The Tron Project

'A Good Game Gone Bad!'

Started: 08/01/01 / Updated 09/03/10

Won an auction by Troy Smith on Ebay for $200.00. I was going to have this shipped but I guess he was heading to Toledo for what was called a 'Super'Auction. We met and transferred the cab there. That was my first auction experience. Didn't buy anything while there. As you can see I probably couldn't have gotten anything more on the truck. My cart is sitting behind Tron.
At the stroke of midnight I arrived and backed into the driveway with my treasures.
Yes there's only one strap, I'd just unfastened the other. The pickup had the cleats on the freakin bed of the cab. I unloaded both cabs myself. Being the hour I couldn't call anyone for help. Lesson #1: Get help unloading and loading.
Tron converted to a Regulus. Why on earth? But hey it actually works!
My friend Carey checking out Regulus and after a single game was sick of it already. Agreed: This puppy needs converted back to her glory days.
A couple of tests with 3m Safest Stripper. Seems to be removing the sideart as well! Yikes! Stopped using the stripping pad and tried a cloth to no avail.
Time for this trash to go. Removing the Regulus sideart. All references to Regulus being removed.
Piece by piece the cabinet is stripped down.
First look at the Main PCB. Hmm, I don't think Tron had that RF box originally. Not sure.
Oh Lord, the main wiring harness has electrical tape on it. Looks like I may need a new harness.
SJust a hint of some burn in. I'll clean it up and use this as a starter monitor for now just to make sure that when I plug it all in, it works, and that it's not something I did with the monitor. If it all works, then I can look about a new monitor.
Oh No! I can't believe it! Now THIS is going to be a very hard piece to find. The back graphic is shredded with 3 large chuncks missing.
The Power PCB looks in great shape. A little something going on at the top of that black capacitor.
Power Transformer looks like it needs a good cleaning, other than that it's been proven to work.
Started in on stripping the old Regulus CP with just a scraper.
The TRON logo is gone. Not sure what's under the black. Wishful thinking to hope that a TRON was underneath. Probably used a Magic Marker to remove the Tron logo.
Well the stick sure isn't going anywhere. These security torx are dialed in pretty hard, so hard in fact they've cracked the plastic.
A good cleaning is what this boy needs. Now to go to Sears maybe and find a security torx to fit it.
Used and abused. Rust below the joystick and inside.
Well that about seems right for this cabinet. One layer down, one to go. There's the original 1980's Tron overlay that was only partially removed by the guy who shamed this cab with Regulus. He either ran out of steam or Adhesive remover. Gotta get that stick off of there.
Someone on Usenet, sorry I can't remember who, suggested that using Testers Paint thinner works and keeps the sideart intact and swore by this practice. As you can see above, this simply is not true. Apparently the sideart of Tron is just too delicate for anything. Looks like this could be a major undertaking.
Tron cabinet stripped of all parts, packaged and labeled.
Just after getting a bath. Man was this cab filthy on the inside. Found a quarter dated 1994 inside.
Adjusted cab for sunlight. Wiped her all out real good with a few clean rags and got the standing water out. The humidity finally broke in Ohio.
Hmm, this looks promising! Found this on the deck of the cab after washing it out. It's more like a Tamper resistant Torx than a hex bit. I don't think it's the right tool but I'll try it.
Finally managed to get a few screws out of the stick getting one side of it off. Commenced to cleaning it thoroughly. I still don't think that torx tool is the right tool, but it worked for 3 of the screws. The other two are solidly in place and I'm having trouble getting them out.
This is disturbing. It looks like paint to me. There must have been a separate Tron insert or something or maybe it's been removed permanently. In any event, no Tron underneath. I tried the Testers paint brush cleaner and it didn't remove a thing. Hmm. I'll have to come up with something for this.
Well Testers Paint thinner DID get all the black off. Looks like the plastic insert was sanded first to remove the old Tron logo. Well at least it can be used for template material.
Well there's one born every minute. A fool and his money are soon parted apparently. You can't make it out, but the plastic insert sold on Ebay for $86 US dollars.
I don't care who comes to the defense of the buyer, a piece of plastic less than 2 inches is NOT worth a pile of cash. Now were worshipping plastic that is 'MINT'. I tell ya this hobby gets stranger and stranger.
Now one may call me frugle or even cheap, but you have to admit, this is the cost effective way to go. I'll look into a local pro-printer shop to see if they could put this on some better material first. If worse comes to worse I'll just have them print in on a plain piece of paper using a color laser printer. I'll still need to make a cutout of some plexi for the outer covering.
