(Topic ID: 77057)

Black Hole Club... Members Only!


By mof

5 years ago



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There are 1842 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 37.
#1 5 years ago

Black Hole -- one of the *best* Sys80s ever made...

Incredibly well-executed theme
Fantastic old-school speech synthesizer (Friends my age are waiting for him to say "You are space cadet" -- from Gorf)
Good sound effects
Possibly the best backglass show of all time -- up there with Mars God of War
Good PF light show
Two playfields in two different directions
Possibly the best 3-ball multi-ball ever designed, with ball travel in two opposite directions at once on two different levels. A total brain-warp to put it lightly.
Game has good counter-measures to prevent over-trapping of balls with flippers

I started up a Black Hole Club so that other proud Black Hole owners can share the over-the-top love for the machine as well as: repair help, restoration tips, part requests, requesting wiring photos, topper ideas, best LED usage, color matching tips, and upgrade ideas...

RESOURCES / IDEAS:
http://www.pbresource.com/Blackhole.html <-- parts
http://www.gamefaqs.com/pinball/916515-black-hole/faqs/1438
http://www.petesgameroom.net/black-hole-pinball-restoration/
http://stevekulpa.net/pinball/blackhole.htm
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/home-for-the-gottlieb-sys1-sys-80b-guys-yep-i-guess-it-a-club
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/black-hole-ni-wumpf-rule-adjustments

[x] add to your favorites (do this now!)

-mof

#2 5 years ago

First!
"NO ONE ESCAPES THE BLACK HOLE"

#3 5 years ago

couldn't have said it better, mof!

love this machine to bits, from its classy theme and classic artwork to its challenging ruleset. is there another 3-ball multiball in all of pinball that gives the player the "opportunity" to lose two of their three locked balls before the mode even begins?? (by draining both balls on the lower playfield before completing a drop target bank) it's devious!

#4 5 years ago

Count me in! BH is almost pinball perfection IMHO. Owned my BH since 2004 and it has been very reliable (hope i didn't jinx it) since I went over it and did all the upgrades.

I still remember when I first saw BH in the back of an arcade in Bristol, UK in 1981/2. I was almost scared to play the game and it was set at 50p/game which back then was equivalent to $1.25! I played until my money ran out (not long!). I never got to play another BH until I got one in my own collection - every game I came across on location was out of order (no surprise)!

#5 5 years ago

Just for a laugh here's the homemade reset board that was in my BH when I purchased it I haven't dared to touch it since I got the game so assume it is working fine.

BH Reset Board Hack.JPG

#6 5 years ago

That has got to be the funniest System 80 hack I've ever seen.

Steve

#7 5 years ago
Quoted from RCA1:

First!
"NO ONE ESCAPES THE BLACK HOLE"

You can always escape the Black Hole, you just need a pricey divorce attorney..

#8 5 years ago

Here's a simple BH mod I did a while back for those that never saw it.

Steve

#9 5 years ago

Why did that just give me WOOD ? !

#10 5 years ago

LOL, I'm glad I don't know the answer to that Gerry.

Steve

#11 5 years ago

Mof, you got your black hole. Congrats man.

#12 5 years ago
Quoted from blownfuse:

Here's a simple BH mod I did a while back for those that never saw it.
Steve
» YouTube video

Nice! Details please...

#13 5 years ago

I always liked the way the tube lit up on BBB so that was my version of it for BH. To light the tube, I used one of my LED post mod boards and installed super bright blue LED's on it. It's mounted to the cut out part of the playfield near to the upkicker tube edge so the light will travel through the tube to the end and light the tube up. I used the open gate light to power it. The only problem I ran into was the tube itself, it wouldn't carry the light through it very well because the plastic was old and beat up. My solution was to make a new upkicker tube, worked much better after that. You need pics too?

Steve

#14 5 years ago

Count me in! BH is so frustrating but it's still one of my favorites.

#15 5 years ago

Now that I'm 20+ games into an unshopped dry-rubbered Black Hole with 1 dead pop, I have a few thoughts on the game play...

