Well, I was gifted
this amazing machine so it appears that my next project has been
decided for me! As of this moment the machine doesn't work.
It does power on, but there are no
sounds and no images appear on
the screen. Despite having built a few MAME arcade machines,
I know very little about real arcade machines. So
this will definitely be a learning experience for me getting this going again!
The condition of the cabinet overall is
actually very impressive. There are naturally some
scratches, but besides that, the artwork is in very good
condition. I did find some replacement
artwork on Craig's List for this, but I don't think that I am going
it. The new artwork comes in the form
of large stickers which you place over the entire sides of
the machine. The original artwork you see below is stenciled onto the
sides by layering different colors of paint. I'm not sure I
like deviating from the original artwork so much
by using stickers. Plus they are
asking for $150 for the artwork, and I don't think
this artwork is that badly damaged to be worth
that amount of money. Below are a few pictures of my starting point.
As with any page on my website,
you can click on the image below and
it will take you to the
full resolution photo. Sorry about the poor quality of photos.
I had to take these with my cell phone.
I will replace them with better pictures once I get my camera back.
Here is the front view. The front art
is faded a little, and damaged from the use of tape to hold the coin
door closed, but not too bad. There is a button
installed on the left side of the control panel that does not
come factory. Not really sure what it's use was
Here's the side art on the right side of the
machine. So you can see some scratches, but not too bad.
I am thinking maybe I can touch it up by painting it. I
can find the correct factory colors for the paint online, but it
might not match up any more if the artwork has faded, which I'm sure
it has a little. So it seems like I really have
two options. I can either try to find a paint to match
it's current color, and just touch up the scratches. Or
the other option is that I could tape off the yellow/pink areas, and
only repaint all the blue sections fresh. That way all the
blues would match. But again, it doesn't look that bad
right now, so I'm a little torn what to do. I will have
to think about this some more.
Here is the art work on the left side.
The marquee looks really great.
The control panel overlay (CPO) could use a
good cleaning, but overall it's in good shape. No big holes or
tears or anything like that. Here you can see that extra
button that was installed on the left side.
Here you can see the bezel artwork. It
looks pretty amazing as well! Needs a good dusting but
that's about it. In the picture you can also see the
screen has some burn in, which is to be expected. This doesn't
immediately concern me, and won't until I am able to get the game to
play. It may end up looking just fine when the it's powered on
and the game is displaying on it. So it's too early to
tell if it's worth replacing.
Here is a closer view of the front panel and
the coin door. There's a hole drilled in the coin door
above the lock. And the cam lock does not have a key or a
locking latch on it. So that will need to be
replaced. Still considering whether or not I can clean
this up and leave it be, or if I really need to strip it and start
to repaint it from scratch.
Here's the counter on the game.
This machine has been in someone's basement for at least 20 - 25
years so far as I know, perhaps even longer. So quarters
haven't been used it in since then. I'm not sure that this
counter goes up when quarters aren't used, and the machine is on
free play. My suspicion is that the counter does not go
up. At any rate, at least this number of games were
played on it. That's over $6000 at a quarter a game!
The back of the coin door. No coin
mechs. I don't think I really care about that as I
intend to set it on free play.
Here is the back of the machine.
Evidently this is cabinet number
Here is another view of the inside of the
cabinet. It's shockingly very clean in there, not a lot
of dust bunnies.
Here is the AC power unit. The fuse
holders look ok. None of the fuses are blown either. The
marquee, coin door lights, and the monitor do power up when you turn
it on, so it certainly seems like the power unit is OK and
Here is a view of the PCB, the actual game
board for Ms. Pacman.
Another view of the PCB:
A shot of the EPROM chips from what I
Here is a shot of the bottom of the
monitor. I am told these things can deal a leathal shock, so
one of my first orders of business is to figure out exactly where I
should NOT be touching this thing...
Here's a shot of the power cord.
