(Topic ID: 273754)

NIB Robotron Arcade - advice for unboxing/initial boot?

By wdbthree

1 year ago


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  • 74 posts
  • 39 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by wdbthree
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders

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There are 74 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 1 year ago

Anyone have all three? Uprite, CockTail, Cabereat. That would be dedication!

#52 1 year ago
Quoted from chad:

Anyone have all three? Uprite, CockTail, Cabereat. That would be dedication!

I did at one time. I had both all three of the Stargate, as well as the Defender upright and cocktail, Bubbles upright and cocktail and Sinistar upright and cockpit. They looked awesome when they were all on together, but I had several friends who saw the lineup and said "I think you have a problem."

#53 1 year ago

That board needs repair and work (have a pro do it) but is completely fixable.

JROK makes an awesome board, but I would not purchase a NIB game and then have FPGA hardware running in it. If I was lucky enough to have a NIB arcade game you better believe it is going to run the original hardware.

Also, I am pretty sure the JROK board is not being produced right now which has driven the cost up. You will probably fix the board cheaper than buying a JROK.

That game is beautiful. Enjoy. Good luck with the repair!

#54 1 year ago
Quoted from brainmegaphone:

That board needs repair and work (have a pro do it) but is completely fixable.
JROK makes an awesome board, but I would not purchase a NIB game and then have FPGA hardware running in it. If I was lucky enough to have a NIB arcade game you better believe it is going to run the original hardware.
Also, I am pretty sure the JROK board is not being produced right now which has driven the cost up. You will probably fix the board cheaper than buying a JROK.
That game is beautiful. Enjoy. Good luck with the repair!

I am running JROK boards in all my original Williams cabinets (Sinistar, Stargate and Robotron). The JROK boards are great and play perfectly. All my games DO have working boardsets but by using the JROK adapter I can just plug in a JROK into the original harness and keep the wear/tear off my original boards. I highly recommend JROK.

#55 1 year ago
Quoted from brainmegaphone:

Also, I am pretty sure the JROK board is not being produced right now which has driven the cost up.

Are they not going to produce them anymore or just that there’s a break in production?

#56 1 year ago
Quoted from hAbO:

Congrats! Robotron is my favorite vid and gameplay is unmatched. Ive traded this Robo mini with a friend of mine several times over 13 years and its finally back in the collection. Never leaving again.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]

I'd kill for that tempest, let me know if you want to move it on

#57 1 year ago
Quoted from wayinla:

Are they not going to produce them anymore or just that there’s a break in production?

JROK is in the process of making a new batch of boards. They will be out maybe in 30-60 days.

#58 1 year ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

I'd kill for that tempest, let me know if you want to move it on

it took me a while but it will happen

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#59 1 year ago
Quoted from Tommy-dog:

I am running JROK boards in all my original Williams cabinets (Sinistar, Stargate and Robotron). The JROK boards are great and play perfectly. All my games DO have working boardsets but by using the JROK adapter I can just plug in a JROK into the original harness and keep the wear/tear off my original boards. I highly recommend JROK.

What you are doing makes sense in many ways (the JROK is also way more reliable).

I guess maybe I would feel a little silly having an FPGA in a game I bought NIB. Even if it helps "preserve the boards" what am I preserving them for? If I wasn't planning to use the original boards in a NIB game I purchased then I might as well have left the game in the box to begin with which many collectors would do and I would respect that as well. To each their own!

That being said - the OP should get their hands on a JROK board when they get reproduced. Whether primary or backup it makes sense to have one with a Williams game.

#60 1 year ago
Quoted from Tommy-dog:

I am running JROK boards in all my original Williams cabinets (Sinistar, Stargate and Robotron). The JROK boards are great and play perfectly. All my games DO have working boardsets but by using the JROK adapter I can just plug in a JROK into the original harness and keep the wear/tear off my original boards. I highly recommend JROK.

How is the sound? I've heard the sound is a touch off on JROK Williams boards.

