Hey Roy, you owe me 25 cents. That Star Wars machine of yours reset on me again. Why don't any of your games work?

Them games are fickle Earl, just like a beautiful woman.

Poor Roy. He never just admits that his aging arcade games may need a repair or two. The big blue cap is a very common component on almost all arcade games manufactured by Atari from the late seventies to the mid eighties. It is a huge fist-sized capacitor that is located on the bottom of the cabinet. It is one of the components of the Atari linear power supply, its function is to help provide smooth DC power for the sensitive Atari game components.

Roy, I was talking to Ned, and he said his Missile Command machine was doing the same thing. He had Jimbo replace the big blue cap, and the problems went away.

There isn't anything blue inside that there game.

That's only because the last time you cleaned the darn thing was in 1985.

The big blue cap is prone to failure. A failing big blue can cause all sorts of random problems, ranging from graphical glitches, to random resets, or the dreaded game that won't even turn on. The cap is very easy to locate. Just take the back door off your machine and look down. What you are looking for is a blue capacitor that is about the size of a can of soda. If your game has any problems at all, I would suggest replacing this component, it is very cheap, and simple to replace.

Here is what you will need to repair your game. A phillips screwdriver and a new big blue cap. You have a few options for procuring a replacement cap. You can just copy the numbers down off yours, and then try calling every place in town to see if they have it, or you can order one online for around $10 (I will provide a source at the end of this writeup).

Dammit Earl, you know soldering sensitive electronics is for pansies.

The thing is as big as a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, even you could do it Roy.

This is a real easy thing to change out. It is so large that it is easy to replace, you won't even need any instructions at all. Just take out the old one, and put the new one in. Very simple. If you really get lost somehow, then just send me a /msg and I will talk you through it, but you won't need the help.

You can get big blue caps from several different places online for under $10. I suggest going with Bob Roberts at www.therealbobroberts.com as he has an excellent reputation. You can also try posting a request in the rec.games.video.arcade.collecting newsgroup, to see if anyone local might have a new one that you could pick up from them.