Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

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tombiosis
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tombiosis »

Looking awesome as usual Brett! Can’t wait to see before and after pics of the clear coat job. !👍
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

tombiosis wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:33 pm
Looking awesome as usual Brett! Can’t wait to see before and after pics of the clear coat job. !👍
Thanks Tom! I didn't take a lot of before pics. Mostly it looks good, just needs more clear to protect and flatten the surface.

With playfield out of the way, cabinet gets vacuumed. Time to look at the power supply. First, test for continuity from the ground pin of the power plug, to all of the exposed metal parts of the cabinet. Looks good.
ground test.jpg
Next, check rating and continuity on all of the power supply fuses. My eyes are not good enough to read the rating unassisted, normally I use a little magnifying glass for convenience. But zoom on the phone camera also works.
fuse rating.jpg
All fuses look good, but I'm not replacing the high voltage one. The game uses LED score displays and no longer needs any HV. Let's power it on and test supply voltages.
voltage test.jpg
For each test point, I attach with power off. This way I can't accidentally short something. Power on, take a reading from the meter, power off again. Somehow even with the fuse removed, it's showing 32VDC at the HV test point. Not sure what to make of that.
strange voltage.jpg
All supply voltages look good. Now inspect the supply connectors. Pins look clean and undamaged. This is good because I don't think I have any that size...
connector pins.jpg
Similarly on the power supply board:
connector pins 2.jpg
Ok, plug in the head and cabinet connectors, power on, let's see what happens. At first I'm unsure it even booted properly. It didn't make any sound or show anything on the displays. Normally I would expect a beep, attract mode, and high score flashing. But pressing the coin door test button is rewarded with "FATHOM!" from the speaker! I put a couple of bulbs in the head and see that both GI and feature lamps are working.
lights.jpg
Press the test button again... score displays also working! I will have to review the alltek MPU documentation to see what's up with attract mode.
displays.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by World_of_Warships »

Great step by step as always. Those pics really help understand the process. Fully dismantling a pin, part by little part, doesn't seem that daunting with those clear instructions! I wouldn't dare of course, let's leave this to the people that know! But that looks fun to do! Following all the way to the big moment!

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

World_of_Warships wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:34 pm
Great step by step as always. Those pics really help understand the process. Fully dismantling a pin, part by little part, doesn't seem that daunting with those clear instructions! I wouldn't dare of course, let's leave this to the people that know! But that looks fun to do! Following all the way to the big moment!
It's impossible to take too many photos! :) I don't post them all. Shooting from different angles, and at different stages of a teardown, can be really helpful when it is time to reassemble.
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by Manu2 »

For attract mode, you need to put at least 2 balls on the 3, in the outhole.

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Manu2 wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:33 am
For attract mode, you need to put at least 2 balls on the 3, in the outhole.
Thanks, that would explain it! :D Will test again sometime after the playfield returns.
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Flipper assemblies cleaned and rebuilt. A few parts dirty, rusted, missing, nothing especially remarkable. Next step will be to add connectors.
flipper assemblies rebuilt.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by mad »

congratulations on your pinball and great food.

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

mad wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:50 am
congratulations on your pinball and great food.
Thanks but what do you mean about food? :)

A frequently neglected area to clean is the playfield glass channel. Hard to get a good photo, but this is before, full of dirt dust and grit.
glass channel dirty.jpg
A few minutes with alcohol, a rag, and some tools to get into the channel cleans it up readily.
glass channel dirt.jpg
A bit of polish with Novus 2, and the glass will slide in and out super smooth even with scarring on the channels.
glass channel clean.jpg
Can you notice something missing here?
something missing.jpg
There's no ground connection to the back legs!
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Next I want to clean up the playfield supports. But the very first nut is cross threaded, seized onto the carriage bolt.
support seizure.jpg
Naturally the square part of the bolt head has already stripped out the wood and has no grip. A channel lock plier or vice grip can be used but may damage the head.
carriage grip.jpg
In this case I don't care, the threads are ruined and I have a spare bolt from doing a cabinet swap of Centaur II a few years ago. It's the wrong length but that can be corrected.
carriage bolts.jpg
Cut down to size and with black head sanded shiny, nobody will know it's not original. :)
carriage bolts 2.jpg
Playfield supports - dirty, rough, bent, with rotten rubber grommets. There is a second bolt with damaged threads, but it's repairable.
supports dirty.jpg
Playfield supports - clean, polished, straight, with fresh rubber grommets.
supports clean.jpg
Installation will have to wait until the stripped bolt holes are built up a bit more with carpenter's glue. The carriage bolt head doesn't need a very strong seat, but I don't want it to just spin around either.
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Supports installed. Rear legs grounded.
supports installed.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Slingshot assemblies broken down. Dirty, corroded, rough.
dirty slingshot parts.jpg
Might as well add the saucer kickout assemblies and give them an ultrasonic bath.
basket of dirty parts.jpg
Five minutes later, the bath water is blackened and the parts are mostly clean. Still a lot of polishing to do though.
dirty bath water.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Parts all polished.
sling parts polished.jpg
Assemblies rebuilt.
slings rebuilt.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by World_of_Warships »

