PotC owners club: "Dead men tell no tales..."

(Topic ID: 105360)

PotC owners club: "Dead men tell no tales..."

By rai

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 2,057 posts
  • 199 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by jetmechinnc
  • Topic is favorited by 88 Pinsiders


Linked Games

Topic poll

“Are you a Pirate?”

  • Arrg, I'm a Pirate 150 votes
  • I wish I were a Pirate 58 votes
  • I have no interest in Pirates 17 votes
  • I was a Pirate in the past but not at present. 32 votes

(257 votes)

Topic Gallery

There have been 512 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

9975124D-A793-412F-8109-780D7094213E (resized).jpeg
B64C3B41-3C60-479F-A9BD-F946D40DD1CC (resized).jpeg
3C92B467-802B-418D-9BBC-372B3196F627 (resized).jpeg
8BD30C23-2E9B-4CFF-9313-9927ED76AB71 (resized).jpeg
447EF5A7-C91F-4784-80E6-EBB98BE38B88 (resized).jpeg
98B3B9EC-E025-4748-A03D-1DAA94AFBFE9 (resized).jpeg

You're currently viewing posts by Pinsider michi.
Click here to go back to viewing the entire thread.

#795 2 years ago

This is my first post here. I bought my POTC about three months ago.

I watched this POTC video:

At 11:30, they start talking about Davy Jones and, at 12:15, they mention "Davy Jones rape, where you can basically play Davy Jones forever."

Anyone know what this strategy is? How is that supposed to work? I've beaten Davy Jones a number of times, but I don't see how you can play that "forever".



2 weeks later
#819 2 years ago
Quoted from marmar:

Thanks guys,
There is an issue with cable and looks like the mini coil also needs to be replaced. One thing I am having a problem is the lights under the cannon plastic above the right flipper flicker and at times they come on when the left flipper is hit. The lights come on when the game turns on but then go off. If anyone has an idea please let me know.

Sounds like a bad contact or broken wire somewhere. Most likely, as the bulbs warm up, heat expansion causes the circuit to be interrupted. The vibration from the flipper is enough to restore contact.

You could try some cold spray once the lights are off, to see if/where they come back on as you cool things down. I'd also go trough the circuit and manually prod/push things around once the lights are off. You might find a spot where you can cause them to come back on that way.


#821 2 years ago
Quoted from scottslash:

For me... Stacking with Tortuga Multiball. NOT stacking with Heart Multiball.

Could you explain why not with Hear Multiball? I thought it wouldn't matter which multiball; the point of either is to take advantage of the ball saver. What am I missing?



#825 2 years ago

Thanks for the replies. So, assuming Davy Jones is the last thing to complete the compass, I don't think it matters whether I use Heart or Tortuga multiball. Either way, I just shoot at the ship.


#827 2 years ago
Quoted from scottslash:

True. If Davy Jones is all that remains, then any stack will do.


I'm still wondering about the "Davy Jones rape" that is mentioned in the Papa video. Anyone know what they were referring to?



3 weeks later
#848 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Can someone tell me where the -11 plastic (concave semicircle of blue) goes?

Not sure what you mean. Do you have a picture? That would help.

Long shot, but has anyone ever scanned their cab decals? My cab is currently just black paint

I don't know of anyone who sells the original decals. Stern might have some? Otherwise, there is an alternative version:

I didn't know what I was doing but half an hour later I had the compass completed, and couldn't figure out how to start Four Winds before I drained. (the shot is 'award lit compass ARROW', but it's not an arrow! I was quite annoyed when I found out...)

If you got to Four Winds the first time you played, you were doing well! I guess it's not obvious without having played a few games that "Awards flashing compass arrow" also refers to the center Four Winds insert…


#856 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I assume it goes in front of the ship somehow from its placement in the manual, but I have no idea where it would mount. Checked some pictures online but didn't see it anywhere, and afraid to start mounting the main ramp if this needs to go underneath it

I just had a look at mine. I don't have the part in mine, at least not as it is shown in the manual. Instead, there is a much larger piece that extends to the left and all the way down to the pop bumper. It goes under the ramp, yes, with the semicircle matching the rounded top of the guide of the center shot (Liar's Dice).

Another problem I ran into today: what type of post is the 'cannon' plastic under the shooter ramp mounted with? As far as I can tell it should be angled under the ramp, and I have a hole there for the screw, but not sure what holds the plastic away from the playfield...

The top end of it (the end away from the plunger) just sits on on top of a metal guide. There is no post, as far as I can see. Let me know if you can't work it out and I'll try and take some photos.


#858 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Is the plastic you're talking about the one that also covers the ship shot?

Yes. On mine, there is a single fairly large plastic piece that covers the ship shot, the center shot, and it extends all the way down to the pop bumper. In the manual, that piece is labelled -05. There is no piece that looks like -11 on my machine at all. If you have one, I'd expect that it would go directly on top of -05, assuming that the screw holes in -11 match up with the screw holes for -05.

If there's no post holding the cannon, then what holds it down? I see a screw hole in it...

It's a bit difficult to see without pulling things apart. (I have the Pearl Cannon from Back Alley Creations installed.) The top of the cannon plastic just sits on top of the guide that runs around the right-hand treasure target. The bottom looks like it might be screwed directly onto the playfield. (I can't see that spot properly.) But there is definitely no post. By the looks of things, the cannon plastic is flush with the playfield at the bottom and just bent up towards the top of the treasure target flat rail (FR 15), resting on top of the rail.


#859 2 years ago
Quoted from michi:

Yes. On mine, there is a single fairly large plastic piece that covers the ship shot, the center shot, and it extends all the way down to the pop bumper. In the manual, that piece is labelled -05. There is no piece that looks like -11 on my machine at all.

This is interesting. I suspect there may be machines with different versions of the plastics floating around.

If found some sets:

and here:

I can clearly spot the -11 part.

There is also a close-up image in the pinballnews.com for POTC where the part shows up:


It may be that the part is simply missing from my machine, or was omitted in later versions? I'd be interested to hear from other POTC owners to see whether the part is on their machine. On mine, the relevant section is just clear plastic on the -05 piece.


#860 2 years ago
Quoted from michi:

Mystery solved

I found this image in an eBay ad. My machine actually does have the -11 part. It's just that the angle at which I can look at the machine and the lighting in the room made it essentially disappear and look like part of the playfield. The part goes behind the center shot, below the -05 part, near the base of the center shot flat rail. Zoom in on the picture and you can see where it belongs.

I'm surprised that Stern even bothered with this part. It's essentially invisible from anything near a normal playing position. You have to look straight down on the playfield near the ship to see it, and even then it is hard to spot, looking like the blue playfield.



#861 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Is the plastic you're talking about the one that also covers the ship shot?
If there's no post holding the cannon, then what holds it down? I see a screw hole in it...

You are talking about the bottom end of the plastic (near the shooter)? Or the top?
I might be able to find the time to open up the machine, remove the Back Alley cannon mod, and have a closer look.


#865 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

As for the cannon, there's only one screw hole in it, and it's near the top of the plastic. There's also only one screw hole in the playfield, which would align with the cannon plastic if it was resting on the FR15 rail, but there's thus air space beneath the angled plastic... I guess it could work with just a screw, but I'd assumed there's a spacer or something...

I took the glass off so I could get a photo. Is basically impossible to peer into the space below the cannon plastic otherwise. Even so, I ended up having to position the lens on the playfield.

There is a grey spacer for the cannon plastic. You can see it in the attached image in between the two posts near the top-right. I'm no sure what height it is though. I looked in the manual, and it doesn't seem to be listed



#869 2 years ago
Quoted from PeterG:

The main ramp is not that difficult. If you want to make sure you do it correct, make lots of photo's of the process.
But for all I can see it is just unscrew the ramp and put the new on it. The only electrical items on there are the lamp at the top.

And the micro-switches for the three lanes and the Parlay hole. If you look in the manual, there are instructions for removal of the large ramp. Taking photos and making notes is a good idea. As is to arrange all the parts you remove in some logical order, so you know what goes where afterwards.


#870 2 years ago
Quoted from michi:

I watched this POTC video: » YouTube video
At 11:30, they start talking about Davy Jones and, at 12:15, they mention "Davy Jones rape, where you can basically play Davy Jones forever."
Anyone know what this strategy is? How is that supposed to work? I've beaten Davy Jones a number of times, but I don't see how you can play that "forever".

