Thursday, November 27, 2014

Baywatch: getting to the grime

After the utter filth beneath the apron was discovered in my last post, a cursory examination showed a mission critical issue with the shop job:  Nothing else would ever be clean while the trough beneath the playfield was crusted in filth.
It was a common shot in the game, to enter that lifeguard tower, and each time the ball ran the distance it just pushed the dirt along and in to the game.

So no point working on the top (and testing) while this  was there.

filthy filthy filthy trough!
I thought it would be a near impossible mission, but with only unscrewing about 18 bolts, removing 2 standups, and disconnecting 1 switch, I was able to carefully work the ramp out of the harness and off the playfield without having to really disassemble things too much.

I ended up cleaned lots of that caked on blackness as well.

I wish I took a better picture, but ummm, eww.

of course it cleaned up quite nicely:

Then back in to the machine!  Played a test game and it was all good.
I decided to be eager and start the mad puzzle of tearing down the playfield.  10 minutes in?  STUCK.  Dammit.  I'm not strong enough for this one screw.  Booooo.
Will have to enlist help another time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Baywatch: winter is coming.

Fuck daylight savings time.  Who needs this anymore?  Certainly not parents with young kids.
Welp, now that I see no sunlight, time for a project I guess?  BAYWATCH:  prepare to get shopped!

some of the many replacement bits going in to the machine!

Between parts and LEDs, almost $400 will be put in to it.  And that doesn't even include a DMD swap.

I had a bit of time tonight so decided to work on the apron area.


On the right hand side I could find little pockets of dirt that had obviously been cultivating since 1995.

To get the hard-to-reach areas, I find a utility tooth brush works great.  Then get a clothe in there to wipe up the dirty Novus 2 froth.

I then spent some time with a bottle of Goo-gone and a razor blade to get the old tape off of the apron metal.

And finally, I got to replace my first plastic!  This busted right inlane plastic is the most noticeable of them all.  I added 1" lexan washers to both sides as well, so here is to hoping that extends their lifespan.
note the giant chunk missing

ahhhh all fresh and spunky and protected!

Sinbad: sprucing up a few minor things!

I will have to write a longer post at some point about just how great of a game Sinbad is.  This Gottlieb System 1 is winning my heart.
So of course I had to give it a quick once-over and get it playing even better.

4 new flipper rubbers, a rebound rubber, and a new lamp socket are all this machine calls for.  Plastics have some chips, but are now protected by lexan washers from further damage.  And really the chips don't both me at all.  It's a player's machine, and oh what a machine.

The flipper rubbers are easily swapped and give this game, which is ALL about ball control at the flippers, a new dimension.

The rebound rubber at the top was feeling flat.  The ball just hit it and limped away, so time for a new rubber on it. You hit that rebound rubber every plunge (almost...) and so having it vibrant is really important to the gameplay and general pinball esthetics.

When I first approached switching a rebound rubber I was a bit unsure and went the hard route, doing the nigh impossible contortion to unscrew the mount from the metal playfield apron.  NEVER DO THIS.

The solution is easy:  Get an exacto blade, slice down, peel off old rubber, force new rubber on.

The last thing to do is replace the light socket for one of the top rollover lanes.  I can't seem to get a bulb in to the sockets there, so at some point I will replace it.  And that's about it!

Introducing... Revenge From Mars!

OK, I got this one back in September as well but forgot to post about it. 
I guess it just didn't grab me?  It certainly has not held my attention.  Game plays fine, but I think it's the theme more than anything.  To be honest, I am also not a fan of Attack From Mars, so maybe this was a silly get.  But I at least knew it was popular so would be easy to trade along if it didn't grab me.
I plan on fixing it up in all of the ways I am capable and trading it off.  And yes, I already have people with dibs on it.  :)


The first thing that needed to be fixed was the monitor alignment.   It was waaaay out of wack.  Luckily, it was easily addressed via this panel behind the marquee:

A big thing effecting gameplay was that the right orbit shot wasn't registering.  There are two switches, one visible here, and one further up, blocked from view by the ramp:

At first I thought it was just the bottom one since it barely registered, but after replacing the switch there I found the top one was also not registering.  Good thing I had ordered 2 new switches!  With both replaced, the bottom was still a bit antsy, and required bending the switch wire up a bit to be reliably hit.
After that, right orbit was being hit A-Ok.   With any one shot not registering in this game, it is a supreme annoyance.

Another annoyance?  The sheer difficulty of hitting the orbits and ramps!  I found the flipper alignment a bit concave.  This seems to be how the game was designed, but bah!  I felt it stupid.  I adjust the flippers to the traditional settings of being aligned with the inner guide rails.  Now the shots are a bit better.

you can actually see the flipper dots peaking above each flipper.  Tough, I like it like this.

One major thing left to do is get in to the back and try and adjust the focus of the monitor.  Some of the tiny text is a bit blurry, so here is to hoping that can just be adjusted!
Worst case scenario?  Monitor capacitor replacements.  Either way, I will need some help.

Oh and one time opening it I busted one of the couplers for the martian spaceship mod.  I have another one of those on order to replace the busted one.  It's a great effect, gotta get it boomin'.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Surf Champ postlude

2 weeks ago a man drove all the way from Thunder Bay and grabbed Surf Champ.  He had errands on the way, but think:  Thunder Bay is 17 hours away from Ottawa by car.  He definitely wanted this game!

It was one of those special pinball moments:  You could tell from first contact that this pin was important to him.  And when he arrived he appreciated everything about it.  From the way it played, to the way it looked, to the way I had documented it's revival back to fully functional.

He related a story that a family member had an arcade that he grew up around, and had played Surf Champ back when it was new.  First time playing it, when just 6 or 7, he was playing against an adult.  First time on it, first ball, and he apparently wrapped it to 100k+.  Pinball wizard indeed.

I am super happy to know that it has gone to a very appreciative home.  Such is the magic of pinball.