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Messages - vrAx

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Galaxian Theater / Re: Another new Starblade owner
« on: June 03, 2013, 09:45:13 PM »
do you notice any 'interference' in your monitor image?

It's probably the power supply.

IIRC, It's just a common 9-pin supply, they're available for $45 in the USA from Happ or Betson.

Galaxian Theater / Re: Another new Starblade owner
« on: June 03, 2013, 09:54:46 AM »
Ahh right.. the older flashboys run the wires through the holes. Flashboys from Galaxy Force are like that as well -- I was always able to pull out the PCB screws without having to pull the reflector whenever I pulled those apart, but the tubes are often pretty tired anyway since they get so much use. They smartened up a bit and just notched the reflector in the newer units, so it's easy to remove (after Ushio bought Tokyo Xenon, I guess.)

That's nice the monitor looks good! Unless it's been swapped, it should have a K7000 in it. They often have color bleeding issues when turning up the contrast, which can be problematic in Starblade. Some monitors are more susceptible to bleeding than others though.

It's easy to say this, coming from anybody with experience.. but monitors are pretty easy, all things considered. It's always just discharging the CRT that can be scary for those not used to it -- electronic failures beyond aging caps are typically limited to only a couple parts in K7000 & earlier monitors. If you have a working one, just swapping the caps will be trivial to anybody used to pinball board repair, once the chassis is out.

If you haven't done so, I'd recommend capping it; that monitor is over 20 years old!

If I get this soon enough, I'll have to get the stickers scanned for you :)

Galaxian Theater / Re: Another new Starblade owner
« on: June 02, 2013, 09:56:59 AM »
Just stick with CRT. the LCD is still basically interpolating those "crisp polygons" to fit it's fixed pixel display anyway ..much like a CRT's shadow mask.

If the tube is serviceable, just rebuild the monitor and it'll last a long time anyway.

I'm just catching up, but when you see flashboys with the "frosting" or some brown gunk visible in the lens it's just leakage from the flash cap. It's always the caps.
as long as the tube isn't silvered or browned-over, it's fine. Starblade and Galaxian Theater use similar flashboys, and the tubes aren't really hit often enough to really have worn them out.  The only ones I've seen that ever really need replacement are the tubes in the flashboys from Galaxy Force that flash continuously 5x a second for years.

It looks like you've desoldered the tube on your pic.. just stick it back in, but make sure you wipe it clean first to get your skin oils off it. Considering they aren't fired that much, I'm sure just regular low-ESR caps are fine in a a Starblade flashboy for home use, in lieu of photoflash grade (lowest ESR posible, so they don't get hot and possibly leak sooner.)

I was actually in a Galaxian Theater a few hours ago and all the flashboys in it were working fine.. not much else in it worked.

You've already figured it out, but these are similar screw-base ones, before & after with tubes & caps:

I saw that thing on the MSP CL, and was in Minneapolis for most of December of last year -- was thinking of grabbing it and just stuffing it in the hangar until I could drag it back to the east coast. I didn't think anybody would actually buy it! Glad it found a home.. I had one for 12 years and am already missing it.

Galaxian Theater / Re: ## Road Trip ## GALAXIAN THEATER from NAMCO !!!
« on: April 18, 2013, 08:09:48 AM »
Quote from: uncletom
And "... digital projectors are only going to have extremely limited geometry adjustments, if any at all.. "

-  I really had no idea about this. Since the G3 screen is curved, would two DLP projectors be able to project a seemless picture then? And what about the throw distance, are the CRT projectors generally better in this aspect? It would be a nightmare if you'd swap the CRT-prjs for some LCD/DLP ones, and discover that you cannot fit the size, being it too large, or too small.

Digital projectors are bouncing light off of or passing light through a rectangular panel -- all of them; DLP, LCD, LCOS, etc. The shape of the panel cannot be physically changed. What this means is that if your screen isn't flat, or you're projecting off-axis, you will not be able to get a nice picture with a perfectly even geometry. More expensive digital projectors will have the the imaging device mounted on motorized pivots so you can mechanically adjust the panel to be off-axis inside the projector's light path, so you can correct for off-axis projector mounts before it passes through the lens system. This still only provides limited adjustments; basically strictly "keystone" adjustments.

You could find digital projectors that would project a nice picture in a G3, but if you want something with a good black level (and you do), you'll spend 150x more than you would using old CRT projectors that will still align better.

Depending on the projector's electronics, a CRT projector can draw the beam wherever you want it to on the CRT face, so they're ideal for stuff like this. The Sony 10xx series are about the most basic projectors out there, and even those can be very easily tuned-up for good alignment.

Darth: you're going to have to intimately familiarize yourself with those projectors (or, CRT projectors in general) to really dial them in nice. There are probably videos on YT on how to converge the Sony 10xx projectors, maybe even adjusting G2 & color drives. Considering they're basically the most common projectors ever, there is a lot of info out there on them. You should do all of that..

And search the forums on that site as well; lots of good info on those projectors.

