Bally Paragon Flipper Alignment Question

(Topic ID: 233554)

Bally Paragon Flipper Alignment Question


By Topcard

12 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 days ago by srcdube
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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IMG_4148 (2) (resized).jpg
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IMG_4126 (1) (resized).jpg
IMG_0013a.jpg
Paragon_Playfield1.jpg

#1 12 days ago

I'm looking for input on how the two flippers on the right hand side should be aligned. In particular, I'm wondering if the upper or lower right hand flipper should be set up to be able to hit the inline drop target bank. It seems a challenge to get them right, or is it just a really tough shot in general. I never played the game prior to owning this one, so I don't have a clear sense of how it should play.

Thanks

#2 12 days ago

Well sure they should other be able to hit the drops. Really lots like most flipper s, with the rubbers on them they should be inline with the metal guides so they smoothly transition from guide to flipper.
You csn always check for papa videos to get an idea of the set up

Check out 2 minute mark

#3 12 days ago

Bally playfields have a little divot near the tip of each flipper. You align the centre (pointiest) part of the flipper tip to the divot.
Below is the only Paragon playfield picture I can find with the divot in view: This flipper is set a fraction high.

Paragon_Playfield1.jpg

Divots on Medusa playfield next to the lit flipper inserts.

IMG_0013a.jpg

#4 12 days ago
Quoted from Quench:

Bally playfields have a little divot near the tip of each flipper. You align the centre (pointiest) part of the flipper tip to the divot.
Below is the only Paragon playfield picture I can find with the divot in view: This flipper is set a fraction high.
[quoted image]
Divots on Medusa playfield next to the lit flipper inserts.
[quoted image]

... what Quench said... he’s always right

Once you play for a while you will find you can hit the valley of demons inline targets with both of the right flippers...it’s all about timing and where the ball is coming from.

In fact if the ball is coming in the right direction you can do a “backhand shot” and hit the inline targets with the left lower flipper... and I’ve even hit the first and second targets with the small upper left flipper if the ball is coming from across the playfield from a bounce or the three poppers.

Those are the nice satisfying shots!

#5 12 days ago

As an afterthought, it’s important to have the two flippers lined up per the guide dots so that the ball will roll nicely down both flippers and you can choose which flipper to make the shot with.

If the upper flipper is set too high then the momentum of the ball may make it miss the bottom flipper so that you are trying to bat it off the playfield instead of it rolling across the lower flipper to make the shot. More accuracy on the lower flipper shot if it runs across the flipper.

I’ve also had problems on my Spider-Man double flippers where the ball was doing a little bounce off of the rounded end of the upper flipper causing it to not roll down across the flipper. I don’t recall if it was related to the flipper alignment or more likely that the rubber was too thick so that it was a bit higher and didn’t align with the wire guide rail.

By design the ball should roll down the wire guide and across both flipper surfaces without any bouncing or overshooting from the upper to lower flipper.

#6 11 days ago

Thanks guys. I originally had them centered with the guide holes, but it gave the upper left one a strange angle and it made for weak shots. Below is a picture of how I have them now, and it's better, but it still seems like an unnaturally difficult shot, but perhaps that's just how it plays.

IMG_4126 (1) (resized).jpg
#7 11 days ago
Quoted from Topcard:

Thanks guys. I originally had them centered with the guide holes, but it gave the upper left one a strange angle and it made for weak shots. Below is a picture of how I have them now, and it's better, but it still seems like an unnaturally difficult shot, but perhaps that's just how it plays.
[quoted image]

Your right side top flipper is set just a little high. This might be some of the cause of your frustration with that inline shot.

#8 11 days ago

This. ^^^
That upper right flipper is set beyond the divot making the angle shot towards the inlines more difficult and weaker.
Compare your setup of that flipper to the 2 minute mark in the video TheLaw posted above. Theirs is angled to better hit the inlines.

#9 11 days ago

Nice playfield! If your triangle of scoring lights has such little wear, the rest of the playfield must be awesome. Good catch!

The inlines are supposed to be hard! Forces you to learn the “tap pass” from left flipper to right flippers to get more shots at them. Enjoy!

