City o' Turds to (playable) Gold? Shouda-burned-it El Dorado: Debugging Angst...

(Topic ID: 191588)

City o' Turds to (playable) Gold? Shouda-burned-it El Dorado: Debugging Angst...

By goingincirclez

1 year ago

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#101 64 days ago

Worked last night on some color touchups and more keylines. Here are some "before cleanup" pics. In other words, the lines immediately after I painted them by hand, before correction which is yet to come. Sure they are ugly, but I'm trying to hold myself accountable here. I think most of it will straighten better than you might expect. It's just a matter of patience.

Besides, how many people said I shoulda burned this instead...

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#102 64 days ago

keep going man, this is turning out sweet. Whats the plan for the horse? Are you going to try a water slide?

#103 64 days ago

My daughter is going to redraw and paint him. Check my Bad Cats thread from last year; she's more than up to the task

#104 64 days ago

man you weren't kidding, great job

#105 63 days ago

Only claimed about 20 minutes last night, but to maintain momentum I roughed in the white pads (key word rough first coat; it always takes at least 2 on white...) and straightened some of the lines on the top drop bank pointers. They're still not done, but I think you would agree the difference (improvement) is pretty startling and they're just about passable now.

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#106 61 days ago

Nearing the homestretch now.

I've repainted just about every black line on here, and tucked most of them. Touched up what needed it. Two coats on white. Etc.

I also remixed a "wood" color and used a different technique to hold brush stokes for grain texture. One of the colors I blended into that has a metallic gold flake... it's very subtle but if the light hits it, you kind of wonder "did I see that??" Maybe clear will amplify things, but either way I figured that's perfect for the City of Gold

My daughter hasn't had time to work on the horse but should this weekend. While she does that I'll mask and respray a troublesome area of yellow near the drops, and of course finalize other touchups and keylines. I hope to work on the decals this weekend too.

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The purple color is apparently an enigma! The cell phone cam normally turns it blue, as in the next pics... I actually had to fight the camera settings to make it purple in the previous photos, which is what you see with your eye.

EDIT OK, and on different screens it changes yet again! On my laptop at work, there's almost no difference in the photos, which all have the blue cast. But at home and on mobile, they're different. Weird!

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Here's a "Before and Current"...

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#107 61 days ago

Thats a lot!!

#108 60 days ago

Wow. Great work.


#109 60 days ago
Quoted from dasvis:

Thats a lot!!

It has... and hasn't been. An hour here and there certainly adds up, but there's not been any major rush. I do try to maintain momentum because I get antsy if a project languishes too long. If it weren't for the madeness of last fall this probably would have been done months ago!

Now it's jokingly plausible that I *could* finish in time for Louisville Expo. Could...(?) but likely won't. I mean clearing takes time! Reassembly is straightforward but I haven't cleaned the drop mechs and such (do that while clear cures anyway... but this time of year who knows if/when I'll get the chance to spray in the first place), nor ordered the switches and parts I need... the real debugging can only begin after that, and I already know gremlins lurk.

So right now it's about trying to maintain motivation and momentum. Some days are better than others.

Quoted from Calipindave:

Wow. Great work.

Thank you!

#110 58 days ago

The Master has gone to work... and I've begun working on the decal mockups...

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While making the decals I realized the original playfield text for the upper drop bank doesn't really make grammatical sense. What do you think?

#111 58 days ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

The Master has gone to work... and I've begun working on the decal mockups...
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
While making the decals I realized the original playfield text for the upper drop bank doesn't really make grammatical sense. What do you think?

I hadn’t previously noticed that. My grammar OCD just kicked in.


#112 58 days ago

My daughter is awesome!

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She and I (mostly she!) repainted the entire horse to make it white instead of faded tan. The head is all her.

