My Galaga arcade machine a thrift store find

My Galaga arcade machine at the Thrift Store

My Galaga Arcade Machine – A thrift store find

My Galaga arcade machine at the thrift store
My Galaga arcade machine at the thrift store

How I found it

It was a random Tuesday and my girlfriend and I were visiting up our normal stops, shopping at various thrift, resale, and video game stores when we came across this Galaga machine at a thrift store that we hadn’t been to in a while.

I wasn’t looking for an arcade machine (I was actually looking for Nintendo NES games) but when I saw this Galaga machine it definitely got my attention since Galaga is one of my most favorite arcade machines of all time.

The Galaga machine had a price tag on it of $495 which was not in my price range but since I was at a thrift store I figured the price was probably negotiable.

Upon inspecting it I noticed the back door was missing. The store was not very well lit so it was hard to see inside of the cabinet but I did notice that the power supply had been updated to a newer style switching power supply, which I liked. I also noticed the monitor didn’t have any burn in which is very common so I really liked that too.

I asked one of the employees if I could test out the game. He said “Yes, but if I remember correctly it had a bad video something or other”.

I was still interested and wanted to test it out so I asked him if I could at least power it on.

He said “Sure, lets plug it in and see what happens”. When he reached into the cabinet to pull out the power cord he noticed that it was cut in half so obviously I wasn’t going to be able to test it out.

To me this wasn’t a big deal since it’s an easy fix but I wanted to use this for my bargaining advantage. I told him that $495 was way too much since I couldn’t even turn it on to test out. I asked him what’s the best price he can give me keeping in mind the condition that it’s in. He told me that I could have it for $175. I thought that was a fair price so the deal was done. He told me that they would deliver it the next day for me too.

Cleaning & Inspecting

Once the Galaga machine arrived at my house it was time to see what exactly I had gotten myself into.

The first thing I did was vacuum out all the dust, dirt, and spider webs that had accumulated over the last 30 plus years. Once it was clean inside I got a better look at all the wiring and such in the cabinet.

I noticed that some of the wiring was done using butt connectors so I removed those and soldered the wires back together. This wasn’t really necessary but I prefer to solder wiring. I also soldered the broken power cord back together.

Galaga broken power cord
Galaga broken power cord

I removed the motherboard and began to inspect it. I was looking for burnt chips, cut traces and any other problems. From my research I realized that Galaga is notorious for having problems with the motherboard / video board. The reason is because there are a lot of socketed chips on the boards that are prone to failure due to heat, dirt, and low quality parts that were used in assembly. The chips have very fragile legs on them so you have to be very careful when removing them. It wasn’t my first time removing socketed chips but it was true these chips are fragile.

Galaga Motherboard
Galaga Motherboard

It was apparent the motherboard had been worked on in the past. It still had service stickers attached to it and it also some hot glue on the board from the service.

Galaga motherboard service tag
Galaga motherboard service tag

Cleaning the motherboard / video board

I carefully removed each of the socketed chips one at a time and cleaned them. I used a pencil eraser on the chip’s legs as well as some isopropyl alcohol. While the chips were out, I also cleaned out the sockets with isopropyl alcohol and compressed air. I took my time to make sure I didn’t break off any of the chip’s legs.

Time to power on!

After installing the cleaned motherboard I was ready to test out the machine. I pressed the power switch and I was happy to hear the familiar high pitched sound of the monitor coming to life. After a few seconds it warmed up and I saw that the game was playing.

Unfortunately though, the screen didn’t look right. The colors were way off as it was too red and in the top right corner it was green.

Galaga monitor bad colors
Galaga monitor bad colors

Luckily for me the fix was to adjust the pots on the back of the monitor’s neck board (see the pic).

Galaga monitor adjustment pots for colors
Galaga monitor adjustment pots for colors

After the fine tuning I also adjusted the focus so I would get a nice clear picture. The red monitor must have been what the salesmen was talking about it having a “bad video board”.

