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Galaga Restoration March 29, 2010

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It's time to move the hardware over to the new control panel. It took me years to appreciate the value of getting organized. That means having a clean, well lit area, and the tools at hand that you're going to need.

Again, I rely on some automotive products & tools. Jet-spray Gummout™ needs to be used with some care because it really softens things like wire insulation and eats away at many types of paint. NEVER use it on the plastic buttons--it'll melt the surface and leave them dull. But on wires, it usually dries fast enough that no real harm is done and it sure goes after the old greasy dirt. Keep it off your skin and never get it in your eyes.

The red arrow points to a magnetic bowl (Sears)--this is the way to go to keep all those little screws and nuts from hitting hyperspace and disappearing from this world forever.

Organization keeps you from wasting time searching for misplaced stuff.



Remove the e-clip that retains the joystick shaft. You can usually work the shaft and knob out, but it may need a spritz of WD-40™. This shaft had some rust, so a little work with Scotch-Brite™ and it was clean and worthy of reuse.

This joystick was in pretty good shape.
For the "Start" and "Fire" buttons, I removed the e-clips, took them apart, and used Westley's Bleach-White™ (not shown) to clean off all the cigarette tar and finger cheese. Bleach-White is the one of the most aggressive cleaners I've ever used. It's actually made for automobile tires but man does it go after dirt! You quickly learn not to inhale when you spray it.

After cleaning, it was obvious that the "Fire" button had lost its sheen, so I bought a new one. The "Start" buttons got a little tug on the springs to restore them to original action. I also cleaned the contacts with a contact file.



If the joystick and leaf switches are really dirty, I do more disassembly than you see here, but in this case, things weren't too bad. A toothbrush and Gummout was all that was needed. There was a little rust on the top side of the mounting plate where the dust washer goes, but the Scotch-Brite made short work of that.

Cleaning the gunk from the joystick assembly.


I masked off the knob and the active part of the joystick shaft, then gave it a light coat of flat black enamel.

Restoring the joystick.

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