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Last update: Mar. 7, 2013

View Major Havoc on KLOV

Atari 1983: Color Vector, 1 or 2 player

Conversion Project Sections...


Here is the complete Space Duel to Major Havoc conversion control panel all decked out with the new overlay and new the buttons and roller controller.

The "1 player start" and "2 player start" buttons are the same volcano style LED cone button switches used on the Space Duel control panel so there are no changes there.

The original MH game used standard short leaf switch buttons for the "Fire/Jump" (red) and "Shield" (yellow) buttons. I bought brand new buttons just like the originals and installed them with new leaf switches mounted on the original plastic spacers taken from the original Space Duel panel parts. It looked good and it played just fine.

However, in my opinion, the panel looked a little underwhelming with a lighted roller controller and plain buttons. Since my conversion cabinet uses new fantasy artwork and a roller controller that original conversions did not have, there wasn't much point in worrying about reducing "originality" making some other yet fun changes as well.

I decided to install Ultimarc lighted chrome buttons like this:


I thought that the chrome button bezel would go great with the chrome T-molding. The buttons are supplied complete with a microswitch and the LED (white in my case) and the price was very reasonable. There were LED lighted red and yellow chrome buttons available, but I chose the white ones with the intention of installing color changing LEDs. This way, the buttons would cycle through many colors. The Ultimarc buttons come with an LED of the same color as the button. When my chrome white buttons arrived, I simple removed the white LED that was supplied with them and installed a CoinTaker #555 slow fade color changing LED. In my opinion, the buttons look fantastic.

Here's a video of one of the buttons running in the completed machine. The video doesn't look as good as in real life since the light appears very overexposed but you'll get the idea:



When I first saw the Ultimarc buttons on the online store, my immediate concern was that they would be too long and that they would not fit into the control panel due to insufficient depth. I was willing to take the chance and so I ordered the buttons anyway. Well, they fit. It was very close on the lower button, but they fit. Below are some pictures taken from inside the machine. The wooden blocks are temporary homemade spacers that I made to allow the buttons to secure tightly on the thin metal panel. The buttons were designed to fit thicker wooden panels. Some button suppliers provide a plastic spacer ring for this purpose. No such rings were supplied with the Ultimarc buttons although it would have been nice if they were. An aside here... Speaking of spacer rings, I have read some forum posts where people complained that the spacer ring raised the button up from the top surface of the control panel and that they didn't like that. Well, duhh. That's because the spacer ring goes under the panel between the panel bottom surface and the nut, not on top doofus. As for my wooden blocks, they would look okay if I painted them black but I will probably make new aluminum or plastic rings on a lathe when I get the chance.

All of the wiring is stranded 22ga. The colors and connections match those indicated on the control panel schematic drawing found here. The only change that I made to the wiring with respect to the original schematic was to add +5V and ground leads to power the LEDs. The main harness connector housing can be taken from the original control panel harness but you will require new terminals and a crimp tool. These components are described and Digikey part numbers are provided in the Gravitar Adapter description available here. Don't pay any attention to the connection information there as you are interested only in the hardware components required for the SD to MH conversion.

Here's the roller controller with the wiring attached. The first and forth wires on the opto-sensor board are swapped in order to correct the left/right direction of movement of the player character in the game. This could have been corrected instead buy turning the controller around 180° but it simply would not fit into the panel that way.

To light up the roller, I removed the supplied #555 lamp socket from the outside of the roller controller frame and installed a #44/47 lamp socket on the inside surface of the frame. Why did I install the #44/47 socket? Because I had a Cointaker #44 super green-flex LED in my stock and I wanted to test it with the roller controller. Because the flex-LED points the LED sideways, it aims the light directly into the roller. It worked great and the pure green light glow of the roller looked impressive. In hindsight, I should have used the original #555 lamp socket and the CoinTaker #555 super green-flex LED. Both LED's operate on a 5V supply and are not polarity sensitive and do not require an external resistor.

The #44 flex version LED

Most people would have been quite satisfied with the green LED. I, however, am rarely satisfied with anything and soon I was wondering how a color changing LED would look. CoinTaker now supplies a flex version of their slow fade color changing LED so I installed one of the standard #44/47 version ones. Here you can see the Cointaker #44 slow fade color changing super bright LED that lights up the roller. In hindsight, I should have installed a #555 lamp socket because the terminals would have been easier to wire up. Regardless, the #44 socket worked okay.

Here is a video of the roller controller LED in action. You will notice that the green tint of the roller blocks the color blue so the range of different colors is not as great as that of the buttons:


2013-03-07: I was happy with the original CoinTaker color changing LED that I had originally however during the past year, I've been putting together a reproduction Atari Quantum machine. The original Quantum has a 3" solid black trackball however I prefer the trackball to be lighted so I am installing a translucent red trackball. Like most people, my first thought was to simply install a simple superbright red LED under the ball but then after some thinking about the endless possibilities, I decided to design and build my own trackball light controller. The result was the BXTLC board which simply plugs directly into the opto-board of a standard trackball. It also fits the Major Havoc roller controller very nicely. Here's a short video of the BXTLC working in my Major Havoc machine. The BXTLC board is available for sale and you will be able to choose the LED color that you want it supplied as red, green, blue, warm white, or cool white. The 8mm 1W highpower LED supplied with BXTLC has incredible brightness and makes any trackball or roller look simply amazing.




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Space Duel to Major Havoc Conversion

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