Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

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cooke
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Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by cooke »

Note: When this thread began, pinrepair.com was free. Since then, however, it has become something other than free and is no longer directly accessible using the links I provide in the following posts. I will make an effort to correct the dead links in the near future.

There are a number of "necessary" actions that must be taken to ensure that classic Stern and early Bally solid state machines continue to operate reliably for years to come. This thread will attempt to document the steps required to resurrect a 1977 Stern 'Pinball'. Theoretically, the steps here can be utilized to resurrect just about any of the early SS Bally/Stern machines.

Clay's guide at http://www.pinrepair.com is an excellent resource and without it I wouldn't be in this hobby. However, I've always found it to be somewhat scattered. There's a lot of information to cover, after all, and there are a number of factors that come into play when trying to cover 'everything'.

Therefore, the following will utilize Clay's information, but only as it applies to games using the Bally AS-2518-18 or Stern A-430 rectifier board (power supply). This includes all Stern games and most Bally games made before Xenon. As I manage to find time to work on this project over the next few weeks, I will attempt to lay out the information in a more step-by-step manner than is done on pinrepair.com.

Here's a first look at the patient:

Image

Image

Image

Image


I acquired this machine in January 2010 and it's been waiting patiently in the garage ever since for its turn to be brought back to life.

As you can see from the photos, I'm missing a few playfield plastics and parts. Fortunately, and completely by chance, I acquired a spare 'Pinball' playfield about two weeks before I actually found and purchased this machine...


Image

A couple of the plastics are broken on both playfields, unfortunately, so I'd be interested in purchasing them if anyone has them kicking around.

The first order of business will be to rebuild the power supply. Stay tuned for pics and details on that in the coming days.
Last edited by cooke on Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:33 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by machine.slave »

what video? I like videos..

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by SquidVicious »

I'd be interested in seeing the video
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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by monkeybug »

Sparky wrote:
machine.slave wrote:what video? I like videos..
I have been making videos on restoring a pin from beginning to end. I have been working on it for a year.
How does Cooke's posting affect this?

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by cooke »

Sparky wrote:
machine.slave wrote:what video? I like videos..
I have been making videos on restoring a pin from beginning to end. I have been working on it for a year.
So there's no point in me posting this thread then?

Seriously, with all the bitching and moaning about negative posts lately, I figured a positive thread focusing on the reason we're all here -- fixing up and maintaining pinball machines -- would be welcome. I, for one, would have been delighted to see this kind of thread when I was starting out in the hobby and I'm sure there are others out there that could use the information in the sort of concise manner this type of thread will provide.

Do you think I'm posting this to spite you? :roll: I'm pretty sure this thread and whatever video you're working on can co-exist peacefully.

I'm doing a project and figured I'd document it for the benefit of others who have an interest. If you feel it's redundant or unnecessary, feel free to delete the thread. Until then I'll post updates somewhat regularly.

I'd PM you about this but that might push you over the edge.

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by redketchup »

cooke wrote:
Sparky wrote:
machine.slave wrote:what video? I like videos..
I have been making videos on restoring a pin from beginning to end. I have been working on it for a year.
So there's no point in me posting this thread then?

Seriously, with all the bitching and moaning about negative posts lately, I figured a positive thread focusing on the reason we're all here -- fixing up and maintaining pinball machines -- would be welcome. I, for one, would have been delighted to see this kind of thread when I was starting out in the hobby and I'm sure there are others out there that could use the information in the sort of concise manner this type of thread will provide.

Do you think I'm posting this to spite you? :roll: I'm pretty sure this thread and whatever video you're working on can co-exist peacefully.

I'm doing a project and figured I'd document it for the benefit of others who have an interest. If you feel it's redundant or unnecessary, feel free to delete the thread. Until then I'll post updates somewhat regularly.

I'd PM you about this but that might push you over the edge.
Me, want it! I think it's a very good idea to have this resto step by step to what you done to make it alive. Go ahead do it!

Thank's for the effort to share it with us.
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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by Sparky »

cooke wrote:
Sparky wrote:
machine.slave wrote:what video? I like videos..
I have been making videos on restoring a pin from beginning to end. I have been working on it for a year.
So there's no point in me posting this thread then?

