The Dragon's Lair Project

Started: 04/03/03 / Updated 09/12/14

Poking around for months over on 'The Dragon's Lair Project' I finally got around to restoring a Dragon's Lair. The biggest most dramatic watershed occured when Tony Etzler gave me a cab that he was storing as well as many pieces of hardware along with it. Thanks Tony for helping me get started with the restoration of one of my all-time favorite games. The riddle begins and many puzzles yet to be solved.
Finally locked onto a Dragon's Lair Laserdisk on Ebay. After being outbid on countless occasions I was beginning to seriously doubt ever getting one of these.
StarCom's Dragon's Lair a Pioneer Laserdisk.
Sony LaserMax as purchased from Ebay. This should do great for the player. It's an LDP-2000. Couldn't find this anywhere on the player but looked at a few pics of Sony players and this matches right up.
Finally! Locked onto a cabinet from a great guy; Tony Etzler. He had an extra cab and very generously gave me it just to get it out of his house. Apparently he came across one in better shape. After experiencing problems with arrangements in pickup he even helped us roll it out of his basement, loaded it onto his pickup and unloaded at my place. Thanks Tony!
The cabinet amazingly came with quite a lot of hardware being it was free and all.
This angle shows how someone had actually hacked off the Marquee straight and painted the sides blue for some strange reason.
The Marquee bezel fixture. Lots and lots of hardened adhesive.
This shows a better picture of barriers of adhesive.
This has been cut for some reason. May need new wood here.
Another shot of the straight cut and hack job.
If you'll notice, the bottom front wood has been cut and hacked up as well as braced. New wood needed here too.
Even the speakers are there as well as the speaker harness. And they are in fairly good shape.
Bottom drawer and some hardware.
Can't imagine why it was painted blue. Fairly certain there is no sideart underneath. Tried a little 3M Safest Stripper, wouldn't cut it. Going to try some regular stripper.
Adhesive remover won't cut through all the adhesive. Never ran into that issue before. Tried a dremel and polish bit as well as Goof Off and even Paint Thinner. This is an hour into it.
Only 1 thing left to do. Get the sander out and start sanding it smooth.
Finished with the sander.
Close up of the bottom front section
Home-made Marquee brackets tack-welded and glued. Not sure if I'll use these.
NTSC Encoder card.
With a fried wire.
Coin door and frame along with all the coin mechanisms minus the harness.
The coin door has been drilled for some reason.
Even included the Coax.
Electrohome G07 Monitor without a Chassis. Need to pick one of those up.
Removed the Scoreboard to find that it had been painted on the reverse side.
I don't think I did this. But I used Goof-Off to remove the paint. This piece is unusable.
Removed the old T-Molding and starting to remove the old overlayment material. So long blue boy.
Using a heat gun is the only way to do this. About an hours work total time in removal. Burned fingers are normal wear on this job.
Completed removing the old overlayment on both sides.
Both the upper and lower Marquee wood has been removed to recut new.
looking pretty bare.
During the removal of the front panel I accidentally broke a piece off the side panel. Now I need to do a front and side panel both.
Going to recut new wood for the front panel.
A little surgery here to avoid anymore side panel screw-ups. Not sure whether I'll keep the side panels or not, the edges are pretty bugered up around the bottom. But we'll see how this goes.
Front panel removed as well as some blocking. Going to replace the blocking with 3/4".
For right now I'm going to try glue and some bondo. May change my mind later and just cut new sidepanels.
Removed the old shaded plastic overlay from the scoreboard slot. It was pretty scratched up and had some paint spots in it from the old painted-over Scoreboard.
The old worn plastic LED display bezel. Looks like shaded overhead transparency material held on by some light glue. May be hard to find a replacement.
Tony Etzler again comes through, said he had two spare CP's and offered them to me. To say the least I took both! Thank you thank you Tony! The blue CP seems to not fit the cabinet, just an 1/8th or so difference. But the upper fits like a glove.
Comparing the two there are minor yet major differences. The one to the left has a better fit to the cabinet. Where the right one seems wider. Also notice the upper CP bracket differences . The right CP is also a beefier sheet metal. Looks like an original stick included.
Decisions decisions, which one to restore to DL. Not sure but it seems the right one is a reproduction and the left OEM. Either is going to take some work with hole filling and with the left, hole filling and unbending some minor kinks and hoping they don't show up.
Removed these CP brackets. I don't think these are original at all.