An appropriate tamper-proof kit purchased online with the Widget company for $9.95. Finally arrived and the complete joystick was removed allowing work on the CP to take place.
Control Panel stripped of all material and adhesives. Bolts supporting the joystick and spinner assy's appear to be made with an evident inner dimpled surface. Should prove interesting when applying the new CP overlay.
Actually had to buy an entire sheet of plexi just to get the proper thickness of material. It was less than 5 bucks as it was damaged stock, if you look at the bottom left you can see the damage. Good deal for my purposes.
This less than 2" piece was cut from the new stock.
After being charged 3 times for crap printing, and the image being slightly darker than it should be, this other image works much better. Had it printed at Walmart photo lab, trimmed and then applied it to the cabinet. Click on the image to download it.
Couldn't use any adhesive spray as it left a visible residue. Just inserted the cutout and bezel inside the stick.
The actual stick was wire brushed with a grinder and painted. Plastic tubing used in place of the metal coil to protect the wires. No metal coils available or known to be manufactured.
Old rusted and wallered out tamper proof screws replaced with new tamper proof screws courtesy of the wonder guys at Lima's FASTENALL. They can match any screws, bolt sizes, you name it; and damned affordably. Bought a hundred of these at around 30 cents each since their so hard to find. Had to paint them black though. Can't get them in black.
I was informed after Roy (chumblespuzz@home.com) took a look at this page, that what I'd thought was a capacitor was actually a corroding battery that would eventually ruin the board. I immediately swung into action. :)
Removing the battery connectors with a soldering iron. Apparently this can be replaced by a 3.6v cordless phone battery. I'll later attempt to create a housing that can be mounted separately into the cab and wire it into the board with a disconnect perhaps.
The bad battery and agent of destruction has been removed. Bad battery-Bad! While I was at it I also dipped the board in the tub and scrubbed the layer of crud off afterwhich I blow dried it clean.
The Coin Door looks a little aged.
You can't really tell from this photo but there are a few areas with some visible rust. Have to stop it now before it progresses.
This reset/bumper switch has a pretty bad kink in it. Going to have to tweak that out.
Stripped the door of it's parts and is ready for sandblasting.
The coin chutes here show some wear and a bit of rust.
Visible rust on the springs, pins and the device on the lower right. Going to use my dremel and some steel wool to remove it and then shoot it with a coat of paint.
Again, rust is evident here. Dremel and steel wool to remove it and a shot of paint.
Coin return switch looking pretty sad.
Completed coin mech.
A shot of Silicone lube on each mechanism's springs and pins.
Developed this replacement for the old scratched up and worn front emblem for the coin door. This is available in the For Sale section.
Again with the damned Orbs. Well anyhow you can see by the side of the cabinet it's pretty well scuffed up.
Layed the cab on it's side and removed the T-molding to get at the side material a little better. The Tron T-Molding is a leather type of texture not black smooth that I just ordered 240' of..
This one's my fault. The result of unloading the cab by myself almost loosing it.
Odd material on the side. You can see here I'm removing the decal as it's unsavable. But what interests me is the backing material doesn't seem to be vinyl as I thought it was beforehand.
Damn, 2 of the mounts for leg levelers are missing. No leg levelers at all. I thought it sat kind of low.
Some rust starting on one of the two LL mounts.
Removed the Wheels and Leg leveler mounts. These parts will be sandblasted and the wheels sought after to be replaced.
Ready to start! Bix Stripper is used to remove the old side-art
The first coat of stripper is applied to the side-art.
Yes, it pains the heart. Making progress with stripper and spatula.
After an hour of steady work we got the side-art off. That's Carey towards the bottom of the cabinet. Jumped in his car and dropped in to lend a hand. He's using steady application of Goof-Off and paper towels to remove the black spray paint at the bottom of the cab. Surprisingly, many of the scuff marks and damage to the cab never made it past the paint.
All that's left of the side-art. It took 3-4 coats of stripper to completely remove it.
The remaining adhesive is removed by using adhesive remover bought at Lowe's. It took 1 coat and a couple minor dabs of remover and goof-off to completely get the adhesive off.
Side 1 finished. I'm surprised at how remarkably well preserved the old material is. There are a few orbs in this shot otherwise it came out better than I thought it would. I'd thought I would have to go down to the wood itself and recover. We'll see yet.
Side 2 now prepped for removal. Just want to be sure and mention there is a strip of carpeting underneath the cab that it's laying on.
Again, Bix Stripper for the decal.
This shot probably demonstrates better the amount of scuffs and abuse to this cabinet.
