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Sega Blast Cities

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade Worklogs' started by mR_CaESaR, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    Nah I've got a Namco Excleena II, and a New Astro City
     
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  2. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    Nice! I didn't think there's many candy owners here.

    Astro City is still my fave cab of them all!
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    Into the final stages of this project.

    It took a couple of attempts, but I've come to the conclusion when I use a NetDimm on the Blast City PSU, I can't use it on a single PSU. I've been told to do a re-cap on the PSU which "should" fix it, but we will see (cap kit has been ordered).

    When I was testing the Naomi using the Sega 001 loom, using a Sega to JVS Jamma IO, every time a game loaded, I would get this error and doesn't show up in the test menu

    [​IMG]

    The moment I use a separate Sun PSU, everything is seen correctly as expected

    [​IMG]

    PSU is reading exactly 5.0v and 3.3v

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If I take out the NetDimm and use a normal cart, the IO is seen using the Sega 001 loom. Since the NetDimm is a power hungry unit, I will try the re-cap when I get it, but as an interim, I've installed the Sun PSU with an inline switch I've thrown into the control panel so when I turn the machine on, I can also turn the Naomi on.

    Now I've sorted the Naomi out, it's time to finally put them all together. During this point, I was literally humming the gameboy tetris music :D. It took a number of tests, but I eventually got there! Made use of the 5v on CN12 of the Naomi to power the Raspberry Pi

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The first pcb is the Sega I/O. I attached it to a fingerboard so I can do a "kick harness" style as this particular I/O normally sees buttons 4, 5 on the Jamma edge and the normal working I have for my harnesses are B1, B2, B3 and then kicks for B4, B5, B6 (not that I need 6 buttons for a shumps cab, but since this cab will also be using a 360, navigation purposes I need an "a and b" which are B4 and B5).

    The next pcb is another fingerboard to provide power to the UVC and also use the JAMMA edge to connect to my "PS360 arcade box" which I made a few years back for this exact purpose - using a 360 controller with a jamma edge using Sega wiring schematics.

    [​IMG]

    The wires plug directly to the 12 way connector coming out of the fingerboard and the kick harness goes directly to the kick harness on the cab. The kicks are mapped to (A, B and RT)

    Inside that box, there is a spaghetti of wire hidden well :D :D

    [​IMG]

    The 3rd pcb is the unicorn of a pcb that down scales the 480p signal from the 360 to 240p RGB goodness! Why would I downscale 480p when the Blast City takes 31khz? Simple, I want to see those scanlines for the shmups on the 360 :D

    [​IMG]

    This is the closest I can ever get to a CV1K game in 15khz

    The price of DDP SDOJ is out of this world and I'm far from skilled enough to be able to tell you the difference between arcade pcb and port, so this method will do :)

    [​IMG]

    With all that said and done, once all placed in the cab, she looks like this!

    [​IMG]

    Only thing left for this cab is for me to order some side decals from Noodleshirt.

    Playing games on this unit is quite satisfying and has slowly become a favourite :D
     
  4. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    So the feedback I got from a few people was to "recap" the PSU and it "should" fix my issue with the Sega I/O

    TL;DR - I'm exactly in the same situation as I was prior to the recap :D

    Blast PSU Recap Adventure :D

    After getting my cap kits from Arcade Parts and Repair last week, I thought I'd "see" how I go last night with my first attempt at "recapping"

    First the disassembly - wow. Didn't realise how filthy this PSU was and I genuinely thought I cleaned this when I cleaned out the first PSU, but obviously didn't *facepalm*

    Sorry for the spam of pics, but it's the best way to show how bad it was :)

    [​IMG]

    Found a little friend :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Commenced the first lot of caps C36 and C44 listed as 50v 0.47uf.

    [​IMG]

    The only cap I could find in the kit are these

    [​IMG]

    Now I'm not an electronics guru, but I asked a few people and I was recommended NOT to use the tantalum capacitor vs electrolytic found on the PSU. I decided to leave those caps for the time being as I don't really know which way to put them on. The notes on the cap kit is the +ve side is normally the longer leg and the "stripe" side is normally the -ve side but since I wasn't 100% sure, I didn't recap C36 and C44.

