a feature in that for dialing in the controls/cross hairs.
    My guess is that its probably just out of calibration.

    It also has a built in test pattern generator for fine tuning the adjustments for the monitor.

    There are basically two types of monitors for these.
    25 Inch Amplifone (which is the more desirable of the two) or a 19 inch Wells Gardner 6100.
    If yours has the 25 inch that's a damn good monitor.

    #9 6 months ago

    Legendary game and amazing cabinet.

    Love it!

    #10 6 months ago
    Quoted from Coindork:

    There are basically two types of monitors for these.
    25 Inch Amplifone (which is the more desirable of the two) or a 19 inch Wells Gardner 6100.
    If yours has the 25 inch that's a damn good monitor.

    How do I tell on a monitor? Simply measure? Here's a picture of the sticker.

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    #11 6 months ago

    I decided to take a few more pictures of the current condition. Pretty cool looking at some of these old stickers.
    Now that I'm older and appreciate this more, I really like that the back glass is in great shape and that the younger version of myself in my brother did not totally kill this thing

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    #12 6 months ago

    I can tell by the blue PCB that it's an Ampliphone. Looks like you just need a couple chips replaced (5F and 5H). Shouldn't be too crazy to get it 100% again.

    If you're anywhere near me, I can help you repair it.

    #13 6 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    I can tell by the blue PCB that it's an Ampliphone.

    I guess that's a good ?

    Now that I'm beginning the teardown, is there any advice on what not to do? I do not think that I'm going to do a full restore and I do not think that I'm going to replace any of the wood with lighter wood so that it's easier to maneuver because I'd like to keep it honestly is original as I can even with some of the Dinksand minor scratches. I would like to patch and paint some of the spots like these attached but other than that is mainly a cleanup job.

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    #14 6 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    I can tell by the blue PCB that it's an Ampliphone. Looks like you just need a couple chips replaced (5F and 5H). Shouldn't be too crazy to get it 100% again.
    If you're anywhere near me, I can help you repair it.

    I appreciate the offer. I'm in Springfield Missouri. And I'm sure I will need some help on the errors and the chips you mentioned. Question, how much cleaning should I do to the monitor? I don't know how sturdy these guys are and since you guys are telling me that it's a pretty rare version I obviously want to take it easy

    #15 6 months ago

    Working with CRTs can pose a serious safety hazard. Make sure that you are informed on the dangers and follow basic safety guidelines. Here is a primer:

    http://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=759704&seqNum=2

    #16 6 months ago

    Sorry if too many post. I just figured I'd take pictures post questions and comments as I'm tearing this thing down. Just took the back glass off and it's in almost perfect shape and I found my first disconnected wire probably been disconnected for 25 years on the left speaker. Always wondered why we had a little crackle when we turn the volume up or down and I never took his party as a kid of course

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    #17 6 months ago

    What's the consensus on something like speakers, if they're working leave original or do you most upgrade?

    #18 6 months ago
    Quoted from TobyH:

    What's the consensus on something like speakers, if they're working leave original or do you most upgrade?

    If they are working fine just leave them original. The sound on those is actually pretty good.

    I would of course reconnect the wire on the one.

    #19 6 months ago

    Like others have mentioned, yep you have amplifone. It’s the larger of the monitor options and also produces a crisper clearer picture.

    I.E. that’s the good monitor and quite expensive.
    Very nice.
    You can tell the difference right away because the deflection and high voltage boards are off to the side rather than mounted on a chassis with the tube and there’s no neck board on the neck of the tube.

    IF YOU PLAN ON WORKING ON THE MONITOR BE AWARE YOU ARE DEALING WITH HIGH VOLTAGE.

    That tube carries a charge (even when turned off) and can zap the hell out of you. Think of it as a giant capacitor that’s carrying a charge and if you touch the wrong part it will discharge through you.

    Fortunately there are lots of really good YouTube videos that show you how to properly discharge a monitor to work on it.
    Sounds intimidating, but it’s not all that hard.