Another angle shows that it doesn't stop at the bottom. The scuffs and scratches go all the way up the cabinet.
This after about 2 applications of stripper to the side-art decal.
T-Molding removed from the cab.
Both sides successfully stripped of all spray paint and decal adhesive. Again I'm surprised at how little damage is underneath. There are some spots where it did get through the paint. I'll need to touch those areas up.
The inside left front. Very bad damage. My friend Randy in the background there gave me a hand with side 2.
inside right front in just about the same condition.
Grrrr...right over the top of a decal.
Bottom front of cabinet. Going to fill the two holes left and right of the coindoor opening.
This bottom floor molding needs replaced.
Floor molding removed. Going to look around and see what I can find.
Elmers wood putty used to patch holes left by door security latch.
The inside corners of the cab are in really sorry shape. Sanded down the left side.
Same thing going on on the right. Did a minor wood putty repair down towards where the control panel rests.
First shot of paint on the left. I tried Semi-Flat, but it didn't match very well so I went with a High Gloss black. It was better but you could see significant details under the paint.
Completely resanded the side again and removed all traces of the original black on the first layer. This was better. Used primer on the first coat this time and sanded once again, then finally gave it a shot of High Gloss black.
End result. It shines pretty well. Doesn't look too bad at all. Only thing to complete the restoration is new decals for the inside. Nothing available yet.
Right side turned out real good too. I also sanded down the decal where someone decided to express their affection for another. Shot it with Flat Black. Here it's still drying.
The rear access panels are prepped for painting. They are pretty scuffed up. A couple minor repairs with wood putty.
Light fixture cleaned and put in place.
Speakers both washed down using the kitchen sink sprayer to get the crud off them and dried.
Speaker mounting screws not looking so healthy. Dremelled with wire brush to knock the rust off.
Painted the screws with high gloss black.
Polished the CP latches to a high sheen.
Control Panel mounting brackets washed and dried.
Dremel with wire brush used to take off outer crud.
Sanded both CP brackets to get to the bare metal.
Shot of primer
Speakers mounted.
Probably some very rare bolts and washers to find, so I'm going to reuse them. Got the trusty Dremel out and commenced knocking off all the rust with a wire brush attachment.
Fresh coat of semi-flat black Krylon.
CP Brackets painted smoke gray. After drying for an entire day (Rustoleum paint) they were mounted.
This displays the direction in which they mount.
CP Latches attached.
The marquee light is brought in for some work. Removed all components from the plate metal. The plate metal is then sanded down.
Primed and painted glossy white to deliver higher reflectivity.
Reassembly of the flourescent fixture.
Mounted the marquee light to the cabinet with the original screws. Remember that the Tab goes upward into the groove.
Paint Pen used to spot any minor imperfections in the cabinet.
CP strut primed and painted smoke gray.
CP strut mounted between CP brackets.
Cashbox bracket primed and painted smoke gray. This Rustoleum really takes a long time to dry folks.
Cashbox mounted with hardware refurbished earlier.
Shot of Krylon gloss black was too shiny. Gave a second shot of Semi-flat and lightly buffed with a shop towel.
Backgraphic flourescent fixture brought in for disassembly.
Krylon gloss white used to enhance reflectivity of lamp.
Backgraphic fixture reassembled.
Backgraphic fixture mounted to cab.
The backgraphic fixture turns inward to fit in the groove. There are more flourescent fixtures in Tron than any other game. Important to keep their locations straight as it is not clearly defined in the manual.
Inner mounting cover bracket for upper blacklight assembly primed and painted smoke gray.
Attached the upper blacklight inner mounting cover bracket to the cabinet.
Lower blacklight fixture brought in for disassembly.
Hmm, someone's been playing here. Incorrect bulb retainer found. I know, the electrical tape should have been the tip off.
Didn't have any other bulb retainers. Had a 8.00 lamp on hand and still in the box. Used this bulb retainer.
reassembling the bottom CP fixture after painting.
Tricky installation. You have to attach the bottom CP fixture to the bracket before inserting the bracket into the cabinet. You can then bolt down the top of it with 3 more bolts.
Installed upper CP fixture and installed a flourescent black light bulb.
Upper CP and LAST flourescent fixture brought in for some work.
Used a hot air gun to loosen the glue on the old reflector.
Removed the old reflector and used it as a template on poster board bought from Walmart.
Template made. Hole placement annotated as well as folds.
Yardstick used to create tight and straight folds.
Poster board painted with a chrome finish.
The final fourth light fixter. This assembly goes into the upper CP.