    Being my first recap and lack of experience, I learnt a quick lesson - don't pull the caps even though you think it's already desoldered!

    As a result of the blob that was on the cap securing it, I yanked out the cap but also ripped a trace! FMD! *facepalm*

    [​IMG]

    C39 was the one trace that got ripped off (fortunately, things are still working!)

    [​IMG]

    One of the last things to do was the PSU fan - damn that things was loud! Enter Noctua NF-A8 FLX to save the day! I cannot get over how MUCH of a difference this has made. I had to triple check the fan to see if it was working as I could not hear it at all compared to the stock PSU fan that was there.

    [​IMG]

    3 or so hours later the recapping was complete for both the psu and the sound amp - what an effort! I probably could've blitz through it a lot quicker by taking all the caps out first and then soldering them, but I went one by one so I could be 100% sure the values were correct and the documentation was also correct. Needless to say, it was a painful task.

    At this point, I quickly assembled it again to test to see if it turns on (due to that trace) and if it fixes the issue that I did a recap in the first place.

    PSU turned on - phew! But the IO still wasn't seen, so I was back at square one albeit recapped and cleaned psu.

    PSU is now as clean as I can get it without taking apart most of the components.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    The universe just doesn't want me to love the blast city! :D

    Backstory:

    The blast city had some "buzzing" that got louder as time went on. After reading a thread on AP, it pointed to some stuff inside the yoke and would need "cleaning" but to do so would mean removing the yoke - something I was absolutely petrified of doing due to the risk of damaging the neck.

    Last week, I received convergence strips and finally worked up the courage do the maintenance.

    Upon removal of the yoke, a few crusty bits came off and some permalloy strips also came off the tube

    [​IMG]

    I gave the yoke a good dust with a dry brush and got it to a reasonable state

    [​IMG]


    After putting back everything, the buzz was mostly gone - still a little buzz, but nowhere near as loud.

    I started mucking around with the convergence strips and you can see the difference.

    Before convergence strips



    After



    Only problem I have now is I seem to have introduced "wavy" corners and I have no idea how or why they've been introduced.

    I don't believe it can be "caps" as I don't recall this previously and this chassis has been serviced back in October with very minimal use. They seem more prominent on the right side versus the left side, but it's definitely there.

    Would loose windings cause this?

    If you look at the top there's probably a couple of loose copper.

    [​IMG]

     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
    FIREWIRE1394 likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    A lot of trial and error on the weekend :D but still haven't gotten to the bottom of it unfortunately :(

    I tried plugging in the vga (31khz) to my naomi universal and I didn't get any wavy corners. Monitor is powered via the blast city, everything else is on the naomi



    So I thought, I'd try it on my Blast in 31khz - same result, no wavy corners.

    Tried it on my Astro City in 15khz with a new 15 te amp up cable and totally separate from the blast city (didn't use the blast city at all) and unfortunately the wavy corners are still there even when using the astro city



    Confirmed that the wavy corners aren't there when using the MS8 on the astro city, so it's definitely related to the monitor and the gut feeling is something in the yoke.

    I took out the yoke again for further inspection and couldn't really see anything outside of some residue from the tape

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Upon putting the yoke back, I introduced MORE buzz



    I also reached out to Jomac who stated this:

    After taking out the yoke again, inspecting it some more, this fell out and I thought bingo! This vibrating is what's causing the buzz and interference on the corners.

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, upon installing back it got rid of the buzz, but wavy corners are still there.

    Going back to what Joey said, I thought those couple of windings that appear to be loose could be the cause, so I tried securing it with electrical tape to see if it had any effect

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately no effect :(

    So right now, there's still a slight buzz and the wavy corners still exist.

