(Topic ID: 48888)

Centaur Club.....Members Only!


By vster23

6 years ago



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  • Latest reply 2 days ago by pincoin
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There are 1044 posts in this topic. You are on page 13 of 21.
#601 2 years ago

Something I'd like to add. While I am using a Alltek lamp driver board, I am still using the original aux lamp driver board while utilizing LED's in everything. No flickering issues.

#602 2 years ago

Since September, I've been restoring my Centaur that I purchased via Pinside. It was all original without any bad hacks. Largest restoration project I've done so far, due to the decision to do a complete playfield restoration and auto-clear coating. The longest part was waiting for HSA to do the playfield restoration, which took 3-4 months including shipping. It was my first playfield swap and scared me to death, but turned out to just be time consuming, but not too difficult. I started by molexing all the coils on the major assemblies such as flippers and drop targets. Then I removed these assemblies and set them aside. I made sure to keep track of exactly which screw goes where, so there would be no mix-ups or lost screws. To move the wires and lamp sockets, I used the "spatula method". I detached all screws and staples from the old playfield and laid it next to the new playfield. Then I slid a sheet of clear, thin plexiglass under the old parts and shifted the whole thing over to the new playfield. The actual move via this method took about 5 minutes. The wires are fortunately sort of stiff, so it all moves like a big tree branch and kind of maintains the correct position for everything to be in.

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#603 2 years ago

Once I stapled down all the braided wire and replaced a bunch of lamp sockets, it was pretty quick to just screw down all the parts. when I put it back in the machine...IT WORKED! The only problem was that a bunch of the switches for slings, standup targets, and roll over targets needed adjusting or correcting. Some of the solder tabs were bent and touching, some of the capacitors or diodes were bent and shorting, and the gaps were not right so some switches were locked closed or would not close. Messing with the switches took quite a while but the self diagnostic mode helps find the faulty switch pretty well.

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#604 2 years ago

I put in all new CPR plastics, rebult the flippers, new bats, new rubber, new posts and bumper caps and lane guides. I also lightly regrained some of the major stainless parts with sanding sponges. Put in LEDs and an Alltek light board. New balls, cleaned the inside of the cabinet really well, etc.

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#605 2 years ago

Other things done...

New score & instruction cards, cleaned the apron, cleaned the switch contacts, cleaned the wire harnesses and boards in the back box, repainted the legs, new leg bolts and feet, touched up all the black cabinet paint, added chrome trim to the head box, re-stencile painted the silver lettering on the cabinet sides, new line cord plug, new base cabinet speaker, added a speaker in the neck of the cab under the head box, cleaned everything, rebuilt the coin door with a new stainless face plate, got the mechs fully working including the Susan B dollar slot. Too many things to mention or remember. Parts from Pinball Resource, Pinball Life, and Marco. Now I finally got to play this machine properly and I absolutely love it! My previous experience with Centaur at a barcade was bad because of stuck flippers. This game is a keeper for sure. I think the only thing I'd like to still do is re-cap the audio boards to eliminate some of the background hiss.

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#606 2 years ago

I also added the chrome "pointy" shooter rod which looks great and is very affordable. But I kept virtually all the original parts just because these machines are becoming so collectible. One additional idea for a mod (in the future) would be to add some small chase lights on the wheels of the Centaur motorcycle behind the back glass. That would add a sort of animated look.

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#607 2 years ago

If anyone needs some tips on parts or tricks, please let me know. I'm no expert, but it's all still fresh on my mind.. until my next project : )

#608 2 years ago

By the way, I sanded the stainless lockdown bar and side rails with various 3M sanding sponges (wet) and they really came out great. Took out most of the small scratches and looks really fresh. Then put in a new glass.

#609 2 years ago

I have a nice file for the yellow "line voltage" sticker/label that goes with the transformer.
http://www.pinballrebel.com/pinball/cards/Backbox_cards.htm

#610 2 years ago

Fine job Calico!

#611 2 years ago
Quoted from Inkochnito:

I have a nice file for the yellow "line voltage" sticker/label that goes with the transformer.
http://www.pinballrebel.com/pinball/cards/Backbox_cards.htm

Thanks. I needed one.

