(Topic ID: 66878)

Bally Vector: Why No Love?


By smileymatthew

7 years ago



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  • 109 posts
  • 52 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by xTheBlackKnightx
  • Topic is favorited by 9 Pinsiders

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#1 7 years ago

Just got done restoring my 2nd Vector - This game is loaded with lights, the double backglass, Display in the playfield - and VERY chatty sound package, 3 ramps, and upper playfield, 4 flippers, chasing lights and the game looks SHARP. Seems to me like it's go tit all - but for some reason, and I understand the sort of weirdo rules, the gameplay and fun factor of this game eludes me. This game seems to get not much love among collectors either - or even in value. Any ideas why this game gets no love - is the fun gameplay just missing? I feel like the game should be worth way more than what they were going for a few years ago.

#2 7 years ago
Quoted from smileymatthew:

the gameplay and fun factor of this game eludes me.

Never played it, but gameplay and fun factor are pretty important.

#3 7 years ago

I like it. Played one at York last year. It wasn't in great shape, but was still fun. I'd pick one up if I had the chance, and the room.

#4 7 years ago

I did not care for it. Sold it for 3-400 on ebay. It was a spare parts game if I remember right. Took left over parts from other games and made a franken-pin.

#5 7 years ago

I sold mine a few years back and wish I hadn't. Great sounds effects and very nice artwork. I think it just has too much stuff crammed onto the playfield. If it had been a widebody game instead, it probably would have a much better game. It is one of those games that it seems like they were trying to compete with video games and adding all kinds of stuff to the game in attempt to lure players back to pinball.

#6 7 years ago

It's a great game. It need to get the full tune to apreciate it at his real value !

#7 7 years ago

Probably low production numbers, not enough of them to create the nostalgia factor for those new to the hobby like myself. I didn't even know this machine existed before this post. Never saw one in the wild growing up. Looks really cool though. If I saw one between like $400-600 I'd definitely grab it just from the playfield pics.

#8 7 years ago

I had one loved it got bored of it after 6 months good for time being

#9 7 years ago

Gameplay is what it's lacking for me. This was released at the time when everyone was jumping on the split level bandwagon. I don't like games that have an upper level when there's no reason for it. This game could have easily been made single level and it would have played better. All of those short, steep ramps make the game play herky jerky. So do the ball save saucers in the outlanes. Multiball is a nightmare and has no purpose. The flipspeed shot is a great feature, but it can't save the game.

With so many solenoids in the game, which required a solenoid expander, it can also be a bitch to troubleshoot and keep running.

Lights, sounds and artwork are excellent and are what attracted me to the game in the first place. Love the Addams Family TV show on one of the plastics!

#10 7 years ago

Oh i like that game a lot.

#11 7 years ago

One other odd feature on this game is that some came with a unusual split coin door setup to allow a Dollar Bill acceptor to be installed. You couldn't swap back to a normal coin door without a ton of wood working. I don't think any other game ever had that coin door again.

#12 7 years ago

For me, 2 words. vector...VECTOR!!!

God I so want to love this machine. I LOVE the art on it. It is amazing to look at, but for me, the sounds ruin it.

Chris

#13 7 years ago
Quoted from rmarket:

One other odd feature on this game is that some came with a unusual split coin door setup to allow a Dollar Bill acceptor to be installed. You couldn't swap back to a normal coin door without a ton of wood working. I don't think any other game ever had that coin door again.

Actualy it came with 2 versions of the coin doors one a standard stainless bally door then the funky international door with provisions for a bill validator.

#14 7 years ago

Vector is a great game. It's pretty tough to get all those drop targets down then 3 more come up! Knock them down again and shoot for Vectorscan. It sounds easy but try to do it without draining. I'd pick one up locally if I could find one, they don't come up too often.

#15 7 years ago
Quoted from rmarket:

One other odd feature on this game is that some came with a unusual split coin door setup to allow a Dollar Bill acceptor to be installed. You couldn't swap back to a normal coin door without a ton of wood working. I don't think any other game ever had that coin door again.

