Following part 2 of this blog the constituent parts of the cab have variously been cleaned, shot blasted, sprayed, painted, powder coated, filled and sanded and it’s now time to try to put everything back together and hope the game still works…
Have to say the service from Unimet Enamellers in Reading was spot on; they were professional, easy to deal with, quick and provided a great finish at a very fair price.
Let’s just remember how this main body looked during the dismantling process:
Time for the first step so at this point I rewatched my time lapse of the dismantling and started rebuilding in the reverse order of how it all came apart. First securing the metal section of the main body to the wooden top then attaching the leg holders and legs themselves so the the cab can be turned the right way up.
That was the easy bit, now onto the control panels and then the electrical side of the rebuild. The separately bagged screws, bolts, etc. for each part of the cab are invaluable but the control panels have so many little bits I know it will be time consuming and fiddly to get them back together.
That’s both control panels rebuilt and reattached to the cab. Such an improvement to how they looked before. Just the “cooker knob” controller to add back to the one in the picture and that’s finished.
In goes the rebuilt coin mechanism on the Player 1 side. Just missing one bolt that sheared off when I tightened the bolt so I’ll have to source something similar to replace that. Important to get the coin mech working as there is no free play setting on the game and it takes old 10 pence pieces.
A bit of soldering and the fuse, on/off switch and power cable go back in. The before and after photo here really does show the massive difference from just 3 weeks ago. I spent far too long before this step carefully scraping paint from the fuse holder and switch, clearly putting off the soldering and electronics that lay ahead.
Unable to put it off any longer I start putting back the monitor and various wiring looms that had been removed. A couple of bits of soldering but nothing too difficult and just plug everything back together, all the time referencing the photos I took during the dismantling phase. All was going well until I came across a cable from the monitor that had 3 potential places to slot in to but no photo showing me where it was connected originally.
The photo above is one I hastily took, annotated, and sent to my expert arcade repairing friends in hope they could help. Remember I have no schematics or info to refer to, just my photos and terrible memory. The blue circled connecter could fit on pins 1, 2, and 3 but only one is right. A wrongly connected cable can fry a component if you are unlucky so I was loathe to just guess with only a 33% chance of success.
In the end I did just have to pick one and hope for the best. I’m pleased to say I did no damage to the monitor and it was second time lucky after the first position I connected it to gave no on screen response.
To hark back to Part 1 of this restoration though I cannot stress enough how important it is to take LOADS of photos of EVERYTHING before you take it apart.
A few Japanese labels remained inside the cab that reveal its country of origin but nothing that, when translated, gave a clue as to the manufacturer.
SO, that’s everything back together and time to turn on the power and …. … I hear the intro sound of the game but get no picture, not good. I try to coin up to see if the game plays “blind” but inserting 10p after 10p does nothing. I recheck the wiring to the coin mech and it seems fine. I go over and over the myriad connectors to the main PCB from the monitor, power, sound board, control panels and all seems well. At this point I’m pretty tired, I was up at 05:30 and it’s now late afternoon. I decide to put the game in position and leave it for another day with a sick feeling in my stomach, “I’ve made the cab look beautiful but broken the game” is my main thought.
An hour or so later I am looking through some photos of the PCB from when I first picked up the cab and I see something that wasn’t on any of my more recent pics. One of the connectors to the PCB actually connects to the underside of the bottom board in the stack. It’s worth noting that as well as having many connectors with wired looms into them, the PCB has a number that are not used at all, just to make it even more complicated to work with. I reconnect the wiring loom to the underside of the PCB, switch on the power and YES … Sheriff lives again and coins up fine.
I can’t say how happy I am at this point having thought I could be months away from having a repaired and fully working game. So now some pics of the cab back together and working. I will be getting the legs chromed to really finish off the look but it’s a pricy step and there are far fewer companies doing chroming than powder coating.
Thanks for reading… if you missed parts 1 and 2 please check them out, appreciate any comments you leave and keep an eye out for my next blog that will most likely be based on the Vectrex which is a huge passion of mine.