#612 2 years ago

Can anyone confirm if the game makes a sound when this pictured white stand up target is hit? It is in the upper right side of the playfield. For some reason, it scores but makes no sound on my machine and that seems odd to me. Every other switch initiates a sound effect. I was thinking maybe the capacitor on the underside of this switch is bad??

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#613 2 years ago

When that top-right target is hit it makes the same sound as when one of the 1-4 drop targets drops. Which sorta makes sense, seeing as hitting it spots one of those targets.

But I also noticed that my machine didn't always make the sound if it got stepped on by any other sound or speech.

#614 2 years ago

Regarding the topic of the ball size for the Queen's Chamber, some people say it is a special 1" 1/8 Bally Bingo Ball and some people say it is a regular 1"1/16 pinball. I decided to order one, which is quite affordable at Pinball Resource. When I contacted them about this for Centaur, they said they did not think Centaur used a Bingo Ball. I ordered one anyway because some people say they've seen these in several machines.

In reality, it would be hard to find a Centaur with original balls in it. Unless the balls are nice and rusty after 37 years, the balls were probably replaced in whatever machine you look at. I can see how almost anyone would not notice the Queens Chamber uses a special ball, as this bingo ball looks almost identical. So if your machine has all regular balls, it may be because someone replaced those balls at some point and didn't have the research information saying this was a special ball for the Queens Chamber. Anyhow, here you can see the two balls side by side. The difference is 1/16". Can you tell which is the bingo ball?

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#615 2 years ago

So of course the Bingo Ball is the one on the left. Just kidding. It is the one on the RIGHT. Anyhow, here you can see in the next photo how the balls look against the top plastic over the Queens Chamber. As you may be able to tell from the picture, the regular ball just drops right through the top slot of the plastic. The bingo ball does not pass through the hole. It is a captive and will not fall out if the playfield is raised or the machine is transported. With the regular ball, I've actually had the targets reset and "pop" the regular ball right out of the chamber.

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#616 2 years ago

Here you can see the regular pinball as it sits at the front of the Queens chamber. The curvature of the smaller ball is not quite right in terms of fitting the "hook" of the clear plastic. It is almost falling out.

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#617 2 years ago

And lastly, here you can see the bingo ball as it sits at the front of the chamber. The clear plastic "hook" (on the right side of the ball) conforms to the circumference of the ball very well. And the bingo ball works great during game play. So in conclusion, I'm convinced the bingo ball is the correct ball to have in the Queens Chamber of Centaur. Here's the part number from Pinball Resource.

BAL118 1-1/8” Chrome Steel Ball
-Standard size ball used on Bally Bingo games.
$3.52ea

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#618 2 years ago

As far as I can tell, back in the 1980's all Bally Centaurs
had standard balls. Take into consideration that you are using
laser cut plastic and not the original steel rule die cut plastic.
variations will a cure from recreating one set of plastic from the other.
When the games were in the arcades that I worked at the
ball in the queen's chamber never popped out.
Has far as stuck balls in inline drop target assemblies,
Electra was notorious for that problem.

#619 2 years ago

I have a new CPR plastic set in my Centaur and I had to use a bingo sized ball. Honestly, who cares as long as it fits and the ball in play cracks it into the queen's target? This shot is hard enough as it is.

#620 2 years ago
Quoted from dtown:

Honestly, who cares as long as it fits and the ball in play cracks it into the queen's target? This shot is hard enough as it is.

I agree. But don't claim your mods as OEM; there not.

#621 2 years ago

I think determining what size should be used for the captive ball, standard or bingo, could be extrapolated from what exactly was the purpose of the hole in that plastic. Here are some facts to chew:

The "slot" hole in Centaur's captive ball plastic is 1" wide. This doesn't allow for removal/insertion of either a standard or a bingo ball without taking off the plastic. It does, however span the length of all the drop targets, so I think it's there to allow for removal/replacement of broken or worn drop targets without having to disassemble the drop target mechanism.