Seriously, with all the bitching and moaning about negative posts lately, I figured a positive thread focusing on the reason we're all here -- fixing up and maintaining pinball machines -- would be welcome. I, for one, would have been delighted to see this kind of thread when I was starting out in the hobby and I'm sure there are others out there that could use the information in the sort of concise manner this type of thread will provide.

Do you think I'm posting this to spite you? :roll: I'm pretty sure this thread and whatever video you're working on can co-exist peacefully.

I'm doing a project and figured I'd document it for the benefit of others who have an interest. If you feel it's redundant or unnecessary, feel free to delete the thread. Until then I'll post updates somewhat regularly.

I'd PM you about this but that might push you over the edge.
LOL... no, not at all!!! I am not bitching. I am just saying that if you are posting on this, I will do another subject. I have 3 hours of footage. I can focus on things that you don't mention in order to complement your content.

PLEASE CONTINUE!!!!!! Seriously... I am looking forward to more. Pinball is one I have not seen before, so it would be really cool to see it get some love!

Maybe I will focus on cab repair.

Sparky

Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by Sparky »

Jeez... nothing negative ... I just don't want people to think I am ''competing''. LOL

There... I deleted all previous mentions by me... forget I wrote anything.

Now post more on this! ;)

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by OTTOgd »

Put it all up! It's all good, imho.

No resto is the same and it is interesting to see different approaches to the similar problems.

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by Atomicboy »

I was exited to see what you had to offer Corey, as I'll be starting on my Stars soon. I hope you continue.
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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by cooke »

I rebuilt the power supply last night. Took lots of pics and will post an update today, hopefully.

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by cooke »

Step 1 - The power supply

Warning: If you intend to resurrect old Bally/Stern pinball machines, you need to know how to solder. If you don't know how, you should learn or consider finding another hobby. There are several excellent videos on youtube that demonstrate proper soldering techniques. Do not be afraid.

Preamble: I find repairing pinball machines a lot of fun. There are, however, certain aspects of pin repair that are decidedly un-fun. Over the years I've determined that rebuilding Bally/Stern power supplies is one of those tasks that is basically zero fun. It's time consuming and a hassle because it involves *a lot* of desoldering and ensuring that the through-holes are good and clean. And when there are very nice and relatively inexpensive reproduction boards available through Rottendog and Great Plains Electronics, rebuilding these boards is pretty unnecessary. For the purposes of this task, however, and considering I want get this project up and running without spending a whole lot of cash, I figured I'd just rebuild the power supply that came with the game.
___

Here it is as I found it (sorry for the crappy pics):

Image

In the above pic, you probably can't see that J3 is broken in half and one of the wires is soldered directly to the header. All of the fuse clips are tarnished badly and a couple have rusted. The board isn't actually secured to the mouting plate, which means that heat transfer from the bridges isn't taking place at all, which means that if the game was working prior to now (which it wasn't) the bridges have a very short life ahead of them.

Tools and parts required for rebuilding a power supply include the following...

Tools:
- Soldering station
- Solder
- Desoldering pump or desoldering station
- A DMM
- A crimper

Parts:
- 3 x 400V, 35A, Bridge rectifiers w/ wire leads
- 12 x Tin plated beryllium copper, high current fuse clips
- 1 x 20 pin .156" header strip, 1 x 10 pin .156" header strip, 1 x 8 pin .156" header strip (Or just buy THESE and cut them to size)*
- 1 x 20-pin .156" female housing, 1 x 10-pin .156" female housing and 1 x 8-pin .156" female housing*
- 4 x 1n4004 or 1n4007 diodes
- 1 x 600 ohm, 10 watt or 620 ohm, 15 watt resistor
- 1 x 25 ohm, 5 watt resistor
- At least 40 x .156" trifurcon terminals
- At least one heat sink appropriate for a 35A bridge rectifier and a machine screw/nut to attach the heat sink to the BR.
- Heat sink grease

*Bally's Future Spa, Kiss and Space Invaders use a slightly different power supply from the norm and have 9-pins on J1 instead of 8. If you're working on one of those games, bear that in mind when ordering the header strip and housing for that connector.

Also, the repro power supplies on the market, in order to accommodate the misfit games, *include* the 9-pins on J1 -- the 9th pin simply isn't used on the other games, so having it there doesn't hurt anything. As a result, if you're installing a repo power supply in your game, *make sure* you're pinning J1 properly and installing that connector properly. I have made this mistake and I know others who have as well.