    From the photos you posted I thought your monitor looked pretty good.
    I didn’t really see any distortion, curling etc. Maybe a little out of focus (could be the photo), and the alignment looks like it might be a little off.
    I’m not sure I would even do anything to it unless it’s doing something strange.
    Dial in the adjustments first and gauge it from there.
    Like I said in an earlier post, there is a test pattern generator built into the test mode of this game. Use that to dial it in and see how it looks.

    #20 6 months ago

    I think I'm down to the point where I just plan on blowing out everything wiping it down and cleaning it up. On the outside I'll do some touch-up paint. Regarding my errors, do I just go by a couple 6116 chips replace the two?

    #21 6 months ago

    Ok now I’m jealous. Mine had the amplifone taken out and replaced with the 19 inch monitor. What I wouldn’t give to get that 25 inch put back in

    #22 6 months ago

    Envious. Played this a ton in arcades back in the day and wanted one for home for years, just never found the right opportunity when I had enough room. Good luck with the restore.

    #23 6 months ago

    For math ram 5f and 5h is this what I need?

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    #24 6 months ago
    Quoted from TobyH:

    For math ram 5f and 5h is this what I need?

    If 6166 RAM is what is currently in there, then yes. Keep in mind that the socket could also be faulty, or a leg could have just broke off a chip too. Also, on eBay avoid buying chips form China! Not worth the time wait+risk involved.

    #25 6 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    If 6166 RAM is what is currently in there, then yes. Keep in mind that the socket could also be faulty, or a leg could have just broken off a chip too. Also, on eBay avoid buying chips from China! Not worth the time wait+risk involved.

    After work tonight i plan on working on it more. I'll pull the board and see what's there in the two spots and look for loose or broken parts. I agree on China, almost never worth it...

    #26 6 months ago

    Some updates on the teardown and rat findings...

    I'm going to try to find something to replace these rubber rings in between the handle assembly. Are they just for cushion and as a stopper? They're deteriorated at this point so I don't know how hard they were in the beginning.

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    #27 6 months ago

    Also, when cleaning areas like the assembly for the handle should I use degreaser? And when I put this back together should there be any lubricant around this white ring?

    #28 6 months ago

    So I've been looking and it seems there's a bunch of different options on cleaning. I see people putting wire harnesses in the dishwasher and washing boards with alcohol. I'm left feeling pretty unsure.. Especially for this piece. It obviously needs a good cleaning do I just take isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush and do my best replacing the fuses as well?

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    #29 6 months ago

    I like to use a vacuum with a brush attachment on parts like in your pics. If it is not going to be a full-on show piece restoration, I would just vacuum the dirt off and call it clean. It does not have to look new if people won’t see it.
    The fuse holders do look rough- very cheap to replace if needed.

    #30 6 months ago

    You got a Canadian Star Wars!

    #31 6 months ago

    You need to go over to klov website. Some of the best arcade techs are there. I also would try to get a tech from your local area to help you. This game is rare and parts are very expensive. You do not want to accidentally duck something up.
    Harley D.

    #32 6 months ago

    How you know?

    Quoted from shovelhed:

    You need to go over to klov website. Some of the best arcade techs are there. I also would try to get a tech from your local area to help you. This game is rare and parts are very expensive. You do not want to accidentally duck something up.
    Harley D.

    Agreed. I've reached out to a locale retro arcade that do their own repairs i was told.

    #33 6 months ago

    Laniel was the biggest Canadian distributor of vids and pins

    #34 6 months ago

    Such an awesome game! KLOV forums will definitely be able to provide more expertise on restoring, so certainly head over there. However, I would love to see you continue to post the process on here as I love reading it!

    #35 6 months ago
    Quoted from CanadianPinball:Laniel was the biggest Canadian distributor of vids and pins

    Thanks for that info. A bunch of my arcade games have Laniel stickers. I now understand why.