Space Invaders has a similar hole in its captive ball plastic, circular not a slot like Centaur; no drop targets versus the drops on Centaur. This hole is 1 3/32" wide, large enough to allow insertion of a standard-sized ball if it somehow escapes the captive area, or removal if the game is stored on end, moved, or shipped. A bingo ball wouldn't fit through this hole. What could possibly be any other purpose? This still doesn't, however, solve the riddle of the Centaur ball size.

While I picked up a PBR bingo ball to replace the Centaur captive, and I've always thought that was the correct size for this and the Space Invaders (and other Bally) captive balls, the holes in the plastic do make a case that it's a standard 1/16" that was used. That, and the fact that it would have been just plain easier to use the same ball size for everything at the factory. I'll still be using my bingo ball though.

#622 2 years ago
Quoted from jibmums:

removal/insertion of either a standard or a bingo ball without taking off the plastic.

That is why there is no rubber post nut cut out into the
lower right plastic of the "Queens Chamber" plastic.
You just lift the corner to insert the ball.
The slot was used to help technicians adjust the bottom
plate in order to flush mount the drop targets. This process
became more difficult as the mold to the drop targets changed
from one lot manufacture to the other.
Bally put round cutouts to some of their key plastic pieces
in order to help repair technician/arcades service employees,
test target switches and rollover buttons without having to
breakdown the playfield. In all, to facilitate diagnostics for switch failures.
--

Quoted from jibmums:

While I picked up a PBR bingo ball to replace the Centaur captive

I was hoping somebody would do the Twighlite Zone thing
and put a white "power ball" in the captive ball feature and
see how it plays.
--
Finally, there is only one pinball that Bally had
instructions for what to do with the balls that came
with the game, how each ball is installed in the game, and
that was Goldball.

#623 2 years ago

The white Twilight Zone ceramic ball would be really cool. But it costs almost $50 according to Marco's web site : (

#624 2 years ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

As far as I can tell, back in the 1980's all Bally Centaurs
had standard balls. Take into consideration that you are using
laser cut plastic and not the original steel rule die cut plastic.
variations will a cure from recreating one set of plastic from the other.
When the games were in the arcades that I worked at the
ball in the queen's chamber never popped out.
Has far as stuck balls in inline drop target assemblies,
Electra was notorious for that problem.

Well, you are right! I compared my original chamber plastic to a new one from CPR (with liners still on it). Pictured, the original one on the left has a 1" slot while the new laser cut one on the right is almost 1/8" wider at the slot. So a regular ball would stay within the chamber with the original plastics. I guess since the literature and manual do not really mention use of a special sized ball, this bingo ball thing might just be an urban legend. Oh well.

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#625 2 years ago

The 1-1/16" Black Pearl from Marco looks nice in the Queen's Chamber.
http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/PB116-BKP

#626 2 years ago

The issue I have with either a regular pinball or a bingo ball in the Queen's Chamber, is that nowhere in the manual does it say, please insert the big ball into the Queen's Chamber. Unless the larger ball was shipped in a marked envelope stating this, or the unlikely possibility that the games shipped with the captive ball in the trough, but I strongly doubt that. Meh whatever. Put whatever ball you want in there I guess, it's your game

#627 2 years ago

The other reason you need the slot above those targets is if you lift the playfiled, you see the ball bounce from one target to the next and drop them all. If you then mess underneath and pop the targets up while the ball is still at the back (apply power or do it manually), then when you lower the playfield the ball would be stuck at the top. Lucky for you there is a slot so you can easily knock the targets down and get the captive ball back to where it was...

I've done this several times on my centaur when diagnosing coils, switches etc.

#628 2 years ago
Quoted from SilverballNut:

The other reason you need the slot above those targets is if you lift the playfiled, you see the ball bounce from one target to the next and drop them all. If you then mess underneath and pop the targets up while the ball is still at the back (apply power or do it manually), then when you lower the playfield the ball would be stuck at the top. Lucky for you there is a slot so you can easily knock the targets down and get the captive ball back to where it was...

I've done this several times on my centaur when diagnosing coils, switches etc.

Yes! and this was the weakest link to Bally's Electra.

