Should I fix my monitor or buy new?


Arcade game monitors are sometimes a tricky question as to fix them or buy new.  First you need to know what type of monitor you have and what type of game you have. 

 If you have an "XY" style monitor like Asteroids, Omega Race, Space Fury, Battlezone, Space Wars, Lunar Lander, Star Wars and many more, you are stuck with what you got or a good used replacement.  "XY" type monitors are really a type of low speed oscilloscope that draws the picture like a very quick artist would draw a picture with a pen.  The single dot is moved all over the screen quickly and the brightness is turned off and on as if the artist lifted the pen between areas.  These monitors were made in small quantities and are no longer produced.  We fix "XY" monitors, both color and black and white.

 If you have a "Raster Scan" monitor like Pacman, and most other videogames, you can buy an LCD type monitor as a replacement as long as you do NOT have a Shooting Game.  There are no more "Raster Scan" or "CRT" (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors being made.  Our beloved EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has made the disposal of this type monitor expensive.  Most non gun type games can be retrofit with an LCD but you will not have the same shape since most are made in widescreen format.  Some of the LCD's specially made for the game industry can compensate for the format by displaying a shorter version leaving the ends of the LCD blank.  Special monitor bezels then cover this blank area to help the machine look somewhat original.  The screen resolution of your game must be available in the LCD monitor to sync up properly.

 If you have a "Raster Scan" monitor and you have a shooting game (gun game) then you have no choice but to fix your monitor or find a good used unit of the same resolution. Older Shooting games use the raster scan part of the monitor to place a block that syncs to the optical gun sensor behind the lens in your gun.  This is not possible with an LCD monitor. 

The latest gun games have invisible LED emitters placed around (outside) the LCD monitor that create a light intensity field picked up by the optical gun sensor that is calibrated to the screen.  These games have different software that syncs this positioning data to objects on the screen. This system is very similar to analog input potentiometer designs.  These gun sensors are much more expensive and the LED's do fail.

We fix all monitor types and install LCD kits.  We also have a picture tube rejuvenator machine that can fix most (but not all!) CRT problems.  CRT stands for "Cathode Ray Tube", or what we called "picture tube" in our old style TV sets.  A picture tube will eventually wear out just like a light bulb.  When they start to loose brightness we can use a picture tube rejuvenator to burn the carbon deposits off the electrodes inside the vacuum sealed glass tube.  This proceedure is risky and requires an experienced technician.  If the tube will rejuvenate back to life it will only last for a few years and then require another rejuvenation.  Each time this is done it becomes harder to accomplish and the time between proceedures becomes shorter.

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