    I'm really out of ideas exactly trying to "secure/seal" the yoke as best as I can with silicone as outlined here - http://www.albyhus2.se/_eget/monitors/MS-2930-S/

    One side of the yoke has "movement" when you press down on it unlike the outer side that has no movement

     
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  7. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    Purchased a can of PCB Lacquer to tighten the windings up and used up almost 1/2 the can - she was pretty secured!

    [​IMG]

    After the initial test, there was no change to the wobble, so the last ditch effort was to impregnate the yoke with silicone.

    [​IMG]

    There was no way this the windings were vibrating!

    Still no difference. I decided to live with it as it wasn't present on 31khz and in 15khz it wasn't all that bad once playing a game. I was fixing the corners and then for whatever reason, I decided to do one more removal of the yoke and when I installed it back, I forgot to plug the yoke connectors to the chassis. I turned it on, heard some buzzing and no pictured. Quickly turned it off and then I realised the yoke wasn't connected. After connecting the yoke back, turned it on, I got this :(

    [​IMG]

    BOOOO!!!! :upset::upset::upset:

    What do you do, it is what it is unfortunately. Hopefully I can get this fixed.
     
  8. power

    power Member

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    wavy corners?

    wouldn't that be flyback?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    I didn't think so as it only got introduced after I took out the yoke to get rid of the buzzing - but to be honest, after all that, I ended up in a worse situation from when I started. It is what it is. I learned a valuable lesson with taking the yoke and convergence rings out so if every I needed to tube swap or yoke swap, I am now somewhat OK with it - just need to remember to put the yoke connectors back :D

    Also, if it was the flyback, I would expect it to be the whole chassis, not just the corners. But it wasn't present in 31khz

    Well and truly beyond my skill set :D
     
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  10. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    Joey's analysis of my 2931

    So essentially I FUBAR'd my 2931 - note to self, never turn on a chassis ever again without the H/V connectors from the yoke connected.

    I received the working spare chassis on Thursday and to say I was careful when putting on the chassis is an understatement! :D :D

    Turned her on... and BEAUTY! SHE WORKS!!! :D :D

    After the excitement of seeing it alive again, reality came back down when I couldn't stretch the image wide enough

    [​IMG]

    See how I was on HSIZE MAX but I'm still missing a big chunk on the right and a little on the left?

    On a good note, the video clearly shows that the wavy corners are no longer present. So it must've been the chassis all along and not the yoke!



    I guess as a bonus, I have an impregnated yoke. There's still some buzz that occurs when you start up the cab, but seems to disappear after a while.

    So after searching for information all over the place, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I couldn't get the image to expand. I tried the H-Drive pot (didn't change it too much). I tried the "extension" menu with additional settings (hold down a button for 3 seconds) but there was no setting. I know on the 2930 there was a pot HSL for horizontal size limit, but I couldn't find anything for this chassis.

    When in doubt, what do you do? RTFM :D :D. I found the service manual of the 2931 - low and behold there's commentary there talking about entering a "factory adjustment mode" which is different to the "extension" mode

    [​IMG]

    So I did exactly as the manual said to, hold down all three buttons for 3 seconds and VOILA! Factory Mode

    [​IMG]

    Scrolled through the menus and what do you know, I came across a H-LIMIT option :D (I went from 18 max to 34).

    [​IMG]

    What did increasing it from 18 to 34 do? Edge to edge image!

    [​IMG]

    Spent another hour or so trying to get the colour right and this was as good as I could get it

    [​IMG]

    And of course, it wouldn't be my cab without this game on the test bed :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This was a very good weekend for the cab - unlike a few weeks ago :D

    Next to do is fix the corners properly and then do this exercise all again for "31khz".
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    Spent some time on the public holiday to configure the monitor.

    Here's the cross stitch of the monitor before any convergence work..

    [​IMG]

    After about two hours worth of mucking around and me $h**ting myself, this was the best I could do (also ran out of convergence strips)

    [​IMG]

    The bottom left could probably use another one or two strip, but there's definitely a difference on all corners, especially the top left! In game, it's a lot more forgivable and nowhere near as noticeable as it used to be.

