UKVAC TECHMEET 1.0
   

Braving the cold and the many many leagues for the Techs to travel to, 10 daring UKVACer's arrived at Ravage's abode to set about a most daunting task: Nearly a dozen classic machines lay waiting and defunct needing TLC and Frankenstienian reanimation in time for the official UK Meet 1.6 scheduled barely 4 weeks away. This picture gallery is the results of a frantic 48 hours as man and multi-meter did battle!

The combaters (from left to right) were: Ade/Adrian 'Mousey' Purser, Chris 'Tosey' Toseland, Chris 'Hardy-county' Hardy, Darren 'D-Zine' Hatton, Chad 'Defenda' Gray, Scott 'Tronner' Green, Bruce 'Bazfish' Smith, Pete 'Skitz' Davis, Andy 'P-man' Welburn, (and Dom 'Ravage' Escott who took the pic)

 

The combatees were: Tron, Missile Command Caberet, Space Invaders, Star Wars, Asteroids, Berzerk, Qix, Robotron, Gorf, Galaxian, Sinistar, plus+

RESULT: UKVAC'ers 7, Classic All-Stars 4


The Details of the Event (words by Ravage)

Chad wiring up the first new monitor in the U.S. Robotron (which popped later)

Having announced the grand plans for UKVAC's Third Meet (entitled UKM1.6), it suddenly dawned on me that if I wasn't careful there'd be a handful of machines running for the occasion.

Having taken stock of working classics and dead classics I knew I was on a sticky wicket. Now most UKVACers know the Techs listed above and they're all known for their astute Arcade-fixing knowledge and I'm fortunate enough to count them as friends and thus the idea of assembling them to help do 2 years of work in two days was formed. Fortunately, everyone asked made the journey....

Even those that couldn't helped out massively - XY-Man saved the day with a car boot full of parts that traveled down with the furthest north guys present Chad and Chris T. Along with them came the other half of a Colour XY - but more on that later....

Although scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, D-Zine arrived and helped out with the cab shifting and immediately launched into the almost working Missile Command. By the time Ade arrived in the early evening the Missile Command was actually working - although, amazingly over the space of the next 2 days it'd be repaired a staggering 5 times!

I'd suggested to the crew that most people came down Friday night to get cracking early Saturday... Well this naturally helped alleviate the Muzzy mall tours and social chit-chat.

My experience of the two days was one of being exhausted, a veritable Tony Robinson, running from archaeological machine to machine as the first breaths of life came to each - and the two days will never be forgotten as we all had a great time and did what we all enjoyed best - play games, repair games, worship games, then drink beer :)

Without further ado, we got cracking at 10am on Saturday and I dictated people to each machines (actually this had been pre-allocated on #ukvac by each Techy weeks before).

D-Zine was allocated the Galaxian - still on AC power and blowing fuses when the pcb was connected. This eventually proved to be the massive 24-26" monitor and a faulty bootleg PCB. Bazfish breathed life into the pcb whilst admiring his Pac-Man stored here, and everyone helped out massively.

P-Man and I worked on trying to find a suitable 20" colour monitor for the Space Invaders and after many attempts we've had to admit defeat and the Space Invader was wheeled back to the storage garage fairly quickly =(

P-man did a sterling job on the Missile Command, as did Ade as the bloody thing was up and down more times than I thought possible. He also rushed around taking the majority of pics you can see here, and proved his title of Audio-Reg-King by fixing 4!

Chad was allocated the "Wall of Williams" as I called them and I think he enjoyed the task as the wall is made up of two unique U.S. style cabs and a Defender and Sinistar.

The Sinistar had been flaky for a long long time before his visit, lasting anything from 4 minutes to 20 minutes before cutting to a 031/yellow screen death. This was diagnosed as a linear fault and so a switcher was in - the machine is now fully running.

The Defender also got a good once-over to check that my Restoration project was a total success, and final cosmetics where also done by Chad. He even had a look at my Star Gate PCB thats also inside the cab, but the CMOS is still corrupted by a different fault - never mind, it gives 255 lives and smart bombs at the mo :)

The Robotron needed a power conversion, a new monitor. The poor guy spent a couple of hours fitting a brand new Wells Gardner 7200 20" monitor, only to switch on to the horror that the screen started to fill badly with firestorm - a broken one! Argh!

This meant that the guys had to remove it and fit the second monitor that had been intended for the Joust and so that baby didn't get touched this weekend. Much like the Defender and Sinistar, Chad left nothing untouched and now the three machines are completely finished, with lighted Marquees and control panel buttons, coin doors and all!

Chris Hardy spent the majority of the time flitting from one job to another, but largely used the time to catalogue and read the many many ROMs and stuff that isn't recorded elsewhere and thus another useful task. He also helped out with the Asteroids monitor repairs in a big way, plus was on hand for other expert advice :)

Ade spent massive amounts of time just trying to keep the Missile Command alive and working with AR2s and a original Missile Command PCB. The qix, another unique cab in the UK needed power conversion and this tied nicely with a big bang that Chad had as both the Robotron and Qix's line filters banged-out :)

I also gave him the task of restoring the Qix as the video RAM and 4116 was giving hell. From previous experiences I know that Qix a nightmarish tendency for error messages from ribbon cable failure - and Ade spent an hour or so chasing phantom faults - all fixed with a reflow to the pins on the sound PCBs. 

