Saturday, June 16, 2018

Introducing... No Good Gofers

incoming!


My biggest purchase ever, I am so happy to have this game down here.  It's a fabulous table, and a great kid-friendly theme as I do want to keep my games really appealing to young kids while my daughter and friend's kids are all relatively young.

One new thing I want to do here is include high res photos of all of the boards I take before I disconnect the wires.  Figure this might be a useful thing for people at random times in the future.  Games have to have their heads off to get downstairs.









A few little things to take care of right away
not having the ramp secured to beneath meant the ball could fly away as the ramp warped


the right screw on the slam ramp was perpetually loose, so used Loctite to secure it. 
I have a playfield protector for this game, but have yet to install it.  The game is in incredible shape, so I definitely want to preserve it.

The game came with a NOS set of extra gofers, but I will opt to not put them on at the time being.
The gofers are also having "locking" issues, where the game raises them up but they fail to latch in the upright position, falling down and taking the ramp with them.
I purchased Cliffy-made latch replacements and once I install them it should solve the issue.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Introducing... Triple Strike

This is a real treat to get down in to the basement!  A member in Pinball Women Ottawa had a machine that had been in her family for decades, but no place to really set it up and work on it, so we are going to work on it together and get it back running.



First thing to note is that a long time ago someone put masking tape along the back of the backglass.  The tape has dried and came off in strips, but with the artwork near perfectly adhered to it!
Luckily I was able to find someone on pinside who was ordering a repro from bgresto.com and offered to mail us their old glass!  HUZZAH!
So that is on the way.


It came down in more pieces than most games because that's how she brought it.  It's my new thing where I will put the effort in to take the head off, AND take the playfield out, taking the cab, head, and playfield down separately.  But she also had the central logic block / transformer removed, so made getting it around a snap.  EMs are great for coming apart in to serviceable bits.  I wish I knew quite how much back when I first started.


The game is not in playing order right now.  We turned it on and sometimes we could hear a relay coil lock on or sometimes pressing something that scores on the playfield causes a coil to lock.
I realized that you shouldn't be able to do much of anything with a playfield when it first comes on.
EM games almost all have a Game Over relay that controls all of the stuff on the playfield.  When not engaged, the playfield should not be activating anything.


Took a quick look at the Game Over relay and found a switch that was always connected.  Re-gapped it so that it was Open when the relay was not engaged.  Note the bottom switch here, one activated, one not.  Full contact.





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Backglass arrived!






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Getting back to the game after a long break:
Cleaned a bunch of stuff and put the coin switches in different positions, and suddenly we are in business, able to coin up.


Left flipper is strong and punchy.  Right flipper is weak as all heck, but no obvious reason as two why.  Took it apart and cleaned the parts, but still couldn't get it going much better.  Getting a full rebuild kit anyways.

The 4 standup targets all work, kickout saucer, and the rollovers mostly work.
Some of the 10 rollovers stuck on occasion but my EM friend JF taught me a trick:  A little bit of sewing machine oil, very thin and fine, to help stop it from sticking.


Rollover #1 wasn't registering at all, alas.  Under the playfield is a bank of relays for each of the 10 rollovers.  When we triggered the relay for rollover #1 manually, and then hit the rest, the bonuses advanced and they all reset, as they should.
Seems that the relay coil, one S27-500, had been getting super hot and managed to desolder.  New coil on the way.




One obvious issue was that the plunger housing was not attached, and no screws were to be found.
I did pick up a brand new plunger tip recently, but gotta figure the proper screws to secure it.

ahhh there we go



anyways, I'll get back to this eventually!



updates

oh crap, I hadn't update this since November 2016?  Shit, whatever could have happened then to take the wind out of one's sails?
Expect a bit of a forthcoming flood here as I try and get things up to date, and review a few technical aspects as well.  I keep getting feedback from people as to how helpful a lot of my trouble-shooting on Surf Champ was for them, so I really want to dive back into debugging EM logic.

Hollywood Heat was a bust.  We had to send it to a local electrical genius who found multiple points of simultaneously collapse across a few of the boards.  Board work, beyond changing a resistor or transistor, just isn't something I can do.

Triple Strike came down and is still in project mode.
Kick Off left.
Rollergames left and was playing wonderfully.
Stars left and is now in a good friend's home.
I picked up 2 grail games that should stay with me for a while:  No Good Gofers and Mousin' Around.  I sold my games that were off at friend's houses, and now these are the only 2 I actually own.
I had two main motivations:  I wanted to stop bringing games up and down my wretched stair case every few months, and so got games I really wanted, instead of just taking what popped up next.
I also wanted to find titles that would appeal to my young daughter and all of her friends on the block.
Jurassic Park left to a friend's house.
I bought Mousin' Around and No Good Gofers.
A Sure Shot project arrived and I've made excellent progress on it.
I got a late 70s Heiwa pachinko machine.
I got a 1932 bagatelle named Goofy.