I just thought it was interesting that there isn't a third pin to
ground it. Instead there is a little u connector that
you have to screw onto something to ground it. Definitely
going to investigate changing out this cable to something with a
more typical grounding, with three prongs.
Here you can see the screen when the game is
turned on. You can see by the gray outline that the screen
does power on. But as you can also see, no real images from
the game appear on the screen. And as I mentioned before,
there are no game sounds coming out at this time either.
This is a picture of that button that was
installed onto the control panel. The one that was not
there when this machine was made. I don't know if you can
really tell from this picture, but it actually says "Zoom" on the
button. My guess is that someone installed the cheat
chip into the PCB which when you press this button that it actually
makes Ms Pacman speed up and move faster. Kind of
interesting. If I ever get the machine up and running I
will have to confirm that.
Getting the Game Running
My friend who gave this machine to me
described it as one of the best memories from their childhood.
So I decided I had better treat this restoration with the respect it
deserve! Naturally, the first thing I did was work on getting
the game working again. Thanks to the folks over on the
KLOV forum I was able
to get it working very quickly! It ended up being something
very simple. First, I replaced all the fuses in the
machine. That didn't help. The next
thing I was told was to take the board that is circled below
out of the machine, snap it in half, throw it away, and plug the
wires directly onto the main PCB right underneath it.
When I originally heard this advice, I thought it was some sort of
joke. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a shot and to my
surprise that was it! The game fired right up! Of
course, then I needed to know what this board was, that was so very
unnecessary. It turns out that back in the day people
used to think that RF signals from arcade machines could interfer
with airplanes and the like. Today we know that not to
be true. This board was there only to help block or reduce RF
signals. So that was it's only purpose. And I'm
told it's fairly common that board goes bad for whatever
reason. So that was it!
Someone on the forums sent me this
picture. Kinda funny. I haven't seen any local reports
like this around here, so I think we're OK!
Replacing Various Parts
First I starting looking at my parts I had
around the house to see if I had anythin that I could use with the
machine. I did find this serviceable coin bucket
Next I went out and bought a new bulb for
behind the marquee since the one that was there flickered over and
over and was having issues staying on. I also got a new
starter for the light.
Next I remembered that I had some coin mech's
in my stash of spare parts. So those worked out
nicely. I also bought new light bulbs for the coin door
since both of them were burned out.
The next thing I decided to tackle was the
monitor. This thing must have been left on for some crazy
extended periods at some point in it's life because the screen burn
in on the monitor was pretty bad. You could even see the burn
in when playing the game, when the maze changes and etc. It
was almost affecting the game play, so I decided it needed to be
I lucked out and found a local KLOV member who hooked
me up with a no burn in replacement monitor! Thanks again
Rich! You can see below the monitor is in perfect
The next thing I did was replace the weird
power cord with a more traditional three pronged one. So now I
don't have to worry about grounding issues any more.
I also ordered one of these kits from the Real Bob Roberts to
replace the existing player 1 and 2 buttons so they would light
up. You'll see more pictures of these in action later:
Next I got some new plastic t-molding and
replaced it all around the machine. Below you can just see the
t-molding removed, in case you didn't know what t-molding
I decided to start to clean up the artwork some.
First I used some Novus polish to clean off the top of the control
panel. After thirty years of use this control panel is
in amazing shape, but it collected its share of dirt and
grime. It was sort of hard to photo graph, but if
you look at the pink color below, towards the top, you can see a
sweeping line where it's cleaner on the right side, and on the left
you can see the dirty part. While this picture doesn't do it
justice, cleaning up the control panel like this made it look simply
amazing. Almost brand new!
Next I decided to work on the Zoom button a
little bit. This is an interesting hack that was added
onto the machine at some point. The previous owner said that
it had been there ever since they got it 20+ years ago.
Its some kind of hardware hack that speeds up the entire game.