I think I may have figured it out. After defeating Davy Jones, if you have two or more balls in play, the ship stays down and it becomes impossible to defeat the kraken. Meaning that, every time you shoot the kraken, you collect the kraken jackpot. From memory, I think that's 2 million each time, but that might be because I had max jackpots enabled at the time.

Best strategy would be to trap one ball, put one or two balls into tortuga, and shoot the kraken over and over with the remaining ball. Could add up quickly…


#876 2 years ago
Quoted from Radius118:

I turned off tournament (at least I think I did) but for some reason the tournament results keep coming up on the DMD during attract mode. How can I get rid of that? Is there some setting or reset I am missing? I suppose a factory reset would do it but I didn't want to take such drastic action if it wasn't necessary.

I tried to do the same thing, but it appears to be impossible to get rid of the tournament results in attract mode. If you do a factory reset, you instead see fake tournament results for a tournament that actually never took place.


#881 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

"Start and stop a tournament 10 times to wipe that data (will stay in attract mode forever if you don't)" (via https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-tournament-system#post-491570)
, maybe that'll help? Seems weird

Thanks for that, that worked perfectly! Extremely non-obvious way of getting rid of the tournament display, I must say. And I don't think it's mentioned in the manual?


2 weeks later
#892 2 years ago
Quoted from beepnutz:

Thanks much Crispin, those pics will surely help in my decision. I'm kinda torn between the art vs. black chrome blades (Black Pearl Ship).

My personal preference is for mirror blades because they make the machine visually wider and remove that "boxed in" feeling. But the decals are pretty stylish too, I admit.


#894 2 years ago
Quoted from beepnutz:

Does anybody make *black chrome* side blades for POTC? Can't seem to find any.

PDI have black mirror blades: http://www.pinballdecals.com/MirrorBladesPage.html
Pinball Side Mirrors also have them: https://pinballsidemirrors.com/product/pinball-side-mirrors/

The ones for Stern machines should fit.

I'm surprised though by the idea of fitting black ones to a POTC. Given the theme and colour scheme, I would go with either silver or gold, not black.


#896 2 years ago
Quoted from beepnutz:

One of the movies is called.. The Curse of the Black Pearl.. which is why I am considering black blades.

Fair enough, that association didn't come up on my radar. Still, I suspect (but am not sure) that silver or gold would work better with the game in terms of mood and theme.

Hell, I'm leaving the incandescent lights in as I like how they slow dim in and out, verses on/off LED's (yes, I have LED's in other machines). Looks better to me.

On mine, I have all the inserts and GI as LEDs. But, when I got the machine, the tortuga and key lights on the back panel were LEDs and they looked awful. I replaced them with the original red and green incandescents, and it looks way better that way, IMO.


#906 2 years ago
Quoted from Drew13:

Finished cleaning up and modding a potc I got from an awesome pinsider.

Looks excellent!

One question: the speaker grills (not the skull and swords acrylic, but the thin cover with lots of little holes); what's the best place to get that kind of speaker grill?



#911 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Pinball life has them, but they're like $20ea, so mine are still empty. No way I'm paying that much for a sheet of spray painted mesh.

Thanks for that! I did some more searches and found this: http://virtuapin.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=125

Much more reasonably priced.


3 weeks later
#926 2 years ago
Quoted from Agent_Hero:

Wasn't sure if it's generally random or if the action of that drainage is slope-based and it's always supposed to go straight through.

I see both straight down and circling, depending on the speed and trajectory of the ball.


#931 2 years ago

I just installed maffewl's airball protector.

Works a treat. No more airballs, period! Installs in five minutes, and doesn't destroy the optics of the machine. Pretty much disappears from sight. Highly recommended!


#932 2 years ago

I currently have a broken opto on my machine, the one that is in the trunk entrance. No big deal, I can fix it. But it seems the the machine is playing just fine, even with this switch permanently registering as closed.

So, my question is, what does the software actually do with this particular switch state? Or, to put it differently, what will change in game play once I fix the switch?



#935 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I've got the same problem right now. As far as I can tell, it'll react sooner when a ball goes in instead of waiting for it to settle in the back.
Before you've spelled KEY, the opto will give a letter even if you don't make the shot completely

Thanks for that! I'll try and confirm once I get the opto fixed.


#940 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I'd consider myself a pretty good player but 200+ plays on mine and I still haven't even gotten to the fourth ship.

A good time to shoot at the ship is during a multi-ball ball saver. I reach Davy Jones quite regularly that way. (Finishing Davy Jones is a lot harder though.)

If your goal is to maximise points, the ships are mostly a waste of time. You will make more points just shooting Tortuga and the trunk over and over, and collecting jackpots.

If your goal is to complete the compass, try and stack a multi-ball with sinking the first ship, and use the multi-ball ball saver to finish off the kraken. For the second, third, and fourth ship, forget about the kraken and use each ship multi-ball to prime Tortuga and the trunk, but do not start them while the ship multi-ball is still running. I normally let one of the ship multi-balls drain once Tortuga and/or the trunk are ready, rather than accidentally starting them and not being able to make progress towards the next ship. (The ship won't come back up until the game is back in single-ball play.) Once the ship is back up, as soon as Tortuga or Heart multi-ball are running, it's back to bashing away at the ship again.

If you have Heart multi-ball ready, and Tortuga nearly ready, try and start Heart multi-ball. Bash away at the ship during ball-save time and for the next two balls. Once you are down to two balls in Heart multi-ball, try and start Tortuga multi-ball. Even if you don't manage to fully load up Tortuga, you'll get a new ball saver without losing Heart multi-ball. That helps with getting the Heart super jackpot. Once you are down to two balls on the stacked Heart/Tortuga multi-ball, try and and sink the ship, which then acts as an add-a-ball. Once you have all three multi-balls stacked, you are stuck in terms of multi-balls until you are back down to single-ball play. But you can still work on Jack during that time, kill the kraken, or try and keep loading Tortuga for the multipliers and big points. (Jack is easiest to complete during multi-ball ball save time because it's a risky shot.)

Typically, I end up with the compass lit except for Heart Super Jackpot and Davy Jones Defeated. If I can start Heart multi-ball during that time and don't have Tortuga almost ready, I bash away at the trunk and the ship, depending on opportunities (with priority on the trunk, because it's a lot of work to get back there again if I fail to get Heart Super jackpot).


#941 2 years ago

I just looked through my game stats. In 1100 games, I started Four Winds 8 times, but have not reached Gauntlet so far. The best I've managed is to complete two of the four winds, and with the third one halfway complete before I drained.

The game doesn't record how many times you have battled Davy Jones or defeated Davy Jones (which is strange, seeing that this is a major feature with its own "Davy Jones Champion" on the DMD).

But it says that I completed Heart Super jackpot 200 times, and completed the East compass point 10 times, meaning that, in 10 tries of starting Four Winds, I managed to actually start it 8 times.

I know that I've started Davy Jones without completing it many times, but nowhere near as often as I completed Heart Super jackpot. I'd say I've battled Davy Jones maybe seventy or eighty times, with defeating him maybe one every four attempts.

The hardest part here is to get both Heart Super jackpot AND Davy Jones. Either one isn't too bad, but getting both in the same game is hard. And, after completing the compass, before you can start Four Winds, you have to drop back to single-ball play because Four Winds cannot be started during multi-ball play. (The shot to Liar's Dice is dangerous in single-ball play.)

Four Winds and Gauntlet are among the hardest wizard modes in all of pinball, I'd say. Not as bad as LOTR Valinor, but definitely up there.


#946 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

what exactly are the Heart and Tortuga MB rules?

Good rule set can be found here: http://www.pinballnews.com/games/potc/index7.html


#955 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

It ends at 100 switch hits, 30 seconds, or ball drain

Normally, you'll get 5-7 million out of Collect Crew. But manage to start it while you have double or triple scoring going with balls trapped in Tortuga, and you'll complete it very quickly, and with well over 20 million points. You can't re-start the mode, unless you get to Four Winds and drain. If you have another ball left after that, the compass is cleared and you can start over again. Some things get harder the second time around though. I know that you need more hits for the first ship after Four Winds; there may be other things that get harder too, I haven't explored that yet.

Another reason why Four Winds is so hard to complete: if you fail to complete Four Winds and drain, Four Winds is done, and you have to complete the entire compass a second time. In other words, to complete Four Winds, you have to do it there and then; it doesn't carry over to the next ball.


#956 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

So there's no point to the mode in fact, half the lights require little or no effort.