#629 2 years ago

All my other games are Williams Sys 11 and WPC/WPC95. This is my first real Bally and I'm extremely impressed with these early 80s games. I know this is a loaded question, but aside from Centaur, what are one or two of the other really good 80's Bally's? I'd like to get another one. Xenon looks great but the game play and sounds seem pretty repetitive. So many are for sale = not a good sign. Same goes for Space Invaders. Embryon looks really interesting...is it good? I'm also interested in Medusa, but it looks like all the game play is at the back of the playfield and hardly any good action below the zipper flippers. Advice from owners? What are the keepers?

#630 2 years ago

calico1997
Well, it depends on what you like?
Flash Gordon = tough game
Eightball deluxe = classic (got lifetime achievement award)
and was made three times!
With any solid state Bally pinball, you have to
remember there is a limitation on the programming.
The boards they used we not designed for deep programming
rules. Thus, what you think looks good does equate to how you
like it. Play around, at the shows, you might find a game that
ticks your fancy.

#631 2 years ago
Quoted from calico1997:

Well, you are right! I compared my original chamber plastic to a new one from CPR (with liners still on it). Pictured, the original one on the left has a 1" slot while the new laser cut one on the right is almost 1/8" wider at the slot. So a regular ball would stay within the chamber with the original plastics. I guess since the literature and manual do not really mention use of a special sized ball, this bingo ball thing might just be an urban legend. Oh well.

I honestly don't see what you see. The tape measure on the left is not perfectly aligned. I see "maybe" a 1/32 difference. Claiming a 1/8" difference doesn't see, remotely correct.

#632 2 years ago
Quoted from pinster68:

I honestly don't see what you see. The tape measure on the left is not perfectly aligned. I see "maybe" a 1/32 difference. Claiming a 1/8" difference doesn't see, remotely correct.

It's clearly 1 1/8". The ruler's "1" line is directly over the left edge of the slot, and the "2 1/8" line is directly over the right edge. Since the photo wasn't taken directly over the plastic, what you're seeing at 1/32" is actually the bottom of the plastic, due to perspective.

#633 2 years ago

If anyone would like to buy a new set of Bally licensed, Premium Metallic Centaur Plastics I got from Classic Playfield Reproductions, I have an extra set that I'd like to sell. Price is just $84 and if I ship to you in the USA, shipping will be an additional $14. Just PM me if interested. Most retailers are out of these Metallic versions with no more in production. CPR charged me $153 including their shipping cost. Most of these still have the paper and plastic liner sheets on them, which creates the illusion of them looking dull and yellowed. But that is just because they were laser cut and the laser heat yellows the liners. The plastics themselves are clear and glossy and look great. Complete 16 pc set.

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#634 2 years ago
Quoted from calico1997:

Complete 16 pc set.

Minus the two obscure return lane plastics that nobody uses.
Another miss by Classic Playfield Reproduction.
(Bally had an option to remove the bounce back feature by
fiscally redesigning the return lanes.) Yes, it makes the
game harder.

#635 2 years ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

Minus the two obscure return lane plastics that nobody uses.
Another miss by Classic Playfield Reproduction.
(Bally had an option to remove the bounce back feature by
fiscally redesigning the return lanes.) Yes, it makes the
game harder.

Were these similar to the small plastics right next to the flippers, but longer and more of a "J" shape? I have a pair of those, I always wondered what they were. They must have been reproduced at some point.

#636 2 years ago
Quoted from jibmums:

Were these similar to the small plastic right next to the flippers, but longer and more of a "J" shape?

Yes!

#637 2 years ago

Hello fellow Centaur owners. I thought I'd officially add myself here. My Centaur is the original, and will be going through restoration once our new home is finished in about 6 months. I love Bally 78-82, and have owned Fathom, Medusa, Frontier, Flash Gordon, Voltan, and Strikes and Spares. And of course Centaur.

I am always on the lookout for a better Centaur playfield and an apron. I will have scans cleaned up in AI of an apron in a few weeks.

#638 2 years ago

I had no idea until just now that there's also a 3rd variation of Centaur from Italy, called Fantasy. I wonder what the game sounds were like on this. Very little information on it.