It's not a cheat for Ms Pacman per se, because the ghosts also speed
up as well. Kind of interesting. I
looked into this a bit online and the only other picture I could
find of someone else's Zoom button was the picture below:
I am not sure if the Zoom artwork
is original or what the deal is, but my button just had "Zoom"
written on it in pen. So I decided to use this Zoom artwork to
go inside of my button. So you'll see this a bit later
in the actual button:
Next I touched up the artwork on the sides of
the machine as much as I could. The original paint used
was spray paint, which makes touching up the artwork a very
difficult look to match. Short of sanding down the
entire sides of the machine and starting brand new, I knew I'd never
be bale to 100% match the look. Still, I was able to do a
really great job on the smaller scratches where you can barely
notice them. For larger scratches, like the one in the picture
below, you can still tell that it's been touched up, obviously, but
it looks much better in person than it would if that scratch were
still all white like it was originally. I also got
a black paint pen, and I was able to trace some of these black lines
where the paint was scratched off as well. The end result
looks great, which you will be able to see later.
The coin door did not have a lock on
it. The previous owner had been using tape to hold it
shut. The result of this was pretty unfortunate.
It left this gray goopy sticky substance around a lot of the coin
door. So what I did was remove the coin door. Then
I used Goo Gone to get rid of that gray goop that would come
off. Unfortunately, that wasn't much. Then I used
a very high grit sand paper to take the rest of the goop off while
still leaving the paint there as much as possible. Below you
can see what it looked like with all that stuff removed:
The restoration that I did of the
artwork on the front of the machine is something that I'm really
proud of. The picture below has a little glare to it,
but you can kind of start to see some of the improvements that I've
made. I touched up the sanded off tape areas with
blue. I repainted the pink areas entirely.
And I spent a few hours tracing every little black line on the front
of the machine with a paint pen. The end result looks
great. You will get to see some better pictures of it
Next I repaired the front panel a little
bit. You can see here that the wood began to split a little
bit. This was an easy enough fix. I used a hanger
to get out all the junk that had found its way into the crack you
see below. Then I simply put some wood glue in there and used
some clamps until it was all stuck back together.
Coin Door Restoration
The coin door was really the part that I
spent the most time on. There were a few problems
with the existing coin door. First off, you can
see below that the door is bent. That's as closed as it would
go before I worked on it.
The Next issue was that there was a hole
drilled right through the metal, above the area where the lock was
meant to go. And then on the right you can also see some
of the gray duct tape goop I was referring to before.
I was lucky enough to find another person
locally who had a Midway coin door. So I decided to buy
it from him. I decided that I would refinish both coin doors
and use whatever parts ended up looking the best at the end of the
process. On the left is the coin door I purchased, and on the
right is the original one that came with the machine.
First things first, I removed all the
mechanics from the back of both coin doors. Luckily the
new coin door I bought came with all it's parts. So when I
will have two working coin doors at the end of all this.
The next thing I had to figure out how to
handle was the Midway logo plate that comes on the front of the
machine. I'm told that they don't really make rivets that are
100% accurate with the ones that come with these plates. So I
didn't want to ruin my existing rivets. What I did was find
the right drill bit size so that it woudl just pop the rivets out,
and wouldn't really destroy them. Later I would
polish up those rivets and just use super glue on the back of them
to hold them in place. In the picture below you can see me
drilling through them to pop them out.
Next thing to do was remove all the existing
paint. I used this stuff called Aircraft Remover.
I have no idea why it has that name, but man does it work
wonders. Below you can see that it just made the existing
paint just bubble up. But when working with that stuff
you really need to be careful. My gloves I was wearing ended
up splitting at some point and I got a little on my thumb. It
ended up eating through some of the skin that it touched.
Luckily I got it off pretty quickly, so it didn't do any real
And here you can see the coin door with it's
paint all removed.