I buy most of my electronic parts from http://www.greatplainselectronics.com. The shipping costs are pretty reasonable (more-so than you would think) and all of the above parts are available there.

As for the tools, after putting up with the crappy Radio Shack-style soldering pencils for a while, a few years ago I bit the bullet and bought a super soldering station from http://www.mcmelectronics.com. This is similar to what I have and it works great. It also goes on sale occasionally for about half price:
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/T ... 47-/21-147

Since then I've also purchased this one for when I do house calls and for working under playfields. It also works well and also goes on sale from time to time, but I see it's currently on backorder (read the comments -- Randy Fromm is complaining about how long it's been on backorder):
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/T ... 5-/21-7945

Image

Both of the above have different types of tips that can be ordered separately. I use the micro point tip for intricate board work and the chisel tip for rebuilding power supplies and working under the playfield.

I use THIS desoldering pump, but if you look at MCM there are several types available. The one I use is okay, but I find it gets clogged and needs to be cleaned out more often than I would like.

For solder, I use 60/40 rosin core solder in the thinnest guage I can find (.031" is good... .04"/1mm is alright, but the smaller the better). I see lead-based solder becoming more and more difficult to find, so it might be a good idea to stock up with a couple of 1lb spools before its NLA. Two or three 1 pound spools would probably last you for the rest of your life.

I've been using the MASTERCRAFT AUTORANGING DMM for several years and find it to be more than acceptable for pinball purposes. Incidentally, as someone else on maaca pointed out a couple of days ago, that meter is currently on sale at Canadian Tire for $18. Now THAT is a smokin' deal no matter how you slice it.

Once I start repinning the female connectors, I'll need to use my crimper. The W-HT-1921 at Great Plains is excellent and works well for both .100" and .156" terminals, even though GPE sells a different crimper for the larger terminals. Princess Auto also sells a good yellow-handled crimper for about $18 that does the job nicely, but it's a bit more finicky than the GPE tool. Here: http://www.princessauto.com/workshop/ha ... er-crimper

Still with me?

Okay, so first I removed the old bridge rectifiers, fuse clips and headers from the power supply. The bridges need to be desoldered *really well* or they simply won't come out. I've rebuilt a lot of these power supplies and determined that getting those bridges out can take some persuasion. Once the solder has been cleaned away as well as possible, I grab a small flat-head screwdriver to pry the bridges up:

Image

Next, I move onto the fuse clips and remove them all. They're not as bad as the bridges to take up, especially when using a chisel tip on the soldering iron. Getting the new clips into place can be a challenge, since the "tabs" on the new clips are a bit thicker than the originals, but with clean holes, they can be made to fit.

Image

Once those are out, I remove all of the header pins. Quite often these pins are burned or hacked to death and desoldering can be challenging. Once removed, the area should be cleaned up with steel wool or sandpaper so that the solder pads are shiney and provide a good surface area for adhesion of the new solder. This is also a good idea for the bridge and fuse clip areas as well.

Image

Once all of that is done, whip out the DMM and check the resistance of R1, R2 and R3. If they are within spec, I see little reason to replace them. In the case of the power supply I'm working on here, all of the resistors are fine, so I left them alone.

Now you can start installing the new components.

Install the new header strips and remove the key pins. Make sure you don't create a solder bridge between adjacent pins where there isn't supposed to be a connection. Keep in mind that certain pins, like J1-1 and 2 and J3-1 to 4 are supposed to be connected. It's pretty obvious which ones are meant to be connected and which ones shouldn't be by looking at the traces on the board prior to soldering.

Install the new fuse clips -- make sure you put them in the right way. They have "brackets" that are designed to prevent the fuse from sliding out the end of the clip. If you install them the wrong way, the fuses won't fit properly.

Install the bridge rectifiers. Since the new bridges are quite a bit larger than the originals, they need to be installed on the front of the board instead of on the backside. It's worth noting that GPE sells the original size bridges, so if you want to go that route, you certainly can.

Bridges have a "+" lead and, assuming you're going with the large 35A bridges, this must be installed at the top left corner for each bridge. This is denoted by the cut-corner on some bridges or merely a "+" symbol on others. Generally, the positive side on all bridges can be identified by the "offset" lead -- the lead that is obviously in a different position than the other 3 is the positive one.

