The opportunity finally presented itself for me to buy a full-sized arcade game. I suppose I could have picked a smaller one but I kind of bought it on a whim. The game? S.T.U.N. Runner. It’s a sit down “cockpit” style racer with no gas pedal. It’s a game that I used to play all the time whenever I would see it back in the early nineties. This particular copy was obtained from the B&I Amusements auction when they shut down in 2013. I was pretty disappointed to see them go but I thought this was a reasonable souvenir.
The game was not perfect when I got it. The cabinet and plastics were not bad at all but the monitor was so dim it was totally unplayable. A recap and rejuv made the monitor really nice again. There was some other random small issues such as a cracked handle on the steering yoke. Luckily there is a stockpile of over 5,000 of these at Suzo-Happ. The Dallas battery powered RAMs which kept high scores were also shot. Luckily a new comparable part is still manufactured. I ironed out a most of the small issues but then another one popped up. The game started resetting randomly.
At first I sort of ignored it because I figured it was just a ghost in the wires or something but then it started making the machine unplayable. I finally got so frustrated that I ordered a new board set off eBay. I figured that whatever was making this happen HAD to be on the board. I put the new one in for a bit and it seemed to fix it for a bit but soon it started again.
Surely the only other culprit could be the power supply, right? Wrong. I tried a different one and the problems still continued. All the was left to look at were the connectors and wires. I started furiously blasting all the molex connectors with DeoxIT. After waiting the recommended two minutes and powering it back up, I was hoping to see the end of the resets but did not. As a last ditch effort, I decided to start unplugging harnesses because I figured something external had to be killing it.
Turns out that not much experimentation was involved after all. I unplugged the harness going to the volume control and service switch. I put my son on the game to playtest it for me and he decided he wanted sound again which doesn’t work without the volume obviously. I plugged it back in live and what do you know? It reset, right there. Eureka! I pulled the service switch and volume bracket and stuck my VOM probes on the switch. It read overload at first which was fine but then all the sudden started bouncing between 100-300 ohms. No wonder this poor game was confused. This switch started conducting if you sneezed on it.
The date ended with me blasting the heck out of the switch with DeoxIT and me needing to list a perfect second board set on eBay.