Q*Bert Repairs #3

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Jun 242015

I started working on a Jamma adaptor for testing the main Q*bert PCB:

After initially having some power issues, video output problems, and it going into test mode I finally managed to get this on screen:

Considering how bad this board was corroded from the battery leak I’m chuffed to bits that it works!

Just need to work on the sound board now.

This was going to be a bit tricky as it uses strange voltages. So I built a very simple 12v audio amp to bypass the +30v amp on the soundboard and still test the sound/speech on Q*bert

It should work…..but I need to test it out first with some sound inputs before hooking it into the main soundboard

So here’s a video testing out the 12v sound amp:

12v Amp

Let there be Q*bert sound video:

Qbert Sound

Q*Bert Repairs #2

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Jun 232015

I removed the battery from the main Q*bert PCB, and it took me ages to get all the components off as some had rusted or had corroded quite badly, or the solder pads were completely missing. Anyway, once the components in the affected area were removed, it was time to neutralise the alkaline from the battery and see how things where.

So this is where I am with the parts side of the PCB:

and here is the solder side:

I wasn’t really sure where to start with the filter PCB, But after chatting with a few people it seems like it is not really needed, and was a bit of overkill with regulations in the US. It is also a source of many problems as you can see by the burnt bits on my PCB.

So it’s more than likely I will bypass this, which is good news!

Anyway I thought what the heck, I’ll try and sort it out. So firstly I removed all the crap that someone had previously done to it. Cleaned up the board as best as I could, and then assessed where the broken tracks were etc. It didn’t take me as long as I thought to get some new connectors on and bridge where the damage was. I think I did an ok job 🙂

I tried a number of methods to get the tracks useable on the PCB, but I ended up taking a few back to copper as they were badly damaged with corrosion and had no continuity. A number of the pads were damaged and there were some plating issues to deal with, especially around the sockets

The end result is not pretty but the PCB has been repopulated and continuity is now good everywhere. As long as it works I’m not too fussed about how it looks. I think it was the best I could do in an already bad situation:

Next steps are to work on a Jamma adapter to power this up on a switcher, to see if it has any life.

Q*bert Repairs #1

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Jun 232015

Not posted on here for almost three months but I have been very busy with trying to get the Q*bert cabinet working.

I managed to bag the cabinet in Oct 2014, and got it delivered at the beginning of March this year. The plan was to get the game actually working before starting on any cosmetic challenges it had.

So I started to have a look at it over the Easter bank holiday weekend. First thing I noticed was that the original knocker was there. That was good! But then I started to notice the not so good 🙁

The line filter PCB had all of its connectors disconnected, and I could see that it had been quite badly burnt in the past, and someone had replace some of the connector pins by drilling out the holes of the connector and threading wire through. What’s worse is that these cables were then simply twisted together!

There was no way I could power this thing up in its current state. Here’s some closeup on the nice hack job:

So I decided to disconnect the filter board, untwist the cables, and have a look on the solder side, as I could see things didn’t look good. I was actually quite shocked how someone tried to repair this. Never seen anything like it:

So I put this to one side. And took a gander at the main PCB. Oh dear, there is battery leakage!

So before anything else I need to get the battery and corroded components off the board to assess the damage.

Q*Bert has arrived

 Q*Bert  Comments Off on Q*Bert has arrived
Apr 032015

Finally manage to get my hands on a complete Q*Bert cabinet, including original knocker. This machine needs a bit of work to get it up and running. I’ve already assessed what needs doing so hopefully can make a start on the list soon!