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tDRG

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Hey everyone, I'm a first-time cab owner and I just wanted to see if anyone had recommendations for some equipment and general safety tips.

For equipment:
  • What's a good soldering iron? Mine is a cheap old Radio Shack iron with a huge tip. I want something more precise for surface-mount stuff. Anything recommended for desoldering? I use a big plastic solder sucker and desoldering braid.
  • What class of gloves are recommended when dealing with the monitor? I don't intend to mess with it too much other than installing convergence strips, but I'd rather be safe.
  • There are some convergence issues in the corners of the monitor, what's a good source for convergence strips or a reliable way to make some myself?
  • Anything else that might come in handy?
For safety, I'm generally a little bit paranoid and mainly concerned with electricity (keeping people and the cab safe) and fire hazards.

I intend to hook the cab (Blast City) up in a carpeted room. Should I put it on something like a piece of wood or some kind of insulated mat rather than just leave it on the carpet? I'm thinking about moving it out onto a wood porch when people come over, anything to take into consideration there?

Are there any fire hazards to watch out for? It's been recapped. I'll give it room to breathe in the back and keep a fire extinguisher handy, but I assume the chances of a fire are minimal. Its outlet and the outlets around it won't have anything else powered on.

My main electrical concern is electrocution. I'll stay out of the back panel/monitor area without gloves, but I plan to swap boards out on a regular basis. I'll make sure the control panel is grounded with a multimeter. What's the best place to put the other probe? I have a repro panel coming from Alberto, and I'll make sure the ground wire is attached. Anything else to watch out for there?

The difference between US and Japan electrical systems are minimal so I'm not worried about a voltage converter or anything. Would anything more than a Tripp Lite surge protector be necessary?

Thanks!
 

TodoRojo

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Soldering Iron:
- I started out with the Hakko FX-888D and it was a cool little device. It still isn't great for micro-soldering, but it gets the job done and I could do basically anything up until PS3 boards. (Still possible, just a pain in the butt).
- Another good option if you're on a budget is the KSGER T12. https://usa.banggood.com/V2_1S-T12-...lientCountry=America&akmClientCountry=America Voultar has a great video on it:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGdHJ3BTh_c
- The Hakko FX-951-66. Hard to go wrong there. Price is a bit higher though.
- I use a JBC CDB station now which is probably overkill for most, but it works very well and has exceptional thermal recovery and capacity. If I didn't have this, I'd get the 951.

Desoldering:
- I'm a big fan of Goot Wick braid.
- If you want a desoldering gun, I'd recommend a used Hakko 808 or a Hakko FR-301. My 808 was probably the best investment I ever made when it comes to board repair.

Hot Air:
- Atten ST-862D (which is basically a clone of the Quick 861DW) is a good station. I have the Quick 861DW and have used it plenty to repair boards and assemble some superguns.

Other items/thoughts on soldering:
- A good multimeter. I use a BK Precision 390A.
- A fume extractor will help keep your lungs healthy. The best thing would be to pipe it outside, but something is better than nothing at all.
- ESD mat and accessories. I was lucky enough to work at Apple when we replaced our ESD mats and equipment every 6 months, so I have a bunch of DESCO brand gear that I use to ground my work station. You can find some cheap option on Ali-express, though. Or just make sure you don't have a static charge while handling things. (DONT GROUND YOURSELF WHILE DISCHARGING MONITORS)
- Nitrile gloves for handling leaded solder


As far as some of your questions regarding electrocution:
- Ground the cab. There are a lot of threads on how to do that. Once that's done, you can check with your multimeter: one probe on the back of the control panel another probe on the ground pin on the 3 prong cable. Obviously, do this unplugged.
- Changing boards etc. isn't too dangerous. Just don't have the cab on while you're doing it. You'd be more likely to fry your board or harness than hurt yourself. Touch some bare metal on the cab to get rid of any static in your body before starting.
- If you don't want it sitting on carpet, you could get one of those plastic sheets people put down for office chairs to protect their carpet.
- Whenever you have the CRT out or the back open, just treat it as if it's always charged. Be extra cautious and discharge it two or three times (5-10 minutes between) before disassembling and starting work on the CRT or its components.

