Finally, a chance to shine!

I picked this up about a year ago off Craigslist. Advertised only as “Q-Bert” I thought I was getting the Gottlieb classic.

Q-Bert Bootleg
Q-Bert Bootleg

As you can see, this is what I found. Their asking price was $25, and though I was disappointed it wasn’t a “real” Q-Bert, I took it anyway. I’d just driven an hour for it, I wasn’t going home empty handed.

At the time I couldn’t even plug it in, I only had time to pop it into storage. It was sold to me as “non-working, needs a monitor or something.”

Fast forward to now. I’ve been curious about this for the last year, and finally said “heck, why not!”, popped it in the back of the van and brought it home.

The coin door was missing part of the entry mechanism. And somehow in the process of repairing it I lost the spring that is behind the reject. 🙁

It was filled with all kinds of stuff. Lots of dead D and C cell batteries. Coins (but only two quarters) and other odds and ends.

After making sure there was nothing that would cause fire, I plugged it in. At first…nothing. Then I could hear Q-Bert hopping around in attract mode.

I noted the monitor unplugged. Once I replaced the plug, the monitor worked! Nice!

Minor graphics glitches. Figured I’d do some minor troubleshooting in due process, but I found the original PCB mount in the bottom of the cab and figured I’d use it. Since I had the PCB out I cleaned the edge connector with my fibreglass pencil. Once I plugged everything back in, not only were the glitches gone but the overall picture was brighter and more vibrant. A win overall!

The CP was covered with a plexi overlay that was shattered into many pieces. Once I removed them I noted that the plywood was horribly swiss cheesed. So I cut out a new one.

The replacement Q-Bert CP
The replacement Q-Bert CP

I’ll upload a picture of the old CP in the future.

In the marquee area: the bracket was HUGE, and had some awful artwork of horses on it. My neighbor Tim works in a metal shop, and trimmed down this bracket for me so you could see more of the Q-Bert marquee. The bulb fixture was set up for an F14 T12, and I wanted to use an industry standard F15 T8. Luckily it was just a matter of unscrewing the plug ends and spacing them out. It’s finally lit again for the first time in years!

The coin door and safe I just used some semi-gloss black Rust-Oleum to “brighten” the look since it wasn’t in terrible condition.

Finally, the cleaning. It was filthy. Mildew on the outside from being in damp conditions, nastiness inside. I gutted the bottom, sanded it down and vacuumed it out. A sponge and some glass cleaner took care of the outside.

Some very minor things left to do: finish the CP and apply the artwork, put the coin door back on and wire it back in place (and include lights, it currently doesn’t have them) and figure out some way to hold the bezel in place. The original mount was removed before I bought it, and the piece of metal currently used is inferior.

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