Yes, half of them happen pretty much by accident. I suspect that was done deliberately, to have something in the machine that appeals to less skilled players. The difficulty of Heart Super jackpot and Davy Jones amply compensate for that though. I think it's a good design: there is fun and challenges for players of all skill levels.


#959 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I need to figure out the stacking and scoring strategy better. IOW the double and triple play field stacking.

It's a good idea during multi-ball to put a ball into Tortuga whenever it's empty. Once you complete the Tortuga lights a second time, that lights the ball lock, and putting another ball in there gets you double playfield for 10(?) pinball seconds. Put a second ball in within that time, and you get triple scoring (and the timer resets too, I believe). It's also possible to reach quintuple scoring. I'm not clear though exactly how that happens. I seem to get it if I put a ball into Tortuga immediately after I've started it.

At any rate, stashing a ball into Tortuga also has the advantage that it gets that ball out the way for a while, so you have more time to shoot at something else.


#961 2 years ago
Quoted from PeterG:

Funny to see how people have problem with DJ while that is one I get almost each game, while heart multiball for me is the pain....And if I have both then the F...ing monkey is the problem. In that way I never ever completed the compass in two years now;-( It will happen one day....

Interesting! For me, Davy Jones is a lot harder than Heart Super jackpot, and Jack is pretty easy.

You can work on Jack by practicing. Every time you have a multi-ball, just forget about everything else but Jack. Shoot in the general direction of Jack and see how it goes. Before long, you'll know where on the left flipper the shot sits, and you'll also learn to adjust for ball speed. (A direct shot from a mostly stationary ball is not in the same spot on the flipper as a shot on the fly from a fast feed from the left inlane.)

It is possible to backhand Jack too. Not easy, but I do it quite often during the ball-save period, where I can afford to drain. The shot is very early on the right flipper for a feed from the right inlane.


#967 2 years ago
Quoted from marmar:

Zacaj -- The ramp is disconnected and the connections but the switch is to big to fit with the riveted ramp in place. I am not comfortable disconnecting the cables from the switch. I think the best will be to remove the rivets and then fish the switch through.

You can easily disconnect the ramp from underneath the playfield and pull the cable and connector up through hole in the playfield. The entire ramp, complete with switches and lights comes away from the game easily.

The switches themselves are attached to their support brackets with two small screws each, so they should be easy to move. If your replacement ramp doesn't have the metal brackets for the rum ramp, broadside, and walk the plank exits attached, you can drill out the rivets for the brackets on the old ramp and blind-rivet them to the new ramp. I'd use a washer underneath the playfield on the stem of the rivets to avoid damaging the plastic when the rivet compresses.


#970 2 years ago
Quoted from pinnyheadhead:

I am not an LED expert by any means, so I was wondering how POTC does with them? Does it need an LED OCD? Thanks

No, no need for an LED OCD. I have LEDs for everything (except the Tortuga and Key lamps, for which I prefer incandescents). I use Comet non-ghosting LEDs, and there is zero ghosting. (I really mean "zero", not "little".)


#973 2 years ago
Quoted from maffewl:

The others will still ghost/flicker, but may not be noticeable enough for you to care/justify the added expense.

I originally bought the machine with non-ghosting LEDs. The flicker was horrible. Worst in the compass lights, but present on other inserts as well, with some of them ghosting quite badly. Seeing that the LEDs aren't that expensive and that, if I do the job, I might as well do it properly, I used the Comet non-ghosting LEDs for all the inserts. No more ghosting, period.

Before shelling out the money for an OCD board, I'd give the non-ghosting LEDs a try. Yes, they do cut off more sharply than incandescents, but it's not as if you'd be getting lots of horrible strobe effects or some such. In my opinion, they are just fine.


#974 2 years ago

Question for everyone about the rules regarding the Key inserts. I'm talking about the three inserts in front of the trunk, not the key lights on the backboard.

Normally, when I drain a ball, whatever Key inserts are lit are extinguished so, on the next ball, I have to spell KEY again. The one exception to this that I know of is when the trunk is ready for Heart multi-ball. In that case, when I drain, the Key inserts stay lit for the next ball, so a single shot to the trunk will start Heart multi-ball.

But, every now and then, I have, say, two or three Key inserts lit and drain. But, for the next ball, they are *not* extinguished. I can't figure out when and why that happens. Anyone know?


#975 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

So either MB can stack?
But did you pre-qualify a MB start a ship then then add the MB?

All multi-balls stack and can be started while any other multi-ball is in progress. In terms of scoring, they don't affect each other though. Shots aren't suddenly worth more just because you have two or three multi-balls going at the same time.

For Ship multi-ball, if Tortuga is ready, you can shoot the ship first, and then start loading Tortuga. But that goes wrong if you drain, so I think it's better to start Tortuga first, then start the ship once two balls are inside Tortuga. That way, you get to use the Tortuga ball saver to bash away at the kraken. (There is no ball saver for ship multi-ball.)

Once the kraken is dead, I tend not to shoot at it anymore. It's a lot of shots for comparatively few points. Instead, I tend to start either Heart or Tortuga multi-ball, and use the ball save time to work towards the next ship getting ready, as well as making progress on trunk and/or Jack, whichever is convenient.

If I'm in Heart or Tortuga and I'm down to two balls, a good option is to start a ship multi-ball. That acts as an add-a-ball and allows me to make more progress towards Heart Super Jackpot, or to stash more balls into Tortuga for multipliers.

For Jack, I tend to shoot at it mostly during multi-ball ball save time because that's safer. Once Jack is finished, I stop shooting at it deliberately, even if I have a chance to collect. There are not enough points there to warrant the risk.

Typically, I end up in the situation where I have one or two ships, and all compass lights except for Heart Super Jackpot and Davy Jones.

Assuming I'm chasing Four Winds (not a good tournament strategy), it now becomes an exercise in keeping multi-balls going and to use the ball save time as much as possible to make progress on the remaining ships and Heart Super Jackpot. In that situation, I try and start one multi-ball, and use the ball save time to make progress towards another multi-ball. That gets me closer to my goal (Heart Super Jackpot and Davy Jones). Ideally, I don't start two multi-balls at once (except for the ship add-a-ball) but let one multi-ball finish. Now I should be very close to another multi-ball. Rinse and repeat until I get to Four Winds…

For beating Davy Jones, the same strategy applies. Once down to two balls, if any other multi-ball is nearly ready, I focus on that instead of continuing to shoot at Davy Jones. That gives me four balls again and another ball saver that I can use to hopefully beat Davy Jones.

If I'm chasing points for a tournament, there is basically nothing of interest other than Tortuga over and over. Get to the point where the jackpots are maxed out at 2 million and keep grinding that for as long as possible. Put balls into Tortuga during Tortuga multi-ball for playfield multipliers, and shoot the chest occasionally to re-light jackpots. For maximum points, it is best not to stack Tortuga and Heart multi-ball. That's because, once a stacked multi-ball ends, I sit there with both Tortuga and Heart empty and have a lot of work to do to get back to a multi-ball. (Although it's fun to collect Heart Super Jackpot with a multiplier running.)

The South compass award (max jackpots) makes the game almost a one-ball game in tournaments. That's because, once collected, I can't get the jackpots back to 2 million again, unless I get to Four Winds, drain out of that, and still have another ball left with which I can start working on the now-empty compass a second time. With long balls, I can work the jackpot value back up to well over a million, but getting to two million requires 40 hits into the scoop (which I've never managed to do so far). And, as soon as that ball drains, the game resets the jackpot value back to 1 million; it's not possible to carry over more than 1 million jackpot value into the next ball. All this means is that, once the South compass award starts, most of the game points ride on that one ball.


#979 2 years ago
Quoted from PeterG:

Is there a timer on hearts multiball or does it just stop when 1 ball left? I never noticed as I am to focused to get the completion.

There is the ball saver at the beginning, which will kick in even if you have another multi-ball running already. Once you are down to one ball, that's it. Multi-ball ends at that point and, if sunk, the ship will come back up.


#980 2 years ago
Quoted from PeterG:

Is there a timer on hearts multiball or does it just stop when 1 ball left?

Ah, sorry, misunderstanding, I think. You mean a grace period, I take it?

Yes, there is a grace period when Heart multi-ball ends. After you are down to the last ball and the Key inserts are extinguished, you have about five seconds to shoot the chest again to make Heart Super jackpot.

The other grace periods I'm aware of are for Jack, which also gives you about five seconds after the Jack inserts stop flashing to make the shot, and for the kraken, which you can still hit after the ship is all the way up.


