I want more than a ghost memory of my Pacman machine

So, I’ve had a Pacman machine for some 6 years.  A few months before we moved from Woodstock (GA) to Atlanta it had suddenly stopped working.  I checked to make sure the power supply/transformer were working. Checked the fuses – but all it would do is light the marquee and there was power to monitor.  There was no sound, no video – nothing to diagnose against.

After a few days of fiddling was distracted and just let it sit in its own petulance.

I gave it a go again after we moved into the new house and had setup some games in the basement.  No love from Pacman.  I asked friends and posted a bit for help here and there, and searched for any troubleshooting guides that listed my problem.  I even had my friend James come by one day to help me with my pins, and he spent some time looking at it and couldn’t come up with any rapid solution.

So, again it sat. dead. mocking me, and my inability to fix it.

I had gotten re-acquainted with a contact who specializes in video games. I asked Chris if he’d help – and he agreed to. He took the main board home to test, and gave me the bad news – he couldn’t fix it either. He swapped out his chips for mine, and it still didn’t work.

I posted recently on GAPAS and asked if anyone might have a replacement or know of someone who could do the repair. One member responded that he had a board I could buy.


I went and picked up the board from him, and of course got too busy to dedicate the time to exploring the swap.  I also met back up with Chris and got my old board back – you see it has a Multi-pac kit. So rather than just playing Pacman it also plays Ms. Pacman and a number of other versions and variations — some 24 in all. I think my favorite just for the odd factor is Dead Ms. Pacman which is essential zombie Ms Pac and zombie ghosts.

Tonight I had the time and perhaps more importantly the inclination to do the installation.

I read the instructions and removed the chips instructed.  Installed the multi-pac octopus of little boards and wires and plugged it into the machine and turned it on.

I ran around the front to watch the first images come up on the screen, and was greeted with static type noise and no video. Refraining from unbecoming language I turned it off, and then thought it again. I might work. With quasi hopeful expectation I pressed the power and was immediately greeted by the static garble whining noise and turned it back off.

Dejected I return to the workbench and think back through the installation. I thought I heard a bit of a pop earlier that seemed odd – and it stands out.  So, removing the primary daughter board I look at the stand off it is in, and think that I have another so I’m going to swap it out. I pry off the old orange brown piece of electronics and set the legs into a new one.

I carefully pressed this into the slot where it belongs. Re-install the board set into the video game cabinet and with less expectation but as much hope press the power button.  I wait, and no noise. Hesitantly I walk around and wait for the monitor to warm up – and am greeted with the game selection menu.

I nearly do my Dr. Frankenstein, “IT’S ALIVE” impression.

Happily I play almost one of each version of the game. Satisfied that things are fine I decide to have a glass of wine and relax.  I’ve had enough tension the past few days with games.

Now, how did those patterns for Pacman go again that I used as a kid in the 80’s