#113 58 days ago


#114 56 days ago

My 11yo was fighting off strep and flu all weekend... but finally felt well enough to come down and refine her own custom touch:

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She pointed out that the backglass has green cacti (the only green in the image!) so, why not the playfield? Plus as a bonus she got to paint CONSUMMATE V's for the spines

#115 56 days ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

Plus as a bonus she got to paint CONSUMMATE V's for the spines

Maybe next she can add smoke, fire, wings, and maybe throw in a beefy arm on that cowboy for good measure

#116 56 days ago

It was dated, but not lost... so glad somebody got the TROGDOOOOOOR reference

#117 56 days ago

Lol I love me some homestar runner. Every time my computer goes off in class I say “email” in my best strong bad voice. The kids all look at me like I’m an idiot.

#118 55 days ago

The brothers chaps are out living their best lives. They write for cable television shows now, but every so often, a new homestar runner video drops, and it feels like christmas morning!

#119 55 days ago

"C'mon and get in the boat! FISH!" is still a random sing-song in my household. I used to sing that to my girls when they were tiny (and HR was still active and relevant) and even now, 14 years and counting later, they've not entirely outgrown it.... which makes me happy. Just the other day 11yo tried to do a lightswitch rave out of the blue, LOL.

Agree, the random YT updates are like unexpected holidays

/says in StrongBad voice: "Oh yeah, why yes this is the obligatory Pinside 'this would be a GREAT theme for a pin!' comment." (Coming soontimes, from Pinelectrix!)

1 week later
#120 48 days ago

Well just when I thought I was close, disaster struck.

Last week I prepped the playfield for a shot of rattle clear... for the exclusive intent to get a consistent finish for decals, which I would then seal in prep for actual hardcoat finish (2PAC style) clear later on.

I sprayed the first mist-lock coat down and all was well. An hour later I went to put the final smoothing coat on, and then watched in horror as this happened:

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That's just the one section I bothered to photograph for illustration... but all of the purple (and only purple!) sections did it to some degree.

I honestly cannot fathom to guess how or why. I did nothing different on those sections versus the orange, yellow, or red. The paint was different from the orange and yellow, but the same as the red which was fine. And even then, why just those spots? Look how one purple arrow peeled but the one right next to it did not. All purple was prepped the same way, sprayed at the same time, cured for the same duration, etc etc etc. As far as I can tell or explain or attempt to learn from, it's just completely inexplicably random. Obviously it speaks to some sort of adhesion problem, but again... what and why and how?

After licking my wounds I considered my options. I'd hoped I could simply sand the ruined spots and spot-fill with a brush or something - because masking for spray was a real PITA - but soon realized that brush-filling the trouble spots to eke a consistent finish would not be any easier than masking and sanding and respraying the purple. So that's what I'm doing now, in sections. Means I'll have to keyline everything again when it's done but at least it's only the purple now.

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So, trying to turn this disaster into a learning lab, I've been doing one section at a time: scraping away as much of the old purple as makes sense, feathering the edges, and respraying, paying close attention to prep and recoat times. It probably won't look as good as it did before, but I suppose it will be good enough for the ultimate purpose. As I said, this is an experiment of sorts so nothing ventured, nothing gained.

In accordance with the timings claimed by the can, I'm adding the clear to each section to "lock it in" soon after spraying the color, under the assumption that if one does turn to shit again, at least it's pre-masked for prompt removal. So far, so good.

So the hopeful tentative plan is, if I get away with recolor-reclear in sections (only the 5-bank drop section remains) and it looks good, then I can sand the edges, spot-fix and keyline again. And since everything else will have "some sort of clear" on it by that point, I can hopfully reclear for consistency on that compatible surface and get back to where I'd expected to be a couple weeks ago.

Not throwing in the towel, yet...

#121 48 days ago

If the purple was a water based paint it almost seems there was an adverse reaction to the auto clear (thinner based).

#122 47 days ago

That's a huge bummer...glad you're not giving up though! Live and learn is personal methods have been developed over the years out of situations like this. It's all good!! :0)

Personally I'm still not convinced that auto clears are the correct product for EM playfields, no matter what Vid or the other experts say - but plenty of folks use them with no apparent ill effects, so to each their own.

Regardless of that debate - I applaud your efforts to save this sad sack...keep the faith brother!!


#123 47 days ago
Quoted from wayner:

If the purple was a water based paint it almost seems there was an adverse reaction to the auto clear (thinner based).

