(Topic ID: 224561)

Apollo - A diamond in the rough

By Pintor

10 months ago

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  • 11 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by Pintor
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 10 months ago

I’m just hooked on EM’s! I picked up this Apollo yesterday. Rather I rescued this Apollo yesterday. I purchased it from a nice family who had it sitting at their concrete plant in Hayward CA, waiting for a new owner. I really enjoy knowing the story behind each pinball I own. Unfortunately all the seller could tell me was it was in a house that they decided to clear out after 60 years. I could tell these guys didn’t have any experience with pins so they couldn’t tell me anything more about it.

It looks pretty rough in the photos but actually the playfield and back glass aren’t too bad. Only 2 spots I could see on the back glass were flaking and there’s a little wear on some of the upper playfield inlanes but there than that it’s pretty good all things considered. The duct tape holding the glass onto the cab makes me cringe but is coming off without taking too much paint.

The lock bar was missing but I have one en route from eBay. After playing around with the playfield glass last night and I noticed it wasn’t actual playfield glass but a piece of double pane that someone probably thought was an ok substitute. The glass is cracked in a couple places anyway so I plan on getting a new one from macros. Luckily they had enough of a seal over the playfield so that all the grime your seeing in the photos is on the glass itself and not the PF.

Other than a few bizarre modifications most the solenoids and other internal equipment appear intact. Someone completely disconnected the wires and lights from the coin mechs but to my surprise all of the actual mechs are still there (I like to use coins instead of free play). I want to get the game up and running before I try to reinstall the wiring. I have the schematics so I should be able to figure it out.

The backbox has a few funny things too. Rather than solder the score reels wiring someone used an allegator clip (lol free alligator clip for me) and placed duct tape around the bell. I’m assuming that little arm sticking out goes to the stepper and isn’t part of the bells mechanism, but I still need to take a closer look.

There are a couple of suspect coils under the playfield. I’ll take my DMM to them later and see if they are toast.

Other than that and a beat up exterior, I think this Apollo isn’t in too bad of shape. Given the condition of the back glass and playfield, It feels a bit like a “diamond in the rough.” I like working on EMS about as much as I like playing them, so I don’t mind having a pin that needs a little work done. When I’m working on them, I get into this zone where I don’t think about work or life, I’m just there fixing this pin. And there’s no other high like the one you get from a 50 year old pinball machine brought back to life.

Thanks for reading this thread. I’ll post back updates as they develop.

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#3 10 months ago

Thanks Dono!

I stand corrected, it looks like that bar is part of wringing the bell. There’s a hole at the end of the bar. Does anyone know if there’s a piece missing that’s supposed to attach to it? I can’t find any pics online of an Apollo and the backbox for blast off on Ipdb shows a slightly different configuration. Thanks in advance!

#4 10 months ago
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#7 10 months ago

Thanks guys. I’ve never seen leather on a Pinball, it’s interesting. It does look professionally done and I’d consider leaving it on as it adds to the story of the pin. Lol that’s a new one for me.

3 weeks later
#8 9 months ago

It’s Alive!! Got it up and running after many nights working on it. By no means is it finished but at least it turns on & plays.

In addition to replacing lamps, rebuilding flippers, etc.. Couple issues remain.

Lock Relay buzzes loudly & heats up the mounting bracket. I installed a brand new coil, added a screw to the bracket to hold it down tighter, but it’s still noisy. I think Part of the reason might be that the previous owner wired together the wires from the left flipper that turn the lights on at the beginning of the game. I plan on resoldering them back to the switch to see what happens. Any other suggestions are appreciated.

I think there’s an issue with the No 1 coil as well. Does anyone know if that’s supposed to stay on/activated when triggered for most of the game?

Lastly, I think there’s a problem with either the advance relay or one of he other relays that affect the targets which say “10 points and advance countdown” since the targets only register points when the count down reaches 7.

I’ll post back with updates as I hammer out those issues.

1 month later
#9 8 months ago

Finished it! Took many hours over many days. Plays great with new flipper coils. It’s a really fun game.

I was having the problem where the bonus was jumping from 50 to 300. If anyone reading this has that problem as well, see the link below for the solution.

Now to turn my attention to my world fair.


1 week later
#11 8 months ago
Quoted from Boatcat:

This is probably wear on the relay armature, (the thin metal plate the energized coil pulls in towards it). Check the 10 or 25 cent relays, which during their life, never energized for any length of time, (since you won't be using those anymore), and try swapping this "L" shaped armature-actuator on the lock relay with one of them. Should improve on the loud buzzing, (but it probably won't totally disappear).

Thanks boatcat I’ll give that shot!

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