(Topic ID: 232423)

Buck Rogers club

By Electronmagic

3 years ago


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  • 45 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Electronmagic
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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#1 3 years ago

Have a Buck Rogers project I'll be bringing in from the garage soon. I usually look through the club forum before I start a fixer upper, but I see there isn't one so I figured I'd start one myself. I'm sure posts will be sporadic, but that's O.K.

I'm thinking about getting a Pascal Janin board. Anyone done this on a Buck? If so, how is the game with all the board's added features?

#2 3 years ago

I did my first restore with my son a few years ago. We went with the all in one pascal and new sound board which was a great choice with all the added features. The sounds are awsome and i like the accelerated bonus countdown. We ended up having $1,100 in it but worth it to us . Good luck with yours

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#3 3 years ago

Hello Plowpusher - I have one of these I’ll be bringing back to life soon. Can you elaborate a little on what the new board did for you and what was involved? Thanks

#4 3 years ago

My original sound board was fried and the pascal is your only option for new replacement . The all in one board is just a great product for guys like me who cant do board repair work .Just repin the bad connectors and fired it up and ran like a champ.

#5 3 years ago

Thanks plowpusher. I did a pascal board a few years back in a genie, but it wasn't the all in one. When I get it in from the garage I'll see if the power supply and driver board are salvageable and decide which board to get based on that.

3 months later
#6 3 years ago

Buck Rogers was my first pin as of last August, sold a Ms Pac Man we never played and scored this one in near mint condition. Had to do some board work, has 2 chips on play field. It's a beast of a machine, will punish you hard on the side lanes. Turns out my wife loves it and it's in our TV room now.

What angle do you have these older machines set on?

Two pics, one as we got it, then after doing some LED work.
br (resized).jpeg

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#7 3 years ago

That back glass looks perfect! Mine's got a little flaking unfortunately. I like to play with the angle a little until I get it where I like it.

#8 3 years ago

5 1/2 degrees is my sweet spot

#9 3 years ago

Alright fan club, help me appreciate this game. Art and sounds are awesome, but gameplay is sorely lacking for me. Not trying to troll or rain on anyone's parade, just sincerely trying (and failing) to enjoy this game. Please tell me I'm wrong!

Top rollovers light special on the red drop targets. Bottom red drop target is impossible to hit directly, but that's okay, because those targets don't add bonus, are worth only 500 points, and might award a special (not very exciting on free play). Avoid.

Vari-target isn't worth anything until you get it all the way back. Oddly enough, the rules reward you based on how few shots it takes to do that, but it's so far away from the flippers it's impossible to do in one or two shots. Oh, and it's a SDTM death shot. Avoid.

Yellow drop targets are worth decent points, add bonus, AND bonus multipliers. Left flipper to right yellow targets will often send the ball to the right outlane. And the left flipper can't hit the left targets. So the entire game is just right flipper to four yellow targets.

Saucer is good value and (occasionally) bonus collect, but it's nearly impossible to shoot directly. The bumpers will put it in there more often than the player can.

No spinner.

1 year later
#10 1 year ago

Just found the club. Picked mine up a few weeks back and have been doing little fixes and tweaks to get it playing and working well, then at some point I'll probably strip it down to clean, touch up, level the inserts and clear it for maximum fun.

Have it in the temp spare bedroom with Hulk and Spidey while working on the game room.

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#11 1 year ago

Your playfield looks real nice.

I had planned on restoring mine 2 years ago but life got in the way so it's just been sitting... but hopefully soon.

6 months later
#12 11 months ago

I need to get a set of legs for a Buck Rogers. Does anyone know the correct length and finish on these?

1 week later
#13 10 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

I need to get a set of legs for a Buck Rogers. Does anyone know the correct length and finish on these?

It looks like Buck Rogers should use a set of 27" Chrome no ribbed legs. The pbresource.com site shows they are out. Anyone know of a source for 27" legs? My game had 28.5" legs on it and would like to get the correct ones at some point.