* The #1 drain is SDTM (feels like I have short flippers), I wish there was a center post for sure. So tempting to drop one in...
* The left drain is fun to try and save, you have a chance. Having the pop right there above it, is very evil. I like how Bally Viking does this as well. I wish the left drain had a starpost instead of the metal apron to give you more of a save chance once it drains.
* The pops can really drive the ball back at the flippers hard. The acrylic blue PF only makes this more dangerous. I like the sound of the ball skimming across it (mind you I have the glass off)
* I like watching the ball come down the spiral to the lower PF. I love playing that PF. I haven't mastered the lock shot yet. The advance multiplier off the tip is quite doable.
* I look forward to learning 3 positions on the skill shot. I've never owned a game where you can't change the 1-2-3 lane lights. This is how it should be in my opinion UNTIL the ball passes through them, then you should be allowed to change them (for the pop-hits)
* I had no idea the ball would fly so well out of that tube -- it really flies into the flippers. I will definitely add shopping that solenoid to my list to ensure the ball is max velocity coming out.
* I think it's astounding that it's only a 7-shot game on the upper PF, considering it's a wide-body. The lower PF itself has 5 shots. This gives it more shots than any game I own (12). (All my games have 7 through 12 shots -- I count banks as 1 shot). The game with the most shots I've ever counted is TZ with 18 shots.
* I think it's very odd that the right lane gate helps you once, then drains you if the ball is still in that area.
* Having no inlanes is great. Now we know where Space Station got the inspiration from.
* I find there's one shot that is either hard to hit, or not well used in the game, the right loop shot. I realize there's a 10K green insert in there that lights up, but I don't know that the ball ever got in that more than once in 20+ games.

I look forward to learning the rules. It's still a big mystery to me.

-mof

#16 5 years ago

I bought my Black Hole back in 1999 from an individual seller in San Antonio, TX. This was one that Craig Hassell and I both saw an ad for in the paper, and actually how we met. Picked the game up for $100. The cabinet was delaminating, the card tray had the word "JUNK" sharpied on it, the playfield had wear, and the boards were dead.

60 hours of hand repaint on playfield with nine coats of Varathane, 40 hours of cabinet repair and repaint (no stencils back then), lots of board work, and a heap of NOS parts where I could find them, ND this baby is fast, furious, and exceedingly difficult to beat!!! But it's a true keeper, it's not leaving the house.

(SIDE NOTE) - I remember dragging it in pieces upstairs because the sheer weight of this thing is monstrous....

Chris

#17 5 years ago

Has anyone done a motor upgrade?

-mof

#18 5 years ago

I just put black pearl pinballs in my black hole. With the room lights off looks like little black holes rolling around my black hole.

#19 5 years ago

I remember your beautiful restoration Chris.

Steve

Quoted from ChrisM:

I bought my Black Hole back in 1999 from an individual seller in San Antonio, TX. This was one that Craig Hassell and I both saw an ad for in the paper, and actually how we met. Picked the game up for $100. The cabinet was delaminating, the card tray had the word "JUNK" sharpied on it, the playfield had wear, and the boards were dead.
60 hours of hand repaint on playfield with nine coats of Varathane, 40 hours of cabinet repair and repaint (no stencils back then), lots of board work, and a heap of NOS parts where I could find them, ND this baby is fast, furious, and exceedingly difficult to beat!!! But it's a true keeper, it's not leaving the house.
(SIDE NOTE) - I remember dragging it in pieces upstairs because the sheer weight of this thing is monstrous....
Chris

#20 5 years ago

I put LEDs in my Black Hole and thought that it went very well with the theme. The bright white LEDs in the infinity mirror were hypnotic.

- Don

DSC_0035.jpg DSC_0039.jpg
#21 5 years ago
Quoted from blownfuse:

I remember your beautiful restoration Chris.
Steve

Thanks Steve . Labors of love result in children of beauty, yes?

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Now that I'm 20+ games into an unshopped dry-rubbered Black Hole with 1 dead pop, I have a few thoughts on the game play...
* The #1 drain is SDTM (feels like I have short flippers), I wish there was a center post for sure. So tempting to drop one in...

don't do it! yes, it is brutal, but real skill is recognizing when you are about to have a ricochet with STDM potential, and intervening just in time to prevent it. with all that open space in the middle of the playfield (for the lower playfield window), trajectories are reasonably predictable, which in my opinion adds an element of skill to the game -- your brain has time to work out one or two bounces ahead.

