(Topic ID: 250793)

1985 Bally - What do I Upgrade???

By wotan85

3 years ago

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  • 21 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by DGMartin
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#1 3 years ago

I recently purchased a 1985 Fireball Classic. New to pinball and am wondering what do I do now. Whenever I am looking at machines or videos a lot of them mention LEDs so I am guessing that’s an obvious upgrade. My high score won’t save so looking for ideas on that. Anything else I should be upgrading to make the machine either better or last longer? Any advice would be appreciated.

#2 3 years ago

Always rebuild the flippers. The pop bumpers are easy to rebuild on those Bally games. New rubbers also a must.

LEDs are more complicated in Bally games. Basically you'll need to add additional hardware to make them work, and there is a variety of ways to do this (new lamp driver board, new daughter boards to go into the existing boards, adding individual resistors to the majority of the lights).

But to start, the game isn't keeping high scores (or any other data) because the batteries are bad. Lots of ways to address this depending on your skill level

#3 3 years ago

I’ve soldered a few things before but am by no means an expert.

#4 3 years ago

The connectors on that era Bally are total garbage. If they haven't been replaced, you'll have to do it soon.

LEDs are not an upgrade they are just a thing. Your game plays fine with regular light bulbs.

#6 3 years ago

Perfect. Thanks for the help. Can I just cut the metal things the old battery are attached to in order to get rid of the battery?

#7 3 years ago
Quoted from wotan85:

Perfect. Thanks for the help. Can I just cut the metal things the old battery are attached to in order to get rid of the battery?

You could just cut them, but it wont hold high score until new batteries are installed, either remotely or on board itself

#8 3 years ago

Yes, just cut the battery off. If the U8 5101 ram chip is socketed, you can get a replacement NVram from several vendors to avoid having to do any soldering. They're between $10-$30 depending on brand and features.

If you do rebuild the flippers dump the linear flipper and replace with the earlier style flipper shaft/link - they work better and are cheaper as well.

#9 3 years ago

NVRAM should be an easy plug and plug if the original 5101 is already in an IC socket, and normally is on the Bally games.


But many Bally games have battery corrosion on the MPU. So please post a picture of the top left board so it can be looked over.

#10 3 years ago

You could use a $5 memory capacitor as well in place of the battery. My soldering skills were non-existent before I owned pins. You can learn. It's not too bad. Congrats on the game.

#11 3 years ago
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#12 3 years ago

You are in luck. Board looks great and the old RAM is in an IC socket. Plug and play NVRAM waiting for the trade out with NO soldering required for this. Then you can just cut off the battery.

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#13 3 years ago

That looks to be in really good shape. Remote battery holder or NVram for sure.

#14 3 years ago

It’s actually in amazing condition. I bought it from a guy who bought it brand new in 1985 and it’s been in his basement ever since. He played it so there’s minor scratches here and there but not like if it had been in an arcade. Back glass is faded but from what I’ve been reading that is common on the Fireball Classic machines.

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from wotan85:

It’s actually in amazing condition

How about showing us lots of pictures?

#17 3 years ago

Red LED displays seem like to be a good fit for this game.

#18 3 years ago

Congratulations and good luck with your game!

Re-rubbering is an important thing for me. If you get a kit for your FB Classic, you get to learn where everything goes.
Take lots of pictures while you are disassembling the playfield so everything goes back in place. This will be invaluable experience when you graduate to tough games like World Cup Soccer!

#19 3 years ago

It’s my first working pinball machine. I bought a diamond lady that didn’t work 20 years ago and after dragging it to 2 different houses my wife said if it had to go. That was back before YouTube and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. So I’ve been looking for one for the last few years and couldn’t pass this one up even though I had a long drive to Get it. Now that I have a working one though I want another one.

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#20 3 years ago

Wow. That thing is clean

2 weeks later
#21 3 years ago

The piece of paper on the inside of the glass isn't even yellowed. Wow.

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