(Topic ID: 234497)

Eight Ball Champ - new owner questions


By quazimodem

6 months ago



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  • 12 posts
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  • Latest reply 6 months ago by Bublehead
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#1 6 months ago

Long time pinball fan and finally, a first time pinball machine owner (EBC), as of today. I'd like to think of myself as an aspiring new hobbyist. I bought it regardless of the "minor" issues I saw with it when I play tested it with the hopes of fixing things myself. The most immediate things I'm seeing....

Pop bumpers
They work but not as well as one would expect. It seems to work only when it is hit on specific angles. Often times, doesn't even pop at all.

Star rollovers
Working as well, just has to go exactly over the middle of the star roller to register.. is that normal? Would like it to be a bit more sensitive.

Anyone have any thoughts on improving the above items?

#2 6 months ago

Sounds like the switches for the pop bumpers and those rollover switches likely need to be cleaned and adjusted. Since those types of switches have gold plated contacts, it's recommended to use only a business card or a clean piece of paper slid between the contacts a couple times to clean the switch. A bit of isopropyl alcohol (I'll often use a qtip for it--use sparingly) is also safe for cleaning them. Don't file those contacts! (Note--certain switches have high-current tungsten contacts that are perfectly ok to file, you just want to make sure before you do anything)

You'll want to get a good switch adjustment tool, it's indispensable--especially compared with using pliers. Here's what i recommend, this way you'll be able to adjust switches from all sorts of angles, which you will likely find helpful: https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/77-SWK

There's tons of info for your game here and elsewhere. One really good resource to start getting familiar with is pinwiki. This link will take you to the pinwiki section for your game (this Bally game uses a 6803 CPU chip, and so is often known as a "6803 game") http://pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bally_6803

If you don't have the manual and schematics you can find links to download them at the internet pinball database aka ipdb.org. Here's the entry for your game, you'll find the operators manual/schematics downloadable links if you scroll down a bit.
https://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=761

Sooner or later you'll want to pick up a multimeter, doesn't have to be anything too fancy. Even a harbor freight meter can suffice, but if you invest in good tools, you'll save yourself a lot of unnecessary work and trouble (usually )...and you'll eventually want to get a decent soldering station, especially if you plan on doing your own circuit board repairs. If you don't plan on getting down to that level just yet, a basic pencil-type 25-30 watt soldering iron should be fine for wiring coils/lamps/switches/etc. Always use caution when soldering, and always make sure the game is off when working under the playfield (unless you're testing stuff, and even then with extreme caution).

It's an amazing community we have here, some really helpful and awesome people. Welcome to the addiction, erm *hobby* Good luck with your game, and if you ever get stuck and can't seem to figure something out or you have a question i may be able to help you with, feel free to pm me and I'll see what i can do.

#3 6 months ago

Buy a set of ear plugs, because the repetitive drone of EBC's background music will drive you batty. I know, because I owned one.

In all seriousness, any pinball is a good one, especially getting into the hobby. Just don't sink too much $ into an EBC, because it's not a desirable title, and you'll be quickly upside down on it. Fix the switch issues, play the hell out of it, and start looking for your next one

#4 6 months ago
Quoted from quazimodem:

Pop bumpers
They work but not as well as one would expect. It seems to work only when it is hit on specific angles. Often times, doesn't even pop at all.

They probably just need to be adjusted. Make sure the actuator is perfectly centered in the spoon and that the switch gap is close but not touching. This is an excellent video that explains the basics of pop bumper adjustments ...

Quoted from quazimodem:

Star rollovers
Working as well, just has to go exactly over the middle of the star roller to register.. is that normal? Would like it to be a bit more sensitive.

Check to see if there are capacitors on the rollover switches. If they are not there, or if one leg is cut (see photo below), you will want to buy some new ones and solder them into the circuit. The capacitors help the game to register very brief switch closures. What is probably happening with your star rollovers is that the ball is moving over them too fast for the game to sense. Of course, you should also make sure that the switch is clean and properly gapped.

You may also find that your standup targets don't register quick hits either. There should be capacitors on them as well. Here is some more info on the subject ...

http://www.pinrepair.com/6803/#switch

And here is a link to the proper capacitors ...

https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=CCD-0.047uF-100V

Good luck,and welcome to the club!

capacitor (resized).jpg

#5 6 months ago

I also forgot to mention that you can check to see if a switch is working properly using the stuck switch test. It's option 94 in the menu.

#6 6 months ago

+1 to checking for capacitors on those switches.
Also, in reguard to filing the plated switches, if you clean them and they work great for a short while, then go back to sucking---that means someone before you probably filed them, and they need to be replaced.
EBC is a fun game when it's tuned up, enjoy!

#7 6 months ago

wow... really appreciate the number of responses here! definitely signs of great and helpful community on these forums.

gweempose dno frunch
Yes, I've definitely seen that case where the ball rolls over them too fast to register. I'll check the capacitors to see if it needs some cleaning or perhaps replacement. Appreciate the links/pics, those are very helpful/educational. I'm assuming standup targets = drop targets are the same thing as I referenced the features on ipdb.org. Those seem to work fine... although, I'll eventually look to replace them with newer ones as the existing ones are worn.

robertmee I didn't notice any background music? I just hear sound effects and talkie stuff. Hmm... if there is, I guess that may be something else I need to fix... I generally listen to my own tunes as I play anyway so I kinda get that "arcade" feel (silly but definitely gives me that effect).

