I’ve gotten my Joust out of storage. Serial #606900 (or 60690D according to handwritten permanent ink on one of the wooden struts inside). Strictly speaking, doing so is irrelevant to this phase of the project, but having this hulking mass taking up space at home will serve as a constant reminder to finish.
It’s survived the last 10 years of storage in good shape. The backup batteries were still measuring 1.3 volts! I was foolish to leave them in all that time, but no harm, no foul. To be able to lift it and put it in the car, I took out the video assembly out and left it in storage for a second trip. So even if it did still work, I wouldn’t be able to play today.
I plugged it in after wiping it down and checking for spiders. The single 7-segment LED flashed 1… 2… 8. That’s a RAM error, bank 2, chip 8. That’s the most common failure of these old machines.