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Home Blog Projects Space Invaders Part 2 – On the bench and ready to go

Space Invaders Part 2 – On the bench and ready to go

Published on 09/11/2013 by in Projects

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Space Invaders is a true classic – every generation since 1970’s knows it.  It’s been re-marketed almost to its own annihilation, the invaders themselves are a part of pop culture having been parodied in many comedy shows and the game has turned up even on the more high-brow shows over the decades.

The thump-thump-thump of the marching sound the aliens make as they move across the screen then drop down, reverse direction and increase speed on their descent towards the planet surface and domination of the anonymous but symbolically human race.

Anyway, this isn’t a game review video – that’s coming later, this one’s just a quick look at the machine in surgery so to speak.  It’s laid out on our operating table being made to work again and fight another day.

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What we have here is the results of a few careful days of soldering and wire cutting to make a harness adaptor that’s going to work in the cabinet but also on the test bench should it need a repair in the future.

I always start with the approach of making some kind of game to JAMMA adaptor and here on robotron 2084’s site is a pinout exactly as needed.

Everyone gets an upgrade

I had acquired a SEGA/Gremlin upright cab last year which had SEGA’s Head On in it which the PCB was non working but the monitor was.  So, given the monitor is a Wells Gardener V1001 black and white and the Space Invaders part 2 cabinet didn’t have a monitor and the SEGA/Gremlin cab was going to become Frogger or Carnival at some point in the future then the monitor could move over.

A switch-mode PSU was installed and loom built.

No harm done

No destruction of wiring looms was done, the Space Invaders cab still has all its original wiring inside – it’s wired for a Taito Space Invaders board – it’s a Taito cab after all and the connectors and pins aren’t compatible to a Midway board so a totally new interface loom was made.

The only connector that has been changed in the final cab setup was the one on the control panel.  It was a bit of a weird connector – it’s not even in the AMP catalogue so may well be discontinued, anyway, its been changed for an AMP 9-pin mate’n’lok style connector but either the original machine could be changed back or upgraded very easily.

Who’s to say that an arcade operator from back then wouldn’t make a change like that if they had to renew the wiring?

Space Invaders Multigame? What??

One last thing to mention here is the board came pre-fitted with Braze Technologies’ multigame kit for Space Invaders which gives you a total of 8 games including Spae Invaders, Space Invaders Deluxe (Part 2), Galaxy Wars, Jatre Spectre, Balloon Wars etc.  It’s a tiny board that replaces the CPU on the main board and gives you all this.  For me, it was the inclusion of free-play mode that I loved – not having to fit credit buttons on the coin door.

Enjoy this brief little tour of the guts of the Space Invaders setup and do subscribe to our youtube channel and twitter feeds etc for updates of new posts and videos.



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3 Comments  comments 

3 Responses

  1. Quick question – how are you tricking the power on reset that the daughter board requires?

    One of the guys on another forum had a whole circuit to do that, but watching the video it looks like you might just have a power line going straight to that connector (black wire, on top left connector)?

    Building my own test rig at the moment for my Midway Space Invaders Deluxe hence the interest! 🙂

    • RGP

      The pinout was taken from this article on and you can simply link GND to pin 9 on the upright card. Space Invaders pt 2 PCB is different from SI pt 1 which is what i’m using and our s is a Midway L-Shape version rather than the Taito dual-layer board. The solution isn’t exactly elegant but it works. Ours is fitted with the Braze multigame kit – not sure if that makes much difference but worth mentioning. Don’t forget if making a harness of your own that you absolutely must hook up +12v and -5v as well as +5v BEFORE trying to test – the RAM chips at tri-voltage DRAMs which will fry without the right voltages.

  2. Thanks James – much appreciated.

    I’d forgotten about the pinout from Dave, Robotron2084, which shows both the circuit and the ground technique – good call 🙂

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