Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Have questions on how to fix your machine or what products to use? This is the place to ask for help.
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Post by WARLOCK »

Updates on other pins at Bluffs...

Target Alpha - T1 - fixed bonus counts which really was another issue causing this
Wizard - T1 - fixed endless ball 2 and ball 5 issues which was another issue as well
Centaur II - T2 (that's me) Warlock - replaced broken target on ORBS. Now it is: OR(Bullseye target)S - replaced part with an earlier 1970's Bally drop target to get it running. Boy are those Bally drop targets a pain.
Pinbit - T2 - Switch wire at the bottom of the Vortex adjusted - (It is persnickity)

Space Shuttle - next on deck

More soon.

PS - Brewmanager renamed myself Scott (T2) and Scot (T1) after more than a year of yelling our names for tournament rounds and always being confused. It is part of the reason we have alternate and last names usage.
You know how many guys named Mike and John and Steve that we play pinball with....

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Sparky »

EPISODE 7: WORLD POKER TOUR

Someone left me a note on the machine stating that a slingshot wasn't working... OK. So I test it. Slingshot was just fine... but the damn thing kept scoring with the slightest vibration...

Issue numero uno: UM... HOW DO I ENTER THE SERVICE MENU??

I opened the coindoor to press the service button, but NO GO. Button is broken and a cheapo fix was in place, which broke too...

DIAGNOSIS: Broken button, and wire hack.

REPAIR: TEMPORARY I might add. I cut the 2 wires, put on crimped connectors and installed a switch. I went and bought buttons after the repair was done. I will fix it permanently on my next trip...

BUT... back on the scoring issue... I have to find the stuck switches...

Issue two: HEEEERE SWITCHY SWITCHY....

So I enter the switch test mode, and lo and behold, I have a 10-pt switch that is stuck activated! This one here:
WPT1.jpg
DIAGNOSIS: Adjustment is too tight on switch.

REPAIR: 2 minute adjustment to widen the switch gap, and presto!

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!!!! According to the switch menu, another one is intermittent...

Issue two: CRAPTASTIC OPTO

So it shows in the switch menu that the Ace in the Hole opto (locked ball) tends to go on and off when a ball is in the chamber, and the machine just shakes a bit, like activating the flippers. I will do the obvious first when it comes to optos...

Image

DIAGNOSIS: Clean dat shit up!

REPAIR: I took a q-tip with Windex and cleaned the opto... it came out BLACK. The opto was filthy.

I tested the game for 10 minutes, and no more issues...

On to the next victim!!!
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Sparky »

No, I am not dead. LOL. Just been travelling a lot. I should mostly be home for the next few days. SO MUCH to write about. Just picked one up for repair for a friend.

Fire!, X-Files, Af-Tor...so much to write. Stay tuned!!
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Sparky »

Tabernacle!!! Been a while!! Well, I am back at it! I have been repairing but Little to no time to write stuff down. But with a smaller territory to cover at work now, and me being in Toronto for work, hence fixing stuff at Bluffs, let's do this!!!

(Drum roll...)

EPISODE 8: MEDUSA

First issue: NO FEATURE LIGHTS WORKING (AND WHEN BALL IS IN SAUCER UP TOP, IT IS THE TROUGH KICKER THAT ACTIVATES)

Weird one, eh? LOL. 2 issues that don't seem related in any way... Actually, it is quite simple. So yes, no feature lights come on. Let's focus on that first, because I know that affects the second issue...

So I start with the basics... do we have power? OK, fuse checks out. We have voltage in and out. Perfect. Then, off to TP1 to see if I have 6.3VDC.

NADA.

DIAGNOSIS: Bad BR1 bridge on power supply.

This is quite common on these power supplies. I tend to keep a few bridges in stock at home. Unfortunately, none here. But... I did have a spare old power supply board that was dead. I tested the bridges on it and BR1 was also dead, but BR2 (same rating) was good...