Bridge Rectifier 1 (BR1) requires a heat sink. Apply a little bit of heat sink grease between the BR and the sink and use a machine screw and nut to attach the two together. BR2 can also use a heat sink, but this is optional. I feel that if the game is going to be in home use for the rest of its days and considering the large 35A bridges dissipate heat a lot more effectively than the original BR's, you can get away without the 2nd sink. Even the repro manufacturers are split on this as Rottendog has a heat sink only on BR1 whereas GPE has a sink on BR1 and BR2. The choice is yours.

Image

After everything is done, replace the four diodes at the left edge of the power supply with new 1n4004 or 1n4007 diodes. This section provides display high voltage and is often burned.

Finally, Clay recommends a couple of mods. Here:

From http://www.pinrepair.com - Mod 1:
On the solder side of the rectifier board, add a jumper wire from J1 pin 5, to J3 pin 10. Note there are plated through holes in the circuit board that make this mod very easy. This adds additional area for the 7.3 vac general illumination lines.
From http://www.pinrepair.com - Mod 2:
On the solder side, add a jumper from J1 pin 6, to J3 pin 9. Since there are no plated through holes here, solder the wire directly to the header pin and the circuit board trace. This adds additional area for the 43 vdc solenoid lines.
Mod 3:
Clay also talks about providing additional ground area for the GI and lamp driver grounds at J1, pins 1 & 2 and J3, pins 1 to 4. In order to perform this mod, simply scrape away some of the green solder mask from the large ground plane on the component side of the board to the left of J1 and J3 and solder two wires directly to the ground plane. Then run the wires around the edge of the board to the solder side and solder them directly to the header pin solder points. You can see this in the pic below.

Clay discusses drilling a couple of holes in the board and running the wires through the holes, but I've personally never seen the point of that.

Here's how I do it:
Image

Image

And here's the same basic mod shown at http://www.pinrepair.com:
Image

That's it! If everything went well, you should now have a sexy rebuilt power supply.

Image

You can check your work on the bench using a two-prong power cable attached to pins 6 & 7 of J2. These are the AC input lines and will allow you to check the test points for proper voltage.

From http://www.pinrepair.com:
Image

Alternatively, you can just put the power supply back into the game and connect J2 only. This will also allow you to provide AC power to the rectifier without potentially damaging any other boards or playfield components if you've managed to really screw things up.

Voltage for *this board* should be as follows (stolen from http://www.pinrepair.com):
- TP1 = 5.4 volts DC +/- .8 volts (4.6 to 6.2 volts). Fuse F1, bridge BR1. Used to power the "switched illumination" (feature lamps).
- TP2 = 230 volts DC, +/- 27 volts (203 to 257 volts). Fuse F2, diodes CR1 to CR4. Used to power the score displays.
- TP3 = 12 volts DC (11 to 16 volts). Fuse F3, bridge BR2. Used to create the regulated +5 volts DC for the game's logic circuits.
- TP4 = 7.3 volts AC, +/- 1.0 volts (6.3 to 8.3 volts). Fuse F5. Used to power the general illumination. Make sure to set your DMM to **AC** when testing this one. All others are DC.
- TP5 = 43 volts DC, +/- 5.4 volts (47.6 to 48.4 volts). Fuse F4, bridge BR3. Used to power all the coils.

Without a load, these voltages may read a bit differently and that's usually just fine. Here's how my board read with just J2 installed and I'm quite happy with the results:

Test point 1:
Image

Test point 2:
Image

Test point 3:
Image

Test point 4:
Image

Test point 5:
Image



The next task is repinning the connectors for the power supply, which is not a big deal, really. And then onto the driver board.
Last edited by cooke on Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:42 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by Ricker »

Thank you Cooke for taking the time to spell out each minute step. This is a great primer and certainly complements all previous info on board repiars. It helps out a lot and demystifies the electronic world for me.
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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by Atomicboy »

Wow Corey, you should really put a page up somewhere with all of this as well when you have completed.
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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by OTTOgd »

Nice thorough tutorial, Corey!

It *almost* makes me want to dig out those 2 crappy ol' rectifier boards I replaced with GPEs and give them a 2nd chance.