I'm not real happy with this material. It's so thin. Here's after removing the adhesive and sanding begun. Still some adhesive lingering. The piece is a little warbled because of it's thin metal. It could be made to work though with a hammer and anvil.
Checking out the other CP, I come across this. Looky what's underneath. Screenprinted directly onto the piece. This is an original.
Can't imagine anyone drilling holes in a DL for a karate game. After adjusting the mounting plates the piece fits good and snug. Lots beefier metal than the other. I think I'll use this CP, but it still needs some work hole filling.
It's not all warbled and it's made of a stronger material. The other must be some cheap reproduction work because the material is definitely not the same between the two. Well it's off to the sandblasters to get this down to the bare metal first before repairing the holes. Shame to lose the original screenprinting.
New chipboard cut 3x4" and stapled in position. Apparently this holds the plexi in place from sliding up under the Control Panel. I placed this level but may have to move it up if it doesn't work out.
Holes sealed with elmers wood putty both inside and out.
bondo used to seal the crevice at the previously broken joint.
Looks like a job for Bondo here on this front corner.
Going to remove both these boards and recut new. Also needs a set of leg levelers as well as new foot nails.
Bottom rear corner looks pretty bad. Matter of fact the whole bottom looks bad. Pretty rounded out on all corners and bottom edges. Have to get good clean edges for the covering material to bond well.
Keeping the old front panel sections handy for accuracy in cutting even though I have all the measurements. Couldn't get any verification of measurements from www.dragonslairproject.com. Nobody wanted to check my measurements. Odd, they ask for cab plans-yet noone can check a single measurement.
4 Nail plates having their nails removed by the bench grinder. These will serve as underlayment before bondo'ing the control panel.
The Laserdisk rails removed and cleaned. A shot of silicone lubricant along the tracks, wheels and bearings.
Speakers having been cleaned with the kitchen sinks' sprayer. Lightly towel dried and left to air dry.
Bondo applied to entire bottom most portion of the cabinet in layers. Going to have to flip the cab to get the other side of this front corner.
The front bottom corner gets some special attention.
The original Dragon's Lair monitor. No monitor frame came with this monitor.
Picking up my Stargate project near Cleveland, the gent had given me this monitor with a badly busted neck tube and board with heavy burn of Pacman on the front. The frame from this monitor will do nicely. Guess it pays after all to be a pack-rat.
Monitor transferred to frame.
Cut new wood for the bottom Marquee using Jeff Kinder's plans. Needing some 5/8" ply for the top Marquee.
New stock 3/4" ply cut for bottom of cab.
New stock 3/4" pressboard Front Cabinet Panel cut.
New 5/8" plywood cut for the Top Marquee.
Sanding down the entire right panel.
Putting the groove into the side panel for T-Molding.
Test fit of the front panel to cabinet. Going to have to cover this first before making it permanent. Needing the last tool in the cabinet shop. A Router. Would prove very useful for finishing this piece off by cutting out the coin-door.
Getting near time to order some covering material for this ol' girl. Flipped the cab over on it's right side to work on the left.
Blocking stapled to the lower marquee.
Old blocking removed and replaced with new pine on the inside sidepanels and the bottom of the speaker panel.
Call me silly, but I threw a coat or two of Kilz sealer on the bottom of the cab for added protection.
Portions of the rear cabinet get a good inspection and Bondoed some rough spots as well as the rear access panel.
After the primer coat I then applied a couple coats of Glidden Black Exterior Latex. Afterwards I then applied 4 gliders and nuts for the Leg Levellers. Found the Nuts at Lowe's and the Glides at Meijers.
Also sanded down and painted the rear access and the upper marquee panels.
The upper and lower support panels also recieved a coat of exterior latex.
Table saw and router used to build a new panel for the cabinet's pull-out drawer that holds the laserplayer. The original had been hacked up pretty good.
Routered the coin-door entry.
Resoldered the video cable to the connector.
Looks like there's some damage here to this video board. Looks to be a horizontal width coil of some type that will need replacing.
Control Panel being stripped down to the metal. Crossing fingers I can find a CPO now that Philippe Bourbon is giving up on repros.
Terrific looking Cinematronics Coin-door label sent to me from James Goiffon with just a request for a donation of your own choosing. Sent me two of them. One for my Space Ace project and one for this Dragon's Lair. Thanks James!
