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Bulletproofing your Pole Position.

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.arcade.collecting (More info?)

When I first got my PP cockpit (because I just loved the game as a
kid) I will never forget all the horrible things I read upon
researching known issues with this game.

I recently stumbled across these files and read them here ->

http://www.ionpool.net/arcade/atari_docs/atari_docs.html

If the information is used properly, and you have the time and the
money, you too can own a damn near bullet proof Pole Position. If
anything, you will probably die laughing when you come to the
realization that these people had absolutly no clue what they got
themselves into when they (sorta) engineered this unit.

Some of my favorite quotes from the interoffice memos you will be
reading.

"We are able to correct the reset problem by two methods and we are
planning to impliment this to field failures. Unfortunatly, we are not
sure how we are fixing the problem - Only making a calculated guess."

AND on the subject of steering encoder wheels just FALLING off.

"This morning I received a call from Atari Ireland and they are having
a new problem there. The encoding wheel is falling off the steering
assembly. Eamonn McGrath and I talked to Otto De Runtz, We explained
the problem and Otto explained that Ireland was not using the right
grease in the assembly. Nyogel 779 is called for and they were using
light spray in place of that material. The last time Nyogel was used,
the line broke out with some kind of eye infection. The people on the
line were against using Nyogel."

AND my personal favorite.

"This memo is to notify you of possible repair problems with games
using Namco boards. We have discovered serious timing problems in the
Namco design. We have corrected these problems in U.S. boards, however,
there is no good way to fix namco boards without butchering the boards.
Namco is currently getting around the problem by selecting parts. All
the boards we will receive from Namco will be operational (I think)."

I mean.. c'mon.. thats BEAUTIFUL. Even if you don't have a PP (lol)
just go download the pdf's of the memos... worth the read!

- Matt
8 answers Last reply
More about bulletproofing pole position
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.arcade.collecting (More info?)

    Several things can be done right away to bulletproof this game:

    Convert it to a switching power supply as per the Star Tech Journal
    article.

    Repair/replace the edge connectors on the gameboards.

    Remove the battery and locate it off board to prevent leakage damage.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.arcade.collecting (More info?)

    Also run more power lines to the test lugs on the board, and add an
    additional fan or two, blowing on the board.


    Ken Layton wrote:
    > Several things can be done right away to bulletproof this game:
    >
    > Convert it to a switching power supply as per the Star Tech Journal
    > article.
    >
    > Repair/replace the edge connectors on the gameboards.
    >
    > Remove the battery and locate it off board to prevent leakage damage.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.arcade.collecting (More info?)

    > If anything, you will probably die laughing when you come to the
    > realization that these people had absolutly no clue what they got
    > themselves into when they (sorta) engineered this unit.

    And that folks, is why *we* don't work on Pole Position boards anymore!

    But in all honesty, the experiences Atari had (unsolved problems, renegade
    production facilities/workforces, nasty workarounds, etc.) happens a lot in
    the electronics product development world, even to this day. I suspect that
    the Atari & NAMCO engineers knew *how* to improve the design, but they
    probably couldn't fix the root problem because of "bigger" issues like schedule,
    project (or corporate) finances, contractual obligations, etc. Revising the PCB
    design to correct the problems probably wasn't an option, even though the engineers
    were probably begging to be allowed to do it.

    On the other hand, sometimes us engineers if left to our own devices
    will spend years fixing minor technical issues with something that don't really matter
    in the big picture. I guess it's an over-focus sort of thing - I know I'm sometimes guilty.

    Alex
    ----
    ayeckley@elektronforge.com
    www.elektronforge.com
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.arcade.collecting (More info?)

    I ran the power to the test lugs bypassing the edge connector, I did the
    sense mod on both ARII, and I replaced the leaky battery with a supercap.

    Haven't had a problem with it since (over a year).

    IA.

    Rob Williams wrote:
    > Also run more power lines to the test lugs on the board, and add an
    > additional fan or two, blowing on the board.
    >
    >
    >
    > Ken Layton wrote:
    >
    >>Several things can be done right away to bulletproof this game:
    >>
    >>Convert it to a switching power supply as per the Star Tech Journal
    >>article.
    >>
    >>Repair/replace the edge connectors on the gameboards.
    >>
    >>Remove the battery and locate it off board to prevent leakage damage.
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.arcade.collecting (More info?)

    Ah - I forgot the sense mod. That's a good update to make!

    This mod connects the sense lines back from the board directly to 5V on
    the ARII, with a short jumper.

    Rob
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.arcade.collecting (More info?)

    Yea,

    For mine I used the +5 and GND lugs ont he board as well. Then 10 ga.
    runs to two 20 amp switchers side by side. I stripped back 2-3" of bare
    wire and run it under one lug to the next.

    I wanted to exceed the current demand by at least 50% and 40 peak amps
    ought to do the trick.

    The cage I have was customized with a wind tunnel dual fan system.
    blowing in from the bottom, and exhausting from the top.

    Not a single problem yet! And the brushless fans are rather quiet. I'm
    sure the fact that the cockpit has twice the speakers (and I keep them
    cranked) also prevents me from hearing the fans.

    - Matt
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.video.arcade.collecting (More info?)

    Matty-t <matthews@audio-doctors.com> wrote:

    : http://www.ionpool.net/arcade/atari_docs/atari_docs.html

    Hmm, they talk about removing three EEPROMS, and all that happens is the
    croud sound goes awawy. I wonder what they did, and how one could get the
    crowd cheering back.


    --
    ==========================================================
    Chris Candreva -- chris@westnet.com -- (914) 967-7816
    WestNet Internet Services of Westchester
    http://www.westnet.com/
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