#983 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

What's the Special award, can I set it to EB?

Standard adjustment #14 allows you select the award.


#985 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Also someone said Jack was not that valuable, but at least the first time even if you are not playing for wizard mode, because of the EB award.

EB for Jack?

What are your settings? There is no EB or special for Jack with the factory settings.


#988 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Jack + Kraken = EB on the compass.

Ah, yes, of course

What I meant was that, once I've completed Jack once, I don't bother with it a second time because the risk-reward doesn't stack up all that well. Same with the kraken. If in tournament play (where extra balls are normally turned off), I ignore both. Jackpots are safer and give me up to 2 million per shot, whereas the kraken requires several shots to get three million, and it doesn't advance me towards anything interesting in tournament play (whereas the chest does, both for jackpots and to advance towards the next multi-ball).


2 weeks later
#1002 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I've got the same problem right now. As far as I can tell, it'll react sooner when a ball goes in instead of waiting for it to settle in the back.
Before you've spelled KEY, the opto will give a letter even if you don't make the shot completely

I just replaced the opto, and it's working fine again. You are right, it awards a key letter even if the ball doesn't make it all the way into the chest and drops back down again.

In terms of game play, it makes almost no difference. But there is also a sound effect attached to the opto, which adds a (tiny) bit of interest.


#1004 2 years ago
Quoted from beepnutz:

I've only been to 4 winds about 4 or 5 times and never finished it.

Same here. I've played Four Winds eight times, but haven't managed to finish it yet. Got three of the four winds last time before I drained

It's interesting that the strategy for tournament play (max points) is very different from reaching wizard mode. None of the games where I reached Four Winds are in my high score table. For my highest score (634,808950), I didn't beat Davy Jones either.

One of these days, I'll get a few gauntlet points…


#1027 2 years ago

I used to have loads of problems with airballs. The ball typically would jump up onto the rum ramp but, occasionally, would end up getting stuck behind the rum ramp near the left spotlight for the ship, and I had to remove the glass to free the stuck ball.

I installed maffewl's airball protector a few weeks ago, and zero airballs since then. I highly recommend that mod, it really works!


#1029 2 years ago
Quoted from beepnutz:

About 4,000 plays on my POTC and never had an airball, seems from reading here, that you either have a lot of them, or none at all. Strange.

Indeed. All the airballs (at least in my case) come from the pirate stand-up targets. In particular, the one to the left and right of the ship lane, and the one to the left of the Jack ramp. The two stand-up targets either side of the chest never produce an airball, for some reason; neither does the one left of the Tortuga ramp.

I guess there are lots of variables here. The targets won't be mounted in the exact same orientation on every machine, the angle of the play may be related, whether the playfield was waxed and is fast might make a difference, etc. A POTC is an imprecise mechanical contraption…

Anyway, no more airballs for me after installing maffewl's mod. Haven't had to take the glass off to retrieve a stuck ball even once since then.


#1035 2 years ago

I hadn't seen that one before. Looks very nice! Where is it from?


#1051 2 years ago
Quoted from Bond_Gadget_007:

This is more of a gameplay question, but I want to know how many owners have decent games/points without short plunging to Tortuga wheel all day long.

I generally don't short plunge because it's not that hard to bring the ball back under control, and because I like getting Key letters lit and/or making progress towards Parlay. With the standard 5-second ball save, it's possible to get two Key letters from a single plunge if you go through the left or right top lane and let the first ball drain during the ball save.

As far as tournament strategy is concerned (with extra balls off), it's pretty much "ignore everything except Tortuga and the chest." The ship can come in handy as an add-a-ball during Heart or Tortuga multi-ball. (Sink the ship once another multi-ball is down to two balls to bring a third ball into play.) If extra balls are on, I try to complete the first kraken and—opportunistically, during multi-ball—Jack. That's to get the extra ball reward at the center shot. Once that is lit, I ignore the kraken and Jack because they aren't worth enough points to warrant mucking around with them.

Once jackpots are maxed at 2 million, I keep grinding jackpots for as long as possible. Ideally, I try to get one multi-ball ready (without starting it) while another multi-ball is running, so I'm playing multi-ball pretty much the entire time. My best score that way is 638 million. That's without short-plunging, and without defeating Davy Jones.


#1055 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Each time it gets harder to spell

Does it? As far as I know, the first time (on default settings), each hit on the hole awards two letters, so I need to get through the hole three times to complete Parlay. Thereafter, it's just a single letter per hole, no matter how many times I complete it, so I need to get through the hole six times to complete Parlay. Does it get any harder than that?


#1061 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I forgot, what is the maneuver where you get credit for sinking a ship with one shot, and it says "you cheated"?

Go through the right top lane while the sails are down, and you get Broadside, which is a hurry-up shot to the ship. Hit it, and you sink the ship with that shot. It's interesting for the 3rd and later ships, where it saves quite a few shots.


#1062 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Eventually it resets progress each ball. Very annoying.

Ah, yes, forgot about that, thanks!


#1086 2 years ago
Quoted from marmar:

I went ahead an ordered new ones for the spinning disk section seems to be acting incorrectly.

Run a switch test and interrupt the light beam for each of the optos. While obstructed, the optos should register as a closed switch; otherwise, as an open switch.


#1090 2 years ago
Quoted from marmar:

The one thing I have noticed is during play when the ball is shot up the ramp the ball will go up to the compass but it really will not start to spin until after the ball comes back down to the playfield and once the ball is in the play field the pin will come up to lock the ball. I am not sure if this is normal still learning the game play on this pin.

The motor is supposed to start as soon as the switch at the bottom of the ramp is triggered. Once the ball goes into the mixmaster, it should stay trapped in there by the plunder pin for several seconds. Then, once the pin is deactivated, it opens the exit.

Run a switch test and check the switch at the bottom of the ramp as well as both optos on the mixmaster.


#1093 2 years ago
Quoted from marmar:

The only thing I have left is the ball trough issue all 4 balls are coming out and is never ending. Looks like switch 22 is having an issue so the optos on the ball trough have to be looked at. I thin replacing them would be the easier thing to do.

Again, the switch test should help isolate the problem. Take the balls out and activate the trough optos by interrupting the beams with a stick or some such. Might save you having to replace the entire unit, depending on what's going wrong.


#1094 2 years ago

I'm about to install a new compass decal because the old one has mostly worn away. I'm sick of all the dust that gets generated by the abrasion on the decal; the damn stuff ends up everywhere on the playfield

I found this on pinwiki: http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Stern_S.A.M._System_Repair#Pirates_of_the_Caribbean

They recommend to use "clear non-slip bath tub stuff" on the decal. Has anyone here done this? If so, what kind of product/brand did you use? I'm hoping to find some sort of sealer or surface coating that will reduce abrasion, both to protect the decal and to reduce the amount of dust in the machine.

I did look at the decal protector from pinball.center. It's not clear to me how that works though. Apparently, it is supposed to be applied over the original decal. But the original decal has quite a rough surface, so I don't see how the protector would stick on that and and stay put. If anyone has used that decal protector, I'd be keen to hear about your experiences. Does it last? Does it still look decent after a few hundred games?



#1096 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I've been wondering about just putting mylar on

I suspect that wouldn't work too well because the surface of the decal is quite rough. I expect mylar wouldn't stick to that for any length of time. Also, it seems that the decal has to have a surface that is either rough or sticky, otherwise it won't move the ball around very well. There has to be something to create friction.


2 weeks later
#1112 2 years ago
Quoted from PeterG:

Does anyone know where i can get the sticker for the main ramp? Does anybody have that mai ramop incl decal for sale?

I have not seen that decal anywhere and came up empty in my searches. If you do find it, can you please let us know?



1 week later
#1118 1 year ago
Quoted from rai:

I got a fluke great shot today, short plunge - Backhand Jack - Super Skill Shot - Super Duper Skill Shot.

Congratulations, that's one of those pinball memories you'll tell your grandchildren about

I've never gotten the super duper skill shot (and I never try for it because it invites an instant drain; the risk-reward equation doesn't stack up, IMO).


#1123 1 year ago
Quoted from rai:

I never defeatd Kraken early and when I was at DJ still needing K, shots to Kraken didn't do anything to the health meter. Does Kraken get a lot harder to defeat later in the game?

If you are in DJ and haven't defeated the kraken yet, you have to defeat DJ first because, during DJ, the kraken is invincible. I believe you cannot kill the kraken even after you have defeated DJ. (I'd have to verify that with the glass off.)

