Building my own FATHOM... getting started

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Drano
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Building my own FATHOM... getting started

Postby Drano » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:42 am

Maybe some of you saw my recent attempt to find a local-ish Fathom and/or Stargazer.
That thread revealed some interesting options for both titles, but one in particular was very appealing.
It was suggested here that building one (similar to redketchup's Stargazer project) might be a good option.

As luck would have it, my search did turn up someone with an original Fathom playfield that is supposed to be about 80-90% populated and includes the critical drop target mechs amongst other things. So, now I need some advice,

Compared to many of you here I'm relatively new to classic Bally ss games. They generally aren't as easy to find in Ontario as they are in QC; not sure why? I have a Centaur, Eight Ball, some 6803 games and I've owned a couple of EBD... but I'm still not an expert.

I know that, if I want this game to be really nice, I'll probably want a new set of plastics and a new CPR playfield... plus a repro backglass is a necessity. These are all expensive but realitvely easy.

The real question is what would be an ideal donor game?
I need a cabinet and all the bits and pieces inside, including boards, transformer, any cabinet wiring etc. At least that seems like the easiest approach.

So then, what games made before or after Fathom would be most compatible?
Apparently the head on Fathom is the folding variety. I think Bally boards of the era are all pretty standard.
Are there any other subtle differences I should be aware of?
Also, what would be the least expensive titles to hunt for a donor? I doubt I'll get a good deal on a centaur and many other titles of this era are equally collectible.

Any and all advice would be appreciated.

Thank you!
Adriano
Last edited by Drano on Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Chnillapoil » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:53 am

I'm in the same BOAT :D as you and I bought a Dolly Parton.
The backbox is the same but....
you need a S&T board, an aux lamp driver, new displays (7 digits), new lamp board(MDF), remove the transfo in the backbox and get one that goes to the bottom of the cab(harness+rectifier board).
Hope your PF comes with the harness cause that would be another headache.

Keep us informed and good luck,
HIGH SPEED 1986
PIN*BOT 1986
TAXI 1988
VOLLEY 1976
MAME MARIO BROS 1983
RACER BY MIDWAY 1975
FATHOM 1980
MS PACMAN (cocktail project)

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby redketchup » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:59 am

Took me 2 years to make my Stargazer...

I think you are better to search for major part separetly
-right cab with harness
-mechanical playfeild parts (6 bank drop target should be tricky and inline drop target bank... The rest, pretty easy)
-boards (everything available repro or original)
-top playfeild part are available (plastics set, plastic post, etc) You will need to make all the metal guide, but nothing to difficult here...

My biggest fear was the playfeild harness with my stargazer project, but with HPR pinball, we take our time, I study the schematics a lot before (switch matrix, lamp driver board and selonoid) and everything was very straight foreward, time consuming, but not so difficult at all.

So i think it's a really big project, the most difficult will be hunt all the part... But I think it's doable, and if someone can do it, it's you.

Good luck and for, it was my most rewarding and most fun project in 20 years of restoring and collecting pinball and jukebox
Bally Centaur, Fathom, Stern Big Game, Filght 2000, Quicksilver, Catacomb, Iron maiden, Stargazer, Viper, Nineball, Metallica Pro, Wurlitzer 700, 750e, Rockola 1428, seeburg HF 100R
To see it: http://www.pinballowners.com/redketchup

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby redketchup » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:22 am

Inline drop target are memory drop target... little more difficult to find... maybe Fathom specific...
Bally Centaur, Fathom, Stern Big Game, Filght 2000, Quicksilver, Catacomb, Iron maiden, Stargazer, Viper, Nineball, Metallica Pro, Wurlitzer 700, 750e, Rockola 1428, seeburg HF 100R
To see it: http://www.pinballowners.com/redketchup


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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Chnillapoil » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:31 am

redketchup wrote:Inline drop target are memory drop target... little more difficult to find... maybe Fathom specific...

