Computer Space Flies Again | Hackaday

So Farrare

[Sean] from Classic Arcade Repairs fixes vintage arcade devices, and he bought a request to mend a very special machine. It’s Laptop House, the to start with commercial arcade cabinet at any time manufactured, and loosely based mostly on Spacewar! This grand-daddy of coin-op was a literal barn find, and was in rather bad condition just after sitting for years. All the areas appeared to be first, earning them 50 a long time previous. As you can envision, that mix didn’t bode very well for the health and fitness of the components. There is a couple hours of footage in this article, but it’s invaluable troubleshooting information, and very amazing to see these types of an aged machine getting worked on.

Element one is the intro, and [Sean] started off with an HP logic analyzer, just probing the a lot of TTL chips on the board seeking for floating or or else suspicious outputs. Determine out the naturally faulty chips and switch just about every with a socket and new chip. Just about just about every diode in the device needed changing.

Element two of the maintenance begins with a damaged trace repair, and the discovery that all the ceramic capacitors on the boards were leaky. The appealing factor is that a multimeter analyzed those caps as getting the proper capacitance, but a committed leak tester discovered the dilemma.

Portion 3 demonstrates the method of jogging the remaining chips by a logic tester, which located far more problematic ICs. In some scenarios, a chip would only from time to time examination as doing the job. And strangely, one particular of the new, replacement chips turned out to have a challenge. Though as a commenter pointed out, it could be a slipping edge vs rising edge variation of the logic chips to blame. Or maybe the new chips have been counterfeit. Tough to nail down.

Section 4 begins with a gotcha second, where by just one of the first repairs to the board was a misstep. What appeared to be a ruined trace, was in fact a factory modification (a bodge cut?). Then a fortunate break actually served out, where only half of one particular of the 7476 chips was in use, and one of the chips on hand was only 50 percent doing the job. Put the lifeless little bit into the unused slot, and the machine actually commenced to behave.

Element 5 is the victory lap, in which all the elements finally arrived, and everything starts off operating on the bench. How interesting to see the previous machine bleeping and blooping once more.

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