Bad SS Experience--Back to EM-Only!

(Topic ID: 230712)

Bad SS Experience--Back to EM-Only!


By wolverinetuner

6 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 days ago by xsvtoys
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

You

Linked Games

  • Taxi Williams, 1988

Topic Gallery

One image has been uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

tmp (resized).jpg

#1 6 days ago

WARNING-LONG DETAILED ORIGINAL POST. YOU MAY WANT TO POP SOME POPCORN!

I've been in the hobby for about 2-1/2 years, only buying EMs. I'm pretty comfortable working on them, and I certainly like the lower price tags they have. I play SS and EM pins at expos, but I tend to gravitate to EMs even then. But I figured one day I'll make the jump into solid states.

Then I recently walked into a deal on a Taxi I felt I couldn't refuse. The seller had it working, and I bought it. Other Pinsiders I know had encouraged me to get into solid states, and I had finally arrived.

The strap I had to was too short to secure the folded-down Taxi head to the cab, so I asked the seller for something to use. He produced some twine, with which I tied down the head. Back at home, I slid the Taxi out the back of my Ford Escape and then stood it on its back--SLAM! The twine had broken and the head swung open onto my driveway. Somehow the translight glass hadn't broken, but I knew this wasn't good.

Then my poor wife and I got the Taxi on my dolly in the house and down to the bottom turn of our basement stairway only to find out that my measurements forgot to include the large tires of the dolly, which wouldn't let the pin get all the way down. After holding the pin in place on the stairway, I eventually did the only thing I could think of: I heaved the machine to slide it up and off the dolly to rest on a landing, pulled out the dolly, and then slid the machine on its bottom down the metal-front wood staircase to the bottom landing, losing a small piece of wood below the coin door.

At the bottom landing, I had to tip the machine onto its side onto my Harbor Freight hydraulic lift, and with difficulty eventually get the machine on its back on the basement floor.

After getting the machine set up, the sound was either staticky or else usually only playing the character voices (Gorby, Drac, Marilyn--yes it was even a Marilyn Taxi).

I played it with some family members a day or two later, and a pop bumper solenoid fried. No problem, just ordered a new coil from Marco and installed and soldered it. But now all 3 pops didn't work, and the fuse was fine. A transistor on the board had apparently also gone bad. I'm just getting decent at soldering a wire to a lug--NOT circuit board work.

A Pinsider friend who has SS machines came over to look it over and run the diagnostics, but the diagnostic test buttons weren't working properly. After we closed the head and put the face parts of the head back in place, now 2 of the displays had stopped working!

At that point I was past disappointed. I want to be able to work on my machines myself, and now it looked like I had three board issues I would need someone to fix, all within about 10 days of purchase. I sold the machine for a little more than I had paid for it, and for the foreseeable future, I'm back to being an EM-only guy. (I replaced it with a Spirit of 76 that I just purchased.)

Congrats if you read through the entire saga! I want to know if any other Pinsiders have had a bad SS experience that drove them to being EM only.

tmp (resized).jpg
#2 6 days ago

Ugh. This is the pinball equivalent of adopting a pet, abusing the pet, and then returning it for behaving badly. You were not a good caretaket of that Marilyn Taxi, which is a very special pin by the way.

#3 6 days ago

I know it is a special pin, and I have no ill will toward Taxi or solid states. It was a players pin, and the damage I added was less than already existed, but I wasn't ready for it, and I realize that now. I was wondering whether other EM Pinsiders had a similar experience.

#4 6 days ago

Sell the Taxi and get 2-3 good EMs

#5 6 days ago
Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

Sell the Taxi and get 2-3 good EMs

Thanks, I already sold the Taxi and bought a Spirit of 76. I now have 13 working EMs and one project.

#6 6 days ago

If you buy early solid-state pins that come apart you can get them down the stairs just like you do with the EM’s; don’t give up on solid-state pins yet!

#7 6 days ago
Quoted from Pbpins:

If you buy early solid-state pins that come apart you can get them down the stairs just like you do with the EM’s; don’t give up on solid-state pins yet!

Thanks for the encouragement. But my biggest concern is about circuit board work. I like to fix my machines myself, and circuit board work is so different from working on relays, etc.

#8 6 days ago

You say you want to be able to work on your machines yourself.....seems like you had a perfect opportunity to learn? The displays and sound problems may have been nothing more than loose cables. As for the first fried pop bumper - the transistor didn't ALSO go bad, the transistor went bad FIRST, which allowed the coil to fry. If you replaced the coil and all of a sudden none of them worked, I'd assume you wired/soldered something incorrectly which affected the other 2 pops downstream - easy problems to diagnose. Why? Because there are thousands of people on Pinside and tutorials online to help you!I

I'm not trying to harp on you - I know it's scary looking at all those board and things for the first (hell, the hundredth) time. But thats how you learn. I trash picked a computer and used the boards to practice removing and soldering components before I ever tried it on my own game.

My point is, don't give up! You diagnosed some problems yourself already, and learned a lot on this game (secure the head, and mind those stairs....).

As to your original question, I actually went more towards solid state games because ems are more confusing to me lol.