#14 10 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

It looks like Buck Rogers should use a set of 27" Chrome no ribbed legs. The pbresource.com site shows they are out. Anyone know of a source for 27" legs? My game had 28.5" legs on it and would like to get the correct ones at some point.

Marco specialties is also currently out of these (27 3/8" Gottlieb). You can set it up so they notify you when they're back in stock.

#15 10 months ago

Does anyone happen to have pictures of connectors A1-J6 and A1-J7 ? I’m in the process of repinning the connectors. Some of the wires were pulled out of those connectors.

#16 10 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

Does anyone happen to have pictures of connectors A1-J6 and A1-J7 ? I’m in the process of repinning the connectors. Some of the wires were pulled out of those connectors.

How's this?

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#17 10 months ago
Quoted from Electronmagic:

How's this?[quoted image][quoted image]

Excellent! Thank you. These images will be a good reference on this thread that may help others too. Just finishing up some power supply repairs and a few more wires to repin and will see if there is life in this machine.

3 weeks later
#18 9 months ago
Quoted from Electronmagic:

Marco specialties is also currently out of these (27 3/8" Gottlieb). You can set it up so they notify you when they're back in stock.

Legs are back in stock at pbresource.com

Ordered a set and now the machine is setup like it should be.

Just replacing the 4 yellow drop targets and have some switches to clean and adjust then everything should be good to go.

1 week later
#19 9 months ago

Hey everyone. Just got my first pinball machine (buck rogers) free from a family friend. I'm new to this and had a few questions for the experts. Back glass is perfect, but a few game play things need addressing. I will try to add pics for reference.
1. I will replace all of the bands but thinking I should also do all of the lites while it's open. LED may be too bright imo but do I just replace with clear? #44 or #47? A few are out and a few others look dimmer than others.
2. The 4 red targets don't pop up at all. Fuse?
3. The 5000 point bonus hole seems to glitch. Ball can just sit there for 10 seconds or even a minute or 2 before popping out.
4, should I just replace all of the fuses or is it more of a if it ain't broke kinda thing.

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#20 9 months ago
Quoted from Jasonw416:

Hey everyone. Just got my first pinball machine (buck rogers) free from a family friend. I'm new to this and had a few questions for the experts. Back glass is perfect, but a few game play things need addressing. I will try to add pics for reference.
1. I will replace all of the bands but thinking I should also do all of the lites while it's open. LED may be too bright imo but do I just replace with clear? #44 or #47? A few are out and a few others look dimmer than others.
2. The 4 red targets don't pop up at all. Fuse?
3. The 5000 point bonus hole seems to glitch. Ball can just sit there for 10 seconds or even a minute or 2 before popping out.
4, should I just replace all of the fuses or is it more of a if it ain't broke kinda thing.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

If you can post pictures of the boards? The battery may have leaked on the MPU. If it has then that will need repairs as well as the connector below it. If it is still there and didn’t leak you’re lucky and should remove that battery.

There is a fuse under the playfield for the solenoids that reset the drop targets. Mine was blown. I’d just try replacing any fuses that are out with the correct fuse. Never overfuse! That will cause more issues. You can and should check the other fuses but don’t replace unless they are the wrong amperage or style and larger than they should be.

You’ll probably want to lightly clean the contacts on the switch for the kick out and see if the gap is too wide. Chances are that the connector at the MPU isn’t in the best shape. This can be worse if there was battery damage.

I recently got my own Buck Rogers running. I had to rep in just about every connector (except for the displays) clean and recondition the edge connectors on the MPU itself (pink eraser is good to start with)

Also on these games there is a set of ground mods that must be done.

If you go through all that you should have a reliable playing machine.

As far as bulbs through out any that are turning black as those generate excess heat. I’d use #47 bulbs on everything for the playfield GI and controlled lamps. For the back glass try regular (avoid super bright) warm white frosted LEDs. You could try other whites but avoid color in the GI as that usually turns out awful. I have used color matched LEDs under inserts with good results too.