    Of course, the back view :) - yep, I got happy with silicone. I really don't want to be taking this monitor out anytime soon

    [​IMG]

    She's finally back in the cab and I had a good gaming session on Wednesday night.

    Was about to drop a few coins on it yesterday until this happened.....

    Turned the cab on, noticed something was off when I saw the monitor and upon checking the colour chart... blue channel is missing!! FMD it just doesn't stop! This cab really hates me! hahah

    [​IMG]

    At this point in time, given the history of this cab, I almost rage quit and threw in the towel, but I stepped away for 10 mins, regathered as I knew I had a spare neck board for this chassis - I already came across this issue with the other blast city and I replaced the neck board.

    Back on the "workbench" (aka floor :D), I desoldered the two wires on the neck board and swapped them around. Turned it on and voila! I got blue but no red! ARRRGGGHHHHH

    [​IMG]

    My last resort before emailing Joey was to reflow the 3 transistors responsible for the 3 rgb channels on the neck board.

    Turned the cab back on with the reflowed neck board and bob's your uncle! Everything is back to normal! Thank f**k for that!

    [​IMG]

    Got her installed again (back didn't like it) and dumped a few credits on DOJ!

    [​IMG]

    For now, arcade universe is balanced again and I really hope there's no more challenges for this blast city ever. I've been told by a few people to sell it off, but given the amount of work I've put in, it'll most likely be sticking around for a few years :D
     
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  12. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Great persistence - I think we've all been there or somewhere similar, the devastation of finally getting something back together and realising that there's more to do is real. No better way to hone the skills and knowledge though, glad to see it finally giving you some love.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    Yeah man, the truth of the matter is, every build, every restore, there's always something new to learn.

    Sometimes the lesson comes at an expensive cost, but you have to fail to succeed :)

    The love/hate relationship continues with the blast, but the blast city is going to be part of the candy family long term :)
     
  14. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    mate, gotta give you top marks for how far youve gotten with that, amazing trail and error work. and didnt fry yourself... thats gotta be a bonus too :D
     
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  15. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    Thanks mate! This blast has definitely become the most problematic cab I've ever worked on! I'm partly to blame with the last issue of the chassis, I should've known better than to start it up without the H/V connected. I definitely won't be doing that again and it serves me right for just trusting any forum post. It was an expensive lesson, but I've definitely learnt from it :)

    Never frying myself is always a good bonus haha. I have way too much respective for these things and always take extra precaution, going on almost 4 years since I first got my Astro city and restored/worked on multiple cabs since, I still have the same fear/respect for crts as day one - which is good because complacency is the one thing that I cannot afford with CRTs. That first "static" you hear when moving around the convergence strip is always a bit of a shock, but I've always got my fingers only where they should be haha
     
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  16. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    Because working on two blast cities over the last year with a lot of tears is never enough.... guess what I picked up last night??? :D :D

    [​IMG]

    Yep! I'm back for one more go! hahaha

    The Honda HRV is surprisingly large inside! I've now done two cab trips with my Dad's little hatch back (Astro city and now Blast City).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I haven't turned the cab on just yet to see what's wrong with it, but I was told no image - so I'm assuming another dead 2931.

    Overall, the condition is much better than I thought (apart from the little tiny rust area on the coin chute door), but it's definitely MUCH better than the two I got at the beginning of the thread and won't be needing a repaint (thank f**k for that! :D)

    Got her lined up next to her older sibling and the path to my OCD pair collection continues (2x chewlix cabs, 2x noirs, 2x astro cities, 2x blasts and 2x new net cities - still need to get my 2nd one)

    [​IMG]

    Like the other blast, this will most likely be another shmup cab - but I am yet to decide.
     
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  17. qwertylesh

    qwertylesh Member

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    awesome, love the street fighter shirt btw.
     
