Since this blog has become All Reclaim Arcade All The Time #noregrets I wanted to return to the very first repair I did on our first game last summer. Jim and I had travelled down to Richmond to pick up a Centipede in beautiful condition and brought it back to the office. It quickly became a signature piece in the space but in short order we noticed that it didn't seem like high scores would survive a power cycle. The game was previously owned by a family and sat in their den and in fact it was the mom who dominated the leaderboard despite several of us putting up decent ranking above her, with every power cycle mom was back on top!
After a bit of Google-fu I learned that Centipede stores the high scores in memory on a particular chip called the EAROM and the replacement is very simple given it's a socket chip. One $8 part from Arcadeshop and I was back in business. The biggest thing with socket chips is to be careful to remove them without bending or breaking pins by taking a flathead and slowly working each side of the chip a little at a time to lift it straight out (or you could get fancy and get a tool that grips both sides of the chip). With the chip replaced we now could dominate over MOM and not too long afterwards Lauren put up both first and second place positions before heading off to Florida and no one has managed to beat her yet!
An interesting side note, I only recently learned that Centipede shows a top 10 high score list, however only the top 3 scores are saved to the EAROM chip which makes a lot more sense (for awhile I started to wonder if the chip had gone bad again or if my own memory was failing me). There are aftermarket high score save kits for Centipede that will save all 10 slots but that gets a bit too far into modding than I want to do to a dedicated original cabinet.