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Jumped on a Centipede that was posted on Craigslist down in Quakertown, PA thanks to a post over at the KLOV forums yesterday. The drive was supposed to be about 2-1/2 hours but turned into 3-1/2 hours thanks to a broken down rig in the Lehigh Tunnel. I did get to chat with a truck driver I was parked next to for about 30 minutes or so and it's amazing how much you can have in common with people you don't even know... made the delay actually enjoyable.

$75 was all the Centipede cost and with good reason. It is probably the dirtiest game I have ever bought.

Centipede - filthy mess

Someone painted the outside of the cabinet with house paint and a brush... there was a resistor duct taped to the A/R II power supply board... there is oil(or urin) on almost all of the inside of the cabinet... it's a mess.

Centipede - thick paint

But that's what you get when you are one cheap bastard!!!

Centipede - thick paint

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the big hole that was cut and then masterfully repaired in the left side of the cabinet...

Centipede - hole in the side

To get the game working, I first cleaned the "sticky stuff" off the PCB, A/R II PCB, power supply transformer, fuse holders, monitor, and everything else inside the game. Then I replaced Big Blue with Big Black, put a cap-kit on the A/R II and finally crossed my fingers and powered her up.

There wasn't smoke, there wasn't fire, there was just something sort of like Centipede on the screen without all the colors. I had to replace the 6 position connector for the video cable since that was actually rusted by the "sticky stuff".

Next power up I was greated by more colors, but it still wasn't a fully working Centipede. I thought the PCB may have had issues but I just needed to clean and re-seat all the socketed chips. There are a couple that need to be replaced sometime soon in the future but for now I had success.

Centipede - working screen

Now I had to tackle the lack of track ball movement. I first thought it was 100% the trackball but after replacing all the optos and getting good measurements from them, I still couldn't move the shooter on the screen.

Looking at the schematics I started working my way backwards from the optos and replaced most of the track ball circuit chips. I replaced the following chips with new sockets and chips: 74LS257, 74LS244, MC14584(74HC14), 74LS191, 74LS74, 74LS157.

And I also had to replace the 7905(-5v regulator) on the A/R II a couple times since I was getting -11v instead of the required -5v. The only thing -5v powers is the LM324 for audio and that needed to be replaced once as well.

After all that, knock on wood, she's been working good for the past week.

UPDATE: 07-29-2009
Added this page.
UPDATE: 02-12-2010
Since I had some spare cash, I ended up buying side art for the game from The art work is absolutely beautiful. Hopefully we'll get the project done this summer... or maybe next summer knowing me.
(AS OF: 07-29-2009)
  • Replaced "Big Blue"
  • Cap-Kit for A/R II
  • Replaced all four optos in trackball unit
  • Replaced following in trackball circuit:
    74LS257, 74LS244, MC14584(74HC14), 74LS191, 74LS74, 74LS157
  • Replaced the 7905 on A/R II again
  • Replaced LM324 for audio circuit
  • Replaced corroded 6 position connector on monitor
  • Cleaned rollers and oiled bearings
  • Replaced entire control panel with better condition one

  • Cap-Kit Electrohome GO7
  • Install reproduction CPO
  • Replace damaged front panel on cabinet
  • STRIP and REPAINT entire cabinet

Site maintained by: Jeff
Last update: 02-12-2010