07/28/2003 Recieved the Dragon's Lair Marquee from Arcade Renovations. Absolutely beautiful piece of work and well packaged. Needing the CPO and Sideart to complete the set.
Recieved the Leg Levellers from Arcadeshop and ready to install.
A little soapy water created with some Dawn dishwashing detergent and warm water. This should help with minor adjustments when applying the Marquee to the plexi.
And here we go. You just have to dive right in and gathering alot of testicular fortitude beforehand. I probably put a bit too much soapy water on this plexi and the artwork starting off.
This really had me worried as I started from the left and worked my way right. It was really way too sloppy, but eventually and while wiping across the top with a damp towel several several times, it finally began to set.
It did help however that the plexi was clear as you could see where the air pockets were and gently ease them out with your hand from the opposite side.
Trimming excess material from the overlay using the plexi as a guide.
Finished trimming the excess material off.
The finished product. I'll have to admit I was sweating bullets for a while. Be careful not to put too much soapy water on when you do it.
In keeping with 'restoration' I replaced the staples with new. The original purpose of these were to keep the nuts from backing out. I used regular staples and rebent, cut and form them individually to the desired length. Using a hammer to drive them in, all 8 were applied. This was a huge waste of time as you'll see later on in the project. One of the staple-nuts came right back out after moving the cabinet around a bit. Don't waste your time with this. Use the Leg Leveller brackets as sold by Arcadeshop.com. Yea, 4 bucks a piece x 4 , but they're very durable and provide the tops in hardware strength and will STAY there.
The arcadeshop Leg Levellers were then screwed into the nuts. It's now about time the overlayment material arrives from my friend Jeff Kinder over at the dragonslairproject.com. If there's anything Dragons' Lair you want to know, he is the man to see!
The overlayment material arrives from Jeff Kinder.
Jeff had precut the material for my front panel and marquee. So I was able to just lay the material over and begin applying it.
Front Panel turned out beautiful.
Left Side Panel covering begun. Started application at the bottom and worked my way to the top being sure to keep all air pockets out.
Left Panel finished and looking like new. Right Panel was then completed in the same manner.
Decided to recover a portion of the inside towards the front Panel of the cabinet.
Covering complete.
Wood Glue and Staples used to fasten the front panel to the cabinet.
Covering being placed over the last remaining piece. The lower Marquee wood.
Piece finished, trimmed and ready to be placed in the cabinet.
Lower Marquee wood stapled in place.
Upper Marquee then secured to the cabinet.
Completed recovering the cabinet. Cabinet restoration nearly complete. Have to apply new T-Molding and start working on the laser player drawer.
Wiped down the cabinet interior with an armor all wipe.
Cabinet looking pretty fresh and new.
Speaker grills repainted. Unfortunately while drying a white haze formed. After going to weather.com it was found that the humidity levels were at 93%. I'll have to sand and repaint these.
Robbing the Cinematronics coin door off the Space Ace project. Pretty dinged up and a couple holes drilled.
A shot of the wiring for reference in reassembly. This harness will remain with the Space Ace unit but it's a good reference.
The LED indicator board fastened to the rear of the Dragon's Lair cabinet with two screws.
LED indicator secured awaiting me to find some kind of tinted covering material that goes over the top. Need to find a source for this stuff.
Discovered a new use for a butter cup cap. Sanding the Cinematronics logo clean for the coin-door insert.
Switching gears to the Control Panel. 2 Ton Epoxy used to fasten a few plates to holes that are later to be filled in by bondo.
2 Plates finished and the application is going smoothly.
Finished with the epoxy application for the inner CP plates. Allowing 8 hours to dry.
Stapling the monitor bezel in place. Yea there's a little bit of moisture on it as I just wiped it down with a wet cloth.
Test fitting the monitor plexi. Very snug fit. Going to take this inside for a good buffing and polishing with some Novus #2. Found that I really should have used a 5/8" piece of wood rather than the 3/4" I made previously to hold the plexi in place.
Bondo applied over the non original holes that were drilled into the Control Panel.
Electric sander used in sanding the bondo down. 80 grit sandpaper from Walmart at $4.00 bucks for 3 sheets. Sheesh-and they say low prices..always? But it's good stuff so I stick with it on all projects.
Second coat of aluminum applied to the control panel. Sun dried. Lima currently has an infestation of japanese beetles imported to kill some other pest. Now THEIR the pests. Took the work inside shortly after this shot as there were just too many flying pests looking for a landing area.
