Sunday, July 19, 2015

Raven: flipper parts + GI lighting!

A bucket of parts finally arrived for Raven.  I restocked on 2A fuses and popped those in to the 4 pop bumper fuse holders.  I had previously but 3As in there, but that was still an improvement over the other bigger numbers.

I tore down the playfield and gave it a good cleaning, replacing a number of charred bulbs along the way.

Lots of long-neglected parts up there, let's get deeper in to it!
A bunch of the target also required adjustment:  Some had supports too far back and were being wedged under the plastics.  Some just had a terrible switch gap.
I also got to do the classic Novus 2, Novus 1, and then Carnauba Wax routine, all over.

While a new rubber kit had seemingly been installed in the past 2 years and seen minimal use, I installed new flipper rubbers because those were cold and hard.

But the most important part:   Rebuilding the right flipper.
Not much info conveyed by this picture.  For all you know, this could be from any other machine.  I'm not trying to SAY much of anything here, nope, just a nice picture relevant to the topic.  I guess it's kinda dirty?  but what can you really glean from this?  Is there a point to having it here?  Well I guess pictures do a good job of breaking up the walls of text.
Oh god, please don't take that as a slight, I didn't mean to imply you found text intimidating in any way shape or form.
Hey now, it's OK, I know you had a rough day, I had a rough day too.  It's OK, just, hey OK, just let me hold you, it'll be OK.  We'll get through this.

When I got this game, the one request the owner had was to make sure this flipper was strong enough to make that left ramp.  Well, on my first investigation, the whole EOS stack pads basically crumbled on me.
New EOS stack installed, new bushing, new coil sleeve, new spring.  Sanded slight mushrooming on the coil stop, cleaned everything.
This is probably a good time to mention that pretty much EVERYTHING under the playfield could use a good tightening?  And a tightening it got.   Maybe in another 20 years shit would start just falling of the playfield.  I recoil in horror for this possible 2035.  Partially for the shorts that might occur, partially for someone still playing Raven 41 years after it came out.

So... YAYYYYYY RAVEN IS PLAYABLE!  The right flipper is awesome and strong and the new flipper rubbers really enhance ball control.
The downside?  Raven is playable.  Uggh.
The DREAM of Raven is gone.
The IDEA of Raven was pretty awesome:  an unabashed women knockoff of Rambo!  A CHOPPER!  GREAT SOUNDS!  But unless I'm sorely mistaken, or missing the hidden "super secret rules" dip switch combo, I'm finding the game a real snooze fest.  The REALITY of Raven has gots me down.

Anyways, so I'm playing it, and I finally come to the realization:  None of the GI lights are on!
How long had it been like this?  Forever?  I think forever.
I was so wound up in the board and flipper issues, counting each of the controlled bulbs that didn't light, that I didn't even register to look in to the general illumination lights.

First up I checked voltages and connectors.
I then noticed this mysterious symbol on the schematics...
Was it a capacitor?  Was it a trimmer?  I googled schematic symbols and couldn't figure it out!
Oh the mystery!  Oh the EMBARRASSING MYSTERY of it all.

But first, let's look at what I was examining:
shoutout to my wicked photoshop skills for assembling this majestic piece of schematic data.
Start at F6: the A10P1-2 connection goes off to the coin door lights, and those were lit, verifying the circuit up to that point.
Same power connects via A12P1, pin 2, to the general illumination.  NOTE:  PLAYBOARD ILLUMINATION.  Yes, each company has their own wacky terms for all the basics.  (Remember Data East's TRIBALL?)
So it becomes obvious that it is that T that is messing us up, and the answer is pretty humiliating, but I am oh so appreciative of the vast pinball community that is willing to point out basic things to me without denigrating me at all.  They know I will do a good enough job of doing that to myself.

So yes, that was the TILT RELAY.   I didn't even think that they would, at this point game development, refer to physical relays like that.
Worse, while called a tilt relay, the only use it has on this game is turning the general illumination off and on.  Why not call it, like, "LIGHT SWITCH", "GI TOGGLE", ANYTHING other than TILT?
I get how in the older Gottlieb games, a tilt meant the lights went out, but give up the ghost, these were the cocaine fueled 80s!  Whose pride was hurt at the thought of renaming this to ANYTHING else?
Anyways, I adjust the tilt relay, conveniently located near the front of the "playboard", and now the whole thing shines.  Except when it doesn't.   Which happens.  Because it's an effect.

So what is left here?
The rest of the ground mods should get done.
Transistors need replacing on the driver board.
Upper right sniper needs an adjustment on the coil that pulls it down.
Replace it with a game I enjoy more.  :)

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