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Galaga restoration

Flash back all the way to October of 2001, not too long, but an eternity when you think about the advances in technology since that time. I had picked up my very first cabinet, a Galaga UR and was anxious to restore it to its former glory. I think it is very important to document the strip down of any cabinet, primarily so you can remember where stuff goes, but also to share the details with the collecting community. I didn’t have a digital camera back then and was taking pics with my 35mm camera, a slow process.

I decided to borrow a friends digital Sony Mavica for instant results. Cutting edge at the time with its little 3″ removable disc media. Wow, what a difference, I can’t imagine using a 35mm ever again! I stripped the cab of all its parts and started to clean it up. The bottom and lower back of the cabinet were water damaged and the cab was missing a wheel, so drag damage. I figured I could just swap in some new panels and repaint/laminate. Easier said than done as Midway used these bizarre RTA (ready to assemble) connectors all around the bottom piece. I guess for ease of assembly.

I was able to find replacement RTA fasteners that were almost exact duplicates of the originals. They weren’t cheap (imports from Germany) but I was trying to repair it correctly. I cut new blanks for the bottom, back and back door. I sanded, patched and sanded the entire cab to make sure it was nice and smooth. I would paint the back components, but for the sides I was going to install some nice black laminate for durability.

I installed leg levelers and casters. I couldn’t find a spare original caster and since I only had one was forced to settle for a pair I found at Ace Hardware. I had rewired the cabinet after bringing it inside to install the artwork and Lisa was in charge of play testing to make sure it was working properly. Well, she hit level 21 and got this lovely message, “This player too hot. My electronic brain is scrambled. Immediate shutdown. Danger, danger, danger.” Then the darn game would reset. WTF is that? She tried it again and sure enough, same thing, but this time I got the pictures below. Apparently some Operator wanted to make sure you couldn’t play too long on just one quarter! Funny stuff.

I know I have more data and pics about my first restoration around somewhere, just need to dig. Until then, happy gaming.

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