Arcade Repair Tips - Adjusting An Arcade Monitor

Uploaded by varcadegames on 11.10.2009

Hi, welcome to the Arcade Repair Tips Video Series. Today we're going to talk about adjusting
a monitor. I know that we've gotten a lot of questions off of the website. You get a
new game the first thing you want to do is, before you do a cap kit or anything, of course
try to adjust it. A lot of times it's just a simple adjustment just like your TV at home.
As you can see by this screen right here, this one is very blurry. There's usually only
one thing that controls that, and that's the focus. The focus is found on the flyback.
Lets take a look in the back and we'll adjust the flyback, try to make this picture look
So this monitor was out of focus. Now we're at the back of the game. Although there are
many different types of monitors, many different types of chassis, one thing is pretty constant
and that's the focus and the brightness on the flyback. Now if you've watched our other
video series you probably know what the flyback is, but just in case lets review.
This anode cup, for sure don't stick your finger under there, it usually says high voltage,
goes down and attaches to the flyback. On the back of the flyback, ours is on the back
of the game. Yours may be on the side. May even be kind of hard to spot, but follow your
anode cup, the big long red wire that goes to the tube and comes back down to the flyback.
The top one is the focus, the bottom one is the brightness. Sometimes they have three.
If you're not sure, by all means have somebody look at the front. Or a lot of times people
get like a mirror and put it on a stick so that they can hold it around to the front
and watch. Or what we've done before is take a general household mirror. We've got one
in the bathroom. Sometimes we'll just put it on, if I'm working by myself I'll put it
in front of something. Then I can look at the mirror as I change things.
So all we're going to do is just turn the focus down just a little bit until it looks
really sharp. Also keep in mind that this is not the only brightness. Most of the time
there's a brightness here, which really will make your screen really dark, really light.
By all means if you're not getting any picture, come around here and turn it up really far
just to see if your screen goes white. A lot of times that way you can tell if it's your
board or if it's your monitor.
People ask me all the time, "Tim, is this my board or is it my monitor?" I say well
if you turn the brightness all the way up and your monitor glows really bright or a
big gray or blue screen or something, it probably is your board. So at least you know your monitor
is working that way.
But then you also have this separate control board. Now some of you have seen it, sometimes
it will be up in the front of the game. But it will be attached by wiring to this. Those
controls all do something. It's pretty standard but just in case, you know, we'll go through
a few of them. Like you have your holds, for instance, if your screen is scrolling. The
vertical, the horizontal. Or if your screen is out of sync and looks like all scrambled.
Sometimes by adjusting the holds you can get that picture to come in.
Then you have such things as your vertical size. That's where you know you want to make
your picture to come in or get bigger. Then your horizontal size, same way. Brightness,
contrast. Now contrast will a lot of times, your words on your screen, like when you get
to your main screen, lets say on a Pac-Man game. There's the word "Pac-Man". Well a lot
of times it will be bleeding, it looks like the colors are bleeding. A lot of times that's
your contrast. Contrast, you need to adjust to make your picture look really sharp, really
Very important on gun games to turn up the brightness and the contrast just about as
far as you can without distorting the picture because the light guns use those in order
to make the screen work.
Now a lot of monitors will have adjustments up here or on the side of your neck board.
The neck board is this small board that attaches to the neck of your tube. Up here you'll have
the red cutoff, the red drive, the blue cutoff, blue drive, green cutoff, green drive. You
know by your color wheel a combination of those sometimes will give you different colors.
So you need to adjust those. If you've got too much red, you can turn the red drive down.
You'll just have to play with them. Everybody out there, there's no scientific method. There's
no certain way to do this except for to get in there and turn some knobs.
Now make sure you know which ones you're turning. We're not going to go into a lot of details,
but just for you new guys out there if you want a little bit more red you turn it up,
turn it to the right. If you want a little bit less, turn it down. But if you'll play
with your colors enough you can get usually a really good picture. Sometimes people will
send in a chassis for repair. All it needed was an adjustment.
So learn how to do this, don't be afraid. You do this with the game on so you can watch
the picture change. Sometimes in your settings menu you can go to test. You'll have a color
bar chart or something to go by. Those are very helpful. By all means, any game that
you have you need to learn what your test menus are and what they do. You'll see some
on many games that say monitor or picture. Use those test menus and then go in and start
adjusting these.
So we're just going to turn these little white knobs which are called pots, short for potentiometers.
Think of it like an old school radio. Remember back in the day when you had a radio or on
your TV when you turned up the volume, you actually turned it up? Well that's a potentiometer.
This is a very small version of that, but that's all you're doing. You're turning up
or turning down.
So that's how we adjust. We've got the horizontal position, the hold, vertical position and
hold, brightness. Remember there are two brightnesses, one here and one there. Sometimes it takes
a little bit more brightness on here, a little less here, or vice versa. You just got to
play with it. Don't be afraid. Like I said, a mirror or something or a good friend that
has a good eye for this stuff. Sometimes I've been by myself. I just had to run back and
forth. Turn a little bit.
One last tip that I want to throw out is you say you don't want to mess up something and
you don't want to experiment too much. What you can do is if you found that the hold is
good or before you start, you can take like a black magic marker and mark where you started.
Mark one side of this and mark your board and then you'll know to go back. If that doesn't
change, put it back the way it was. Or if you get it like you like it, maybe mark all
of them where they are. Over time, now caps will give out and things will change. That
may change.
One thing I will like to recommend that you not do, though a lot of people will probably
say that it's ok and I notice that we get a lot of games that people will silicone these
closed because they think they got it adjusted right. Well what's good today may not be good
2 or 3 years from now, or 5 years from now. If you have this game for a long time and
you silicone that closed, you can't adjust it. It's easier to go back there and adjust
it than it is to have to remove the silicone and try to do that. So by all means, I would
highly recommend that you not do that.
Here we are, we're on the color screen in the test menu. As you can see, the red right
here what we call bleeding, coming out of the white. I'm going to turn the red drive
down some. Watch this go in as I do that. See how it's coming in, coming in. It's looking
more like the other squares now. Or a lot of monitors will give bars. A little bit more.
Ok. Now we've got that color back. So you have a red drive, a green drive, and a blue
drive on the back of your neck board. I was turning as those were bleeding, it made them
come in more. So look for those, especially where you see the lettering and stuff. You
see the colors bleeding out from there, then you know it needs adjusting.
Well now that we've got the monitor adjusted it is game time. So if you guys have any questions
or comments, as always just send us an email. Again thank you for watching Arcade Repair
Tips Video Series. Now in hi-def.