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  18. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    Another update on my wonderful adventures with the Blast City! :D :D

    I ended up getting some repro artwork - mostly for the blast, but a few random bits and bobs

    [​IMG]

    The repro blast cp artwork is ok, but not 100% perfect, it will do the job for my purposes

    [​IMG]

    Another artwork I got made up was the little red decal on the bottom right hand side of the blast city - it's the little touches that bring the cab back to life :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lastly, the one outstanding thing on the blast the I painted was the side decal, like the CP repro decal, it's not 100%, but for the purpose of completion, it's perfectly fine.

    [​IMG]

    Outside of the Sega stickers behind the blast, the shmup blast city is now pretty much complete. I won't be touching that any more - no more screen removal, screen rotating etc.... so I thought :D :D

    Now onto where the fun begins :D

    I sent off the chassis for repair and came back nice and fresh - Joey's exact words were "I think you will be happy with this one". So of course I was pumped! New caps were of course installed which is always a good thing.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to record the first power up and I'm glad I did as everything was captured haha

    *may contain some offensive language - viewer discretion advised* :D



    As you see, I got a nice little zap and the monitor did not show any picture :( so back to square 1. When the OSD was pressed, there was also no image. When I turned the screen pot to 3/4 of the max I got a very feint image with raster lines visible and the image was washed out started to look grey. The neck glow is a nice bright orange.

    I needed to confirm if the chassis was faulty or it was something else.

    Remember the part where I said I never had to take off the shmup monitor out again... well of course I was wrong! :D

    [​IMG]

    I completed a number of tests to tr and determine where the fault was. My baseline is my vertical Blast as that's working perfectly.

    1. Wired the Horizontal monitor/chassis on a working Vertical Blast - still the same black, completely dark with image only visible when you increase the screen pot from 3/4 and above
    2. Wired the Vertical monitor/chassis on the Horizontal Blast - works fine displays the image as normal
    3. Swapped the Vertical chassis onto the Horizontal monitor, tested on the Vertical Blast - same symptoms, completely dark. Didn't increase the screen pot as I didn't want to screw up the settings on this chassis as it's already configured and working
    4. Swapped the Horizontal chassis onto the Vertical monitor, tested on the Vertical Blast - chassis works, it was extra bright screen pot due to turning it up on the other Horizontal monitor to get the raster lines
    I was then led to this post on Arcade Otaku (https://forum.arcadeotaku.com/viewtopic.php?p=523900#p523900) so I inspected the R732 of both chassis

    1. 2931 originally paired with A68KZN696X (labeled 2930 on the sticker - originally the "Tate)) has Orange, White, Gold, Gold = 3.9 Ohms and works fine on my Tate cab
    2. 2931 paired with A68LBT696X (labeled 2931 on the sticker - originally the "Yoko") has Brown, Black, Gold, Gold = 1 Ohm and is very dim on the Yoko cab.

    At this point in time, I think I've come to the conclusion that my tube is shot and the absolute last thing I can do is to try and rejuvenate the tube. Fortunately, I might have a lead on someone that can lend me a rejuvenator and I'm hoping we have the right connections - will update once it happens.

    Lastly the zap! When I first received the zap, I initially thought it was because the metal plate wasn't earthed. I looked at the other blast and there was no earth connector on any part of the metal plate, so the only thing I could think of is the switch itself is no longer insulated or it's broken for the AC line to get to me. I inspected the switch and this is what I found

    [​IMG]

    Hit up Mouser to find the closest thing to the model number and what was a 10 dollar switch because a 60 dollar order because I refused to pay 24 dollars for shipping LOL

    Brand new switch was just dropped off by the UPS man.

    [​IMG]

    I'm hoping I can work something out with the rejuvenation this week, we'll see how we go. However, I'm also hoping I might have a lead for a spare tube as a worst case scenario.
     
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  19. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    Got my hands on a CRT tester on Wednesday night to try out thanks to hwaygo on discord - it's the BK Precision 490 and fortunately for me, it had the correct CR23 connector :)

    Never having done any of this stuff before, I watched multiple videos of what we needed to do, but at the highest level, we needed to set up the heater voltage, the G1 and then RGB cut offs.

