For those who haven’t read everything on this site (AKA “losers” ), everything was working great on my Defender except for the joystick, which was slow and sloppy. I ordered a repro replacement from MantisAmusements.com.
These parts are an exact replica of NOS Defender joystick parts. Here is the old one before I took it apart:
If you look closely at the round hole between the 2 screws in the bottom of the picture, you’ll see the pin that sits in it. See how much room it has to move in there? That is all wear from years of people Defendering like there’s no tomorrow. That hole should be tight around that pin, so it has just enough room to move and no more. I changed these parts, and the joystick is like brand new!
I played a few rounds, and the game is awesome now that you can actually control the ship better. However….Defender totally kicks my ass! I never played it in the arcade, but I was pretty good at the Atari 2600 version. I am dying to get this in the game room now, but there isn’t room until we move everything around.
In 1981, when leg warmers were just starting to get popular, long before Richard Dean Anderson was running around shooting laser beams all over the place, Defender’s baby brother was born. Ladies and gentleman, children of all ages….I give you….
This game was released one year after Defender as its sequel. As if Defender wasn’t hard enough, they supposedly made this one even harder. Those dirty rat bastards.
I got this game from the same location I picked up the skill crane that started all this madness back in October of ‘06. The building was supposed to be demolished to make way for a hotel. I was driving by to get some starbucks, and noticed the building was still there with a “indoor flea market sign” up. I went in to see what was left, and spotted this way way in the back. I almost missed it. The back room was pitch black. I wasn’t going to go back there but I ended up just barely spotting the back of it. This was 2 days ago, and I had no cash. The nice guy that owns the building wanted $50 for it. The game wasn’t working, but $50 is a great deal. I just couldn’t swing it. I told him I would probably come back in a few days after I pay my bills and he said if it was still there I could get it for $35.
So…I swung by this morning after getting more caffeine and picked it up.
It took me forever to drill the lock out of the bottom coin door. I heard change rattling around in there! When I finally wrecked a few drill bits, this is what I found:
$1.50 and an old bottle of white out. Now, $1.50 might actually buy a coffee, as long as I don’t get it from starbucks.
I looked the boards over. No corrosion from the batteries. The original style AA battery holder is in place, with batteries and all, so I got lucky the boards weren’t ruined. I’ll swap them for a lithium battery per Bob Roberts article. I fired it up, and it’s making game sounds. I can’t coin it up, but I don’t know if its just sitting in setup mode or not. The monitor has high voltage, but the screen is all screwy. That’s were I left it. I’ll do a cap kit on it and see what happens.
OK…nothing spectacular to report here. I got the marquee light and the coin lamps working.
The marquee light was easy…I just put a new bulb and starter in and it came right on. The coin lamps were a little trickier. They were disconnected.
The original power supply had been replaced with a switcher, and they never bothered to wire up the coin door lamps. After much debating and research, I went with Bob Roberts’ suggestion outlined here:
The transformer terminals that the coin door lamps used to be wired to were outputting about 9.8V. The lamps need 6.3V. I got some advice saying hook them up to the +12V on the switcher and use 12V bulbs. I also got advice saying to hook them up to the +5V. Both may work OK, but I figured it would be better to keep them isolated so as to not cause problems with any of the 3 PCBs, and would be easy enough since the original transformer was in place.
The schematics call for a 2.0 ohm, 5W resistor to drop the voltage from 9.1V to 6.3V. I bought a 2.2 and a 1.8, figuring I would use whichever one made the voltage closest to 6.3V. I tried the 2.2 ohm resistor, and it dropped the voltage to about 7.5. I tried both of them in series and it dropped it to 6V, so that’s how I wired it up.
I cut the original connector off. You can see the yellow and yellow/white wires from it on the left of the pic above. Power goes from transformer tap labeled 13 into a 5A fuse. From there, it goes into the 2 resistors, and then to the coin lamp circuit via the yellow/white wire. It comes back on the yellow wire, which connects to the transformer tap labeled 14. I used some heat shrink tubing to cover the exposed wire after I soldered it.
The game is almost 100% operational. I have a joystick rebuild kit on order which should make it game room ready.
I would like to refinish and repaint it, and clean the coin door up:
The plastic coin label thingies are cracked and horrible looking…I’m going to try to repro those. I also need to clean off all the crud on the outside and see if I can make it look like new. Here is a close up of those crud laden, cracked coin slots in all their glory!
I did a bit more on Defender today. When I left it yesterday, it was working but the ship wouldn’t move up, and that just sucks.
The switch was making contact. I ended up tracing the wire all the way back to pin 1 on the top connector (3J2) of the interface board.