#21 9 months ago

Robotworkshop

Quoted from Robotworkshop:

If you can post pictures of the boards? The battery may have leaked on the MPU. If it has then that will need repairs as well as the connector below it. If it is still there and didn’t leak you’re lucky and should remove that battery.
There is a fuse under the playfield for the solenoids that reset the drop targets. Mine was blown. I’d just try replacing any fuses that are out with the correct fuse. Never overfuse! That will cause more issues. You can and should check the other fuses but don’t replace unless they are the wrong amperage or style and larger than they should be.
You’ll probably want to lightly clean the contacts on the switch for the kick out and see if the gap is too wide. Chances are that the connector at the MPU isn’t in the best shape. This can be worse if there was battery damage.
I recently got my own Buck Rogers running. I had to rep in just about every connector (except for the displays) clean and recondition the edge connectors on the MPU itself (pink eraser is good to start with)
Also on these games there is a set of ground mods that must be done.
If you go through all that you should have a reliable playing machine.
As far as bulbs through out any that are turning black as those generate excess heat. I’d use #47 bulbs on everything for the playfield GI and controlled lamps. For the back glass try regular (avoid super bright) warm white frosted LEDs. You could try other whites but avoid color in the GI as that usually turns out awful. I have used color matched LEDs under inserts with good results too.

Wow thank you your for taking the time to address everything. I should have listed the back box issue lol. There were no keys forvanythung because it had been sitting in basement covered in boxes for 25 years. I had to drill them out but for some reason the one on the back box still won't open even though the entire core of the lock is out. I intend to make that my priority for tomorrow and will post some pics of the boards when I do.

#22 9 months ago
Quoted from Jasonw416:

Robotworkshop

Wow thank you your for taking the time to address everything. I should have listed the back box issue lol. There were no keys forvanythung because it had been sitting in basement covered in boxes for 25 years. I had to drill them out but for some reason the one on the back box still won't open even though the entire core of the lock is out. I intend to make that my priority for tomorrow and will post some pics of the boards when I do.

If you don't have the manual you can buy one from pbresource.com as well as the rubber ring kit and two new balls. You can also get a pair of matched double bitted locks to install in the coin door and backbox.

If you drilled out the lock you'll need to insert a screwdriver and see if you and turn the lever. It has a set of catches that hook the front door.

#23 9 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

If you don't have the manual you can buy one from pbresource.com as well as the rubber ring kit and two new balls. You can also get a pair of matched double bitted locks to install in the coin door and backbox.
If you drilled out the lock you'll need to insert a screwdriver and see if you and turn the lever. It has a set of catches that hook the front door.

I'm trying to find the latch inside with a hanger curved at the end but not having any lick. Don't want to be too aggressive for obvious reasons. Is there any way you could post a pic of the latch from the inside so I know what to aim for?

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#24 9 months ago

This should help. The latches are probably still engaged. You may need a short piece of coat hanger and carefully try to hook it. If you can turn that middle crank like the lock would then it should disengage the front door.

Ignore the two rollers for now. That just catches the panel with the lamps and displays.

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#25 9 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

This should help. The latches are probably still engaged. You may need a short piece of coat hanger and carefully try to hook it. If you can turn that middle crank like the lock would then it should disengage the front door.
Ignore the two rollers for now. That just catches the panel with the lamps and displays.
[quoted image]

Wow that's way more of a latch system than I expected lol. Thanks for the pic. At least I have a better idea on where to pull.

#26 9 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

This should help. The latches are probably still engaged. You may need a short piece of coat hanger and carefully try to hook it. If you can turn that middle crank like the lock would then it should disengage the front door.
Ignore the two rollers for now. That just catches the panel with the lamps and displays.
[quoted image]

Success! Everything appears to look pretty good.

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#27 9 months ago
Quoted from Jasonw416:

Success! Everything appears to look pretty good. [quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

You are really lucky as those boards all look exceptionally clean. It looks like the battery didn't leak. That DataSentry is the battery and should be removed. Either an offboard battery pack, memory capacitor, or have someone unsolder the 5101 RAM chip and install NVRAM.

It looks like the driver board is the later version with the protection diodes so that is good too.