I went back to through all the pictures, I don't believe there was one that showed the cabinet and decals. I wonder if you ever can fix those that are damaged (so that it's satisfactory), or just replace them with modern decals. Hoping you will get back to Fathom shortly! Again, beautiful art and colors on that game. Those parts you are cleaning turned out fantastic!!

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

World_of_Warships wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:43 pm
I went back to through all the pictures, I don't believe there was one that showed the cabinet and decals. I wonder if you ever can fix those that are damaged (so that it's satisfactory), or just replace them with modern decals. Hoping you will get back to Fathom shortly! Again, beautiful art and colors on that game. Those parts you are cleaning turned out fantastic!!
It's true, I talked about the cabinet exterior but didn't provide any photos yet. It's an ok paint job (not decals). I'm not planning to do anything with it other than light cleaning / waxing.

There will be exciting news to report on this project soon! ;)
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by World_of_Warships »

Yup, Googled and checked the stenciled cabinets! Some folks actually repaint everything using laser cut stencils they buy online. That actually looked cool to do.

Visionner « Bally Fathom Pinball Machine Restoration » sur YouTube
https://youtu.be/3yp3wkNvA4Y

Now, I didn't know how that pin sounded and I was tempted to go look at some YouTube vids of some gaming, but I'll wait for your reveal instead. I read on Pinside that the pin actually feels like an arcade game from the 80's.. dunno why, but we'll find out, won't we!

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by HPR Pinball »

This pin sounds like Fathom, it is really unique!
You never hear this machine sound before?
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by World_of_Warships »

HPR Pinball wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:07 pm
This pin sounds like Fathom, it is really unique!
You never hear this machine sound before?
Nope! However sounds more and more intriguing! Anything that feels 80's, count me in!

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Some parts arrived for this project - silicone rubber from Titan, and LED bulbs from Comet. I was skeptical about the flipper rubbers in particular, and tried them out on Seawitch. They are horrible! Hardly any bounce at all. Nothing like classic rubber. Hopefully the white rubber rings will be acceptable.
bulbs and rubbers.jpg
I was really struggling to insert bulbs in the head, they are a super snug fit. Better than a loose fit for sure. But after a couple of tries the bulb can develop a kind of tooth or barb on the edge, making it even harder to insert. So after discovering this, I preemptively sanded off those corners a bit, and the rest of the bulbs were much easier.
bulb barb.jpg
Nice to see that all sockets, both GI and feature lamps, are working.
head lit.jpg
Tough to get a good photo of the backglass, looks better in person.
backglass lit.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

The playfield has returned from clearcoating! Clean and polish the mounting hardware.
mounting hardware.jpg
One of the playfield pivots was crooked, and not lined up with its counterpart on the other side. Placed where it should go, you can see the screw holes are way off.
holes misaligned.jpg
Holes filled. After the glue dries I will place it properly.
holes filled.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

With mounting hardware reinstalled, the playfield can now be placed in the cabinet to reveal the new clearcoat. Not perfectly flat, but much improved.
new clearcoat.jpg
Viewing more directly, the clearcoat is invisible. I think it will look and play very nicely.
playfield upper.jpg
playfield lower.jpg
playfield full.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by World_of_Warships »

That blue is fantastic, the few colors really pop! The ink job from the artist that created the design was great. I especially like the rendition on that mermaid on the far left - she also has a knife, lol, a mermaid that will defend herself and her realm!

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Spinner decals arrived today. Not a great match. Nice to have a spare though. If I don't find anything better, these should be usable.
spinner decals.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by bele2009 »

Good job! What solution are you using in your Ultrasonic cleaner?

Personally I use a few drops of DAWN dishwashing soap along with a 1/4 cup of citrus cleaner / degreaser ( I have a 15L unit) but always interested into what others are using ? 😉
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