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#639 2 years ago

I've found rusty very old bingo balls in the queens chamber of centaurs from 3 different countries so im pretty much convinced but surely there is someone who knows for sure because they were there in 1981? its not like it was 200 years ago

#640 2 years ago
Quoted from jibmums:

Were these similar to the small plastics right next to the flippers, but longer and more of a "J" shape? I have a pair of those, I always wondered what they were. They must have been reproduced at some point.

I wish I had a set of those. I'd like to make it harder by removing the bounce ins, but set the Guardian feature to launch a ball every time you complete it. Always seemed dumb to me that the feature lamp stays on after you collect it even though you have it set to one per ball.

#641 2 years ago

Here's a pic, if anyone was wondering what these looked like. The blue is the original protective plastic coating, slightly peeled on one. IIRC at least one of the holes doesn't line up with a normal screw hole, which would necessitate drilling the playfield.

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#642 2 years ago
Quoted from calico1997:

I had no idea until just now that there's also a 3rd variation of Centaur from Italy, called Fantasy. I wonder what the game sounds were like on this. Very little information on it.

Thanks for sharing... it's the first I've heard of this variation.

#643 2 years ago
Quoted from wiredoug:

someone who knows for sure because they were there in 1981

I was, USA, but I was not in any foreign countries.
Thus, they do whatever they do.
The arcade I worked at had a tournament, and the top prize
for the game Centaur was a black leather jacket with
Centaur on the back. The custom jacket was pretty cool.

#644 2 years ago

Are there any owners/users here of the Rottendog BPS054 rectifier board in their Centaur? Any issues with the board, would you highly recommend it?

#645 2 years ago

Not trying to offend any owners, but is there a general consensus as to which Centaur is preferred by collectors? The original with large backbox or the second version with Rapid Fire cabinet?

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#646 2 years ago

While I can't speak for everybody, I'm still sure I speak for just about everybody when I say that the first version with the full-size backglass is preferred. Just like the original Eight Ball Deluxe with the full backglass is preferred.

#647 2 years ago
Quoted from jibmums:

While I can't speak for everybody, .

in this case yes you can

#648 2 years ago

CPR ANNOUNCEMENT:

Just chiming into the thread to say we just posted CENTAUR and FATHOM playfields in our website Store tonight. Don't know how fast or slow these will go, but I do have several left of each boutique run... an amazing number of abandonments happened on the preorders for these... we suspect year-end wallet troubles, which was bad timing for these to be shipping in Nov/Dec for some (holidays, family comes first, etc).

In the end, a decent little selection sits right now (even Golds). It's open season, first come first served, if anybody is interested.

Last of the Waiting List emails went out this evening.

Hit our home page, simply go from there. I'll be doing a few posts here tonight to make folks aware.

KEVIN
Classic Playfield Reproductions
http://www.classicplayfields.com

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#649 2 years ago

Dang! And I just got done going through flaming hoops to find a good used one playfield, pay for it on Ebay+ shipping, clean it up real nice, send it out to HSA Restorations and pay for that, pay more shipping both ways, taking about 4 months for all of that... when I could have just bought a new one from CPR for roughly half of what I spent. I thought these CPR playfields were long gone!!

#650 2 years ago
Quoted from jibmums:

While I can't speak for everybody, I'm still sure I speak for just about everybody when I say that the first version with the full-size backglass is preferred. Just like the original Eight Ball Deluxe with the full backglass is preferred.

Yes, and not to diminish all the great Centaur II machines out there. The back box shape does not affect the game. But when I started looking to buy a Centaur, I noticed it was mostly Centaur II for sale. Considering there were only 1550 Centaur IIs made but they are about 2/3rds of the For Sale market, it seems like people prefer the larger original Centaur cab. As with any collecting hobby, the purists will assign value for differences perceived as preferred. I would have thought the less common Rapid Fire cab would have increased value. I will say this; the Rapid Fire cabinet looks extremely cool on Centaur with the badass leather, studs, and motorcycle theme. I just don't like the smaller back glass.

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