Astro City Restoration and Monitor fix

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    • Astro City Restoration and Monitor fix

      Hi Everyone,

      Just after Christmas I got an Astro City! $650 on ebay with a busted monitor, so I figured I'd give it a shot. This is my first arcade machine, and the one I've wanted most as a Sega fan. I'll be documenting my progress and fixes here. My goal is to make it a 2 player machine, green/pink like back in the day with tons of Capcom, SNK, and Konami games in it. Not sure what the best hardware solution is yet, so I'll be using the Neo Geo MVS for now.

      This is how I saw it on the listing. Looks good, owner said the screen was working before, but doesn't anymore. Probably needs new caps or fuses they mentioned. It does play games as in there's sound and the buttons work. it's just the monitor that has issues.

      Amazingly, it fit into a Honda Fit. But there's no wheels, legs, or the foot plate, I realized. Oh well, I'll try to find those later.

      After a general cleaning, I started working on the control panel. It looks like it's been painted over? There's also this strange plate over the coin entry. I drilled out the rivets and removed it. Someone must've ripped off the coin entry back in the day, and the operator bandaided it with this.

      After wet sanding and puttying up the holes and ditches, it's ready for painting. Except I splattered the paint and have to try again. The putty keeps shrinking too, so I'm still adding more layers to fully plug those holes around the coin entry. I'll come back to this later.

      Next focus was on the lights. I ordered a new starter bulb fg-1e and an 18 inch, 17 watt T8 fluorescent light and it works! The tube was a little longer than the metric Japanese bulb in there, but it still fit nicely.

      And now for the big issue. The monitor. A Nanao MS8 29FSG. I took it apart and checked the fuses. F902 was blown. I thought "cool! This will be an easy fix!" I popped in another fuse and it blew again. Darn.

      So I start to dig deeper. A couple caps are noticeably leaking so I'll definitely recap the chassis. But I also notice some discoloration and burnt solder points around Q532. Apparently this is the HDT (Horizontal Drive Transistor). So I get a new old stock HDT, pop it in annnnnd it blows the same fuse.

      I do a lot more research and find that someone else had the exact same problem as me with the same monitor! So I'm reading into this thread and watching his video on what he replaced, and I plan to do the same. I've ordered the same replacement parts and I'll be putting them in soon. I know I should be diagnosing my monitor myself, as the issue could be different, but I don't have much to lose by just following this thread for now.

      The parts I'm replacing are the voltage regulator (NTE2311), HDT (new old stock, 2SC2688), and horizontal output transistor (new old stock, 2SC4288A)

      In the meantime, I've recapped the chassis. Just waiting on those extra parts and the Filter cap which I forgot to order.

      I'm currently asking around for the missing foot plate and leg levelers. I found the wheels on ebay, but they're missing the hardware to attach the wheels. I might have to just use bolts and washers. Also ordered a new control panel (the metal part with art) from Alberto on ebay. I've read good things about him everywhere.

      That's all for now!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by BumbleChump ().

    • I need to source some Astro leg levelers too, just haven't gotten around to it. I'll let you know if I solve that.

      Ask Alberto if he still has the coin drop surround, I feel like I've gotten some from him in the past. You'll be pleased with the control panel, I have them on all my Astros, just the single player versions.
    • Aurich wrote:

      I need to source some Astro leg levelers too, just haven't gotten around to it. I'll let you know if I solve that.

      Ask Alberto if he still has the coin drop surround, I feel like I've gotten some from him in the past. You'll be pleased with the control panel, I have them on all my Astros, just the single player versions.
      That would be great if we could find some Astro City leg levelers, thank you!

      For the coin surround, I've ordered a plastic and metal one online to see which one looks better. I'm leaning towards metal, even though it's not what it originally came with (I think). I'm really excited for the new control panel! Checked around alot before making a purchase. Some of the repros have off centered holes, or incorrect button layouts. But Alberto's looked spot on in every regard.
    • Alberto's are really nice, highly recommended. If you come by I have a stash of his 2 player panels for a rainy day, I can show you exactly what they look like.

      I prefer the metal surrounds, but it's not really important, whatever you like the look of works. I have two different styles, one more rounded and one more angular. I think one pair is from Alberto to replace gross plastic ones that were chipped and yellowed, and the other set were already on the cabs when I got them.
    • hoagtech wrote:

      Good luck on your monitor. Your Astro looks awesome.
      Thanks! I have some good news about that, actually.

      So I finally got all the same parts that the other guy replaced into his MS8 29FSG. I double check and see that my old HOT and Voltage regulator are shorted and that the new ones are good. All capacitors look good, everything is hooked up correctly, turn it on and.....nothing. I hear a small pop so I'm thinking the fuse blew again. Dangit.

      I pull out the fuse and it looks ok so I'm super bummed. But just to make sure, I test it and it's actually bad? The wire inside the glass didn't look severed but it was still bad somehow. I decide to try again with a new good fuse annnnnd.......

      It actually works!!!! I still don't know what that pop was though. I don't think it was the fuse because there's no reason it would have blown if this other fuse is working? Whatever, I'm just happy it's working!

      I adjust the picture and it looks amazing! I'm so happy the dead monitor gamble paid off!

      This is super nitpicky, but the bottom right corner bleeds color a tiny bit. If you compare the "credits" between the left and right, the right side bleeds a bit of red. Not sure why this is.

