Atari Tempest Restoration 6 FINAL

Well we are almost at the end of the road with this restoration. Just a couple of things left to do before we can start playing.

On putting the cab back together I noticed a problem with the spinner. The issue was regardless of which way the spinner was spun, the claw on screen only moved left. The small optical board sensors appeared to be malfunctioning. Again, the arcade collecting community came to the rescue – someone had reproduced these parts, and had them available for sale. I ordered one from the USA, and it arrived a few days later. So the spinner assembly had to be stripped down and this part replaced:

Here’s where the old one sits:


Old one removed on the left – replacement on the right:


And here’s the new one in situ. It’s pretty tricky getting the wheel correctly aligned again so that the sensor can do its job, but I got there in the end.


So that was that. At this point, it’s just a case of rebuilding the cab – the monitor, the power supply, the boards and control panel were all carefully placed back in the cab and hooked up. Check and double check the work, and we were ready to switch on!






But I felt there was one thing missing – artwork. All Atari cabarets had sideart designed by Atari, but very few cabs actually had the artwork applied. This was usually because the artworked shipped separately to the cabs, and most operators couldn’t see the point in applying it. This is why you’ll find most Atari cabaret machines without sideart. Recently, the original scans of the art turned up and they have been reprinted from the original – these do come at a hefty cost though – especially if you live in the UK.

As an alternative, I managed to find a hi res scan of the original upright artwork, and got a friend to rework that art into the same shape and size as the cabaret. Sent the file off to a local printer, and they printed it for me on heavy duty white vinyl. I’m really pleased with the result:



Here’s where the machine sits – next to it’s Centipede cousin. (I’ll be documenting that restoration next time round)


If you’ve missed the previous installments of this restoration, just click on “Restoration Archive” at the top of this page.

Thanks for following this restoration – lots more to come!


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Thomas says:

    Totally awesome, also love the game nook.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kevin Reed says:

    Absolutely sensational work. I’m so jealous…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike says:

    Just got my Tempest cabinet today – some really good advice here, thanks. Will rebuild my spinner as you did, and look at refinishing the coin door too.

    My coin door has had some hacks – not sure what one of them does. Its a rotary switch. Any suggestions on what that could be for – very gratefully received.


  4. Tony says:

    Hey Mike. Hmm not sure. Could it be an audio volume pot? What is it wired up to? Any idea?


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