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Neo Geo LAI 4 Slot Restoration Project

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    Neo Geo LAI 4 Slot Restoration Project

    Just posting this here, will be starting a restore on this one shortly, going to try document along the way.

    Here's how it looked when i picked it up. Cab was working ok, sound has some minor issues and the video is a little screwy as well. Magnetic field heavy on the top of screen, i think from incorrect speaker replacements. Otherwise working fine. Going to strip it down as much as i can and give it a nice rebuild.



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    #2
    Bezel, speakers and marquees removed.
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    Control panel out, memory card reader still there.
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    Memory card reader be gone!
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    Pretty much all internals removed, including the 2 shelves that house all the bits.
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    The power system, distribution box, crt isolation transformer and the arcade PSU. I feel like i need to replace the crt isolation TF, i don't really know about those so i'll need to ask for advice on a replacement.
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    Chassis.... The guy i got it from said he had the chassis fully serviced recently... ahem ahem..... ok.... Maybe i'm just spoilt because i've had Jomac do work for me before. Needless to say i'll be sending it to him for a workover.
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    Anyways, the long part starts now, restoring everything. I've ordered a few bits to get started, will probably do the CP first.

    Comment


      #3
      Those cabs have a very thin piece of aluminum sheet between the speakers and the tube to stop the speaker magnets effecting the tube. Take that out and you get what you are talking about. Nothing special about the sheet. Any aluminum blocks magnetic effect from passing though it.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Autosteve View Post
        Those cabs have a very thin piece of aluminum sheet between the speakers and the tube to stop the speaker magnets effecting the tube. Take that out and you get what you are talking about. Nothing special about the sheet. Any aluminum blocks magnetic effect from passing though it.
        Thanks for the info, it's not there on this cab. I thought it might have been from a speaker upgrade that had more powerful speakers installed. I'll look into getting some sort of shielding for it, will wait until i get the chassis back and when i get around to this part i'll see if i can shield it! Cheers.

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          #5
          Here's a few pics of what the cab looks like when you gut it.

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          Now i had planned that i was going to do some custom work to this cab on the interior.... but the interior is in such good condition, i've decided i'm just going to clean it up and put it all back together and keep it as original as possible. I feel like this is a much better cab to preserve, rather than a cab for a project.


          So... i started on the wheel panel. Bolts and nuts were rusty... i was going to citric bath and use the original nuts, but i just decided it was easier to get some new ones. I also filled a very small section of the laminate where it was chipped. I used a wood filler product. I took the panel to bunnings and they colour matched the paint... they told me it wouldnt be exact due to the sheen finish etc etc etc.. i don't really care, i just wanted it to touch up, so it's fine. It's actually wall paint!! It's a similar colour anyways. The L brackets were sanded and then painted again with matte black rattle can paint.


          BEFORE

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          Not that exciting, but it's a start!!!

          Chassis has been sent to Jomac to see what he can do with it.

          - - - Updated - - -

          So, the sides of this cabinet are red laminate on the outside, and black laminate on the inside..... they must have run out of the Red/Black combo... because the right side of the cab is red on both sides, and it's been painted black on the inside. It's starting to come off on the inside where things rub against it. If you didn't know it was painted, you wouldn't be able to tell comparing it to the left side, but it is. I was a little worried if i tried to paint it, it might change colours, which would annoy me... but i couldn't leave it how it was, it was bugging me...

          So... Here's how it was before. You can see the paint is rubbing off to reveal the red laminate underneath.

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          Removed the T molding, taped everything up to protect from overspray... and away i went.

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          Here's how it looks now, after it's dried. I was really surprised how it came up... there's still a little red visible there, but that area is not visible when the machines together, its where the bezel/monitor surround/glass sits.

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          Comment


            #6
            So here's a before and after of the cabinet floor. There's a floor layer that sits just above the actual bottom of the cab. It has the coin box housing, and the brace for sliding in the wooden board that has power supplies on it.

            BEFORE: Coin box top was pretty rusty, the metal slide that braces the power board had a crappy finish, screws were also crappy. Dirty all over. There's also a piece of perspex that is there for the coin box to slide in and out, when it was installed they didn't remove the protective paper from the perspex, you an see it on there, it's brown in colour, it makes it look like wood, but it's actually perspex.

