(Topic ID: 233757)

1977 Star Explorer Restoration


By vestaviascott

1 year ago



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  • 29 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by vestaviascott
  • Topic is favorited by 7 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    I just picked up a Star Explorer "home" pinball machine at thrift store. Got it way cheap. It powers on and lights up. However, there are some issues:

    1) The left flipper solenoid had come apart and the spring was laying in the cabinet. I put it back together but still need to get a set screw to keep the flipper from slipping under load.

    2) When powered on, the siren starts immediately and will not stop.

    3) The button on the front of the machine has no effect.

    4) The flipper buttons do not activate the flippers.

    Pics follow: First pic is a stock photo of the machine. 2-3 pics are the underside of the playfield. 4th pic is showing the left flipper solenoid that I had to reassemble. Last pic shows some push buttons on the back of the machine. The left red push button makes the siren sound stop when pressed in and held. The middle switch toggles the lights on/off. The last switch operates the bonus solenoid just in front of the flippers.

    Really need to know if anyone is familiar with this machine can help me get started with figuring out how to get it working again.

    1267661425 (resized).jpgIMG-2240 (resized).JPGIMG-2241 (resized).JPGIMG-2242 (resized).JPGIMG-2243 (resized).JPG
    #2 1 year ago

    Maybe a pic of the curcuit board may help?

    #3 1 year ago

    Reseat all connectors and boards in the backbox. If that doesn't help then you've got electronics problems. Possibly that "push-to-reset" circuit breaker is bad. If so, you can replace it with a 2.5 amp slo-blo fuse and fuseholder. If that doesn't fix it, then test bridge rectifier BR402. If that's ok, then test/replace integrated circuit IC101.

    Be sure to read everything here:

    http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Sentinel_/_Wonder_Wizard

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Reseat all connectors and boards in the backbox.

    Wow, these boards are locked down tight. I can't really move any of them. I took the top off for better access but I'm afraid I'm going to crack something with the force I'm having to exert.

    Quoted from KenLayton:

    If that doesn't help then you've got electronics problems. Possibly that "push-to-reset" circuit breaker is bad. If so, you can replace it with a 2.5 amp slo-blo fuse and fuseholder.

    OK, I think that's where I'll start. The siren is on the first circuit breaker (left when viewing from behind). That switch feels different from the other two. I can make it stop the siren by holding it all the way in, but it feels spongy and I have to hold it just right to keep the siren turned off. The second switch appears to control the lights. The machine goes dark when its depressed. The third switch appears to operate the bonus solenoid. That's all that kicks when I depress it. I believe that bonus hole also triggers the siren during gameplay.

    Quoted from KenLayton:

    If that doesn't fix it, then test bridge rectifier BR402. If that's ok, then test/replace integrated circuit IC101.
    Be sure to read everything here:
    http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Sentinel_/_Wonder_Wizard

    Thanks. Will do. I'll post some additional pics showing circuit board sans top

    #5 1 year ago

    Couple more notes. When I first turn the machine on, the scoreboard shows like 15,000 points. When I press the game start button, it resets to 00. So, that atleast appears to be functioning. So, the main things currently I'm trying to resolve are (1) Stop the siren - think that circuit breaker will be first to be replaced to do that and (2) Figure out why the flipper switches don't work.

    #6 1 year ago

    Here are the pics of the circuit boards:

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    #7 1 year ago

    Please confirm...

    IMG-2264 (resized).JPG
    #8 1 year ago

    Couple more notes. The score on the machine when its turned on is 15,050 (or 150000, can't really tell if the 3rd digit is a comma or a broken zero).

    After pressing game start button, the score resets to 00. Each time the left breaker switch is pushed, the score increases by 100 points. The siren remains constant throughout.

    Depressing the ball lock spring in the center of the playfield produces a second noise.

    The third switch just trips a single solenoid (the one mentioned above, the ball lock hole). Based on the info from pinwiki:

    Circuit breakers and power switch are on back of machine. The 2.1 amp breaker controls BR401 (coils). One 2.5 amp breaker controls BR402 (game logic, displays, sounds). The other 2.5 amp breaker controls the 6.3 volts AC for the general illumination bulbs.

    It appears that BR401 is the one that's resetting that single coil. Shouldn't it reset ALL coils? If so, does that mean I have bad coils or bad coil transistors perhaps?

    #9 1 year ago

    Thanks for posting this thread ...have one in their garage and this will be very helpful

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from transprtr4u:

    Thanks for posting this thread ...have one in their garage and this will be very helpful

    Great. Maybe we can both learn. So far, everyone locally I've asked basically has responded "That's a toy. I wouldn't touch it".

    #11 1 year ago

    So, reseating the boards I suppose, is my first step. Should I try to clean the contacts once I have the boards pulled? If I didn't know any better, I'd think they were glued in. These bidges do not want to budge.