Test fit of the control panel.
The Control Panel Overlay from Arcade Renovations arrives! Very professional and care in packaging.
A beautiful piece of artwork. I ran this and the control panel down to SignPro graphics for them to apply it.
Prepared the work surface for the sliding drawer. Removed the old hacked up rear panel and about 50 staples.
Blocking material and new rear panel cut and routed.
Staple gun and carpenters glue used to apply the blocking material and rear panel.
Added the ply stopper to the rear drawer panel. Something that wasn't there when I recieved this cabinet. Now the drawer stops when it's supposed to.
Outer surface primed and painted.
A beautiful control panel test fitted onto the cabinet.
Side panel screw hardware wire brushed and painted.
Took some information off the air filter to try and find a replacement. Eco-Air 10x15x1
Finally the last piece of Dragon's Lair reproduction artwork arrives. Well, almost. Still needing a Scoreboard repro plexi.
The old Masking tape positioning trick. Positioned it where I wanted it around 16.75" from the Top and 2.5" from the rear.
The Lamination roller did a fantastic job of rolling out all the bubbles. A sqeegy would pull on the label too much. Learning from past mistakes I only applied enouph of a mist of glass cleaner to coat the rear of the label lightly. I did not apply more to the vinyl covering. I initially rolled any bubbles out with the protective covering over the sideart.
Afterwhich, the protective covering was carefully removed and another heavy roll to get out any remaining air pockets.
Cabinet flipped and process started over again with the other side. The old masking tape positioning trick. Cut the bottom half of the adhesive backing off, adhering the bottom half, rolling any air pockets out, then removing the top half of the backing material.
Lightly coating the exposed adhesive backing with glass cleaner for the top portion.
Removing the protective covering and preparing to roll the other side.
DOH!!! So much for the experimental application of the original hardware. I rebondoed this and redrilled the hole then repainted the surface. Hammered the staple nut in place. If this doesn't work out I'm going to have to pick up some regular leg leveller brackets from Arcadeshop.
The finished sideart as applied to the cabinet.
Monitor mounting brackets fastened to cabinet with washers and snug tightened. I was careful not to overtighten as to allow the bolts to turn, this would wrinkle or blemish the sideart.
Monitor mounted in cabinet with 1/4"x 3/4" bolts, washers, lockwashers and nuts used to secure the monitor to the mounting brackets. Since the monitor and hardware didn't come installed with the cab there was some guesswork used here in what size bolts were originally used. Very difficult to install as there's very little to no finger/hand room and we wouldn't want to install the bolts upside down now would we?
With the help of Daphne I'm able to actually play the Dragon's Lair Laserdisc as if it were the game. This gave me a good accurate method to test the disc and player seek times rather than just watch it full length on a regular TV set albeit somewhat clunky and not as responsive as the full arcade cabinet version.
No video problems at all. No scratches and no problems. Laserdisc and player (LDP-2000) test out great!
After revisiting the Air filter issue I called the ECO-AIR company to find they had no stock, wanted me to call another office on the east coast and that they were able to make a custom filter. That spells=$. Talked with Michael Fox on this and he found this site Complete Air Filter solutions and I tend to opt for the HI-E 40 at $5.95 per filter. Seems the best replacement for this part. After all these cabinets are not air-tight but this may keep the worst of the dust out.
Michael Fox, a one stop complete source of information on Dragon's Lair components also passed along that Gainger carries a replacement fan filter. Part #4YD78 for around $3 bucks. Thanks Michael!
Tony brought over some parts from a Dragon's Lair project he had around Christmas time. Despite my best efforts with Novus #2, I couldn't get all the imperfections out of it.
The volume and coin counter switch was part of what Tony had brought over. Here is a shot of it before any work. I've seen images of this with a brushed metal appearance however this doesn't appear to have or ever had that finish. A bit of rust and decay has set in so it's off to the sandblaster as soon as the parts are all removed.
After blasting, priming and painting I reassembled the unit as it appears here. I placed the default off location of volume switches directly downward.
The rear of the unit. Noted from a few other pictures that the coin counter gets attached to the main volume switch harness molex connector.
Here the pins have been inserted positive and negative into the top middle and center left rows with male pins.
Moving right along, the Dragon's Lair coin-door is sandblasted to remove the old and worn powdercoating.
Sandblasting finished, the frame and coin-door are coated with primer and then sanded. Bondo applied to defective areas, hardened and then sanded. Final coat of primer applied to surface.