REPAIR
: I removed BR2 on the crappy spare PS and installed it on the one in the game. Not a great fix but will do for now. But one thing I REALLY didn't like was that someone already messed around with the PS and the bakelite spacers were missing between the bridges and the board. I will address that at another time. In the meantime, I turn it on, and she lights up like a Christmas tree now.
wait.jpg
Second issue: ...BALL IS IN SAUCER UP TOP, IT IS THE TROUGH KICKER THAT ACTIVATES

Well, the thing is that by repairing the feature light circuit, it also fixed this issue.
Wait-What-Meme-11.jpg
Seriously! LOL. Well, the way Medusa and many of the later -35 MPU Ballys is that there is a lovely Little board called the SOLENOID EXPANDER. This Little devil can double the amount of solenoids that the game can handle. When it is off, the main solenoids are active, but with the expander activated, it switches over the power to another set of coils. In this case, the expander lets you control the trough and the top saucer hole with the same solenoid driver transistor.

BUT... not in this case, because the solenoid expander was not activating... Why? Easy... it itself is controlled using a LAMP circuit with the lamp driver... which had no power due to BR1 being dead. No lamp power, no solenoid expander. So, when the ball entered the saucer, the trough was kicking out.

DIAGNOSIS: Bad BR1 bridge on power supply.


REPAIR
: Well, we already know what I did. But after the circuit was repaired, the saucer hole was now kicking out the ball.

And since I said Medusa lit up like a Christmas tree...
xmas.png
xmas.png (83.01 KiB) Viewed 1087 times
Here is a Little added bonus. I did have an issue with the infamous solenoid expander on an Eight Ball Deluxe years ago, where the expander was "buzzing", and a lot of feature lights on the playfield were dim. The culprit was the lower-left connector on the lamp driver. I had to change the header pins on the board and change the pins in the connector as well (always do both... in this case, I did the pins on the board and it wasn't enough). And then everything worked fine. Keep in mind that if the lamp driver is flaky on these 1980-1985 Bally games, the entire game plays like ass.
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Sparky »

And now, for my next trick...

I had Chris Yuill as my Partner in crime on this heist. Thanks for the help Buddy!!

EPISODE 9: FIREPOWER

First issue: GAME IS ACTING VERY WEIRD, INTERMITTENT ISSUES

OK. Here is a MUST-DO if you buy a System 3-7 Williams pin...

...

The 40-PIN INTERCONNECT
no.png
no.png (66.05 KiB) Viewed 1084 times
Sorry, but yes. This, along with refreshing the power supply and changing chip sockets on the MPU are a MUST. The 40-pin interconnect is the main junction point between the MPU and the driver board. So when the MPU calls up the driver and the phone line is shyte, it's like playing the telephone game. "Activate the trough coil" comes out as "Celebrate the cough soil" and the driver has no fucking clue what to do.

In this case, coils staying locked on, random resets, and a bunch of other weird shit happening.

DIAGNOSIS: Bad 40-pin interconnect

Keep in mind a few things here.

1- the connector is 39 years old.
2- the header pins were round, and the socket contacts are flat. So... you end up with a thin line of contact.

In this case, you could see that a few pins were becoming darker due to bad contacts.


REPAIR
: I removed the header pins off of the MPU and sockets off of the driver, and installed new parts. Things did get better... but...


Second issue: TOP SAUCER RANDOMNLY KICKING OUT WHEN GAME TURNED ON

OK, this was also weird. But when a saucer tries to kick out, it is because it thinks there is a ball in it. So, off to switch testing.

Once in test mode, we saw that all the switches in row 4 were being activated. Sometimes it would stop, but would sometimes happen when tapping the game. Also, odd thing, it was showing switches 04 and 20 as being activated... But those switches are NOT USED.

The plot thickens.

OK. So to eliminate any possibility on the board, I removed 2J3 from the driver board, effectively isolating the cabinet from the board.

Poof, no more switches activated. WHEW! So it isn't board related.

So...

DIAGNOSIS: Shorted coin switch on the coindoor

...So, we then looked at the switches themselves Under the playfield, for anything grounding. Nothing.