Chris Toseland was initially given the job of attempting to restore the Star Wars upright. Ade had brought down his power transformer block as I had a tempest one. This needed modification slightly. Next up XY-man and Peter Budd had both sent Wells Gardner 6100 XY Monitor bits down which needed combining., again Chris T. had this job. Once that was done, it was a quick check-over of the wiring, steal the audio. reg 2 from the Missile Command and give it a go. This was truly a magic moment as we flicked on the power and those famous words "The force will be with you" blasted out - both of us grinned madly like Cheshire cats and the screen came to life looking very sexy. It was at this point that I got a game on my upright, by the end of which most guys from the garage had come up to see. Scott and Chris spent the next 30 minutes tweaking the display and then had a game each. At this point Chris came to me with the dreadful news that the flyback transformer had died and the Star Wars was down again - and we didn't have a spare for this :(

Later on, Chris joined D-Zine on the Asteroids monitor which was down (I actually managed to replace the 22-way edge in the Asteroids which wasmy only contribution other than running around for parts!) and about 10PM the Asteroids roared into life (must sort that loud humm) and a gaggle of guys descended on the machine as can be seen in one of the pictures here. magic moments indeed :)

Bazfish and Scott arrived together late on Saturday morning, and their allocated task was to try and resurrect Ade's Tron which is here on long-term loan/restoration. After several hours of fiddling with the MPU power board it was agreed that it was dead and couldn't be fixed today - although they're convinced they'll get it going on the day of UKM1.6 (hurray!).

Along with Skitz who also arrived in the morning, Baz and he laid into the Gorf with full gusto in the near-freezing garage. It soon became apparent that the two PSU PCBs that I had were down and out for the count. After much consternation I suggested Skitz used a switcher as it's better to get the machine going rather than dead and defeated us - especially as Baz had brought some working PCBs down with him.

Well, the first switcher I found I'd pulled from a barn and the pictures here showed it spectacular demise, a ear-shattering BANG, accompanied by a acrid cap-laden mushroom cloud of acrid smoke burst from it, and a ochre gloop spread over the base of the cab - eww! Luckily I'd suggested testing the switcher before plugging anything else in - phew!

A tested switcher later and the Gorf was alive (nice screen after all these years)  although the sound and control panel needed fixing - all thats left is the sound pcbs but we have Gorf!!!

Sunday morning the pair looked at Baz's Star Wars cockpit and decided that there was a power fault somewhere and I'd need to clean the molexes and stuff ready for their next return at UKM1.6 which seemed fair enough.

On Sunday we tried the Roby monitor in the Berzerk cab, but the anode cap was arcing so that put end to that avenue and we generally worked hard on the cabs and PCBs through till later Sunday.

Rav's Son James playing defender...

 

Smart Little Missile Command Caberet, Rav (our host) in the background looking startled :)

Star Wars Cockpit, devoid of life...

 

Mr, 'annoying sized monitor bracket' Space Invaders...

Rav playing the newly fixed Galaxian..

Tron side art view. PSU problems stumped any repair

Gorf, Qix, and Berzerk at the end.

 

another view, Berzerk, Qix, Gorf

Qix on its own, just after having been fixed..

Ade has a bash at defender, soon after the whole row is switched on and put in place.

The collective gets a sudden thirst for the Williams row.. 'I hunger!'

Suddenly a flurry of activity as (oh my gosh) the Asteroids is working !!!

When the fixing session was over, machines were lined up to be played.. Chris Hardy getting a pasting by them UFO's.. :)

 

Chad has a go on Asteroids before we've even put the bezel and glass back.. The Control panel has a scrappy overlay removed, hence bare metal.

 

Yet again, young James is hooked on the machines, as he shouts out 'Dad, I've just beaten your high score!'

Gorf PSU problems.... 'untested' switcher turned out to be dead after a short while :)

Another view of 'old Smokey' a few seconds later..

To those of us that braved the cold in the garage, this was from whence all the tools/beer/work came :)

And finally... Qix and Gorf frontal, sadly Berzerk wasn't tackled whilst I was there...


Other Delights at "Rav's Muzzy Mall"

R-type of course.

WOW, Wizard Of Wor.. Superb!!

The "Wall of Williams" row, full frontal nudity shot... :)

 

The second garage, Pacman working all the way, storage for loads of other machines.

 

Nice full-view pacman... mmmmm....

Taito Tables galore.. (plus some other weird one.

Defender, minus marquue, bezel, control panel, t-trim etc.. future project..

A bit beaten up Berzerk with an abominus Yie Ar Kung-Fu installed..

Killer Instinct #1 (#2 lost somewhere behind)

The End!!

 


  Most of the Runners (from left to right) Missile Command cabaret, Galaxian, 

Asteroids Control Panel, Berzerk (bah), Qix, Gorf, Back of Tron

 

Credits

UKVAC Technicians

  • Chris 'Hardy-county' Hardy

  • Ade/Adrian 'Mousey' Purser

  • Darren 'D-Zine'  Hatton

  • Chris 'Tosey' Toseland

  • Andy 'P-man' Welburn

  • Scott 'Tronner' Green

  • Bruce 'Bazfish' Smith

  • Chad 'Defenda' Gray

  • Pete 'Skitz' Davis

Photos

  • Andy Welburn

  • Chad Gray

  • Ravage

Thanks

  • XY-Man for Monitor Tube and Chassis for a Vector Wells Gardner

  • Ian Livingstone for the ferryman activities of said Monitor Parts

  • Sam Escott for Catering, and general life-saving Sarnie making

  • XY-Man for the 'in-case' loan of Audio Reg 2's and Switchers

  • Peter Budd for the other Half of a Vector Wells Gardner

  • The guys for the top-star effort

Fatalities

  • 1 brand New 7200 Wells Gardner Monitor

  • HT Transformer in a WG6100 XY Monitor

  • 1 US Voltage dependant resistors

  • 1 Audio Regulator 2 PCB

  • 2 x US Line filter

  • 1 US Ballast

  • 1 Switcher