Defender

  • Manufacturer: Williams / Videogelelectronicgames
  • Year: 1981

Useful info

  • Cabinet type: Upright
  • Measures (WxHxD): 64,0 x 171,8 x 75,7 cm
  • Working voltage: 220V
  • Maximum consumption: 159,0W, 0,960A
  • Technology: Horizontal color raster monitor
Defender is one of the most beautiful and difficult games of all the ’80s. Conceptually, however, it is very simple: a spaceship runs through a horizontal path full of enemies of all kinds. The aim is to proceed as far as possible by saving people on the territory kidnapped by aliens. You control the spaceship by a two-position joystick (up, down) and 5 buttons: accelerator, change direction, shot, bomb and hyperspace. Sounds are very engaging and the game play is quite fast.

This game in the collection is produced in Italy under license from Videogelelectronicgames and it is in very good aesthetic conditions. Unfortunately, the cabinet had been converted into another game and I had to rebuild the entire internal parts. The CPO (Control Panel Overlay) and the front plexy have been replaced with reproductions too. The cabinet is quite different from the original US version. Side art has a particular story; in fact, the US version carries a second version because the manufacturer made too explicit references to Star Wars. The Italian manufacturer never modified the graphics, for this reason the cabinet shows what is called “proto version”.

PCB

4 April 2014

I collected the boardset years before finding this cabinet. I arranged the boardset on the original metal plate re building the original wiring.

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Coin door

4 April 2014

As usual I started from the coin door. I’ve been lucky, I found exactly the same original color. It is a light blue.  

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Control panel

4 April 2014

Being an Italian version by Elettronica Video Games, it had 2 ashtrays on both sides and the original layout was smaller. Here is the original layout.

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Actually nowadays I could repair the original control panel, but in those years I broken it trying to remove from the metal CP; so I bought a repro of the original Williams version covering the holes where the ashtrays were located. The rest was quite usual:

  • sanding,
  • re painting,
  • applying new CP overlay,
  • new t-molding.

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Plexi

4 April 2014

The cabinet was without a bezel so I bought an original Williams plexi repro.

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Inside

4 April 2014

Once mounted an Hantarex monitor and the original PS I found inside, I had to build the missing part of the wiring.

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Cabinet

5 April 2014

Do you know the story of these side arts? Read the story on andys-arcade web site. Probably in Italy, the manufacturer (Elettronica Video Games) ignored to reprint the side arts, so although my cab has the proto graphics it is not a real proto.

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Hacking 19-in-1

26 July 2016

I was quite scared about the possibility my Williams boardset could fall while people was playing. So I decided to plug in the (famous) 19-in-1 board, because I could see the game is very well emulated. But just see and not play, because once I received the board I discovered in half a minute that BUTTON 5 (S5) is supported by software but not by hardware (actually button 5 and 6 for both players). This button is needed because corresponds to the HYPERSPACE button. Setup shows both buttons 5 and 6, it means who wrote the sw wanted to use them and probably he allocated in the right way the specific resources. Backtracking all inputs I could see all of them arrive to the 74244 close to the JAMMA connector, with the exception of P1S5, P1S6, P2S5, P2S6. There are 5 74244 and I discovered that S6 for both players are anyway connected to these buffers but part of the the pull-up circuit misses (and the connection to the JAMMA of course). On the contrary no way to intercept S5. So I moved to the bus tranceivers (74245) between RAM and FLASH. If buttons are managed, they are managed there (!!) Playing a little bit with +5 power and using my finger I could change the status of P1S5 and P2S5. This means that S5 signals are undetermined.  

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Using a pin (pulled up with a wire connected to the pull-up pin of JP1) I touched the pins waiting for a reaction related to the involved buttons and the PIN 3 of U22 (one of the two 74245) was what I was looking for. So I had to start from there.   First of all I connected a wire to the data-bus on the PIN3 of U22

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Then I used a 74244 to complete the circuit. PIN 10 to JAMMA ground PIN 20 to JAMMA +5V PIN 16 to the databus PIN 4 to JAMMA Component side PIN 26 and to a 10K resistor; this resistor then is connected to +5V PIN 1 to PIN1 of U30; in fact this board uses 4 different signals to enable the input drivers and I tried with the one dedicated to PLAYER1 and his buttons. Just a try.  

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I’m sorry I haven’t any tool to manage SMD components and boards so my soldering is very bad. Anyway this is the result:  

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fixed with some hot glue  

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It works great and now I have a good board backup 😀 PS reading this post I can see my English is very bad; I’m sorry for that. If you have any question please don’t hesitate to contact me.