Next, I performed some wiggle tests on various harness points to see if a harness was shorting out. Oddly enough, it was when we shook the coindoor harness that shit went sideways. 2 seconds later, Chris noticed a switch grounding on the coindoor... someone had installed a credit button (which broke...) and shoved the button in the coindoor frame. It's intermittent grounding was causing brainfarts on the MPU.


REPAIR
: I moved the switch away, and she is now stable. Steve Ritchie has resumed his ball spewing countdown.
shootagain_s.jpg
shootagain_s.jpg (26.85 KiB) Viewed 1084 times
Extra info!!! I did mention upgrading the power supply on System 3-6 power supplies. There is a ton of info on this, but I will add some here, as I did upgrade the PS on this game. It is a good idea to take the time to change a few components on the power supply, such as the old original caps. The large one on the bottom right filters the 5VDC to the MPU. When this starts to go bad, the MPU becomes unhappy.

How to diagnose it? SUPER easy... and this applies to most other manufacturers as well.

Measure your 5VDC at a test point... now, put your multimeter in AC volts. If the cap is doing it's job, it should be near 0V. There should be no oscillation in the voltage. BUT... when it starts to go bad, you will start to see AC voltage coming through. Anything over 0.25 volts AC on that circuit may start to cause issues. Change the cap.

ALSO, those 2 big diodes to the left of the cap... see them? Yeah... well... they were "OK" in 1980, but 39 years later, can wreak havok. You will see the toastiness around them. Change them with 6A4 diodes. Your game will thank you.

The other caps can also use a refresh as well. The 2 on the upper left are 150uF-100V caps, and the bottom one is a 100uF-100V cap. That could use a change.

And while the board is in your hands, check those header pins. Any pin with discoloration will need to be replaced. And check for cold solder joints.

Are your fuses the right ones? Can't hurt to check...

That 1hr of time and maybe 20 bucks of parts invested on your power supply board will give it another few decades of life.
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by cait001 »

Sparky wrote:"Activate the trough coil" comes out as "Celebrate the cough soil" and the driver has no fucking clue what to do.
this thread is golden
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Sparky »

cait001 wrote:
Sparky wrote:"Activate the trough coil" comes out as "Celebrate the cough soil" and the driver has no fucking clue what to do.
this thread is golden
Thanks! I appreciate that! And there will be MORE coming. Heading back to Bluffs after work for more mechanical mayhem.
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Guard »

Forget Bluffs....come to Guelph and have a look at my SS machines. Not my forte. ....

Lots of nice EMs to play as payment. :)
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by JRK »

Sparky wrote:...Heading back to Bluffs after work for more mechanical mayhem.
We may have been a bit distracted last night to get any real work done. :FP:
Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most. No wait, my hair... I miss my hair the most.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by shane »

Great thread.
Thanks for posting Sparky. What Slacker said is about where I'm at with skill sets. So this thread is quite helpful.
Could you type louder?
WHAT???
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Sparky »

And now, for my next trick...


EPISODE 10: MYSTIC

First issue: CENTER TARGETS NOT REGISTERING

Well, I just purchased this game. No MPU (was apparently dead and non-repairable), but otherwise quite nice. It played, apparently. Well, we will find out! ;)

I did some preliminary checks and found some hacks on the power supply.

Image

But it looked "OK". just a remotely mounted bridge and some splicing. OK. Should be safe, right?

So caution be damned, I slapped in an Alltek to test it out. Hit the switch, fingers crossed...

Image

Cool! Game turns on! OK... I press start and it plays! Awesome... but... center targets are not registering. So, I print out the schematics and switch list, grab my multimeter and off to the races I go.

So... for those who are unfamiliar with the way a switch matrix works, it is very simple. Rows and columns, baby! So, if column B connects with row A, BOOM.

Image

So, after investigating, it seemed that switches in the second column were not registering. That includes the 3 center drop targets, and two 30-pt switches located to each side of the pop bumpers. Here is what I was looking at:
Mystic schematic.jpg
Now, notice the diodes in the schematic... those are there to prevent other switches in the same row from grounding through a single switch. Also, let's keep in mind that electricity, like us, will always choose the path of least resistance, right?