Extended testing AKA: Playing some Galaga

I started playing and made it to stage 20 and then all of a sudden the game rebooted on me. It then came up to an error screen where it said “RAM OK ROM 01” (Note: Errors are displayed in upside text when the Galaga machine boots)

Galaga Error RAM OK ROM 01
Galaga Error RAM OK ROM 01

From my research it indicated there was a problem with the rom chip at 3N so I removed the rom chip again and cleaned it some more and also cleaned the socket again.

Galaga ROM 3N
Galaga ROM 3N
Galaga socket 3N
Galaga socket 3N

I also read that the power supply voltage should be checked and adjusted if it wasn’t around 5.2 volts. My power supply was putting out 4.9 volts so after I adjusted it to 5.2

Galaga power supply adjusting voltage
Galaga power supply adjusting voltage

After the cleaning the 3N rom chip / socket and adjusting the power supply voltage I’m happy to say that I’ve had no problems at all with the game. It hasn’t rebooted on me or acted up at all.

Video of the end result

Next on my list is to install a marquee light because it doesn’t have one in the cabinet. I’ve already ordered side art and the kick panel art so that the cabinet looks complete. All in all I’m very happy with my Galaga game.

Midwest Gaming Classic 2013 Pictures

Super Mario Bros Pinball

Midwest Gaming Classic 2013 Pictures

Midwest Gaming Classic 2013 Pictures taken by myself SteveOh.

I tried to get to all the different areas of the show. Included are pictures of the Star World’s arcade, the vendor area, the various gaming rooms, and the pinball tournament.

There’s a lot of retro / vintage computers & gaming devices. Have fun!