Power supply washed up. Cleaned and blow dried.
Uh oh, wire showing. Going to have to make another run to Office Max for some wire. I figure 9' is plenty. I know they have it because I used it on my Warlords project.
Didn't notice this before, but the starter was missing. Glad I bought a stock of them. Had one on hand.
New 15w starter inserted.
Reflector put into place and glued onto the fixture with hot glue gun.
Replacement reflector and fixture restoration finished.
Mounted the last fixture to the cabinet. Blacklight flourescent bulb installed.
Cover cleaned and installed. Colors are a bit faded in the line graphics but there's not much you can do about that, that I know of.
Upper rear access panel finally ready for some paint.
Bottom rear access panel going to get it as well.
Painted both doors with Rustoleum gloss black enamel and hand roller. Turns out, after drying they look a little too shiny. They look clean, but just different. I think next time I'd like to do a Flat Black. I'll leave well enouph alone on this as the paint is doing it's job of protecting the wood. Maybe in about another 20 years.
The left side gets new black leather textured T-Molding. Had no idea it'd take almost the full 20'. Ordered another 20' from T-Molding.com. My next purchase from them should be a 250' roll of leather texture.
Now here's something you don't see everyday. The T-Molding on this cabinet just pushes into the seam. No rubber mallet needed. Too loose. Matter of fact it's so loose it pops right back out at any bend. I used a hot glue gun to place a line of hot glue on the inside of the T-Molding where any instability exists. About 6 shots worth.
Right side complete. Waiting for T-Molding. Com to ship another 20' for the left side. Don't want to stand the cab up yet to flip it over as there are no feet for it yet. Waiting for Leg Leveler mounting brackets (2) to arrive from Markline vending.
I originally noticed a little scuff in the paint towards the upper left side panel on the inside. Thought it would come out with a little Goof-Off. Instead I started going down to the original paper. Apparently this had been painted before. Going to have to repaint it.
A shot of primer and 2 coats of Krylon High Gloss later it came out really well.
Got chided a little by those seeing I painted the Warlords project's power supply mount. To be honest if I let the rust go, it'll just progress and reduce the lifetime of the part and spread to other parts. This is exibiting the beginnings of rust formation. This is one of the better areas. The top of the unit looks much worse.
Primer coat on the mount. I attempted not using primer originally but ended up using Goof-Off to start over. It wasn't drying properly for some reason. Probably something underneath the paint although I did sand it very well. Soap/Water/Dry and then a shot of primer.
Fresh coat of Krylon Semi-Gloss black.
Ok, were getting into the wiring harness phase. In this case, the yellow portion of the Tron harness is completely shot. It's so cut and hacked up I can't make out what went where. Trying to undue the Regulus conversion.
Wires cut, with no apparent mate anywhere. Electrical tape strewn throughout the harness. What a mess! Anyone want a Regulus harness???
The Green portion of the Tron wire harness is A-OK. It appears to be untouched and untampered with. One thing I do notice however is that there are no covers for the door switches. This should go in quite easily into the cabinet.
Recieved the missing 2 leg leveller brackets from Markline Vending Plus alot of other stuff! I cleaned up and sorted all this other equipment. Thanks for the Extra Mark!
Painted the Wheel wells and Leg Leveller brackets gloss smoke gray.
Painted the coindoor and Marquee retainers. For the coin door I went with a Semi-Flat paint. The Marquee Retainers I went with a High Gloss Black.
Received the 2nd black leather T-Molding from T-Molding.com and finished the second side.
Went ahead and repeated a step on the opposite side, painting the upper a Gloss Black.
All 4 leg leveler brackets/ Leg Levelers mounted and unit brought upright.
Wire Harness (Green) being placed and arranged back into cabinet.
Monitor placed in the unit and bolted down.
Coin Door Frame secured to cabinet.
Coin drop placed into unit.
Bezel and dark smoked plexi mounted to monitor housing.
Windshield assembly put into place awaiting security screw pickup at Fastenall.
Got to the last screw on the dash and it just turned, turned and turned. No nut on the bottom side. Went looking through where I put nuts/bolts/whatever I find in the bottom of cabs and I actually found the missing nut.
Installing the nut by tightening the screw thus drawing the teeth of the nut up and into the wood.
Dash installed.
Powered up the unit to check flourescents.
Had to replace the starter on the backgraphic lamp. Also replaced it with a brighter lamp.
Not sure if this is right or not, looks cool as hell though. I used a blacklight in the bottom as well rather than a white flourescent. After looking it up in the manual I later replaced this with the original white flourescent.
The reflector is doing a wonderful job here.
Side shot of the Tron Upright. All lamps are a go.