It was spray enamel with a primer base - same basic type as the other colors, but a different company. FWIW, the clear was the same brand as the purple so if I'd been worried of a reaction, I'd have expected it on the "other brand" orange and/or yellow...

Quoted from Stoomer:

Personally I'm still not convinced that auto clears are the correct product for EM playfields, no matter what Vid or the other experts say - but plenty of folks use them with no apparent ill effects, so to each their own.

I hear you... it's about the original play feel. And I get it: I have two other EM's that I haven't cleared. One has dished inserts so I am using a lexan protector on it.

But as you see, this pf was a completely different case: a complete wreck. Because of the sunken inserts, well, easiest way to fix those is to fill with clear, which conveniently is also needed to preserve the new paintwork and decals, etc. Point is: "something" had to come as a topcoat during the process of rescuing this playfield. That doesn't mean I have to go apenuts and lay a quarter inch of glass-like poly on the thing. At this point especially with all the other nags and tells, that would almost be insane.

So right now my intent is to rescue the paint and re-keyline. Then lay a thin spray coat of clear for overall consistency, fill the inserts with liquid clear (I have some KBS Diamond Finish Clear liquid left over from my Bad Cats project), then block sand a bit for high spots and edges, etc. Then respray a thin smooth coat of clear for decals to adhere. Then another layer or two of clear to seal the decals.

Once the decals are protected, I will slowly add layers of aerosol DFC, block sanding and building as necessary until it's uniformly flat, smooth and ready for "final" coat and polish. Not going for a super thick build, but yes it will end up more than original. Unfortunately as I said, that was basically unavoidable here... and DFC will be more durable than mere "spray enamel clear" so, why not?

#124 46 days ago

It was spray enamel with a primer base - same basic type as the other colors, but a different company. FWIW, the clear was the same brand as the purple so if I'd been worried of a reaction, I'd have expected it on the "other brand" orange and/or yellow...

Ok thks. But if it is an acrylic (thinner based) clear over an enamel that is quite often a real problem imo. Why it did not occur on the other colours is curious but at times acrylic over enamel does work I believe but generally avoided.

#125 43 days ago

Yesterday I did the full-pass coat for clear to reseal all the new seams and touchups, and get fresh gloss on some of the prep-sanded areas. Oddly enough, it crazed AGAIN... in ONLY the purple I'd repainted... and as before, completely at random! HOWEVER, this time the crazing was far less pronounced - from barely perceptible in places, to no worse than "orange peel".

I really don't understand what's happening. However, none of the older areas crazed, so things are definitely stable there. And compared to the flaking mountain ranges from last time, this crazing was so minor that it really wasn't any worse than mid-step prep between coats. In other words, I've sanded between coats as you're supposed to, and those surfaces after sanding always looked worse. So I'm pretty confident that things will sand and build smooth as I go. To that end, I sanded some of the fresh craze, and it smoothed pretty well. With NO paint loss or adhesion issues either. Whew!

So I took that as encouragement to go ahead and

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It really had looked weird without the white text. I have a few touchups to do owing to some issues with the decal printer, but nothing awful. Will try to do those tonight then spray a seal coat Tuesday AM before heading to work.

#126 42 days ago

Tough break, but hats off to you making the 2nd effort. This game is going to look great.

#127 36 days ago

Any progress since last week?

#128 35 days ago

Some progress, but a little slow:

- following the last photo above, I did the touchups and added a second "final" (pre-insert leveling) coat of clear. To my shock and aggravation, a *different* spot of purple from way back, which had never done or reacted to anything to this point, crazed! Only slightly, and easily recovered - I'm not concerned it will affect the final finish in its own right. But I honestly have absolutely no idea WTF is going on with it.

