Wednesday, June 8, 2016

quick updates: LOTR & Stars

Hey all!  Summer's been going great.  We had a mini pinball flea market / convention / tournament out in Hawkesbury, Pinball Women Ottawa has been going strong, and the weather has been wonderful.

I installed a proper sized lock.  It took forever to get the old drilled-out lock mech out for whatever reason, then the first lock I installed was a bit too long.  That means the door has wiggle room to move out, and when you move it back in, you can trigger a tilt/slam switch.  There are actually like THREE different standard replacement lock sizes, so I will start to stock them all.

The metal inlane rail also popped out again, but a friend who was playing at the time glued it back down.  Just in case it happens again?  I noticed over the the PBResource Specials page they actually have NOS Stars inlane guides!  WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
Steve Young is a precious treasure to pinball.  He has been sitting on these damn things for probably 38 years waiting for me to start work on an old Stars with bent-to-shit metal rails.

Another great thing from Hawkesbury:  a friend brought me 2 old Stern/Bally displays.  One had a sticky that the 10s and 10000s were out.  The other had no sticky.  And at the flea market I bought one that was degassing for $5.  One of these would do the trick!
I  popped in the one with no sticky and it works!

Now, if we look closely, we can see that it is not perfect:
note the damage to some digit segments

But hey it's readable, bright, and better than no score.  And only $5 was spent!

I took a look at the display that had the 10s and 10000s out.  Do you think you can spot where the problem might be?

I think I am going to also order some replacement fuses.
Check the fuse chart in the machine.  Most pinball machines use slow-blow fuses, but the early Sterns are one of my first odd-duck examples.   the slow-blow fuses are marked, so the rest of the fuses here are fast blow.

Lord Of The Rings:
LOTR was down for want of the gollum hole.
Or, as a friend exclaimed "GOLLUM'S HOLE IS BROKEN!" as she laughed to herself.
Well, Mr. Gollum, I will RESPECT your hole, and I ordered a replacement switch.  At first I thought it was just out of shape and I could bend the wire to register properly, but no.  With my multimeter in continuity mode, I checked the switch and there was no continuity when pressed.
The switches are kind of cool that they have their center connector, then you can connected to one node for NO (Normally Open) behaviour, or the other node for NC (Normally Closed).  The NC terminals registered as expected, the NO one not at all.
Part got delivered to me in Hawkesbury the other weekend, and I was stymied by not being able to unscrew the darn switch screws:

I remembered something my tech friend Andrew taught me:  when in doubt, tear the whole damn thing down.
So I disassembled the entire VUK assembly and removed it from the playfield.  Only then, with a clear 90 degree angle on the plate, could I impact the nuts in any meaningful way.
Removed switch, desoldered, soldered in a new one, and reassembled.  Then played my first game of LOTR in maybe a month.  JOY!

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