Sunday, February 28, 2016

Rollergames: in the basement, and preliminary exam

We got it down!  The soldered connector wires were just for GI so we snipped them and will redo them later.

There are a TONNE of connectors in the head, looks more than the mosntrous WPC-S setup, but half of them are just at the interconnect board, so relatively few wires bundles to detach to get the head off, all considering.

And with the head off, the playfield was entirely unplugged, so we took the head, playfield, and body down in 3 trips.  So so so much easier.

Found another connector that was charred, as well this connector on the backbox lights was toasty, with pins damaged:

Notice the wire junction done with dried out electrical tape.  Yeah that's gonna get fixed.

So the complete list of what to tackle on the board front:
Interconnect Board:
J9: needs new 7 pin connector, new header pins, and the wires need to be redone
J6: needs new 9 pin connector
J7: needs enw 10 pin connector, new header pins, and wires need to be redone
Backbox:  needs new 7 pin connector, new header pins, and the wires need to be redone

The game is actually pretty clean in the parts I can see.  Original mylar means only wear along the orbits and top lanes.  No major accumulations of a decade+ of grime. 
But it will still eventually get a full teradown and have every rubber replaced.  Because hey, if you're tearing it down, let's just replace the damn things while in there.
Leaving it as incandescent as per the owner's request.

Before turning it on I inspected the fuses and found a number overfused:
On the Aux Power Driver Board:
F2A was 5 instead of 2.5
F5 was 5, instead of 2
F6 was 3, instead of 2

On the Power Board:
F2 and F3 were supposed to be 1/8 A slowblows, but were each 5A FAST blows.  I put in 1/4 A slowblows until I could order some 0.125 A fuses proper.
F1 was also 5A Fast Blow, but was supposed to be 3/8 A slowblow.

All fuses checked, time to turn it on!

There is an issue with the batteries on the game.  New ones in, but we still get the classic issue:

That is, the game is not saving the setup options, most likely due to battery/holder.

Notice the extra lights going on there?  Top display has extra commas and left-dashes.

Not sure where to start there exactly, but will do some research and report back.

When coining up I noticed there was no sound effects, just BGM.  We pushed in the sound board EPROMS and that seemed to do the trick.  Now all the wonderful sounds are here!

aux sound board.  Wiggled those three "SL 3" ROMs in their sockets.

What else?  Needs a new coin door lock.  New power cord
Upper right flipper needs some love.  It plays ok, but when the magnet freezes it and you FLIP! the ball up the wall ramp, it should make the shot readily, and right now it seems like it is just barely making it.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Introducing: Rollergames!

Another update!  Rock on!

Rollergames arrived the day Central Park left.  RG is a loaner from another friend (one who graciously helped get Central Park up the staircase of doom,) and it had been folded at his place for a while.  He agreed to let me borrow for an extended period and give it a solid once over.

He passed me a list of known issues with it, so defintely a bunch of work involved, not to mention the big deep clean.

Buuuuut there's an issue:  I can't get the head off just yet.
Here's why:



In lieu of connectors, someone soldered some wires directly to the interconnect board.   So we now have to find time to properly desolder these in order to get the machine downstairs.

The connectors will need to be rebuilt, of course, but for now, it shall sit in the garage.

Le *sigh*

Central Park: Done and gone!

What a great little game Central Park is.  6 freaking ways to drain, 6 freaking opportunities to fine tune your nudging.

This game had an intermittent tilt mech, so I took it out, cleaned it up, and now this machine is BRUTAL. 

Like if you were going to play it in a tournament, you'd optimally want to wait 5 minutes between balls to let that bob settle.  If it was my game, I'd probably remove the bob and just have the wire dangle.  But it's not mine, and the home it is going back to is of a competitive player, and this will test his mettle.

There were a few annoyingly intermittent lights sockets, but those got cleaned up and taken care of. 

