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Galaga Restoration March 29, 2010

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Beyond the monitor, the news was mixed. Galaga was filthy inside like an ancient crypt from somewhere in Egypt. There were plenty of *live* spiders, a nest, thick layers of cigarette smoke tar, and assorted other flavors of dirt. I took this photo after some considerable vacuuming/cleaning work and after fixing some of the worst examples of how not to wire an aracde game.

The inside of Galaga was filthy.

Unbelievable. Well, the good news is *sort of* that the original power supply board was smoked and an aftermarket Happ supply installed. This isn't good if you're a total purist about restorations, but the new switching style supply is far more reliable. And--smoke & fires are just bad in general.

But the wiring--ugh. The power supply and monitor were both wired by twisting the stripped wires together and wrapping them loosely with electrical tape. Actually, some weren't even insulated with tape. That's a disaster waiting to happen. I made the repairs before I took this photo of the results:

In the photo above, you can see the added small black unit that is the Happ replacement power supply. The red arrows above point to some of the places where I performed repairs to the "so-called repairs". I spend time doing it right--the rules for a quality job are pretty simple:

1. Work clean. Restrip wires as needed.

2. Slide heat-shrink tubing onto the wire first.

3. Make a good mechanical connection.

4. Solder the joint correctly using only the best electrical solder (Kester or Radio Shack which is also Kester solder is the best by far IMO).

5. Position the heat shrink tubing over the repair and use a heat gun to finish the job.

Here's a closer look at the wire repairs. It still amazes me that all of the power leads had been just twisted together by the "techician". Wow.

Closeup of the repaired monitor power leads.

Another pet peeve of mine is the use of these screw-terminal replacement plugs. I know they are UL approved and all, but to me a power cord should be able to withstand a jerk on the wire. Not that it's appropriate at all to disconnect a game (or anything) that way from the wall outlet, but you know somebody's gonna yank on it sooner or later. A one-piece power cord is the way to go, IMO.

This plug has gotta go.

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