Dark Tower Parts and Repair

Dark Tower Parts and Repair page.

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

You need to send in your broken tower that you have in your possession.  ** This service now covers the new motor replacement and both of the electrolytic capacitors are changed because of age related deterioration.**   ** NEW **

The service now cleans up severe background spots from keypads to good as new clear white.  If it needs it just mention it. **Once received, your tower will be repaired and returned to you when complete.  This is a full service tower repair with a 1yr warranty! I need to pass on the 4-5 month backlog list with these games, rebuilds and purchases. I guess the lockdown and stim checks has everyone playing board games again. The eBay item you purchased has a 30 day handling time from the purchase date before shipment. That is the maximum eBay can set it at.  The way it looks that might be an additional 8-12 weeks before actual shipment from the date of purchase.  The sales and workload fluctuate and will affect the ship date.

The Summary of This Repair Service covers, replacing the carousel motor with a minty fresh motor which includes adjusting the carousel LEDs for correct picture alignment, cleaning the keypad connections, restoring the keypad label from spots, cleaning of all moving parts and replacing old lubricants.  Also included is cleaning and polishing the battery contacts when possible, removing the battery compartment wires and inspecting for damage and re-tinned.  Disassembling the power switch for cleaning with new switch lubricant added.  Cleaning the case parts inside and out.  Adding quick revision updates to the circuit boards that don’t involve component replacement.  Replacing both of the original electrolytic capacitors with NOS components.

After receiving the tower, there will be a follow up message after an initial inspection to discuss the repair options if needed.  Other parts and repair time costs may be needed.  But the point of this ‘all inclusive’ repair process was to cover all of the most common issues in one package.  These electronic towers were issued in (8) different circuit board versions that can have a whole host of age, revision and battery corrosion related problems. Versions part numbers on the back of the board are: 7924149001, A01, A03, B03, D01, D02, E01, E02.The New 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.  There has been very little, 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.

After the updates, repairs and cleaning have been completed, your Dark Tower will power on and complete the carousel self test and work perfectly on every turn with correct picture alignment!

Please pack the tower very well.  Some have arrived damaged from too small of a box.  Use a large enough box with plenty of room to clear all sides and lots of packing material.  There are sensitive, pins between the tower cases and Merlon tips around the castle top.  Then mail to:

DT Burbage
4 Dunbar Way
Sterling, VA 20165

Send a message after the purchase with tracking information.  I don’t have cover for weather at the shipping and receiving door.  If after about 10 days that a message is not received, it will be assumed that you are no longer interested and a refund will be processed.

Continue reading below for more detailed repair information. A Correct Dark Tower Power On Self Test consists of installing batteries in the correct direction, power switch on, a number ZERO digit will be displayed in the left digit for 1 secs, then 2 red flashing dashes (–) in the display window.  The tower waits for any key on the keypad to be pressed to initiate the Self Test.  Once any key is pressed, the tower display will go blank, then it will begin the self test . The motor will power up and spin the picture carousel to the open test section.  Then, the digits 88 are displayed in the digital display window as the 3 light bulbs are being tested one at a time, from top to bottom, with an accompanied speaker beep.  The self-test is complete when a flashing L1 is displayed. 

See the paragraph below for failure details.
Level 1 – 4 and Players 1 – 4can then be selected using the keypad.  Refer to the Dark Tower instruction manual under Chapter (3) Steps (1 & 2), pages 5 & 6.Cut and paste this link below and it will take you to that page.

Common Tower Power On Failures: The tower powers on with a left digit zero then 2 flashing dashes (–).   When you press a key to initiate the self test and the display goes blank and nothing happens.  The carousel does not spin and the tower does nothing else.  The most common fault is the carousel motor failing and it needs to be cleaned or replaced.  Replacing the motor is the best remedy for long term reliability.  The new motors are extremely reliable and operate very quietly in comparison.  Cleaning the original motors can be performed, but may fail again after the tower has been sitting unused for a while.

The tower will power on, left digit shows zero, then 2 flashing dashes (–).   You press any key on the keypad and nothing happens and the display still shows 2 flashing dashes.  That means the keypad is failing.  It needs to be cleaned or repaired as a keypad wire trace may be broken disabling one or more keypad buttons.  This item is here for just the keypad repair. http://www.ebay.com/itm/223811278905

On Power On, the tower may show a number 8 in the left digit or a number 0 in the right digit.  The tower carousel with power up with erratic behavior.  It may or may not spin with dim lights without having ever having to touch the keypad.  You may have to power off, pause for recommended 10 seconds, then power back on. Sometimes this works and sometimes it takes a few attempts for the tower to complete a self test.   This very annoying Power On problem is related to the circuit boards that were released early in the games production or your batteries are too weak.  These circuit boards need wiring and component updates for reliable operation.

This problem is actually mentioned as a workaround in the Dark Tower Game Instruction Manual under Chapter (3) Steps (1 & 2) pages 5 and 6.  Here is the Warning in the instruction booklet.
IMPORTANT — WHAT TO DO IF THE TOWER TEST FAILS 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 10seconds before turning the unit back on again. ALWAYS OBEY THE FOLLOWING CAUTION — WHEN TURNINGTHE TOWER OFF, WAIT AT LEAST TEN SECONDS BEFORETURNING IT BACK ON TO AVOID MALFUNCTIONING!

