The Sopranos from Pinball Universe (Colorado)

By BigGeeKay

April 18, 2020

40 days ago

2nd Update: The U6 HTC273 was toast. Replacing that solved the rest of the problems. Overall still a good ending for me, since I was able to logic probe the problem and replace the bad parts. Am I glad I bought it, yes. Still, whoever sold this game to Denis knew it was f*cked. If Pinball Universe knew, that's bad, since they didn't advertise it that way and they didn't repair it. If they didn't know, that's bad as well. My sense is that Pinball Universe took almost no time to inspect this pin and they didn't know. They replaced yellow bulbs with white, because that was easy. They left old rubber in places where it was hard to replace. But they replaced the glass... This all comes off as guys in a hurry, not crooks.

Denis didn't hide from the problems when I contacted him. He shared that his tech's log showed the game had been hacked on. I have asked for a copy of the inspection logs his techs made when servicing, but they have not been provided. Denis did offer to buy parts for me to fix the pin. I learned a lot fixing it. While I am happy now, I would not buy again from Pinball Universe without a much more interactive dialog. Denis did personally deliver and set up the pin at no extra charge. 

1st Update: While this game initially looked great, a quick run through the Lamp Matrix Grid revealed that many of the single lights light multiple lamps. I spent some time troubleshooting and sadly discovered this this game has been worked on by someone who knows even less than me. And I just learned that you can run diagnostics to check bulbs! A noob paying his dues...

In one case a diode was soldered in parallel with a bulb, instead of series.

In another, the solder job was so bad that the diode was heat damaged and well... it’s not a diode any longer.

Resolving these issues solved many of the most severe lamp problems, but I still have an issue that seems to be related to the lamp returns.

The U18 HCT273 tests out fine with a logic probe. This drives the +18v to the play field lamps that indicate goals, etc.

The U6 HTC273 seems weird. This drives the lamp returns. All outputs on this chip (2,5,6,9,12,15,16,19) oscillate at the clock rate. I have some more trouble shooting to do,but I wanted to post my update.

This is my first game and I am a total noob. However, the folks who sold me this were not noobs. They knew this game was ougats when they delivered it. I will follow up with them, but I withdraw any recommendation.

Initial Posting:

2020 and I just bought a The Sopranos from Pinball Universe. With it being COVID season, and stuck inside we were especially wanting something fun to do and this fit the bill. Denis could not get a shipper to bring it out and he delivered it HIMSELF! I have literally bumped elbows with Denis! 

Denis is a hard working, customer focused man in a volume business. He needs to hire a web developer and a social media person. He needs to offer a white glove premium service for the wealthy and lazy. Marketing aside, he delivered what he said, when he said, and he personally set up the machine alone, masked and socially distanced. 

If you understand that pinballs take a beating and will need work to run, you are going to be very happy with Pinball Universe. If you play digital pinball or play in an arcade where someone else does the maintenance, this isn’t like that. Things bend and need to be bent back. Things need adjustment. I have spent a few hours getting The Soranos to run the way I want and at this point, it is the best looking, best running The Sopranos I have ever laid eyes on. 

I asked for a clean, essentially original The Sopranos. Pricing was low end of retail for a home use only machine, but there were problems. Denis’ folks replaced some bulbs and some of the easy to get at rubber as well as touching up the paint by the flipper buttons. That’s all. I wanted a different translight and Denis showed me where to get one. As I got the machine, it needed a little adjustment to be playable. A couple of switches needed bending, The safe needed lube. Nothing I could not handle. Lights were discovered later to be a problem. 

It had original factory ROMs, and I burned new ones. The translight had a stripper on it and that just wasn’t my thing. Denis showed me how to replace it. What was delivered was exactly what I saw in pictures, though it had lighting and power driver board problems.

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