The coinbox after sandblasting, is primed.
Coindoor and frame are both applied with crinkle coat paint. An experiment as an alternative to powder coating.
Coin door and frame are reassembled. A coin-door lock will need to be purchased yet.
Coindoor and frame are placed into the unit. The harness will be built after the main harness is applied.
Scoreboard plexi arrives from arcade renovations, packed with care.
Rails arrive from Byron Reich byron@hdbellmore. Compretty raw looking, but a great reproduction nonetheless. Hard to find item but he makes them himself.
Rails painted with $14.00 Harley Davidson aerosol crinkle coat paint. I didn't really like the results of the other $7.00 paint store aerosol crinkle coat paint so this is a further experimentation. Had to hit it about 3 times from a distance to get a spatter pattern before any texture started to appear. Someone on rgvac suggested using a stone textured paint first, then the overcoat. I'll have to try that next time.
Marquee mounted with new rails. Drilled holes for screws that were dipped in gun blueing solution a few times.
Correction: Not hard to find; IMPOSSIBLE to find a suitable replacement material. Sample of the material sent to a photo house out of Canada for matching. Planning on buying some material in bulk if they can. Then cut it and resell it for this purpose.
The used old DL scoreboard plexi. Perhaps someone else can use it.
A great replacement joystick for Dragon's Lair from Valco Sales and for only $18.95 it's a real bargain! An added bonus is the lack of a brass retaining shaft that was nearly impossible to get off on the old one. Complete with all 4 leaf switches.
Beginning the process of joystick assembly.
Stick mounted with carriage bolts.
A shot of the finished mount.
Recieved a sample comparison from a distributor for the material that sits between the scoreboard and LED. Original is on top. Light meter testing revealed a 2 stop difference between no Poly Filter and with. The original is slightly more brown tone, but age could cause this. This is the closest match yet.
Didn't know this before but the fan for a Star Trek pcb cage is the same fan used on a Dragon's Lair exhaust. A Torin T450. This will be pulled and placed in the Dragon's Lair cabinet.
The TA450 fan was removed from the Star Trek board casing. Cleaned and tested with a 110v power supply. Placed in service inside the DL cabinet with 4 new 6mmx2.5" stove screws and nuts as purchased from Menards.
The outer protective cover for the fan also was attached as purchased from Grainger.
A strikingly close match to the bronze tone of the original Dragon's Lair scoreboard material. The material still has the white backing attached before applying. The main difference here is the material rigidity. It is a melleable vinyl material. Each sheet is cut 8-1/2 x 6" and can be purchased here.
After the protective backing is removed, the new covering material is applied by about 1/2" coating of Elmers rubber cement on either side of the scoreboard panel .
Scoreboard plexi is test fitted. Need to pick up some carriage bolts of the proper size. 10-24 x 2"
Dragon's Lair power supply arrives from Quarterarcade.com. Looks to be in excellent A1 condition.
Ordered 100 10-24 x2" carriage bolts, washers and nuts from Fastenall on Thursday. They arrived the following Monday. Perfect match for the DL scoreboard/speakers. I haven't been real pleased with the Gun Blueing method. You could never get the polished look and it took 4 times longer than just painting the screws. Got the speakers, grills and score panel mounted to the cabinet.
The finished score display panel.
Applied new leather T-Molding to both right and left panels.
Fabricating a 12x12 plated steel sheet for the power supply/isolation transformer mounts.
An original galvenized plate from which to make a template and drill the holes with the drill press. The original plate came from a Space Ace project cabinet.
The conversion standoffs were removed from the cabinet and new grounding plate test fitted.
Beginning the wiring harness phase. Mounted the volume control and coin counter.
Coin tray gets a shot of rustoleum Semi-Gloss black.
I wasn't real happy with the grounding plate that I'd made earlier that mounts to the side of the cabinet. The material just wasn't thick enouph and would tend to sag with the weight of the PS and transformer as it was mounted to the inside cabinet sidepanel. I ended up taking what I had, the original SAand the created sheet to a metal fabricators to have them make an exact thickness replacement sheet. The PS mounts perfectly to it using carriage bolts.
Some (4) nylon spacers were used to prevent the power supply from bowing as it was tightened to the sheet metal. These were purchased from Lowe's and are 1/2 x .375 x 5/8.
