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davyK

Asteroids Deluxe from TNT

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Power supply delivered and I fitted it last night. Game working again - adjusted the pot to 5.02v.

 

The power supply is a different revision - the components look different and there is a 4th connector on the board (the original had 3) and I'm getting a different explosion sound - not sure if that is the reason. The board is also the amplifier. The sound of the explosions aren't as good which is a bit of a pity - but other sounds are just as before. Test mode reports all OK on the game board.

 

Thinking of getting the old board repaired now as a spare. Would be a shame to trash it. If I get that done it would be interesting to see if the sound improves with it.

 

I was getting flicker on the display (was getting it before the power supply failed - the brightness was adjusting up and down momentarily. It seemed to settle down as the game "warmed up") - have twiddled the brightness and contrast pots on the display board and that seems to have resolved it - will look out for that - hoping that it is sorted.

Edited by davyK

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Game working great now. The voltage is just over 5v as I set it a week ago and the display is nice and steady - just the explosion sound being distorted a bit. TNT have offered to repair the original failed board for free if I pay for the return postage so I've sent that off to them

 

It will be interesting to see if the sound is better with that when I get it back. Means I will have a spare power supply at any rate.

Edited by davyK
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Yeah. I have had problems but they are responding really well. They respond to emails pretty quickly. I have spoken to them on the phone too. The owner, Todd, will come to the phone if you ring.

Edited by davyK
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They're sure doing right by trying to make it right. That's a plus on the report card. If I were them I would do a little bit of measuring, testing, and burn-in. Paying attention to things like if the CRT can maintain the image size over time, and if the voltages are rock solid as are the oscillators. And will the console/cab work in more extreme environments like a garage in summer or a cold basement in winter. Things like that.

 

It's just a thought. It's what I do when I build an emulation rig for someone. Even though it's all ordered-on-demand consumer parts, I do some checks and tests and purchase higher-quality parts. Understand that by default I have to make sure the hardware is 100%. Emulators can be finicky and tricky and even buggy, so I don't want hardware entering into the equation, hence the extra effort.

 

Regarding your sound, I don't know the specifics about the power supplies used or what it sounded like before, and now. If it was mine, and I was having a fit over sound quality changes I might plug in the original Pokey and make a scope measurement, then do the same with the new chip. And again with the old vs new power supply.

 

These electronics are 40 years old. They're going to age and do it at different rates depending on many factors. There's different models and revisions, too. All in all there's factors coming into play now, that were of no consequence when these things rolled off the assembly line. It's the nature of the hobby!

 

But again, looks like they're trying to make it right. And that's all one can ask for.

 

---

 

If brightness and contrast varied (in a random way) as the machine warmed up, it could be as simple as dirty adjustment pots. With a few degrees swing in temperature, the materials expand and contract. This can cause highly localized spot-wear on the substrate where the wiper contact moves. Like burning in a spot. Moving it, working it, cleaning, and lube, can fix this if it's not pitted across the whole band. Though that one minuscule spot will always be a problem if it's burned/corroded through, finding a fresh contact point next to it shouldn't be an issue. New resist material (carbon) can be deposited, but that's a specialty repair for rare parts.

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It's possible the image (size, brightness) pots were affected by the journey US to N.Ireland. Sitting in a cold container for a month wouldn't have helped. Tweaking the pots as you say seems to have sorted that.

 

I may have been just unlucky re the power supply - they rebuild them. It may have been the cold. Maybe I should have left the cabinet longer than I did before powering up. Hard to say.

 

They also run the cabinet for 24hrs before shipping it.

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TNT have received my original power supply now. When they repair it they are going to test in another Asteroids Dx they will be working on before returning it.

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Replacement power supply on its way back to me. They had to wait for another Dx so they could test it.

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I know! :) Don't mind too much since the game works OK with the replacement they sent me back in March. They had to wait on another Dx coming in to test it with. They tested it for 5 days!

 

Will be interesting to see if it improves the sound I'm currently getting.

Edited by davyK
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Board arrived today. Just swapped it into the cabinet and that gorgeous deep bass sound of the explosions and the ship thrust is back!!!!

 

I'm delighted. It really does make a difference. :)

 

Big thanks to Todd at TNT.

Edited by davyK
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I started having some issues with the image size flickering while playing. It was there when I first got the machine but it went away after a day. Returned a few weeks after TNT sent me my replacement board which fixed the sound.

 

Todd got me to use contact cleaner on the image size pots on the game board but that didn't work. Todd then said to look for image size pots on the monitor PCB - found them and a quick tweak on those fixed the problem! It was probably what was causing it when I first got the machine.

 

Game has been going now for months with no issues. Gorgeous machine.

 

Would buy from them again no problem even with the distance to N.Ireland. :) Even with import tax it works out cheaper than UK suppliers!!!

Edited by davyK
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Minor update - a short time after the above post the image size started to play up again - turns out there is another set of pots on the PCB for the display. Todd from TNT asked me to look for those - not obvious as they aren't labelled but I found them without too much trouble.Tweaking those sorted the problem out. Has been rock solid ever since. :)

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Get well soon Todd. :)

Edited by davyK

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Just another update. Love owning this machine. And it never gets old. I don't play it as often now of course - but there is nothing like a Friday night or a Saturday afternoon burning up an hour or so on my favourite videogame of all time.  :)

 

It always gets admiring remarks from people who see it for the first time. The sideart really is a statement. :)

 

High score is 57,000 (hard setting, 3 ships, 1up every 10,000) and has been for a while now....no way I will get better unless I play more regularly.

 

 

 

 

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