Vector was the first pin (and probably first arcade game period) to come with a factory bill validator, and there weren't many doors made for coin op machines to accommodate bill validators, and stand alone validators were rare back then. Even Rowe juke boxes back then that took bills were using components of changers inside of them.
I've seen ads and pictures of the models with the dollar acceptor, but never seen one in person. they must be quite rare.

#16 7 years ago

I just discovered this game a few months ago. Love that background "engine" noise. I'd pick one up in a second if it were local and the price was right.

#17 7 years ago

I have buddy that picked one up he's in the middle of cleaning it up, but he told CPR will be running new plastics for it. It looks very cool. I can't wait to play it.

#18 7 years ago
Quoted from girloveswaffles:

Vector was the first pin (and probably first arcade game period) to come with a factory bill validator, and there weren't many doors made for coin op machines to accommodate bill validators, and stand alone validators were rare back then. Even Rowe juke boxes back then that took bills were using components of changers inside of them.
I've seen ads and pictures of the models with the dollar acceptor, but never seen one in person. they must be quite rare.

I think it is by area and what distributor serviced the area. Around here you never see a Vector with the chrome door. I was thinking that the chrome door was the rare one. I finally saw one with the chrome door last year at Allentown. That was about the 6 or 7th Vector I had seen and the first with the Chrome door.

#19 7 years ago

I've seen 3 - all of them had the double door validator thing, but never actually saw one with a validator in it.

#20 7 years ago

I picked one up in March. Almost have it fixed, sans plastics and ramps. Here are my thoughts.

Negatives:
- A LOT of wasted PF space. A LOT. One long loop that is barely hit-able, and a lot of room wasted for ball storage and artwork.
- An upper level for no real need. Spy Hunter is just as strange of a PF but at least doesn't have the extra drawbacks of a raised level for no reason.
- Not wide of enough center PF place -- no long shots.
- Nearly useless upper left short flipper.
- Oversized upper top flipper too strong/close for targets
- Startling, frequent glass hits constantly into the middle area by upper flipper
- Absolutely horrible placement of a *wood screw* post that takes a huge beating protecting the left to left center ramp. Bondo doesn't fix the wood, Bondo + a T-Nut with machine screw post still wiggles after some time. Every game pic I've seen had that post and the 2 behind it and the L bracket on the ramp destroyed there.
- Really really hard play. (even with "home roms" burned and all settings at their easiest.). Almost no one but me; occasionally; can get it up to catch even 1 ball. Uber rare to get 2 ball multi-ball.
- Clanky, clanky, clanky sounding/feeling. I tried to soften it by putting foam weatherstripping under the metal ramps to absorb some of that sound.
- Really (too) bouncy with new rubbers. Ball seems to bounce all over the place vertically and horizontally. Just doesn't feel right.
- Bally; so 2x as expensive parts for flipper kits as compared to Williams.
- SCR's that won't keep latched when using LCDs that cause them to flicker wildly. (Fixable from $1.50 to $100 in parts and 5 minutes to 3 hours work inversely though)
- Noticeable light dimming depending on how many solenoids and other lights (including LEDs) are firing/on.
- Sound effects take a second place to the speech. Depending on setting, you either get unique chirps hitting stuff, or you get a crowd applause sound after every hit which gets very annoying.

Positives:
- Unbelievable speech from 4x small 2532 (4K) eproms made in 1982. Absolutely unbelievable amount of sound for the period.
- Nice (but not as good as Xenon or Black Hole) psuedo-Infinity lights with 2 layer backglass.
- Once modded for LED (flickering) -- no ghosting, as separate wire for each lamp (no matrix) can use cheap LEDs to make blues look great.
- Cool use of catches on outlanes to nudge into for a save (though the left one is much easier to hit than the right)
- Different; but different not always good

I have a HS, Jokerz (picked up 3 months after the Vector) and Vector. Everyone that has been over to play, both women and men, gamers and non-gamers, have ranked the three:

Jokerz: #1 - Fun theme, cool shots, easy enough to get multi-ball, would love to own. Busy the entire 5 hours last game night (with most video games ignored)

High Speed #2 (close) - Good theme, love the wide loop shots keeping ball going fast, love ramp shots and police chase. Very rewarding multi-ball but hard to get to. Would like to own something similar. Busy almost the entire 5 hours.