Have to get that control panel taken care of.
After knocking the rust off the axles and cleaning them up I decided to throw a little grease on them as a rust inhibitor.
Actually found perfectly sized replacement wheels. These are also hardened rubber whereas the old were plastic vinyl.
Wheels and brackets mounted.
Control panel patched to conceal dimples in surface using metal filler. Also patched holes drilled for the Regulus game info card.
About the 3rd coat. Surface ready for painting.
Control Panel primed with two coats.
Final coat of flat black has dried. Last step remains. I need to pick up the Tron Control Panel Overlay now.
The Backgraphic arrives from Ebay Seller Fantasygames over in South Bend, Indiana.
Backgraphic mounted but not stapled yet. May check with a screenprinter to see if they can reproduce this artwork.
Ground strap stapled to base and up the divider.
Not sure right now exactly how this routes to the control panel after going over the divider.
Recieved this bottom kickplate from Azarcade, fella I met on Usenet. Advertised price was 45.00 and being I was out of work, heart attack at 39 and Christmas around the corner he just sent it to me and said Merry Christmas. What a guy! Thanks Azarcade.
Diagnostic/Volume Switch panel screwed into place.
Coin Door Harness and CP controller harnesses screwed into place.
Power Cord replaced with new. The old had chaffs and cuts with some exposed wire visible. New cable soldered into position and tested.
The CP overlay arrived from the wizards at arcadeshop.com. I only get one chance at this so, OK, so I'm a chicken! I took the overlay and the Control Panel to Sign Pro here in Lima and had them professionally apply it. Costed me 5 bucks.
First be sure to stick the shaft into the CP and assemble it as one unit. Otherwise you'll have to take it all apart again. Wires resoldered to micro-switch and outer stick assembled.
Completed assembly of joystick to CP and the buttons are leaf switch type.
The CP didn't pull down very snug so I slapped on a couple rubber feet after several attempts to bend the latches more. This then caused it to bow as it was being pulled down too much. I removed the feet. Removed the latches and gently bent the latches for a more snug fit. That seemed to get it. Not sure what may have caused this.
The ALMOST finished CP. Still needs a spinner yet. Found one on an auction I won on Ebay for 63.00.
Won the Ebay auction for QuarterArcades' Tron Spinner. Costed $63.00 plus shipping costs. In retrospect probably not a steal.
Nothing short of amazing. You pay hundreds of dollars for products that are rust covered and worn. And they're advertised as being in good condition. Not dissappointed though. Happy to have found and gotten one.
Removed the old aluminum cover. Must have been off a Tron mini.
Recieved this from another auction on Ebay where the guy is reproducting these himself. Can't remember the name. Much later on I found one produced professionally by Arcadeshop.com that uses a much more accurate color scheme and material.
Replaced that old ugly red thing with a spiffy new Tron decal. May in the end replace this later with the Arcadeshop label which comes closest to the original Tron spinner decal.
Fresh coat of Rustoleum after sanding the units down and getting all the rust off. Inserted a wad of newspaper into the bushing to prevent any overspray.
Spinner mounted to Control Panel.
The last step for the control panel will be the CP wiring harness. Nothing to go from or start with so it's best if I just find one for sale.
And here we have the Tron PCB bought from Rich Chifici for $86.00 US. Met Rich on #rgvac. The package arrived 06/05/2002. Notice on the outside of the box is written 'Tested Working'. Nothing could be furthest from the truth as you'll see in the next few frames.
No hardware at all.. No Standoffs. No Ribbon Cables. Just 3 PCB's. Gee thanks Rich. We'll see about that tested and working part in the next few panels. Not only is it missing chips, but those that are there have the pins bent clean underneath between the socket and chip. Oh, and the sockets. 3 of them came clean off the board during chip pulling to clean and reseat. A real nightmare board.
Nylon Wire connectors used as standoffs for the entire boardset. It worked wonderful for the backboard, but the frontboard had too much of a gap that it wouldn't seat correctly in the cabinets' slots. Had to come up with something a little different.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. The top board standoffs were created using a Lollipop Kit. They were nylon, and were approximately the size of the pc screw. They were cut to fit.. This ended up not working out because the screws could not hold the nylon reliably.
This is a shot of the jury rigged standoffs. The rear worked great, but the front nylon standoffs eventually fell off after handling the board a few times.
The wiring of the pcb begins. I am now awaiting a 5 pack of 50 pin SCSI cables from Bob Roberts. He even said if he found some other standoffs he'd ship them with it. He cross-shipped again for me meaning that the money and pcboard crossed in the mail. It is essential that I get this pcboard tested rapidly.