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Reseat all connectors and boards in the backbox. If that doesn't help then you've got electronics problems. Possibly that "push-to-reset" circuit breaker is bad. If so, you can replace it with a 2.5 amp slo-blo fuse and fuseholder. If that doesn't fix it, then test bridge rectifier BR402. If that's ok, then test/replace integrated circuit IC101.
    Be sure to read everything here:
    http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Sentinel_/_Wonder_Wizard

    Ken, really appreciate the help you've given on this machine. I've seen several threads now where you've offered helpful insights and info. Do you have one of these machines yourself?

    You mention "That" circuit breaker. There are 3. The last one (farthest right) appears to operate at least one solenoid - at least when I depress it, my "Bonus Score" solenoid trips. Is that the one you are suggesting to change to a slo-blow fuse?

    #13 1 year ago

    Change all three of those crappy circuit breakers with fuseholders and use 2.5 amp slo blo fuses in each one.

    #14 1 year ago

    Best of luck. Had one of these as a kid; brings back so many memories. I’d love to find one in the Dallas area for sale

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Change all three of those crappy circuit breakers with fuseholders and use 2.5 amp slo blo fuses in each one.

    Thanks for clarifying that. Will do and report back for next steps.

    #16 1 year ago

    Ken, I see several references on the pinwiki guide to IC201, but no references to IC101. Where is it located and what does it control?

    http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Sentinel_/_Wonder_Wizard

    #17 1 year ago

    While I'm waiting for fuses and holders to come in, I pulled the solenoid board to check the transistors. Not sure if it matters but visually, 309 and 303 metal tabs look heavily charred.

    Resistance measures are below:

    309 left+ to right- = 11.9
    309 left+ to middle- = 11.9

    307 left+ to right- = 5.8
    307 left+ to middle- = 4.1

    305 left+ to right- = 7.6
    305 left+ to middle- = 1.2

    303 left+ to right- = 9.3
    303 left+ to middle- = 9.0

    301 left+ to right- = 5.8
    301 left+ to middle- = 4.8

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    #18 1 year ago

    Looks like common metal tarnishing to me. All of those transistors are the solenoid drivers.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Looks like common metal tarnishing to me. All of those transistors are the solenoid drivers.

    Thanks Ken, so no worries on the transistors, at least based on how they look? It just seemed strange to me that the others are pretty clean by comparison to these two.

    #20 1 year ago

    You can test those transistors. I did a Flying Aces a couple yrs back as a learner for soldering and testing basic circuit board parts. I ended up replacing the flipper transistors drivers and pre drivers. Also changed 3 or 4 of the IC chips. Got it up and running a 100% and my buddy gave me a hundo for it which is what I had in it.
    I also replaced the bridge rectifiers and did the same with the fuse holders. I wish I could remember all that was wrong with it when I started. Trying to look back and find the thread.

    #21 1 year ago

    I think I have some IC chips left over. I will check tonight. If you need them! My pop bumpers were also not working and the IC chip fixed that problem.

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from heni1977:

    You can test those transistors. I did a Flying Aces a couple yrs back as a learner for soldering and testing basic circuit board parts. I ended up replacing the flipper transistors drivers and pre drivers. Also changed 3 or 4 of the IC chips. Got it up and running a 100% and my buddy gave me a hundo for it which is what I had in it.
    I also replaced the bridge rectifiers and did the same with the fuse holders. I wish I could remember all that was wrong with it when I started. Trying to look back and find the thread.

    Thanks! I tested the transistors in circuit and got readings on all of them. I think I'm going to replace all of them and the little ones in front of them too. They are too small for me to get readings on. And the two bridge rectifiers. And the diodes on all the coils. Just to get some practice if nothing else.

    #23 1 year ago

    Nice! It's a great little pin to start out doing those kinda things with. I learned a lot from that little HUO pin. And kenlayton was a big help as well!!!

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from Dallas_Pin:

    Best of luck. Had one of these as a kid; brings back so many memories. I’d love to find one in the Dallas area for sale

    Me too Dallas. My brother and I bought it brand new for about $ 200 (lots of money when we were making $5/week delivering newspapers at the age of 12).

    We loved it and my Dad modified the flippers with a separate bracket and coil so they would work "normally". It lived in my bedroom next to my bed

    Dave

    #25 1 year ago

    FYI, Here's my order from digikey.com for the board work:

    Screen Shot 2019-01-15 at 7.21.40 PM (resized).png
    #26 1 year ago

    Anyone know the size for the set screws holding the flipper axles to the solenoid assembly? Also, fine thread or course? Missing from both my flippers. Looks course from what I can tell but I'm not sure about the size to replace them with.

    IMG-2242 (resized).JPG

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from vestaviascott:

    Anyone know the size for the set screws holding the flipper axles to the solenoid assembly? Also, fine thread or course (looks course from what I can tell)? Set screws missing from both my flippers.
    [quoted image]

    #28 1 year ago

    Bally used 1/4-28 (fine) threads (headless set screws) on their flipper pawls. I would assume that is what is used on your machine.

    #29 1 year ago

    Digikey has some real quick shipping! All my components arrived today. They even sent me a double order of diodes. I ordered 5, and got 10.

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