      I was also able to source a baseplate with leg levelers from ebay, so this will be a complete cab. All that's left is to finish up the control panel when the parts arrive and maybe repaint a couple other bits here and there.

      Almost done!
    • Small update:

      I wanted to get the color back into the marquee, and Aurich mentioned that light gels would work, so I got some on amazon.…6814&s=electronics&sr=1-3

      Just cut em up with scissors roughly in the shape of the art. It gets really close between the yellow and pink colors though. I also double layered the pink since it was pretty light.

      For the green bar at the bottom, the gels weren't long enough to cover it with one piece, so I had to use two. There's a slight line in the center but I can live with it.

      Overall I'm pretty happy with it!

    • Ran into a bit of an issue with the monitor, hoping someone can give some tips on this.

      I was messing with a computer and a jpac to get a picture showing on the MS8 29FSG, and I finally got it working. But I noticed the monitor will start to squeal now. Even if I plug my Neo Geo in, it will start to squeal. I probably did send some incorrect signals to the monitor since I was dumb and forgot to plug in the jpac's usb for power.

      Here's all the info I could gather about the squealing, as well as a video.

      1: It starts after about 10-15 minutes of the monitor being on. Maybe it's temperature related? If I get the squeal, turn off the monitor and immediately turn it back on, it comes back right away. If I wait a minute before turning it back on, it will come back in about 2 minutes.
      2: If I mess with the horizontal hold (I think that's what this pot does) until it garbles the picture, the squealing goes away.

      3: I tightened the screws on the chassis, poked around the yoke with a wooden utensil, but nothing changed.

      Here's a video too.

      After doing a bit of research I'll try the "toothpick trick" where you wedge a toothpick into the flyback's ferrite core to stop it from vibrating?

      Or if anyone else knows of what could be causing this, any help would be appreciated!
    • I figured out what it was.

      Turned out to be this green part. When I pressed on it, it stopped the squealing.

      I looked at the solder points underneath, and some of them came loose so I reflowed them.

      No more squealing!

      Also while I was recapping the PSU, I found a burnt transistor, as well as some really badly leaking caps.

      This apparently controls the -5V? It's a 78L05 transistor so I ordered a replacement. I did notice the monitor doesn't shake at all anymore after recapping the PSU which is good!
    • I finished up the control panel awhile back but forgot to post it. Here's a before and after

      I'm really picky when it comes to sticks and buttons. I wanted everything to be sanwa, but I also wanted the exposed metal shaft like the seimitsus sticks it came with. And since bare sanwa shafts are too thin, I opted for clear shaft sleeves to make it feel like a traditional sanwa stick, but also look like it's made of metal.

      I ended up replacing the 100 yen artwork too.

      It took a lot of layers of Tamiya putty to fill these holes, as it kept shrinking. All the gray you see on the panel is putty filling the little imperfections on the surface. Someone took a rotary polisher (grinder?) and put all these swirly marks in it that I had to fill in.

      My buddy from work helped paint each layer.

      It was 2 coats of gray primer since the putty was gray, 3 coats of white, and 3 coats of 2K clear coat. Although I gotta say, the white does not match up with the cabinet at all. Also for the clear coat, it's SUPER toxic so definitely use it in a well ventilated area with a respirator. I bought a respirator just for this. For the coin entry, the screws it came with were too long, so be wary of that. Here's a list of all the stuff I used and where I got it:

      100 Yen decal:

      Panel (Alberto):…048ae4:g:ijEAAOSw8Qld~Q3C

      White paint (Doesn't match Astro City don't buy!):…ite&qid=1582245727&sr=8-1

      Clear coat:…tle_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      Coin Entry:…ksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

      Sticks, buttons, and shaft sleeves

      More updates to come!

      The post was edited 2 times, last by BumbleChump ().

    • Oh yeah I've seen yours before. It's the most in depth full-clean restoration I've seen on an Astro City. I used your thread as a reference for various parts. Awesome work!

      I do have a couple questions. Does the monitor frame have a ground wire attached to it? Like one of those green cables that goes all over the cabinet.

      And do you know what kind of screws the Astro uses for those self-tapping screws? The ones that screw directly into the fiberglass like on the control panel hinge, and the back plate for the fluorescent light. I can't seem to figure out what they are.
    • Been trying to figure out why the monitor has been so hard to calibrate. It has a very severe trapezoidal shape, so the bottom half gets cut off.

      I tried turning the trapezoidal knob on the chassis, but nothing changes. Then I remembered that one of the caps in the cap kit was wrong. There's one bipolar cap on the chassis, but I replaced it with a polarized one. When I checked the board, the pads were lifting a bit due to it getting hot. So I replaced that with the correct capacitor, but it still had the issue. It's cap C446, 33 microfarad, 16V.…0TWxma1NEcndHeDEifQ%3D%3D

      Kept looking at the chassis and noticed one of the caps I replaced wasn't soldered all the way in. Oops. It was on the daughter board for the trapezoid adjustment pot.

      Fixed that up, and it works great!

      But beware those cap kits though. You cannot exchange a bipolar cap for a polarized one. It's bipolar for a reason. I got mine from here, so if you do too, I'd let them know.

      Also grounded the cabinet with a 3-prong cord.

      Since there's going to be a computer in here, it's gonna need a power strip, so I installed one of those too.

      Finally, there's been some issues with the computer outputting a clean 240p signal. I got groovymame with crt emu driver working with an old radeon gpu, but the image is fuzzy no matter what I try. Been discussing this with the guys over at Arcade,162118.0.html