Image

Well, in this case, if the switch current finds an easier way to go than back to the MPU, it will go there. Well, in this case, after examining all the 5 switches in the circuit closely, I found....

DIAGNOSIS: Switch diode grounding on drop target frame, which was itself grounded.

BOOM. So, the switch current could have taken the salad and gone to the MPU, telling it to register a hit, but nope, it chose the cheeseburger and just went to ground. So, the MPU never registered a score for those switches.


REPAIR
: I just moved the diode away from the frame, and ding ding ding, we have scoring...

BUT... there is MORE!!!

Image

Second issue: LIGHTS ARE ALL WONKY

OK... so the game plays, but... a whole bunch of feature lights either stay on, or don't turn on at all...

Image

Well... remember what I said about the MPU not being repairable? Well, when you don't change the battery, the MPU gets eaten alive... but... battery acid is like zombies.... that shit can spread and take out more stuff... such as the lamp driver right under it...
Mystic board.jpg
MMM.... BOARDS!!!!

Image

DIAGNOSIS: Acute battery acid indigestion.

OK... so... I can spend 80+$ in replacing every component or get a new board (NVRAM sells one for 90 bucks, full LED capable... Worth it)... or, just use one of my spares for now...

REPAIR: Board swap, but board repair in the future.

Well, that is it for now. Machine is solid. Just needs a shop job, and possibly a couple of lamp sockets that may need a bit of help.

I am off to take my path of least resistance. Lunch time.

Image
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by cait001 »

there is no way that guy is actually taking a bite in that final GIF. I call shenanigans.
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Post by Sparky »

I spent a lot of time on this machine, and I feel like posting about it. Kinda proud that I managed to get everything fixed. Someone is getting a massive deal. LOL

EPISODE 11: NIP-IT

OK. So, like most old EMs I have, nothing was ever adjusted. In this case, a whole bunch of craziness was happening intermittently:

- Game didn't tally the bonus
- Zipper flippers wouldn't stay closed
- Bonus count would go on forever
- score motor would not stop

Let us go over one by one, shall we?

First issue: ZIPPER FLIPPERS NEVER STAYED CLOSED

This is what I tinkered on first... after looking at the schematics incessively, I found....

DIAGNOSIS: Ball index relay and Player Up switch on stepper unit in head were improperly adjusted, bad gaps

Yeah... This ended up also affecting the ball count. When the bug was present, the game acted as if I never hit anything, and just kicked out the ball. Also, the zipper flippers use the ball index relay.


REPAIR
: I adjusted the switches and it was better... but not 100%

OK... Still goofing off... weird intermittent issues.


Second issue: GAME IS ON CRACK

Well, here is the sucky part of old EMs... chances are that no one has touched any switch stacks since 1972. So, I removed the playfield, pulled out the relay panel and went to town. And just on the first screw of the first relay, I knew I hit paydirt.

DIAGNOSIS: ALL switch stacks are loose

So... 4 hours later:

REPAIR: I had tightened every single switch stack and adjusted every single switch.

I also took the opportunity to clean the score reels. Can't hurt...

I will win, you bastard!!! ... or so I thought....

Third issue: BONUS COUNT NEVER STOPS IF BONUS IS BETWEEN 6000 AND 10000 PTS

FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK. This was a TOUGH one. Another 2 hours of going through the schematics and Learning the logic. Essentially, the way it works is that from 1000 to 5000, the bonus system uses a simple circuit. BUT, instead of building a stepper unit that goes to 10000 (so, 10 contacts), some fucking nimrod at Bally thought it was cooler to add a 5000pt relay. So, at 6000pts, it was on thesame contact as 1000, but also triggered the 5000pt relay. But in my case, it kept scoring 5000, and another 5000, and another... never stopping.

Only when I finally manually triggered the 5000pt relay did I notice that...