Did some research on the power outlet and found that DigiKey still distributes an original manufacturers part #6EF1F. The original is from a SA project that will be put back in place. Now, as far as power is concerned, all that remains is an interlock switch. I'm not sure why an interlock switch was used in place of a normal on/off switch. Going to look this up some more.
An order to Mikesarcade.com later, and I have the proper 2 Red and 2 White short buttons and 4 leaf switch button holders. They fit perfectly on this control panel.
Buttons installed and the control panel finally has all it's parts except for the CP harness, which I will need to fabricate.
Fabricated new power inlet panels for the missing one on this cabinet. Laser Cut precision from an original on another cabinet to be restored to a Space Ace.
Mike's arcade's safety switch is just a hair larger than the original. The laser cut CAD file for the original power panel was adjusted to accomodate this switch.
The switch fits perfectly in this new panel. If you need a new panel for your cabinet I had extra made and they can be purchased in the online store.
Panel assembled. I found the appropriate hardware at Lowe's. 4-40 x 1/2 SS Machine screws Pan Head Slotted. #4 Lock washers internal tooth. 4-40 Hex Machine Nuts stainless. The only difference from original was that the original screws were phillips head.
Power inlet panel placed into service on the restored cabinet using two carriage bolts. Power outlet to the right and the center prong faces upward.
The power assembly is mounted to the left side of the cabinet using 4 carriage bolts.
9ft computer power cord purchased from Office Max.
Brand new Barrel locks installed on both the front and back doors of the cabinet. Found a good source for these at R&D Lock & Key just around the corner. 10 bucks a per.
Dragon's Lair Main PCB. Actually never got around to snapping a picture of this until now. Embarrassed to say at this time that I THINK Tony provided this gem. Gave it to me I believe around Christmas a couple years ago. By the time I finish this restoration, it'll need restored again! But, this is what happens when you start from scratch and one part at a time.
I believe the very last thing I need to get this fired up is a complete wire harness. Found this golden nugget over on Quarterarcade.com for $125.00 plus shipping. A brand new reproduction Dragons Lair wiring harness. If I could read the original schematic a little better and had an electronics shop local to me I'd probably make it myself.
Whoops! Can't forget the LaserAce laser disc conversion kit. Probably go ahead and get the Sony LDP power adapter too. This little baby runs $225.00
Package arrives from Quarterarcade. Well packed and prestine condition. I did notice the designer used a cherry switch much smaller than Mikes' Arcade's cherry switches which I designed the power plate after. I swapped out the smaller unit.
Apparently not as complete as I had hoped for. No harness for the Coin Mech or the Control Panel.
From what I've been told by Shaun Woods, this wire is meant to go to a Space Ace expansion board. So it's unused in Dragons' Lair.
Didn't find a connector on the main harness for the fan power.
This pair is coming off J2 of the power supply. This leads to pins 1 and 2 of the secondary/isolation transformer. From there, pins 3 and 4 lead to the monitor power.
The Control Panel and Coin Mech harnesses both have this molex 9 pin connector. I'll need to find the mating connectors for these to get both wired up.
Really not certain why this fan even has a molex connector on it. I removed this connector and spliced into the lamp voltage.
The Roms all say 4(1-5)-B on them. Talked with Shaun Wood and he feels that they may just be sloppy handwriting and should say U1-U5 on a Rev. B pcb. Good to know what Revision your boardset is. I'll have to look it over more closely and see if it says anywhere on the board.
Yay! We have Marquee lights. Neck tube glow. Monitor now has power, but no video signal.
This is the current hookup from the laserdisc player directly to this Encoder board that is mounted just off to the left of the picture tube. Note the empty connector on the bottom left. I'm not sure what goes here.
Youtube Link
Is this right? I soldered the white wire to the second encoder board contact. But would like to varify that this connection is good. Only the black wire existed before. Still no signal to monitor though from the lasermax.
Youtube video of Dragon's Lair current state. 1 beep, then 1 dual tone. But this is without power to the laserdisc player and no video from the pcb. Not sure what this proves, but the pcb seems to be functioning at some level. There is no LED on this pcb to show it's functioning.
I couldn't get it to work right running directly from the switch and line filter to the fan. Looking over the Magicom wiring harness guide I found both the lamp and fan came off of PS2. So, I just tapped into the lamp harness to get my 115v. The fan is now running properly. need to figure out which direction of airflow yet though. I'm thinking blowing air out. Click on image to enlarge
Molex connectors arrive from Molex.com and were in business for creating a Coin Door and Control Panel Harnesses. Here I'm creating the harness using 22awg wire, crimp on clips and a 9pin molex.