From the pictures it doesn't look like any of the ground mods were done so that would be high on the list to do.

#28 9 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

You are really lucky as those boards all look exceptionally clean. It looks like the battery didn't leak. That DataSentry is the battery and should be removed. Either an offboard battery pack, memory capacitor, or have someone unsolder the 5101 RAM chip and install NVRAM.
It looks like the driver board is the later version with the protection diodes so that is good too.
From the pictures it doesn't look like any of the ground mods were done so that would be high on the list to do.

Definitely removing the battery asap and then going down the checklist. Ordering bands, bulbs and fuses tonight as well. I'm really digging learning about this stuff. Thank you for all of your feedback. I'm sure I'm going to be on this site alot lol

#29 9 months ago
Quoted from Jasonw416:

Success! Everything appears to look pretty good. [quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Yes, looks like you got really lucky on the board under that battery. De-solder and remove it ASAP, as Robotworkshop suggested. Also I think those capacitors on the power supply are originals and will likely need to be replaced. Great Plains Electronics has a kit to replace them all.

#30 9 months ago

Has anyone found a good set of apron cards for Buck Rogers? One of the finishing touches that I need to find to help complete the game.

#31 9 months ago
Quoted from Electronmagic:

Yes, looks like you got really lucky on the board under that battery. De-solder and remove it ASAP, as Robotworkshop suggested. Also I think those capacitors on the power supply are originals and will likely need to be replaced. Great Plains Electronics has a kit to replace them all.

Thanks for the tip. The kits are out of stock but they will email when the get them in.

#32 9 months ago
Quoted from Jasonw416:

Thanks for the tip. The kits are out of stock but they will email when the get them in.

Surprisingly many of the old caps can still be ok. The main one that should be replaced and will need it is the main 5V capacitor and that should be a bit higher in value. Get the correct axial version and Great Plains should have those in stock. That power supply can be a bit more involved to work on as you have to desolder the two leads on the transistor on the metal bracket and unbolt the others to take it apart. Resolved any cracked solder connections and play close attention to the connectors as breaks often occur there.

Before changing any parts check all the voltages to see if everything is present.

There is also an update to add a couple fuses to the small transformer in the base. Still need to do that update on mine.

#33 9 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

Surprisingly many of the old caps can still be ok. The main one that should be replaced and will need it is the main 5V capacitor and that should be a bit higher in value. Get the correct axial version and Great Plains should have those in stock. That power supply can be a bit more involved to work on as you have to desolder the two leads on the transistor on the metal bracket and unbolt the others to take it apart. Resolved any cracked solder connections and play close attention to the connectors as breaks often occur there.
Before changing any parts check all the voltages to see if everything is present.
There is also an update to add a couple fuses to the small transformer in the base. Still need to do that update on mine.

I have very little money in this machine since I got it for free so I'm considering ordering a new power board. I'm also debating on bring the main board to a local guy to change the battery. I'd like to try it myself but I've never desodder/sodder anything before. I feel pretty confident that I can do it but can find a tutorial video on it.

#34 9 months ago
Quoted from Jasonw416:

I have very little money in this machine since I got it for free so I'm considering ordering a new power board. I'm also debating on bring the main board to a local guy to change the battery. I'd like to try it myself but I've never desodder/sodder anything before. I feel pretty confident that I can do it but can find a tutorial video on it.

Before ordering a new power supply do you know if the current one is working? You need to measure the AC inputs to see if the board is getting power. If not check the fuses in the base and see where the issue is. If you have power going in then do you have power going out? If you’re not sure maybe there is someone in the area that can help. It’s good to do some tests to identify issues before buying new boards, etc.

Actually in this case buying a new upgraded replacement power board isn’t a bad idea. It will probably help with long term reliability of your game as they have updated designs. I believe you’ll need to swap the new power board onto the existing metal bracket. The tricky part for many is after taking the screws out of the larger frame mounted transistor is unsoldering that to remove it. With the right tools that is pretty easy. Definitely try to save the old board without damage since there is always someone that could use the parts or rebuild that board.

