I'm always on the lookout for some more neons for the arcade, especially reasonably priced ones. Enter Ebay. I found a pacman neon at a good price on ebay. The catch? It was coming from Hong Kong (that's China folks). Well, of course things can be made cheap in China but the problem is shipping. When ordering from China your package can take upwards of a month to receive. Well, I can wait so I went ahead and purchased the neon. A month later it arrived, not in a box, but just the styrofoam packing wrapped in what looked like a black plastic trash bag material. To make matters worse, without being inside a protective box, the styroam was crushed in on one side. I took pictures as I opened it (see last picture) and my fears were confirmed. The "A" in Pac-Man and the "dash symbol" were broken. I sent pictures to the seller, and they asked if they could send me a part and have me repair it. I told them I don't repair neons, either give me a full refund or send out another one.

They relented but finally shipped out another one. And I waited. I waited another FULL month. After a month I receive another package, not in a solid box, and wrapped again in trash bag material. This time I got lucky, the neon was in good shape and fired right up. Not a bad neon as along as one doesn't mind the headache and waiting 2 months for it. Rock on!

After a few small gatherings including an after soccer team party, I noticed Q*bert was dead. Dead as a door nail, no power. This seems to be a common theme with this Q*bert every couple of years, that the linear power supply takes a dump. To be fair, linear power supplies aren't designed to last forever. Engineers designed them to last a few years, just long enough to earn enough money before being retired for the next popular arcade model. All early retro games ran off of linear power supplies, and many of my games have already been converted to use the more reliable and modern switching power supplies. Well, if that's true, then why not Q*bert?

Good question, and they do make power supply converters for Q*bert and early Gottlieb games. The problem is, that Q*bert uses a higher voltage both for the audio amp and also for the custom "knocker" circuit that you hear when Q*bert or Coily jumps off that pyramid. Ah yes, that satisfying THUD that you hear inside that cabinet is specific to Q*bert and Q*bert alone. So the problem is, that when you put in a switching power supply you end up with a weak audio circuit and a weak knocker. Basically, the game no longer sounds original. I adore Q*bert, its my "game" along with Star Wars, so I want that bad boy to sound just like back in the day.

So here I am, once again, every couple of years repairing this power supply. In the past I bought a shot gun kit which replaces a whole lot of electronics. This time I decided to isolate the problem. My +5V was only reading 0.5v, so the issue was in the 5v circuit on the power supply. For reference, this pinpoints to transistors Q11 and Q12. I replaced the small transistor Q12 which did not fix the issue. Next I replace the large can transisor Q11 (part# MJE2955). This is one of those seen mounted to the large heat sink in the picture below. I put the power supply back in and Q*bert fired right on up. Chugging along, like nothing ever happened. So there you have it, Q*bert back in service. Once again Q*bert is knocking, swearing, and hopping around the pyramid. For those collectors out there, this game has really gained in price so if you have them then hold onto them.

Someone is kidnapping Rock Dad's kids. Who will save the day? Includes bonus outtakes after the credits so make sure you watch it until the end! Playing video games, music, family and robots. It's a Rock Dad life.

Its summer time, and that means game days! The Wesleyan Church youth group was able to come out and have a great time. Pizza, soda, candy, temporary tattoos and games! Along with the group favorites such as air hockey, Revolution X and Fix It Felix.

The group decided to break out some Guitar Hero on the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 came out in November 2005 which already makes it old school at more than a decade old. Can you believe it?

Would your church group like a gameday? Just contact me and we'll make it happen! Always a good time!

Rob the bot is in trouble! Can Rock Dad save the day? Includes bonus outtakes after the credits so make sure you watch it until the end! Playing video games, music, family and robots. It's a Rock Dad life.