..but, if you have 2 spare projectors already, you should just pull the original ones and use those. The tubes are likely going to be in far better shape. I only suggest this because you really will have to just start with fresh projectors, one way or another -- don't keep those originals in there, they are too tired by now -- both the tubes and electronics will have 10-15k+ hours on them. ANY Sony 10xx projector will drop right in there. The model # isn't really going to matter; they mostly denote inputs/voltages, and are basically identical inside. As long as the input voltage is right, they will all display the video signal since it's just standard 15.7kHz.

Galaxian Theater / Re: ## Road Trip ## GALAXIAN THEATER from NAMCO !!!
« on: April 12, 2013, 08:47:19 AM »
Historically, color-corrected CRT projectors tend to have a more accurate tracking of color. These days, good digital projectors that cost around $3.5-5K USD are basically just as good. Now, considering this is a video game -- it really isn't critical. It's just nice to have some vivid red on the screen! CRT projectors have no fixed-pixel structure (like a shadow mask, or a digital projector) -- they're just painting the beam on a solid plane of colored phosphor, so they can naturally "bleed" the colors slightly, which is desirable.

..but what IS critical is your black level. You can see on the G3's screen now how the images are sort of washed out and some color won't turn all the way off.. With a properly set CRT projector with good tubes, your blacks will be exactly that: no light whatsoever on the screen. The color will really pop and look fantastic.. For an "environmental" game like G3, it's really important.

Unless you want to spend a LOT of money on newer digital projectors, any reasonably-priced or used digital projector is going to have comparatively  poor black levels. Also, digital projectors are only going to have extremely limited geometry adjustments, if any at all, as you can't alter the shape of the digital panels it's projecting from -- it all has to be done mechanically. So, even though G3's screen is curved, there are likely still some keystoning issues that you would not be able to adjust-out, but I still think it would look fairly acceptable. What isn't acceptable is how much you'd have to pay for good projectors with good black levels -- and how long the bulbs or the units themselves last.

Here in the USA, Sony VPH-10xx projectors are pretty easy to find, and if you have to pay more than $50-100 for one, you're being ripped off!
The people that want to use CRT projectors these days need them to be able to display 1080p, and only the high-end models that cost $20-50K a few years ago have value these days since they are the only ones that can actually display it. The rest are junk to nearly everybody, but exactly what G3 needs.

Galaxian Theater / Re: ## Road Trip ## GALAXIAN THEATER from NAMCO !!!
« on: April 11, 2013, 11:49:14 PM »
Sadly I don't think so, because the blue *always* ends before the red and green. It is because the blue phosphor is the least durable of the three.

Yeah, depending on the projector, the blue or green will wear the most. Your eyes don't really need to see much blue and green in nature (sky, grass), red is the most important.. so the B & G CRTs are driven harder and will wear faster. Since video games have static images, the tubes will also burn.

Fortunately for all of us.. nobody wants CRT projection anymore. Also, the Sony VPH-10xx series projectors are about the most common units ever made. They're also some of the cheapest.. which in projector-speak means that they use lower-end CRTs and don't have terribly tight focusing ability.

This is good and bad.. because when blowing up 15.7khz images on large screens, if you have really good focus, your screen will actually be less bright, since you will actually see scan lines with empty space between them. If your tubes have poor focus, the beam will be hitting more phosphor, and putting out more light. It's common practice to electrically defocus your blue tube for exactly this reason (NOT optically defocus, because you aren't getting more light by doing this).

I wouldn't bother re-tubing those projectors.. they are already going to have high hours on the chassis as well. Just completely replace them.
Personally, I would replace them with Barco 701, 708 or Cine 7 projectors (also re-labeled as Runco DTV-940, 943, 947, with the bonus of a black-painted casing). They are much brighter and still nice and small enough that they should fit into the same space as your 1043s. They are also totally-digitally controlled units, so you can set them up using a remote and PERFECTLY align the left and right screens. The Sonys are analog-units, you have to converge them by tweaking trimpots -- they are far less precise, less bright, and more likely to have convergence drift.

Personally, if I would have a CRT projector, I would buy three completely new tubes. Red, green and blue. Because the use of the projector / games in private will never ever become as intensive as in public environment. They'd last me my life time after the change.
And, you would set the contrast/brightness level to optimal, instead of as in the arcades on maximal.
.. also, I'm trying to find out if there's a 'sweet spot' where to keep the intensity output, to maintain the CRTs health as long as possible with a minimal compromise in the picture brightness.

Yes, It would be ideal to run the projectors at lesser contrast levels... but if the game is only going to be on for a few weeks a year, I would probably just leave it set to look as good as it can.

I'm sure you're not considering it anyway, but DO NOT put any digital projectors in that thing! first of all they won't be able to gracefully deal with the throw geometry, and the color will not be as brilliant.

This post is already long, but considering it's my first: I'll say that I've been following your progress on this thing, and it looks amazing! I am an expert with CRT projection so I can offer you some guidance if you need it.

Personally, I want to own a G3 someday as well.. and as long as they would fit, I would install Barco 7-series projectors with external line-doublers. It would look far better than new.

Within the last 2 weeks I just replaced all 24 CRTs in my 8-player Daytona USA Special, I haven't seen a single 50" screen look that good in years.. much less 8 of them, all aligned with each other and color-balanced.

Your priority should be to swap the projectors out, or the tubes at the very least -- you'll wonder why you never did it sooner!

Also, stockpile some extra projectors whenever you find them cheap.

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