And last year we also had a basement flood and everything in the basement was derailed for like 6+ months.  Minimal STUFF damaged, but flooring and walls needed to be redone.

But now I'm back on my bullshit, rekindling my old loves, and finding new ones by actively searching for a Japanese Smart Ball machine. (help a gal out???)
I am also actively looking for a payazzo / pajatso machine from Finland/Germany.
AS WELL as another mid 1930s prewar pinball machine.
I would be ever so grateful for any leads you might have, and I am willing to ship.  ESPECIALLY for working Smart Ball or payazzo / pajatso machines.

My arcade art collecting has really tapered off as I am hitting maximum saturation.  I have acquired a number of cool and rare marquees for putting up on the wall.  I plan on mounting my pachinko first, and once that is done I will redo the marquee layouts and put all the new ones up.
I scored a CPR repro of the PINBOT backglass (not translite,) as well as a Centigrade 37 backglass.
There are still a few backglasses I want to find, particularly Fire Queen and Fairy, but they would be replacing other choices on the wall as space is indeed limited.

Pinball Women Ottawa broke 100 members on facebook, and our sister groups Pinball Vixens Toronto and Montreal's Ball Bustin' Bitches are both going strong.

I am delighted by the renaissance of original pinball themes, with America's Most Haunted by Spooky, Full Throttle by Heighway, Dialed In by Jersey Jack, and Total Nuclear Annihilation (made independently, now manufactured by Spooky) all being lovely machines.

So stay tuned, I have lots to show and tell.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Introducing... Hollywood Heat

Oh what is that we have here?  Another classic Gottlieb/Premier game, from my same friend who lent me the Arena and notorious Raven to work on.




First things first:  Let's open it up and take a quick look inside an--WOAH WOAH WOAH WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

noooooooo
That there is the entire transformer block, normally secured to the bottom of the cabinet, wedged at the back.  NOT A GOOD SIGN.
We reattached it, but can quickly see some of the wires are busted off the bridge rectifiers, and zero of the Gottlieb ground mods have been done.

This game is not going to be powered on for a bit, and only in the most cautious step-by-step manner.

wait wut?
What you're looking at above is the collection of elastics and random plastic bits that were used instead of flipper rubbers.  Another bad sign.  This game was kept operational by someone that couldn't even be bothered to acquire FLIPPER RUBBERS.

upper-left mini playfield

There are two missing posts on this playfield, along the left hand side.  I cleaned up the holes and took a closer look and...


You can see metal in them there holes!  That's a very bad sign, meaning these screwed in posts were somehow snapped or sheared off.  WHY????  It will be an immense struggle to try and get proper posts back in to there.
And I actually HAVE the posts, stored from various pasts playfields I've stripped to become wall-hangers.


The ramp had a cupped melty spot thanks to E-Z-Baking from the flasher below.
The front posts also seem a bit odd.  Let's take a better look.


a better shot of the melty spot on the ramp
 Oh wait, yeah, I don't think those posts were correct:
comparison of the posts used, vs what should be there

Someone really must have hated those pointy posts!   These holes will need to be filled and redrilled so proper posts can go in.
The posts in there are actually double the diameter of the standard posts, so that means the ramp shot window is lessened by an entire width of that proper post on the right.


More stuff!  The one-way gate on the left inlane was entirely missing.  I found one place that had the gate bracket, one place that had the gate wireform.  I literally had to order these from two different places.


Right slingshot (we are looking from above) had a snapped switch.  The other switch wasn't perfect, but still perfectly functional.  Ordered a replacement switch and installed it.
Add caption

shop job continues! 
Slowly but surely...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rollergames diverter replacement

So the diverter was a bit of an issue.  It had built up some pitting and would not close the gate the entire way.  This meant the ball would get stuck along the top area.  Well, sometimes it would rattle a bit and roll down, sometimes the machine would need a shove.
Either way, this classic game by Steve "king of flow" Ritchie was not flowing at all.

Note the pitting in the bar, dug in by the solenoid slamming the roll pin against it

These diverter bars were considered Unobtainium, but amazingly someone on pinside had reproduced them.  (they apparently still have a few available, so best stock up!)
And the guy that owned the game had already got his copy:

SHINY AND NEW

 Only problem is, once it was installed the gates STILL were not closing all of the way!  What's up with that?

