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(Topic ID: 183501)

Atari Middle Earth Club / Group ( All Welcome )

By jasonp

3 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by trueno92
  • Topic is favorited by 9 Pinsiders


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#1 3 years ago

Atari pins get no love or respect so I thought I would start up this club for Middle Earth.
Lord knows we need all the help we can get keeping these beasts up and running.

1 week later
#2 3 years ago

Well, heck...I'm in. It's my only Atari working 100%, lol.

#3 3 years ago

Guess I'll throw in a couple of pics...

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#4 3 years ago
Quoted from racer_x:

It's my only Atari working 100%

I have to get mine going ... Nice lineup

3 weeks later
#5 3 years ago

I'm in! I just got mine working....FINALLY!

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#6 3 years ago

This is the guy that did my boards. link

He also fixed a A006020-02 board I found on Ebay that will run any of them. Please tell him "Jon Sparks sent me".

#7 3 years ago

I sent him my boards .... Carlos is a good guy
I still have sound issue.

#8 3 years ago

I'm going to call Middle Earth done. All LEDs, everything works. It is still sending 1/2 voltage to a couple of bulbs that it's not supposed to but I can live with it. Time to move on to another one of my train wreck machines.

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4 months later
#9 3 years ago

So I figured this would be an exclusive club, but damn...

2 weeks later
#10 3 years ago

I recently picked up a Middle Earth that I believe was a home use only machine.. I put new rubber on it, gave it a good scrub, changed a few bulbs and its working great.. I'll put up a few pics.. I'm very interested in the LEDs...

Quoted from Ming:

I'm going to call Middle Earth done. All LEDs, everything works. It is still sending 1/2 voltage to a couple of bulbs that it's not supposed to but I can live with it. Time to move on to another one of my train wreck machines.

The only other cosmetic issues I want to take care of - Is the lock bar and side trim - are these chrome or nickel plated?

3 months later
#11 2 years ago

The lock bar is nickel plated. The reason I know, is they do not peel when worn. The rust is from the base metal, but they are definitely nickel plated lock bars.

#12 2 years ago

hey guys, i got a middle earth about 8 months ago and it started the spiral into my now-new-to-me pinball collection. I didn't touch a pinball machine before that, only fixing up vids!

I made some videos of going thru my middle earth journey, I got the machine not working, for free.

Then i made a lockdown bar, got some glass and did a few other things that I thought would be cool, like try to animate the backglass with lighting effects, and add some small dinos to the pf that would light when a feature in the game is available.


1 month later
#13 2 years ago

I've had a sticking flipper in my Middle Earth -seems to be magnetization of the plunger and/or coil stop. I'm trying to identify suitable replacements.
I sent pics and measurements to Marco, but they suggested I try here. Any help would be much appreciated!

I've had this machine for 36 years, and I haven't had to do much.

#14 2 years ago

So in my small collection I have a shopped demoltion man, a shopped f14 and my restored middle earth.

Its been a while since I even played ME as its been more of a work bench lately but I had the lineup on over the weekend and ME is a fantastic change of pace! I really enjoyed a few games on it after crushing YAGOV in f14 for like 45 mins straight.

Nothing like those smooth non mylar playfields too!

1 week later
#15 2 years ago

I've got a Middle Earth waiting for my attention. I remember playing one as a 16-year old kid. Looking forward to playing it again.

It gets through a couple of the tests, but not enough to start up a game.
I suspect it will need Aux board work.
One other game ahead of this one in the fix-it queue though.

5 months later
#16 2 years ago

Picked this one up from Facebook marketplace. Was not working and needed some major TLC. Got it working, new rubbers, polished the PF, new locks, all LED on topside. Still need to LED inserts and couple of other small things but it’s getting close!

First pic is before. Rest is after

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2 months later
#17 1 year ago

I picked up a project Space Riders - posted to early SS forum but haven't got much help. I know this is the Middle Earth forum but though maybe someone could give me some advice.

At power on all lights and displays just flash. I checked voltages and I think that is the problem. I am not getting 5vdc on the MPU. I rebuilt the power logic on the mpu - new lm323, new capacitor, and resistor. Still no 5vdc on the board. I checked the incoming connection from the power supply pin 1 at J9 which should read 10vdc. the voltage bounces but 1.61vdc max. I decided to go ahead and replace rectifiers and the two large capacitors on the power supply. That too did not solve the problem.

The fuses on the power supply which should be VAC from the transformer read from 0 to 1.5 or so - assuming I am measuring the VAC correctly. I touched leads on either side of the fuse.

Transformers seldom go bad. Is it a short somewhere? Any advice on what next to check?


#18 1 year ago

Not too familiar with Atari, so I'm spitballing here...

Can you measure the voltages at the bridge rectifiers? My multimeters are a bit flaky on AC so I wouldn't assume the ac is wrong

The first rule of SS pinball: you must have solid 5v!

#19 1 year ago

Should be DC volts coming off the rectifiers, correct?

#20 1 year ago

I pulled the transformer/power supply unit and checked for continuity across the entire power supply. Everything checked out okay. I double checked the new rectifiers and connections - all is okay. I reinstalled the transformer/power supply unit and checked continuity from the power supply to the MPU board connection and power supply to the auxiliary board- all connections buzz as they should.

Turn the power on, and no volts to the mpu or auxiliary board. No volts coming off the rectifiers or capacitors.

I do have 117volts to the bg cabinet and those lights work. This connection does not go through the transformer.

Is it the transformer? I don't see an easy way to check voltage off the transformer - wire connect underneath it. Transformers seldom go bad so that would be odd.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from StratDoc:

Should be DC volts coming off the rectifiers, correct?