Vector #3 (a far #3) - Looks interesting (before they play). After: WAY TOO HARD. No one can catch more than 1 ball (on easiest settings, home rom), 90% catch 0 balls. Impressed with speech (after I explain the year it came out) but like them better on High Speed. Vacant for probably 3 of the 5 hours.

It will be my first one to go if I find another Williams System 11. Til then, I will play it occasionally.

#21 7 years ago
Quoted from Pac-Fan:

- Really really hard play. (even with "home roms" burned and all settings at their easiest.). Almost no one but me; occasionally; can get it up to catch even 1 ball. Uber rare to get 2 ball multi-ball.

Quoted from Pac-Fan:

Vector #3 (a far #3) - Looks interesting (before they play). After: WAY TOO HARD. No one can catch more than 1 ball (on easiest settings, home rom), 90% catch 0 balls.

As Steve Ritche would say "Play better". just kidding, thanks for an interesting review!

I really enjoy games with a hard to reach multiball. It makes it that much more exciting when it's finally achieved. Everyone likes different things in pinball so that's good.

5 months later
#22 6 years ago
Quoted from Pac-Fan:

- Oversized upper top flipper too strong/close for targets

VECTOR is supposed to have a mini-flipper (right-handed version to pair with the upper left-hand mini-flipper embossed with the word "FLIPPER"). Many instances of VECTOR are fitted with an incorrect full-size flipper on the upper playfield because the incorrect part is listed in the manual.

Quoted from Pac-Fan:

- Startling, frequent glass hits constantly into the middle area by upper flipper

Caused by fitting an incorrect 3-inch flipper. The X-Y-Z also becomes more skilful with a mini-flipper, lowers the damage inflicted on the drop-targets for such a short range shot, glass hits pretty much vanish and it becomes almost impossible to accidentally trap the ball behind the flipper too.

Quoted from Pac-Fan:

- Really really hard play.

This isn't a negative! VECTOR is definitely a players game and like many Bally's of this era it's all about fine control, like shooting spot targets in order. My VECTOR sits next to PARAGON, another deceptively simple-looking Bally from '79 that's a complete swine to master!

My only negative is that VECTOR only has one pop bumper; I do like a good set of pop bumpers on a pin. It's also totally hidden under a plastic by the X-Y-Z drop-targets and is only open on one side.

#23 6 years ago

I like Vector quite a bit and have had one for a long time. It really looks and sounds fantastic, but admittedly could really benefit from a rules rewrite to make MB have more of a purpose.

#24 6 years ago
Quoted from nedreud:

Caused by fitting an incorrect 3-inch flipper. The X-Y-Z also becomes more skilful with a mini-flipper, lowers the damage inflicted on the drop-targets for such a short range shot, glass hits pretty much vanish and it becomes almost impossible to accidentally trap the ball behind the flipper too.

My glass hits are caused by either LEFT flipper (the lower 3" or the upper left 2") sending the ball up the ramp into the XYZ area. It's not caused very much by the upper center flipper (which is 3" on mine).

BTW--I don't think I've seen more than 1 to 2 pictures of Vector with a 2" flipper in the upper part. I definitely am planning on swapping that one out for the smaller one, but that's definitely not where my glass hits originate.

Also mine (and many online pics) have tons of damage next to the ramp edge that separates the left most from the left center ramp. My L bracket had broken at the base and the front (wood screw base) post of course was eaten out. I replaced it with a T-nut and machine screw base and back filled the wood with epoxy to ensure it can protect against future repeated hits.