DIAGNOSIS: The 5000pt score relay was STICKING

Yup... I noticed that when I pressed on the relay, with the power off, it tended to stick. I took it apart and found some dark gunk that was acting like a glue. Wow...

REPAIR: I dissassembled, cleaned and reassembled the relay.

Now, it worked great!

Image

Fourth issue issue: NO LIGHTS IN THE BACKBOX

This one was rather easy. Bally used the SHITTIEST fuse holders, which tend to disintegrate with time. I have replaced them on many other Bally EMs. So, here we go...

DIAGNOSIS: FUSE HOLDERS THAT WOULD MAKE DOLLARAMA SHAKE THEIR HEADS

So this is an easy repair...

REPAIR: Removed old holders, soldered in new fuse holders.

PRESTO! I can see the light!!!!

But, a couple more things are bothering me:

Fifth issue issue: NO GROUND PRONG

Listen... a new electrical plug costs 5 bucks and takes a few minutes to install. Keep a machine safe.

DIAGNOSIS: TIM THE TOOL MAN TAYLOR THINKS GROUND PRONGS ARE FOR PUSSIES. ARH, ARH, ARH!!!

REPAIR: Installed a new electrical plug.

Image

But... one last thing... I found that the left kicker lane was not always sending the ball up...

Sixth issue issue: KICKER KICKS LIKE A HALF-DEAD MULE

I took the coil apart and quickly thought of someone... after I found old grease in the coil sleeve

DIAGNOSIS: NO K-Y REQUIRED...

REPAIR: De-grease and clean all the parts with Mean Green

NEVER use any harsh flammable cleaners such as brake cleaner or contact cleaner, unless you are into bonfires. A good cleaning and reassembly and it is all good.


WHEW!!!! DONE!!! The buyer better come quick before I change my mind! LOL I played 12 games and it now plays flawlessly. SUPER happy. I will just give it a quick wipe now and she is ready to go!

OK... bedtime...
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by cait001 »

Sparky wrote:DIAGNOSIS: ALL switch stacks are loose
:o

Amazing job
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Sparky »

cait001 wrote:
Sparky wrote:DIAGNOSIS: ALL switch stacks are loose
:o

Amazing job
And now off to a happy new owner, with 2 boxes of parts as well, and for way less than I was asking initially. He made me a very respectful offer. Calli it me flipping the bird to lowballers. Lol
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Guard »

Sparky wrote:
cait001 wrote:
Sparky wrote:DIAGNOSIS: ALL switch stacks are loose
:o

Amazing job
And now off to a happy new owner, with 2 boxes of parts as well, and for way less than I was asking initially. He made me a very respectful offer. Calli it me flipping the bird to lowballers. Lol

Perfect....I still can't believe, at the price you were asking, that it didn't sell up there before you fixed it.
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by OTTOgd »

Sparky wrote:Third issue: BONUS COUNT NEVER STOPS IF BONUS IS BETWEEN 6000 AND 10000 PTS
That's a cool fix. Odd but enlightening.

Another great post, thanks.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by WARLOCK »

Great job Sparky.
Congrats on the sale and on the purchase.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Sparky »

Cuz I feel like posting. LOL

size=150]EPISODE 12: KONAMI GT[/size]
WHAT GAME.jpg
Yup... a VID!!! LOL. I picked this game up from a great guy near Trois-Rivieres today. Why? Well, this was the game my brother loved the most as a young kid. He still talks about it. So, when I saw this one and the great price it was at, well, let's do it!

The game was sold as-is. The seller was great at disclosing everything. I didn't even want him to plug it in, as I considered it dead. So I dragged it home and did some very quick tests:

First issue: NO PLUG!!

Actually, the ground prong was missing and the seller cut it. Good move, I appreciate the interest in safety.

DIAGNOSIS: Good seller! LOL


REPAIR
: I installed a new plug head and tested the wires. All good. But...

Second issue: NO GAME!!

I tested the switching power supply and it was pretty much dead. Looked old too.

