The Discs of Tron was in relatively good shape when I picked it up. It was missing some small pieces of the side art near the edges, had the usual slightly weathered Marquee and CPO, but was in good shape and complete.
The boards were not installed, but all of the cabinet lights worked. I was told the boards had been recently repaired, but the game was not working. A manual and some other repair documents were included.
The Initial Fix - Power Supply
When I installed the board the game still did not come up. I started out checking the power supply. The Midway 90412 looked okay. The original battery had not leaked and the board appeared to have been at least partially rebuilt. I decided to start with the chassis since it obviously was original.
I swapped in the power supply chassis from my Tron and the game came right on. The picture was perfect, all sounds worked, and the controls were perfect. So I knew my 90412 board was working, but I was planning to try to add speech, meaning I would need a -5V supply, so I decided to upgrade to a switching supply rather than trouble shoot the chassis. That would also take care of the battery issue on the 90412. I installed the MCR Power Supply Conversion Kit from Arcadeshop Amusements.
A big part of the appeal of this Upright Discs of Tron cabinet is the lighting effects. Like the original Tron, DOT has several pieces that are designed to glow under a blacklight. Most prominent is the plexiglass blacklight cover near the control panel. Unfortunately, over the years the colors on my cover had faded until there was no glow effect at all. I experimented with several highlighter colors, finding those that glowed the most, and best matched the original colors of the cover. I then traced the designs onto some white paper, colored them in with the highlighters, and attached them to the inside of the cover. The effect turned out great, and the DOT looks great next to the Tron, which has one of Phoenix Arcade’s excellent reproductions. I'm still holding out hope that someday the artwork for DOT will be reproduced as well.
EDIT (2013) I've since added the reproduction plastics from ThisOldGame. Theyar much better looking than my custom fix.
Another great effect in Discs of Tron is the false 3D impression created by the reflection of the monitor on a partially transparent mirror. Behind the mirror is a backlit picture of the Tron cityscape, which serves as the backdrop for the fight against Sark. The reflection effect really makes it look as though the disc arena is floating high above the city. While the backdrop is very detailed, due to placement of the single fluorescent light, only the top portion of the city is visible. I added a second 18” fluorescent bulb to the area behind the lower portion of the backdrop. I also taped up some reflective poster-board I sourced from the local art supply store, which helped to increase and better disperse the light. The effect is tough to see in the pictures I took, but the city background is much brighter, and the 3D effect much more prominent.
I also applied smaller pieces of the reflective backing behind the interior upper blacklight and behind the main upper flourescent.This lights the inside orange/pink bezel, the main marquee light. Both were noticeably brighter.
Work in Progress:
Contact Me (Jeff@720zone.com)
After a long break I got back to the DoT for a weekend. I gave the control panel a good cleaning and small amount of touch up, disassembled and cleaned the joystick, touched up all small dings and scratches on the side art, repaired and painted the front panel and coin door, added matched original coin mechs and the correct original coin-slots, new T-molding, and added a black bezel to the monitor. I'll add pictures in the future.
After a long saga of searching for boards and figuring out the set-up, in March 2010 I was finally was able to get speech working and have the full speech effects from the environmental version working in my upright Discs of Tron. I owe a ton of thanks to Rich Harkoff (don1400 on klov) for helping me get this done. He was one of the first to get this working and sent me so many trouble shooting emails. I never would have been able to get this done without him.
If you're ever going to try this, please check out Derek Zurn's excellent guide here: Upright Discs of Tron Squawk and Talk Tutorial
In early 2011 I received a perfect reproduced CPO from ThisOldGame. In 2013 I finally received the reproduced plastics, translight and CPO, all from TOG. I installed them as well as new white buttons and now have a great looking UDOT. Here is a comparison of the old and new translights:
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I'd still like to get the light boards from an environmental and add some flashing lights, and at some point I'd like to re-do my cabinet with the reproduced side-art. Saving that for 'someday'.... End of Line.
In mid 2014 I had the chance to pick up a second DOT marquee. I've always been bothered by the yellowed plastic that is so common on these pieces, and had wanted to try the 'retro-bright' technique I'd read about. I was able to successfully apply the technique and remove all traces of yellow from the better of my two marquees. I'm very happy to now have a very nice looking example. You can read more about the process, and see all of the results here:
How to Whiten a ‘Yellowed’ Discs of Tron Marquee