AL-1000: Saved from Oblivion.

The Commodore AL-1000, which is akin to a mini-PET (heavy and boxy). It uses tubes to display the numbers. There was some rough housing with this venerable calculator and it needed some TLC to get going. The calculator was abandoned a long while back and found after someone was cleaning out some buildings near by. A tip from a friend helped save this new addition.

On a Date with Ms. Pacman

I’ve been asked for about a year now to head out to my partners’ brothers studio, where an unhappy tabletop Ms Pacman has been sitting busted.

Three of the ROM’s on the board were loose, one had broken pins (3) and the processor board (z80 :)) cable had been stripped in some spots.

The real monster (after all the chip leg soldering – shaky hands) was the power switches. There are two; one for the main power and the another that shuts off parts of the game if you open the coin door. The coin door one was designed to prevent kids from sticking their hands in (if it was left open) and getting intimate with CRT discharging. This switch was so bad it was intermittent at best and kept the machine resetting or off (Not off, just the screen shut down).

Suggestions to others: remove the power switches, they are often crap and busted. then go to the fuses, then re-seat the chips. I should have imaged the ROM’s for a backup.

Oh, table tops are awesome — they are convertible. Flip the internal latches and it swings open.