Pole Position

All posts tagged Pole Position

One of the first things I decided to tackle was giving the shifter a service. The shifter is a basic high / low – 2 position shifter. It works (at least 95% of the time), but could certainly do with a clean and re lubricating. There are a few cases where it doesn’t shift into high gear correctly, but I suspect this will be corrected with the service. To make sure, I’ll replace any mircoswitches too.

The first thing to do was split the cockpit into two parts. The base is held together with two metal plates (one on either side) and 4 bolts. The tread on the bolts has just about worn thin from age, so using an Allen key will be required. For those that are interested, you can use an 8mm or 5/16″. The plates are in decent condition, but do require a bit of a clean. I will make some time to do that before putting it back together.

cockpit plates
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One of the first things I tested when bringing the cockpit home was the coin mech. All my machines accept coins. There is something satisfying about having your coins lined up on the machine ready to go, and then placing the coin in – hearing that click – and beginning your game. It’s part of the experience and therefor is something I want all my machines to have. It’s not a proper arcade machine without a functioning coin mech 🙂

I have all my games set to accept 20c coins. Although in this case, it isn’t going to accept 20c coins:

coin mech
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One of the small things on my to do list was to repaint the rear speak grills. They were looking worn and faded and with some small attention could be made to look as good as new again. Since I had the rear of the machine on it’s side (working on the shifter), I figured I could do this at the same time.

I removed the bracket holding the rear acrylic in placed, and then the two screws holding the back panel to the machine. There were cobwebs and dust everywhere, so a quick once over with the vacuum tidied it up nicely.

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The first two weeks of owning the Pole Position II machine was mostly spent playing it 🙂 It’s been a lot of fun and the kids (especially my son) are enjoying it.

As I mentioned in the previous post, there are a lot of little things that need attention on the machine. Nothing critical – the game plays fine – but can be given a huge visual boost with some attention. What I needed to do first was some research on pole position machines and find a starting point.

I spent a few nights hitting Google with a lot of search queries to find out all I could about the machine. The one I have is the Namco version and not as common as the Atari version – making artwork sourcing much more difficult (if not impossible). I was able to track down photos taken of similar machines at Aussie Arcade (where I hang out a lot) and a second link with some excellent photos taken from several angles (here).

With the images downloaded, I had them printed out and put them into my research notebook. On my previous projects I’ve made a point of keeping notes and research together in a printed format that I can access while in the garage working. It’s handy to have the information within arms reach, and also reference to spot smaller details that don’t always jump out the first time you see the photos.

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One of the first tasks I wanted to complete was restoring the metal brackets used on the exterior of the Pole Position machine.
The are three metal brackets in total that needed some attention. The first sits above bezel holding the screen acrylic in place. The second sits at the base of the rear tinted acrylic holding it in place. The final sits at the back, covering a wood join. These all had chipped paint and one had some rust setting in. The screws holding them in place were also getting some rust and had lost their nice black appearance. So time to strip them back and repaint!

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