    Cheers.

    #36 6 months ago

    So I replaced the bumpers and painted these two sides. Should I use any grease or any type of lubricant on this plastic wheel where it hits up against the plates?

    Also inside it appears that the only place there was lubricant was on the large Springs there's a bit of Grease. Is that the only place that I should lubricate and if so just general grease or something specific?

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    #37 6 months ago

    Just posting a few new pics to keep up with my post on the other forum. Installed the cross member and did some painting today

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    #38 6 months ago

    Go talk to the guys over at the 1984 Arcade there in Springfield. Devin and Jason are the owners and are great guys. They do their own repairs. I believe they even have a Star Wars Cockpit in the store. You could always go over there and see first hand on theirs if you had a question on something. Oh, and check out their Spinal Tap pinball machine. It is a custom themed pin based on a Flash Gordon. It is awesome!

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    #39 6 months ago

    Thanks, I did reach out to them and they put me in touch with John at Eldorado. I'm going next week out there to drop off the mainboard along with the audio regulator. He said he wants to look at those two and also get me a new Big Blue

    #40 6 months ago
    Quoted from TobyH:

    Thanks, I did reach out to them and they put me in touch with John at Eldorado. I'm going next week out there to drop off the mainboard along with the audio regulator. He said he wants to look at those two and also get me a new Big Blue

    Great! ! John is really good, he has repaired a few of my boards as well. And being somewhat local you don't have to pay for shipping

    #41 6 months ago

    Short update with a little heartbreak. I dropped off the main board and regulator/audio at El Dorado Games this week. Pretty cool that they’re just 30 min away. Saw some amazing games in their shop too. They said the boards look good and are going to just check out the two errors I have. I'll also replace big blue. I'll be doing a few things to the inside of the cabinet too on their suggestion, more on later. For now, my heartbreak. I began the touch up paint on the main outside panels and the black trim. I masked off one section, painted it and then painted the next by hand. After seeing that I was able to do without the masking I continued by hand for the other side of the cabinet. Then, I removed the masking only to have a big section tear away. So dumb. I had no idea that this might happen, just wasn’t thinking. The trim looks pretty good after my fillers and paint but check out the end side of the death star....

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    #42 6 months ago

    Oh and before i forget, John and El Dorado showed me that all but two of my parts are original to this cabinet. The Reg/Aud and the ampliphone board are from an upright but the rest all have the same serial number. I did not know that the "SD" and "UR" meant anything particular.

    #43 6 months ago

    SD vs UR shouldn't affect the value one IOTA. Btw, seek out the Empire strikes back kit that allows you to toggle back and forth between games. I had this on my upright. Clay Cowgill and Mark....ummm ..... I forgot his last name originally made this kit. That cockpit is cool my man especially with that 25" amplifone.

    1 week later
    #44 5 months ago

    I am still waiting on my boards back from El Dorado. He said maybe later this week. In the meantime I have been working on the cabinet. I'll share an updates. At the suggestion of John at ED I bought two new fans for the cabinet. I spliced the original wires and made a Y with new plugs and all. I placed the second fan under the top vent to be an exhaust for the heat that rises in the cabinet. Hopefully the sounds are not bad. These were rated pretty quiet.

    I also spent much of my time trying to figure out a new shroud. I bought, cut and was ready to install a black paper I bought at Michaels, but didn’t like it. So, I decided to use a material from Walmart, cost $5 total, and seems to be very durable. But, I struggled with how I would keep it taut. So then I thought about a frame around the monitor. I built the frame, used 4 L brackets so I could really pull on it and it ended up ok. Here are some pics.

    I also bought a new power cord and got that ready. I plan on installing the monitor cover, yoke and overhead glass tonight. Then I’ll just be waiting on the boards to be ready.

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    1 week later
    #45 5 months ago

    Love it!

    WHERE DO YOU GET THE STAR WARS COCKPIT T MOULDING FROM?

    I desperately need some!

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