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by igorsr »

Great Job Corey
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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by cooke »

Step 1B - Repinning power supply connectors

To the veterans this might seem like a no-brainer, but to the rookies, repinning connectors can be intimidating and confusing. What kind of tool do I use? What kind of terminals should I buy? Where should I buy them? How is it done?

Well, fear not... repinning connectors is a breeze, although it can be time-consuming and a pain in the rear until you get the hang of it.

Here's the sort of thing you're often faced with:

Image

The above is J3 from the 'Pinball' power supply. As you can see it's broken in half and at least one of the pins has been burned. Burnt pins result in increased resistance which results in increased heat which results in more burning! Ultimately, burnt pins need to be replaced, especially if you've replaced the header pins. Once you've rebuilt the power supply, you want those header pins to remain nice and shiny. If you don't replace the connector terminals as well, you run the risk of encountering the same problem you had in the first place... burned connectors and an unreliable power supply.

The housings can be saved if they're intact and not too brittle, but most often if the housings are dark brown/black, they've been subjected to a lot of heat and may break apart easily, so they should probably be replaced as well.

In some cases, you'll find the connectors missing entirely and each wire meticulously soldered directly to the header pins. That makes for fun times, but even that can be repaired through the previous step about rebuilding power supplies and this step about repinning connectors.

Even if you buy a reproduction power supply, repinning the connectors is still a very good idea. GPE power supplies even come with all the terminals and housings you'll need.

Here's what you'll need to do the job:

Image

Wire strippers, a crimper, trifurcon connector terminals (GPE part #08-52-0113 or 08-52-0125), keying plugs and housings, if necessary. We use "trifurcon" terminals for .156" connectors because they provide more surface area contact with the header pin, which is a good thing. Please note that .100" connectors don't come in trifurcon style and edge connectors (like those found in Gottlieb games) don't use trifurcon terminals either.

Crimpers... In the above pic you'll see one of the ones sold by GPE (part #W-HT-1919) and the one appropriate for this sort of job sold at Princess Auto. I prefer the GPE model, and find the W-HT-1919 does both .100" and .156" contacts, in spite of what the web site says.

Anyway, first I remove the old terminal from the housing using a small flat-head screwdriver. There's a little "tab" on the terminal which keeps the terminal in place. Using the screwdriver, just press this tab in and pull the terminal out.

Image

I then cut off the old terminal and use the strippers to remove a bit of the insulation at the end of the wire. This part is tough to explain but makes sense when you actually do it... place the wire "into" the new terminal with the exposed wire reaching up just past the inside set of tabs. Use the crimping tool to crimp the inside tabs around the bare wire and then move down to the lower tabs and crimp those tabs around the insulated wire.

I tried my best to capture this as best I could with my crappy camera, but I couldn't get a good pic. Here's a decent example I stole from the 'net:

Image

Image

Once you've done the crimp, you can then insert the terminal into the housing. Make sure you insert the terminal with the holding tab the proper way or the terminal won't lock in place inside the housing.

Do each wire one at a time and MAKE SURE you're putting those newly crimped terminals into the correct spot on the connector. Pay attention... you don't want to repin the connector incorrectly or you'll have to do it all over. Worst case scenario is that you won't notice you've done it wrong until you reconnect everything and turn the game on -- that could result in blown fuses or worse.

If you screw it up/get confused or to make sure the wires are in the correct order, refer to the game's schematics. All the wire colours and arrangement information is in there -- you just need to know where to find it and what to look for.

When you're all done, add a keying plug or at least mark the TOP of the housing with a marker so that the potential to insert the connector upside down is no longer an issue.

Here's the sexy finished product after the new housing and new terminals were installed:

Image

I was able to save the housings for J1 and J2.

Next up, the driver board and rebuilding the HV section.
Last edited by cooke on Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:35 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by OTTOgd »

cooke wrote:Step 1B: Repinning power supply connectors
Anyway, first I remove the old terminal from the housing using a small flat-head screwdriver. There's a little "tab" on the terminal which keeps the terminal in place. Using the screwdriver, just press this tab in and pull the terminal out.
I'd just like to reinforce that using a plain ol' screwdriver works great and it isn't really necessary to buy one of those fancy dedicated Contact Extraction Tools for $16.75 for the job. I did and it broke. :oops:

Image

Great stuff, Corey.