I do plan on collecting a couple more pinball tables to mess around/play with. This EBC definitely needs some cleaning and some rehab love but a good starter for me. This being my first pinball table, I'm a bit giddy just owning one and using this to learn a bit more about the technical operation/details of a pinball machine firsthand.

Looks like I have a task list of things to do this weekend... Thanks again for the responses... if I run into any road blocks, I'll definitely post about it.

#8 6 months ago
Quoted from quazimodem:

wow... really appreciate the number of responses here! definitely signs of great and helpful community on these forums.
gweempose dno frunch
Yes, I've definitely seen that case where the ball rolls over them too fast to register. I'll check the capacitors to see if it needs some cleaning or perhaps replacement. Appreciate the links/pics, those are very helpful/educational. I'm assuming standup targets = drop targets are the same thing as I referenced the features on ipdb.org. Those seem to work fine... although, I'll eventually look to replace them with newer ones as the existing ones are worn.
robertmee I didn't notice any background music? I just hear sound effects and talkie stuff. Hmm... if there is, I guess that may be something else I need to fix... I generally listen to my own tunes as I play anyway so I kinda get that "arcade" feel (silly but definitely gives me that effect).
I do plan on collecting a couple more pinball tables to mess around/play with. This EBC definitely needs some cleaning and some rehab love but a good starter for me. This being my first pinball table, I'm a bit giddy just owning one and using this to learn a bit more about the technical operation/details of a pinball machine firsthand.
Looks like I have a task list of things to do this weekend... Thanks again for the responses... if I run into any road blocks, I'll definitely post about it.

The background music is something you probably just need to turn on using the keypad. You can download the manual from IPDB.org. I like the background music. I think it's a really underrated game as well. Drops that make you shoot all over the playfield, a nice spinner shot, and an orbit shot like Fathom. If it would have came out a few years earlier and had better art it would be a classic.

#9 6 months ago
Quoted from quazimodem:

wow... really appreciate the number of responses here! definitely signs of great and helpful community on these forums.
gweempose dno frunch
Yes, I've definitely seen that case where the ball rolls over them too fast to register. I'll check the capacitors to see if it needs some cleaning or perhaps replacement. Appreciate the links/pics, those are very helpful/educational. I'm assuming standup targets = drop targets are the same thing as I referenced the features on ipdb.org. Those seem to work fine... although, I'll eventually look to replace them with newer ones as the existing ones are worn.
robertmee I didn't notice any background music? I just hear sound effects and talkie stuff. Hmm... if there is, I guess that may be something else I need to fix... I generally listen to my own tunes as I play anyway so I kinda get that "arcade" feel (silly but definitely gives me that effect).
I do plan on collecting a couple more pinball tables to mess around/play with. This EBC definitely needs some cleaning and some rehab love but a good starter for me. This being my first pinball table, I'm a bit giddy just owning one and using this to learn a bit more about the technical operation/details of a pinball machine firsthand.
Looks like I have a task list of things to do this weekend... Thanks again for the responses... if I run into any road blocks, I'll definitely post about it.

The background music is annoying and it can be turned off. The problem is that there is an error in the manual that inroduces some confusion which register controls that setting. I think one part of the manual calls out register 28 and another (correctly, I think) lists register 27. Going from memory here, as I am on travel and away from my EBC. The droning background sound is on the same pot as the squawk, so you don't have the option of turning down the drone but keep the non-voice sounds. The voice can be balanced against the squawk though.

If you need any reference pics or help, let me know. I was pretty much in the same place you are now a couple of months ago, and I now have a 100% working EBC (well 99%. I am replacing a rollover switch capacitor this weekend) It has been at least a half dozen woohoo! moments along the way as I diagnosed and fixed mine.

Heed advice from frunch. He helped me a ton and never gave me bad advice.

#10 6 months ago

The capacitors on switches are there to help register quick hits. They get cut out when they stop working and start scoring ghost hits, like mine was doing on the right rollover. The rollovers gain value with each hit, so a haywire rollover can score a couple million in a few seconds. After I cut out the cap, I don't get ghosts any more, but fast rollovers occasionally don't score. The rollovers and targets behind the drops should have caps for optimum performace. Easy fix if you have the parts, tools, and the will.

#11 6 months ago

...and the drops themselves don't have capacitors, but the white square E I G H T targets behind them do. The gameplay has you earn 1-7 (player 1 or 3) or 9-15 (player 2 or 4) balls by hitting the yellow drops. The white targets behind trigger the drop to reset. Drops also reset for each new ball.

To get the eight ball bonus on one ball, you need to hit each of the five drops, hit the I and H targets to reset the drops, hit the I and H drops a second time, and then the saucer.

Shooters game for sure. Especially since thumper bumpers and slingshots don't hit targets very frequently. The targets face the flippers and you can't count on glancing blows by richochets.

#12 6 months ago

My friend who got me into home use ownership bought an EBC as his first pin back in 1990. We played the living crap out of it for a about a year, but we outgrew that pin really quickly. EB, EBD, and EBC are a “matched” trio in a series and so EBC retains some value to someone trying to collect all three. Not a bad pin for what it was in the day, and on free play it was way better than paying to play pinball. Enjoy!

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