Once DJ is dead and you are down to one ball, all the ships reset and you start with the first one again. The second time round, the first ship takes 8 (or 10?) hits. Then you can battle the kraken again.


#1126 1 year ago
Quoted from rai:

Thanks, good to know.
Does Heart SJ get harder the second time around?

No. I just tried with the glass off (factory settings). After starting Heart MB, you need four more hits to get the super jackpot. On the second Heart MB, it's the same four hits again. The factory settings have Heart MB difficulty at "Medium" (which is as high as it gets). The only other setting that could influence this is the Chest difficulty setting. I tried with that set to "Hard", but it's still the same four hits to get the SJ after starting Heart MB, whether it's the first time around or the second time.


2 weeks later
#1153 1 year ago
Quoted from Fliptastic:

Installed one of the Back Alley cannons in a different location instead of the outlanes. It is aimed right at the ship.

Nice! I like that one. Fits in without being intrusive.


1 month later
#1191 1 year ago
Quoted from PeterG:

I have some problems with the ships sails. In the test mode they seem to go down correct. So the solenoid is working. Then in game it just is not working 100%. Most of the times the sails won't go down. The other solenoid that make the sails shake seems to work correct. Any ideas or suggestions to solve this issue?

Sounds like a mechanical problem then. I'd check whether there are any loose parts of the mechanism, missing washers, anything bent, etc. The ship is easy to remove. Lower the sails, unplug everything from the ship underneath the playfield, and undo the six screws that hold the mechanism in place. It'll drop right out.


#1193 1 year ago
Quoted from PeterG:

I got it all loose and removed. But I do not see anything bent or missing. I will take the mini solenoid apart and clean all. See if that helps.

Also check whether you have a dodgy connection somewhere. If there is a loose connector, you can end up with intermittent faults such as this. Cleaning the coil sleeve is always a good idea.


#1201 1 year ago

Let us know how it goes please once you have figured it out. There will be multiple people thankful for it in the years to come. If it happens to you, it'll happen to most POTC owners eventually…


#1203 1 year ago

Seeing that you replaced the optos and the board, I'd suspect a problem with the wiring or connectors. Re-seating all the connectors might help.

Do the LEDs on the opto board indicate when you interrupt the beam? If so, you know at least that the opto board itself is working, so the problem has to be upstream from there.

#1207 1 year ago
Quoted from trk12fire:

Before I replaced the board, the board would not light. I have not checked for light on the since replacing it. It got late last night, but I don't think it lights up.

There is an LED on the board for each pair of optos. I can't remember whether they are on or off by default. But, regardless, if you interrupt the beam, the led on the board should change state. If it doesn't, either you don't have power to the board, or there is a problem with the board or the optos (or the connectors/cables).


#1221 1 year ago

My POTC has just developed a problem with Tortuga multi-ball. When Tortuga is ready (lock is lit), I can put the first ball into Tortuga, and the machine locks the ball, keeping it in the mix master as usual. I get the second ball and launch it. Shortly after (within 3-5 seconds), while the second ball is still in play (but I haven't had a chance to put it into Tortuga yet), I get the "Tortuga" callout, Tortuga opens and I end up with a two-ball multi-ball, never having been given the chance to lock the second or a third ball.

The problem is intermittent. About half the time, it works, the other half, I get this problem where Tortuga opens early, for no obvious reason.

Has anyone seen this before? Any suggestions where to start?

I don't know what triggers the opening of Tortuga early. Is there a specific switch involved?



#1223 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Maybe the entry opto is acting up?

That's a thought. If the entry opto "flutters", I guess the machine would conclude that additional balls were locked, even though that's not actually the case. I'll check that opto, thanks!


#1226 1 year ago

Thanks for the tips guys, I'll follow up on that. I was thinking that the trough might be responsible as well. With the problem being intermittent, it's hard to figure out what's going on.

The "Tortuga" callout normally happens when the balls are released. I can think of three cases that trigger this:

- I've just locked the third ball, and the machine releases the three balls and ejects the fourth one.

- I have one or two balls locked and the timer runs out, and the locked balls are released.

- I have one or two balls locked and drain the ball in play.

So, I guess you are pointing me in the right direction. If the timer runs short for some reason, I'd be seeing this. A problem with the trough switches could trigger it too. Or the entry opto flutters but, in that case, the timer should reset back to the full 10 seconds (and, as you pointed out, the machine should eject another ball, but that doesn't happen).

There are no other issues with the machine. Absolutely everything else works perfectly.

I've had odd intermittent problems in the past with the Tortuga optos not working reliably, so that'll be my first point of call, I think.

By the way, what is the job of the exit opto? Would a problem with the exit (rather than entry) opto cause this? It's not clear to me what the exit opto is actually used for (other than to trigger a sound effect). There doesn't seem to be a point in counting the balls as they drop out, it seems…

Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll report back once I figure it out. I've ordered new optos and opto board; they should arrive in a few days.


#1229 1 year ago

Thanks for the tips! I'll check the trough opto boards as well. It's got to be a problem with either the optos on the Tortuga ramp, or the optos in the trough. I'll start with the Tortuga ones and work my way forward from there.

Thanks for the tip about the connectors too. Yes, I've noticed the same thing; the connectors are not all that reliable. But my problem didn't go away after re-seating the connectors, so I suspect that's not it. (Or the connectors are so marginal that re-seating them isn't enough to fix the problem.)

#1231 1 year ago
Quoted from michi:

Thanks for the tips! I'll check the trough opto boards as well. It's got to be a problem with either the optos on the Tortuga ramp, or the optos in the trough.

Problem solved. Luckily for me, the problem turned from being intermittent to being present all the time, which made it trivial to figure out. It turns out that the Tortuga exit opto transmitter was bad. Once I had the problem show up all the time, I noticed that the transmitter opto had failed, so no red light on the Tortuga exit. Replacing the opto fixed the problem, of course.

Interestingly, with the opto not working at all, the symptoms changed. Tortuga ended as soon as I put a second ball into Tortuga. The defective opto makes the machine think that the Tortuga exit is permanently interrupted (as if a ball were stuck there). Once the first ball is locked in Tortuga, as soon as another ball triggers the entry opto, Tortuga starts, with the "Tortuga" callout and the plunder pin releasing the balls. Looks like the software can't deal with the broken exit opto (which is not that surprising, seeing that this isn't a normal operating scenario).

1 week later
#1244 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

I was able to get a video of one (accidentally) which I posted in this thread at 1019 - link below - prior to creating the deflector.

I used to get the exact same airball all the time. Occasionally, the ball would land on top of the plastic behind the rum ramp (near the spotlight) and the only way to free the ball was to remove the glass.

Since installing your protector, I haven't had a single airball in hundreds of games.

#1246 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

I must say, it's a pretty cool feeling to know that these things that I made are now on machines all over the world.

Cool indeed. Thanks for having taken the initiative, and more thanks for making it available to others!

#1252 1 year ago
Quoted from marmar:

The new ramp makes a difference visually, only thing I have a problem is that when the ball is shot for play it will bounce hitting the glass.

Is the steel leaf at the bottom of the ramp flush with the shooter lane? Where does the ball impact the glass?

#1254 1 year ago
Quoted from marmar:

Michi -- the ball hits the glass right before the gate.

Do you have the correct spring on the plunger? It should be green, part number 266-5001-04.

#1259 1 year ago

That's a great looking machine!

Quoted from potc1334:

4. Old sails broke and made new ones out of painted cloth and small dowls to hold them up. They are very light like the originals.

The sails look really good, better than the originals. I really like those!


#1263 1 year ago
Quoted from PeterG:

The motor of the ship seems to be out of order. I checked if I got 20v on the connector, it was ok, I checked on the contact points of the motor, now it is 12v which is correct. How could I test just the motor to be sure?
Direct assign in to the 12v on the right side of the cabinet (the free one)?
Should it then at least make some noise?

Disconnect the motor and use a 9 V battery to try it out. Polarity doesn't matter. (When you reverse polarity, it'll turn in the opposite direction.) If the motor doesn't move with the battery, it's toast.

The motor is nominally 24 V. It's fed by the low-power circuits at 20 V, via the ship motor relay.

#1265 1 year ago
Quoted from PeterG:

On the motor it says 12v 20rmp. After checking I will see if I can only buy a new motor on ebay and not the whole unit for $180. Thanks for the tip on the 9v battery, that is very easy to check.

