Patient: Vectorbeam Space War UR
Technicians: Mark H, Bill K and Chris M
Problem: Slightly shaky graphics during game play.
Troubleshoot: After discussing the problem with Mark H, I pulled the monitor and got it over to his place for testing. He didn’t find any issue with the monitor and suspected the ribbon cable, which I hadn’t brought along. Apparently the ribbon cable is a common failure point on the old Vectorbeam and Cinematronics games, similar to those crappy MCR ribbon cables that are always brittle and prone to failure. Good idea to just replace it. Here’s the old red ribbon cable attached to the monitor/pcb. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Space War’ Category
Patient: Vectorbeam Space War UR
Our first annual party was quickly approaching and I only had a few weeks to finish up the space war. I wanted to move it into the game room for people to enjoy. The cosmetic restoration to the cabinet was done; I just needed to finish putting everything back into the cabinet and hope that it fired up. The only thing holding me back was the control panel. The powder coating turned out too grey for this panel and would need to be painted again. I gave the panel a light sanding on the visible surfaces only and then a coat of black oil base Rustoleum satin paint. I used an HVLP spray gun and sprayed two light coats in short intervals. The paint stuck to the powder coating without issue.
I allowed the paint to dry a full day before I put on the clear coat. The finished panel looked great so I put it on the side and moved on to the next step. (more…)
A smaller subset of the larger restoration, but still important, is the coin door. This particular door wasn’t too difficult to restore, with the 12 carriage bolts on the front causing me the most grief. The completed door looks great and I can’t wait to put it back on the cabinet. (more…)
In this update I get a little closer to finishing off the restoration of this 31 yr old vector classic. With the weather quickly changing here in the Midwest, I needed to finish up all the painting before it gets too cold outside. So, I’ll highlight the replacement side pieces, attach the base, and show the “bondo” work. Then I’ll move into masking and painting the game. I think the end result is truly fantastic. The game looks like it just rolled off the factory assembly line. (more…)
The control panel on a Vectorbeam Space War is a strange and complex construction. There are no joysticks or typical round arcade buttons, only rows of square buttons. Old school, IBM typewriter style buttons. (more…)
Now that the game is completely stripped, it’s time to start repairing the cosmetic issues. I’ll get to the buttons later. Since this game is considered rare and has almost complete side art, it’s worth a little effort to protect the artwork. I used blue painters tape to completely mask off both sides of the artwork. Then I used an x-acto to trim the excess off. (more…)
The Space War I purchased is a fantastic game and a definite keeper. While the game is fully working it has some serious cosmetic issues. Since I just love a good restoration, I decided it wouldn’t be too difficult to clean this one up and make it look like new, so I started a full restoration on the game. (more…)
Space War is a fantastic two player, black and white vector game, one of only four games produced by the Vectorbeam Company. The other games are Barrier, Speed Freak and Warrior; all sought after collectibles. Space War has simple, addictive game play, with excellent replay value. Two ships battle with each other while avoiding on screen hazards in B&W vector goodness. Game play hazards are set by the players using numbered option keys and can be reset during game play if desired. When you drop a token into the game you don’t get a credit, you get 2:00 minutes of game time. You can add as many tokens as you’d like for an additional 2:00 each.
Space War game play is identical to the Cinematronics version, Space Wars, and the two games also share similar pcbs and control panel components. The larger Space Wars, which is considered the first vector game, pre-dated Space War by a few years. The smaller Vectorbeam cabinet was produced by the original game designer after he took his patents and left Cinematronics. For more history, read Tim Skelly’s detailed account at dadgum. (more…)