The cables arrive from Bob Roberts.

$31.00 for 5 SCSI cables shipped. Embarrassingly I'd lost my job during this phase and then finally after sending payment the check bounced. Had a really bad experience in this transaction and got put on Bob's Bad Trader List. Finally got a Money Order to him but not after enduring vehement and volatile attacks via #rgvac. I'm tellin' ya, watch these folks! Hateful and obnoxious.

Well the SCSI cables are attached. The video cable is plugged in. The MCR audio board has not arrived as of yet. Every time I buy something from a Canadian it takes forever to get it here. But we can test this puppy for video just to see if the PCB is working properly. Now for the moment we've all been waiting for and near the end of this project.

Ok, that figures. I must have re-attached those SCSI cables a dozen different ways. Still no go. It looks like Rich Chifici's PCB's labeled 'Tested & Working' were tested by some monkey on a banana break. It's the PCB's. Deader than a doornail.
Brian Jones shipped me a new set of standoffs as well as 5 original Tron cables at no charge. Thank you so much Brian. A very helpful, gracious individual!
An old wives tale that the battery has to be plugged in, in order for the game to work. Tried it, didn't make a bit of difference.
Pulling, cleaning and reseating every removable chip. I used electronic cleaner on the chips and sockets. Missing chips G11/F10/B3 from the Super CPU board and A10 from the Super Sound I/O, which I guess is supposed to be missing. Also a pin was bent over, underneath a chip as it was badly seated. This board could never have been tested working.
Bumped up the +5v setting on the power board to 5.20v so that I could get a 5v reading on the filters. There is some degradation of voltage over the harness. Almost half a volts' difference. The delaminating ribbons are in place in this shot. I removed the SCSI cables as I wanted to isolate possible problem areas. Plugging 10 pins into a 50 pin cable can be confusing. Top Row/Bottom row?
MCR Audio card finally arrives from Canada just in the nick of time. Bought this for around 10 bucks through Ebay so I'm praying it works.
MCR/2 audio board mounted to cabinet with 4 screws and plugged in. When powering up the game, an audible pop from the speakers is heard. Perhaps a good sign?
Recieved the harness for the Control Panel as purchased from Coin-Op Amusements.

Harness looks terrific. No odd wires, none too short, looks completely OEM and in good condition. Thanks CO Amusements!!

Wiring the player 1 and 2 buttons up. Good thing these are labeled.
Finally got all the old cruddy solder joints and wires off the joystick. Wiring up the stick left, right, up and down.
All my efforst failed to revive the Tron PCB. Mr. Richard Chifici's 'tested and working' Tron PCB shipped out to Richard Cross of Ontario, Canada for repair. One of these days I'll get to repair my own boards. Being the computer IT industry went caput I may just change trades to Electrical Engineer vs. Network Engineer. For right now, during this period it's Walmart Department Manager. Here's wishing Richard Cross better luck than I had fixing this boardset.
Finishing stapler used to secure the new reproduction Midway kickplate as purchased from Arcadeshop.com.
Richard Cross comes through! The Tron PCBoard has been repaired and is shown here on his test bench functioning as it should.
Although he'd probably deny it, the guy is a genius. But he won't tell me all his secrets of how he does it. Great PCB tech. You can contact Richard at rcross@tbaytel.net
Recieved a new reproduction Bally/Midway coin-door label courtesy of James Chaudrue of Philly, PA. Total cost $13.00 shipped. Excellent piece of work James.
Coin-door label applied using the labels' adhesive backing. Looks great! Now if I could just get my boards back from Richard. It's been 5 weeks since I shipped the money?
Darin Jacobs comes out with fantastic reproduction sideart for Tron. Cost is $170.00 plus $15 shipping. Gonna have to get me some of this! Click here for his wonderful site.
Again Darin comes through with some fantastic reproductions. This time, of the inner-cabinet artwork. These are really quite beautiful. Cost is $45.00 plus $10 shipping. My artwork isn't too bad off, but I may spring for this just because of the little love note left behind on mine that I touched up.
The PC Boardstack arrives back from repair by Richard Cross.
After what I thought I finally establishing a 5.25 voltage this is the screen. Not good.
Being how difficult it is to establish a 5.25 voltage. Sometimes I get .37 other times .87. Almost seems like a loose wire except that I've checked all the wires. Something either in the PCB or the Power supply board. Well at least were getting some kind of video...damn this project. It's been a real battle since day one. You have to give Tron credit here though. It's trying to come up. Key acronym: VDC.
And here I go merrily running around in circles trying to find the problem. Noticed a jumper missing on JR4. Replaced it with new. No influence on the 1.8 voltage. Clipped and later removed this as it was not OEM even though the board supported it.

Using regular staples as replacements for the solder in jumpers after checking voltages. Conductivity didn't seem to be very good. However this step still didn't help. Getting a consistent 1.8v with no pot adjustment from the power board at all. Unable to increase voltage to 5.25v to the pcb. Jiggled C102 and voltages then went up. Pots able to adjust, but not low enouph. VR102 lowest setting is 7.2v and VR101 only brings the 12v down to 24v.

Voltages jumping wildly. Now we've got 24v instead of 12v. 7.2v instead of 5v. Replaced the Capacitors on the power board at C106, C102 and C101. The transformer is putting out odd voltages. Ground used was the service outlet negative.

Top Row
Label   0 12 0 115
Actual   3 3 128 244
Bottom Row
Label
0 105 115 125 E
Actual 120 10 1 10 120

Thanks to Luke Dyson, gentleman whom viewed my tirades and frustrations on usenet, informed me that I needed to take readings from the 0v posts themselves as the ground. Below are my voltages using VAC on the meter. Seems the problem is on the power board after all.