PS: Any tips on reducing the "bounciness" of the ball when in the lower half of the base playfield? A friend suggested replacing the yellow rubber on the flippers for the new silicone bands. I suppose I could switch out the whites for blacks on the slings and outlanes too. All of those spots are incredibly bouncy on mine. Angle is 6.5* just like my HS, F14, Jokerz which exhibit none of that behavior, but have lots more/different open space above those areas too

#25 6 years ago

Lots of love from me... wish I could find one in my area

#26 6 years ago

I've shopped one once.
I added the free play roms and enhanced game rules.
It gives the game a skill shot which makes it very interesting to get it.
Also the quotes are changed a bit.
Take a look on Olivers page:
http://www.pinball4you.ch/okaegi/pro_soft.html

Peter

#27 6 years ago

hit the showers!

#28 6 years ago
Quoted from Inkochnito:

I added the free play roms and enhanced game rules.
It gives the game a skill shot which makes it very interesting to get it.
Also the quotes are changed a bit.

Agree, the custom 'home' roms made it better. Too bad V10 is unobtainable, and required a hardware hack. At least most of the mods were in V5.

Here is the new rulesheet for the V5 home roms: http://www.pinball4you.ch/okaegi/pro_softvector.html

Also here is a web archive link to content referenced from the above site that is no longer available. Some additional insight into Vector: http://web.archive.org/web/20050827220423/http://www.dreamstasys.com/vector.htm

And another archive of a rule sheet for the original rom: http://web.archive.org/web/20050215081242/http://ucsub.colorado.edu/~averyr/vectorules.html

BTW--Anyone have for sale a right sided 2" flipper with the embossed letters and the shoe/shaft? I'll take anything used if not broken plastic so I can swap that in. Marco's used to have the bats for $1.25 but is out. Hoping someone has a spare?

#29 6 years ago

I like the new roms, but like I said, the MB needs something more to it than just more balls on the PF. At least maybe a scoring multiplier x # of balls in play.

A cooler idea may be to add a timer to relock balls that starts after you relock the first one. Display the timer on the PF display. If you can't do it before the timer runs out, then it kicks any locked balls back out. If you do lock all 3, then release one at time to hit the ramp for jackpot with a short time window.

Wish I had the skills to create this myself.

#30 6 years ago
Quoted from Hellfire:

Actualy it came with 2 versions of the coin doors one a standard stainless bally door then the funky international door with provisions for a bill validator.

Ive got 2 vectors and one is stainless the one im going to keep for mine and the second is the double door, the validator is a cool idea but have little use for it in my collection rather have a standard door. but most ive seen seem to have the double doors it would appear the stainless door model was the rare one.

Love vector have played them before cant wait to get mine restored and up and running Like the previous guy said a bally is all about ball control it cant cant be compared with system 11 machines they are totaly diferent. Vector is certainly better than xenon or cybernaut reversed xenon machine. I like the complicated hard machines and have a soft spot for the 80-82 ballys I have centaur, fathom, medusa, spectrum, elektra and a few other ballys from the era each one is completely unique to the other flash gordon is also hard but it still highly loved. Individualy they are pretty decent but when you have a bunch of them its a nice collection to have and some of my personal favorites.

#31 6 years ago
Quoted from nedreud:

VECTOR is supposed to have a mini-flipper (right-handed version to pair with the upper left-hand mini-flipper embossed with the word "FLIPPER"). Many instances of VECTOR are fitted with an incorrect full-size flipper on the upper playfield because the incorrect part is listed in the manual.

Really? That's interesting because I've seen a bunch of Vector's over the years and not one of them had the 2" flipper, including new in the arcade. I agree it makes sense to have a small flipper up there. So are you saying they were all assembled incorrectly at the factory due to a misprint in the manual?

#32 6 years ago

Vector is a great game...unique layout and fun as hell. I love mine and hard to find.

#33 6 years ago

38 minutes, 50 seconds in:

#t=2329

#34 6 years ago

I like the fact that there's a higher level of difficulty to it. That means it won't get stale after awhile.

