Possible Luke V2 Lightsaber clamp card source?

jamatar

New Member
Hello!

Well, I've been down a rabbit hole tonight! It started when I was looking at my Slothfurnace v2 PCB... So some background, I have a veeeery basic knowledge of electronics and PCBs but I've been watching some videos on repairing PCBS and there are things called 'PCB vias' and what they do is make electrical contact from the front of the PCB to the back of the PCB. The PCB has a hole drilled in it and then when it's plated, the hole gets plated right the way through.

info here: PCB Vias: An In-Depth Guide

However, this is a fairly advanced technique and PCB design has come a long way through the 70s, 80s and 90s. Also in the 70s, PCBs were still hand drawn. Late 70s you could do computer but your lines were very straight, no diagonals. After that, PCBs started looking very advanced. I watched this video:

So the Luke V2 clamp card has vias in it. But they're filled with solder! They aren't plated! So that dates the board somewhere around the start of vias but also still at the point that they needed to fill them with solder. Also the spacing of the contacts is interesting. I've seen info about it being a '44 HP pin standard'... It was used by the MOS Technologies Kim-1 for expansion connection. It's about a .156" pin spacing... which is also what the JAMMA arcade wiring standard is! JAMMA was established in 1981 which is a year before filming began for ROTJ. I've got a slothfurnace card here and the spacing matches up to the .156" pin spacing.

So it got me thinking... JAMMA started because arcade machines started using the same standard and they wanted to make it official across the board. So i looked and I looked at many, many, MANY arcade PCBS... and I found this one. Quantum by Atari, dated 1982 so we know this is not the board. But look how close it is :O

I really want to know if the pad spacing is correct. But it's got the soldered vias. It's got veeeeeery similar straight computer drawn PCB lines. It's got the full uncoated PCB.

I think if the pad spacing is correct, it could be another ATARI board from earlier. They would have been pulled from machines and tossed after the big arcade boom from 1978 when Space Invaders came out.

This is the page where I saw it looked similar: Arcade PCB Fever

Would love to hear your thoughts!
 

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Pedro

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Definitel yes on the .156” spacing. I did the arcade game board dig a few years ago, picked up a few that will work for ESB, but nothing on the V2. This looks very close though, nice thinking on following the manufacturing technique trail!
 

jamatar

New Member
I guess it's also a possibility that the PCB they put in the final prop that went into storage might be a different board from a later year. I'm trying to check them all! I can't find a good picture for Atari - The Empire Strikes Back from 1985 but it's the same old, raw uncoated board!
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great thinking. I looked at many arcade boards a couple years ago with someone in private messages for months. It's a great lead, thank you for doing so much more research and getting us closer!
 

jamatar

New Member
Woah which one is that? It's quite close too!

Edit: Oh yeah that Quantum :D There's also the back of the board which we can't see... All of the Atari boards have a reverse side too...
 

BlandoCalrssian

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I think you’re onto something here. The pattern seems too close to be coincidence. Here’s an Atari Dig Dug board, also close but still not exact.
 

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APOLLO IND

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’ve just been going to the wikipedia page list of all the atari games, and searching pics of each board based on date (1982 and before) Good luck hunting gents! :)
 

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Close but still not right, like Ridire said, this was brought up a few years ago.

Pretty amazing how close it is, but I’ve seen other boards closer

Still no exact winner though..
 

jamatar

New Member
Another thing that put me on to this is that I grew up in the UK in the 80s, and there was always a distinct lack of computer equipment that came across. We had Sinclair and Amstrad that were hitting homes but IBM and Commodore didn't really get traction there for a while.

Arcades however popped off pretty quickly, so I could see there being many old boards in the country. I feel like since the props tend to have some sort of UK connection...

The search continues :D
 
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APOLLO IND

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Also I feel like given the prop info we have today the prop team always had to choose the most RARE variant of literally EVERYTHING lol. Wouldn’t surprise me if it was some off-brand electronic that they only made 500 of
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I will say I say ONE arcade board with gold leads, out of everything I went through a few years ago.

There are industrial boards that are also very close and I very nearly nailed one a few years ago
 

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