Top Row
Label   0 12 0 115
Actual     12   120

 

Luke also clued me in that I had to use VDC not VAC, for voltage measurements off the board, not VAC as that was throwing off my measurements. I had replaced both Pots as 1 tested bad. After replacement VR102 is not adjusting voltage. Getting 2 volts to the Tron PCB. Held up by 3 lousy volts. At least VR 101 is adjusting the 12v by about 2 or 3 volts. VR101 is dead. Broke a trace perhaps. I've looked it over a couple times and used some jumper wires, but I can't seem to isolate why VR101 is dead. The pot itself tests good. Ended up throwing the old back in as the new had acted the same.

Good voltage and adjustment at C102. VR101 behaving itself.

Checked voltages on R201. Getting 10v on one side and 1v on the other. Perhaps another trip to Radio Shack for a 270 Ohm, 1/4 watt resistor. No such luck. Of course Radio Shack doesn't have the needed transistors, capacitors, resistors or anything like that. But boy they sure have televisions, telephones and stereos! Sure am glad they carry those things. Can't get those anywhere else! First place I think of when I need a television! I wouldn't know what to do if I just couldn't get my daily soaking and overcharge for a common item. But I make up for it with $4.99 capacitors and $3.00 resistors when they DO have them. I give them about a year or two more of life. Any Radio Shack employees reading this...your CORE business is located in 3 drawers in the back. Wake up!

 

Tony Etzler dropped out with his known working power board. After first hooking it up still no go. Dropped from 6 to 1 volt at C106. After checking for loose wires again at the main board connector it came up 6 volts! One of the pins or logic board components is loose. Game came up. Last problem: the image is upside down. All controls worked wonderfully all buttons worked. Game played great except for being reversed image. So 3 problems. Power Board 2-3 volts. Loose connection at logic board and display upside down. Have to nail these one at a time.
Richard Cross was generous enouph to cross ship a fully working MCR power supply board as I ship mine out to him for repair. Board sent out to Thunder Bay Canada.
Recieved a new MCR Power board from Richard Cross just in time for the weekend AND while I was on vacation! Awesome!

 

PS plugged in, took a few meter readings. Adjusted to max of 5.5 and 12.5v. Plugged in the main logic boards and wham, down to less than 1.0v. Examining the main pcb connector my thumb happened across a VERY hot screw at the board edge. Can you believe this interconnect screw was shorting the entire board? Well that's the theory anyhow. After removing this screw the game has come up consistentently at 5.2 volts and operational. Running without this screw for now...on to the next problem and last. Upside down video-and yes the monitor is installed rightside up.

