In January 2015 I picked up my phone and saw I had several missed calls and text messages from a friend in Mt. Pleasant. I called him and he excitedly told me that he was walking his dog in the neighborhood and someone had set a Galaga machine by the side of the road. He asked if I wanted it. Hell Yeah! I told him. A few days later I had the machine in the shop for first inspecation:

Wow, I had seen some pretty sad arcade machines in the past but this one was really roached out. The machine looked like it had sat out in the rain for a few days and was absolutely filthy. The moldy smell alone was enough to make you gag:

The pressboard cabinet had gotten so wet that it had swollen to about double the size:

The bottom of the cabinet was just as bad:

Inside you could see that someone had dropped the cabinet on the feet so hard that they had busted the wood in both front corners:

There were no keys so I drilled out the lock:

What did I find inside? How about a golf ball and a bunch of pennies. This was looking good:

Inside the machine was completely trashed:

I see that someone had yanked out the original power supply and left it laying in the bottom of the cabinet:

They did, however, replace it with a modern switching power supply. At least there was one nice thing about the cabinet:

Ah, make that two nice things. Someone had also installed a fast fire pcb:
(NOTE - Later on I found out that this was NOT a fast fire pcb. This was only an OEM automatic fire pcb so you could hold the fire button down and the ship would fire continuously at the normal slow rate.)

The monitor chassis was a Wells Garner K4900 but it had the original white flyback. I doubted if it would ever work:

After cleaning the mold, dirt, dust, and junk out of the bottom of the cabinet I crossed my fingers and fired it up. I was giving it about a 50% chance that it would even power up but to my surprise it did. I didn't see any smoke coming out of the back so I ran around to the front of the machine. Hmmm, the dreaded 000"s screen. This means that the extremely expensive and fragile Galaga custom chips will need to be looked at. The 000's problem is usually due to a problem with the 2l, 2J, 2H, or 2E chips so I started my investigation there. After a few hours I found that a couple of the legs on 2L did not have continuity with the solder side of the CPU board. I pulled the chip and noticed that somone had cleaned it in the past (it was the only custom chip that had clean legs). I played with it a bit and found that I could only get continuity if I put the chip only part of the way into the socket. Yep, it was time to order a Galaga renew kit:

Once I got 2L to work I could get past the 000's screen but the game died at the RAM/ROM check screen. I was now getting a ROM 01 error. This points to a bad eprom at 3N:

I pulled out my GQ-4x4 eprom burner, a UV eprom erasure and some M2732A eproms:

I read chip 3N and used Hamster's Romident webpage (what a great site) to compare it to known Galaga roms. The rom checked out ok but I burned another one for the hell of it. I put it in the pcb and this time I got a little further. I didn't take a picture of it but it was a solid white screen. After pressing on the chips I could get past that and on to a screen with a little sound. There was no doubt about it now. I needed to do a full renew on the board:

When I recieved the Galaga Renew Kit I pulled out the contents and took a look to see what I had. The kit consisted of all new sockets as well as some new resistor packs:

You can see how much nicer the new dual wipe sockets are compared to the crappy OEM sockets:

My old solder sucker was in horrible shape so I purchased a new Edsyn Deluxe Soldapullt. Wow, it does a much better job than my old rig. Still, it took me about 20 minutes to pull the chip and remove the socket:

Once the new socket was installed, I replaced the chip and fired the game up. NOPE, I was still stuck at the ROM 01 error message. I knew that I would soon be using my new logic probe so I started looking for a good place to grab +5V and GND on the board. I noticed that I had +5.2V to the board (as I had been told I needed) and wondered what would happen if I dropped it down to +5.0V. Yep, the game fired right up at that point. Strange:

Since I now knew that I did not have rapid (fast) fire but did indeed have automatic fire I wanted to burn a new chip with some fast fire code. I don't like to cheat on games but I have to admit that fast fire is the way the game should have come in the first place. It just feels more natural:

After replacing a few sockets the game was still having problems from time to time. The biggest one was the constant THUMP, THUMP, THUMP the speakers do while you are playing:
Watch the video here to hear the sound problem):

After an examination of the audio section on the pcb I see that the filter cap for the audio amp has a big glob of solder on it. I remove the solder and find that the leg has been snapped in half. I replaced the broken leg with a wire but it did not help with the sound problem:

To fix the sound problem I needed to either replace all the caps related to the audio or replace the amp chip. I ordered the capacitors and a MB3730 amp chip so I could do both job. I ended up only replacing the caps since that is what fixed the problem. I'll keep the MB3730 for a future project:

After the audio fix I was still having issues with the PCB:

And more issues (no, I am not holding the camera upside down):

And more issues:

Change log:
replaced original 3N 3200a.bin with 3200a.bin from mame galagamw (midway set 1)
replaced original 3J 3600e.bin with 3600e.bin from mame galagamf (fast shoot)
replaced socket 3N with dual wipe from Galaga Renew Kit
replaced socket 2L with dual wipe from Galaga Renew Kit
replaced socket 4M with dual wipe from Galaga Renew Kit
replaced all sound caps

UPDATE - The Galaga (as well as my Ms. Pac-Man) was sold to my buddy Brent Holland in December, 2016. He drove to my house this time (last time, I went to his house to pick up the World Series Baseball).