Tehkan Phoenix Restoration


This game is the very first game I bought and initiated my interest in video arcade games. I spotted the game at a car boot sale on the outskirts of Ipswich in the mid 1990's. At the time I used to regularly hit the car boot sales in search of old home computers and had acquired a collection of those over the prior few years but this was the first time I'd even realized that old video arcade games were still around. Further, this particular edition was the exact type I'd played growing up and was one of my all-time favorites. I bought the game for around 60 UKP.

At the time I only had red E-reg Nissan Bluebird hatchback and thus no way to transport it but the Bluebird did have a tow bar. I borrowed a friends motorcycle trailer and strapped it onto the back of that get it to Yorkshire from Ipswich.

In the bottom of the cabinet was some paperwork that identified the cabinet as Tehkan Phoenix likely imported by Ruffler & Deith into the UK circa 10th February 1981:

Tehkan Phoenix Dip Switches

It was wholly original and working fine but had seen a lot of play in its life. The original Japanese monitor lost its LOPT and I ended up refitting a standard Hantarex MTC-900 instead of that. From then on it'd been working without issue until it was stored when I moved to the US and it finally joined me in the US as part of The Big Move.

24/06/2012 - Post "The Big Move" power on

Tehkan Phoenix

It's physical condition was pretty good after 10 years of storage and a trip around the world. The game is dedicated 240V so it would stay on that like many of the Europe targeted games.

Neck board replacement Replacement Hantarex MTC-900 chassis

Power on was not a big success. There was arcing from the monitor at the focus pot to deal with first. Swapping over the entire neck board with one from a scrap chassis had no effect. I suspected LOPT or focus bleeder failure. The particular flavour of chassis in this game was somewhat unusual in that it didn't have the usual MTC-900 "brick" LOPT but a more modern styled rounded LOPT. Suggestions in the VAC community have been that this chassis is the MTC-900A. Unlike the common 900, the LOPT on this does not allow the HV lead/bleeder to be easily changed so I decided to change the LOPT. After I'd removed it, however, it was clear that a standard 900 LOPT has a different pin configuration and wouldn't fit in this chassis :( I decided to abandon this chassis and swap it out for a common MTC-900 chassis.

15/07/2012 - Power on #2

Tehkan Phoenix power on
Tehkan Phoenix power on Phoenix board, no boot

With the replacement chassis fitted power on yielded a reasonable picture but no sign of booting from the game PCB. After a few minutes there was a and acrid stench of capacitor electrolyte coming from the chassis :(

24/07/2012 - Monitor chassis repair

Leaking power supply capacitor Leaking capacitor removed

The failed capacitor was clearly identifiable - it was the main DC power regulation capacitor that was leaking electrolyte out of one side. I fitted a suitable replacement.

28/07/2012 - Game board repair

Phoenix game PCB on the bench

The original board had issues on the bench so before spending time on that I went through a box of spare sets to see if I had something closer to working.

Volume pot repair

I found a nice original Taito version of the board that appeared to be working except for a broken volume pot. I sourced a replacement from Bob Roberts that got the Taito game PCB completely working.

29/07/2012 - All fixed

Phoenix all fixed

Refitting the monitor chassis and replacement game PCB back in the cabinet yielded a complete working game, the first of my UK games and one that I'd be gasping for a game of for a long time :)

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