Coin door now finished. Lights up beautiful, but not getting any coin up to the game. So something may be up with the DL pcb.
The 3rd Brontosaurus laserdisk player. LDV-8000. Apparently this works with the LaserCon LDP Player conversion card that I have yet to purchase. I'm going to leave it packed up until ready for use.

I recieved my Jameco order for the ribbons and connectors for the scoreboard.

Mfg Jameco Catalog# Mfg#
AMP Tyco
525325 746285-3
Jameco Valuepro 643831 171-16-10

 

With very little guidance on this step. And restorting to my IT experience, I knew the red stripe signified Pin 1. Pin 1 is usually the bottom left of any pcboard. I could be off but as long as I hit pin 1 on both ends or variably both like pins on both sides. Even if I were 100 percent backwards it would still work.
Pin 1, red stripe to left bottom. Now to give her a try.
Well I think that's the result I want.
Picked up an RCA audio video cable. I couldn't find just a video cable by itself so I had to buy this, then strip the red and white lines off completely.
A gold plated RCA to BNC male converter. I know, the cable's not gold plated, but you do what you can do, it was only a buck more.
Now to test, a standard dvd player hooked up to the NTSC card. When powered up, I found the G07-CBO video cable leading from the NTSC was not plugged in. I plugged it in, smelled burning and saw a resistor heating up white hot on the chassis. Powered down. Apparently it also powered down my dvd player, so I'm getting some feedback in the line. Regardless, no video. Ordered a G07-CBO cap kit to start with. This monitor needs some work.
Ran a brand new cap kit and upgrade to the G07-CBO. Reinstalled the Chassis to find that it still did nothing for the video. Still getting a black screen.
I checked what had been turning white hot beforehand R522. It seems to be ok now. But may need to replace that resistor.
To check out the NTSC board, I removed it from the G07 and placed it in service in another cabinet, pacman, known to have good video. Plugged it in, plugged in the DVD player. To find that I got the exact same result. black video with some lines towards the bottom of the monitor. It would appear the problem is in this NTSC decoder.
I have good 16v at P102 pin 1. All resistors look fine. No burn marks on the board. The only two things it can be is the actual BNC hookup or this TDA3570 chip. A 28pin $17.00 chip from Mouser.
Won an ebay auction for an NTSC decoder. Recieved it and compared it to the other card.
This finally shows me how this is wired per OEM factory. I also tried this card in DL and found I got the same result. Pulled the DVD player and hooked it up to a TV and found that my video had gone out on the player itself. WTH did that?
Recieved a replacement TDA3570 chip for a couple bucks on Ebay. The guy even threw in a socket for it. Nice.
Picked up a new $30 dvd player, hooked it up and got a good video signal. Here the DL cabinet is powered up and playing Battlestar Galactica
Closer view of the screen while a dvd is playing.
I finally committed the $150 to the LaserCon card after being contacted 3 times by Shaun Wood on his 3rd run of Lasercon Conversion cards. I had to drop out of an Asteroids Deluxe complete, non-working to afford this. But I figure, get what you have fixed first before picking up more projects. As it is, this is a 7 year itch that needed completed.
Unpacked the Lasercon conversion card. Very complete with great instructions to follow in it's installation. Everything you'd need to get a DL going.
Readying the Dragons Lair PCB for some work. First had to remove all the nuts from the Eprom board and secure the Lasercon with it's included risers creating a 3 board stack.
5/16" nuts reinstalled and lightly secured. Looking over the instructions for the next step is to place the connection with the included ribbon cable to the main control board.
Going from Pin 1 to Pin 1 of the lasercon. I also secured the +5v as suggested to the leg of resistor R22. I am now ready to go. I powered on and found that the Laserdisc would freeze on the elevator sequence - wth?! Is it a bad Pioneer LDV-8000? Holy crap! Reminds me I never tested this player.
Hooking it back up to the TV, same results. I break open the top cover on the bench and clean the optics. No improvement. Go into service mode and find an option to Re-initialize the Eproms. Doh - it cleared everything out. So I go back in and set 4800 baud 8N1 comms. This worked on the TV, now getting attract mode and full play of the disc. Now if it will communicate with the lasercon.