- A weird shift in the weather after I sprayed that clear punctuated a need for some kind of forced ventilation system in my workshop. (Normally I spray and leave, and after a couple hours you can't tell. Instead, it seems an hour after spraying, clouds literally descended like some kind of low fog, all day, and when I got home 8 hours later you could still smell fumes). The weather is just wholly uncooperative: constantly wet and/or too cold/warm to open the house... not even just seasonally, but year 'round. Fortunately I figured out a relatively simple lucky coincidence way to run a direct hidden vent from that basement shop all the way to the attic. I still need to plumb the exhaust from there to a soffit or gable vent, but that part should be easy - it better be because I have to do that before the next spray round

- So meanwhile, I've been filling the inserts with clear to level them. The yellow ones were slightly dished; the white ones were all sunk at least 1/8".

Using KBS DFC with a pipette, the first application went perfectly! Dried smooth and crystal clear. The second one (done the following day) somehow bubbled, oddly enough mostly on the whites. So I had a bit of recovery to do. Bubbles or no, filling inserts is aggravating since the edges soak up a lot more clear than the rest, so you have to reapply... then you get a border (or arguably worse, a ring) overlapping the edge line which you need to shave and sand flush. But not too much, lest you go through your surrounding clear... inevitably, this creates small spots you need to touch up again. But it is what it is: just part of the process.

I later realized I forgot to thin the clear before I applied it, which probably would have helped tremendously. Yet it all worked out so well the first time I didn't realize my lapse. Having now learned this lesson, I guarantee I won't make that mistake again.

To fix the bubbles I shaved what I could off the surface, then brushed pure thinner on the still not-quite-fully-cured insert to soften the pinpricks left. Then applied a fresh skim coat of THINNED clear as needed. I did that last night and was pleased with the set-up results this morning. Not a perfect fix, but better than what I was facing. Maybe I should have taken pictures but the final results will come.

I reiterate this game is not meant to be a showroom restoration, but a really nice looking and great playing player. A few "bubbles" under the insert won't bother me (maybe they'll even sparkle when lit, haha). In hindsight, I should have tried a flat-faced stone bit in a Dremel, to burnish all the bubbles out... that probably would have worked: constraining the "sanding" to the sunken insert without affecting the surrounding playfield work. Didn't think of that until just now, d'oh! But this wrecked game has been a great teaching tool so I can't complain.

It's coming along. For the inserts that have already been filled and sanded and shaved smooth, it's really gratifying and encouraging. Some of them were just AWFUL: two were more like 3/16 sunk, and another slightly discolored from...whatever... both are now headscratchingly smooth in spite of the legacy defects. I love those kind of goofy harmeless "WTF?" easter eggs. It looks way better than what I started with, and it's finally starting to feel that way too

3 weeks later
#129 12 days ago

Holy moley. I mean... it's not perfect, and I would never try to sell it as such. A few mistakes and learning tells still lurk. But look at this!!!!

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#130 12 days ago

Wow. That’s spectacular work.


#131 12 days ago

Wow looks great man, cant wait to see it repopulated!

#132 12 days ago

It's time to put it back together and get playing it.

#133 12 days ago
Quoted from MikeO:

It's time to put it back together and get playing it.

Almost! It's still a rat-rod beneath though. I need to place my PBR order for flipper kits, rubbers, drop switch rebuilds, chime banks... but at least it's finally warranted. Maybe this weekend I'll get the ball guides and stuff on at least.

Rooting around in the cabinet for the first time in ages though, I forgot just how nasty the arpon and far-end PF rails are. Ugh. Those might require some creative reinvention. Actually all the mechs are still pretty grungy, but they did work. Kinda fascinating in that regard.

#134 12 days ago

Good luck putting the rest back together.

Here’s hoping it goes smoother than the playfield.

#135 11 days ago

Because Gottlieb uses those stupid barbs on the end of the guide rails, I got antsy and decided to reinstall them while the clear coat still had any semblance of softness, etc. So far so good!

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Need to wait for posts and other parts first before I can really pursue assembly, though.

I also removed the drop mechs and cleaned them. They seem much snappier now. I mean, they would HAVE to be, oops.

#136 11 days ago

Is that message under the apron something you wrote for future owners to read?

#137 9 days ago
Quoted from leckmeck:

Is that message under the apron something you wrote for future owners to read

Well I'm not sure if/when it would fall to someone else to read... because I almost can't see anyone else ever wanting to buy this thing... but yes, just in case, I added a note of self-deprecation.

