In January 2016 I found a guy on Ebay that had a Ms Pacman machine for sale. He was about 2.5 hours away and had a starting price on the auction for $250 and a Buy It Now price of $450. I wrote him and asked if he would take $175 and he said YES! A few days later we set out to pick up the new girl.

When we got her home and started the first inspection you could tell she was in ok shape for a machine that was made in 1982. There was some wood damage along the bottom and the paint was pretty faded. The cabinet was made out of plywood instead of pressboard so there wasn't much water damage like there was on my Galaga cabinet. The previous owner said that if you slammed the coin door the machine would reboot (there is a tilt switch in there that he did not know about). He told us other than that and a few glitches (???) the machine worked fine and his son had simply outgrown it:

One of the first things I noticed was that the previous owner had wrapped electrical tape around the back door kill switch in the cabinet. Definitely a rookie move since all you have to do is pull the plunger on the switch out to keep the power on. Anyone who has worked with arcade machines knows this and it made me laugh:

So, why did it make me laugh? Because I did the same thing with my first Mame machine back in 1999. In fact, 17 years later and the tape is still on there:

It is hard to see but the eprom located at 6F (top of the picture peeking out from under the daughter board) has a white sticker on it. I noticed when I first inspected the board that the window on the rom chip was visible and would be susceptible to damage. I put the sticker over the window and didn't think anything else about it until I played the first game. Yep, someone had replaced 6F with a speed chip (Ms Pacman goes twice as fast as normal). I'm not a big fan of those things but since my wife liked it I left it in. In fact, she really likes the game so I set the dip switches to start with 5 men (women) and told her the game was now hers:

I pulled the monitor bezel off and the underside was pretty dirty. Also, there was some missing paint. I used Awesome and Windex to gently clean the glass:

I've had my share of bad monitors in arcade machines and at first glance this looked no different. The screen had horrible burn in (which is a 100% certainty on all maze type games). Also, Ms Pacman was red instead of yellow and the pear on board #6 was a dark purple instead of light green. It was hard to even see it bouncing around the screen:

I was just about to pull the monitor and start a cap kit on it when my wife said something about the colors were much worse on the lower right hand side of the screen. Hmmm, could it just be a degauss issue? I pulled out my homemade degaussing coil and went to work:

Wow! The difference in the monitor was incredible. I don't know if the guy I bought it from was having this issue or if it was caused by the move but this was a really simple fix. Five minutes of work and I had a yellow Ms Pacman and a green pear. Yes, the burn in is still there but that will get solved with a tube swap some time in the future:

When I picked up the Daytona USA game I bought off Ebay I told the guy I also wanted to purchase a modified Ms Pacman control panel he had up for auction. He ended up throwing it in with the deal. Even though it was only in 6/10 shape it was still better than what came with the game. The current panel had rusty bolts, nasty/dirty buttons, and no overlay:

I chucked the bolts in my drill and gave them a quick shine with some sand paper:

The buttons were pretty dirty and discolored but I cleaned them up and left them on the machine to keep it original:

I moved the joystick and buttons over to the new panel and it looks much better. The extra buttons will eventually be a pause button and level skip:

After a couple of weeks the game developed the dreaded "Pacman Hum" (which Ms Pacman also gets). Instead of describing it you can just watch the first few seconds of this video:

Even though the video above talks about replacing the edge connector I tried cleaning the fuse blocks first (since it was free and didn't take a whole day of work like edge connector replacements do). There was a lot of corrosion on both the two fuse and four fuse blocks and the fuses themselves. I took resistance readings first (wire to wire across the fuse) and I could see there were a few issues. Once I cleaned them up all six fuse links were below 2 ohms:

After cleaning the fuse connections the hum did not get any better. I found that the large bundle of wires draping over the edge connector was causing the problem. I know it is not a permanent fix but I just stapled a cable tie above the bundle and used it to hold up the wires. The hum was now gone. I do need to revisit this in the very near future because I can feel the ground section of the edge connector getting a little warm:

The next thing I wanted to turn my attention to was some customization. After my sucess with changing the roms in my Area 51 cabinet and Galaga cabinet, I figured it would be nothing to tackle the Ms Pacman cabinet. Well, I was wrong. I did not realize that the roms on the Ms Pacman daughterboard were encrypted. After some searching I found that someone had released a script that would decrypt the roms. Many thanks go out to Souzilla for your work on this!!! Soon I had decrypted the U7 rom that contained a lot of the text that you see on the MsPac screens and changed the hex to include the ascii that I wanted:

The screen below was the first thing I changed (changing "Starring Ms. PacMan to my wife's name) but I forgot that when the MsPac was on free play you never see that screen. OOPS...

After that fail, I decided to focus my attention on the credit screen. This is what the factory screen looks like:

The two changes I made were the "Beat This" vs High Score and the "Ms Bunny":

I also made a change to the "They Meet" cut screen that you see after completing board #2. Below is a quick video of the change I made (normally it says They Meet in the first few seconds):

UPDATE - The Ms. Pac-Man (as well as my Galaga) 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).