The POTC manual suggests that it is a 24 V motor. I've never checked the label on mine (if it has one, I'm not sure). But I have physically removed the ship from my machine and tested the motor with a 9 V battery. I can confirm that this works just fine to test the motor.

3 weeks later
#1275 1 year ago
Quoted from gcmess:

Been looking for monkey figures but not having much luck....any help?

I added this one to my machine. It's from a Neca Black Pearl Series 1 Barbossa set: ebay.com link » Pirates Of The Caribbean Neca Black Pearl 7 Captain Barbossa Moc


IMG_1528 (resized).JPG

#1277 1 year ago
Quoted from michi:

It's from a Neca Black Pearl Series 1 Barbossa set

Here is an image of the box. (The eBay link will go stale eventually.)

s-l500 (resized).jpg

#1279 1 year ago
Quoted from OTRChief:

Any tips or things I should watch for when removing the main ramp?

It's fairly obvious. Disconnect the ramp under the playfield and remove all the screws. The one tricky bit can be the VUK. I removed it completely. You also need to remove the small plastic shield on the backboard. The manual also shows what to do.


#1286 1 year ago
Quoted from rai:

Wondering how many hits to defeat Davy Jones?

It takes six hits the first time, assuming you get them in quickly, so he doesn't regenerate. If you go all the way around Four Winds and do it all over again, each ship takes more hits to sink than the first time (I think two extra hits per ship, maybe more), and Davy Jones takes seven hits to defeat. (I didn't bother testing after going around Four Winds a second time because I don't think that'll ever happen in a real game.)


#1288 1 year ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

At least you got there

I've started Four Winds a dozen times now, but never finished it. The best I have so far is three of the four winds. It's a lot of shots you need to get through while staying in multi-ball.


#1290 1 year ago
Quoted from Koos:

I don't know how you guys do this.

Lots of practice. I've been watching many of the tutorials on papa.org. You can learn a lot about flipper technique from those. The two most important shots are Tortuga and the chest. Get those down, and you can set things up such that you are in multi-ball most of the time. That's good for progress towards other goals, and acts as insurance against drained balls.

A bit of luck helps too. But it's funny, the more I practice, the luckier I get


#1296 1 year ago
Quoted from rai:

So if you drain during 4 Winds does that end the mode? Sounds like it does.

Four Winds ends when you are down to one ball. At that point, the compass resets and the ships reset, and it's as if you are starting back on ball 1, but with the ships harder to sink now. If you get back around to Four Winds a second time, progress is remembered, so if you completed two winds the first time, you only need to do two more to get to Gauntlet.

#1297 1 year ago
Quoted from rai:

Be careful to defeat the Kraken before DJ because as Michi told me you can not defeat Kraken while you are playing DJ so all those missed shots don't help.

Well, the missed shots still give you points. In fact, a viable strategy is to purposely not defeat DJ. Instead, wail away at the ship and the kraken over and over, without ever killing DJ until you drain. Hits on DJ are worth an increasing number of points, you get pretty quickly to more than 3 million per shot. The kraken is worth the current jackpot value; especially if max jackpots are on, once you reach DJ, just hit the ship and the kraken and trap up until DJ regenerates. Rinse and repeat indefinitely.

If you haven't defeated the kraken during the first three ships, yes, the kraken is invincible during DJ. You can still defeat the kraken by defeating DJ, and then starting the ships all over again. Doing so is harder though. The first time around, you need 4, 6, 8, and 10 hits to advance through the ships, and 4 hits to defeat each kraken. The second time around, it's 6, 8, 10, and 12 hits per ship, and 5 hits to defeat each kraken.

Of course, if you are interested in completing the compass (who isn't? ), you should defeat the kraken during the first three ships.


#1298 1 year ago
Quoted from michi:

Four Winds ends when you are down to one ball. At that point, the compass resets and the ships reset, and it's as if you are starting back on ball 1, but with the ships harder to sink now.

I just double-checked, and this is wrong. The compass resets when Four Winds ends, but the ships do not. If you defeat DJ, sink the Interceptor a second time, then start Four Winds and not complete it, the progress on the ships is not lost, so the Interceptor is still marked as sunk (solidly lit).


#1300 1 year ago
Quoted from rai:

Notice you only have Potc, do you ever get tired of it?

I've had it only for a year, not tired of it yet Space doesn't allow me to have more than one machine (well, two at the absolute most). I don't think I'll ever be a big collector. I bought the machine because I like it, and because I wanted something to practice with.

Do you have a strategy guide as to how to score big points, tips and tricks for players?

If big points is what you are after, it's simple: Tortuga and chest all day. Ignore everything else. If extra balls are on, it can pay to complete Jack and one kraken, to get the West compass award. Otherwise, ignore Jack (it's a dangerous and low-value shot), and pretty much ignore the ship and the kraken too (except when lit for jackpot).

POTC really is a one-ball game when it comes to points. The ball that collects the South compass award is the one that counts. The idea is to stay in multi-ball as much as possible, getting the multipliers by sending additional balls into Tortuga, and cycling balls through the chest enough to re-light the jackpots. I ignore the chest super jackpot too, unless I happen to be able to collect it as a convenience while re-lighting jackpots. (The super is not worth enough points compared to the other scoring opportunities to make it worth chasing.) Sending balls into Tortuga is useful not just for the multipliers, but to get balls out of the way and park them for a while.

Once the ball that collects the South compass award drains, the same strategy applies, but for fewer points. It's possible to work up the jackpot value to well over a million (I've managed 1.8 million once). But that takes a long time and, if you get the jackpot value that high, you are having a stellar game already anyway. Once above 1 million, the jackpot value resets back to 1 million at the end of each ball, and it takes too much effort and risk to work it back up again. I never shoot at the center saucer because it's a tight shot that can easily cause a drain. Instead, get your Liar's Dice awards during multi-ball, where balls end up in the saucer by accident, and the award is collected even if it goes into the saucer from the bumpers. (In single-ball play, getting into the saucer from the bumpers does not give you the award.) The accidental saucer hits also raise the jackpot value as a side-effect.

I try to avoid stacking Tortuga and chest multi-ball. There is no scoring advantage to be had this way. If the multi-balls are stacked, when multi-ball ends, you end up in a waste land with no progress towards either the chest or Tortuga. Generally, I try to use one multi-ball to make progress towards the other one, without starting the other multi-ball. That way, when multi-ball ends, I have next multi-ball ready or nearly ready.

Ship multi-ball can be useful as an add-a-ball feature. If the ship is ready or nearly ready, and Tortuga or chest multi-ball are down to two balls, shoot the ship to get a third ball.

Work the lane completions at the top, they add to the bonus multiplier. Bonus can get large on POTC. (The largest I remember getting is a little over 80 million.)

The Davy Jones strategy of not defeating DJ to keep getting big points is definitely interesting. My best score on POTC on factory settings is well over 600 million. In that game, I never defeated DJ, but tried and failed three or four times. All the hits to the ship during these attempts worked up the score a fair bit. (With two balls in Tortuga, a shot at DJ can be worth 9 million or more.)

#1302 1 year ago
Quoted from yzfguy:

So..... You're somewhat familiar with the game?


1 week later
#1304 1 year ago

My apologies, I didn't mean hi-jack the thread.

I've never done this before, so I really don't know. Looking at the manual, it appears that there is a grub screw in the center of the disc that should allow you to remove the aluminium plate from the motor spindle. You may have to cut through the center of the decal on the disc to get to it. I honestly don't know

1 month later
#1320 1 year ago

If this happens when not in "Collect Crew" mode, it's most likely a chattering opto on the chest (which makes a similar sound for getting each key letter). The contacts for the optos where they plug into the board are eternally unreliable. Usually, pulling the opto plugs off the board and re-seating them fixes the problem, at least for a while, so I'd try doing that first. Also re-seat the main connector (8 pins, from memory) for the opto board; it can cause this issue as well.

I'm still looking for a good solution to permanently fix the problem with the poor circuit board connectors for the opto boards. (It happens even with brand-new board and optos, as I found out the hard way.) If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be keen to hear them!

#1324 1 year ago
Quoted from Schwaggs:

To solve it, I used Dielectric Grease.

Thanks a lot for that tip, I'll give that a try!

#1334 1 year ago

There is an accessory socket below the right-hand flipper button. It has three wires, ground, 5V and 12V. You can use the 5V one if you run a cable up into the backbox and to your topper. You'll need a 3-pin molex male connector. You can often buy these with short wires already connected, and you can extend the length of the wires by soldering some more wire onto the ends, and insulating the solder points with heat shrink.