    There's a website called http://tubular.atomized.org/ which provides the values for a significant number of tubes - of course it doesn't explicitly state my tube. My tube is an A68LBT696X, this only site only has an LBS, so I thought one letter wouldn't be too bad. I base lined the G1 on 70v.

    upload_2021-11-26_8-56-30.png

    Got everything all wired up, triple checked, it was time to give it a go and see what happens

    [​IMG]

    Had a very nice orange neck glow which mean the tube was physically still OK and the vacuum on the neck was still good - not the dreaded blue glow which meant oxygen has gone into the neck.

    [​IMG]

    According to what we were testing, all three guns were clearly "bad"

    [​IMG]

    So hwaygo and I went through the process of "clean and balance", re-testing and eventually hit the "rejuvenate" function. We did this a number of times until it finally tested in the "good" region

    [​IMG]

    At this point, we decided, all we could do was "test" and see what happens. Wired up the chassis, turned her on and VOILA! We have picture!

    [​IMG]

    It needed calibration, but it was great to see an image on this tube considering when I got it, it was so dim that it was black.

    That's where the excitement finished - I got called for a Major incident at work so we had to stop our testing, but thankfully hwaygo left the tester at my place to allow me to do some further testing/rejuving. I left the game running but by the time I checked in (must've been an hour or so later), the green and blue guns significantly faded :(

    [​IMG]

    I then had the opportunity to test a little further last night and one thing I noticed when I set the G1 to 70v was when I was trying to adjust the RGB cut off in the setup, it wouldn't move no matter how far right I increased the dial, even maxing it out. So this time, I set the G1 to 50v like most of the other tubes. I redid the whole process multiple times blasting the tube - at this point I really had nothing to lose, so I blasted and blasted :D

    After all that zapping, I finally managed to wire it all back up and I've got picture again! This time, I'm very apprehensive as I didn't have much luck the previous time, so all I could do was sit and wait to see what happens...

    Colour charts look good

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In game looks good too

    [​IMG]

    It's definitely on the "dim" side, but I'll take "dim" over no picture any day of the week :)

    I had it on for about 4 hours last night just looping through the attract mode of the game and it seemed to hold up



    I've turned the cab on this morning from 7:30 and will leave it on running just before I go to sleep and see how it holds up before putting it back in the cab. If it holds up, then safe to say it won't do what it did the first time around and I can use it until I find a replacement tube. If it fades, then I need a replacement tube quicker as I can't do a rejuve process each time I turn the cab on.
     
    elvis, Trizae, adz and 1 other person like this.
  20. OP
    OP
    mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    3,079
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Sad day unfortunately... the tube gets dimmer and dimmer by the day :(

    Here you can see just how dim the tube is compared to my other blast. I had to turn off the light on the top left (tired tube side) as you wouldn't have been able to see any image on screen :(

    [​IMG]

    Now I'm on the hunt for a replacement tube - Joey said he's got a couple of tubes that are 100% on the crt tester, but it's getting it from Perth to Sydney that would pose the biggest challenge. The eastern states, I can organise Bill, but from Perth is a little more challenging.

    My options are:
    1. Find a proper blast city tube A68LBT696X (2931 tube) or A68KZN696X (2930 tube)
    2. Find a donor tube in one of the following consumer tvs and do a yoke swap
      1. Toshiba super crystal 2988UE
      2. NEC SF-6804
      3. Symphonic model ST427F (don't think this is found in Australia,think this is an American only brand)
    3. Find an NEC XM29 PVM which is apparently a direct swap - yoke and all! But doing this would probably cost way more than the price of the cab :D
    Somehow, I think it might be a while before I get this cab back to 100%

    Another alternative could be install an MS9 (back mounted) and live with the bezel gap, or if I find a flat screen, install that. Either way, it's going to take some patience (which I'm not normally good with :D)
     

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