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Author Topic: Another new Starblade owner  (Read 28253 times)
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2013, 10:08:03 AM »

Got a price quote back from a shop that can make an exact duplicate of the dome, better than I expected.
Not getting much interest from anybody else, so I'll just be doing a single piece for myself, but I have no problem sharing my source at all.

The company name is California Quality Plastics, and the website is www.custom-division.com
Contact I had was mholguin@calplastics.com


-Hans



Wow, no-one in the US interested either ? Maybe some guys on the KLOV forum ?
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HHaase
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2013, 04:14:24 AM »

Wow, no-one in the US interested either ? Maybe some guys on the KLOV forum ?

Tried there too, they said 'Hey, have you tried dragonslairfans?' 

No worries though, at least I was able to track down a place that can make more anytime somebody needs one.

-Hans
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2013, 11:49:53 PM »

Yep, very cool !
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uncletom
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2013, 09:46:30 AM »

Awesome, awesome, awesome,.. and awesome! Quality never goes out of style, even though some external details may fall off or crack, the program, hardware and good looks are eternal.

I actually had an intact mirror a couple of years ago, I gave it away to a friend nearby as I disassembled my Starblade, and a year later he binned it.

Let me give you one more clue where to find a mirror; you know these superspotlights? The big X000 Watt lamps that can light up the sky at night, they use a similar mirror (reflector) to amplify the light. There are several sizes I think, I'm not sure about the material, they should be real glass not to melt by the heat, or some special plastic ones. As for the radius/curvature you will have to speak with them. I think they manufacture these superspot reflectors in both America and EU. It should be just a piece of plastic single mold casted, black with the same shine on both sides.

I know that there's a large one like it outside the casino in Monaco,
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HHaase
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2013, 04:56:35 AM »

Finally, I get to start working on my starblade!  It has spent the last few months in storage, waiting for us to move into our house.  Now we are moved in, and starblade is sitting in my garage waiting for me.

I've had a chance to give it a good look-over, and it will be more of a project than I originally hoped for.  My main concern right now is the mounting for the monitor cabinet onto the mirror cabinet.  The wood is a bit delaminated and needs to be fixed.  I'm just too tired right now to deal with photos. Tomorrow.

Not that I need it, but I also found a source for replacement seats in the US versions. As it turns out, they used standard seats for race cars, and they are very easy to get.  I did also plug it in for a moment, without monitor or control yolk, and it does give me the "roger, out" when I add credits.  I still don't know if the video works or not though.

More updates as I can.
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uncletom
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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2013, 10:40:03 AM »

Exciting. The US Starblade is generally simpler and lighter in design than the original namco one built in japan and UK. They did vary the design some I've noticed. Mine was sort of a hybrid between the US and UK/JAP type.
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HHaase
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« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2013, 11:04:45 PM »

Been gearing up for a new board release in a week or so, and don't have the energy to do another entry after updating my own blog....

So I'll just link over there for now.

http://www.siegecraft.us/the_siege_blog/blog/2013/02/starblade-time-to-get-to-work.html

-Hans
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HHaase
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« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2013, 12:54:08 AM »

After repairing the upper monitor mount, I decided to have some fun.  So I hooked up the seat and wired in the controls,  without installing the monitor.

It plays blind just fine.  Coins up and starts a game just fine.  Seat vibration works fine, I THINK all 4 fire buttons are working, and the gun mounted flasher works fine too.   Only one of the two flashboys is working though, and probably a dead bulb judging by the frosty look to the lens.   Not a problem though, I can deal with that anytime.

Next step is to get some friends or bulky relatives over here and mount the monitor.

-Hans
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HHaase
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« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2013, 03:44:47 AM »

FINALLY,  I got enough warm bodies over here to get this beast moved into the game room and assembled.  It only had about 1/2" to spare going in the doorway, and I had to hook the bottom floorplate around to do it, but it fit!  To make things easier, I pulled as much weight off the main cabinet as I could, including the back panel and the PCB cage.   This gave me a bit of a nervous moment, it didn't want to boot at all when I first tried it.  Turns out I had the wiring connector going into the PCB cage inserted one pin to the left of where it should be, but thankfully no harm done in this case.

It then proceeded to fire up properly, and we're playing some starblade!



All 4 speakers work,  monitor picture isn't perfect but is still quite good after a slight tweaking, seat is vibrating nicely and it's a blast to be playing Starblade again!

Not all good news though,  it still needed a few issues taken care of.   Two of the yolk buttons were no good, which made it impossible to update settings.... this was very bad too, as it was set on shields 8!!!!   I didn't have any OMRON's, but was able to get a few Alps keyboard buttons easy and cheap enough.  The circuit board accepted the ALPS buttons easily, but I had to shave a lot of plastic off the button bodies to get them to fit.  Attachment style is a bit different and wasn't a direct fit.   But they finally DID fit correctly, and my buttons are now 'clicky' too!