If you are not familiar with electronics, it might be best to get someone with basic knowledge and a multimeter to help you out.

#1337 1 year ago

Yes, ¼ W 33 Ω resistor will do the trick. Costs about 5 cents. You almost certainly won't notice the change in brightness.

#1346 1 year ago

For those of you with a ColorDMD, version 3.3 of the software was released recently. It's a few touch-ups to the kraken animation and a few other minor color corrections, so nothing major. But it does look a bit nicer than 3.0.


#1348 1 year ago
Quoted from jbug:

Treasure Chest:
Is there way to light up the heart and treasures separately? I saw the mod with the color changing LED but I'd like the heart to remain red at all times and the gold and other items to remain a steady color also.

I think you may the wrong thing in mind. The mod you are referring to is a separate smaller chest that you can stick somewhere on the playfield for decoration. It doesn't have the pulsing heart in it, and it does not replace or modify the existing chest.

I'm not aware of any mods for the original chest, other than people painting it to look better. I've also added some vellum to mine to diffuse the red LEDs more, so they don't look like pinpricks when they shine through the cover with the HEART letters and the heart.

#1371 1 year ago

For the ship, once you have it out of the machine, you can use a 9V battery to test it. If you reverse polarity, the motor turns the opposite way. It should move smoothly and easily. With the mechanism out of the machine, it should be fairly easy to see where something is getting stuck or is binding.

For the ramp, yes, I've encountered this too. You need to get the edge of the ramp to sit in that indent. I just kept prodding an pushing until I found a position where the ramp would stay put.

#1373 1 year ago

Good detective work on that ship, and thanks for the heads-up!

No POTC that hasn't been hacked has this particular problem. So, almost certainly, a previous owner replaced those screws with the wrong ones and caused the problem you were seeing. Or some Stern employee had a hangover one day and used the wrong screws. But it seems unlikely to me. If the ship doesn't work on a brand-new game, you'd think that the original NIB owner would have complained.

1 week later
#1388 1 year ago
Quoted from gcmess:

Someone else can chime in here but I think your progress on the 4 wind mb is saved but you do have to go thru the compass again to get back to that mb....true?

Progress on Four Winds is saved, that is, if you have completed North and are working on South, then drain, then complete the compass a second time, the second Four Winds starts with South, with North already completed. However, any partial progress you made towards South before you drained (e.g., having completed three of the major shots) is not remembered.


#1395 1 year ago
Quoted from Koos:

Is there any way to make a switch (like chest made) disconnect the shorted leads on the talking skull? Or are we talking more complex schematics here?

This isn't all that simple to do because the switch matrix is polled by a PIA. You'll need a little more than basic electronics skills to selectively pick up activation of a particular switch.

#1404 1 year ago
Quoted from stoptap:

What can be done to stop the crud collecting on the balls from the mixmaster ? I shopped the game and it is already looking dirty.

I had problems with dirt build-up on the balls and playfield, too. Much of it came from the Tortuga decal, which was worn off the metal disk for nearly an inch around the edges. Every time I opened up the machine, I'd wipe off a huge amount of white dust adhering to the cabinet side wall near the mixmaster.

I bought a new compass decal and applied a disc protector from pinball.center over the top:


This has greatly reduced the amount of ground-up plastic that gets shed onto the playfield. (It doesn't entirely eliminate the issue, but it's way better now.)

The other problem I had was dark dust being generated from tiny rubber fragments coming off the slingshots, flippers, and the rubbers in the mixmaster. I shopped the machine and replaced all rubbers with Titan ones. (For the flippers, the thin titan bands give a feel that is almost indistinguishable from black rubber.) With that change, there is much less dirt on the playfield now (although the Titans also shed small dark particles, but not as much).

#1406 1 year ago
Quoted from Soulrider911:

Just updated my Color DMD, and I'm getting some really bad artifacts, anyone else who has an LED noticing this.

I'm running the 3.3 firmware and haven't noticed anything like this.

One issue with 3.3 that wasn't present with 3.0 is that, occasionally, I briefly see a screen from the service menu flicker up, for example, during the extra ball animation. It's only for a moment, and not a big deal. Looks like the software occasionally gets confused about what is currently being displayed.

#1412 1 year ago

I very much doubt that the price of a POTC will change just because JJP are bringing out another pin based on the same franchise. After all, they are totally different pins and separated by eleven years.

It's like saying that the price of a 2006 Ford will change because General Motors have released a new model in 2017 that also has a sunroof and a central tail pipe…

#1417 1 year ago

Reseating the main connector to the opto board is the first thing I'd try. As the next step, I'd replace the opto transceivers with new ones, or ones that are known to work. If the problem doesn't go away after that, at least you'll know that the issue is upstream from there. The optos are not expensive, and it's a good idea to have a spare pair around anyway.

#1423 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

It definitely sounds like a vibration issue triggering the switch.

I agree. This is most likely a bad connector or a dry solder joint. The optos are normally closed. If there is a flaky connection, each time the circuit opens, the machine will register a hit.

I'd carefully examine the cabling from the opto board back towards the I/O board. Also check all the connectors carefully for bent or corroded pins, and check the cables for any damage or breaks.

You could also try with a multimeter to check for continuity of all the wires that run from the opto board connector to the I/O board connector. Check if, with some vibration, you can see the connection opening and closing. Reflowing the solder joints for the connector on the I/O board also won't do any harm.

#1434 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

Also, may want to reinforce the gate that drops into the right inlane. This area is notorious for cracking from repeated impacts.

Any suggestions for how to actually do that? I don't have any cracks yet, but I'd like to make sure that I won't get any in the future.

#1438 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Don't short plunge, lol

Sorry, no can do

#1446 1 year ago

Use the game menu to lower the ship. Once lowered, you can see the flasher behind a protective wire form where the ball travels from the ship to the bumpers.


#1451 1 year ago
Quoted from Cheese_WizardPQ:

Is there a skill shot on this game?

Yes. After launching the ball, you have a few seconds to shoot the left side lane behind the treasure stand-up target for three million. The yellow arrow in front of it flashes for the duration.

There is also a super duper skill shot. You need to short plunge and shoot the left side lane at just the right speed to make the ball shoot out of the top of the side lane and arc across the playfield to go into the right side lane behind the right treasure stand-up target. That shot is worth 13 million (3 + 10 million). I've managed to do that exactly once so far, by accident.

As a matter of strategy, neither skill shot is worth going for. Too dangerous. You are better off shooting the ball into Tortuga.

#1469 1 year ago

I put two layers of baking paper over the LEDs. Works well.

#1494 1 year ago

Where did you find the pistol for the left inlane ramp? It looks nice!

#1505 1 year ago
Quoted from Koos:

Did you remove the spinning disc to remove the last bits of the old decal and put on the new one?

I got the remnants of my old decal off without removing the disc. Once you have the plastic cover off, you can gradually peel off the original decal. I used some isopropyl alcohol to help things along. It takes patience. (I think it took me a little over half an hour to get all the bits off and remove all the remnants of glue.)

#1508 1 year ago
Quoted from Cheese_WizardPQ:

Subtle change to Back Alley creation canons.

Looks good! I like the crossed swords on the flippers, too. Where are those from?

3 weeks later
#1555 1 year ago
Quoted from Marten:

I'd love to see a video when it's finished! I'm about to buy one too and am still deciding between the LCD or LED version.

I've seen POTC with both LCD and LED versions. Personally, I prefer the LCD version. I think that matches the mood and colour scheme of the artwork better. If you compare LCD and LED, you'll find that the LED displays are super-bright, saturated, and sparkly. The LCD displays are not as super-bright, with somewhat less saturated colours.

Either can look great. For example, if you have a game with a really flamboyant colour scheme, such as Cirqus Voltaire, or Attack from Mars, or Medieval Madness, the LED display is a great fit. On the other hand, for games that use more subdued colours, such as POTC, or The Walking Dead, or The Addams Family, I think the LCD display looks better. For some games, I think either works really well, and it's just a matter of personal preference. (World Cup Soccer, for example.)

On some games, the interpolation mode you get with the LCD version can look great. (AC/DC, for example.) For others (including POTC), I prefer the Dot or Dot XL mode.

To decide which one you like better, you really have to see the both in person. No photo can capture completely what it really looks like.

#1559 1 year ago
Quoted from PeterG:

I just need one for POTC and Creature for now, so saving up, just a matter of time.

For both of these, I would prefer the LCD version over the LED version. IMO, the LEDs will just be too loud and bright for CFTBL, which has rather subdued colours and lighting.

