I wasn’t ever planning on picking up one of these machines
but there was one for sale on eBay and for the price I couldn’t
turn it down. I went to look at it before the auction ended
and the cabinet was in great shape. The machine would not
boot up so it was a slight gamble from there. I won the auction
and picked up the machine the same day. There are two main
boards in the machine the MPU board that controls the pinball
side and the Vidiot board that controls the video games side.
The Vidiot boards are notoriously flaky but the seller gave
me two of them so I was sure I could get one working at least.
The first board was in excellent condition except for the
bluish-green acid damage by around one of the scratch ram
chips. Acid damage is a pain in the ass to fix. The acid usually
eats through the traces and screws up everything in its path.
I de-soldered the scratch ram chip and successfully removed
it without screwing up a trace (both skill and luck.) I cleaned
the board extremely well with a solution of baking soda and
water to neutralize any remaining acid. Then I went to my
parts bin to look for a chip socket and I was out. Since I
was going to have to order parts I took a look at the other
board. That board had been somewhat hacked by someone and
had jumpers between a lot of the EPROM’s. I got out
my trusty Fluke meter and started going through the board.
Everything seemed like it should work so I put it in the machine,
nothing. I took the board back out and reseated all of the
chips. When I put it back in the machine, it booted. I still
have the other Vidiot board and will order the parts to fix
it so I will have a spare. I also had to replace a few SCR’s
on the driver board. Some lamps were stuck on and that was
a quick fix.
I also removed the playfield and tore it completely down,
which was quick and easy because the thing is so small. I
cleaned everything and rebuilt the flipper assemblies. There
is a wear spot by the left flipper that I may repair later
on if I decide to keep the machine.
I guess this should be called the true bastard child. One half
pinball, one half video game. The pinball part of the machine
is mildly interesting if not a little slow. The Pac-man part
of the game is a modified version of Pac-man. The good part
about the game is that in order to do well in the video game
you have to do well on the pinball machine. That makes the machines
as a whole a little more interesting. I forgot one thing when
I bought this machine; Pac-man bores me to death. This is probably
not a keeper for me but for a Pac-man fan who also likes pinball
it’s probably very cool.
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