The tube and chassis are obviously orientated in the correct position according to the manual. It is not upside-down.
This is the real culprit here. Someone before me in their conversion to Regulus had changed the original monitor harness. The Verticals and Horizontals are reversed to the yoke.
Time for a little dremel work with cutting bit.
Sliced the yoke H and V connector in half. This was probably not the original stock connector but honestly was a good hack job. So much so it wasn't noticeable at least until you got Tron back in the cabinet.
Both Horizontal and Vertical wires reversed in order. Blue to Red and Green to Yellow.
And voila! Tron rightside up and playing.
It took me a bit over 2 years to complete this project. And still there are things like Sideart that remain to be picked up before it really is complete.
But Randy and his wife don't seem to mind. They jump right into this restored cabinet.
Ok, first it was "I haven't played this in 20 years". Then during supper it was, "Boy that stick felt so tight."
Here, let the expert in here...naw you just suck. :)
Just a few wrap up items left. Stapler used to secure the board divider.
It's been a very difficult deconversion from Regulus. Right from the start things started going wrong even from first unloading it. Buying a completely trashed Tron pcb that was said to be good. Buying an MCR II power board with horrid acid damage, Sideart not surviving the black paint, chopped up harness unrecoverable.
I couldn't have done it without Richard Cross. The man is amazing. I got just a little help on rgvac, more attitude than anything else honestly. It was through Rgvac that I met Richard though and Thank God for people like him who really go out of their way to help. Thank you Richard.
Thanks to Jeff Destross for sending me the pcb retaining bracket for the cost of shipping only. I've run across those that are real money hungry wanting upwards of $20-$25.00 for the minorest of things such as this bracket. Been a while trying to find one of these, probably a couple years.
Unscrewed the wood from the metal bracket and sanded her down good. Took years of crud off and then primed and painted the piece.
Retainer reassembled and finally set in place. Holds the PC Board snugly in place.
The Tron Sideart arrives 09/28/04.
I opened up the box and oh NO!! The artworks been folded, and crimped. 3 Dimples left in the artwork from where it either looks like it's been punched or something heavy sat on top of it.
This flash shot doesn't show it very well, but the damage is clean into the white vinyl backing.
It's a shame. A real darn shame. For some reason I was thinking there was also a protective covering over the artwork but evidently not.
Thank you Darin! Shipped me a completely new set of sideart. Great Service with Phoenix Arcade.com and a fantastic product! Been waiting a long time for this moment. Measured out 1" to either side and about 1-3/4" from the top, front and back. I then secured the sideart with painters masking tape at the bottom.
Peeled back the upper portion separating the backing. Took a razor knife and cut the backing material off. Now I am laying...ooops! Damn! Panic Mode. I didn't pull it tight enouph and it overlapped onto itself. I am sweating bullets here and swearing like a sailor. Finally though I did get it without ruining the material. Whew that was close. Ok, Spray a little soapy water down on the material and pull it taught towards the upper cabinet and laying it down.
I then used a hand roller as purchased from Home Depot from my earlier Dragon's Lair project and rolled every last bubble out from under the artwork.. Time to peel the backing material from the bottom and repeat the procedure.
After removing the bottom backing material I was sure to brush off any material that may have been on the bottom portion of the cabinet and then spraying the artwork with soapy water before pulling and laying out the artwork. Be careful not to use too much spray, just a little goes a very long way. If you use too much, the adhesive material looses some of it's adhesion properties.
Bringing the cabinet upright and at an angle to the window I was then able to take a needle to gently poke a hole in any remaining air pockets that still existed and rubbed the air out completely. I repeated the very same procedure for the opposite side of the cabinet. I did wait about 15 minutes to let it set before I brought the cabinet upright each time. This sideart really sets off this cabinet. She's a beut isn't she?
Lost all audio on the board and found THIS! Game plays fine but no audio at all. Ordered replacement parts from Digikey.
Recieved the parts but I sure don't like the look of these replacements. I foolishly installed a choke here rather than the appropriate inductor. This of course, did not repair the audio. 2x Cap 50v .01uf axial ceramic x7r Digikey P/N 1103PHCT-ND and 1x choke RF Molded 10UH Iron Digikey P/n M10081-ND both parts were Digikey recommended replacement parts. According to the manual 10UH Molded for L115. .01UF 50v Ax. Cer. for C133 and C134.
Replaced the stupid choke with the correct part; a 10UH Molded Inductor. Meh, you have to wonder about digikey techs. I had provided him all the info including pictures and original parts list and still he matched it to a choke. At any rate, replaced it, plugged the board in, game comes up, one pop on power up from speakers and then nothing. Well that didn't work. Power game off, came around back and smoke is rising from the boardset. It again cooked the inductor. SO there's another problem causing this somewhere. Took a toothbrush with isopropyl to clean up the mess after this shot.
After going over all three boards with a fine tooth and comb I finally found the problem at diode 101 on the audio board. I hadn't seen this before. It exploded a 10mf25v axial tant at C172. It had died shorted. Cleaned this carbon scoring up with toothbrush and isopropyl. Removed the offending capacitor entirely without replacing it.
Another new inductor placed in circuit. The correct part number and where it can be ordered for L115 10UH Molded Inductor is Mouser P/N #70-IR04EB100K

IT LIVES!

Cranked up the volume and placed back into service at the Arcade. Friend of mine commented that he felt the volume was too high and said I should turn it down. I responded Hell No - this thing is going to sing it's little heart out.

Recieved the order from Bulbster.com for a blacklight white bulb that is appropriate for the lower panel. I'd used a straight Black Light Black before and it's just too dark to notice. The appropriate bulb is a EIKO F15T8/BL.
Opened the coin door. Removed the Control Panel and replaced the old Black Light with the BLW. Wow- what a difference. NICE!
Recieved the shipment from Rich@thisoldgame.com in preparation for the Tron Legacy Movie.
An absolutely gorgeous Encom Marquee. This looks absolutely stunning.
I am so proud of the appearance of this cabinet. I also recieved the Encom Plate for the coin door, however I'm thinking of using magnetics as that old Midway/Bally plate was hard to find in and of itself. So, I'm going to attempt to take that plate to Signpro and see if they have a magnet that can be cut to fit that plate.
     
Such a colorful cabinet in any arcade. I am seriously considering a theatre display of this cabinet. However, I would probably opt for it being roped off to the public. It just took way too much to bring this back from it's last public exhibition.
     

Repair Log

Symptom
Diagnosis
Repair Tech
Cost
Date
Game Plays. No Audio
Blown 10UH Molded at L115 and .01uf50v Ax Cer at C133 and C134. Components replaced. Incorrect Choke pulled and placed appropriate Inductor. Tron Blows inductor. Found 10mf25v cap blown shorted at C172 on the SSIO board. Removed offending cap/ replaced blown inductor. Game placed back in service at the arcade.
Rodney Massman
 
06/30/10