Looks like the power switch went bad at some point, as there is none anymore.  The power cord goes directly to the the power supply.  Plug it in, and it's running.  Anybody got photos of what the original power switch looked like, so I can try and track down a replacement?

Also, the light fixture under the marquee is totally missing too.  Ballast and starter are still in place inside the monitor housing, but the wires aren't connected to each other and everything is just hanging loose.   Everything also seems to be badly trimmed short, which I found out when I tried to mount some new lamp holders.  So this means I need a new ballast, and I guess I'll just track down an electronic ballast that doesn't need an external starter.  Either that, or I may go with some LED light bars.

Lots of bolts missing too.  Most of them I had already bought spares for, but a couple are missing still on the vibration motor cover, which is rattling like crazy.  I'll get new bolts on Monday probably.

Then, here's the mess in my coin door.... 
I don't know if the coin counter is original or not, but the audit settings are all still retained and show some very high numbers of plays, time, etc... so the 154,xxx credits may be correct for this machine.  If so, that's some serious income.



I've also got a flashboy out on the left side.  The housing is all frosted over, in comparison to the right side, so I think the light has failed..  I'll have to look into the method to rebuild these.

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uncletom
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« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2013, 09:40:49 AM »

Congrats on your Starblade there.

Just put any good power-switch with the same measurements in there, it'll work perfect.

You should disable the motor/rumble-pack while bolts are missing. Could otherwise turn into a nasty incident.

Ballast for marquee light, just use any fitting size armature, preferably some HF-ballast that doesn't blink when turned on.

Switches for handle buttons; as you say, any ones that fit, preferably with a soft 'click' I'd say would be best. I never liked the original quiet Sanwas for this game.

Off to the hardware store mate, and don't forget to isolate all electrics properly.
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DarthNuno
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« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2013, 12:10:44 PM »

I didn't have any OMRON's, but was able to get a few Alps keyboard buttons easy and cheap enough. 

I still have original OMRON for sale.

Looks like the power switch went bad at some point, as there is none anymore.  The power cord goes directly to the the power supply.  Plug it in, and it's running.  Anybody got photos of what the original power switch looked like, so I can try and track down a replacement?

Not sure if it can help, but there are some pictures on that area, when I had to replace... the power supply on my Starblade, right here.

I've also got a flashboy out on the left side.  The housing is all frosted over, in comparison to the right side, so I think the light has failed..  I'll have to look into the method to rebuild these.

I also have few original *brand new* Flash Boy but they are very expensive (see here), contact me if you want some.

Otherwise, great to see you playing Starblade! This game is so incredible, and timeless!

 Space Ace
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HHaase
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« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2013, 05:15:12 PM »

The switches I used are very close to the original Omron's,  they just needed a small bit of plastic removed to fit, and are working perfectly.  

However, your flashboy bulbs are different!   I have found this part number in a few catalogs in Japan, and it is even more expensive than the ones you purchased,  over 6,000 yen per bulb.
It looks like there are many subtle difference between US and Japanese versions of Starblade.

It looks like Ushio has a number of different versions available, with different colors too.  They recently released an LED style replacement too.  I wonder if I could come up with a multi-color LED board to replace the strobe, and perhaps add some additional effects to it.  I need to look into how strobe lights function.

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HHaase
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« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2013, 06:24:51 PM »

Well, the good news is that I found the problem with the left side Flashboy.   It was pretty obvious once I opened up the casing...
I have a few board repairs coming in, so I'll wait until I have a decent sized parts order before I get a new capacitor.



I also sorted out the marquee lamp issue.   When I got the machine, it was missing the lamp holder completely.  I originally tried just putting in some new endcaps, but both the ballast and starter were fried.  So instead of spending all the money on a replacement ballast for a T12 installation, I picked up an inexpensive T8 from WalMart that cost only half the price that a new ballast would have cost.

I gutted the new fixture, taking out the power switch and cord, then hard-wired the Starblade cabinet wiring direct into the fixture from the backside.  This made a very clean installation once I put the cover back on the fixture, with much less components than original.  Now my marquee lights up again properly.  I had also considered an LED light strip, but they are just too directional, and wouldn't have lit the marquee properly.




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HHaase
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« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2013, 06:29:35 PM »

I'm also starting to think that this game would benefit from an LCD screen conversion if the hardware can support it. Normally I'm all for keeping things original, but in this case you can just tell that the generated polygons are much crisper than the CRT can represent.  But you definitely need something with a very high contrast ratio, get it as black as possible in the background.

-Hans
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« Reply #29 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.
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