1981 Dark Tower Repair and Rebuild

Dark Tower Instruction Manual in PDF

🔥🔥 Revised 12-12-23 NEW standard repairs have been added 🔥🔥 Plus lots of good info.

⚔ 1981 Dark Tower Board Game Complete Tower Repair and Restoration with a 100% Guaranteed Customer Satisfaction and 1 Year Limited Lifetime Warranty! 

👉The turnaround time is about (2) weeks. The shipping time is set at (40) days from purchase.  That will provide enough time for the item to arrive, rebuild, then shipped back. The price includes return shipping.

🤘😍 This is a repair service item.  You need to send in your broken tower for this Dark Tower rebuild.  Please send tracking information as soon as possible.  I do not have cover for weather at my front door, so I need the tracking info to watch out for your package.

👎The constantly changing price 👎 
reflects increasing inflation, the new tax laws on online sales and the ever increasing fees. Due to the changes in tax laws, everyone selling online will be hammered with income tax from these sales in the form of a 1099-K.  This turns into a 24% (our current tax bracket) loss on each sale on top of the transaction fees plus payment to Medicare and SS fees of 15% if your not a business.

🔥🔥 NEW Repairs Added 🔥🔥👉This Dark Tower rebuild item is an all inclusive restoration process that covers a majority of the common issues in one package.  The goal of this Dark Tower restoration is many years of enjoyment by working perfectly and quieter on every turn with correct carousel picture alignment! 

  • Carousel motors are replaced with a minty fresh motor. 
  • Carousel LEDs are custom aligned for each tower. There are (4) different carousels requiring custom timing adjustment. 
  • Digital Displays that arrive broken with burnt out LED segments are replaced. (Optional Super Bright Display and Bulb to LED upgrades are available here on the website.)  Links to the descriptions.
    Display Upgrades ==>  https://www.ebay.com/itm/223541957890
    Bulb to LED Upgrade ==>  https://www.ebay.com/itm/225387121052
  • Keypad repairs are included which includes removing the spots from label. Keypad must be complete with usable label.  Reproduction keypad label is available. 
  • Carousel gearing system is cleaned with a custom mod for quieter operation. 
  • Tower case and front lens are cleaned and polished. (Optional reproduction front lens is available.) 
  • Battery corrosion is cleaned throughout also polishing corroded screws. 
  • Battery compartment contacts are removed, cleaned and polished. Power wires and connectors are inspected for damage and replaced if needed. (This fixes glitchy power issues) 
  • Power switch is disassembled and cleaned with new switch lubricant. (Solves more glitchy power issues.)
  • Circuit board updatesand NOS electrolytic capacitors are included. (Solves even more glitchy power issues.) 
  • Circuit boardbattery minor corrosion issues are repaired. Extensive repairs are additional.
  • Tower case and tower cap pins are replaced.
  • Speaker repairs or replacement are included.  Occasionally the speaker can have a broken voice coil connection at the cone. 

🔥🔥  Shipment 🔥🔥Please pack your tower very well.  Use a large enough box with plenty of room to clear all sides and use padding material.  There are fragile plastic pins between the tower cases and merlon tips around the Tower top.  Send tracking information as soon as possible. I don’t have cover for weather at the shipping and receiving dock and need to watch out for the package.  After receiving the tower,an inspection will be performed to assess the condition of your Dark Tower for successful rebuild. 

🔥🔥  Continue reading below for more detailed repair information. 🔥🔥

👉Correct Dark Tower Power On Self Test consists of

  • Install the 2 “D” batteries in the correct direction. Moving the power switch to the On position.
  • “0” will be displayed in the left digit for 1 sec. followed by (2) continuously flashing dashes (in the digital display window.  
  • The tower is now waiting for any one of the keypad keys to be pressed that will initiate the Self Test.
  • Press and key on the keypad, the tower display will go blank, the motor will power on and spin the picture carousel to the open slot test section. 
  • “88” will be displayed in the Digital Display window as the individual carousel light bulbs are tested from top to bottom with an accompanied speaker beep. 
  • Self Test is complete when a flashing L1 is displayed. The tower is ready to select game level and player count with the keypad.  Level 1-4 (L1-L4) and Players 1-4 (P1-P4) can then be selected to start a game.  