#35 6 years ago

Yep s1500 I feel the same like medusa this game is hard and keeps it fresh the hard games last longer without getting too old or boring

#36 6 years ago

I'm looking forward to having my Vector come home(it's at a friend's house now) since there will be a new plastics set waiting for it as soon as that comes in the mail. Then onto the board work!

#37 6 years ago

Just picked up a very nice Vector. Super unique, interesting game. I really like it. I have big plans for it once I have some time: flipper rebuild and shop job, among other things. It's fantastic otherwise. The drop targets look brand new.

Does anyone have LEDs & Alltek lamp boards in their Vector? I'm considering putting in the retro LEDs, color matching inserts, and playing around with some backglass colors. I would be interested in any examples...

#38 6 years ago
Quoted from Aeolus7:

Does anyone have LEDs & Alltek lamp boards in their Vector? I'm considering putting in the retro LEDs, color matching inserts, and playing around with some backglass colors. I would be interested in any examples...

I'm LED-less, but considering it. Noticed the slingshot bulbs be quite hot(obviously).

#39 6 years ago
Quoted from Aeolus7:

Does anyone have LEDs & Alltek lamp boards in their Vector? I'm considering putting in the retro LEDs, color matching inserts, and playing around with some backglass colors. I would be interested in any examples...

I LED'd mine. I spent less than $5 on parts off eBay (.100 connectors and some resistors) and a couple hours later soldered up an interface to connect to the bally board to allow for LEDs in all switched circuits. (I posted details in another thread). Been meaning to make up PCB's for a professional look, but all the sources to fab them have cost too much and I dont have enough time right now You definitely do not need to replace the board to run LEDs, either solder at each lamp socket or right off the connector on the original board and that's all thats needed.

The LEDs made the blue inserts look awesome, and the slightly pink warm white Ablaze singles make the amber inserts look awesome. I went with a "as close to incandsecent, tasteful" led mod as possible I can try to snap a few pics of mine. I also did add some color on the switched ones in the backbox, but left everything else warm white.

#40 6 years ago
Quoted from Pac-Fan:

The LEDs made the blue inserts look awesome, and the slightly pink warm white Ablaze singles make the amber inserts look awesome. I went with a "as close to incandsecent, tasteful" led mod as possible I can try to snap a few pics of mine. I also did add some color on the switched ones in the backbox, but left everything else warm white.

Cool, thanks. Vector definitely looks pretty great with incandescents, so I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel. Very interested in pics of your machine if you have them.

#41 6 years ago

Oh yeah, I kept all 32 incandescents around the outside of the backglass for chaser lights. I used #47's. I couldn't find any LED's (after trying about 14 different styles of warm white from various vendors) that looked right. Plus I kept the #555's (soon to be replaced with slightly dimmer #159's) on the back left in the openings of the steel ramp side mirroring the amber arrows. Again, no LED felt "right" there. I had one, an early cointaker 2 mini SMD orange (when they had translucent #555 bases) that nearly identically matched the color temp of the amber inserts next to them, but alas, I had only 1, and subsequent orders from them and other vendors could not even come close to the color temp of that one sample LED I had. So I decided to go with incandescent since you directly look at it, and the #555's were a bit too bright, so I am going to the 159's (a 159 is the same as a #47 in a wedge)

Will get pics soon, but in essence, from memory, I used:
- Pinball life single LED Ablaze frosted in almost every insert. Red/Green/Blue color matched, Warm white (slightly pinkish from them) in the ambers and yellows. (Cool white in the yellows made them look green)
- For the larger opaque Red's (center) used CoinTaker or PinballBulbs frosted ones for extra brightness as the single Ablaze were just a bit too dim.

2 months later
#42 6 years ago

Calling all Vector atheletes:

My Vector's home, and it's down to only a few wonky issues. A few lights here & there are out, and hitting the left ramp adds another player(ie hits the start button).

Can someone take a picture of the lock mechanism for the backbox? I don't have one. It opened up as I was playing. Heh.

Also, why are there lights under the PF?

