(Topic ID: 247080)

Complete novice looking for some help with Space Invaders


By hokie2764

4 days ago



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  • 12 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by jibmums
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#1 4 days ago

Hi everyone,
I don't have any technical experience with electronics or pinball machines but would like to give it a try and see what I can do. I own one pinball machine, Space Invaders. This machine has been owned by my family since at least 1986 and I know that at some point before that it was in an arcade. About 8 years ago I replaced the rubber rings and some lights, but beyond that I don't believe it had any type of service within the last 15 years (possibly much longer). In my opinion, the machine looks and plays great considering the circumstances, but it does have a couple of issues that I'd like to try to fix and was hoping some more experienced folks could point me in the right direction. Here are the problems I'm aware of:

1) The trailing/chasing lights in the cabinet aren't working. I know I remember them working 15+ years ago, but at some point they just stopped. I have made sure the pin adapters are properly connected and have also checked the fuses on the rectifier(?) board (see below).
2) Possibly related to (1), the lights behind the alien in the cabinet that are supposed to flash to the "heartbeat" also do not work.
3) When holding the left button, the small left flipper will glitch out - it'll drop and rise over and over as if it's not getting consistent power.
4) When (3) is happening, the machine sometimes locks up and gets stuck playing whatever sound was going at the time. It seems to only happen when the left flipper is glitching out but the sample size is small
5) Scoreboard displays are frequently distorted. A good whack to the side of the cabinet usually fixes it for a while. I've tried disconnecting and reconnecting the pin adapters to the affected displays but it doesn't seem to help.

As I stated above, I don't have any electrical or pinball repair experience. If someone could point me to some recommended resources for someone new to this I'd love to read through it to learn a lot of the terminology I see used on this site. I also want to make sure to do any work as safely as possible in terms of electrical shock as I don't know what I need to avoid (is there any danger when the machine is unplugged?).

I have verified that all fuses are present and none are broken using a multimeter. I also checked the rating of each fuse (except the one on the high voltage board). All fuses seemed to match the recommended rating except F6 - according to the manual and the machine it should be a 3A slow blow, but mine appears to be a 5A and I don't see or know how to tell if it is a slow blow.

I'm happy to provide additional pictures if needed of any part of the machine!

Thanks for reading.

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#2 4 days ago

Welcome to Pinside. Pinwiki is a great starting point. http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bally/Stern

#3 4 days ago

#'s 3-5 of your issues could most likely be the two large capacitors on you solenoid driver board going out. Vid's guide to bulletproofing your SDB will help you trouble shoot the issue but a replacement board may be best in regards to your current level of repair knowledge. Reflowing the solder on most of the board connectors may solve alot of your issues as well for an easy fix.

#4 4 days ago

#1-2 Both of these are controlled by the Auxiliary Lamp Driver board. The most common issue is the solder joints on the connector pins crack and you lose connection. Removing the old solder and reflowing new solder should fix the problems.

#3-4 The flipper coil probably has a broken hold winding which is supposed to keep the flipper up as long as you press the button. Because Space Invaders makes a sound when you flip, the machine gunning of the flipper is probably wreaking havoc with the sound board.

#5 Same problem as #1. The solder joints on all of the score display connector pins crack and cause the symptoms you’ve described. Remove old solder and reflow new to fix.

#5 4 days ago

That's a nice looking Space Invaders, a lot of times that loop in the middle of the playfield and half the playfield itself are blown out.

Second game I ever owned, over 20 years ago.

Refer to the advice above - start with the displays and lights, get those fixed, build some confidence, then tackle the flipper.

#6 4 days ago
Quoted from pinzrfun:

That's a nice looking Space Invaders, a lot of times that loop in the middle of the playfield and half the playfield itself are blown out.

yeah, that playfield is super nice.

#7 4 days ago

https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/space-invaders

Many good links right on the pinside page. sweet machine. My generation.

#8 4 days ago

Don’t forget about the batteries on the MPU. If there’s been no service, the batteries are probably dead, and hopefully, not leaking.

#9 1 day ago

Thanks for the useful tips. I looked through the pinwiki link which gave me a better understanding of all the parts involved in my machine. Based on the replies I decided to take a look at the Auxiliary Lamp Driver board to see if anything stuck out (burn spots, loose wires, failed solder joints, etc). Being so new, I don't have the best eye for this sort of thing but to me everything seemed to look ok? I also disconnected and reseated each of the 3 connectors on the off chance it would make a difference (it didn't). I'm attaching some pics I took of the board in case someone else can identify a problem I missed. I'll take a look at the displays next to familiarize myself with that hardware and see if I can identify the cause of the distortion/flickering.

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#10 1 day ago

I see cracked solder joints on the header pins of both connectors. They definitely need to have the old solder removed and then resolder them.

#11 1 day ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

I see cracked solder joints on the header pins of both connectors. They definitely need to have the old solder removed and then resolder them.

I don't think they look bad. Not great, but I'm not sure your recommendation is necessary to get it up and running.

#12 1 day ago
Quoted from hokie2764:

I also checked the rating of each fuse (except the one on the high voltage board). All fuses seemed to match the recommended rating except F6 - according to the manual and the machine it should be a 3A slow blow, but mine appears to be a 5A and I don't see or know how to tell if it is a slow blow.

There's a note in the manual on page 28 that Space Invaders specifically uses a 5A SB fuse in F6, while others normally use a 3A SB.

Slow-blow fuses will be labeled MDL, MSL, or 313, while fast/normal blow will be labeled AGC, 311, or 312.

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