Steve(aka SRW@KLOV) dropped off this game and Kawydud's Star Wars this past Saturday at Vidiot for a Day.
It was an absolute sight to behold having those two games in the back of his new game hauler van. He also had a Asteroids Deluxe cabaret back there so there was much vector love going on!
First thing I noted is that Lunar Lander is heavy! I've moved my share of Atari games but for some reason this thing kicked my butt. On top of heavy, it's very tall when you tip it back so I kept having to "go down" with it... which made it even heavier!
After getting it into the house and powering it up we were greeted with... Lunar Lander!!! I swear to God I had a tear in the corner of my eye when I saw this thing. Not sure why this and Red Baron affect me so much... but they do.
The joy and happiness was short lived. About a minute into the first game it reset. Then about 30 seconds into the next game... it reset. I seriously almost ran by/around/through/over everyone at the party and jumped into the pool. I just wanted to hold my head under the water in some weird show of defiance... there was no way my new LL was acting this way... no way!
Instead I just unplugged it and grabbed a beer(or two maybe).
Monday was the first day I could look at it so look I did. On Saturday I noticed the edge connector of the PCB was fried a bit. Looking at it closer now it was really fried. I spent some time cutting a piece of ground plane from a POS Tempest PCB I use for parts(looks like it was pissed on and then corroded wherever there was pee). After cutting it down to the width of the edge connector trace I soldered on two new pieces.
I also had to remove solder from every edge connector since someone thought that was the way to get a better connection to the harness. And by doing that, they spread out most of the pins in the harness so I had to replace a handful of those too.
Then I moved onto the power supply. Come to find out a 1N4001 diode in the sense circuit fried and popped right off the supply. The PCB was pretty burned in this area so the new diode needed some creative soldering.
While the power supply was out, I did a cap-kit on it and touched up all the questionable solder. I also replaced Big Blue with Big Black and cleaned up the brick a bit. Then I noticed that five of the six fuses were the WRONG value so I fixed that too.
With the two major items taken care of(edge connector and power supply) I put everything back together and was greeted with nothing. Looking at the CPU, it was watch dogging. Now knowing Battlezone and Red Baron do this with ROM problems I started reseating ROMs. This board has 16 bipolor PROMs and two EPROMs so there were plenty to reseat.
Tried it again, and nothing. Looked at the CPU and again, it was barking.
Figured I'd try another CPU and again, that one was barking... but it was barking a little different.
Next I started measuring continuity with the PROMs and right off the bat I found a bad socket. Then in a couple more minutes I found another. Ugh.
I replaced those since everything else seemed good and again... nothing on the screen but now I was getting a LOOOOooooonnnnng beep and no watch dog pulse?!?! Hmmmm...
Took the board out again figured out that another socket was bad for the PROMs. Good God man... there has to be a better way here!
Luckily there is. AndysArcade.de had the ROM images and noted that boards with 16 bipolar PROMs can be switched to 4 EPROMs if the EPROM sockets are there... which mine were.
Got some spare EPROMs and burned new images. Also checked the two vector ROMs while I had the old Needhams PB-10 out and they were good.
Removed the 16 little bastards... put in the 4 big bastards... crossed my fingers... and... and... and... BBBBBBeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeppppppppp Same crap. Ugh!!!
After taking a long break I came back and looked at the CPU. It was now quickly barking... really odd... Hmmmmm... could my replacement CPU be bad?
Scavenged another 6502 and popped it in and wouldn't you know it... I had a Lunar Lander screen on the o'scope(I disconnected the monitor a while back since it was just going into spot killer).
Yeah!!! Lunar Lander is alive(again)!!!
Removed the scope, connected the monitor, went around the front of the game to play, and... and... and... only a half screen on the display!!! UGH!!!
Reconnected the scope and the picture was fine there so the monitor was now suspect. UGH!!!
Please... please... PLEASE let it be cold solder joints... PLEASE?!?!
And yep, there were.
I still have to do a cap-kit on the monitor(have to order one). And the cabinet can use some TLC in places. But the control panel is very minty... and the sideart is in great shape too!
I've played about 10 games so far and I have found myself with that tear again a couple times. This game is truly a classic and will look great beside Red Baron and Battlezone. Atari hit it out of the part with these games and honestly... I can't believe I own them. Thanks again Steve!!!
There are more pictures HERE.
(AS OF: 08-18-2011)
Page Created: 08-18-2011
Last update: 08-18-2011