If you don’t have the proper tools then definitely take the board to someone who does. I’ve had to repair a lot of prior work and damage caused by people without the proper tools. I’m sure you could learn but I would recommend practicing on junk/scrap boards and investing in a few tools. Don’t want to practice on boards that you really care about.

While the MPU is out use a pink eraser to clean the edge contacts then wipe down with rubbing alcohol. Luckily you may not have to deal with any corrosion.

#35 9 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

Before ordering a new power supply do you know if the current one is working? You need to measure the AC inputs to see if the board is getting power. If not check the fuses in the base and see where the issue is. If you have power going in then do you have power going out? If you’re not sure maybe there is someone in the area that can help. It’s good to do some tests to identify issues before buying new boards, etc.
Actually in this case buying a new upgraded replacement power board isn’t a bad idea. It will probably help with long term reliability of your game as they have updated designs. I believe you’ll need to swap the new power board onto the existing metal bracket. The tricky part for many is after taking the screws out of the larger frame mounted transistor is unsoldering that to remove it. With the right tools that is pretty easy. Definitely try to save the old board without damage since there is always someone that could use the parts or rebuild that board.
If you don’t have the proper tools then definitely take the board to someone who does. I’ve had to repair a lot of prior work and damage caused by people without the proper tools. I’m sure you could learn but I would recommend practicing on junk/scrap boards and investing in a few tools. Don’t want to practice on boards that you really care about.
While the MPU is out use a pink eraser to clean the edge contacts then wipe down with rubbing alcohol. Luckily you may not have to deal with any corrosion.

Buying a new power supply is more about reliability. I don't have any issues as of yet. I should be receiving bands, fuses and bulbs and a few replacement targets in a day or 2 and will be opening everything up to do a full diagnostic screening with my voltage meter. I would like to learn to sodder and get more hands on in the future. I have had this machine for only a week and already got "the bug" lol.

#36 9 months ago

Normally I prefer original boards and do still have the original power board in mine that I fixed. That is one board that I would recommend and would agree that you're better off with the replacement board.

#37 9 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

Normally I prefer original boards and do still have the original power board in mine that I fixed. That is one board that I would recommend and would agree that you're better off with the replacement board.

Not sure what some did here with this wire but I'll cap it lol

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1 month later
#38 7 months ago

New unusual glitch. While playing it will randomly jump ball counts. I can't get past more than 2 balls and the game will suddenly jump to 3, 4 and then 5 for no apparent reason and the game will end while ba in play. Any ideas?

#39 7 months ago

Check the diodes on the pop bumper and flipper coils. Look carefully for any broken leads, as that could cause strange issues.
Are you running the original boards?

3 weeks later
#40 7 months ago

I am looking for a Buck Rogers pinball within 100 miles of Richmond VA

1 month later
#42 5 months ago

I’ve got a Buck Rogers pinball machine that I am currently selling on Pinside. I live in Mankato, Minnesota.

I’ve got three different videos that I made of my machine. If you want me to send you the videos (or more pictures) just send me a PM.

#43 5 months ago

The sale is pending now for my Buck Rogers pinball machine. Saturday is when I will be delivering it to the new owner.

1 month later
#44 3 months ago

Buck Rogers is my second game I bought and paid about $1,200 from Pinball Rescue 911. Still have it and don't think I'll get rid of it anytime soon. Adding a Flippp P1-1X4 is a must have upgrade, especially with the new attract mode and skill shot. If you get one, recommend you put blinking bulbs behind Buck Rogers and a RGB color changer on the tip of the pistol.

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#45 3 months ago
Quoted from ElCid95:

Buck Rogers is my second game I bought and paid about $1,200 from Pinball Rescue 911. Still have it and don't think I'll get rid of it anytime soon. Adding a Flippp P1-1X4 is a must have upgrade, especially with the new attract mode and skill shot. If you get one, recommend you put blinking bulbs behind Buck Rogers and a RGB color changer on the tip of the pistol.
[quoted image]

Looks nice.

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