Xenon Playfield Swap

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Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

I bought a Xenon a few years back that was expertly restored by a fellow MAACA member. He did a huge amount of work replacing the playfield hardware, repainting the cabinet, and just getting everything new and shiny. The one thing he never did was swap the playfield, opting instead to fill in the bald spots with decals and Mylar. He did a great job, but I snagged a CPR gold from a screen printed run. It’s time to really bring the shine.

I’m gonna do my logging here since I know some of you like to follow along.
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by HPR Pinball »

It will be amazing after this swap !! One of the greatest artwork from this era, i like the charm of Xenon very much !!
The video game i want to play is always the one i don't have :FP:
Les arcades, j'suis tombé d'dans quand j'tait pti !! :-)

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

4883AAA9-7AF4-49F0-9419-674321ACDF2C.jpeg

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by tombiosis »

Ooo boy that’s going to be a big job!
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

Not all parts can be deep-cleaned easily: every coil will get a blast in the ultrasonic cleaner, but this destroys the old paper wrappers— if they’re even still there. Solution? Print pretty new ones and apply after cleaning for that “just off the assembly line” glow.

I want to acknowledge the contributions of fellow MAACA user Inkochnito in this step. Peter created all of the art and PDFs for these coil wrappers, and he’s even added new ones when the one I’m looking for was missing. All of these wrappers can be found at http://www.inkochnito.nl and I make sure to send him a small donation every time his work helps me. Thank you Peter!
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

Each mech assembly will be “connectorized” and moved individually, instead of with the harness. They need to be disassembled, cleaned, repaired, tuned up, and installed on the new board. Some consumable parts— like coil sleeves— will be replaced outright.
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

And after.
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Now, the coil goes into a jar with some silica gel for a couple of days. Even though I blasted it with air, there’s still moisture trapped in the windings. This will pull it out.
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Plastic parts, plungers, and springs either shouldn’t or don’t need to be polished, so they’re set aside. Everything else goes in the tumbler with walnut media, and I’ll say goodbye to it until tomorrow.
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Want to see some cool action clips?
Here’s the dirt literally exploding off the parts when I press the start button on the ultrasonic: http://twitter.com/hoverbeaver/status/1 ... 7697383431

And here’s the tumbler being switched on:
http://twitter.com/hoverbeaver/status/1 ... 2926326785

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by cait001 »

oh man I love the silica jar for the coils!

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

And we are done! Incredibly satisfying to see the mirror finish on these parts. I changed the coil orientation because it’s bad vibes for the diode to be against the coil stop… yes, these are all the same parts, except for the worn coil sleeve.

Before and after restoration on a Bally linear slingshot mechanism:
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There are something like 12-15 more mechs to do on this game and I’m working abroad for the next week or so… so things will probably quiet down for a bit while going through the grind.

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by steamfitter »

Awesome workmanship
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by targetlaf »

Très beau travail, woww, j'observe avec attention, moi aussi j'aurai à faire ce swap ;)
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

That’s better.
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

There. All back together.
1E5DB265-962B-4EAB-89BA-5AF219B5455B.jpeg

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by World_of_Warships »

semicolin wrote:
Sun Aug 07, 2022 12:23 pm
There. All back together.

1E5DB265-962B-4EAB-89BA-5AF219B5455B.jpeg

That short vid was very satisfying! :mrgreen:

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

another one bites the dust.

This one was a pain in the ass. I was prying off an e-clip last night and it flew across the room. Rather than look around for it I figured I’d just find the part in the book and buy a standard kit. Bally parts catalog says P-6316-4. Marco says that’s a 3/16” e-clip. I go and buy a kit this morning at Princess Auto and it’s definitely not a 3/16” clip. Probably 5/32”. Either way, I don’t have the right part.

Down to the floor I go, and what was invisible last night is found in ten seconds tonight. I ain’t complaining.

I know I can do a straight swap (without clean and polish) in a couple of days. This isn’t actually a whole lot more effort, it’s just a way to force myself to only work a few minutes a day instead of just jamming it home. When it’s done, it will be worth the wait. If you have the patience, tossing parts in the cleaner and then the tumbler makes a remarkable difference in the final product.
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

Connectors definitely help the process along. Super useful when I’ve got to take any mech off a field. In the case of a swap, it allows me to run my harness through the dishwasher without all of the extra weight hanging off of it.

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by mrmikeman »

Every connector added introduces a point of failure. You also add resistance. It’s almost nothing now but as the years go by it will increase. Instead of having a trouble free game for 30 years it may last way less because of these. Who knows for sure.. let’s talk in 20-25 years lol.

Also: how many times in 30 years does any mech have to completely come off, especially flippers.

A good example of connector crap is the shuffle alley I am working on. The one flaky thing in all of it is the connectors.
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

AMP Commercial Mate-N-Lok series connectors, properly crimped and installed, are going to outlast just about every other part of these machines. It would be absolutely silly to worry about a genuine Mate-n-lok connector that might be cycled 5 times in thirty years when literally every other part of these machines is less reliable than a stoned co-op student.

The .100 and .156 connectors in these machines go bad because they're replugged a million times, they have a contact surface area that can be measured in angstroms, and they're plated with reactive tin because it was cheap... but tin alloys from the time period when these games came out corroded easily. Modern wear-rated connectors with new tin alloys just don't degrade in the same way unless they're exposed to corrosive atmospheres.

I'm a commercial electrician and maintenance thermographer by trade. I have dealt with electrical, mechanical, and even radio equipment that was commissioned as far back as the 1920s. Pinball machines are some of the least worrisome bits of equipment that I deal with. The rest of these machines will be sawdust and offgassing integrated circuits while the AMP Mate-n-lok connectors will still be intact, long after I'm dead.

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by HPR Pinball »

For sure, those restored pinballs will survive long after us !! :D :D
The video game i want to play is always the one i don't have :FP:
Les arcades, j'suis tombé d'dans quand j'tait pti !! :-)

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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by cait001 »

semicolin wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:55 pm
Modern wear-rated connectors with new tin alloys just don't degrade in the same way unless they're exposed to corrosive atmospheres.
so like... Florida. :lol:
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

I've been working on repainting the bald spots on the old playfield. What does everyone think?
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by cait001 »

You woke up and chose violence
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by sylvain »

Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
Collecting & repairing electro-mechanical and solid state pinball machines with quality and care for 40 years already.
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Re: Xenon Playfield Swap

Post by semicolin »

cait001 wrote:
Tue Aug 23, 2022 1:55 pm
You woke up and chose violence
you assume that i sleep while war rages outside my door

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