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I deliberately left the pf "unrestored" in that area too, just to clue and remember how bad it all really was. As you noted, you'd have to take the apron off and SURPRISE

#138 9 days ago

Installed some more parts I had on hand just to verify inventory and condition before placing my PBR order, which I hope to do tomorrow.... mocked the look with existing plastics, etc too. I am sure the mechanicals are yet to give me further fits once I dive into this thing, but cosmetically it's not too bad.

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#139 6 days ago

Placed my PBR order on Monday; meanwhile I've been reinstalling all the bottom mechs (pops, slings, rollovers, etc) I removed for tumbling and cleaning. I'm pleased to say most of the switches are in good shape and I didn't lose any screws! And I recall that infamous test from July 2017, when it all mostly sorta worked save one major obvious issue of the pops locking on. Well during re-installation I discovered their switches were not adjusted / opening properly so hopefully I solved that.

Know when it's time to stop reinstalling parts? When you spend 30 minutes trying to figure out howTF the coil spring for the flippers attaches to the mech... realizing one end connects to the crank pawl, and thinking the other end hooks into the hole on the angle bracket near the bushing. EVEN THOUGH I realized the crank and the bracket hole were co-planar and the spring ends were not, it just seemed like that's how it went - otherwise why was the hole there?? Maybe I got the wrong spring... maybe it was backwards... maybe I'm an idiot... ARRGH forget this it's time to go to bed.

But I can't sleep. So I look it up online and finally find a picture showing the bent end of the spring screwed down onto the bushing, not hooked into the bracket. D'oh! The things you forget after taking something apart nearly 2 years prior....

It's so tempting to plug this thing in and start debugging, but there's some wiring I'd still like to tidy up, and half the 10-bank drop is neutered until I get my switch parts from PBR. Need to be patient.

#140 6 days ago

I learned a long time ago to not push the timeline if I'm going to thoroughly go through a game. There is no reason to apply more pressure as it only gets in the way.

To commiserate with you, I'm working on a Gottlieb Jumping Jack to sell. I've been going through everything for the last two months. I put it back together and started it up and it cycled through a one player or two player game like it is supposed to. Hooray!! All that is left now is to fine tune lamps and switches and alignment. All of a sudden it won't end a game and continuously resets the drop targets after the last ball is scored without ending a game. Then it starts giving credits at start up coinciding with a partial revolution of the score motor earning 3 free games before the game settles for first ball. After that, because I have a second keeper working JJ, I put my known good JJ playfield into the second game to see if I can isolate where my problem resides. With the good playfield the ball won't eject to the outhole and still has all of the other problems. This is one I need to walk away from for a few days and then come back to it. I'm sure I have a stray solder blob or a stray screw or nut in a bad place that I need to find.

So what I'm saying is, it could be worse. Patience will get you there.

Keep up the good work.

#141 5 days ago
Quoted from MikeO:

Patience will get you there.

What do I want? I don't know! When do I want it? NOW!

In all seriousness, I hear ya. But in the realm of "pinball patience" I have found EM's are pretty resilient - it's the silicon-based ones that you'll ruin. Too many times have I forced myself to strain awake while chasing a problem or working on a board, risking not understanding the issue, forgetting basic info, or further damage.... I finally relent and wake up the next morning and realization slaps me in the face. But there's a lot of fragile stuff in a SS pin; EMs are a "little" more forgiving with less to go wrong.

I'm sure that last line will come back to haunt me on this one though! And for all this talk about patience, I was mocked from above: I placed my PBR order Monday AM and it was waiting at my doorstep last night!

So I got right to work rebuilding the 10-drop switchbank. Why buy new switches for $16 ea when you can rebuild the mangled leaves for 80 cents...

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Also had to replace a couple bulb sockets in the very back there too.

Lots of wiring to tidy up also. Gnarled messes where the mice had pulled slack out of sorts and bundles. Crossed wires, frays, disconnects. I had to reconnect a couple standup switches, bulb sockets, coils, etc. It's not 100% tidy (and some of my earlier, purely-evaluative-temporary dirty work needs to be re-done) but looks SOOOO much better than it did - go back to my first post and look at that literal rat's (mice) nest. At least now things are OK to touch and reasonably routed around!