🔥🔥 Common Tower Failures: 🔥🔥

  • Dark Tower powers on with “0”, then 2 continuously flashing dashes, press any key, display goes out, then nothing.  This is the most common problem caused by a failing carousel motor. The towers powers up normally, you press any key to initiate the self test, the display goes blank and nothing else happens.  The carousel does not spin and the tower does nothing else.  The carousel motor needs to be cleaned or replaced.  Replacing the motor is the best remedy for long term reliability. The motor magnets have weakened over time and the brush contacts have oxidized. These motor issues won’t allow the carousel motor to spin on self test.  The replacement motors are new and extremely reliable and operate very quietly in comparison.  Cleaning the original motors can be performed, but will fail again soon after the tower has been sitting unused for a while.  Periodic turning on your tower will help to keep the motors moving.
  • Tower powers on with “0” then 2 flashing dashes, keypress, display continues to flash dashes, nothing else happens:  This failure example is a normal power on, you press any key on the keypad, the display still shows dashes and nothing else happens.  That means some or all keypad contacts are failing.  It needs to be cleaned or repaired as a keypad wire trace may be broken disabling one or more keypad buttons.  Here is the Keypad Repair item:
  • Erratic Power On issues: This failure example is where you turn on the tower,the tower may show a number “8″ in the left digit or a number “0″ in the right digit.  The tower will power up with erratic behavior including strange speaker sounds and a slow rotating carousel.  It may or may not spin with dim lights, without even having to touch the keypad.  You power off the tower, pause for the recommended 10 seconds, then power back on.  Sometimes the tower powers up correctly, sometimes it takes a few attempts for the tower to finally complete a self test. This can also be caused by the weak batteries

    This very common power on failure is related to the early production Dark Tower circuit board versions.  These early circuit boards with part numbers 7924149001, A01, A03 need important wiring and component updates for reliable operation.  This problem is actually mentioned in the Dark Tower Game Instruction Manual as a workaround! This warning is listed starting in Chapter 3, Steps 1-2, Pages 4-8. This problem is solved with updates to the circuit boards. Here is the warningin the instruction booklet.

    If your tower did not emit the above signals in the order described,
    it is not functioning properly.  Try the test again but be sure to wait
    at least 10 seconds before turning the unit back on again.


🔥🔥 Download the Dark Tower Manual 🔥🔥

🔥🔥 The Rebuild Details 🔥🔥

👉New Carousel Motors: are much quieter and spin the carousel pictures slightly faster.  That will be a huge bonus at speeding up your game on every players turn.  I have not had any long term success with cleaning the original motors. Even after a thorough cleaning, these old motors aren’t guaranteed to be reliable.  The original motors seem to fail or run slowly after the Dark Tower game has been put away in storage for a while.  The motor magnets have weakened over time and the brush contacts have oxidized.

👉Carousel Picture Cell Alignment: The Dark Towers picture carousels were issued in (4) different versions.  (3) of these are timing changes to the black slotted ring at the top of the carousel.  The carousel timing LEDs are custom installed and adjusted on each tower.  Units with circuit board updates or new motor replacement will need these alignment LEDs to be custom installed and adjusted for each tower.  Also, the later version carousels picture print were slightly darker(less translucent) which make the pictures lighting up appear dimmer.  There is an picture carousel bulb to LED upgrade available.  The front lens on the later Dark Tower units were issued slightly darker also which again makes the lighted pictures appear dimmer.  Also, the bulbs dim quickly as the batteries become used. 

Brand new fresh batteries at 1.617V
 and have the brightest picture bulb illumination.  As the batteries weaken the picture alignment drifts, on average, to the left.  The majority of the battery life will have the pictures align centered.

👉Circuit Board Updates: Updates to the earlier released circuit boards are included.  The Dark Tower circuit boards were issued in (8) different versions.  They can have a wide range of age, revision and battery corrosion related problems.  Version part numbers are on the top back of the circuit board as: 7924149001, A01, A03, B03, D01, D02, E01, E02. The electrolytic capacitors are also being replaced as part of the service. Earlier version circuit boards have a known erratic power on problem mentioned in Dark Tower Instruction Booklet.  This problem is solved with these updates.

