(Topic ID: 296390)

Early Gottlieb Machines with No Instruction Manual

By flb_gulfstream

11 months ago


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  • 11 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by flb_gulfstream
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Linked Games

  • Gigi Gottlieb, 1963
#1 11 months ago

I am going to look at a Gottlieb Gigi this week. The machine works and appears to be in good to very good condition (I've only seen photos and a video so far). The schematic is included with the machine. After doing some reading, I thought this might be an interesting machine to have.

I have done some research and it appears there is no instruction manual available for this machine. My limited experience with EMs is with my Williams Gulfstream and I feel the instruction manual for my machine is a valuable resource. The manual shows every switch setting for all of the relays in the machine. This usually gives me a good place to start looking whenever I have an issue. I am not good at reading schematics so I am concerned with maintaining/fixing the Gottlieb Gigi without a list of switch settings.

I did see that parts catalogs are available for purchase so one of those will be on my wish list.

Should I be concerned there is no instruction manual or should I just jump in and know that pinside.com members will always be there to help me out? I hate to be a burden but so far, the members in the forum have been extremely helpful. I don't want to "go to the well" for every little problem and wear out my welcome.

If anyone wants to give any thoughts, I'd be glad to hear it.

Thanks.

#2 11 months ago

Personally, I avoid Gottliebs because the documentation isn't freely available. If I want to help someone out I can't go to IPDB and look at the manual.

That said, EMs operate in a very similar manner. If you're skilled at one brand you're mostly competent at all of them. You'll learn schematics as needed, they aren't hard after a bit of practice. Pinwiki and Pinrepair.com both have excellent EM sections and there are several excellent techs on Pinside.

I also have a Gigi . Someday I might even get it working! lol

#3 11 months ago

In my experience, Williams game documentation is far superior to Gottlieb's so you’re going to run into the same problem switching manufacturers on any game.

That said, the Gottlieb parts availability is great and the schematics can be used fairly easily to track down most problems. More complex problems can usually be solved here on this forum.

I wouldn’t let that stop me from owning it. Once you get one Gottlieb under your belt and feeling good, it’ll unlock the door to many other great games.

#4 11 months ago

The relay diagrams in williams are really helpful, but mostly so you can tell which switch goes where without needing the wire colors. With a gottlieb, expect to be doing a lot more squinting at faded wires, or buzzing out connections with your meter, if you need to figure it out.

#5 11 months ago

Pinball resource can sell you documentation on pretty much any gottlieb made. Whatever was originally available he will have. Call Steve.

#6 11 months ago

I believe it was 1971 before Gottlieb started making manuals for each game. Before that, all that was included with the machine was a schematic and some score/instruction cards. You had to buy the parts catalog.

#7 11 months ago
Quoted from Gotemwill:

In my experience, Williams game documentation is far superior to Gottlieb's so you’re going to run into the same problem switching manufacturers on any game.

I second that. I'd suggest that you also get a copy of Henk de Jager's book on EM repair (see http://pbresource.com/books.html). It treats the major EMs as "systems" much like the way we discuss solid-state games. You could start by reading the Williams section to reconcile his writing style with what you already learned about Williams games, then read the Gottlieb section.

And Gigi is a classic, so I alsp second the idea that you should not be deterred from owning one by a (temporary) lack of knowledge.
.................David Marston

#8 11 months ago
Quoted from flb_gulfstream:

I don't want to "go to the well" for every little problem and wear out my welcome.

I appreciate your concern. If you just want to play the game then you might consider buying from someone who offers a warranty or developing a relationship with a good tech. But if you're willing to learn as issues come up you should be able to develop the necessary skills.

Don't overlook the wealth of information already available here on Pinside. There are 1000s of EM issues that have been described and resolved here. You might not find a direct solution to a very specific problem but if you broaden your search there will be many topics with relevant discussions to learn from that should help you get started if not zero in on most issues.

As an example you might not find a topic about "Gigi 100 point score reel won't reset", but searching for "Score reel reset" will probably turn up dozens of them that will have all kinds of useful solutions and background context to help you understand the solution better.

/Mark

#9 11 months ago
Quoted from MarkG:

But if you're willing to learn as issues come up you should be able to develop the necessary skills.

One way to learn is peruse the resources at https://www.funwithpinball.com
A great example of someone sharing their knowledge with the world.

#10 11 months ago
Quoted from flb_gulfstream:

I am going to look at a Gottlieb Gigi this week. The machine works and appears to be in good to very good condition (I've only seen photos and a video so far). The schematic is included with the machine. After doing some reading, I thought this might be an interesting machine to have.
I have done some research and it appears there is no instruction manual available for this machine. My limited experience with EMs is with my Williams Gulfstream and I feel the instruction manual for my machine is a valuable resource. The manual shows every switch setting for all of the relays in the machine. This usually gives me a good place to start looking whenever I have an issue. I am not good at reading schematics so I am concerned with maintaining/fixing the Gottlieb Gigi without a list of switch settings.
I did see that parts catalogs are available for purchase so one of those will be on my wish list.
Should I be concerned there is no instruction manual or should I just jump in and know that pinside.com members will always be there to help me out? I hate to be a burden but so far, the members in the forum have been extremely helpful. I don't want to "go to the well" for every little problem and wear out my welcome.
If anyone wants to give any thoughts, I'd be glad to hear it.
Thanks.

Quoted from KenLayton:

I believe it was 1971 before Gottlieb started making manuals for each game. Before that, all that was included with the machine was a schematic and some score/instruction cards. You had to buy the parts catalog.

Ken is right, they didn’t have manuals back then. Williams didn’t start including manuals until 1968 I believe, and Gottlieb a few years later. Anything pre-70s is the Wild West, you have to use your senses and skills to figure it out. Feel free to come here with questions.
I still feel like an intimidated noob but I’ll be damned if I don’t get a solid answer or helpful suggestion within an hour.

Take a stab at it! Those old games are fun and cheap since only a mystical, wise few know the arcane arts of how to fix them

#11 11 months ago

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to share your thoughts.

I didn't know about the funwithpinball.com site. I looked at it tonight and plan to spend a lot more time over there.

Due to a little life hiccup, I think I am going to have to pass on the Gottlieb Gigi for now. For the time being, it looks like my pinball money will be going towards a "new" car for my daughter who just had hers totaled. No injuries so all I will be out is a little money. I'm counting my blessings.

Again, thanks to all. And to all of you Gigi owners, tell her goodnight for me.

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