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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by P1AG Montréal - pièces/parts »

Image

Those Molex pin extractors are and always were expensive. They would break easily at the tip if you didn't use them properly, - i.e. no excessive force. I use to buy them for about 20 bucks back in the late 80's at Laniel Automatic and I must have broken at least three of them changing connector pins on the road. Stick with the jewelers screwdriver thing Corey is using.

I have kept the broken extrators on my bench for years as a reminder of a useless tool expense.

Back to Corey's excellent thread.
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hyann
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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by hyann »

Good job ... we should have a section with Maaca repair guide or video. At least this need to be a sticky!
http://www.pinballowners.com/hyann
Working on: Taxi PF restoration
In french: Blog sur machines, romans et jeux: http://machines-romans-jeux.blogspot.com

MPL 2009-2010 Iron Man and Royal Flush: Best effort awards
MPL 2010-2011 Gary stern trophy !

QN
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Posts: 742
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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by QN »

Nicely done, thanks.

I realize it takes time, but to make this even better, I'd suggest that you think about adding some indicators/text/etc on the pictures themselves. For someone starting out (who I'm assuming this is for), indicating where J1, J2 and J3 are, etc would be helpful. It would take some extra time to do that for sure, but it would definitely add to the tutorial.

On a different note, it's been some time since I looked at rectifiers, but wouldn't swapping the position on the board (front to back) also reverse the polarity?

Sparky

Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by Sparky »

hyann wrote:Good job ... we should have a section with Maaca repair guide or video. At least this need to be a sticky!
Done!

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McMean
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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by McMean »

Great work, Corey - thanks for all the effort.

I'll add that from personal experience I've put the wrong wire into the wrong spot of the housing - definitely go one at a time. As well, be careful the first few times you use a crimper, you easily accidently can 'push' the end of the trifuricon connector flat so that when it's in the housing, it won't make proper connection to the male header pin... not that I've done that myself and then spent hours trying to figure out why something wasn't working because I crunched down the end of the trifuricon connector. :oops:

Looks great!
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MAME, Double DK, NES-MAME, Robotron

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cooke
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Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by cooke »

QN wrote:Nicely done, thanks.

I realize it takes time, but to make this even better, I'd suggest that you think about adding some indicators/text/etc on the pictures themselves. For someone starting out (who I'm assuming this is for), indicating where J1, J2 and J3 are, etc would be helpful. It would take some extra time to do that for sure, but it would definitely add to the tutorial.

On a different note, it's been some time since I looked at rectifiers, but wouldn't swapping the position on the board (front to back) also reverse the polarity?

Honestly, I suppose I just assumed that if someone was using this thread as a guide, they'd have the board in front of them. The connectors and whatnot are clearly labeled both on the board and in the schematic and at http://www.pinrepari.com/bally/index.htm. However, I will take your suggestion into consideration for future posts.

Regarding the bridges, moving them from the back side to the front won't affect the polarity as long as the "+" lead is positioned in the correct place. It works and it seems to work quite well.

---------

Now, onto Step 2 - The driver/power rectifier board:

http://www.pinrepair.com is pretty clear on rebuilding and modding the driver board and there's not a whole lot of point in me reiterating it all here. I will, however, point out what I had to do to the board in this game and mention a couple of areas where Clay's guide is less clear.

Here's where you'll find all the good stuff pertaining to the driver board in general:
http://www.pinrepair.com/bally/index1.htm#sdb

And more on the High Voltage section specifically:
http://www.pinrepair.com/bally/index3.htm#hv


And here's the board I received in my Stern 'Pinball':

Image

As you can see above, I've already replaced the 12v logic filter cap at C23 and rebuilt the high voltage section as per the instructions at pinrepair.com. You may also notice that this is a Bally driver board even though the game I'm working on is a Stern. That's okay, of course, as the Bally and Stern boards are cross-compatible. Someone at some point in the past simply removed the Stern board for some reason and replaced it with the equivalent Bally version.

This particular board was outputting 39vdc to the displays when it should have been 170-190vdc. I know that it's often possible to simply test all the parts in the HV section and replace the ones that need to be replaced, but I replaced all of the components in the HV section (seen below) using components from http://www.greatplainselectronics.com.