So here's a nickle tour of your Bridge:

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The cut corner is always DC+

If it's physically possible to probe the two AC with you multimeter set to AC voltage, then you should get that reading. If you don't, I would search further upstream. Most likely culprits are headers or connectors.

And to confirm - you are absolutely, 100% positive your fuses are good?

3 weeks later
#22 1 year ago

I just picked up a Middle Earth a couple of weeks ago. I have the typical resting issue. Going to try and troubleshoot myself before I send it off for repair.


1 month later
#23 1 year ago

Any recommendations for Middle Earth board work?

1 month later
#24 1 year ago

New to the club just got mine last night. Fully working except for a sluggish drop target. Will need new backglass it’s a little rough around edges but all graphics still there.

4 weeks later
#25 1 year ago

I picked up a Middle Earth last summer, also came with a new unused populated playfield. Guy said he bought it from someone who claimed to work for sega and they helped design the game etc.. not sure on any of that. I put it in my work room since main game room was full with almost 25 games. Moving some stuff around to put it out now and noticed that my backglass has started to peel off since sitting.. bummer. Anybody know of replacement translites? Or should I try to tape the back all up to prevent further flaking. Im not even sure if my game works, I did send the boards all out when I got it to have them gone over.. Guess I'll know when I put it back together.

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7 months later
#26 11 months ago

Well..I finally set mine up..lights up, and displays on..nothing else..won't go into test mode or boot. Think I might give up and sell

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1 week later
#27 10 months ago

Game has been acting up the last few days. Decided to replace a couple of the edge connectors that have been spotty. Also tracking down an intermittent issue with the sound generation section. Getting bursts of static and distorted sounds. Tracing it back on the scope to find out what item is faulty, but it’s slow going because of the intermittent nature. Got as far as seeing it on one of the legs of the output stage of D3-7407 on the Aux PCB before the problem went away again. Hopefully the problem is there (or in the harness) or I’ll likely be tracking down a DM9334N chip.... or worse.

While I’m in there ripping the guts out, I figured I’d also replace the electrolytic caps, too.

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#28 10 months ago

A-ha! A 41 year old CD4016 quad bilateral switch being used as the gain control in the circuit is intermittently allowing VDD to bleed through onto pin 13 from pin 14. Confirmed that there's no metal shaving bridging the gap and nope, this chip is fit for the bin. Off to Jameco for some replacements.

God bless good schematics.

1 week later
#29 10 months ago

Did a little bit of board work on my Middle Earth.

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Replaced a janky socket for the sound PROM, but that minor compared to the installation of a brand new knocker!

Atari never put knockers in any of their pinball games, probably to reduce the cost of construction. They did, however, provide for an audit system for operators, as their games had no persistent RAM to keep those totals. An operator could install a few transistors, resistors, and diodes to keep track of coin drops and replays on mechanical counters... but the same counter outputs can also be modified to drive the coil of a solenoid!

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By adding TIP101 transistors to Q10 and Q19, 1N914 diodes to CR10 and CR17, and 200 ohm 1/4W resistors at R21 and R25, the missing drive circuitry is installed. All that remains is to pop a couple of 2A SB fuses in the fuse board and solder a couple of new pins into the edge connector at 17&20 and you're in business!

I added circuitry to both the Replay Meter output as well as the Special Meter output and joined them together after the connector. You might only want your game to knock on one or the other, in which case, you only need to drive one output. If your special is set to award replays, then it's less of a concern.

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It's hella loud! Fantastic!

5 months later
#30 4 months ago

I own a Middle Earth populated playfield and manual. I realize that it is a long way from owning a full game but it is a start .

#31 4 months ago

seeing pictures of your board with new caps makes me want to get mine going. I have no idea where to begin. I've checked the fuses, and they are correct.

#32 4 months ago
Quoted from Boise_D:

I have no idea where to begin.

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.

3 weeks later
#33 3 months ago

Posted in the wrong place. Reposting here...

ethan1082 and I are going to try to get Middle Earth playing.
The game will power on and start the tests.
Test 1, lamps light successfully.
Test 2, no coils fire except for flippers, which do work. While the coils are supposed to be firing, I think the credit display is also supposed to be incrementing with each coil. Mine doesn't change.
Test 3, I hear one successful "oink" sound when it begins, but then get no switch results when I activate them.
Test 4, the score and credit displays look good and show 8s, and then eventually clear.

Any suggestions for getting the tests to work properly?

3 months later
#34 3 days ago

Hello Pinside, after a couple year hiatus im back! I all but abandoned my pins for a while. Now after playing them for a bit more, my Middle Earth has decided its had enough.

I turned it on the other night and found the game totally plays fine, but ALL the lighting is out except for the backglass (which is a different circuit). I originally got this game a couple years back and you can check out some of my videos i made of it. I hadn't had to do much but connect a cut wire and replace a fuse, however, now all the pf lamps are out including GI and inserts, and even the lit coin 25 cent on the coin door.

I have reseated all the edge connectors, checked and double checked all the fuses and clips. No dice. I checked the power supply as a visual inspection of everything and nothing looks out of place and there is NO burnt smell.

From using middle earth for a few years, I know the AUX board on the cab, left, usually gets really really hot. i mean I can usually feel the warm spot on the cabinet.. Now the cab is totally cool as well as the aux board transistors being completely cool.
The part that doesn't make sense to me is the HV displays are all fine and work as normal.

The game will coin up and play as normal scoring correctly thru the displays.

Can anyone point me in the direction of where the Aux board separates the power to the lamp strobes? or ideas on where to look for lamp power?

Nothing happened other than me powering it up being the trigger, and no fuses are blown.

Any Atari experts still lurking here?

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