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Video Game Repair/arcade machine repair


QUESTION: I am storing an old stand up arcade game called scramble for a friend of mine. From what i under stand it just needs something that sounded to me like a small pieces of hardware replaced. Apparently you have to have a hand held device of some sort to locate the piece that is bad and then just switch it out. I cant remember the name of it offhand. I am on the border of long beach and wilmington,ca. I'm looking for someone local who can come and fix it.

 Thankyou for your time,


ANSWER: Gday Royce,

Your very broad, general, vague description you gave you are definitely in the right to get someone in to tackle this repair.  (And I only say this as arcade machines have a lot of power running around in them enough to kill a person that has no clue to what they are doing.)

From your description I would guess it just a fuse (Probably located in the bottom of the inside of the machine) and the thing your looking to test it is multimeter set to test continuity check.  This will tell you if the fuse is good or not.

Simply look up arcade repair on the net of your area, or anywhere there are still machines ask the owner of the location who services/owns them to see if they repair them.

Hope this helps


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: My very broad , general , vague description is WHY i'm asking someone who's supposed to be professional. Someone here believes it to be a resistor , not a fuse . The video went out though you could still hear the game. Does this help?

Gday Royce,

The more information I can get the better, I did not intend to offend as the amount of electricity running about in these older machines is very dangerous and not to be looked at lightly.

Okay that sounds like problem with your monitor.  (If the game sounds likes it okay when turned on.  Sounds as normal when you go thru the motion of putting a credit on it, pressing start and playing it.  Even though you can't see anything then it probably the monitor.)

And that narrows it down to a couple of areas, again you can trouble shoot it further.

With the machine turned on do you see a glow in the neck of the monitor?  No glow in the neck of the monitor could point to a fuse, power supply to the monitor or the actual monitor.  Provided the monitor has power the neck should glow even if the screen is all black.  So you have your choice of either the monitor tube, something on monitor chassis, flyback transformer or something with the oscillating power supply supplying power to the monitor.

If there is a a noticeable hissing or bad static from the monitor it is usually the flyback transformer that has gone out or perhaps dry joints.  Big black tower thingy on the PCB.  Fixable by your TV repair man.

If you actually have a glow then I would unhook and re-hook the connector from the main board and unhook and re-hook the connector on the monitor from the main board as the signal is not getting to the monitor.  (Unfortunately I guess it a monitor chassis or tube blown problem)

You could check your power connectors to the monitor maybe unhook and rehook them back up.  (Maybe something has just wiggled loose)  Double check if there is a fuse on the Monitor chassis itself or off by the monitor transformer if it has one.  If it and an original scramble machine the original monitor will have power coming from the multi transformer at the bottom of the machine.  The fuse will also be located there.  (Allot of games have a separate power transformer for the monitor, to provide oscillating power.  Newer monitors have it built in.  If you have a multimeter check the power going out of the transformer (Remember you are dealing with oscillating power not straight thru and set the multimeter accordingly).  

If you have confirmed power to the monitor and it dead then I would expect a problem with the tube or monitor chassis. If no power then your transformer has gone out and needs replacing, which is a bit cheaper than a whole monitor.

Unfortunately if it is a Tube or Chassis then you are looking at specialized repair which a good TV repairman (Yeap a TV Repairman can at least look at and sometime diagnose problems with Arcade monitors) could do since it is definitely a monitor no a board problem.  (Allot of the time it just as cheap to replace the monitor with a second hand one)  

As always Monitors are probably the most dangerous pieces of equipment in the entire arcade machine.  If you don't know what you are doing then don't do it.  (Under no circumstances start playing around to the thing that looks like a suction cup on the actually tube.  Even when turned off these will store enough charge to do major damage)

The cheap alternative is just replace the monitor with a flatscreen TV (that supports VGA) or Computer monitor (About $100) and a RGB/CGA/EGA/YU​V to VGA Board ($30).  This is cheaper than getting a new monitor, actually original arcade monitors are getting a lot harder to find.

Hope this helps further.


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I can answer questions on Arcade or Home Console repair or modification.


Repair, rewire, modification, rebuild, restore. (I repair numerous business and private arcade/pinball machines in my area of the state. I partner with a shop that stocks older console based systems and games, I am the one that repairs them back to working order.)

Have been building, customizing and repairing all types of arcade games since 2004. I have been repairing and modifying video games since the late 80's. (Most of my knowledge is self learnt and following others that have trailblazed in the industry.)

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