The wires were fine. I began tracing the circuit from that pin, and it went to resistor R12 in that top row of resistors. I pulled one end of the resistor out, and it tested OK. That connected to a small capacitor right below it (C13). I did the same with that and tested it with my capacitor meter. It was fine. Now, because I am clueless, I didn’t have much else that I really knew how to test without doing some research. So, I looked over the board to make sure everything was fine. One solder joint on a pin on the other connector looked a little crappy, so I fixed it. It had continuity before so I don’t think that really did anything.
The last thing I did was take that capacitor in the lower right corner out and test it with my meter. It was a 100uf cap, but was testing kinda high…around 135uf if I remember right. For the hell of it, I replaced it.
When I hooked it all back up, the up switch was working fine. So, if I had to guess, I think changing that cap fixed it but I don’t really know for sure.
The joystick handles slow and sloppy (like your mother?), so I’ll need to work on that next.
Here is another pic of it next to its brother Moon Patrol.
Can’t wait to get these 2 in the game room…it’s going to be awhile though because I have to do a major rearranging. Anyways…it’s Friday. Have a good weekend…L8R.
For those of you following along, I’ve been waiting for a package from Bob Roberts with monitor parts. The mailman came around 2:30, a bit early. My ears are trained to recognize the sound of his engine…I hear him coming a mile away.
Anyways, he usually has to come to the door whenever he has a package because my mail box isn’t gigantic. I hear him open the mailbox, shut it, and take off. I’m thinking the package didn’t come, but went out anyway…and what to my wondering eyes should appear?
WTF! He crammed the box in there, defying the basic laws of physics. That thing was wedged in there like a fat guy in a little coat. It took me a good 10 minutes to get it out. I kept pulling on it, and thought I was going to rip the mailbox off the post. The only thing I can think of is he didn’t want to walk through my long grass and get ticks….especially wearing those USPS short shorts that they sport this time of year.
I did finally manage to get it out…here’s part of what was inside:
Bob Roberts is a great guy to buy from. He ships super fast, and usually throws in freebies. This time around, I got a set of leg levers and a pen. In the bag with the pen was a horizontal width coil that I ordered.
OK…Here’s what I did. I replaced the old broken width coil:
Then I put the new HOT and Flyback in. While doing all that, I noticed something was not quite right with the neck board.
It was actually cracked in half! Someone had put jumper wires over the cracks and then covered the crack with a big glob of silicone. Here it is on the parts side:
You can see the crack running down from the top right corner down to where my thumb is. I thought for sure maybe this would cause a problem. After getting it all back together, I hooked it up. No dice. I had no high voltage.
I took the chassis back out and poked around some more. It turns out one of the fuses (901) which tested OK before wasn’t now. After I messed with it a bit it would sometimes test OK, and sometimes not. I think what was happening is the wire inside broke but was still coming into contact with the other end. I changed the fuse, put it back in, and the damn thing came right up!
You can see its start up here and a bit of me playing it:
The ship won’t move up. The switch is making contact, so I’m not sure what the deal is. I’ll leave it for another day. I’m just glad to actually see it running.
In the interest of trying to keep this site updated, here is the deal so far with Defender….
Here are the boards:
And the dirty, dirty power supply and transformer:
I did a cap kit on the monitor (an Electrochrome G07-CBO). The HOT (horizontal output transistor) is dead. It’s shorted. I’m going to be putting in an order for a replacement, along with a new flyback so this one doesn’t blow up on me. I’m hoping that will bring the monitor back to life so I can see what’s going on with the game.
One thing that might be good is when I tried Defender in MAME, it sounds exactly the same when it starts. It then sits at some sort of power on screen asking you to setup options. Maybe this one is doing that…should know soon.
Hey folks! It’s been forever since my last post (almost as long as its been since my last confession).
I’ve been super busy with work and haven’t had a load of time to work on games lately. I have been buying parts here and there, got my traffic light working, dealt with a horrible seller on eBay, etc…
But now, behold…the glory…that is….DEFENDER!:
I picked this puppy up yesterday with my nephew Mackenzie. It was listed on Craigslist as non working but complete. It stopped working and they didn’t feel like fixing it. I offered the guy a $100 for it.
It isn’t exactly mint, but at least its not painted black.
I haven’t had much time to mess with this at all yet. I opened the back, gave it a once over (and a “who’s your father?”) and plugged it in. When you turn it on, it makes a normal defender sounding noise and then nothing else. No video, and no audio when you try to coin it up. I plan on messing with it tomorrow morning as we have a book sale to go to tonight. With any luck, we may be Defender-ing tomorrow afternoon!