Sunday, August 10, 2014

Surf Champ: BONUS!

Surf Champ is coming together nicely!

I took care of a few big things in a flurry of activity.

I have been slowly swapping all of the bulbs in the game to LEDs.  I do a bit here and there, each time allowing a period where I can marvel at the new levels of GLOW and make sure it's the right bulb in there.
And it is finally all done!  Wow, the game really shines.  The only bulbs I don't do are the 10 match # bulbs, because, why, really?
And I try and follow some simple guidelines.  Coloured LEDs should be sparsely employed.  If the playfield bulb can be seen directly, use a warm white.  If it's fully shield, use a natural white.

the bonus lights are all on one convenient bracket, thank god.

I've come up with my new favourite method for working under the playfield:  Rip it out, and lay it down!
I don't have room for a playfield rotisserie (but omg those are awesome,) so I am settling for stretching is across my couch and table, propped with pillows on either end.
Classy, I know, but it gets the job done.

EMs come apart in to primary parts mercifully easy

The left rollover wasn't properly awarding the double bonus.  quick inspection:  Both contacts were not aligned to be activated at the same time, so when a ball quickly went through (or as a slight airball,) it could happen that only the switch with the smaller gap was being hit.  Corrected that quickly.

I then spent a lot of time on the KS relay, which is a small stepper unit mounted to a relay bracket.  I had done some preliminary cleaning before, but it still was not progressing properly.  I wish I had the skill and confidence to take it apart fully, because I think it will need that attention eventually, but I did the best I could from the outside.
It appeared old grease in it had solidified, so I did what I could to get it out of there and get the movement back in full.  I used Q-tips and 99% rubbing alcohol and started advancing it manually, cleaning each part of the cam and gears I could get to.
I also cleaned the external contact discs again, as the active bonus light was wavering sometimes during game play.
I was a bit discouraged while doing this, but after I got it playing again?  I had done it!  The KS relay was stepping perfectly, and with each spinner spin the bonus light was cycling.

I'm just going to pretend this is a meaningful picture to include.

Last but not least?  The big project I started discussing in the last post:  fixing the switch on the drop target bank that should close when all 5 drops are down.
After consulting with a fellow pinballer that had a Surf Champ, and taking notes from a shot of a Spirit of 1976 drop bank which also has the same feature, I knew I needed a plastic spacer.
It probably used the kind of spacer they separate leafs in the switch stacks, but I had no spares.  I even checked the bottom of the cabinet to see if it had fallen down there.

Next step?  Check for shit around my house that is just the right size.  Light, sturdy, plastic.

Yes, I snipped the head off a medium sized zip-tie and it was perfect.
Using the peak of my manual dexterity (my god be grateful I never tried to be a doctor,) and some super glue, I managed to get it in place!  I originally glued the top and bottom, but the top came loose, so I tried to press it on the bottom plate.  Then in the end it stuck best to the leaf, somehow!  So, fine, it's on the leaf.
I sanded excess hardened glue from the plate.  I then had to adjust the switch spacing so that the "natural" position, with no pressure on it, has the switch closed.  Then when any of the drops are up (reset position,) the spacer is opening gap.

This is far more epic than the picture lets on.

I ran a test and HOLY SHIT IT WORKS!  5000 points awarded, drops are reset, and the outlanes are both lit for an extra ball.

So what's left?  Only 2 things I can think of:
The left flipper still needs fixing.  I think the coil is too strong, and it can't provide proper voltage on the HOLD when a ball comes at it.  Ordering a new A-5141 coil.
The plastic behind the drops is broken.  I was thinking of getting a new set, as they are still available from Pinball Resource, but I will leave that decision up to the next owner.  For now I think I will try and repair them with crazy glue or epoxy.

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