Old Chicago repair log

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amona
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Old Chicago repair log

Postby amona » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:18 pm

Somebody brought over an Old Chicago to get running again and I surely do hope I quoted him by the hour and not the job. This thing is going to need a lot of work!

Thankfully - I don't do cosmetics. My artistic skills lie somewhere between "but he tries so hard" and "keep him away from the permanent markers". So I will get the game running and wish it well on it's way.

Today I stood it up and took a picture. Hope to get more done on the weekend.

IMG_0389.jpg
Picture of Old Chicago on day 1


(I always start with the head on backwards - makes it easier to see what happens up there when you push something down here)

The owner kept the backglass at home - so this will be a week or two in the garage and gone and not the 2-3 year set up in the basement while I do some final tweeks that I had hoped it would be.

The big question is - will I remember to document any of it here?
"Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia." Corey McPherrin, FOX Chicago News

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shane
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Re: Old Chicago repair log

Postby shane » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:09 am

Good luck with resto.
Please post pics throughout.
Cheers
Shane. "Just because I love pinball doesn't mean I'm any good".

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Re: Old Chicago repair log

Postby singlezero » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:18 am

Bring it to my place and we can work on our old Chicago together! I'm down to one and I'm seriously considering. Ordering a CPR played

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amona
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Re: Old Chicago repair log

Postby amona » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:46 am

I am practicing on this one so when I get to yours it will look like I know what I am doing.
"Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia." Corey McPherrin, FOX Chicago News


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amona
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Re: Old Chicago repair log

Postby amona » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:49 am

8BA09175-E68F-4BE8-8DE2-038081F5A08E.jpeg

Was going to do a quick vacuum but it was nasty in there. Was all worthwhile though. I found 50 cents and this
EFC78DBE-AD99-4B8F-8849-F0E0EE6CB0A2.jpeg

Which explains why it was so nasty in there.

Everything looked for the most but one of the steppers was all gunked up. So I took it all apart and cleaned it up. Seems to step nicely now.

Under the play field the bonus stepper was all sticky too. Took it apart and cleaned all the old wd 40 off using new wd 40! Making sure that once it was altogether I had cleaned off all the old and the new.

The ball return switch was bent out of place. Bent it back.

The head looks good inside. Steppers step and all score reels advance by hand ok.

This afternoon looking at the top of the playfield.
"Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia." Corey McPherrin, FOX Chicago News

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amona
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Re: Old Chicago repair log

Postby amona » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:49 am

A dozen of the play field posts need to be replaced. All five pop bumper bodies are cracked or have holes. And the playfield itself... it would be nice to have on overlay! I will mention to the owner that CPR has this one at the CNC cutting stage

45B6078E-E517-4D10-AE74-0F111FA607F8.jpeg


Be a day or so before I get to the interesting part - making it work!
"Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia." Corey McPherrin, FOX Chicago News

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amona
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Re: Old Chicago repair log

Postby amona » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:21 am

Hi, Long time no update!

Spent the week continuing on with the cleaning and rebuilt the pop bumpers. All five needed new bodies and rings so since they where coming off I stripped most of what was left on the playfield off as well. Gave it a wash and a wax and put it mostly all back together. Needed to replace more than a dozen of the small plastic posts. I know it was more than a dozen because I used a full bag that I bought for the occasion.

Once the bumpers and posts and plastics and the playfield was back in order it was finally time to plug it in and get to the fun part - the actual repairs.

Before plugging in I bent the switch on the ball kicker back in place. As well I soldered up a couple of wires on the chime unit and a pair of wires that looked like they belonged on a coin switch. Was now time to see what would happen when powered on...

It worked - so much for interesting repair logs.

Needed to reseat a jones plug in the head for the score reels to start working but as soon as I did that it the game came to life far quicker than I had expected.

Thankfully? I am not done yet. Still have something left to look at - there are no lights. No GI, no switched lights. One fuse was burnt out the other looks ok. But when I connect my meter across the gap instead of the expected 6.8 volts (like it measures at the transformer) I get 24-30volts, depending on which relays are on at any given time.