Quoted from mof:

* The left drain is fun to try and save, you have a chance. Having the pop right there above it, is very evil. I like how Bally Viking does this as well. I wish the left drain had a starpost instead of the metal apron to give you more of a save chance once it drains.

the pop bumper right there on the outlane is crazy, but as you said, the angle totally gives you a great chance for saves. it is more than fair, and definitely gives you a good save chance. more so than most machines, i feel, even if it also puts you in trouble more than most as well. (the low angle is a mixed blessing -- cradling on the left is really rare! but the tradeoff is saves from the outlane are easy. again rewarding skill, and it somewhat prevents slow, conservative trap-based play on that side.

Quoted from mof:

* I like watching the ball come down the spiral to the lower PF.

yeah that is pretty neat! TPA does not mimic this and it was a sweet surprise for me when i got mine.

Quoted from mof:

I love playing that PF. I haven't mastered the lock shot yet. The advance multiplier off the tip is quite doable.

depends on the angle of the flippers .. mine are slung pretty low .. been meaning to adjust that, actually, i think my lower playfield might play a little tougher than intended....

Quoted from mof:

* I look forward to learning 3 positions on the skill shot. I've never owned a game where you can't change the 1-2-3 lane lights. This is how it should be in my opinion UNTIL the ball passes through them, then you should be allowed to change them (for the pop-hits)

ok, this is actually my one gripe with the game -- lack of any meaningful skillshot. the plunge really doesn't matter. at BEST you get a third of a multiplier. whoopee. if i were going to mod the game in a way that altered gameplay, this is what i'd be trying to rectify.

Quoted from mof:

* I had no idea the ball would fly so well out of that tube -- it really flies into the flippers. I will definitely add shopping that solenoid to my list to ensure the ball is max velocity coming out.

when i got mine, it was coming out of the tube so hard that it would hit the glass with a CRACK several of orders of magnitude louder than a replay knock. me and everyone that heard it was afraid it would crack or break the glass. also, it'd come out so fast that about half the time, even if the re-entry gate was closed, the ball would shoot all the way around to the opposite side, bounce off a post, and come back into play on the *left* inlane. it was kinda worrisome, and kind of a cheat, so i made a one-way gate that slows the ball down on its exit from the ramp enough that it doesn't hit the glass, but it still shoots out there pretty unpredictably, which i like.

Quoted from mof:

* I think it's very odd that the right lane gate helps you once, then drains you if the ball is still in that area.

not sure what you mean by that. are you running the ball up the right lane, pushing that gate open, and then draining? that does happen and it is a bastard. you're not talking about comign back from the lower playfield, are you? on the lower level, you have to down either the white or yellow drop target banks in order to open the re-entry gate.

Quoted from mof:

* I find there's one shot that is either hard to hit, or not well used in the game, the right loop shot. I realize there's a 10K green insert in there that lights up, but I don't know that the ball ever got in that more than once in 20+ games.

yeah, not really used for anything really other than some points.

Quoted from mof:

I look forward to learning the rules. It's still a big mystery to me.
-mof

the real key to this table is getting those four orange targets above the right flippers as soon as possible. you can go downstairs at any time, you can lock a ball down there any time, but you can't lock a ball on the upper playfield until you've completed those four targets on a single ball. and then the lock stays lit until you hit multiball. the lock itself is an easy shot off the tip of either right flipper. lighting the lock is hard.

#23 5 years ago

here's the gate I mentioned:

DSCN0035.JPG

and bonus: here's my son, Malcolm Zefram Reynolds, playing Black Hole earlier this evening! he'd been playing for a while and doing quite well, so I grabbed the camera, but I guess he was starting to get a bit tuckered out. Notice how the rotating backglass entrances him towards the end. Took him to bed right after!

