what's your story?
Q*Bert was always one of my arcade favorites. Looking back on things, I would guess that this was due to the
fact that I could get allot of playtime for my quarter.
When I started collecting, It seemed only natural that A Q*bert should be in the collection. I was lucky enough
to get not one, but two machines!
As part of a bulk buy of 8 machines, two non working Q*berts were included. Both were complete and in solid B shape
with great side art on one and the other 90% complete. Both control panels were in the same shape, poor, but both
monitors worked. The seller also tossed in a "spare" Q*bert CPU board, but it turned out to be a Krull
With both machines tucked into the shop the work began. First job was to get these babies working again. With
the manual spread across the workbench, (yes, one manual was still in the machine) and a volt meter in my hand,
It was quick to see that the power supply on both machines was not giving out all the voltages the game needed.
With another trip out to the electronics store, I came back with everything to replace all the burnt looking components
as well as the transistors and electrolytic caps which should replaced anyway due to their age. The Operator that
sold me these machines was nice enough to toss in a spare CPU board. but as luck would have it, both boards would
be found working after the power supplies were rebuilt. Now, This is a simplified version of 3 weeks of electrical
torture troubleshooting. Let me explain. In hopes that someone reading this will not repeat the mistake I made.
Look at the picture here. This is a shot of of the wiring on the Q*bert boards. Common
practice would be to place all the connector with the stickers the same side up. But connector P4 off the Power
supply board gets flipped over. If I would have sat down and studied the wiring
diagram (like I finally did , determining my problem) I would have saved myself lots of aggravation! If this connector
is flipped sticker side up , making a match too all the the other plugs), the main CPU board in will short out
the 5 volt line right to ground and pop the fuse.
Next time ill spend more time analyzing WHAT I am do rather then just pulling my hair out saying 'why doesn't the
fuse pop until I plug the CPU board in?' As and additional preventive measure, I now add additional heat sinks
to these power boards when I rebuild them. As you can see from the picture,
The heat from this diode, scorched the board. With some thermal glue, The now attached heatsink lightens the thermal
load a bit.
Anyway with two working boards, I put in the extra CPU board the Op gave me only to find the it was a Krull board
and not Q*bet at all. The last piece of work on the boards was to remove the rechargeable battery,
and off locate it to prevent battery puke from dumping all over the boards.
More restoration was needed in the rebuilding the "Knocker" for when Q*bert falls off the pyramid. Both
units had them present but both were rusted solid. Finally, before we buttoned up the back, the inch thick layer
of mold inside in the case was removed.
A good case scrubbing is always in order so Q*berts was scrubbed
and cleaned. Unfortunately, at this point is were the Q*bert twins were separated.
One stayed with me to be prettied up more and the other left for an auction in South Jersey
With only one machine left, more machine changes took place. A new control
panel was purchased and installed improving the machine appearance 100%. Other changes were the swapping of
the marquee, from the standard marquee to the rarer Swearing Marquee pictured
to the left.
On a side note and a piece of history, the "swearing" marquee was originally to be the header of choice
until no one knew what to call the game. I mean, how do you pronounce @!#?@! ? Needless to say Gottlieb chose to
shrink the swear bubble and add the Q*bert name to the marquee The small remaining "swearing only" marquees
are now sought after by collectors.
The coin door was hopelessly mangled so I bought a new one and the marquee
bulb was replaced. About this time I made my final modification. There was a sequel to Q*bert named, FHMC
Q*bert. FHMC actually stands for Faster, Harder, More Challenging. Faster Harder More Challenging Q*bert was
programed by Mylstar but never went into production and no dedicated cabinets are known to exist. This game
is just like Q*bert except the platforms shift position and there are bonus rounds after levels two and five. And,
as the name implies, it is faster and harder :-). We also see Q*Bertha for the first time which is another "badie"
you need to avoid!
Do you have a Q*bert arcade game and need some
of it's technical information? Visit the library for the full manual. Click Here for the Pin-out wiring page.
Looking for Q* Bert sounds? Honk Q*bert on the
My interest is strictly on full size arcade machines.
But if you would like to take a shot at Emulating Q*Bert on your computer, I do offer a link page on emulation.
Visit http://www.basementarcade.com/arcade/mame/mame.html Visit the pages there, download the software for your machine and the
ROM's for the games you want to play from the linked provided. Please redirect any further questions to the owners
of these emulation pages as they are the experts!.
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