Turns out, this diverter bar is the SECOND take on the diverter mechanism.

First version, from the manual:

Second version, via a tech bulletin:


A crucial difference is that the revised version used a special coil stop that was a bit shorter than the normal one.  Part code subcode B, or something like that, and it was no longer around to order.
Luckily it is far easier to subtract than add, so I took to grinding it!  Not on an electric grinder, nope that'd be too easy, I got it in my head to just use the tools I had and grind it by hand.
Not recommended.
(edit: it is Solenoid Bracket Assembly B-13488 revision 'A')



Another look at the diverters:




This is not properly closed...
If the coil stop is too long, the solenoid can't pull in the entire way, and you don't get the proper curve

This smashed corner is an example of the damage that can happen when the diverter is not hitting the correct spot.

And last but not least, I want to mention how annoying games are when the playfield just has a pivot point.  No sliding it up + forward, and therefore no easy access to disassemble the back end of the playfield apparatus.

So what to do?  First, struggle like hell to lift the playfield up off the pivot brackets.  Then get a board and slide the playfield forward, resting the flipper solenoid brackets on to it.  Thanks to the pinsiders for the tips on this.

Uggggh.

It should never have come to this.

And Rollergames is gone as well, now!  Back home to it's owner with many a problems solved.
Oh, what to do with all of this sudden space????

Stars: finishing up

The last bulb in the game was a connector wire, loose up at the board.  That had all of the lights working fine for a while, until this happened:
look out below!

As it turns out, lights that snap off don't work so well!  Replaced that light socket.



During a few nights of heavy play it was noted that sometimes when some drops were down, they would continue to score 500 points.  Either by themselves, or when a flipper solenoid fired, but it was erratic.  I cleaned the contacts with a flexstone, and hopefully that problem won't return.
new drops and springs were added

cleaning the contacts seemed to help the repeated scoring issue


One issue that does return periodically is the right flipper getting stuck in a halfway position.
This occurs when the up/down rod gets rotated a bit, and sits improperly on the switch beneath the playfield.  I tightened the metal bent around it with needlenose pliers, and hopefully it will sit there properly for a while.
Eventually, that might need to be swapped out with an unbent switch plate.
wire from above is nuzzled between the edges of the switch plate.  Imagine the displacement if that 90 degree metal wire was rotated and sitting on top of the switch's channels.  That would mean the spinner is sitting at the half-rotated position.


And that is IT!   With that I say goodbye to this lovely Stars, back to it's home looking and playing lightyears better than it did when it arrived.

Jurassic Park: ramp hopping

One problem with having games a bit steeper than there normal settings is that sometimes the new physics aren't taken in to account.
The major issue here was that the ball would hop OFF the wireform ramp and in to the right outlane.
right through that gap
Sometimes from the VUK, sometimes if it had a lot of spin coming from the upper left of the playfield.
I got a tip on pinside to just close the gap with a bent paperclip, but I chose to use some 19 gauge wire, and that seems to have done the trick.

It's not classy, but it works.

One of spots the ball would jump off:  When you hit the ramp hard and the ball is being diverted to the right of the playfield, sometimes the ball would jumble around and fall off on to a pop bumper.
This is not mission critical, seeing as how the ball is still in play, and not straight in to the outlane.

check that post in the center, near the top
The support post, center, top, holds the ramp in place along the left side, but it doesn't feel like it is secured to anything.  Because of the wobble, that is why the ball is falling off there.
I will have to take the ramp out and inspect that piece.
These "jumping off the ramp" problems started occurring more when I installed superbands on the flippers, as those seemed to give me far more powerful shots.  No way I would compromise on those now, though.  The game plays far better with those flipper rubbers.  I'd much prefer to address the issues with the ramp itself.




While playing, on 2 different occasions, we had a slam tilt which then resets the game.  Only happened twice, but a bug to check up on.  Inspected wires, went through the switch tests, all seems good, for now...
The slam tilt resides in the same Swith Matrix column as a bunch of the front door switches, but the same row that also contains the "Herrerasaurus - Top" switch, which seems like the most likely culprit.  It's in that three target switch bank I've fiddled with before.  The center red target in the photo below.


And last but not least, I will have to get around to shaving the chasis of the two green targets at the pop bumper entrance.

These get hit from all angles and the outer edge gets caught on the metal backing of the switch, which makes it impossible to depress and register.
It's been recommended to dremel out the side body of the targets to keep the game playing smooth.  I'll get to it, some day...