Williams Robotron (EU) Restoration 3

So I’m in the home straight here with my Robotron upright restoration. If you missed Part 2, you can quickly catch up here. In short, we left the cabinet last time having just used filler to tidy up the bottom edges, which were disintegrating quite badly, and I wanted to patch those up so that cosmetically, it looked more acceptable:

Let’s turn to the cabinet itself. There’s a lot of patina on the cabinet, which shows it’s age and reflects the hard life it had on the arcade floor for many years. The plan wasn’t to make the cabinet mint, but to subtly touch up anything that glaringly stood out in terms of damage. This for example, I think is worth tidying up a little:

As I was there, I decided to add some filler to a gouge at the base of the front of the cabinet. To do this, I added screws in the space available to give my filler something to grip to.

So talking of filler, by now my Bondo had dried, at the sides, so it was time to finish that cosmetic job up. What I want to do here, is recreate those red stripes that were torn off with the damaged wood. It took a bit of patience and figuring out, but the result was just what I was looking for.

I am very pleased with how that came out. Same process for both sides. To give you an idea of the striking difference this has made, here’s a before and after picture of both sides

So with the cab now in a state where most of the repairs are done, it was time to bring it into the house. Now as you know, my games room sits at the very top of my house, with three flights of stairs to negotiate. It’s never an easy job. Given we are on lockdown, I had no choice but to persuade Mrs Arcade Blogger to help me get the thing up!

So that was most of the painful stuff out the way. But now I had to work out where it was going to go. Cue a giant game of arcade cabinet Tetris!

The speaker which was hanging down by a single screw and interfering with the monitor meaning it wouldn’t degauss properly. The speaker wasn’t stock, so I replaced with a shielded one and refitted properly, which solved the monitor issue.

The board was initially resetting, which I tracked down to a bad 5V line. A good clean of the connector and loom fixed this.

So there you go. One Robotron saved from destruction and now ready to play again!

A very satisfying restoration considering the cabinet was going to be trashed when it was rescued in 1996. A few people I should thank for their invaluable help with this:

  1. Fellow collector Phil, who very kindly thoroughly went through the PCBs making various repairs. He also converted the RAM to 4164 making the machine much more reliable,  as well as technical assistance when I finally got to installing them back into the machine. I owe you several beers Phil!
  2. Larry DeMar for signing my marquee – the perfect finishing touch!
  3. Fellow collector James who was able to give live WhatsApp assistance when I needed to track down a few faults on power up.
  4. The long-suffering Mrs Arcade Blogger for the extra pair of hands in getting the thing up to the games room and not complaining too much when I took over the kitchen sink cleaning parts.

Thanks everyone. The finished result reflects your efforts.

Hope you enjoyed following the progress of this Robotron. She’s definitely a keeper. To read the whole process from top to bottom, check out this page.

Thanks for joining me this week – I’m off to set some scores!

Credit: Williams Robotron (EU) Restoration 3