(Topic ID: 104189)

Comet Club - Admit One

By midcoastsurf

9 years ago


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  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Evlclown
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There are 1,751 posts in this topic. You are on page 34 of 36.
#1651 1 year ago

Since we are on the wiring topic, here’s my game. Lots of burn, duct tape, wire nuts, and prayers. Eventually want to clean all this up.

58411CA5-3BB0-49B6-AA59-7DE7D85A5E25 (resized).jpeg58411CA5-3BB0-49B6-AA59-7DE7D85A5E25 (resized).jpeg
#1652 1 year ago
Quoted from remf:

Thanks! I’ve had this game for a long time with no issue so do you think it would be best to get a new board as well?

As Midcoast recommended, stick with the original boards as much as possible. Rebuilding them is very simple.

#1653 1 year ago
Quoted from midcoastsurf:

Since we are on the wiring topic, here’s my game. Lots of burn, duct tape, wire nuts, and prayers. Eventually want to clean all this up.
[quoted image]

Man, that looks scary. But if it works.

#1654 1 year ago
Quoted from remf:

Thanks! I’ve had this game for a long time with no issue so do you think it would be best to get a new board as well?

I put a new power board in on my. When I bought it from the estate sale, the owner had the board hot wired for the GI lights and something else. $159 on macro for a new power board sure. Then I knew, I was good to go on that board. Power is everything.

#1655 1 year ago
Quoted from midcoastsurf:

Are you capable of basic board work? If the rest of the board is good and you are up for a project, I would consider rebuilding the board (at a minimum, replace capacitors. You could also do header pins, connectors that go to the header pins, and any other bulletproof mods for this board. Search System 9 bulletproofing.)
For this specific burned connector situation, depending how bad the burn is on the board I would remove the connector on the board and solder two thick wires that go to a new molex a few inches off the board. I would then re-pin the wires going to that connector with a new connector. Always make sure you are replacing both header pins and corresponding connectors to reduce heat buildup.
Alternative is a new board, but you'd still want to re-do your connectors that plug into the new board IMO.

I have a basic understanding of board work, but not much experience doing it. I guess I can try it and if it doesn’t work then I can buy a new board. Would like to keep everything as original as possible if I can help it though. Thanks for the tips/suggestions everyone.

3 weeks later
14
#1656 1 year ago

New Comet owner here!

A few months ago my wife was telling me all about the pinball machine her family had when she was a kid in the early 90s. After a little research, we eventually realized it had been a Comet. She made a few phone calls and we found that after her parents had parted with it it had been passed between family friends for a while before eventually ending up in the back of a barn at a walnut orchard. And there it sat for around 10 years.

Father-in-law unloading the pinFather-in-law unloading the pin

Having sat in a barn for a decade, with minimal maintenance prior to that, the machine was not in the best shape. The playfield was worn and covered in grime. The alkaline batteries hadn't been removed before it was put into storage so one corner of the MPU board was corroded. The rubber rings were filthy, brittle and falling apart. Ramps were cracked, and plastics were warped or missing. And those were just the issues that were obvious without turning it on!

Condition of the playfield when it arrivedCondition of the playfield when it arrived
The usual corrosionThe usual corrosion

Repairing the PCB was first order of business since that would let me determine what else on the game needs work. I've done some electronics repair work before, but nothing quite like this.

I ended up desoldering most of the passives in the power input and sound section of the MPU since they had signs of corrision. The corrosion on the PCB itself was mostly limited to the immediate vicinity of the batteries. I removed that with fine-grit sandpaper and then installed fresh components. Rather than reinstalling batteries I swapped the RAM out for NVRAM.

MPU board after repair, but before installing the NVRAMMPU board after repair, but before installing the NVRAM

Once the PCB was in good shape I was finally able to power the machine on. It booted up without any drama (phew!) and I was able to use game diagnostics to verify that the playfield electronics were in good shape (modulo the few dozen burnt-out lamps).

Next came the clean up of the playfield. This was all entirely new to me, so I roped in my 7yo daughter to help. The playfield itself was dirty but not as bad as I'd first thought, though the paint had worn away in a few high-traffic areas. There's a lot of planking, which I suppose is to be expected after being stored in an unheated barn for a decade, and some paint is flaking off behind the right flipper.

