Space Wars

  • Manufacturer: Cinematronics / F.lli Bertolino
  • Year: 1977

Useful info

  • Cabinet type: Upright
  • Measures (WxHxD): 71,0 x 185,0 x 71,5 cm
  • Working voltage: 220V
  • Maximum consumption: 135,50W 0.850A
  • Technology: Horizontal B/W vector monitor

The 1977 Arcade Transposition of the game created by MIT in 1961, it is the first vector-based coin-operated game. It represents a battle in which the two players face each other in space. The game has many options, such as the mode of inertia of the movement, the gravity of the star in the center of the screen and other details that place it, for the time, in a rather high level of complexity. Cinematronics built a dedicated hardware and monitor for this game, then reused for several other titles. It is definitely part of videogame history, and it has to be considered one of the starting points of both videogame technology and interaction.

This cabinet has been restored leaving all the original graphics intact. It is a version completely localized in Italian by F.lli Bertolino, reseller of this game for Italy. It was not so used to translate the game instructions and print them on the control panel, but the amount of options and especially the novelty led to build this version of the control panel. This F.lli Bertolino’s version is unique at the moment.


1 April 2014

I never thought to find a Space Wars (it was 2006), let alone in Italian! It is not a bootleg but yet another F.lli Bertolino production. Yes, inside all hardware including wiring is Cinematronics but the cabinet (smaller than the original) has been made here in Italy. These are the initial conditions of the cabinet. Not so bad, not so good. Italiandoh and Kold666 were included in the package.

spacewars_100 spacewars_101 spacewars_102 spacewars_103 spacewars_104

Control panel

1 April 2014

From the aesthetic point of view I had to find a solution for the CP. I decided just to clean it and cover the damaged part with white vinyl.  

spacewars_105 spacewars_106 spacewars_107 spacewars_108 spacewars_109 spacewars_110


1 April 2014

Actually the cab was not working. Monitor damaged, faulty PCB, one not working button. I don’t have any record about monitor and PCB fix but I took a picture of the reed relay.


For people who don’t know, Cine buttons work with reed relay. The reed relay used is a glass case with two very close metal plates. 

reed relay

When a magnetic field is close to the glass case, the two plates attract each other.

…something like this…


Some old PC keyboards work in the same way.


1 April 2014

after cleaning…




1 April 2014

wow, my first cine monitor in my hands… I find this monitor very smart. It is a very simple vector monitor (XY monitor) but has DACs on it. So digital signals arrive directly from the game board and are converted in analog signals directly by the monitor.

spacewars_014 spacewars_015 spacewars_016spacewars_017spacewars_018


1 April 2014

I started to collect vector PCBs years before collecting cabinets so just like in other cases (Tempest, Asteroids, …) PCB troubleshootinhg was not so complicated.  

spacewars_020 spacewars_023 spacewars_021 spacewars_022 spacewars_024 spacewars_025

And this is the sound board

spacewars_026 spacewars_028

Transformer and Power supply

1 April 2014

Cine (and Vectorbeam) Power supply is very peculiar. A lot of times saved my PCBs and monitors…


spacewars_030 spacewars_031 spacewars_032 spacewars_033 spacewars_034

Another resto closed

1 April 2014

These are the pictures of the final result. I’m impressed to the total cabinet localization…  

spacewars_001 spacewars_002 spacewars_003 spacewars_004 spacewars_005 spacewars_006 spacewars_007 spacewars_008 spacewars_010 spacewars_009


Other maintenance

1 April 2014


  • Changed one of the DACs and the related TL081
  • HV problems: changed TIP41C and the triplicator


  • The bottom was rotten and I did it again


  • Moved to the garage I have in Bologna
  • Stored in a garage in Milano waiting for a new show room 🙁