Professional software development, amateur BMW tinkering, old arcade game stuff


Super Chase / Hantarex Polo

A reasonably rare/overlooked game from Taito in 1992. This was completely dead when I got it – no lights, sounds, picture. The power supply was the first problem as it wasn’t able to supply +5V to the pcb. In fact I had to try 3 (used) power supplies until I found one that could give a consistent +5. This pcb draws a lot more current than a lot of older titles (probably as it uses a 68020 CPU and two sub 68000 cpus, plus a lot of graphics and sound ic’s that were cutting edge at the time) so some power supplies can’t keep up and voltage drops.

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This made two LED’s on the light driver board illuminate, but still nothing else. The sound board is quite unusual in it expects +13V as well as +5V and +12V. Without the +13V line connected the sound amps don’t work at all – however putting 12V there made them work well enough that I could hear game sounds – so pcb confirmed as running! [I should mention that Super Chase isn't jamma - so I couldn't just test it in another cabinet].

The monitor remained completely dead – it’s a Hantarex Polo 25″ standard resolution. No signs on physical problems (cold solder joints, blown fuses,¬†burnt areas, broken components). I hate working on high voltage stuff, so rather than debug anything I decided just to shotgun replace the flyback, all capacitors, and the HOT (horizontal output transistor). On a 23 year old monitor it’s a good bet the capacitors need replacing, and the flyback may have failed. Internet repair logs on this monitor suggest bad flybacks can kill the HOT, so as it’s only $5 may as well replace it too.

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And it worked! It’s quite unusual for a cap kit to bring a dead monitor back to life, but the Polo has a built in power supply (no isolation transformer needed) so bad caps there were probably the primary reason for not turning on. Monitor looks good as new now.

A cool thing about Super Chase is the flashing lights – these are just 40W incandescent bulbs, but both were blown – replaced them, and replaced a blown fuse on the driver board and all was good there. The driver board is quite a simple thing – it takes two 5V lines from the game pcb as input, a 110V mains source, and outputs two 110V lines to the bulbs. You can see the board is designed for 4 lights, but only 2 channels are populated.

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(Main marquee light still not fixed in picture below)

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