All I knew going into this one is that the game was not working. With an XY monitor as part of that equation it can get a little scary. A few miles down the highway and a few gallons of gas later and I arrived on the scene. I walked to the shop out back and saw the game. Aside from the control panel overlay the cabinet was in great shape and worth saving. I took the back door off the game and glanced inside. Looked like some mice had shown this old Atari some love and I will leave it at that. I unplugged the monitor and then plugged in the game. Flipped the switch and all I heard was a hum. No power to the game board. Checked a couple connections and tried again. Nothing. Plugged the monitor back in and tried one more time and smoke came pouring out. This was not good. We agreed on a price of $125.00 and I pulled the truck around to load the game. Nothing gets the nostalgic juices flowing better than rolling down the road in my 1977 Ford truck with a 1981 Atari Space Duel riding in the back. Other than a few sideways glances on the short trip home, it was uneventful yet fulfilling.
Space Duel is a game I consider to be an endangered species. Like some animals of the wild kingdom that are hunted for their tusks and pelts, these games are hunted for their XY monitors. The big (arcade) game poachers would just yank the monitor out, sell a few other parts, and discard the carcass. These color XY monitors are not easy to come by and can fetch a high price. It felt good knowing this Space Duel was going to be saved from an unhappy ending at the hands of a poacher. The first goal was to get the game to play blind. The fuse holder in the bottom was looking pretty corroded. I metered the fuses and they checked ok. I took a fuse holder from another power brick that had a smoked transformer and swapped it in. Flipped the game on and I now had 5 volts to the board. Coined up a game and heard exactly what I was hoping for. I ordered the deluxe rebuild kit from Bob Roberts for the k6100. Rather than even bother troubleshooting the monitor, I felt it was better to just shotgun it with the $40.00 kit. After installing the kit and taking care of a few other loose ends, it was time to give it the smoke test. I double checked all the connections and powered on the game. I could hear the beautiful music that an XY makes when working properly. The picture came up and looked great. After a few minutes of adjusting the monitor it was time to play a couple games. I forgot how cool this game really is.
So the game is working great and now it’s time for a little cosmetics. I installed a new control panel overlay, cleaned the original buttons, and rattle-canned the coin door and marquee brackets. The game really made a nice turn around. After living off the grid for awhile, Space Duel is back among it’s own kind and in a place similar to it’s natural habitat. I took a few snapshots of the whole ordeal. Time to show them off like a proud papa.
The old corroded fuse block. I will give you one guess what is on there :
I hope the previous landlord kept the security deposit from the previous tenant:.
Mickey Mouse = Cool. Mouse that ate the insulation off of these wires = Very uncool :
Tastes like chicken ?
These wires both just fell right out of the molex plug going to the HV cage. That can't be good :
Amazing what an old toothbrush and some q-tips dipped in a little warm water can do:
A new satin finish on an old Space Duel coin door works wonders:
A little bit of cleaning and the sides are looking good too:
This game is now off of the endangered species list.