#10 9 days ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Well sure they should other be able to hit the drops. Really lots like most flipper s, with the rubbers on them they should be inline with the metal guides so they smoothly transition from guide to flipper.
You csn always check for papa videos to get an idea of the set up
Check out 2 minute mark

What's interesting is that the although you mention the flippers should be in line with the lane guides, in the video they aren't. And that was my problem, I set them up in line with the lane guides like I do on most games, but in the case of this game, it creates the wrong angle for the inline targets. Once I adjusted it to center with the playfield hole, the angle is now much better and the shot much easier to hit. I did have to adjust the lane guide somewhat, as it was delivering the ball right over the adjusted upper right flipper and onto the lower right flipper.

Thanks to all who contributed. Excellent video by the way!

#11 9 days ago

Since we're on the topic of Bally flippers, I'd be curious to know why some games like Space Invaders have three flipper alignment holes. I have mine set with the middle alignment hole, and they are fine. Below are photos of the three alignment holes on my SI. They're a little hard to see with everything going on with the playfield art, but they are located right above the metal guides, a little plugged with wax.

IMG_4145 (resized).jpgIMG_4146 (resized).jpg
#12 9 days ago
Quoted from srcdube:

Nice playfield! If your triangle of scoring lights has such little wear, the rest of the playfield must be awesome. Good catch!
The inlines are supposed to be hard! Forces you to learn the “tap pass” from left flipper to right flippers to get more shots at them. Enjoy!

I was very fortunate to locate that playfield. The only downside is the standard cupping that happens with the older games. I have installed a playfield protector that not only prevents insert wear, but create even play with balls being redirected by cupped inserts.

IMG_4148 (2) (resized).jpg
#13 8 days ago
Quoted from Topcard:

I was very fortunate to locate that playfield. The only downside is the standard cupping that happens with the older games. I have installed a playfield protector that not only prevents insert wear, but create even play with balls being redirected by cupped inserts.
[quoted image]

I was able to fill my cupped inserts ... happy with the results. I thought it may dim some on the text on the inserts but not that I can really see.

Since I was filling with essentially clear coat I also put a couple layers on the “thousands” text and over any minor missing paint that was already worn away (mine only had about 1/8” wear on the top side of some inserts so I didn’t try to touch up the paint... just stop the progression). After waxing you can’t see where I put any clear coat around the inserts. Lotsa posts on how to fill them.

I didn’t want to tear down and rebuild the playfield to put on an overlay. Lazy.

Tricky part for filling inserts is getting the playfield perfectly flat first. Then it’s just patience for multiple layers, and making sure there’s no bubbles in the layer when you leave it to set.

#14 6 days ago
Quoted from srcdube:

I was able to fill my cupped inserts ... happy with the results. I thought it may dim some on the text on the inserts but not that I can really see.
Since I was filling with essentially clear coat I also put a couple layers on the “thousands” text and over any minor missing paint that was already worn away (mine only had about 1/8” wear on the top side of some inserts so I didn’t try to touch up the paint... just stop the progression). After waxing you can’t see where I put any clear coat around the inserts. Lotsa posts on how to fill them.
I didn’t want to tear down and rebuild the playfield to put on an overlay. Lazy.
Tricky part for filling inserts is getting the playfield perfectly flat first. Then it’s just patience for multiple layers, and making sure there’s no bubbles in the layer when you leave it to set.

I've been tempted to try filling the inserts, but I'm always afraid of screwing it up. I can't imagine dry clear coat in an insert being easy to remove if necessary. You're a braver man than me!

#15 6 days ago
Quoted from Topcard:

I've been tempted to try filling the inserts, but I'm always afraid of screwing it up. I can't imagine dry clear coat in an insert being easy to remove if necessary. You're a braver man than me!

I haven’t dug too deep but I’m sure there are probably whole threads on it. I’m ultra conservative and wasn’t confident myself either so I started as low risk as possible.

Jacked up legs with shims and stuff until the surface was perfectly level in all directions. Put a ball on it and it doesn’t roll away in any direction.