Image

GPE doesn't sell a ready-made HV kit, but does sell everything separately. If you're hell-bent on getting a kit rather than piecing one together, you can purchase one at http://www.bigdaddy-enterprises.com/. Just look under "Pinball Repair Kits > Bally (or Stern) > Solenoid Driver".

For funsies, here's a list of all the parts you need to rebuild the HV section (stolen from pinrepair.com):

* 2N3584 transistor at Q21 (250 volts, 2 amp, TO-66 NPN).
* (2) 2N3440 transistors at Q22, Q23 (250 volts, 1 amp, TO-39 NPN).
* 1N5275B zener diode at VR1 (140 volts, 1/2 watt).
* 1N4004 diode at CR21 (400PIV, 1 amp).
* 25k ohm potentiometer PC mount at RT1
* 3/16 amp fast blow fuse at F1. This is the short fuse (but one end of the fuse holder can be moved to accommodate a standard sized fuse). Note earlier Stern and Bally AS2518-16 solenoid driver boards do not use this fuse. Alternatively, you can remove the original fuse clips and install one of THESE.
* 22k ohm 1/2 watt resistor at R51 (often burned).
* 82k ohm 1/2 watt resistor at R56 (often burned).
* 1.2k ohm 1/4 watt resistor at R55.
* 8.2k ohm 1/4 watt resistor at R54.
* 390 ohm 1/4 watt resistor at R52.
* 100k ohm 1 watt resistor at R35.
* (2) .01 mfd 400 vdc metal polyester capacitors at C27, C28.

Once I rebuilt the HV section, I had a nice clean 180vdc at TP2 which is exactly what it should be. Bear in mind, of course that TP2 and TP4 should *not* be the same voltage. TP4 is the unregulated high voltage coming into the HV section and should be around 230vdc. TP2 is the regulated HV and should be between 170vdc and 190vdc. This can be adjusted using the small potentiometer situated just above TP4.

From the factory, Bally and Stern set the high voltage to 190vdc, but Clay at pinrepair.com recommends using the pot to drop this down to about 170vdc to extend the life of the displays. I've heard others, however, argue that adjusting the HV down to 170 puts undue stress on the HV section and results in components that run hotter and burn out quicker. I tend to split the difference and set the HV at 180vdc.

On the back side of the driver board, you can see that the traces in the HV section are often burned and in rough shape. As a result, they often need to be repaired using wire. See here:

Image

Yeah, it looks like hell, but it's good and clean and works like a champ.

I also modded the board (for the most part) as Clay recommends. This includes the following:
- Added a wire from the negative side of C26 to the ground plane nearby.
- Added a wire from the negative side of C23 to the ground trace running just below it.
- Added a wire from TP1 to TP3.

Image

Again, these mods and the reasons for them are well documented at http://www.pinrepair.com/bally/index1.htm#sdb, so I'm not going to explain them here. However, I will say that there are a number of solenoid driver board versions out there and not all of the mods Clay suggests are *required* for every one. If you find yourself scratching your head while looking at the above link and comparing it to your board, you're not alone. If you're confused or uncertain, leave it. You won't wreck anything by *not* doing a mod, but if you do something wrong, you certainly could.

-----

At the risk of sounding like I'm blowing smoke up his ass, I just want to mention here that the information Clay has compiled at http://www.pinrepar.com is completely invaluable. He's done an excellent job of putting the site together and keeping it maintained over the years. It's a resource that I've called upon countless times and I'm grateful for it. There is absolutely no way I would be into pinball if it wasn't for pinrepair.com. Period.

I also want to mention that if anyone has any concerns or suggestions about anything in this thread, I'm all ears. There may be some out there who do things differently (or even who think that I'm doing things wrong) and I'd love to hear from them. I've been doing this for a long time, but I'm still open to constructive criticism, especially from the veterans.

-----

Next up, the heavily corroded MPU I received with the game. Not sure how that will turn out... Stay tuned.
Last edited by cooke on Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

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novaguy
MAACA Half-ling
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:01 am
Location: Fenelon Falls

Re: Stern 'Pinball' - Step-by-step resurrection

Post by novaguy »

Talk about an easy to follow thread.well written without any "drama" or "I'm the man" behind it.I look foward to seeing more.

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