60 in 1 Bartop Arcades
60 in 1 Bartop Arcades
Apple & Commodore Computers
Apple & Commodore Computers
Apple IIc
Apple IIc
Apple Lisa
Apple Lisa
Atari 5200 Close Up
Atari 5200 Close Up
Atari 5200
Atari 5200
Atari 7800 in box
Atari 7800 in box
Atari Centipede Mobile
Atari Centipede Mobile
Atari Jagfest
Atari Jagfest
Atari Jaguar & Lynx
Atari Jaguar & Lynx
Atari Jaguar Banner
Atari Jaguar Banner
Atari Jaguar Box & Atari Lynx
Atari Jaguar Box & Atari Lynx
Atari Jaguar
Atari Jaguar
Atari Lynx 2
Atari Lynx 2
Atari Lynx - The Latest From Lynx
Atari Lynx – The Latest From Lynx
Atari Lynx Complete
Atari Lynx Complete
Atari Lynx
Atari Lynx
Atari Pong & Intelligames Pong Sports IV
Atari Pong & Intelligames Pong Sports IV
Atari Pong & Stunt Cycle
Atari Pong & Stunt Cycle
Atari Video Game Selection Center 2
Atari Video Game Selection Center 2
Atari Video Game Selection Center
Atari Video Game Selection Center
CIB Games For Sale
CIB Games For Sale
CIB NES Master System Genesis Games
CIB NES Master System Genesis Games
Commodore Computer
Commodore Computer
Compaq Z80
Compaq Z80
Console Gaming
Console Gaming
Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution
Fix It Felix Arcade
Fix It Felix Arcade
Games for sale
Games for sale
Handhelds for sale
Handhelds for sale
Happy Vendor
Happy Vendor
Homebrew Jaguar Games 2
Homebrew Jaguar Games 2
Homebrew Jaguar Games
Homebrew Jaguar Games
IBM PC
IBM PC
Intellivsion Keyboard
Intellivsion Keyboard
Joust Cocktail Arcade
Joust Cocktail Arcade
Joust High Score
Joust High Score
Main Vendor Hall
Main Vendor Hall
NES Accessories
NES Accessories
NES Power Glove
NES Power Glove
Nintendo Gameboy Kiosk
Nintendo Gameboy Kiosk
Nintendo VS Red Tent Arcade
Nintendo VS Red Tent Arcade
Pinball Machines 2
Pinball Machines 2
Pinball Machines
Pinball Machines
Pinball Playfield
Pinball Playfield
Pinball Tournament
Pinball Tournament
Pixel Party
Pixel Party
Radio Shack TRS80
Radio Shack TRS80
Sealed Atari Games
Sealed Atari Games
Sega Mark III
Sega Mark III
Star Wars Pinball
Star Wars Pinball
Star World's Arcade 2
Star World’s Arcade 2
Star World's Arcade 3
Star World’s Arcade 3
Star World's Arcade Beatmania
Star World’s Arcade Beatmania
Star World's Arcade
Star World’s Arcade
Super Mario Bros Pinball
Super Mario Bros Pinball
Video Brain
Video Brain
Zelda Standee
Zelda Standee
Baby Pacman Pinball
Baby Pacman Pinball
Boxed NES and Super Famicom Games
Boxed NES and Super Famicom Games
Bubbles Arcade Machine
Bubbles Arcade Machine
Nintendo Famicom Games for Sale
Nintendo Famicom Games for Sale
Galaga Arcade Machine
Galaga Arcade Machine
Galaga Arcade Perfect Challenging Stage
Galaga Arcade Perfect Challenging Stage
Ikari Warriors Arcade Machine
Ikari Warriors Arcade Machine
Intellivision Games for Sale
Intellivision Games for Sale
Japanese ROB the Robot and games for sale
Japanese ROB the Robot and games for sale
Japanese Sega Saturn Games For Sale
Japanese Sega Saturn Games For Sale
Lots of NES Games for Sale
Lots of NES Games for Sale
Lots of NES Games for Sale 2
Lots of NES Games for Sale 2
Moon Patrol - Bubbles - Robotron 2084 Arcade Machines
Moon Patrol – Bubbles – Robotron 2084 Arcade Machines
Nintendo Famicom and Super Famicom Games for Sale
Nintendo Famicom and Super Famicom Games for Sale
Random Games and Merchandise for Sale
Random Games and Merchandise for Sale
Rare NES Gameboy and Import Games
Rare NES Gameboy and Import Games
Sealed and Boxed Atair Jaguar and Turbografx16 Games
Sealed and Boxed Atair Jaguar and Turbografx16 Games
Sega Genesis 2 - N64 - 3DO
Sega Genesis 2 – N64 – 3DO
Star Worlds Arcade 3
Star Worlds Arcade 3
Super Famicom Games For Sale
Super Famicom Games For Sale
Super Nintendo SNES Games for Sale 2
Super Nintendo SNES Games for Sale 2
Super Nintendo SNES Games for Sale
Super Nintendo SNES Games for Sale
Turbografx16 Games for Sale
Turbografx16 Games for Sale

Midwest Gaming Classic 2013 – Star World’s Arcade

Midwest Gaming Classic Logo

Here’s a short video of the Star World’s Arcade at the 2013 Midwest Gaming Classic. There were quite a few classic arcades to play as well as more modern titles and some pinball machines. All of the games were on free-play which gave everybody a chance to play, and play as many times as possible. Some of the popular games were:

Midwest Gaming Classic Logo
Midwest Gaming Classic Logo

  • Defender
  • Robotron 2084 (Had 2 machines)
  • Joust (cocktail table)
  • Galaga
  • Ms. Pacman
  • Bubbles
  • Lunar Patrol
  • Nintendo VS Wrecking Crew
  • Beatmania
  • Dance Dance Revolution

and more.

It was pretty crowded so I tried to get as many games in the video as possible but it was cramped so this is the best I could do.

All in all it was a great time and I would highly recommend the Midwest Gaming Classic to anyone who enjoys classic and modern video games and pinball machines. There was much more to do than just play games including arts and crafts for families, a huge video game/computer museum, giant vendor sales areas with all sorts of games/systems and merchandise for sale and pinball tournaments.