Dirty playfieldDirty playfield
Much better!Much better!

While replacing burnt-out / missing lamps on the playfield I noticed that none of the general illumination lamps appeared to be working. I probed around with a multimeter for longer than I'd care to admit, then thought to check their connection to the power supply. Low and behold, a pin had broken off the connector. The lights work much better now that they're getting power!

Something's missing here!Something's missing here!

We installed a playfield protector to limit future damage to the worn and flaking areas, then replaced broken posts, installed fresh rubbers, new plastics, ramps and decals. It's finally starting to look like a real pinball machine!

Playfield under lightsPlayfield under lights
Playfield at nightPlayfield at night
Pin all lit up at nightPin all lit up at night

There's a few odds and ends left to do before I declare it done and put the glass back on. The player four score display doesn't work. The Dummy drop target adjustment bracket broke at some point so the target sits below the playfield when dropped, perfect to hang up the ball. The flippers are a little loose and probably need to be rebuilt. I'm sure I'll notice more things the more time I spend with it.

But the important part is that we rescued my wife's childhood pinball machine and restored it to working order! We've put a few dozen games on it in the last few days, and my wife is already plotting which pin we should pick up next

Pinball wizard in trainingPinball wizard in training

#1657 1 year ago
Quoted from bdash:

New Comet owner here!
A few months ago my wife was telling me all about the pinball machine her family had when she was a kid in the early 90s. After a little research, we eventually realized it had been a Comet. She made a few phone calls and we found that after her parents had parted with it it had been passed between family friends for a while before eventually ending up in the back of a barn at a walnut orchard. And there it sat for around 10 years.
[quoted image]
Having sat in a barn for a decade, with minimal maintenance prior to that, the machine was not in the best shape. The playfield was worn and covered in grime. The alkaline batteries hadn't been removed before it was put into storage so one corner of the MPU board was corroded. The rubber rings were filthy, brittle and falling apart. Ramps were cracked, and plastics were warped or missing. And those were just the issues that were obvious without turning it on!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
Repairing the PCB was first order of business since that would let me determine what else on the game needs work. I've done some electronics repair work before, but nothing quite like this.
I ended up desoldering most of the passives in the power input and sound section of the MPU since they had signs of corrision. The corrosion on the PCB itself was mostly limited to the immediate vicinity of the batteries. I removed that with fine-grit sandpaper and then installed fresh components. Rather than reinstalling batteries I swapped the RAM out for NVRAM.
[quoted image]
Once the PCB was in good shape I was finally able to power the machine on. It booted up without any drama (phew!) and I was able to use game diagnostics to verify that the playfield electronics were in good shape (modulo the few dozen burnt-out lamps).
Next came the clean up of the playfield. This was all entirely new to me, so I roped in my 7yo daughter to help. The playfield itself was dirty but not as bad as I'd first thought, though the paint had worn away in a few high-traffic areas. There's a lot of planking, which I suppose is to be expected after being stored in an unheated barn for a decade, and some paint is flaking off behind the right flipper.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
While replacing burnt-out / missing lamps on the playfield I noticed that none of the general illumination lamps appeared to be working. I probed around with a multimeter for longer than I'd care to admit, then thought to check their connection to the power supply. Low and behold, a pin had broken off the connector. The lights work much better now that they're getting power!
[quoted image]
We installed a playfield protector to limit future damage to the worn and flaking areas, then replaced broken posts, installed fresh rubbers, new plastics, ramps and decals. It's finally starting to look like a real pinball machine!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
There's a few odds and ends left to do before I declare it done and put the glass back on. The player four score display doesn't work. The Dummy drop target adjustment bracket broke at some point so the target sits below the playfield when dropped, perfect to hang up the ball. The flippers are a little loose and probably need to be rebuilt. I'm sure I'll notice more things the more time I spend with it.
But the important part is that we rescued my wife's childhood pinball machine and restored it to working order! We've put a few dozen games on it in the last few days, and my wife is already plotting which pin we should pick up next
[quoted image]

Such a cool story and love that you documented it from the beginning.

#1658 1 year ago

Looks great! Nice save!

