Thursday, December 16, 2010

Midway Captain Kid gun game repair

Yesterday evening I finally continued working further on my Midway Captain Kid rifle game. We bought this many months ago, it did start but only half of the features worked.

This summer I had already removed the large bank with targets that's at the bottom of the game. I cleaned everything. You can't imagine how much better the game looks with all dirt wiped off ! Colors are again fresh and bright.
Replaced some wires to the moving pirate assembly as some wires had just completely melted. I had assembled it again but then the gun didn't register anymore for some reason.

Since then the game just sat in a corner, I had too many other things to do that were more important.

Yesterday evening I finally started checking out this game.

What I did first was put the game on its side and remove some damaged wood at the bottom. Along the edge there is some wood, half of it was damaged and missing, which made the game unstable. I removed all the damaged wood so not it stands on its flat bottom. I did put some sticky felt at the bottom to protect the floor.
In our house we have damaged too many floors in the past because of pinball or other arcade games with sharp or damaged feet/leg levellers. Now we've installed new tiles and a new wood floor in our living room and we will take care of it. Any game that comes in now is checked and action is immediately taken so it can not damage our floors anymore..

Next step was putting the targets assembly back in. (I had removed it to make the game lighter when I was going to tip it on its side)
Then I tried to test it.. but the game just didn't do anything ?
Not one light lit up. Weird. Normally when you plug it in at least the lights should come on..
I have a step-down transformer from 220volts to 110v (the machine is old and only works on 110v input, it cannot be jumpered to 220v). So I was careful and checked if the transformer still did its thing and 110v arrived into the game.
(A few months ago I had also replaced the power wire as that was severely damaged and replaced all fuse holders).

Power seemed to arrive into the game but still nothing worked.
Flicked the power switch a few times, no difference.
Weird, as it had worked a few months ago ?

Now I'm getting nervous. I do not like working around transformers - you really have to be careful. Especially when not one light works so it's not obvious if the game has power or not (and what parts). So although nothing lit up, it was very possible that line voltage was present in every part of the game.
I was sure to double check each time if the game was plugged in or not before I touched anything. Traced the wiring going to the fuses, transformer, power switch, ..
Didn't learn a thing, didn't find a problem.
Note on these old games, part of the line voltage is always present at the transformer and fuses once the game is plugged in, no matter if it's switched on or off !

Some parts of this game (like the recoil coil underneath the gun) even need 110v to work. So when working on an old machine like this you always have to be careful what to touch and what wires to measure, even with the wiring deep inside the cabinet.. I'm not comfortable working on games like this.. but I do hope to get it working soon.
Output of the transformer are 6 volts (for lights), 50 volts (for motors/relays) and 110 volts (for some ligthbulbs and coils).

Anyway switching the machine on or off didn't change anything ? In the end I began to doubt if the power switch worked at all. As the switch is located on top of the machine and I would never use it in home-use (I just unplug the game or put it on an extension cord with a switch) I thought the best was to simple remove (override) it.
Cut both wires going to the switch and connected them permanently.
Tested again.. and yes, at least now the game lit up !
So it was a broken power switch after all.

The game still worked half, just like before.
You can start a game, time starts to run, you can fire shots, and it ends the game correct with time is up or you've had enough shots.
So that's already a pretty good situation I found.

What doesn't work are some individual features. Repairing them shouldn't be too hard as they are all controlled by a their specific relays (which are clearly labelled in the backbox).

The large disk with targets goes around and registers shots correctly (which is pretty neat, a small coil retracts each target as you hit it).
At first the game is completely lit, and after 5 or 10 shots (don't remember exactly, I think 5) the game goes dark and you shoot with only the blacklight on.
This is a pretty cool effect as all targets are decorated with special luminous paint.

Shoot enough targets and the flags on both sides should become active. A motor pulls them up pretty fast and they drop down when you can't shoot them before they reach the top.
This feature doesn't work correctly on my machine - only 1 flag moves up and it doesn't register shots :-(

Finally there's a pirate at the bottom which also should move around (that's the assembly that had completely melted wires). It also doesn't move at all during gameplay.
Have to check this too. I already manually activated some relays in the backbox and that let the assembly turn in one direction. Another relay that controls the direction seemed to stick a bit (they're actually 2 small relay coils mounted against each other, when one moves down the other just has enough space to move up).

I looked at all these relays in the backbox. One has a broken metal contact point. Have to be creative to repair it as I don't have replacement parts for Midway..
A few others didn't move very well, I will disassemble and clean them. I think the best will be to clean them all one by one and measure them with my dmm, as I checked a few and not all gave good contact..
Once that is all done I hope a few features work more..

1 comment:

  1. Rich at had the relays I needed to fix my game. He has the parts to the black relays on the back door.