The final big thing was the 1000s relay (HB) which wasn't pulling as we rolled over the 9 hundreds reel.  Bulb was loose, carry bit on the hundreds needed cleaning, and the normally closed contact on the HB relay itself all needed some attention.  But now it pulls and performs it's singular function:  lighting up the 1k light! 
It is also used in the replay scores, but since I have the credits unit disabled on this machine, it's effectively a bulb control.

this is the control bank relay bank, which gets a hard reset when a new game is started.  HB is the rightmost one.

So long sweet Central Park! 
You came here non-working and a bit dirty, and are leaving well loved and working and clean.

Introducing: Jurassic Park!

Say hello to our little friend!
JP is visiting here for a spell from a friend that needs some room, and I will give it some love.

First thing we noticed was there was a switch issue:  pulling the trigger seemed to fire a pop bumper?  Noticed the wires going to the trigger looked chewed and were partially exposed!  Sealed those up and that went away.

gnaw that ain't right

Some wires near the very front of the playfield were pushing out, allowing them to be caught and stressed when the playfield lowered, so I reigned those in with a cable tie.  Tested them, no breaks.

The machine arrived with the recent issue that 2 balls would enter the shooter lane, as well the VUK would jackhamer for a while at the beginning.  I've watched enough pinballninja to know where to look:  the trough swiches. 
Put the game in to switch test and quickly found ball 6 rollover wasn't registering.  Took a better look and I could see two of the contacts were shorted due to missing insulation.
shorting at the left

insulator back on

Upper right flipper was buzzing when held up:  bolts were loose.

The green targets were all smashed to the side a bit, and resting against the metal brace, meaning they could never be scored.  Loosened, adjusted, and tightened those up nicely!
green one misaligned: outer plastic pressing against metal switch bracket

After a handful of games the game went down again:  the ball wasn't being ejected from the shooter lane.
After some false starts, turns out the shooter coil had been shorted.  This was partly due to wear via an improvised mounting bracket.
The front of the bracket had seemingly come off, and someone welded on another chunk of metal to replace it.  New bracket + coil ordered and installed.
(I should have taken a photo of the old hacked bracket!)

And while I was at it, I ordered frosted status LED bulbs for on top of the playfield.  I hate clear status lights.

I love frosted dome LED lights for indicators

Other things to attend to:
The plastic to the right of the ramp is busted and the bracket with 2 lights above it were flopping around.  I cable tied it to the ramp post as a temporary solution as I look to reinforce the plastic it is supposed to secure to.
The under-playfield supports need new nuts.  The two pieces are loose and shouldn't be trusted.
Some of the lights on top of backbox are not working. 
left + upper right flipper brackets are each in need of a few screws.

these brackets are super loose.


Wow, I am one lucky woman, let me count the ways...

So happy to have a local friend that was craving to have my Corvette for a bit, and were willing to lend me their LOTR.
Playtrades are: THE. BEST.
And it was vindicating of all of that work put in to Corvette that I should now have a chance to play this wonderful machine.

This is not a machine in need of much, but it was passed to me with a bucket of mods and accessories that I might take a stab at installing.
I won't get in to the mods now, but here are a few things I was told and/or noticed:

On occasion the ball bounces out of the sword lock.  It rockets up the ramp, hits the white stopper, and hops the rail.  I have a new stopper to install here, that might help that situation.

When 2 (or 3) balls rest at Gollum's saucer, the switch won't register it, and ball search has to begin to try and free one of them.  I wonder if a switch adjustment might assist?
The back ball is pushing the front ball JUST SO that it is not sitting on the switch adequately.

And the shooter rod needs to be rebuilt.  Right now a full plunge perfectly nails the Orthanc skill shot, but perhaps that's an unfair advantage.

Passing on a message from another friend:  Lord Of The Rings is apparently just a lesser copy of Stern's Austin Powers.
You heard it here first!
Well, maybe 2nd...
I'm currently unconvinced.  :)