Services Offered

With the phenominal growth of the retro-arcade movement, many families and individuals have begun to acquire arcade and pinball machines. These games are fun, facinating and brings back a more simplier time for many. However, with these machines comes a certainty that they will need service and repair. Most video arcade and pinball machines found in the hands of individual or family homes are over 30 years old. A quick look around your home and I doubt you will find any other electrical device that over 10 years old, much less 30 or over!

This is where Key Arcades come in. We can service and repair almost all types of arcade games and for the few out of our scope of knowledge, we know who can get it done correctly and for the best price. Listed here are some of the common repairs and service options we offer:



Monitor Repair
For video arcades, the most common problem we see is the failure of the monitor. In most cases the monitor can be repaired for a reasonable amount and the game is back up and playing again. We can repair failed chassis (most common) and rejuvenate picture tubes and in most cases resolve the discoloration sometimes found in various places on the monitor. In cases where the monitor has deterioated beyond repair, we also have spare monitors that have been refurbish and will be an exact replacement.

EM Repair
Electro-Mechanical (EM) repairs is where I got my start and these older types of games can be a challange to repair but they are a joy to play and listen to as the relays click, the bells chime and incondesent lights flash! EM repair can be labor time intensive as there are hundreds of switches and 50 or more solenoids in a standard EM pinball machine (prior to 1978). Understanding the schematics and possessing a logical brain is required to diagnosis a mis-behaving EM machine. Parts are still available and for those odd and hard to find parts, I have a warehouse full of machines where parts can be removed.

Solid State Repair
In 1978 pinball manufactors made the change from EM type of games to computer (solid state) machines. These machines were on the cutting edge of technology then and they still are today as the evolve with technological advances. Repairing these machines requires a difference set of skills in addition to the skills needed to work on an EM machine. We have the abililty and tools necessary to rebuild power supplies, locate bad transistors, diagnosis driver, PIA and processor chips, along with repairing of printed circuit boards damaged by batteries left in to long.

Video Arcade Repair
Video arcades came to be about the same time as the pinball manufactors where transistioning to solid state components. Early games were TTL based but quickly moved to single processor and then to multiple processors as the games became more advanced. Diagnosis of these types of games always start at the power supply and with good required working voltages, many games will spring back to life. One of the most common repairs is to replace the old custom power supply component with a modern power supply (sometimes called a switcher). This process will not only provide the best and cleanest power to the machne but can reduce the time to repair by several hours. In some instances, the graphics or sounds become garbled or the game plays to a specific point and then dies. This is generally caused by bad memory or ROM chips. Repairing this type is done by acquiring new chips and then burning the old program image on them with the required devices. Key Arcades does this and have brought many a machine back from the dead by doing so.

Record Jukebox Repair
Early Jukeboxes are an exciting addition to any game room, but only if they work properly and deliver a sound worth listening too. We can repair most early jukeboxes that plays any type of vinyl records and some early CD players. These machines are very complex and repairing them can become expensive and a full understanding of the estimated cost should be considered before undertaking these repairs. Jukeboxes range greatly in value with those having a visible player being 5 to 10 times higher in value than those which do not.

Cost to Value Consideration
It is very important for the value of a machine to be considered prior to agreeing to service and/or repair. Even if it is not the customer's intent to sell the machine, the value of that machine should be known. It is a normal process during the initial discuss for us to go over with the client the value of their machine if it was fully working and the cost required to get there. Many times the cost to repair out runs the value of the repaired machine and it may be the best solution and least expensive to locate and purchase another machine of the same type. Unless there is a strong reason given by the client (sentimental generally) we try out best to prevent the cost of the repairs and/or service to exceed what it would cost for a fully working one to be purchased.

With the recent onslaught of hurricanes in the gulf coast, many people have discovered that having their arcade and pinball collection appraised is necessary to insure they are given the true replacement cost. Our apprasial consist of a through examination and appraisal of the games along with a geographic specific estimate of generally accepted pricing. These appraisals can be used to insure any supplemental insurance riders have the appropriate values assigned. Having your collection appraised prior to the claim is the best way to insure you have the proper coverages.