Repairs for an Arcade Game Monitor

Written by ty flowers
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Repairs for an Arcade Game Monitor
Arcade game displays often use the same technology as old CRT computer monitors and television screens. (Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Arcade games are prized for their retro appeal, and their ability to provide electronic enjoyment in a self-contained box to enthusiasts for years after their production dates. The cathode-ray tube displays in arcade games may malfunction over time, and owners of arcade games may need to repair them in order to keep their games functioning correctly.

Power Supply

Often, your arcade monitor will not power on, and you will be staring at a blank screen. The common culprit in these scenarios is a faulty power supply. If you open your monitor case, and follow the power cable from the outside to the chassis of the monitor, you will see a small electrical box. This is your power supply. Usually there will be a fuse that may have blown and may need to be replaced. You can check this by either looking for burnt marks around the fuse, or by using a multimeter to see if there is power coming to the power supply.

Thin Horizontal Line

If your monitor only displays a thin horizontal line in the middle of the screen, you will have to investigate whether there is a malfunction in the integrated circuit that controls vertical line scrolling. If the circuit is not receiving power (which you should be able to determine using your multimeter), you will have to replace the integrated circuit.

Cap Kits

Many other problems with monitors, like wavy lines, distortion, or flickering images, can be sourced to faulty or malfunctioning capacitors. "Cap kits" are commonly sold with the express intention of using them to replace the capacitors in an old arcade monitor. You can do this by unscrewing the old capacitors from the PCB-board within the console, and soldering new capacitors in place with a soldering iron. Every cap kit is different, and they thankfully include instructions for making use of and identifying how each capacitor functions, so you can make sense of the installation.


Arcade monitors (and all CRT monitors) are capable of storing up to 30,000 volts of electricity for up to three months, even if they've been unplugged. While fixing your monitor, make sure not to unplug anything you don't have to. Many arcade enthusiasts recommend replacing monitors entirely when they malfunction, as opposed to repairing individual components. Consider only buying parts from specialists like Bob Roberts or Randy Fromm, and make sure to check references before making hasty decisions.

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