Cut and paste this link below to view the instruction manual in .pdf form.

Complete Tower Rebuilds and Custom Repairs are available below.  Pricing will vary based on work needed.  For example, cracked plastic part repairs, etc.

Tower Circuit Board Updates are needed with part numbers prior to 7924149A03 Rev B.  Boards with 001 Rev B, A01 Rev B and A03 Rev A are commonly faulty with this Power On problem.  Symptoms include:  The tower may eventually power on, but you might have to turn it off, pause 10 secs.,  and back on a number of times to get the tower to finally complete the self-test.  This problem is actually mentioned as a workaround in the Dark Tower Game

Instruction Manual under Chapter (3) Steps (1 & 2) pages 5 and 6.

Circuit Board Updates related to this problem can result in $15 in additional parts.  These major updates were included with the later released D01, D02 and E01, E02Version circuit boards.  The Dark Tower circuit boards with version D01D02 and E01, E02 will still need a small circuit update that’s included in the initial auction.All circuit board components are checked for age related issues.  The electrolytic capacitors are now replaced as part of the service.

LED Digit Display Replacement or Upgrade: If your display is missing one of the lines(segments) the display can be replaced with a new custom built display. The new displays are very bright and can be seen in a bright room with no problem.  These new, brighter displays are available in original sized .36″ or larger .56″at $25.  Pictures of the display size comparison can be seen here.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/223541957890

Keypad Repairs.  The aging keypads are finally dying out from oxidation.  Have it restored to better than new condition.  Your keypad is carefully disassembled and cleaned.  New foil traces are added to restore functionality.  Then, reassembled and fully tested for reliable operation.  The keypad restoration adds a new, very light touch in pressing each key.  No more having to dig in a fingernail to press a key.  This is not a keypad replacement with other keypad parts off eBay.  This restoration reuses all original parts at an additional $25*** NEW UPDATES *** The keypad label is now cleaned of the annoying spots as part of the rebuild.  Look at the 2nd picture to see the difference.

Replacement Front Lens.  A custom replacement part is available for your Dark Tower if yours is missing the front lens.   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 smoked Lexan that is custom bent to fit the curve in the front.   On the inside of the lens, it has black tape applied to create the viewing area similar to the original lens at $25. 

Battery Compartment Corrosion.  If the metal contacts are corroded to a point that they need removal and the zinc plating is still usable, reconditioning will be needed by removing and polishing for $35.  If the zinc is corroded beyond polishing and the base steel metal is still usable, the contacts will be removed cleaned, sandblasted, filled with silver solder if needed, then zinc/tin electroplated with a blue chromate dip for an $35.  With the final option being, where the base metal of the battery contacts are too damaged they are replaced with custom stainless steel contacts at $35.   The orange corrosion is cleaned up as bestest as possible.

The Battery Compartment Power Switches are always disassembled and cleaned for reliable operation.  New switch lubricant is added.  The switch contacts are another factor in glitchy power problems from oxidation.

New Battery Compartment Power Cables and Connectors  may need to be replaced in battery corrosion towers at an additional $10.  The speaker/motor connector with wires at $5.

Carousel Picture Cell Alignment is always checked. The alignment LEDS are adjusted on each tower.  Units with revision circuit board updates or new motor replacement are custom installed and adjusted.

Carousel Motors are removed and replaced with a new motor.  The old motors are being replaced as a standard procedure.  The original motors are an old design that are very unbalanced.  This unbalance creates a noticeable vibration when the carousel turns and is easily heard.  The newly designed, replacement motors with new wiring are installed.  The new motors operate at slightly faster than original motor speed and are super quiet as the carousel turns.

Tower Case Pins replacement is available. 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.  Replacing the pins are an additional $10. 

The Tower cap pins are replaced when needed for $5.

PCB Foil Repairs Heavy potassium hydroxide and related gases can permeate the tower case from severely depleted batteries left in the tower.  These gases destroy the PCB traces and coat and oxidize exposed metal. These dark spots can be seen behind the green PCB masking and no longer make any contact at those locations.  Basically, the corrosion has dissolved the metal in the PCB foils and cut traces causing the tower to fail.  These damaged PCB traces appear bubbly and darker underneath the green masking.  This happens from leaving the tower powered on while the batteries drain and then leak and the gases cause corrosion damage.  These damaged traces are repaired and reinforced with wire strands or Soder-Wick as a permanent and durable repair.  Pricing will vary based on work needed.

Please pack the tower very, very well!  Some have arrived damaged from too small of a box.  Use a large enough box with plenty of room to clear all sides and lots of packing material.  There are sensitive pins between the tower cases and the merlon tips on the top. Then mail to:

DT Burbage
4 Dunbar Way
Sterling, VA 20165

100% Guaranteed Customer Satisfaction with a 1 Year Warranty!

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