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The coils do all work, so I'll print my own labels for them at some point when everything else is "done"; for now that's not a priority.

And so, we come back to patience. I still have more wiring to fix and check and I am suuuuuure this thing is nowhere near ready to work. But. BUT! I had to see it in the cabinet. So I mocked it up...

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SEE THAT? It's like I'd been saying all along: that paint isn't blue as it seems to photograph up close, but a purple that damn near matches the backglass!

#142 5 days ago

Beautiful work above and below the pf. Looks really great.

#143 5 days ago

Great work! I periodically flip back to the beginning of this thread for comparison... what a difference!

#144 4 days ago

The blue/purple comparison with the backbox installed is incredible! You’re right about that and a great tip for anyone trying to match colors.

#145 4 days ago

I'm a dang good photographer when I want to be; also for the last 15+ years I've been doing graphics, photos, painting, color-matching and editing for hundreds of projects including regular national periodical publications: point is, I'm familiar with colors shifting and otherwise being troublesome in certain conditions and mediums. That said, in all my time I've never personally experienced anything quite like what that solid purple paint did (does!) under photography. It's apparently a trick of close quarters and angles under certain lighting, versus that last shot which was panned back with ambient contrast. Yet relative to the rest, it was only *that color* doing it.

Until you've experienced it yourself it's easy to dismiss folks saying something "looks better / different in person" as making excuses, but sometimes it's the truth. Regardless that purple is pretty remarkable - both for being enigmatic AND a pain in the @$$!


So while debugging the machine, I ran into a few issues. I've got my work cut out for me, and will appreciate any advice. But here's the main things:

1) Good news: I got the pops fixed (they don't lock on). And all the pf GI works! And when I last manually moved the ball count to get the machine to respond, things were working and the "stuck switch" scoring seemed to be gone. Bad news is: it won't start a game. I think I have it set correctly for free play, but when I press the start button, nothing happens. If I press the AX (reset) relay, the motor turns like it should. One score reel won't reset, but even manually setting it to zero, doesn't help. I have to press the hold relay to get the pf GI to turn on. Perhaps more worryingly, I can't get the pf to "work" anymore by turning the ball count unit.

2) I'm willing to read up meanwhile, because yesterday something caught my eye. This is a major problem and to be honest I'm kind of shocked nothing bad really happened from this. But here's a little test: can you spot what's wrong in this photo?

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3) All further testing is on hold until I address a smackdown from the pin gods, as follows.

See, I was testing the pf, looking for stuck / shorted switches & relays, etc. So the pf was raised, no big deal. At some point my SS-trained debugging thoughts kicked in and I thought "Hmm, maybe it doesn't start if it can't detect a ball in the outhole" so I put a ball there. Well of course that didn't fix things. And so I dug deeper over time and forgot about the ball.

Eventually I did something that fired the outhole kicker. And it kicked the ball. Which, without an apron, popped out and rolled straight down the pf. The good news is, my pf was so flat the ball didn't waver a bit, and shot straight like a lazer. That bad news is it had a direct line to behead one of the cactus drops, which didn't have the rebound rubber behind them because PBR forgot to pack the posts in my order so I couldn't install the rubber. CHOP!!

Honestly, it was kind of impressive... I couldn't even be mad. Although I was.

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Fortunately the target is hollow-backed, and my model railroading background has me equipped to consider options.

The targets are apparently some kind of nylon, though: it is insoluble and nothing will melt it. Not plastic cement, MEK, Acetone, PVC cement, SciGrip 16, SciGrip 4... nothing. So the only option I had was to cut a reinforcement insert out of similar plastic sheet I had for modeling, and bond it behind the break.

The backer is resilient so it will flex, which is good because it will be "marginally less" likely to transfer impact shock into the adhesive to pop the bond. Because the target plastic is insoluble, a tight press fit on the backer for a mechanical friction seal on the edges would really be of larger importance.