I wanted as thin a coat as I could make so I used a water based clear coat and thinned it with distilled water. I started with the smallest inserts as far away from the player as possible... so 2 or 3 of the golden cliff inserts, a thin layer of clear coat and waited to see what that looked like... couldn’t see any difference at all when it dried (good) so did a few more, added more layers etc... I didn’t touch the large Paragon inserts til the very last after I had been doing it on the smaller inserts for several weeks. Eventually used less distilled water to thin it for fill layers, and only used thinned clear coat for the top layers when it’s almost flat.

Experimented with different size brushes and medicine droppers. The object is to try to fill the circle completely each time with no bubbles or brush lines.

The biggest gotcha is having any pinhole sized bubbles left when it’s wet as they show up as white dots when the light shines through them. If that happened i’d sand them out before putting on another layer. Only have a couple of those that aren’t really noticeable unless you are specifically looking for them. I’d also lightly sand out any brush lines from the previous layer til it looked smooth again before putting on another layer. I’m sure there were times that I ended up sanding off a full layer that I just put on, but I wanted to be sure the surface was smooth between every layer.

I looked around to find the finest sandpaper available... 800-1000+... maybe 600 if I needed to sand out a bubble I left. For final layers I’d polish with just a fibery cotton cloth. I used fine steel wool a bit but was a concerned about the metal dust getting into electrical stuff so ended up mostly using emery type paper.

I’d slowly roll a pinball over the filled insert to see if it was flat enough or if I made it too high. Kept playing with it until the ball had little it no deflection on a perfectly level surface.

Anyway... If you go slow and learn as you go it’s a good skill to pick up and really not that hard. I tried looking for a used scrap playfield to practice on but nothing really available at a decent price so just went for it extremely cautiously.

#16 5 days ago
Quoted from srcdube:

I haven’t dug too deep but I’m sure there are probably whole threads on it. I’m ultra conservative and wasn’t confident myself either so I started as low risk as possible.
Jacked up legs with shims and stuff until the surface was perfectly level in all directions. Put a ball on it and it doesn’t roll away in any direction.
I wanted as thin a coat as I could make so I used a water based clear coat and thinned it with distilled water. I started with the smallest inserts as far away from the player as possible... so 2 or 3 of the golden cliff inserts, a thin layer of clear coat and waited to see what that looked like... couldn’t see any difference at all when it dried (good) so did a few more, added more layers etc... I didn’t touch the large Paragon inserts til the very last after I had been doing it on the smaller inserts for several weeks. Eventually used less distilled water to thin it for fill layers, and only used thinned clear coat for the top layers when it’s almost flat.
Experimented with different size brushes and medicine droppers. The object is to try to fill the circle completely each time with no bubbles or brush lines.
The biggest gotcha is having any pinhole sized bubbles left when it’s wet as they show up as white dots when the light shines through them. If that happened i’d sand them out before putting on another layer. Only have a couple of those that aren’t really noticeable unless you are specifically looking for them. I’d also lightly sand out any brush lines from the previous layer til it looked smooth again before putting on another layer. I’m sure there were times that I ended up sanding off a full layer that I just put on, but I wanted to be sure the surface was smooth between every layer.
I looked around to find the finest sandpaper available... 800-1000+... maybe 600 if I needed to sand out a bubble I left. For final layers I’d polish with just a fibery cotton cloth. I used fine steel wool a bit but was a concerned about the metal dust getting into electrical stuff so ended up mostly using emery type paper.
I’d slowly roll a pinball over the filled insert to see if it was flat enough or if I made it too high. Kept playing with it until the ball had little it no deflection on a perfectly level surface.
Anyway... If you go slow and learn as you go it’s a good skill to pick up and really not that hard. I tried looking for a used scrap playfield to practice on but nothing really available at a decent price so just went for it extremely cautiously.

Good tips. I do have some spare scrap playfields, so one of these days I'll try it out on them and see how it goes.
Thanks!

#17 5 days ago

Afterthought tip. I forgot to note that I used a waterproof sandpaper and would put a small dab on water on the insert with my finger before sanding. That seemed to keep the surface a bit smoother with less obvious scratches... I guess the water adds a bit of a polishing effect than just sanding. Also you are left with a thin paste to wipe off with a cloth instead of a lot of clearcoat dust.

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