#24 5 years ago

oh wait that was the wrong video, this is the one where he gets hypnotized:

#25 5 years ago

I guess this is a good time for this thread, I just picked up a black hole a couple weeks ago. I had never even played one before but found one and grabbed it. I just started getting into pinball about a year ago and when I started looking for games and watching videos of gameplay, black hole was one my son always wanted me to get, to the point he was relentless about it. I'm getting the ground mods done right now then shopping it and then well play it for a while and see if it stays or goes. I don't have a lot or space for pins (right now only two) so if it doesn't get a lot of love then it will go. I always thought the two play fields were a really cool design. I'm hoping it isn't as much of a pain to keep working as I've read a lot of people saying. I'll get some pics up once it is back together.

#26 5 years ago

well, I've had mine about a year and had exactly zero issues. The only times the glass has come off has been for LEDs and wax. It does have the recommended ground mods.

speaking of LEDs, I think this is one game where the cool white LEDs look really good, as opposed to warm. I think they just go better with all the blues in the art and the outer space motif.

I still have incandescents in the chaser lights, but that's it. I have some "retro" LEDs I might try in there instead.

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from mof:

I haven't mastered the lock shot yet.

I realize there's a 10K green insert in there that lights up, but I don't know that the ball ever got in that more than once in 20+ games.

I look forward to learning the rules. It's still a big mystery to me.
-mof

1. The way I do it is hold up the left flipper and let it roll of onto the right flipper for a nice controlled lockshot

2. the easies way it to nudge it off the top right pop bumper and let it roll down, not up. you light the 10K by completing hole targets (does not have to be in order)

3.) http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=307&picno=16390

#28 5 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

not sure what you mean by that. are you running the ball up the right lane, pushing that gate open, and then draining? that does happen and it is a bastard.

Yes.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

oh wait that was the wrong video, this is the one where he gets hypnotized:
» YouTube video

great vid! made me smile...
-mof

#30 5 years ago

Great video!

My 3 year-old daughter is way into this game too. There have been pinballs around her whole life, but I've always had to talk her into playing with me (and she'd lose interest very quickly). I picked up a Black Hole just before New Year's, and now she asks just about every day to play the "big alien pinball".

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

here's the gate I mentioned:

Isn't that gate standard in the game? I have one on mine, but I think its purpose is to prevent a ball rolling back into the tube.
-mof

#32 5 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Isn't that gate standard in the game? I have one on mine, but I think its purpose is to prevent a ball rolling back into the tube.
-mof

The annoying gate is the re-entry gate. Most of my history with BH is in Pinball Arcade, where the gate only opens when the machine opens it. I played BH in real life and discovered this nasty surprise.

I wonder if there is supposed to be more spring tension there maybe?

#33 5 years ago
Quoted from tjsynkral:

The annoying gate is the re-entry gate. Most of my history with BH is in Pinball Arcade, where the gate only opens when the machine opens it. I played BH in real life and discovered this nasty surprise.
I wonder if there is supposed to be more spring tension there maybe?

Nope no more tension, it is meant to divert the ball when you earn your drops down below, but NOT meant to keep your ball in the inlane for a trap on the right upper flipper...

It is designed to hose you, and let the ball pass to the outlane on and agressivley moving trap...

That is one of the many hells of BH..

#34 5 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Isn't that gate standard in the game? I have one on mine, but I think its purpose is to prevent a ball rolling back into the tube.
-mof

just to clarify, here he's not referring to the re-entry gate -- he means the one-way gate i put on the tube. I don't know what the original machine has there, but when I bought mine, there was a rectangular gate that would keep a ball from rolling down the tube from the upper playfield, but when the ball is coming up from the tube, it would pass right through it without touching it. I bent that "W" shape into it so that it catches the ball and stops it from slamming into the glass when it shoots up the tube. i'd be interested to see what you guys have in that spot.

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

just to clarify, here he's not referring to the re-entry gate -- he means the one-way gate i put on the tube. I don't know what the original machine has there, but when I bought mine, there was a rectangular gate that would keep a ball from rolling down the tube from the upper playfield, but when the ball is coming up from the tube, it would pass right through it without touching it. I bent that "W" shape into it so that it catches the ball and stops it from slamming into the glass when it shoots up the tube. i'd be interested to see what you guys have in that spot.

ok you bent the W shape.
-mof

#36 5 years ago

right, i forgot it was actually already on there. my bad.