#61 1 year ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

I'd kill for that tempest, let me know if you want to move it on

Where are you located? I have a tested working Tempest available for sale. I'm in the Chicago area.

email me if interested.

Joe (joemagiera at ameritech dot net)
[email protected]

#62 1 year ago
Quoted from joemagiera:

How is the sound? I've heard the sound is a touch off on JROK Williams boards.

To me, the JROK sound is fine but you can always plug in the William's sound board into the JROK if you want to.

#63 1 year ago
Quoted from joemagiera:

Where are you located? I have a tested working Tempest available for sale. I'm in the Chicago area.
email me if interested.
Joe (joemagiera at ameritech dot net)
[email protected]

Joe is a great guy. I have bought games from in the past.

#64 1 year ago
Quoted from Tommy-dog:

Joe is a great guy. I have bought games from in the past.

have emailed

1 week later
#65 1 year ago

Was waiting to post an update until I had complete victory to declare. Unfortunately I’m not quite there. Replaced the CPU board with the original from the seller. Game fires right up; super crisp picture and sound. The only issue: it was not holding the vertical synch. After doing all of the easy things (trying to stabilize will wl the vertical hold pot, cleaning and reseating connectors, checking continuity from PCB to monitor board, etc) I asked for help on Klov. Rightly, all opinions pointed to needing to recap the monitor.

So: after a week of practicing my soldering and resoldering skills (latter made sooooo much easier wl a Hakko 301; life saver), I finally tackled the job tonight. Biggest bear was physically getting the monitor board out of the cocktail. Once it was on the workbench, replaced all of the caps, reflowed solder on PCB and monitor board connector pins, reflowed solder on the vertical hold pot, and turned the pot several times to both extremes to “clean” them.

The good news: game fired right up and the picture is as sharp/crisp as it was (in other words, patient survived the surgery and was no worse off than before).

The bad news: it’s still not holding vertical synch.

I’m using the replacement CPU board the original seller sent me in place of leaked-battery-fried original. There were issues with battery terminal and CMOS on the replacement board; at this point should I get another board and see if it’s a problem with the signal from the PCB? I don’t have a scope; have not validated that a good signal is coming across.

Any other ideas?

thanks all...
b

Ps: here’s a picture of her caught “just right” between scrolls

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#66 1 year ago

Your problem is still on the monitor side, not really on the processing game boards.

The vertical sync has issues in the circuit on the monitor chassis that you recapped.

What monitor chassis are you dealing with?

Google (your monitor chassis) flow chart

It will help tremendously. Plus Klov has most likely had many times over had fellows fix the same issue, you might just find the fix by searching around over there.

Congrats on getting the machine and getting it running, you’re likely in the home stretch.

Also... the goodie bag with manuals and such; if it were me. I’d preserve it and frame it as is. Not open. I’d go searching out vintage copies to use and keep the originals in tact. Just my crazy habit when this sort of thing jumps in my way.

#67 1 year ago
Quoted from Chosen_S:

Your problem is still on the monitor side,

I agree. Keep at it you’re close now. This thing looks stunning.

#68 1 year ago

Thanks all. I’ve been fixing up my pins for 20 years, but was always too scared to do board work. Adding this Robotron forced me to get some better gear, take the plunge, and just practice. In a weird way, really glad there were issues so I could bring her back to life (and up my repair game). Plus: fun to learn about 80’s CRT’s.

It’s a Wells Gardner K4901. Checked the flow chart. Ordered new IC301, Q301, and a new vertical hold pot for good measure.

Just curious: what would it look like (when) if the vertical synch is working? Stable pic from power up? Or would it just stay put once I fine tuned the vertical hold pot? I was fooled after the recap; screen stayed in place for long enough to get to wave 12 or so in a game. Then started its scrolling ways again.

ps: my original plan was to keep the goodie bag intact. But as I‘ve been dealing with the various issues, carefully opened her up. The various schematics and assorted manuals have been beyond helpful. Also included a nice note from Williams re: difficulty setting to maximize earnings, with a target average game time of 1:30. Made me smile, as back in the day I’d drop 1M+ marathon games at my arcade all the time. My 10 year old self was definitely not helping Pfenny’s arcade’s bottom line

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#69 1 year ago

Scrolling sounds like it could be an issue with the sync pot to me (did you meter the pots to see if they were working properly)?