I'm sure other people will chime in with other things. This is just off the top of my head. Also, so you're aware, I am new to arcades so please wait for others to give additional advice. My background is lower-voltage electronics and computer repair (hence the job at Apple).

Good luck!
 
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tDRG

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Awesome, thanks so much!

I'll look into grounding the cab.

I don't intend to do any monitor work besides installing convergence strips, and it has to be on to do that, right? Hopefully I won't have to mess with the monitor otherwise, not sure how accessible the speakers are in the Blast.

Chair mat is a good call.

Yeah, I have a small exhaust fan that sucks solder fumes away from my workspace in the garage, but something a little more heavy duty couldn't hurt.
 

TodoRojo

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Awesome, thanks so much!

I'll look into grounding the cab.

I don't intend to do any monitor work besides installing convergence strips, and it has to be on to do that, right? Hopefully I won't have to mess with the monitor otherwise, not sure how accessible the speakers are in the Blast.

Chair mat is a good call.

Yeah, I have a small exhaust fan that sucks solder fumes away from my workspace in the garage, but something a little more heavy duty couldn't hurt.
Hey homie, yes it does have to be on, so make sure you're ungrounded! Beyond that, I'm new to that process so I'd follow GeeDee's article and this video:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyGPws6Eu4Y



Glad you're already using a fume extractor, though! :)
 

tDRG

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Will do, thanks! Yep, better than nothing, but I'll look to upgrade.
 

tDRG

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Are there any recommended guides on making sure a Blast is properly grounded? Based on this video (at around 26:00), it sounds like there should be a ground wire running to at least the coin mech and probably other areas. I know there's one that connects to the control panel from the IO. To check grounding, I'll flip the switches and connect a killswitch bypass then do a connectivity test with the multimeter between exposed metal and the ground pin on the power cord while unplugged. Is there a list of everything I should check? I'd test the insides too, just staying away from the back of the monitor.

After testing ground connectivity with it powered off, I'd turn it on and check voltages. Where should I connect the other probe, one of the ground ports on the IO connectors? From this thread, it sounds like the front remote board can be dangerous if the stepdown converter isn't properly grounded. (Will I have or need a stepdown in the US?) But from this, it might not be completely grounded in general.

And if anyone has recommendations on what type of gloves to get to stay safe while installing convergence strips, that'd be great.
 

TodoRojo

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Are there any recommended guides on making sure a Blast is properly grounded? Based on this video (at around 26:00), it sounds like there should be a ground wire running to at least the coin mech and probably other areas. I know there's one that connects to the control panel from the IO. To check grounding, I'll flip the switches and connect a killswitch bypass then do a connectivity test with the multimeter between exposed metal and the ground pin on the power cord while unplugged. Is there a list of everything I should check? I'd test the insides too, just staying away from the back of the monitor.

After testing ground connectivity with it powered off, I'd turn it on and check voltages. Where should I connect the other probe, one of the ground ports on the IO connectors? From this thread, it sounds like the front remote board can be dangerous if the stepdown converter isn't properly grounded. (Will I have or need a stepdown in the US?) But from this, it might not be completely grounded in general.

And if anyone has recommendations on what type of gloves to get to stay safe while installing convergence strips, that'd be great.
Hey homie, sorry for leading you down the wrong path. The blast city is a new beast for me. The PSU is already grounded it looks like but someone else could fill in if I'm wrong. As far as chasing wires, the arcade-otaku wiki has some schematics: https://wiki.arcadeotaku.com/w/Sega_Blast_City.

As far as a step-down, based on the photo on arcadeotaku the PSU can handle 120v already. Not sure about the remote board stuff.
 

tDRG

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Hey homie, sorry for leading you down the wrong path. The blast city is a new beast for me. The PSU is already grounded it looks like but someone else could fill in if I'm wrong. As far as chasing wires, the arcade-otaku wiki has some schematics: https://wiki.arcadeotaku.com/w/Sega_Blast_City.
You're good! I'm just not taking any chances, I want to make sure all the grounding is intact before I power it up. Yeah, looks like there's pinout info and stuff.
As far as a step-down, based on the photo on arcadeotaku the PSU can handle 120v already. Not sure about the remote board stuff.
Yeah, that's what I thought. We'll see.

Thanks!
 
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