#43 6 years ago

Check out my pics here, I think I have one that may show the lock assembly, if not I can try to get you some.

http://s1293.photobucket.com/user/bffargo/library/Vector

The lights under the playfield/mounted to the backbox are special lights required to properly pull enough current since they used SCRs to control things. That's why you can't just drop in LEDs in any switched socket otherwise they will randomly flicker on and off like a candle light as they don't pull enough current. Take them out and subsequent circuits will not run because it doesn't keep the SCR latched on.

#44 6 years ago

wish i had a vector to not like that much

#45 6 years ago
Quoted from Pac-Fan:

The lights under the playfield/mounted to the backbox are special lights required to properly pull enough current since they used SCRs to control things. That's why you can't just drop in LEDs in any switched socket otherwise they will randomly flicker on and off like a candle light as they don't pull enough current. Take them out and subsequent circuits will not run because it doesn't keep the SCR latched on.

Noted. Time to make some orders. One other issue I'm having is the 3 back XYZ drop targets, all when dropped, don't go back up. Sometimes when I start a ball, I hear the game proclaim "X" as if it was hit, but not yell that when I actually do hit the target. Then again I need to replace the drop targets anyway. Have brand new ones in the bag.

#46 6 years ago

For your targets, first, clean all of the switches and adjust them. Mine were pretty poor and randomly didn't sense. I also replaced all my targets ($36+ a couple bucks of mylar to cut rectangles to cover the paint to keep them looking like new) since the original ones were a hodgepodge of random stuff from Bally and classic Stern (totally wrong logos, wrong shapes). I removed and derusted and cleaned all parts of all 3 targets, now look shiney and new, even 1 year later (see pics above). For your problem of resetting, it won't be because of the plastic targets themselves. It will be an issue with the reset solenoid: A bad coil, bad diode, broken wire, bad connection or fried transistor on the driver board. There are 3 small solenoids (well hidden) to drop them, and one very large one to push them back up. The large one you can get to without disassembling the whole thing/removing from playfield.

#47 6 years ago
Quoted from s1500:

Also, why are there lights under the PF?

They are there to create enough current draw to switch the relay on the solenoid expander. Do not replace these with LED's.

#48 6 years ago

I replaced my SEB lamp in EBD with an LED, worked fine.

8 months later
#49 5 years ago

Is there an easy way/right way to replace under-pf insert light bulbs? Some way without bending the mounting tabs? Figure I would ask before diving in.

1 month later
#50 5 years ago

More than most games, Vector comes down to two things.

1. Condition of the table
2. Skill and knowledge of the player. You must be accurate on the shots and know how to nudge.

The game is so packed with features that it is a cramped game. This makes it vital that everything works properly (game and player) to enjoy this game.

Many Vectors are absolute dogs. Mine was when I bought it - the game was in great fundamental condition but everything was dirty, slow and loose.

Initially I hated it and I fully agreed with the generally bad reviews but then I began to get it. I extensively tuned it through a series of small but tangible adjustments, this made a huge difference

1. Rebuilt the flippers and slingshots, cleaning the high voltage contacts
2. Tuned each flipper using the end of stroke switch adjustment to reduce power to stop the air balls
3. Replaced upper flipper with a 2" one and changed the coil for a weaker one
4. Replaced rubber. Even a 0.5 mm increase in diameter on the post rubbers near the nudge saucers makes a huge difference to how readily you can save the ball
5. Good clean and wax
6. Replaced all drop targets with new ones to freshen up the look
7. Renovated ball shooter and stretched spring so the skill shot meant something
8. Carefully adjusted leaf switches on slings and pop bumper to get most out of them
9. Super-bands improve the main flippers and reduce the irritating bounciness, but the yellow colour looks wrong. So its a case of whether you want the right look or the right feel

I now love my Vector. It rewards you when you play well. Few balls go straight down the middle which is something I hate on all pinballs. It tests your accuracy and nudging. The rules make sense and it awards points quite fairly (unlike some games which show huge bias for some shots)

But I can understand why so many people don't, if they have played a tired one.

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