You are right around the corner from me, if you want to get together to play or work, pm me. I have a Strikes and Spares, Evel Knievel and two Night Riders all in various states of restoration/repair. I'm still learning my way around them too. If nothing else I always seem to shock myself at least twice when I go under the hood, that should be worth the price of admission alone. Lol.

#9 6 days ago
Quoted from pinzrfun:

You say you want to be able to work on your machines yourself.....seems like you had a perfect opportunity to learn? The displays and sound problems may have been nothing more than loose cables. As for the first fried pop bumper - the transistor didn't ALSO go bad, the transistor went bad FIRST, which allowed the coil to fry. If you replaced the coil and all of a sudden none of them worked, I'd assume you wired/soldered something incorrectly which affected the other 2 pops downstream - easy problems to diagnose. Why? Because there are thousands of people on Pinside and tutorials online to help you!I
I'm not trying to harp on you - I know it's scary looking at all those board and things for the first (hell, the hundredth) time. But thats how you learn. I trash picked a computer and used the boards to practice removing and soldering components before I ever tried it on my own game.
My point is, don't give up! You diagnosed some problems yourself already, and learned a lot on this game (secure the head, and mind those stairs....).
As to your original question, I actually went more towards solid state games because ems are more confusing to me lol.
You are right around the corner from me, if you want to get together to play or work, pm me. I have a Strikes and Spares, Evel Knievel and two Night Riders all in various states of restoration/repair. I'm still learning my way around them too. If nothing else I always seem to shock myself at least twice when I go under the hood, that should be worth the price of admission alone. Lol.

PM sent.

#10 6 days ago
Quoted from wolverinetuner:

Thanks for the encouragement. But my biggest concern is about circuit board work. I like to fix my machines myself, and circuit board work is so different from working on relays, etc.

I remember saying the same thing. Like yourself, I started with low dollar EM pins. Even though I didn't know much about them I knew I could easily learn to fix them. My Em collection was about 25 strong. Even had a few EM shooter games and picked up a few EM shuffle allies and Bingo. But my real love was for the early SS pins I played in my later teens in arcades. Was worried about board repair also. But thee is a lot of info on the net about early SS board repair. Wasn't long before I taught myself how to do most repairs.
One thing to point out is with that staircase you really want to stay with either EM or early SS pins that the head comes off. Also taking the playfield out makes them easier to move up or down the steps.

#11 6 days ago
Quoted from arcademojo:

One thing to point out is with that staircase you really want to stay with either EM or early SS pins that the head comes off. Also taking the playfield out makes them easier to move up or down the steps.

Thanks. I have a good system for EMs up and down the steps. I set up a wood platform over the triangle steps, and my dolly goes just fine all the way down to it carrying an EM cab.

I've seen at least one post about removing a later hinged SS head, but that would be a LOT more difficult than removing Jones plugs.

#12 6 days ago

I'm with you, I understand EM, SS suck..
Seriously, SS are dependable once you get them right,.. so are Ems.

#13 6 days ago

In a different life I wish all I had were EMs. Fun to play, fun to repair, fun to display to others...

When I open the hood on an EM my friends think i'm an f'ing genius because I was able to fix it and make them work

#14 6 days ago

I've owned two solid state pins and had better results, but in each case I had a board components fail. They were minor, but it just doesn't seem to be worth the trouble..at least for me. I can get an em pin going that hasn't been touched in 20 years. A solid state game that hasn't been touched in 20 years is going to be a lot more trouble. EM games are just more durable and less expensive to own. EM pins are tanks and will outlast us all.

#15 6 days ago
Quoted from bonzo71:

EM pins are tanks and will outlast us all.

My favorite quote on pinside. This is a FACT. God willing my great-great-great grandkids will enjoy my Card Whiz, Skyrocket, or Interflip Dragon (unfortunately without the BAOOO) in 100 years.

#16 6 days ago

I get how you feel. I started with 2 EMs and spent a lot of time figuring them out. Now I feel like I can tackle almost any problem they might have. Now I have an SS also, and I have no clue how it works. If it broke I would feel lost, but my plan is to spend the time to go through it and really figure it out. I like having both styles to play on. The information is out there and there is always support here. Plus, several times I have seen posts in the SS threads that say “those EMs scare me, I would have no idea how to fix them” Hey that gives me an idea, an EM person could help out a local SS person with their EMs, and also the other way around. They could trade repair help and also if they worked it right they could each learn more about the one outside their comfort zone.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
2,100
Machine - For Sale
Kalamazoo, MI
$ 999.00
Flipper Parts
Mircoplayfields
$ 21.00
$ 999.00
Flipper Parts
Mircoplayfields
$ 29.99
Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
Lighted Pinball Mods
From: $ 11.95
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ULEKstore
From: $ 15.95
$ 67.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
$ 20.00
Electronics
Yorktown Parts and Equip
$ 20.00
Electronics
Yorktown Parts and Equip
Trade
Machine - For Trade
Cincinnati, OH
$ 76.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
From: $ 21.95
Apparel - Unisex
Pinball Wheezer

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside