Kee Games / Atari
Indy 800 / Indy 4
PCB identification page
(stuff i've discovered)

last updated October 2, 2016



 

Overview:

Atari's huge multiplayer arcade games from the 1970's are pretty hard to find. This page is about the commonality (and otherwise) of the earlier machines, not the Sprint or Tank series.

I own and have repaired a *lot* of Indy stuff for others, so I thought i'd post my findings - mainly because the pcbs are not intuitively labelled from the factory. Every Indy pcb is etched with "Indy 800", no matter if its from the 4 or 8 player game, despite them being incompatible in most cases. Just identifying them is usually the main hurdle. Secondly is then working out if you have a full and correct set! I've been buying the individual pcbs from eBay since the late 90's and have been able to put together a complete set plus obtaining a cage, which have come from all over the place!

 

 

The PCBs:


(technically this is an Indy 4 cage with an extra 4 car pcbs in it :)

The heart of the game - Atari developed the card rack for Indy 800 first then later stripped down the existing set for just 4 players. The pcbs do turn up from time to time, but rarely/never as a complete set, usually its just individual boards. The PCB cage itself is very hard to find, whereas individual pcbs do turn up randomly.

There are 5 different pcbs in the rack as follows:

board
QTY Indy 800
QTY
Indy 4
Interchangeability notes:
CAR
8
4
Same in both games
SCORE
1
1
Unique
SYNC
1
1
If you exchange 2 PROMs you can change these around.
COIN
1
1
Unique
PSU
1
1
*see note
BACKPLANE
(cage)
1
1
Same in both games

*note : Indy 800 psu can be used in Indy 4. Indy 4 psu can be used in Indy 800 but you will only have four working coin mech lockout coils - only a slight inconvenience but it will power it.

When i say 'Unique' in the table above the meaning is that to convert an Indy 4 Score or Coin pcb to work in Indy 800 there are a lot of chips required, clipped legs and cut traces to re-instate and lots of blue patch wire to remove. Its not impossible, but its a _lot_ of work and i would say barely worth it unless you are completely stuck. Some later revisions of Indy 4 pcbs also had these changes effected in the etching so conversion may be even more of a nightmare.

There are some big differences between the two games as follows :

INDY 800

The first game made/released.
- 8-players stand around a square cabinet, 2 players per side
- Players have gas, brake, steering wheel and 'Horn' button.
- Car Colours are Green, Yellow, Peach, Purple, Blue, Red, White, Light Blue
- overhead mirror for spectator viewing.

INDY 4

Produced a year or so later, a stripped-down version
- 4-players stand around a square cabinet, 2 players on 2 sides, with 2 blank sides.
- Players have gas, brake, steering wheel only
- Car Colours are Green, Cyan, Violet, Red

 

Telling the PCBs apart!

Here's some side-by-side photos, 800 on the left, 4 on the right, never confuse the two again!

 

 

PCB

COIN
PSU
SCORE
SYNC

INDY 800
CAGE

(or PCB rack)

Not the best photo but you can see that the rack has standard 19" rack mount flanges, plus rounded top/bottom entry bars that fit the car ejector tool nicely. The edge connectors are very stiff to insert/remove PCBs and hence then eed for a card ejector tool.

INDY 4
CAGE

(or PCB rack)

Instead of 19" rack flanges this has 'feet' flanges instead. Top and bottom crossbars are set-back, PCB edge connectors are a lot more forgiving than indy 800, cards can be inserted and removed by hand.

 

 

Why do you find more Indy 4 pcbs than Indy 800?

Page 5 of the Indy 4 manual TM-055 tells us that each game actually shipped from the factory with one spare pcb for each of the folowing: STEERING, CAR, COIN, SCORE, SYNC!

This probably saved the operator a lot of hassle and correspondence back with Atari and downtime servicing this beast if it failed. A bad machine taking up such floorspace rapidly loses revenue! Looks like they didn't relise this until they shipped Indy 4 however. These spare pcbs do not appear to be noted as supplied with an Indy 800 machine purchase.

 

 

 

Tech Centre:
After working on around 18 CAR pcbs in a row, I spotted a batch failure problem with Motorola MLM309K regulators with date code 7616 - at least 4 were found bad, and one failed under burn testing. I have other pcbs where this batch regulator has not failed yet.. but its worth keeping an eye out for.

 

In Summary:
So now, you should be able to spot the PCBs apart, and work out what you need to collect a set. If you have any spare pcbs for this or any other 1970's Atari/Kee game PCBs to sell/trade then please let me know as i'm always looking to expand my collection.
If you liked this page, check out the rest of my rambling mess of an ancient website, and maybe follow my page on facebook for vintage videogame repairs and techie stuff :


And visit my WEBSTORE for lots of video arcade game items to buy!

 

Enjoy!

 

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These pages are (C) Andy Welburn 1996-2016. I cannot be held responsible if the information supplied herein results in a blown monitor/power supply/house fuse/mind. Oh yeah, have a nice day :)