Space Invaders Arcade Restoration

One Saturday morning I was just minding my own business, when my father called. I could hear the excitement in his voice when he told me “Craig! I found an old Space Invaders, it doesn’t work, $100. Want it?” Of course I didn’t hesitate, and said yes. I had no clue what condition it was in, or what was wrong with it, but hey, how bad could it be?

So he dropped it off, and I got my first look. It was all there! It had been painted, but the front glass was still in excellent shape, and all in all the cabinet wasn’t in terrible condition. Definitely fixable. The following is my work log. Hopefully it will help someone else while they are restoring their cabinet.

Space Invaders Restoration Log:


  • Dad dropped off Space Invaders (I have the best Dad)
  • Initial diagnosis started. Blown fuse discovered.
  • Replaced 1A slo-blow fuse.
  • On power-up the power supply let it’s smoke out….
  • Found several bad capacitors, and blown diodes on power supply board.
  • The tube on the monitor was glowing (this is a good sign)


  • Replacement parts are in.
  • Replaced all electrolytic capacitors on power supply.
  • Replaced blown 1N4004 diodes on power supply.
  • Fired up unit and it worked!
  • Graphics went wonky after short gameplay, and I was unable to fire.
  • Replaced all electrolytic caps on motherboard and daughter board.
  • Cleaned mother/daughter edge connector.
  • Graphics now fixed except for a small flicker in the monitor (going to try a cap kit)
  • Fire button still not working.
  • Found that the fire button had been damaged and was not allowing it to function correctly.
  • Bent the contacts apart on the fire button.
  • Firing problem solved.


  • Spent the day doing bondo work on the cabinet.
  • Locks removed (no keys)
  • Holes fixed where the back door was pried off by previous owner.
  • Corners fixed.

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