|   Back to Home Page  


 The Beginning

Getting It Running Again

Replacing Various Parts

Artwork Restore

Coin Door Restore


New Score Board




The Beginning

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 to purchase 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 yet.

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 17,622.

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 working.

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 understand

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 Again

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 first:

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 replaced:

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 shape.

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 was...


Next, 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 later.

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 serious damage. 

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 below.

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 it dried:

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 paint.

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 thumb.

After 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 shots.


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 lit up:

Here you 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 basement!!!!



New Addition - Score Board - 5/2013

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 possible!

Here is a picture of the artwork we made for the marquee:


Here is the real thing lit up on the top of the sign:


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 it!