That's why I bought the one from NF. These parts are almost impossible to find.
HIGH SPEED 1986
PIN*BOT 1986
TAXI 1988
VOLLEY 1976
MAME MARIO BROS 1983
RACER BY MIDWAY 1975
FATHOM 1980
MS PACMAN (cocktail project)

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby HPR Pinball » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:51 am

The best option is to find a trash cabinet (but salvable) from the period 1980-11 Xenon to 1981-10 Centaur with the transfo
at the bottom and the auxilliary lamp driver in the head, but these are all classic collectible. The other option, easier to find, is a cabinet from the period 1977-1980 with the transfo in the head but it's gonna be LOT more work. More wiring to do especially for the auxilliary lamp driver that is non-existent for that period and to move the transfo at the bottom and wiring it correctly.
For that kind of project, your best friend will be the schematics :)


http://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?mfgid=412 ... e=advanced
Inventory
Pins: http://www.pinballowners.com/hal-9ooo
Vids: http://www.arcade-museum.com/members/me ... _id=454505
Les arcades, j'suis tombé d'dans quand j'tait pti !! :-)

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Drano » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:06 am

redketchup wrote:Took me 2 years to make my Stargazer...

I think you are better to search for major part separetly
-right cab with harness
-mechanical playfeild parts (6 bank drop target should be tricky and inline drop target bank... The rest, pretty easy)
-boards (everything available repro or original)
-top playfeild part are available (plastics set, plastic post, etc) You will need to make all the metal guide, but nothing to difficult here...

My biggest fear was the playfeild harness with my stargazer project, but with HPR pinball, we take our time, I study the schematics a lot before (switch matrix, lamp driver board and selonoid) and everything was very straight foreward, time consuming, but not so difficult at all.

So i think it's a really big project, the most difficult will be hunt all the part... But I think it's doable, and if someone can do it, it's you.

Good luck and for, it was my most rewarding and most fun project in 20 years of restoring and collecting pinball and jukebox



I already found a populated Fathom playfield that has all the critical parts and the harness.
I haven't seen it yet but I'm told it is 90% complete.

I'm just wondering what donor games would be the most compatible? Both for correct cabinet, displays and boards.

My guess is Centaur, Elektra, Eight Ball Deluxe.... what else? Would Flash Gordon be a match as well?
The only problem is that these are all pretty desirable games to begin with and finding one that's cheap and intact that is suitable might be pretty difficult.
Last edited by Drano on Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby redketchup » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:10 am

Ok completely different story now!

you are ready to go... any cab from 1981 will do the job. Try to find a cab with the harness.. you can always find the board and display seperatly. You will just have to made the white panel for the backglass... this is the only specific part...
Bally Centaur, Fathom, Stern Big Game, Filght 2000, Quicksilver, Catacomb, Iron maiden, Stargazer, Viper, Nineball, Metallica Pro, Wurlitzer 700, 750e, Rockola 1428, seeburg HF 100R
To see it: http://www.pinballowners.com/redketchup

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Drano » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:12 am

HPR Pinball wrote:The best option is to find a trash cabinet (but salvable) from the period 1980-11 Xenon to 1981-10 Centaur with the transfo
at the bottom and the auxilliary lamp driver in the head, but these are all classic collectible. The other option, easier to find, is a cabinet from the period 1977-1980 with the transfo in the head but it's gonna be LOT more work. More wiring to do especially for the auxilliary lamp driver that is non-existent for that period and to move the transfo at the bottom and wiring it correctly.
For that kind of project, your best friend will be the schematics :)


http://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?mfgid=412 ... e=advanced


Cool... that's the info I need !

So anything before Xenon and after Centaur is going to be more work then?
Are the games in this period a perfect match for a Fathom style setup though... with matching transformer, displays and boards?

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby redketchup » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:25 am

Drano wrote:
HPR Pinball wrote:The best option is to find a trash cabinet (but salvable) from the period 1980-11 Xenon to 1981-10 Centaur with the transfo
at the bottom and the auxilliary lamp driver in the head, but these are all classic collectible. The other option, easier to find, is a cabinet from the period 1977-1980 with the transfo in the head but it's gonna be LOT more work. More wiring to do especially for the auxilliary lamp driver that is non-existent for that period and to move the transfo at the bottom and wiring it correctly.
For that kind of project, your best friend will be the schematics :)


http://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?mfgid=412 ... e=advanced


Cool... that's the info I need !

So anything before Xenon and after Centaur is going to be more work then?
Are the games in this period a perfect match for a Fathom style setup though... with matching transformer, displays and boards?


I will say yes... I think you can go as far as speakeasy 1982-08 for board and cab compatibility
Bally Centaur, Fathom, Stern Big Game, Filght 2000, Quicksilver, Catacomb, Iron maiden, Stargazer, Viper, Nineball, Metallica Pro, Wurlitzer 700, 750e, Rockola 1428, seeburg HF 100R
To see it: http://www.pinballowners.com/redketchup

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Drano » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:38 am

Wow... some pretty small production runs in that period outside of Xenon and Flash Gordon at about 10,000 units each.
those two might be my best bet. I guess I will begin the hunt :)

If anyone hears or sees anything let me know.
Here's my new WTB list... Looking for a beat-to-hell...