Removed the playfield and disconnected the head and still measures 30V. Pulled the bottom board out and see no evidence of a short so far - going back for another look soon. I might actually have something interesting to look at after all.
"Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia." Corey McPherrin, FOX Chicago News

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amona
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Re: Old Chicago repair log

Postby amona » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:47 am

BTW - The two broken wires on the coin door would have stopped the game from working and caused hours of frustration, but I have seen this before.

They looked like just a couple of spare wires, as can be found all over the place on Bally EMs. They even looked cut off, not broken off. They connect to the normally closed side of the coin drop switch and a lot of things depend on that circuit. Until connected it would have been a pretty much dead machine.

3E93DCE9-4FEA-40B2-A038-D94178251DB7.jpeg


I hooked them up before first power on but then disconnected them too the picture and sure enough- dead game. Hooked them back up to get back to my working but no lights.

Years ago I had the same issue with an Aladdin’s Castle. Saw the little yellow wire hanging off the coun door for days (I seem to recall it was days) while I checked everything else I could think of. Eventually got around to reconnecting the wire as an afterthought and lo the game ran!
"Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia." Corey McPherrin, FOX Chicago News

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Re: Old Chicago repair log

Postby singlezero » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:42 am

Yes if you. Weren't spending so much time last week on Tz and Totan practising. For you to finish first at the last level pinball tournament then you'd probably be done by now

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amona
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Re: Old Chicago repair log

Postby amona » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:10 pm

singlezero wrote:Yes if you. Weren't spending so much time last week on Tz and Totan

I needed to play TZ in advance. Haven't played one in years and that game always kicks my butt. My high scores come close to a good players average bad ball. I couldn't let some out of towner take the title.

Back to old Chicago - this one still has me baffled. If I pop the fuse out on the 54V side my voltage on the 6.4V side reads normal. So somehow half the volts are bleeding through to the other side. I can see no place that the wires have been chewed through and no lugs or contacts that are bent enough to touch the other side.

According to my wife I can look at this again right after the dishwasher starts working again - bit of skewed priorities there. We can figure out why the dishwasher stopped draining any old time. The pinball problem is interesting!
"Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia." Corey McPherrin, FOX Chicago News

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amona
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Re: Old Chicago repair log

Postby amona » Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:11 am

OK, so this is embarrassing...

Had the game all apart, swapping out all the posts and lights on the playfield and cleaning old mouse crap and saw the blown fuse on one of lighting circuits. My circuit breakers needed to be resoldered and rather than take the time that day and risk one of my precious 25 cent fuses I thought I would poke around with the multi meter and see what I could learn.

With just the bottom board out and on the bench I checked how things looked right at the fuse. Fuse out, meter across the gap and egad! 30 Volts AC on one of the 6v lighting circuits. No wonder the fuse blew! I wonder if there will be a working bulb in the machine. Check the other 6v line and reads about the same. Pop out the fuse on the 54V circuit and my readings all go nicely back to 6.4v.

Next comes a couple of days of looking at every contact, relay, wire. Anyplace a bridge between the two sides may have formed. Nothing! All looks good. Pulled apart the wiring harness in spots, no mice damage or chewed wires. No idea how 6v and 54 have now joined to form 30. Then after far too long of this I tried out my new 30V circuit. Took an old relay out of the parts bin and connected it in series at the fuse. 30 should have held it nicely but no effect whatsoever. Tried a good bulb instead and instead of a quick flash and dead bulb I get nothing. The meter says 30 V, Reality says aint nothing there. Dropped it back into the game plugged it in and everything lights up and shines beautifully. I spent a week chasing ghosts.

I don't thing I have ever measured voltage at that spot in a game with the head and playfield disconnected. And upon further reflection - there should be no circuit in the state the game was in. No return path back with no lights to pass through.

So I head inside down to the Wizard in the basement. Pop the fuse for playfield lights, meter on, 6.8 Volts. Unplug the playfield from the cabinet, meter on same spot - 30 Volts.

So the broken wire on the coin door was probably the reason why the game stopped years ago. The sticky steppers developing over time. Or the steppers first and the mice chewed through the wire later. Aside from that the game was close to working. Just needed a whole lot of cleaning. Gotta replace a couple light sockets this weekend and wish it well.
"Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia." Corey McPherrin, FOX Chicago News



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