Asteroids Deluxe vector monitor manual (1982) and back-story

In 2000 I bought a cocktail cabinet version of Asteroids Deluxe which was originally released in 1982. It was some of the best 2 hours of my life. I say that because I played it for two hours and then the picture went crazy and the entire screen was squished into a 1″ line across the middle of the screen. The game was unplayable. I thought the problem was with the monitor. I scoured the young internet (mostly AOL and newsgroups) and I found a local fellow arcade enthusiast who knew how to work on vector monitors. He put it on his oscilloscope but could not find anything wrong with it. He had a spare monitor for it and since mine appeared to be working we swapped monitors so I could test it with my machine. Well, the other monitor did the same thing. That led me to believe that the problem was on the system board. From my research these types of problems are often related to a bad connection with one of the chips on the board. Often reseating the chips help (pulling the chip out of the socket then putting it back in–it cleans the contacts). However, if you ever look at the system board for an early 1980s arcade machine you will see they are huge and contain dozens if not more chips attached to the board. I wanted the game to work but at the time I did not have the patience to take the machine apart and reseat the chips. I let machine sit for awhile and during this time I discovered MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator). This computer program could emulate arcade games and let you play them on your computer. I was immediately hooked. I installed it on one my computers and founds some ROMS (game files) including Asteroids Deluxe. I could now play arcade games on my computer and did not have to worry about reseating chips on malfunctioning system boards. I quickly realized that while playing on the computer was fun, it was missing something. That something was the right controls. Playing with a keyboard was okay on some games but most needed a real joystick or arcade buttons to fully enjoy the games. I found a company called Hanaho that made big arcade joysticks. I bought the two-player model. It was a bit pricey but was very well made. As a bonus, their arcade joysticks came with a great CD called Capcom Coin-Op Classics which could get you started with an excellent bunch of arcade games right away (and it had the ROMs that could be added to MAME). Unfortunately, Hanaho is no longer around but other companies make similar joysticks. X-arcade probably being the best known. Since I could now play arcade games on a computer I decided that I did not need the Asteroids Deluxe machine but I liked the cabinet and did not want to get rid of it. I decided to remove the monitor and in its place put an old Windows laptop with MAME and a 15″ flat panel monitor. I also bought a IPAC keyboard encoder. It lets you plug arcade buttons and joysticks into it and then that plugs into a USB port on the computer to register button and joystick movements. I wired the Asteroids Deluxe buttons into the IPAC and plugged into a USB port on the laptop and could now play Asteroids Deluxe again (along with Asteroids, Space Invaders, Galaga, and Galaxians–games that worked well with the Astroids Deluxe controls). All of this rambling leads to the monitor and manual. After taking out the monitor I did not know what to do with it so I put it on Craigslist as a free item for a fellow arcade enthusiast. It was snapped up in less than an hour. I was scolded by the folks on the internet for just giving it away as plenty of people wanted to pay me for it but I was happy it would go to someone that would use it (even for free). I kept the service manual and just recently scanned it. If you have an Asteroids Deluxe cocktail cabinet and need the service manual for the monitor (officially called Instruction and Service Manual – G05-802/805 monochrome “quadrascan” x-y monitor – up to date as of May 1982), here it is.

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