#1659 1 year ago
Quoted from bdash:

New Comet owner here!
A few months ago my wife was telling me all about the pinball machine her family had when she was a kid in the early 90s. After a little research, we eventually realized it had been a Comet. She made a few phone calls and we found that after her parents had parted with it it had been passed between family friends for a while before eventually ending up in the back of a barn at a walnut orchard. And there it sat for around 10 years.
[quoted image]
Having sat in a barn for a decade, with minimal maintenance prior to that, the machine was not in the best shape. The playfield was worn and covered in grime. The alkaline batteries hadn't been removed before it was put into storage so one corner of the MPU board was corroded. The rubber rings were filthy, brittle and falling apart. Ramps were cracked, and plastics were warped or missing. And those were just the issues that were obvious without turning it on!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
Repairing the PCB was first order of business since that would let me determine what else on the game needs work. I've done some electronics repair work before, but nothing quite like this.
I ended up desoldering most of the passives in the power input and sound section of the MPU since they had signs of corrision. The corrosion on the PCB itself was mostly limited to the immediate vicinity of the batteries. I removed that with fine-grit sandpaper and then installed fresh components. Rather than reinstalling batteries I swapped the RAM out for NVRAM.
[quoted image]
Once the PCB was in good shape I was finally able to power the machine on. It booted up without any drama (phew!) and I was able to use game diagnostics to verify that the playfield electronics were in good shape (modulo the few dozen burnt-out lamps).
Next came the clean up of the playfield. This was all entirely new to me, so I roped in my 7yo daughter to help. The playfield itself was dirty but not as bad as I'd first thought, though the paint had worn away in a few high-traffic areas. There's a lot of planking, which I suppose is to be expected after being stored in an unheated barn for a decade, and some paint is flaking off behind the right flipper.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
While replacing burnt-out / missing lamps on the playfield I noticed that none of the general illumination lamps appeared to be working. I probed around with a multimeter for longer than I'd care to admit, then thought to check their connection to the power supply. Low and behold, a pin had broken off the connector. The lights work much better now that they're getting power!
[quoted image]
We installed a playfield protector to limit future damage to the worn and flaking areas, then replaced broken posts, installed fresh rubbers, new plastics, ramps and decals. It's finally starting to look like a real pinball machine!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
There's a few odds and ends left to do before I declare it done and put the glass back on. The player four score display doesn't work. The Dummy drop target adjustment bracket broke at some point so the target sits below the playfield when dropped, perfect to hang up the ball. The flippers are a little loose and probably need to be rebuilt. I'm sure I'll notice more things the more time I spend with it.
But the important part is that we rescued my wife's childhood pinball machine and restored it to working order! We've put a few dozen games on it in the last few days, and my wife is already plotting which pin we should pick up next
[quoted image]

Best first post on Pinside!

Congrats on saving that Comet. You did excellent work on bringing it back to life. As you'll hear over and over again here, they have a tendency to multiply so be forewarned.

Welcome to the addiction.

-Paul

#1660 1 year ago

Beautiful work. Congratulations on saving it!

#1661 1 year ago

Having a lamp issue on our Comet and am wondering if something Comet-specific could help with troubleshooting. A few of the insert lamps (non-ghosting LEDs) are lighting when they shouldn't be. The issue doesn't occur when I switch out the bulbs for incandescents, or when I use an OCD board. I've checked for reversed diodes.

I just looked more closely at the manual. The lamp location map shows "not used" for #59. However, the lamp matrix table DOES have something listed ("one million," the same as #57). And it just so happens that that #59 is in the same row and column with the lamps that are screwy. Does anyone know if #59 is actually used or not? What is it, and what should I check for? (I'll note that I posted in the general forum earlier, but just now noticed this potential Comet-specific detail.)

Thanks for any insight!

#1662 1 year ago

I have a Comet at a client's home, that the switches under the vortex ramp keep coming apart and hanging limp. I've looked and not been able to find the assembly available anywhere. Are there any good fixes for them?

#1663 1 year ago
Quoted from RandyW:

I have a Comet at a client's home, that the switches under the vortex ramp keep coming apart and hanging limp. I've looked and not been able to find the assembly available anywhere. Are there any good fixes for them?

Pictures?

#1664 1 year ago

I don’t have a picture atm. But the three switches under the vortex ramp. There is one for each hole. Their switch arms keep falling off.

