What!? There's a Midway PCB
in my Taito Space Invaders!

last updated May 17, 2016



Sometimes you come across a Midway Space invaders pcb that has Taito serial number labels on it, and it looks like someone has wired to the back of the daughter-board pins with a small edge fingerboard. It also uses the Taito 'L-shape' aluminium bracket to hold the PCBs together rather than the expected Midway 'triangle' supports.

Its worth noting that The Taito L-shape bracket isn't quite the right size for these PCBs, they end up pulling on the inter-board connector just slightly - not enough to worry about however.

The two PCBs shown below are ones I have recently had through my workshop.

Years ago I saw one of these and figured that it was made by some operator, (there were no Taito serial number labels on it at the time, they had been ripped off). But in the intervening decade I have owned a couple of original upright machines now that contained these PCBs, and seen many more.. This is not operator hack :-)
And, if you look at the finger board, you'll see its etched with a nice Taito logo and part numbers:
Now I must have seen about 8 of them, I thought I'd talk a little bit about them as I've seen a couple of messages on forums of people equally puzzled by this...
Some people have said these PCBs exist because Taito could not keep up with the production of such a wildly popular game, and so leaned on their US Licensee (with a much larger production capacity) to supply them with PCBs to meet demand. And Midway did as they were asked...
But.. That doesn't really ring true. Problems in the supply chain related to Arcade machine manufacture are always down to cabinets themselves, they are bulky, require space to store, expensive to transport, and are fragile. PCBs on the other hand are small, easy to produce in volume, if a little expensive.
So in reality, I think that these Midway PCBs that were obviously used at the Taito factory to populate cabinets were probably just supplied as part of the license agreement. They are costly to produce and it probably made sense for Taito to do it this way.

So, in conclusion - a little history lesson on these PCBs, and a reassurance that they are 'real' and that you do actually find them as 'stock' installed inside the blue upright Taito Space Invader machines fairly commonly, especially in the UK.

Update May 2016 :
Another strangely labelled Midway PCB came through the workshop, with what looks like a Taito USA paper label. Taito USA had a habit of typing their numbers instead of having them printed, thats my only observation on this PCB set.

part numbers SI00001 and SI00002

It does not have the soldered fingerboard for use in a Taito cabinet, and it had regualr triangle pieces.....

...Not only was it the early 'B739' daughterboard, but it also had a resistor missing for the 'base explode' noise (meaning it was not 'fading away' as it should)

Was this PCB sold by Taito USA after-market?

who knows...








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These pages are (C) Andy Welburn 1996-2012. I cannot be held responsible if the information supplied herein results in a blown monitor/power supply/house fuse/mind. Oh yeah, have a nice day :)