👉Digital Display Replacement or Upgrade:If your display is missing one of the lines(segments), the display will be replaced with an original. Broken display must be present for replacement.  Super Bright Display Upgrades are available at an additional cost: New display upgrades are very bright and can be seen in a bright room with no problem.  The brighter displays are available in original size .36″ or larger .56″.  The item with pictures of the display size comparison can be seen here.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/223541957890

👉 Carousel Light Bulb LED Upgrade:  Another optional upgrade are the (3) carousel light bulbs to LED.  The LEDs are very bright and do not dim as the batteries weaken.  This upgrade is very helpful on the later issued Dark Towers that have slightly darker front lens and darker print on the picture carousel.  This is a common problem on the overseas units in Germany and the UK as these are all the later DT units.  The original incandescent light bulbs appear much dimmer in these units.  Upgrading to the LEDs solves this issue.  Another issue with the original bulbs are dimming as the new batteries become weaker.  This is noticeable when the batteries are new and dim quickly as the batteries drain.  The LED bulb upgrade stays the same brightness as the batteries become weaker.

👉 Keypad Repairs:  Keypad repairs are now included.  The keypads are failing from oxidation to the conductive areas or have battery corrosion damage. Your keypad may need to be disassembled and cleaned or if needed, new foil traces will be added to restore functionality.  The keypads are reassembled and fully tested for reliability.  Refoiled keypad presses will respond from a light touch in key presses.  No more having to dig in a fingernail to press a key.  This restoration reuses all original parts. This is not a keypad replacement with other keypad parts off eBay.  The keypad label is restored removing the visible spots as part of the rebuild.  Look at the 2nd picture to see the difference in the before and after restoration. You must have a keypad installed with useable label.  Reproduction keypad labels are available.

👉Reproduction Front Lens:  A custom reproduction part is available for your Dark Tower if yours is missing the front lens at an additional cost. This front lens part uses the same bottom slot in the case and pin at the top like the the original lens does.  Each front lens part is hand made using the same smoked lexan plastic that is custom bent to fit the curve in the front and custom paint masked to replicate the viewing area.

👉Tower Case, Top Cap Pins and Castle Top Merlons: are repaired when needed. These 4 pins keeps the outer case in place so the carousel doesn’t rub against it. This also keeps the front lens in place so it stops falling off.  The Tower cap pins are also replaced when needed.  Any of the small square Castle Merlons on the top are replaced if missing.

Having missing tower merlons will increase the crenel areas.  This will increase the enemy siege penetration on your tower. 🤘😂

👉Dark Tower Speaker repairs or replacement: are included.  Occasionally speaker have broken voice coil connection and can be repaired.  If it can’t be repaired it will be replaced with a Dark Tower speaker replacement.

🔥🔥 Dark Tower Leaky Battery Corrosion Damage 🔥🔥

👉Old Leaky Batteries: Most of these towers had batteries that were left installed and powered on. With power left on, the battery power was drained and then leaked inside.  The batteries in the 80’s were well known for leaking.  Theheavy 

potassium hydroxide and related gases from these leaky batteries permeated inside the tower case and caused many types of damage to the Dark Tower components.  Any metal components or wire can be damaged. The keypad label can be damaged with discoloration of the label button print(red color is dissolved) or completely destroyed with the print bubbling up altogether.
👉PCB Repairs: These damaging gases can destroy the PCB traces as well.  This will bubble up the green coating and oxidize the copper metal underneath. These bubbled up dark spots can be seen behind the green PCB masking and are no longer making any connection at those locations. It hard to see until you scratch away the green coating and clean the area. The corrosion has dissolved the metal to the PCB foils underneath causing failures. M

inor repairs to damaged PCB circuit boards are included.  Extensive repairs are an additional cost and may include replacing the circuit board.
👉Board Connectors: The white power/speaker/motor and/or the black keypad flexible cable board connectors are replaced if damaged by corrosion.

👉Battery Contacts Corrosion:  The battery contacts are removed for reconditioning by cleaning and polishing.  If the contacts are missing or the base metal of the battery contacts are too damaged(pitted), they are replaced with custom stainless steel contacts at additional cost.  The orange corrosion is cleaned up as bestest as possible inside the battery compartment.  Usually if the contacts are heavily corroded the power wires and connector will be replaced.

👉New Battery Compartment Power Cables and Connectors: are removed, inspected, recrimped, cleaned and re-tinned where needed. These may need to be replaced in battery corroded towers. The power/speaker/motor connector with wires will be replaced if needed.  The black power wire is commonly corroded throughout the wire evident by stripping back the wire and exposing the green and black oxidation.  This oxidation will travel up the wire to the power connector and oxidize these contacts in the red connector.

👉The Battery Compartment Power Switches: are always disassembled and cleaned for reliable operation. New switch lubricant is added.  The switch contacts are another factor of glitchy power problems from leaky battery oxidation and/or excess factory solder flux hardening causing failures.  A symptom is when playing a game and you bump the tower, it resets the game or turns off.

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