So I cut the backer for a tight fit. Roughed it and the back of the target with 40 grit paper. Glazed on a layer of P6000 adhesive (semi-rubberized flexible epoxy goo: good stuff) and smashed the works together.

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The cracks are at pf level and shouldn't be visible to the player. As for durability - yeah, it may not last forever. But I need *SOMETHING* in there to test. Because do you know what a nightmare it is to disassemble a drop mech? Let alone for the 4th in a row of 10? And I can't debug the works with loose switches and coils propped and dangling everywhere, so I need to get this back together for testing, if nothing else.

I really didn't want to have to buy all new targets since these were surprisingly nice... but faded just enough that a one-off replacement won't match at all. But if it comes to that, well... hopefully I've got time before then at least.

This damn game and circumstance....

#146 4 days ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

SEE THAT? It's like I'd been saying all along: that paint isn't blue as it seems to photograph up close, but a purple that damn near matches the backglass!

Indeed! I've been saying for years that the term "pictures never lie" is bunk. They do nothing but lie. Skilled photographers can make you see what they want you to see...that's why it's considered and "art" form.

And it worked on me this time too...I looked on in silent horror at your color choice, but now my inner purist is less grumpy after that last pic. I didn't even think it was the same game at first!! lol

Thanks again for letting us follow along...

#147 4 days ago
Quoted from Stoomer:

I looked on in silent horror at your color choice...

...Thanks again for letting us follow along.

Haha, thanks for admitting that... and for sticking around! I'd been wondering how many folks either looked on as you, or checked out for good at that point

(Honestly I was kinda horrified when I saw the first pics, even though yellow-orange-blue combo doesn't offend me since I model the Chessie System railroad

#148 4 days ago

I neglected to mention in my self deprecating post a few posts up that I also did the same thing on the Jumping Jack I'm working on. Smack dab in the middle. Although I just neglected to remove the ball. doh

Anyway, I have a decent used replacement cactus target if you want. PM me and I'll send it to you.

#149 3 days ago

Well it's way too late to be posting (almost 1 am) but after a long day I just wanted to throw a quick update, by way of SOS. I'll follow up with other nitty gritty later. But for now if anyone reads this first:

- The game is starting! And testable. And mostly functional, but it's not playable yet. Minor issues aside, there are two BIG problems:

1) The rollover (move spot) triggers some kind of short: the thousands unit locks and buzzes and the Q relay stays locked. If I manually unlock the Q relay the game goes back to normal. But if the pf was down as it should be, only recourse would be to power off.

2) Probably the bigger issue, and possibly related to #1: *something* is up with the Hundreds unit. Mechanically, it works fine manually! Snappy and the switch actions match the Tens and Thousands units. But when powered, it works until it gets to "9". For some reason, the runout switch on this unit is shorted... so when you close this switch, the reel advances. Trouble is, at the "9" position this switch stays closed. So the coil stays locked in, and it won't release to advance the unit. This is causing all sorts of havoc.

If I hold the unit and manually close just that runout swtich, the coil pulses. I don't think it's supposed to do this... or is it? This is the only reel to not have the circuit board, so maybe it works differently? BUT even when it's "open", if I check continuity it confirms a short! which is even weirder, because the coil doesn't pulse until I actually close the contacts! So for the life of me I cannot figure out where and how that's possible or why the switch could be shorted.

FWIW, it's not in the playfield (I can disconnect it and start a game to test the reels). I've inspected and adjusted relays in backbox and motor panel until I went cross-eyed. Found a few issues, but nothing that solved these two problems. From what sense I've made of the schematic, I can't seem to figure out exactly where to look.

Anyone have any ideas?

#150 3 days ago

WOW. What a great thread. I really like this restore and the past bad cats one too. I think you are a bit too hard on yourself or maybe too humble. Because, you're doing great work... Yes, maybe not the best restoration ever. But, this is by far leaps and bounds better than the original condition. And I think you've inspired me to try more on my own pins. Because, heck... So long as I'm careful and not stupid, I should be able to make it better and not worse. So really cool. Really, really cool stuff. And I liked how you fixed the drop target.

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