#1665 1 year ago
Quoted from RandyW:

I don’t have a picture atm. But the three switches under the vortex ramp. There is one for each hole. Their switch arms keep falling off.

You sure this is a Comet? Sounds like Pinbot? (vortex ramp with holes/switches)

#1666 1 year ago
Quoted from midcoastsurf:

You sure this is a Comet? Sounds like Pinbot? (vortex ramp with holes/switches)

Dammit!!! You are absolutely correct! Why in the heck did I write Comet on the notes!!

Sorry gang!

#1667 1 year ago
Quoted from ShuntyMcShunt:

hey guys! i'm going to be replacing my cracked center ramp with a FreePlay40 repro. my question is about the metal piece at the ramp entrance. Other machines i have seen have a larger more protective piece on the ramp entrance than mine. attached are a few images. one is of my machine with the orange post rubber and the small metal piece and the others with the grey post rubbers are my friends machine that has the larger metal piece. i wasn't sure exactly what it is called but when i get the new ramp id love to change out this piece as well. It seems more protective. currently my ball hits the glass all the time. any help identifying this pieces name or where to source it is greatly appreciated.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Hey everyone! Still looking for this metal ramp entrance piece as pictured in my post. stupid piece seems impossible to find.

#1668 1 year ago
Quoted from ShuntyMcShunt:

Hey everyone! Still looking for this metal ramp entrance piece as pictured in my post. stupid piece seems impossible to find.

The Space Shuttle games originally had 2 of these per game.

The modern replacement ramps come with conventional ramp-flaps.

So anyone who's restored their SS, should have some spares for you....
Shuttle-Inst-002.jpgShuttle-Inst-002.jpg

1 month later
#1669 11 months ago

I recently joined the Comet club and have the game tuned in to my liking. I really enjoy this game, and it pairs well with my Cyclone, however there's two things that I can't figure out:

1) I can't get the "1986" lanes to cycle with the flipper. The B-8410 switches register fine, the lanes simply won't change. There are no stuck switches in the switch test. Is this a Game Adjustment setting that needs to be changed or something else?

2) How do you lower the high score below 3.5M? I've tried changing function 12 and 13, but I can't get the score to reduce. (Note that the High Score reset switch is shorted, but I've cut the white wire off. Not sure this has anything to do with it, but I thought that I would mention it.)

thanks!
-Kyle

20230513_194002-50 (resized).jpg20230513_194002-50 (resized).jpg
#1670 11 months ago
Quoted from KNG1:

1) I can't get the "1986" lanes to cycle with the flipper. The B-8410 switches register fine, the lanes simply won't change. There are no stuck switches in the switch test. Is this a Game Adjustment setting that needs to be changed or something else?

Does pressing the right flipper button register as switch 30 during the switch test? If not, inspect the lane change switch on the right flipper mechanism (2b in the diagram from the manual) to make sure it is clean and has the correct gap.

Screenshot 2023-05-23 at 09.04.55 (resized).pngScreenshot 2023-05-23 at 09.04.55 (resized).png
#1671 11 months ago

@bdash, that's it! The switch was not registering, so I adjusted the leaf switch and it works now! Thanks, I didn't catch that in the manual.

#1672 11 months ago
Quoted from KNG1:

I recently joined the Comet club and have the game tuned in to my liking. I really enjoy this game, and it pairs well with my Cyclone,

Welcome to the club! Now go buy a Hurricane!

#1673 11 months ago

So are y'all saying that I just have to play better to beat the 3.5M high score?

#1674 11 months ago
Quoted from KNG1:

So are y'all saying that I just have to play better to beat the 3.5M high score?

Git gud.

#1675 11 months ago

I finally took care of my display ghosting issue. Swapped the Pinscores out for some Wolffpacks. Much better, no ghosting at all! Only issue is they don't line up as well, the numbers are a bit lower on the boards. Unlike Pinscore, there is no adjusting via the holes either. That's okay though, I'll fix it one way or another, very happy with the Wolffpacks.

-1
#1676 11 months ago

Strange thing I could use some help with!

I'm having issues with displays 1, 2, and the ball # display (right-side two-digit display).