Xenon
Flash Gordon
Eight Ball Deluxe
Fireball II
Fathom :D
Medusa
Centaur
Elektra

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby redketchup » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:43 am

You can add Vector
Bally Centaur, Fathom, Stern Big Game, Filght 2000, Quicksilver, Catacomb, Iron maiden, Stargazer, Viper, Nineball, Metallica Pro, Wurlitzer 700, 750e, Rockola 1428, seeburg HF 100R
To see it: http://www.pinballowners.com/redketchup

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby cdnpinballer » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:53 am

Xenon was the first talking bally game and didn't use a Squawk & Talk sound board like the others. They put in a "Vocalizer" board instead.

So, if you find a Xenon some harness modifications may be required. I would search out others from the list.

- Full disclosure - I am looking for a Xenon. ;)

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby HPR Pinball » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:10 am

Search Nova Scotia, someone have pinballs junkyard in that area
I bought my Centaur and Fathom from there.
Inventory
Pins: http://www.pinballowners.com/hal-9ooo
Vids: http://www.arcade-museum.com/members/me ... _id=454505
Les arcades, j'suis tombé d'dans quand j'tait pti !! :-)

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Chnillapoil » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:20 am

Hope we'll have this CPR PF. Never know if we're on the list until shipping.....
HIGH SPEED 1986
PIN*BOT 1986
TAXI 1988
VOLLEY 1976
MAME MARIO BROS 1983
RACER BY MIDWAY 1975
FATHOM 1980
MS PACMAN (cocktail project)

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Drano » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:30 pm

Chnillapoil wrote:Hope we'll have this CPR PF. Never know if we're on the list until shipping.....


Worst case I'll have to use the populated one that I'd be getting and restore it. Lots more work than I'd hoped for... but what can you do?

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby ALJO » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:02 pm

Nice project, good luck with the hunting, it's the funnest and most satisfying part when you find the parts you need.

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby HPR Pinball » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:52 pm

Not the total package, it's a small beginning :-)
https://pinside.com/pinball/market/ad/28166
Inventory
Pins: http://www.pinballowners.com/hal-9ooo
Vids: http://www.arcade-museum.com/members/me ... _id=454505
Les arcades, j'suis tombé d'dans quand j'tait pti !! :-)

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Chnillapoil » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:18 pm

HPR Pinball wrote:Not the total package, it's a small beginning :-)
https://pinside.com/pinball/market/ad/28166

I will have an empty Dolly cab soon available.....
HIGH SPEED 1986
PIN*BOT 1986
TAXI 1988
VOLLEY 1976
MAME MARIO BROS 1983
RACER BY MIDWAY 1975
FATHOM 1980
MS PACMAN (cocktail project)

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Drano » Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:18 pm

HPR Pinball wrote:Not the total package, it's a small beginning :-)
https://pinside.com/pinball/market/ad/28166


That's pretty funny. $0 firm :)

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Gis » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:58 am

Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?


Image
Image

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Drano » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:53 am

No pain, no pin :D

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Manu2 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:31 pm

I don't think it's a good idea.

If you understand french, you can read my transformation from a Skateball to an Eight Ball Deluxe here :

http://www.flipjuke.fr/skateball-deluxe-t75779.html

A lot of work (and money) ...and I'm not very happy with the result.

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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Azatotht » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:13 pm

Great thread Manu, en effet, ca semble pas mal de travail ;-)
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Re: Building my own FATHOM... what's involved?

Postby Chnillapoil » Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:03 pm

Manu2 wrote:I don't think it's a good idea.

If you understand french, you can read my transformation from a Skateball to an Eight Ball Deluxe here :

http://www.flipjuke.fr/skateball-deluxe-t75779.html

A lot of work (and money) ...and I'm not very happy with the result.


Super thread Manu mais je ne comprend pas pourquoi tu n'as pas peint ton cabinet d'abord.........
HIGH SPEED 1986
PIN*BOT 1986
TAXI 1988
VOLLEY 1976
MAME MARIO BROS 1983
RACER BY MIDWAY 1975
FATHOM 1980
MS PACMAN (cocktail project)



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