As promised, I finally have some pictures of my Centipede game acquired last week. Be sure to check out the previous post for pictures of the Golden Tee conversion cabinet. If the mouse pictures from last Friday weren’t enough to scare you off, the condition of this cabinet probably is. Truthfully, it’s not in terrible shape, but it needs a lot of work to make it presentable. I bought this one sight unseen and in hindsight, should have requested some pictures of the cabinet. Still, for the price I paid, I can probably get it working and restored for about the cost of a working machine in nice condition.
Centipede was developed by Atari way back in 1980. If you would like to read a bit more about the history and details of Centipede, check out it’s entry in the Killer List Of Video Games. As is customary with all of my dedicated machines, here are scans of the original Centipede marketing flyers:
One nice thing about the Atari cabinets, while different, they all share a very similar design and shape. From my experience with my Dig Dug cabinet, I have a pretty good idea what repairs need to be done on the cabinet and how long each will take. Unlike Dig Dug, reproduction side art is available, so if I decide to redo the sides, I have that as an option, verses printing my own.
As you look at the cabinet pictures, I’ll point a few thing out ahead of time. The cabinet is very unstable side to side. I’m going to guess that this is caused by the damaged and missing bottom board on the rear of the cabinet (where the power switch is located). There is really not an easy way to piece this board back together so I will cut a new piece and secure it in place, hopefully stabilizing the cabinet.
The top has separated slightly from the cabinet in the back. Again, I should be able to secure that back in place which should help with the stabilization. There is a chunk of wood out of the right front corner of the cabinet, which should be fairly easy to repair using techniques similar to the corner repair performed on Dig Dug. The question of preserving the side art comes into play. The big test will be to see how clean it comes. If it stays as dirty as it is now, I won’t worry about it and will simply replace it. The control panel will get replaced as will the trackball. The bezel and cardboard underneath are both in excellent shape.
Here’s where my little friends, the mice, apparently tried to make their escape. The marquee will have to be replaced.
Before you mention it, I know there is not a monitor in the cabinet. It was removed for testing purposes. Initially, when I powered on the game (after reconnecting half of the wires), all I got was a display with a blue screen. My voltages were good at the game PCB and I had another PCB that was reportedly tested and working. After swapping that PCB in, I had a similar screen, only white, instead of blue. I took the monitor out to test in my Dig Dug machine. Fortunately, the monitor works great.
I think I’ve pinned the monitor problem down to the power supply. I was only getting about 58 volts to various test points in the cabinet, where I should have been receiving 120. I have another power supply on the way, which will hopefully correct the issue. At least the monitor works, so my money spent on the cabinet was worth it. This one will probably move to the top of my restoration list due to it’s poor cosmetic appearance. Removing the mouse urine stench will be my ultimate priority.