During attract mode, the high score should have a 3 in the millions position (don't judge me), but it shows up as a 7. There's a little flickering in the thousands position, too.

During test mode, all numbers show up fine, except for the 4. Displays 1, 2, and the right-side two-digit display show as 0.

I thought the issue was related to connection between my Pinscore displays, and the board, but I repinned everything. Connections look good.

Thoughts?

#1677 10 months ago

lol i broke the ball gate wireform on the center ramp. it was bent and rusty. broke it trying to straighten it. does anyone else have this wire gate for sale other than Marco? its part #12-6658. $7 for the part plus like $8 shipping is wild.

#1678 10 months ago
Quoted from ShuntyMcShunt:

lol i broke the ball gate wireform on the center ramp. it was bent and rusty. broke it trying to straighten it. does anyone else have this wire gate for sale other than Marco? its part #12-6658. $7 for the part plus like $8 shipping is wild.

A common fix is just to get the right gauge of wire, and bend it yourself! That's how I did this particular gate, personally.

...however, I will say that $7 doesn't sound too bad, to get the right part already pre-made. Especially when you'd likely buy the wire you're bending, along with the tool you need to bend it, from Marco as well. The shipping sucks, of course, so maybe it's worth holding off until you can combine it with a larger order

Good luck!

#1679 10 months ago

That gate is one that doesn't see a lot of stress. You could easily just a paper clip to make one.

2 months later
#1680 8 months ago

I may be entering this club and am wondering how hard it would be to find a restored playfield or if anyone has ever made repro playfields for Comet. I’ve never seen one. I am not interested in a hardtop so not an option for me.

#1681 8 months ago
Quoted from Squeakman:

I may be entering this club and am wondering how hard it would be to find a restored playfield or if anyone has ever made repro playfields for Comet. I’ve never seen one. I am not interested in a hardtop so not an option for me.

Hardtop is about the only thing that I know of

#1682 8 months ago
Quoted from Squeakman:

I may be entering this club and am wondering how hard it would be to find a restored playfield or if anyone has ever made repro playfields for Comet. I’ve never seen one. I am not interested in a hardtop so not an option for me.

Is the game your looking at pretty beat? Playfield pic?

10
#1683 8 months ago

I’m in the club… she’s coming home with me today!

IMG_7927 (resized).jpegIMG_7927 (resized).jpegIMG_7928 (resized).jpegIMG_7928 (resized).jpeg
#1684 8 months ago
Quoted from interconnect:

I’m in the club… she’s coming home with me today!
[quoted image][quoted image]

Welcome to the club. It's a fun game.

#1685 8 months ago

Thanks! Got it set up. Needs some work, but overall in pretty darn good condition. Going to fully restore this one.

IMG_7929 (resized).jpegIMG_7929 (resized).jpegIMG_7933 (resized).jpegIMG_7933 (resized).jpegIMG_7934 (resized).jpegIMG_7934 (resized).jpeg

#1686 8 months ago
Quoted from interconnect:

Thanks! Got it set up. Needs some work, but overall in pretty darn condition. Going to fully restore this one.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

IMO, the best one-ball game from the 80's. I've owned it three times now and this time it's not leaving. Absolutely worthy of a restore!

#1687 8 months ago
Quoted from midcoastsurf:

IMO, the best one-ball game from the 80's. I've owned it three times now and this time it's not leaving. Absolutely worthy of a restore!

Yeah, I can’t wait. I have a Space Shuttle (also System 9) and it’s my favorite game. I’ve played Comet before, but not a nice, restored one. It didn’t play the greatest, but I could tell it’s a really awesome game. Can’t wait to get it all fixed up proper and play it.

#1688 8 months ago
Quoted from interconnect:

Yeah, I can’t wait. I have a Space Shuttle (also System 9) and it’s my favorite game. I’ve played Comet before, but not a nice, restored one. It didn’t play the greatest, but I could tell it’s a really awesome game. Can’t wait to get it all fixed up proper and play it.

The Sys 9 trinity is awesome. Sorcerer is the game that got me hooked when I was kid, but for some reason I've never owned it. But have owned Comet and Space Shuttle multiple times. Keep us posted!

#1689 8 months ago
Quoted from midcoastsurf:

The Sys 9 trinity is awesome. Sorcerer is the game that got me hooked when I was kid, but for some reason I've never owned it. But have owned Comet and Space Shuttle multiple times. Keep us posted!