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            AFTER: So I stripped and repainted the coin box bracket, and the metal bracket for the power board to slide into. I gave the stick of ply a little sand, it was a bit discoloured and stained on top, just a light sand on this. Cleaned the entire floor all over, it came up pretty well. You can see i've removed the paper cover from the perspex that acts as a slide track for the coin box. Very pleased how this came up! I could have painted the whole floor and made it look all new like, but i really don't want to do that, trying to keep it as original as possible! The rusty coin box had to be restored though, rust gotta go! If anyone is wondering, i got rid of the rust with citric acid in some water. 24 hours and it was gone!

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            Here's a couple of before and after of rusty and then no more rust after 24 hours in a citric acid bath. This is the coin box brace and the hinge from the main door. This is before i painted them, just wanted to show before and after of rust removal. The paint on both was just crappy rattle can paint so the citric acid took most of it off as well. I repainted both with rattle can paint as well! They both come up very nice.

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            Comment


              #7
              Really interesting and I appreciate the detail you've gone to with your posts, Stu, any update on this?

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                #8
                Likewise, I appreciate the detail it is really good mate. Am gonna steal some ideas to restore my Viper cab this year!
                Wanted - Neo Geo AES games (PM me Please)
                Wanted - CPS2 game boards (PM me Please)

                Comment


                  #9
                  No updates at this stage, still need to finish, but it's sitting in the garage for now.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ok, so i jumped ahead a bit... it's pretty time consuming taking al the before and after pics and doing the work... life got busy again, so i just did a bunch of work on the cab and pretty much got the internals all built back up.

                    Here's how it looks now... there's still work to do with hiding wiring and the coin door electronics needs to be done. But inside it now looks like this.

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                    The wiring is a bit messy in the pic, it won't be like this in the end , but for now things are just floating. It's all working, i had the chassis serviced... but i'm still not happy with the monitor. You can't adjust it to be the right size for the tube, the picture is always outside the tube. I suspect it's not the right chassis for this tube... it's going to be replaced, i don't know with what yet, but the one that is in it...... i hate it, which means it will become hard rubbish. The inside came up really clean, it's a bit messy in the pics, but it's nice in person.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      It's a Kortek monitor mate, they all suck. I've never seen a good one that meets my standards. The overscanning can sometimes be fixed by using a plastic hex tool to wind the horizontal adjustment ferrite core. Problem is, the ferrite cores are prone to breaking when they are old, and the often only wind in the image around half a cm anyway.

                      Bloody Korteks. I hate them so much

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Here's a few more before and after pics i took whilst i was doing some restore work.

                        These are the headphone ports on the front of the cabinet, just on the front of the control panel. I tried using them when it was all together, but they didn't work. I took these off and both of them had a wire that had broken off. They were also a bit rusty. I just gave them a brush down with the small wire wheel + dremmel. I painted them a flat black/rust inhibitor paint, solder the wires back on and they were good to go! These are the backs of the plates. The fronts have the graphics on them.

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                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by namastepat View Post
                          It's a Kortek monitor mate, they all suck. I've never seen a good one that meets my standards. The overscanning can sometimes be fixed by using a plastic hex tool to wind the horizontal adjustment ferrite core. Problem is, the ferrite cores are prone to breaking when they are old, and the often only wind in the image around half a cm anyway.

                          Bloody Korteks. I hate them so much
                          I tried that. If it's the bit i'm thinking of, it winds all the way in and all the way out and does absolutely nothing. This monitor is already dead to me, it's just a placeholder for now.


                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yeah, the ferrite cores often don't do shit.

                            It's good that it is dead to you. Korteks should be dead to everyone

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Special mention here... I also replaced all the EL lighting panels for the mini marquees. I found pretty much drop in replacements. It was such a long tedious job, there's no real progress photos. I gotta say though, it's a cool feeling when the all light up brightly again.

                              Here's what they looked like before. Only one of them slightly worked, they were all basically f'd.

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                              I got some replacements that was close to the same size, not quite exactly, but close. I had to trim a tiny amount of the clear excess away from the top and the bottom, and they don't have two pins on the side, they have a connector and two wires, but it's basically a drop in replacement. You use all the original cabinet wiring to power them, there's no hacking, just solder the two wires from the new EL panels onto the points where the old EL panels were connected... like the picture below. This is two of the panels installed. Gaffa tape to cover the wiring.

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                              Here's some results. These pics are a little crappy, my garage has yellowish lights in there and they make pictures come out a bit yellowed out. The brightness also looks a bit off in these pics. The EL panels look great in person, they aren't too dull or too bright. Perfectly working EL panels!

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