Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Astro Invaders Arcade Restoration - Control Panel

Part I - Intro
Part II - Lights & Locks
Part III - Marquee Paint
Part IV - Power Supply Rebuild
Part V - Circuit Board Cleaning

Now it's time to get the control panel in shape. It works perfectly. But the buttons are dirty and scratched, and the paint is scratched in a few spots. Let's clean everything up and protect that cool artwork. The panel was removed easily by unhooking two latches inside the cabinet.

leaf switches

The panel is made up of leaf switches. These are pretty cool, much less noisy than the typical microswitch buttons found in most arcades today. They are durable as well as there isn't much to go wrong with them. The wiring is straightforward. One common ground and a separate wire for each button. All I did below the control panel was straighten one leaf and clean the contacts on the leaf switches with fine emery paper.

buttons removed and disassembled
these things are filthy

While the buttons were working fine, they were a little beat up. I started by disassembling them and cleaning with some Fantastik. That didn't help much. So I put them in my ultrasonic cleaner for two 8 minute cycles with heated simple green. That got them much cleaner, but the plastic was still stained yellow. I tried Goo Gone; no help. I tried a buffing wheel on my Dremel. That just turned the plastic red from the buffing rouge. 320 grit sandpaper worked OK but took forever. The plastic is soft and does not sand well.

new (L) and old (R) buttons

After too much time and several attempts, I gave up on restoring the old buttons. I found replacements for only $2.65 apiece. For under $20.00 delivered I could get new buttons in less time than I spent trying to restore these eye sores. Lesson learned. The new buttons are a slightly different design below but function exactly the same.

The monitor glass is easy to remove once the control panel is removed. So I decided to clean the glass and monitor. With the glass removed I could see the monitor bezel was severely faded. I removed it, cleaned it, and sprayed it with satin black spray paint. The bezel was then stapled back in place. It's a small detail but it makes a difference in the look of the cabinet.

bezel before

bezel after


Next I cleaned up the control panel with some Fantastik. To finish things off, I touched up some of the scratches with a paint marker. Finally, I reinstalled the monitor glass and control panel. Next time I'll work on touching up the cabinet.

back together

No comments:

Post a Comment