And here's the other one:
Next I used a hammer to bend the coin door
back into shape. It took a little while but I was able
to get it pretty well straightened out, and it closes nicely
now. The next thing I needed to address was the hole
that was drilled right through the coin door which you can see
I found an old metal outlet box that I had
lying around, and I pulled out one of the circle metal pieces that
come on those that pop out. I super glued this circle
piece right behind the hole.
Then I used a clamp to hold it in place while
Next, I used Bondo to fill up the
hole. Here you can see that I applied a whole lot of
it. It dries super hard and then you can sand it
down. I like adding a lot of it, so that I know there's plenty
there to sand off and make it even.
And here you can see it all filled in and
sanded down. It worked out pretty well. So with
everything all straightened and corrected, we were now ready to
I used a
bunch of hangers to hang up all the parts of the coin doors. I
also decided to paint the coin bucket. It was a little ugly
before, and I was already painting stuff, so why not. I
applied my primer first.
While the primer was drying, I decide to
focus my attention on cleaning up some of the chromed pieces of the
coin door. Below you can see the before and
after. These coin slots came out really
amazing. I used my Dremel with a wire brush attachment
first. Then I polished the parts with Brasso. In the
bottom half of the picture you can see the finished parts.
I did the same with the screws that hold the
coin slots in place. Below you can see another before and
after picture of one of the screws:
There are also four bolts on the front of the
machine with hold the coin door bucket shelf in place.
Those were pretty rusty and gross looking, so I decided I had better
clean those up as well.
One of these things, doesn't below
here.... You can see after I polished them up, one of
these had a very pinkish hue to it. Not sure if it was a
different kind of screw or what. I didn't take any more off of
it than I did the other screws. So I didn't want to use
these four screws as I thought that one would stick out like a sore
looking at every hardware store in town, I could not find screws
exactly like these. So I decided that I'd just paint
them with the Rustoleum Textured black paint that I was using for
the coin door.
After several coats of the paint, and 48
hours of drying, they're done! They turned out really
well. Not perfect, but still pretty good. Especially
considering I had never really spray painted anything before.
You almost can't even tell the two apart now. The hole
that I filled is barely imperceptible now.
And here is the other one:
And here is my coin bucket. I
actually used a different color for this, because I had it. I
had considered using this Rustoleum Hammered Black paint on the coin
doors initially. Now I am glad I didn't. Its just a bit
too shiny. The textured black isn't 100% exactly like it
looked from the factory, but it's closer than this hammered black
would have looked.
Next I got some new logo plates for the
front. The one of the top is the new one.
Like I said before, I used super glue to hold the rivets in place
through those holes, and hold it onto the coin door.
And finally you can see the finished
product! Pretty amazing if you ask me! Very
pleased with the way these turned out. I also got new "25
cents" logos as well which you can see below.
And here you can see the before and after
I hooked up the restored coin door and wired
up the lights next and the machine is all done! First,
here is just a shot with the lights off, to show you everything all
can see the Zoom logo that I made for this button:
Here's the right side of the machine.
Not too shabby at all.
Here's the left.
Here's that beautiful control panel:
Here's the front of the machine. As I
said before, the front is what I am most proud of. All the
artwork restoration and the coin door revamp really makes this thing
look brand new.
And here she is all done!
I could not be happier
with how it looks today! I'm thrilled to have it in my
New Addition - Score Board -
I tried to install a high score board mod
chip onto the PCB for the game, however, long story short, this
board is pretty unique and will not actually work with the mod
chip. So I decided to go a different route to keep track
of the high scores. I found a light-up marker board on Craigs
List for pretty cheap! It originally came with a
Michelob Light beer marquee on it, but I really have no
connection to that beer, so I decided to make my own sign to put on
the top instead. A big
thank you goes out to
my friend Brian from work with all his help making this artwork
Here is a picture of the artwork we made for
Here is the real thing lit up on the top of
And here is the whole sign! It
turned out amazing! I'd say this is definitely a suitable
replacement instead of the mod chip on the circuit board! Love