DIAGNOSIS:
dead.jpg
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REPAIR: I installed a new switcher, tested and looks good...
wait.jpg
Third issue: STILL NO GAME.. snif snif

Well, looks like I will be taking the board out... but... I do have a Jailbreak PCB I can put in, just to test everything else

DIAGNOSIS:
dead.jpg
dead.jpg (17.6 KiB) Viewed 769 times
Yeah... I know. LOL

REPAIR: I tested the cab with the Jailbreak PCB (same Konami pinout), and it works great! Screen is nice and bright! WINNING!!!

OK. Well, on to another small issue...

Fourth issue: NO LIGHT AT MARQUEE

Typical on an old game. I removed the marquee and installed a new neon tube.

DIAGNOSIS:
dead.jpg
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Jesus Christ, I know already... LOL

REPAIR: Replaced the neon and turned on the game... but...

Fifth issue: STILL NO LIGHT AT MARQUEE

Well, could be the ballast, but I do see the neon "trying " to light up... only one thing left... the FS2 starter.

DIAGNOSIS:
dead.jpg
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picard-facepalm.jpg
REPAIR: I installed the FS2 starter and reinstalled the neon, and we have light!!!

So... the only things left is to get that board running and go from there...
Patron saint of lost pinball causes.

Stage 5B. All except for NIB crap.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by redketchup »

Lol, you make me laugh this morning!
Bally Centaur, Fathom, Stern Big Game, Flight 2000, Quicksilver, Catacomb, Stargazer, Nineball, Metallica Pro, Iron Maiden Pro, Wurlitzer 41, 700, 750e, 1100, 1900, 1700, Rockola 1428, tempo 1, seeburg HF 100R, VL 200, Ami I
To see it: http://www.pinballowners.com/redketchup

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by OTTOgd »

Sparky wrote:Cuz I feel like posting. LOL

EPISODE 12: KONAMI GT
Good luck with the PCB fix!

My Konami GT experience is ... E M P T Y

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Sparky »

Life.... it gets in the way of shit... I have repaired well over a hundred games since the last post. But let's get back into it, shall we?

EPISODE 13: WAR

HUH.... GOOD GOD, Y'ALL. WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? ABSOLUTELY NOTHIN'. SING IT AGAIN, YAAAAAAAA!

Yes yes YES!!! A rare bird has entered Sparky's Sanctum. WAR, by Viza!!! What is it? Well... it looks like a head-to-head cocktail vid, a pinball and an Ikea table had a threesome, and this came of it. LOL

Well, this game has passed through a few hands, including some interesting ones (And Let's Just Omit who....) and has had a few interesting fixes along with it.

First issue: HEY, LOOK, IT TURNS ON AND... UH... NO, IT IS NOT ON.

I always say that you have to start from the power cord first, and then down the line. So first point, no ground prong. Easy 3.99$ fix. This is the FIRST thing you do. And if you don't?
the-results-are-f92afd6848.jpg
OK. Now that is replaced. Next, the second thing you do before even plugging in a game? CHECK THE FUSES!! The next table gives proper fuse ratings.... NOT.
fuses.jpg
OK. So I replaced the plug head, and found a few fuses that were either questionable or wrong. Now, I can.

Image

Yay!!! She is ON! I hit the start button and......
Image

I check the fuses again. All good. But the second my multimeter touches the main power fuse, she turns on again. Bingo.

DIAGNOSIS: Dirty rotten stinking fuse folder....


REPAIR
: Simple. I just replaced the fuse holder with a new one.

This is quite common. Especially in EMs. Always have fuse holders on hand. Once it is replaced, it is good for another 40 years.

OK. So... she turns on. I put a ball in, press start and it plays!!! But.... something is.... off.

Like I said, this game is an odd bird. It is a head-to-head pinball on which a player controls the bottom flippers on his end (as a defense to his trough hole) and the upper flippers on the opposite end (as offense to try and get the ball in your opponent's trough). Some score switches give points to one player, some give some to the other. There is also an interesting center shot that gives you 10000 points and kills your opponent's flippers for 5 seconds or so, permitting you to score on him. BUT, the sides to that center shot gives 1000pts to your opponent. So you have to aim true.