#37 5 years ago

I have the stock part on the tube. I solved my cannon ball upkicker problem by converting to a A-20095 flipper coil and adding a EOS switch to it. That way, I can adjust the strength of the hit to the ball thus making it travel at what ever speed I want it to up to the main playfield. EOS opens late = cannonball, opens early = trickle onto the playfield. Also, this mod helps save the coil should a ground issue occur and locking on the coil. if that should happen, it's no worse than holding a flipper button on for a long time. It worked so well, I talked Cliffy into stocking the bracket and switch. Here's the PinWiki article on doing this mod.

http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Gottlieb_System_80#Black_Hole_Ball_Lift_Kicker_Mod

#38 5 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

I bent that "W" shape into it so that it catches the ball and stops it from slamming into the glass when it shoots up the tube. i'd be interested to see what you guys have in that spot.

bh ball gate 2.jpgbh ball gate.jpg

#39 5 years ago

Its really not meant to bat the ball down to the PF as it exits the tube, its to keep the ball from bouncing off the return lane gate and getting stuck between the PF and the tube, and just sitting there...

Mine pictured works perfect, and i guess it does have some slight effect on the ball coming out of the tube, cause the ball hits it, but for the most part i think the effect is little to none...

// Error: Image 177891 not found // // Error: Image 177892 not found //
#40 5 years ago

Gerry, it looks like the ball is hitting the edge of the playfield, there's an adjustment to correct this.

Steve

#41 5 years ago

i think it was the tube rubbing on it for years from being out of adjustment, the ball comes nowhere near the PF as it sits..

#42 5 years ago

Here's a pic of my upkicker gate shield for pezpunk. Not sure why it came out dark with the flash on.

Steve

upkicker gate shield.jpg

#43 5 years ago

I have a really minor issue on my BH.
Recently the "High Score to Date" lamp stopped lighting. Not sure exactly when, I just noticed it.
The displays alternate correctly from 0/last game to high score during attract, but the "High Score" lamp does not light when the high score is displayed.
It's not a bulb out, there is no power at the socket.
Is this a transistor out on the lamp driver board?

#44 5 years ago

HSTD is L11, this is controlled by Q11 on the driver board (MPS-A13).

Steve

#45 5 years ago

How do folks align their flippers on Black Hole - parallel to the ball guide or parallel to the biff bars? Any idea how it shipped from the factory? The flippers on mine came setup parallel to the ball guides, but I almost think the shots would feel better with the flippers set a little low.

#46 5 years ago

mine are slung low on both the upper and lower playfields. the multiplier loop on the lower playfield is almost impossible to hit for some reason, i'm thinking of adjusting them.

#47 5 years ago

I adjust all my gottliebs to line up with the inlane guides, i dont like the way some Gotts look droopy..

It has not affected any gameplay at all, and make drop catches a bit easier as well, still not a gimmie, but a bit better..

I also adjusted the lower bats on my BH too...

I think it has made the multiplier shot down there a bit harder, as well as the capture shot...

more challenge = more fun.. both shots are still makable though, they are not impossible..

#48 5 years ago
Quoted from Gerry:

I adjust all my gottliebs to line up with the inlane guides, i dont like the way some Gotts look droopy..
It has not affected any gameplay at all, and make drop catches a bit easier as well, still not a gimmie, but a bit better..
I also adjusted the lower bats on my BH too...
I think it has made the multiplier shot down there a bit harder, as well as the capture shot...
more challenge = more fun.. both shots are still makable though, they are not impossible..

Same here, I always line the bats up with the guide. As in most things in life, droopy is not good

#49 5 years ago
Quoted from woz:

Same here, I always line the bats up with the guide. As in most things in life, droopy is not good

Some games are designed to have their bats aligned otherwise. I'll take droopy over not hitting shots any day!

#50 5 years ago

My motor works, but it's loud. I think I should swap it out of there.
http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Gottlieb_System_80#Replacing_the_Black_Hole_.22Spinning_Disk.22_Motor
suggests the one from Servo City.
Do you have any motor suggestions ?
-mof

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