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Tempest Cabaret

This is the first game I have picked up from Tim up in Fayetteville, NY and boy is it a keeper.

I spent more than I usually spend, but it's still well lower than what I've heard other people pay for games and at $350 I still consider it an incredible deal.

Tempest Cabaret - side

The cabinet is in extremely nice condition with generic wood grain sides that Atari loved to use. The control panel is excellent and the spinner spins so nice it doesn't even make that famous noise it's supposed to make.

Tempest Cabaret - control panel

Even the inside of the cabinet was pretty darn nice...

Tempest Cabaret - inside

The front of the cabinet had some dried on liquid marks that weren't coming off with Windex or Goo-Gone so I broke out the Magic Eraser and it cleaned up the black very nicely. The only thing left to do to the front of the cabinet is strip down the coin doors and repaint them since they show some flaking.

Tempest Cabaret - lower front

I'd also like to try and get another marquee since this one has some bubbled paint... but to be honest it really doesn't look all that bad...

Tempest Cabaret - marquee

The Wells-Gardner 6100 was tested working but the main PCB has issues. The watch dog is going nuts and a simple cleaning of the EPROMs and CPU hasn't made things any better. I can step through the self-test because I can hear the various beeps, but the spot killer is always active so I can't see anything on the screen. I haven't done any trouble-shooting at all yet so I'm still hopeful it won't be too bad... yeah... I am that ignorant.

We can not wait to get Tempest#1292 back to working condition so the wifey and kiddos can play!

Tempest Cabaret - serial number

UPDATE: 08-02-2009
Added this page.
UPDATE: 08-04-2009
Started troubleshooting the PCB a couple days ago. First noticeable problem was the spot killer being on. Knowing that the monitor was tested working, I focused on the main PCB. Seemed like it was constantly resetting so I took a look at pin 40 on the 6502A and it was pulsing... watch dog circuit is active.

Did a little reading online and I first tried cleaning the CPU and EPROM pins without any luck. So I broke out my old Needham PB-10 EPROM burner and took a look at the EPROMs. My board has revision 3 2532 EPROMs so there were only 6 main EPROMs.

All of them checked out except one at the "X" location. Burned a new 2532 and we are now past the watch dog.

Still have our friend the spot killer though. Next I took measurements on the X and Y output. The Y measured good but the X was stuck at about 11.0v... not good. Did a little more reading online and came up with the a bad TL082CP(NTE858M) at D/E12. And now the X output is good.

But the spot killer is still on and now I get a collapsed vertical line on the screen if I turn the brightness up a bit to overcome the spot killer. Next on the list of things to do is replace the MC1495 at C12... unfortunetly that is where I'm stuck at until my parts order comes in from Bob Roberts.
UPDATE: 08-09-2009
Replaced the MC1495 at position C12 a couple days ago and the monitor still showed a solid vertical line. All the measurements look good coming out of the board now for the X and Y data so I started to suspect the monitor.

Tim has been in contact with me regarding this game and offered to let me test the board out on his working Tempest. So the son and I headed to his house on Friday and yep... the board was good so now the monitor is suspect.

Yesterday morning I sat behind the Tempest trying to come up with a game plan for the day and even in the dark I had a couple things just jump right out at me... and I'm not kidding... it was dark!

Tempest Cabaret - monitor issue#01

Tempest Cabaret - monitor issue#02
So I resoldered the transistor mount and replaced the whole connector and I still had a solid vertical line on the screen... strange...

Thinking I had a bad transistor I ended up checking all of them and they were good. Then I took a look at the signal coming out of the board on the o'scope again and I was only getting 1v swings on my X-axis again... come to find out the MC1495 I replaced came loose in it's socket on the way back from Tim's house. You have to love this hobby!

Tempest Cabaret - screen shot

Tempest Cabaret - screen shot

Tempest Cabaret - screen shot

I have to perform a cap-kit on the monitor and replace the pots since I have a decent shake in the monitor sometimes and the X-size pot is definitely bad since the screen will just freak out when you adjust it. At least we get to play now though.
UPDATE: 08-14-2009
Installed the cap-kit on the monitor yesterday and the shake is gone. I still have to replace the X-size pot since touching it will result in the spot killer coming on. Getting closer to a 100% working Tempest now though.
UPDATE: 08-10-2012
Wow, been a long time since the last update. Not much has changed with this game. The repairs mentioned above and replacing the X-size pot have lead to this game working the past three years(man time flies by!). Also within the last year I replaced the coin door with a much better condition one.

But the real reason for this update is... SIDE ART!

Tempest Cabaret - side art

There are more pictures of the side art here.

And no... I still haven't rebuilt the A/R II or replaced "Big Blue"!
(AS OF: 08-10-2012)
  • Cleaned and vacuumed cabinet
  • Cleaned EPROM and CPU legs
  • Replaced EPROM at the X location
  • Replaced TL082CP at D/E 12
  • Replaced MC1495 at C12
  • Repaired broken wire on transistor socket Q604
  • Replaced hacked connector for transistors on monitor
  • Adjusted monitor per manual
  • Installed cap-kit on monitor
  • Replaced X-size pot. on main PCB
  • Replaced coin door

  • Rebuild A/R II power board
  • Replace "Big Blue" filtering capacitor

Site maintained by: Jeff
Last update: 08-10-2012