Recently, a friend (Mark Jenison) who runs a web site with lots of info on Sega X/Y games emailed me saying there was someone local to me who wanted to sell their Star Trek game that they had won in a cereal box. I thanked Mark for the lead and quickly emailed the guy. He was pleased to hear from me and asked if I could come get the game on Sunday. I agreed and showed up on time. It was a dedicated cabinet. He was on the coast, so the coin door was badly rusted. He said the game didn't work at all and he didn't know why. Other than the coin door, the game looked pretty good. I'd say 9.0-9.5 all around... a few minor dings on the art, but otherwise good. He showed me the shipping invoice dated 1983 from Quaker Oats. He said his daughter opened a box of cereal and the card inside said they'd won this game. I agreed to his price, paid and loaded up the game. As I was leaving he handed me the paperwork, which turned out to be the preliminary manual, schematics, a congratulatory letter from Sega's Vice President of Marketing ("Dear Halfsies Cereal contest winner") and a sheet explaining that the machine had been factory modified for free play. I thanked him and was on my way.
Once home, I inspected the machine to find the main 5amp fuse was blown. I looked over the clean, new looking, but salt-coated insides and didn't see anything out of whack, so I put a new fuse in, plugged it in and turned it on. Da-da-daaa, da-da-da, daaaaa. I went around to the front to be greeted by the nicest looking picture on a G08 I'd ever seen. I was excited, so I hit the start button... "Welcome aboard, Captain." Wheee. ;-) The game worked great for about 1 minute and promptly locked up. =P
I ran the self tests and they reported "multiplier bad". Not knowing what that meant, I emailed Mark Jenison, the expert, and told him all about the game. He was excited to hear about the free play mod, since the game normally has no free play. He offered to have me ship him the PCB cage so he could check out the free play thingy and in exchange would send it back to me working 100%. Schwing! I feel a little bad, though, because it turned out that the factory free play mod was just wiring the start button to the coin switch. I definitely owe Mark a favor. =)
The next day, a new coin door I had gotten from eBay for $10 (plus shipping) arrived. I planned on using it for a different machine, but the Star Trek needed it more and the timing was right, so what the hey.