It's just playing the entire disc at random. Taking a look at game Dips, I set it all for default. I then set the Lasercons' dip switch opposite as it came to me, meaning it's now set for a PR-7820. Whalla! Dragons lair now plays the attract. EVERY 10 SECONDS. Ok, gotta turn sw1 - 1 to off, so it runs every 8th sequence. Much better.
Still need to recap the NTSC card I believe. Way too much Chroma and washed out colors. I also need to create a socket to plug in the laserdisc player inside the cabinet. And I also need to create a CP harness. Am I ever going to get done with this?
Created a control panel harness with the helpful page of Sam's Dragon's Lair. Very good documentation and a smooth procedure.
Wire ties clean up the harness. It's now ready to mount.
Now to get the Laserdisc player running off the cabinet's power. I had all the parts onhand to create a 120v socket.
Tapped into the line filter and it's running great. The next stop will be to try and figure out why the monitors colors are all washed out and why the chroma effect? I also found a portion of the laserdisc that is having difficulty, the lizard king sequence. I've looked over and cleaned and polished the disc, but not seeing anything wrong with it.
I was getting alot of skipping in one particular area, the lizard king, probably developed a problem with the laserdisc, but it led me to also check the Eproms. I found all but the 1st eprom had bad checksums. So I then erased them all to reprogram them. Going with Rev. C eproms initially to see if that helps however I may in the end go with the Enhanced because I'm never getting the bridge sequence I used to back when DL was new. Still may need to buy another Laserdisc if I can't find the bad spot, if there is one on the disc.
After erasing the 5 Eproms, 2764's I found that I could not reprogram them. Always got an error within 2% of writing, which then led me to have to re-erase. Ordered new 2764's from arcadechips.com
I had to send the board off to Shaun Wood at Lasercon as for some reason, I lost my beeps and the disc is skipping. Shaun offered to take a free look at it. Ended up costing $50 to get the Eproms sockets and 40 pin ribbon header replaced. I know that kind of operation takes alot of tedious work. But the laserdisc has a bad spot on it, which is causing the skipping. Looks like I'll have to find yet another DL Laserdisc. Thanks Shaun for helping me so much with this.

The old NTSC card needs some TLC. So time to run a cap kit on it.

C101-100uf25v
C103-10uf25v
C108-2.2uf100v
C109-10uf25v
C110-10uf25v
C111-10uf25v
C113-10uf25v
C114-10uf25v
C115-10uf25v
C127-.22uf50v
C128-.22uf50v
C129-4.7uf50v
C130-.22uf50v
C131-1uf50v
Cap kit completed. I was able to run this cap job using caps I'd ordered for the Zaxxon pcb caps I'd ordered some time ago. I had many spare.
For some reason the monitor was now out. I decided to replace the original flyback with brand new. Purchased this from Chad at arcadecup for $25.00 shipped.
The old original flyback before removal. Really not sure if this is all that bad, but I've never done a flyback before, so good learning experience.
The brand new flyback in place and ready to go. Now to throw the chassis back into the cabinet and give it a try.
I really had to mess with the decoder adjustments ALOT to get a great image. I think this cabinet is about ready to button up and place into service finally.
I played a few test games, but honestly I'm needing alot more practice even to get to the lizard king level once again. I think I finally hit the spot that was skipping with some Novus #2 and it seems to have resolved the issue. Hopefully this disc is not going to ever skip again. They don't make them any longer.
Powered it on a day later and the monitor was dead again. Even after replacing all the caps and flyback. I ran through a bit of the G07 flowchart. Tested a few voltages and decided to replace both chassis transistors. Here, the 2SD870, the Horizontal Output Transistor (HOT)
These buggers are not easy to replace. You have to unsolder and resolder wires directly to the transistor legs - crazy.
Swapped out the 2SC1106 power regulator transistor as well.
During some voltage measurements I accidentally grounded a ceramic resistor leg to the chassis frame, which blew my F901 small pigtail fuse. Replaced this and ordered a few extra to have on-hand.
     
I now have video again. Lets hope this covered the problem finally. The worst feeling is turning on the arcade room switch and having a down game.
Monitor is dead yet again. Much more of this and I'm going to replace it with an lcd. Pulled the G07 chassis and tried replacing the HOT and 2SC1106 power regulator. No result. Both fuses are fine. 120v from the line. More voltage measurements. I should not have to cap this again this soon. The tube is not charging and no neck glow.