Make sure you check that out before you replace the other parts.

The KLOV monitor repair forum should have more wisdom for you.

And to answer your question, once fixed you shouldn't have to adjust the pot on startup anymore.

#70 1 year ago

Holy shit is that a sexy game. I'm in love. Nice job getting her dialed in I'm sure it won't be long till she's perfect.

#71 1 year ago

Wells 4900 is a work horse. Likely that a cap kit alone will get you back to good. Good luck.

#72 1 year ago

That's a tough issue. It could be:
Cap kit didn't have all caps needed? (18 caps IIRC)
Cable from board to monitor is bad (not likely but possible)
Sync circuit on game board is faulty
Cracked solder joint on neck board (reflow all of them)
faulty pot on the monitors neck board

#73 1 year ago
Quoted from CLEllison:

That's a tough issue. It could be:
Cap kit didn't have all caps needed? (18 caps IIRC)
Cable from board to monitor is bad (not likely but possible)
Sync circuit on game board is faulty
Cracked solder joint on neck board (reflow all of them)
faulty pot on the monitors neck board

yes, all of this

check the continuity of the sync wire from the chassis to the mpu. fix as needed. ( could be something loose in the connectors, or cracked solder joint)
the sync is usually the most frustrating for me, I don't like taking the chassis out a hundred times to get it right, be patient. you will finally get it, good on you for getting the parts the flow chart recommended, in the mean time, check that wire.

#74 1 year ago

All: happy to report that the NIB Robotron cocktail has been fully brought back to life!

This past week I finally got a monitor test pattern generator and confirmed that I got a clean lock on the K4901. Pointed towards the spare board I got from the seller to replace the battery-damaged CPU.

Removed, cleaned, and resoldered the 7402 positive sync chip, reflowed all of the connector pins again, checked continuity of vsync back to the CPU. Did the old TV repair trick of leaving it on for hours and seeing if any of the chips were warm to the touch. Nothing out of the ordinary (RAM and the 8-bit shift registers serving them; not "hot", just warm). No luck.

Finally ordered a known-working spare CPU board from Andre at Arcade Shop. Arrived today, dropped it in, and: voila! Immediate lock. Resized the screen and have an absolutely perfect machine! I'm sending the faulty board to Andre for him to fix; tactically to have a backup, but: also: because the engineer in me really wants to know root cause.

Realized I never posted the videos of the unboxing; here they are in all of their glory if anyone is interested:
Original unboxing: https://vimeo.com/441652390
Opening the table top for the first time: https://vimeo.com/441652390
Initial inspection of boards/monitor/etc (including the dawning realization that the CPU was hosed): https://vimeo.com/442105933
Continued initial exploration of the guts: https://vimeo.com/442106084

Thanks all for the advice and encouragement; love that not only is a museum-quality Robotron back to its full glory, but: also the crash-course in arcade repair that the three weeks of triage and attempted fixes has given me. @omegamanxxx from Klov (the original seller) was phenomenal throughout the way, even paying for the replacement board to get her back up and running. LOVE when this community comes together; truly incredible stuff.

All the best...
b

ps: for anyone who finds this thread: the answer to my question of "what does it look like if you have lock?" is: a screen that is immediately centered and stable at boot. With my faulty vertical synch, I'd have to wrestle with vertical hold pot trying to get it to stay in one place. Only to have it slowly start rolling...sometimes immediately, sometimes in the middle of a test game. Functioning vertical synch isn't a gradual process of "coming into focus" or "moving into place"...if it's working, it's there (at least from my experience).

There are 74 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.

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