Ahhh, haha… the “System 9 Trinity”. Never heard that; I love it! Yeah I have never played Sorcerer, but looks awesome; have never seen it anywhere. That may just have the be the next one. Yeah, I’ll keep ya updated on the progress!

#1690 8 months ago
Quoted from interconnect:

Thanks! Got it set up. Needs some work, but overall in pretty darn good condition. Going to fully restore this one.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

It looks you are doing more than pinball restoration. I like that bad cats, fun game.

3 weeks later
#1691 7 months ago

Hi. I have decided to fix up some of the little things on my Comet. The entry area to the Comet ramp had been "fixed" with the wrong parts. I need the two posts, the rubber sleeves, and the two screws. The rubbers are listed in the manual, but I can not seem to find which posts (and screws) I need. It would be appreciated if someone could identify them with a part number. I have attached a picture, after removing the incorrect parts for clarity.

Thanks

20230906_111157 (resized).jpg20230906_111157 (resized).jpg
#1692 7 months ago
Quoted from TheHouseHack:

Hi. I have decided to fix up some of the little things on my Comet. The entry area to the Comet ramp had been "fixed" with the wrong parts. I need the two posts, the rubber sleeves, and the two screws. The rubbers are listed in the manual, but I can not seem to find which posts (and screws) I need. It would be appreciated if someone could identify them with a part number. I have attached a picture, after removing the incorrect parts for clarity.
Thanks
[quoted image]

Although they don't make the exact post any longer, get 2 of these:

https://www.pinballlife.com/2-14-tall-metal-post-with-threaded-base-and-female-threaded-top.html

And get 3 of these post sleeves:

https://www.pinballlife.com/perfectplay-1-116-willamsbally-compatible-rubber-post-sleeve.html

Get some 6-32 locking screws, you need them all the time in pinball

https://www.pinballlife.com/6-32-x-14-pan-screw-with-locking-washer.html

#1693 7 months ago

Thank you very much! Parts have been ordered.

#1694 7 months ago

Almost done with my Comet restoration... has anyone addressed or figured out a way to prevent the airballs when going up the Comet ramp or the Cycle Jump ramp? I know it's a common issue with this game, but was just wondering if anyone out there figured out a way to prevent it. Thanks.

#1695 7 months ago
Quoted from interconnect:

Almost done with my Comet restoration... has anyone addressed or figured out a way to prevent the airballs when going up the Comet ramp or the Cycle Jump ramp? I know it's a common issue with this game, but was just wondering if anyone out there figured out a way to prevent it. Thanks.

Please don't correct this issue - the ball smacking the glass as it goes up the center ramp is one of the best features IMO...

#1696 7 months ago
Quoted from dmieczko:

Please don't correct this issue - the ball smacking the glass as it goes up the center ramp is one of the best features IMO...

I agree 100%!!!

#1697 7 months ago
Quoted from interconnect:

Almost done with my Comet restoration... has anyone addressed or figured out a way to prevent the airballs when going up the Comet ramp or the Cycle Jump ramp? I know it's a common issue with this game, but was just wondering if anyone out there figured out a way to prevent it. Thanks.

Don't know what to tell you about the air balls on the Cycle jump, but best guess on the center ramp is the transition from playfield to ramp is not smooth and the ball is jumping when it hits the ramp.... But I also like glass smacks!

#1698 7 months ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Don't know what to tell you about the air balls on the Cycle jump, but best guess on the center ramp is the transition from playfield to ramp is not smooth and the ball is jumping when it hits the ramp.... But I also like glass smacks!

I do get smoother transitions with your ramp installed. I still get a lot of smacks from the left flipper, but there was a noticeable reduction from the right. No rollbacks, so I'll keep it smackin'!

#1699 7 months ago

Gotcha. Not going to fix it but was wondering if something was majorly wrong here. Ball completes transition smoothly so I’ll just chock it up to being normal.

#1700 7 months ago
Quoted from dmieczko:

Please don't correct this issue - the ball smacking the glass as it goes up the center ramp is one of the best features IMO...

I don't think I have EVER played a Comet that they ball DIDN'T do this, even!

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