This said, when playing as one player only, the game switches things around a bit. The "offense" flippers are no longer activated. The player controls only the defensive flippers at each trough. You still get 10000pts if the ball goes in player 2's trough... but you also lose a ball.
confused.jpg
This said... when in 1-player, the right flippers do as intended, but the left flipper still activates the "offensive" left flipper.

Second issue: FLIPPER FUCKERY.

Okelydokely. So, let's take a closer look at the game. First off, this thing is AMAZEBALLS to work on. The top flips up and has a linkage to hold it in place.
20200803_083149.jpg
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... and then the playfield tilts up, and stays in place due to it being on dowels which slide in the cab, securing it.
20200803_083206.jpg
flippin sweet.jpeg
flippin sweet.jpeg (61.9 KiB) Viewed 239 times
But... notice here the game...
20200803_083212.jpg
there are orange steel covers over the flipper switches, except the player 2 right switch. And that switch has real "quality" soldering on it. LOL

Looking a bit deeper, I also notice a wire hack where someone took the power wire to both the bottom flipper (18-gauge grey-yellow wire) and top flipper (18-gauge brown-yellow wire), and put them together on one single white 20-gauge wire.
Image

DIAGNOSIS: Someone needs to retire from fixing pinball... LOL.


REPAIR
: So I looked at the wiring on the left flipper button, and recreated it back on the right side. Now the flippers work as intended and are not weak.

So.... other than that...

Third issue: NO BLEEP BLOOPS
So we have no sound coming out of it. I did do a quick speaker test and it is good. There is also continuity on the wiring. So, looks like I will be replacing 42 year old caps on the MPU. Simple enough. Another day.

As for the other things such as someone drilling into the cab in order to be able to use standard pinball legs instead of making new wood legs for it (straight posts... would have been easier), and installing a doorbell button instead of a proper mod and losing the coindoor... well...

All in all, it is a cheap game.
Losing a bolted-in coindoor and drilling a cab for legs is a bonehead move
Just making new wood legs would have been cheap and quick
Over time, I may fix these stupid mods. A coindoor will be hard to find but I can manage.

Simple problems need simple fixes. Not going overboard on "modding"
Useless mods remain useless.
Correcting these mods will be a pain, but it
Kills me to see stupid stuff like this
So I will fix it all.

Carry on.... ;)
Patron saint of lost pinball causes.

Stage 5B. All except for NIB crap.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by Sparky »

The plot thickens....

So, WAR is going to be more of a long-term project. I spent some time doing some research and close examination on this machine. The main issue is that there is NOTHING for it. No schematics, no MPU mapping, nothing. ForceFlow on Pinside did document quite a bit on this machine but nevertheless we have nothing on the MPU's functionality.

So... what I noticed was that the flipper switches on the cabinet were literally arcade leaf-switch pushbuttons. So, there is NO WAY that coil voltage goes through these. So... the MPU kind of functions like a videogame. The MPU sends a very low power signal to the buttons, and detects when the circuit gets closed. Once it detects that, it activates the flippers accordingly. So, if in 1-player mode, it activates the trough flippers on both ends. If in 2-player mode, it activates your trough flipper, as well as the "offense" flipper on the side you press the button.

So, in this case, the button signal is not doing anything. Both wires have continuity with the board, so the issue is not there.

If we bypass the switch system, as done by the previous hack, the coils work fine, so the issue is not there... So, chances are it is a bad chip or trace. On a positive note? The MPU isn't that big. And I have to pull it out anyways as the sound is also dead, and I will replace a bunch of caps first.

So, time for me to buy some 5408 and 7406 chips.
Patron saint of lost pinball causes.

Stage 5B. All except for NIB crap.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Post by WARLOCK »

Good stuff bro. Looks like you picked another interesting candidate to save with it's own unique quirks to it.
Thanks for the great read and update.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

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