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?
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.
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.
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....