It's bit like LED conversions, I think: brighter isn't always better.

#1571 1 year ago

There is a post about this here:


I suspect the ghosting would be independent of the game, seeing that it's caused by capacitance on the LED boards, not by the input signal.

#1574 1 year ago
Quoted from stoptap:

had Four Winds ready but didn’t know how to start it.

You cannot start Four Winds unless you are in single-ball play. Once you are down to one ball, shoot the center scoop to start it.


#1576 1 year ago
Quoted from stoptap:

The Roll The Dice shot ?

That's the one.

2 weeks later
#1589 1 year ago
Quoted from jorro:

hi guys what is the callout ( believe the rum ramp) ..... i see you're aroused? carousa?



#1617 1 year ago
Quoted from Bendit:

Quick Question: What type of bulbs are used for the playfield inserts?

It's all #555, except for flashers, which are #89.


2 weeks later
#1659 1 year ago
Quoted from BENETNATH:

Only question, the spinner gives a metallic sound not so gentle for my hears, is there something on the disk to avoid that in the machine, which could be absent on mine ?

Almost certainly, the compass decal has worn away around the edges, so the balls are grinding on the metal underneath. You can replace the decal. I'd recommend to also add a protector decal, so you get more wear out if it. (This also quietens the sound considerably.)


#1664 1 year ago
Quoted from Bendit:

1 SMD 6.3V AC/DC SUPREME BRIGHTNESS NON GHOSTING 5050 BULB - Frosted - #44/#47 Bayonet - Red
1 SMD 6.3V AC/DC SUPREME BRIGHTNESS NON GHOSTING 5050 BULB - Frosted - #44/#47 Bayonet - Green

Personally, I don't like LEDs for the Tortuga and Key lights. No matter what you do, they look too bright and lack character. IMO, using the original coloured incandescents looks best.


#1671 1 year ago
Quoted from jorro:

i have noflix under the playfield inserts but i call them doflix cause some of them just do

I used these ones from Comet Pinball (frosted cap):


I colour-matched the inserts, except for orange and yellow, for which I used warm white. The LEDs are plenty bright, with really rich saturated colour, and absolutely zero ghosting on my machine. (I mean "zero" ghosting, not just "almost no" ghosting.)

2 weeks later
#1691 1 year ago
Quoted from jorro:

i only made it once on a potc with all settings on easy

I haven't been able to get to gauntlet on factory settings yet. I've played Four Winds about 20 times now. But never manage to finish it. The problem is that you get only one shot at Four Winds. If you don't make it, you have to complete the entire compass again.

POTC has one of the hardest wizard modes in all of pinball.

2 months later
#1749 11 months ago
Quoted from biglaw:

I added the Disney key.

Looks good! How did you attach the key?

2 weeks later
#1758 11 months ago
Quoted from PeterG:

Also the map is different. Just all together a different print.

Do you have any links to one or both of the playfields?

If one of them matches the playfield of the Pinball News review, it would be safe to assume that this is the first run. (The machine was reviewed before it was released.)


#1775 11 months ago

Mine has the blue shading on the "Catch The Wind" sign. Sticker on the backbox says January 2008.

#1789 10 months ago
Quoted from jorro:

I personaly have bright white leds but with red and green bulb condoms on them for a little more oomph

I tried with LEDs for the TORTUGA and KEY lights and found that it looked artificial. They are also annoyingly bright, even with frosted single SMDs.

I put the original coloured incandescent bulbs back in. Note that these are not the normal incandescent bulbs with a coloured condom, but bulbs that have been dipped in transparent paint. They look much better than LED bulbs, IMO.

s-l1600 (resized).jpg

1 week later
#1805 10 months ago

Go for warm white. Daylight white has no place in a POTC. Badly clashes with all the warm colours on the playfield.

#1815 10 months ago
Quoted from weaverj:

the first wireform gate on the shooter lane is cracking the ramp. anyway to save the latter before i need a new one?

One thing that might help is to cut a strip of sheet metal (about 0.5 mm in thickness) to the same width and length as the metal plate that holds the gate to the ramp. Drill two holes into the strip and use it like a washer from underneath.

It's difficult to suggest something without seeing the actual damage. Can you post a picture?

1 week later
#1825 10 months ago

Regarding the cracked ramp, not sure what to suggest, other than to make a pair of metal plates with two holes each, shaped to match the ramp where the crack has started. Then rivet the plates to the ramp to hold it together.

#1829 10 months ago
Quoted from jorro:

found some decoration for the holes on the ramp where the sneeze used to be
and a rum bottle of rum yoho!

These are nice touches, I like it!

1 month later
#1858 8 months ago
Quoted from ccbiggsoo7:

Anybody have trouble making the monkey ramp, seems awful tight, kicks out about every other shot cant find a spare one anywhere

Shooting for it actively is dangerous. The shot has a narrow entrance and, if you miss either side, the ball comes back at you at a hundred miles an hour. During tournament play, with extra balls turned off, I completely ignore it. Otherwise, for fun play, with extra balls turned on, I try and take pot shots at it during ball save time in multi-ball.

#1864 8 months ago

This looks like a tournament button with the switch assembly missing.

2 months later
#1928 5 months ago
Quoted from jbug:

I found that monkey on eBay without Barbosa.

I would appreciate a link to that!

2 weeks later
#1937 5 months ago
Quoted from pencilneck:

As a general rule, these types of batteries are going to last a lot longer (not leak) than AA batteries, but time will catch up.

Most manufacturers claim ten years. If you want to be extra-safe, replace the battery every five years.

1 month later
#1979 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinkitten:

It can’t be wax. Is it plastic shavings from something rubbing??? Tortuga???

I had similar problems with mine. After a lot of head scratching, it turned out to be the Tortuga decal. A sure-fire way to find out is to fold up the playfield and look near the rear left-hand top corner of the inside of the cabinet. If it looks all snowy on the side panel, you have found the culprit.

For me, the solution was to disassemble, clean, and reassemble the playfield (took most of a weekend), replace all the original rubber bands with Titans, replace the Tortuga decal with a new one, and add a protector on top of the decal.


Since then, the machine has been running much cleaner. No more problems with "snow covered" pinballs. (The "snow" was fragments of paper from the disintegrating decal.)

2 months later
#2023 47 days ago
Quoted from toasterman04:

Has anyone put a shaker motor in their POTC? I installed a Rev B and cannot find the Step 7 Brown Grey wire on the three prong molex.

As far as I know, POTC was never designed for a shaker motor. The wiring isn't there, and neither is the code that would turn it on and off. Various people have done custom jobs where they trigger the shaker by monitoring the ship flasher. I don't think there is anything that'll just work out of the box.

#2029 45 days ago
Quoted from rai:

Seems like catch the wind is just light the opposite lane for points. However it says something different on the PF says lights left arrow which I was trying to figure out. I suppose more correct would be to say lights left or right lane.
I’m not sure what exactly lights the catch the wind light either, this explanation is not correct.

I thought "Catch the wind" lights the opposite orbit? Shoot right orbit from left flipper after a left inlane, and vice versa. I'm not totally sure though and I can't check right now—my machine is at a friend's place; we did a swap for a few months.

1 month later
#2051 8 days ago

I have a green LED in one of the two spotlights, and warm white one in the other. Less clown vomit that way

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
4,800 (OBO)
Machine - For Sale
Auburn, AL
$ 99.99
Lighting - Other
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 54.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
$ 87.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
$ 11.95
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Machine - For Sale
Waukesha, WI
$ 26.50
From: $ 40.00
Lighting - Interactive
Professor Pinball
Machine - For Sale
Liberty Township, OH
From: $ 20.00
Cabinet - Other
Rock Custom Pinball
Machine - For Sale
Southampton, PA
$ 49.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
From: $ 40.00
Lighting - Interactive
Professor Pinball
From: $ 40.00
Cabinet - Other
Rock Custom Pinball
$ 50.00
$ 16.50
Lighting - Led
$ 64.00
Lighting - Under Cabinet
$ 40.00
Lighting - Other
Rock Custom Pinball
From: $ 99.99
$ 29.25
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
The MOD Couple
$ 45.00
Cabinet - Other
Rock Custom Pinball
$ 28.75
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
The MOD Couple
From: $ 40.00
Cabinet - Other
Rock Custom Pinball
Great pinball charity
Pinball Edu

You're currently viewing posts by Pinsider michi.
Click here to go back to viewing the entire thread.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside