(Topic ID: 66172)

F14 Tomcat Owners Club Fans Also Welcome.

By Hellfire

6 years ago

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  • Latest reply 3 hours ago by jdoz2
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#270 5 years ago

I joined the club! My 1st pin!

There are a few things I want to work on right away;

1) Display issue. One of the numeric displays broke during transport.
2) There are a few places where screws are missing or seem out of place that I'd like to replace.
3) White beacon is yellow aged. Anyone try Retrobrite on these before?
4) Pop bumper isn't very sensitive so I'd like to investigate it.

I can't wait to start tinkering on this game!

#277 5 years ago

Hi guys, hoping you can help me out. I wasn't sure where to put this so I'm just adding it into the club area. I'm still a rookie in the forums and I find it a bit hard finding my way still.

I've been going over my F-14. Things look good, but there are a few tiny bits I'd like to fix before my OCD overtakes me. I need some hardware. I wasn't sure how to measure these without one of those caliper micrometer gauges. I need to know the sizes for the following as they are missing on my pin;


#280 5 years ago

Thanks LongJohns. Any idea what the length of the #6 screw is on the shooter lane? I can't use a screw size gauge as I don't have another screw for comparison in this area. It looks like a torx screw. Is it?

For the jet bumper, I can get the length from the remaining screw and look at the #4's.

The slingshot needs the nylon acorn nut. #6-32 you say? Thanks. I'll hit Home Depot tonight and see what they have.


One last question for everyone in this thread; Are the PF plastics supposed to move? For example, the plastics covering my slingshots move. Not a lot, but I didn't expect them to move at all. What is the norm?

#283 5 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

They should be snug but shouldnt move. You dont want them overly tight though as you want a little give in case of ball contact.

That's what I thought. Mind are overly loose. I'll be tightening them up.

Quoted from Industen:

Another update. Another toy
» YouTube video

Kewl! What did you use to make it spin?

#289 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

New to the club and to the pinball side of the hobby. Just got a project game from Diz (great guy!) this past weekend. There are some really great looking games in this thread and these pictures really give me something to strive for.
Here is what I'm starting with. Solid game overall, but non-working. My plan is to get a nice, clean, working, player's game. I've already dove right in and am very excited to be learning the ropes with the pins.
Thanks for posting all these great pics and ideas.

Looks pretty good. The mylar is still stuck to the playfield which means the arrowheads haven't come loose or warped on you. I see some broken plastics, but other than that you look to be in good shape.

How is your display? Are all four working? Let me know because I'm looking for one.

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#292 5 years ago
Quoted from LongJohns:

FiftyQuid - I would have to measure mine - now that I think about it, it could be a long #4 on the shooter lane. I will check tonight is I remember.

Thank you. I would really appreciate it.

#294 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

Thanks. I don't plan on attempting to remove the Mylar, just going to leave it and clean up the playfield with Novus once I (hopefully) get the game working.
Not sure about the displays since I haven't gotten it powered up yet. They look like they were replaced at some point, though. I'm doing a cap kit on the power supply and just finished the remote battery mod on the mpu.

I'm the same. I'm leaving the mylar on the playfield for now. I have plans to polish and that's it. Mylar removal will come next year once I'm a bit more comfortable with game. I'm just replacing rubbers, bulbs, and cleaning up all the mech. dust. Man, that crap gets everywhere.

#297 5 years ago
Quoted from LongJohns:

Sorry for not getting back sooner, but the one on the shooter lane is 1/2" long.

Just to clarify, it is a #6-32 x 1/2"? Is it a screw or bolt?

#299 5 years ago
Quoted from LongJohns:

#6 screw (the 32 would only apply if it was a bolt as that is the thread pitch).

Thank you sir! I'm off to Lowe's.

#306 5 years ago

I thought a few of you might be interested in this. My white beacon was pretty dirty. I guess all the years of smoke and florescent lighting took their toll on it. Like most of the white beacons out there mine was yellowed. So being the internet savvy guy I am I took a look on YouTube for a solution. I ended up finding "Salon Care 40" and decided to give this a try.

Here are the before and after photos. I think you can figure out which is the before and which is the after. This is after one treatment with Salon Care 40 and sitting in the bright sun for about 8 hours. I tried a second treatment, but I didn't find it helped any further. The difference was definitely noticeable, but less impressive than I had hoped. High expectations I guess.


Please ignore the Spider-man colouring book. It was the only white paper I could find for contrast.

#308 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

Looks good. You have some scratches on the top of your domes too?
I did the same thing this weekend, too. I used Hydrogen Peroxide and OxyClean, though. Cleaned up the other domes and polished the reflectors also Too bad I couldn't do much with the gouges on the top of the domes.

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Yep. I guess it's from people slamming the backbox up without checking the clearance.

Hydrogen Peroxide is usually rated around 3%. This Salon Care 40 stuff is about 12% hydrogen peroxide. If you want to try it it's about 9 bucks for a 32oz. bottle.

#310 5 years ago

You guys would laugh at my high scores. I blame the jet bumper for not being sensitive enough for my liking.

#312 5 years ago

That was just my lame excuse for sucking.

#316 5 years ago

Does anyone know how many blue star posts are on an F-14 PF? I'm placing an order through pinballlife and I figure I'll order the posts at the same time (to justify shipping costs to Canada).

Has anyone done a full audit of the star posts on F-14?

How many blue?
How many red mini posts?
How many narrow posts?
Blah, blah, blah… ?

#319 5 years ago

Thanks to you both!

Quoted from StrangelovePhD:

I thought I would come to you F14 guys to get some input. I know the inserts on F14 are notorious for raising and I have the same problem on BSD. How do you guys deal with inserts that have raised and chipped when there are no replacements? Do you sand their face's down until their are flat and put on new decals?

I saw a thread a few weeks ago about a guy that flattened them using a heatgun, and some pieces of metal with a clamp. The idea was to remove the insert, place it inbetween the metal and then heat the metal with the heatgun while tightening up the clamp. I wish I could find that damn thread. The results were quite good.

I'm thinking it was a high speed restoration, but I can't find it!

#320 5 years ago

[EDIT] Double post.

Post edited by FiftyQuid: double post

#327 5 years ago
Quoted from SPeD66:

Finally got around to filming a decent round. 98% of my points came on ball one. Skip to 4:30 if you want to see the meat of the game. I want to check the pitch of my pin as I know it could/should be faster, but left my digital level at a friends house when I delivered a game to him recently. Pretty sure my F-14 has at least a 6 degree pitch but I want to take it to 7. (Will elevate the pitch when I get my level back.) Also have a couple of switches that need tweaking. Anyway, here's my gameplay for what it's worth.
» YouTube video

I'm not able to bank the ball into the launch with the right flipper like you can in this video. I'm aiming at the same spot, but the white rescue target on my machine sticks out further. So I either clip the right side of the rescue target or just slide past it but the angle is then wrong. I didn't realise the target was so out of place. It looks fine, but maybe it needs to be pushed towards the middle a bit?

#331 5 years ago

Thanks for the pics guys. My right target isn't that far over. It seems both of mine are bent slightly over to the right. I'll have to take a closer look. It's a little to dark in the room to check under the PF.

#333 5 years ago
Quoted from Geocab:

Your cover definitely looks whiter than mine. I didn't read up on the Salon Care 40 stuff and used regular hydrogen peroxide. Made a thread awhile back.

I was into the retrogaming (still am) scene. The same stuff is used to get old Nintendo's and Famicom's back to their original white.

#336 5 years ago
Quoted from SPeD66:

Finally got around to filming a decent round. 98% of my points came on ball one. Skip to 4:30 if you want to see the meat of the game. I want to check the pitch of my pin as I know it could/should be faster, but left my digital level at a friends house when I delivered a game to him recently. Pretty sure my F-14 has at least a 6 degree pitch but I want to take it to 7. (Will elevate the pitch when I get my level back.) Also have a couple of switches that need tweaking. Anyway, here's my gameplay for what it's worth.
» YouTube video

SPeD66 are you hitting the no. 5 target here to bank the Launch shot? I am by no means a pinball wizard, but I'd like to consider myself above novice. I repeatedly attempted this shot tonight. Out of 30 attempts I made it up the Launch once.

I think I'm hitting the ricochet area you are, but when the ball bounces off the no. 5 target and heads over to the Launch ramp it just hits the far right side wall and then bounces off the back of the upper right flipper. The one shot where the ball made it all the way didn't have any of the velocity that your shots having off the bounce. Mine just trickled up the Launch and barely landed in the up kicker. Any tips for a above novice player? Please don't say practise. I just want to make this shot.

#338 5 years ago

Ah... yes. Target foam. I had forgotten all about that. My foam is practically non-existent. Glad you mentioned it because I was racking my brain out and getting frustrated.

Thank you for the link(s), but I've actually already ordered some replacement foam. My order from Pinball Life should be arriving this week.

Once I have the foam installed I'll report back.

#340 5 years ago
Quoted from 0geist0:

They sell basicly the same foam a Home Depot by the roll

Home Depot up here in Canada is limited. I've lucked out a few times, but many times I strike out.

I needed to order some stuff from Pinball Life so I added the foam when I did. I'm paying $40 for shipping so I wanted to get as much into the box as I could.

#342 5 years ago

Does anyone have any cool jet bumper mods? I've seen the multi-led bumper mod, but I was wondering if there were any other ideas out there. I like the old 70's style pins that had the stars on the bumper caps. Like this;


I was thinking of having a decal made up for it. Maybe a hammer and sicle or the Mig star;


#357 5 years ago

Close? It looks like it's putting the moves on it. I'm surprised it hasn't shorted out already.

#360 5 years ago

I have a question for all the F-14 owners. Occasionally a second ball will launch out of one of the ball locks, essentially creating a 2 ball multiball. This happens very rarely, but often enough that I thought I would bring it up. Is this part of the gameplay or is it a malfunction?

Unfortunately it happens so rarely that I don't have many details. I don't know which of the ball locks it fires out of or what is triggering it. When it finally happens I'm usually in the middle of the game and I'm focused on the main ball and don't see the 2nd fire onto the PF.

Anyone else?

#364 5 years ago

How do I take all the balls out? [EDIT] - Figured it out

FYI...My player 4 display is broken. I'm also a newbie when it comes to putting a pinball machine into any test mode. It took 10 minutes of fiddling around with the machine before I figured out how to reset it to factory default.

[EDIT] I fiddled with this some more. I managed to get the lamp tests going, but my kids were asleep so I didn't go any further. I will try this again tomorrow.

I should have a new PinScore early next week. Maybe this will help me figure out the menu for tests?

So I take it this is not normal? I'd say out of 50 games this has happened maybe 3 times.

#367 5 years ago
Quoted from Jumping-Box:

This is a post or rail problem, because there is no 2-ball mutliball. When a ball is launched from the center locks, sometimes the rail pops up and causes the incoming ball to land onto the playfield. This is due to a loose or broken post that holds down the center rails. Make sure those rails are nice and snug, and that should fix your problem. Also check if the rails are sitting on top of the ball lock, and not in the ball lock.

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I'm trying to understand what you are saying so bear with me. The center rails are both secure. The posts are snug and neither rail moves. I don't see how the rails could sit in the ball lock, but mine are not. Please excuse the mess of this area as I have not shopped it yet. Broken jet bumper cap, non-existant foam on targets and the homemade left/right roll under gates are all gifts from a previous owners. Please notice the piece of metal on the top left launch which has been bent upwards. Why? I have no idea.


Quoted from zippydapinhead:

I had this problem with mine, ended up being a bad coil diode. When the coil fired, it was sending voltage upstream to the ball release coils and actually activating them. Look for a bad or de-soldered diode.

This is a little deeper than my expertise right now. I'm familiar with coil diodes, but I'm still getting familiar with this pin. I'll hopefully have my new PinScore this week and then I'll try what vid1900 suggests. If all checks out with the switch test I'll get into diodes.

#368 5 years ago

Since I'm posting issues… I shopped this area tonight. After comparing photos with others on the internet there are a few clear problems here;


1) Broken plastic
2) There are two many screws.
3) The screws are all incorrect. The screw furthest to the left is seized in the post.
4) There should only be one full size post on each end of the plastic. The middle one I have no idea what it's supposed to be. Full post? Half post?

I want to get this pin back into original factory default condition. If you have pictures of this area could you please post them to help me out? I know many of you have torn down playfields. Thank you!

#372 5 years ago
Quoted from Gov:

My dad's machine has the two ball multiball problem on occasion as well. It isn't consistent, but does happen from time to time. It seems to happen more often during multiplayer games. I will check out the diodes.

Yes, this is what my pin is doing. Sounds more and more like a diode issue.

Quoted from mbott1701:

I have a full sized post, but it is not screwed into the plastics. I was just working in that area last night, so here are a couple pics of my set up...

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Thank you for the photos. This is perfect. So it's just two standard bumper posts. The F-14 manual lists them as 02-4008 posts. I see them on BayArea here; http://bayareaamusements.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=baa&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=MP-02-4008

I'll try to get them through my local supplier. Worst case I could dremel the top of the screw head off the seized bumper post and use that one in the middle.

Now I just have to find a replacement plastic.

#374 5 years ago

This is an easy thing to check so I'll take a look at it tonight. I think it may be the angle of the photo, but we'll see. If there is a gap, how the heck am I supposed to slide it to the left? The post holding it in place already looks like it's as far over as possible.

#377 5 years ago

Turns out there was a significant gap between the rail and the ball lock. I loosened the screw and managed to move it down and left quite a bit. Enough that I don't think it will be a problem, if that was the problem. Unfortunately I didn't test it yet as I was so disgusted with the mess in this area that I started tearing it down. All 3 rails came out, a set of clear plastics, both ball locks, and the jet bumper.

I really hope my parts come in this week.

Quoted from LongJohns:

I had the same problem, mine had to do with the shooter lane switch - best to go into the switch test and verify the switches (use a ball to activate them).

Will do once re-assembled.

Quoted from wayout440:

One thing I learned from Tomcat is the switches need to work consistently and accurately - every time & all the time. The switches monitor locations of all the balls - shooter lane, trough switches and locks are extremely important. If one of those is even the slightest bit flaky, this game program will lose track of the balls and weird things begin to happen. Making certain that your Tomcat passes the switch test and switch edge test repeatedly is important for troubleshooting these kinds of errors.

Thanks. Switch test it is. It's been driven into my head enough.

#406 5 years ago

FYI, for anyone ordering a replacement pop bumper cap, either the F-14 manual is wrong, or Marco has the part number listed incorrectly. According to the manual, the pop bumper cap p/n is;


If you punch this number into the Marco search you get an opaque red pop bumper cap;

The proper p/n on Marco is;

I would have to guess the manual is correct and that Marco is wrong, but who knows? Either way, I'm stuck with a pop bumper cap I'll never use because I had a 3rd party order it for me that was not familiar with F-14.

BTW, PinballLife has the proper transparent cap as well;

They list the part number for the transparent cap as 03-8254-9 as well. Odd.

F-14 originally came with a transparent bumper cap right? I wonder why it's listed incorrectly in the F-14 manual from ipdb.org?

Lesson learned for me, I'll be ordering my own parts from now on.

#410 5 years ago

[EDIT] Found my answer back a few posts. Thank you.

#421 5 years ago

Me again, this time I'm replacing some plunger parts. I took the plunger apart. Now I'm putting it back together. There is a plunger sleeve that came with the new parts. Mine didn't have one. How is this installed?

#423 5 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

It gets inserted from the inside. The lip will be inside the game.

That made the most sense, but I wanted to double-check. Thank you!

#425 5 years ago

That looks pretty badass! I have to get one of those LED bumper caps. PinballLife is sold out right now.

Is that installed on the under side of the cap? I really like the idea. Transparent print looks good and subtle. I think I like the look of it better with the center light/LED unlit. The middle bulb sort of wrecks it. Maybe the lighting could be softened?

All in all, I think it looks very good. Nice work!

#427 5 years ago

Hi guys, I've started shopping the upper PF. I'm replacing my flippers due to the build up of crud on them. They won't come clean. Anyway, I went to change the upper left flipper and noticed it has a clear piece of plastic on top of it. Is this normal? Seems weird to me. I don't know what purpose it would serve.


#431 5 years ago

Thanks guys. Asthetically it looks like crap, even though I didn't notice it until now. Odd thing is, it doesn't have the Williams logo on it like the other 3 flippers. I'll remove it and toss the plastic into my parts bin.

#432 5 years ago

*Double post*

Same flipper. I've removed it. There was a washer installed under it. This is the only flipper on the PF that had a washer under it. Are they supposed to have washers under them, or is this flipper the anomaly again?

#434 5 years ago


#436 5 years ago

Maybe. I haven't noticed anything else out of the ordinary.

#440 5 years ago

Sick! That looks sweet! I cannot wait until I'm done shopping my F-14 so I can get to this fun stuff! How did you mount the jets? Where did you buy those jets from? They look very clean. Do the wings open on the F-14?

I'm hoping to buy an F-14 and hook it up to a motor. I want the wings to be open during normal play. When the Release light is triggered I want the wings to close. Basically I want closed wings as long as the beacons are spinning.

#442 5 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

Sounds to me like you've got a lot of work ahead of you

I'm almost there. The entire PF is cleaned and waxed now. I just have to reassemble everything. I'm wondering if I should wait and place an order for a few things first though. I want to make a lighting modification to the Yagov Kicker which requires swapping out some wiring under the black plastic. Since I'm doing that, I'm wondering if I should do the wiring to put back the two original flashers that were service recalled at the same time.

If I wait, then I can't reassemble anything as the black plastic (by the divertor) pretty much holds everything together. One thing leads to another in the world of pinball.

#444 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

Thanks, Fifty. I used 16 gauge, black hobby wire. Attached one end to the jet's stand mounting hole, then the other end I bent and put around the screw holding the plastics.

Do you have a pic of this?

#446 5 years ago

Looks pretty clean. Nice install.

Mind sharing your eBay link? I wouldn't mind knowing which models you purchased as these are more to my liking.

#448 5 years ago

Thank you!

Guys, F-14 has a ton of stand up target switches. The target faces on some of mine are warped. The one side sticks out further than the other. Do any of you have a trick to get them flat again?

1 week later
#452 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Thank you!
Guys, F-14 has a ton of stand up target switches. The target faces on some of mine are warped. The one side sticks out further than the other. Do any of you have a trick to get them flat again?

No suggestions?

Okay, how about this one... Anyone have a ball eject 'Cliffy' protector on their F-14?

#454 5 years ago

Mylar... Nice one. I wouldn't have though of that.

Blow dryer huh? I didn't think enough heat would be produced but I'll give it a try. Thanks!

#456 5 years ago

I have completed shopping the top, and some of the bottom, of the playfield. I could not believe the amount of dirt, wood, and solder flux crap all over it. It is sparkling now. It is soooooo rewarding putting everything back together (and not having any spare parts leftover) and seeing the GI light up. I replaced #44 bulbs in places I didn't know there were #44 bulbs! It looks awesome! Then I hit the start button and played a game. The playfield was freshly waxed. Holy shit the ball was moving! It was crazy! The ball was moving fast! I was making shots that I would not have dreamt possible before, getting crazy bounces, and extra distance on weak shots. Man it was exhilarating! I've had this pin for about 2 months now. My scores have been garbage. At first I wasn't even hitting the replay at the factory settings of 900,000. Tonight I still didn't make the leaderboard, but I had my best game! 3,048,000. So close! It would have been awesome putting up my initials on the new PinScore!

During one game I had that two ball multiball thing happen on me again. I mentioned it back a few posts. The second ball fired out of the ball lock on the right. I had not hit the release, it just fired prematurely. I think it fired as I spelled T-O-M-C-A-T the second time.

For reference, I reset the pin to factory settings back in May.

#459 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

Great you have the machine working again
For the mystery ball kickout, try putting the machine in switch test and thumping quite hard on the playfield a couple of times and see if you get any switch action. The right hand eject will kick a ball out if the switch at the entry of the lower habitrail gets activated - it does that to avoid the possibility of 2 balls getting into the lock which it might then have problems kicking out.

Sorry, but what is the "lower habitrail"?

I have my defective PinScore installed so I'm able to put the pin in switch test mode now. I tried this very quickly last night, but there seem to be a few different switch test modes. I'm still getting familiar with going through the menus. Is there a specific switch test I should be in?

#461 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

It's the long wire ramp that runs right across the playfield to the lock on the right hand side from the bottom of the plastic ramp on the left of the playfield. Some folks call them habitrails although thinking about it I'm not sure why they're called that. Just into that wire ramp is a switch that closes to tell the machine that a ball is on the way to the far right lock. If that's closing when it shouldn't a ball kickout could happen.
The switch test you want is the "switch edge" test. When in that mode, you can activate all the switches on the playfield by hand and you should see them appear on the display if they are working properly. So in switch edge, a thump in the centre of the playfield in theory should not activate any switch, but if one is loose or badly adjusted a thump usually triggers it.
(and thanks for the PM!)

Habitrail. I was just calling it the lower wire guide. I learned something new.

Switch 'edge' test it is. I will check this out tonight. This makes sense though. When the two ball multiball started I had one ball in the right lock. The second ball I had just plunged. I remember the second ball starting to head down the second (or middle) habitrail to the center lock. I think it was just about to drop when the ball in the right lock fired out. Then the second ball fired out of the center lock. It happens pretty fast when it happens. It's difficult to remember. I need to try to reproduce it.

#462 5 years ago

@Nate - That wasn't meant to be a burn. I was being serious. I wouldn't have thought of it.

Okay, switch edge tests pass. I manually pressed each switch a few times and they all registered. Then I pounded on the PF a few times and nothing registered. Finally I gave the pin a good push tilt shove and still nothing.

When I originally posted this issue there were two other possible solutions. One was the habitrail not touching the center ball lock properly and the ball falling out. I have checked this and adjusted it. There is no possibility of it happening, besides it seems the culprit is the right lock, not the center.

The other was a diode issue I believe. This is a little deeper than my skill set right now. I think I need to play a few games without the glass and try to duplicate the issue to narrow down what exactly is happening.

[EDIT] I didn't do the switch test with actual balls. Will redo all tests now…
[EDIT2] Passed.

Hmmm… Now what?

#465 5 years ago

I've followed Vid's in the past for many things I'm doing, but not for bulletproofing. I didn't think Sys11's really needed any board bulletproofing. I've read about older Bally (Xenon) and Gottlieb needing work, but nothing specific for F-14 or even High Speed.

Added the 'sticker mod' to the lock/landing clear piece of plexi-glass tonight. I can't decide if I like it or not. I would say I'm 50/50 as of right now. Don't get me wrong, this is a quality sticker that is very much worth the price. The colours match up to the PF very very well. The overall look of the sticker I would say is a little more modern. I am not sure if it is a seamless blend, at less not to me (yet). Personally I was never a fan of the "L" shaped cover over the black area to begin with. I'm not really sure why Williams ever bothered covering it.

^^^ This is only an example, this is not my pin.

Has anyone ever thought of painting it another colour? Red perhaps?

#468 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

Vids guide to bullet-proofing Sys3-7 has some useful advice in for Sys11. Things still wear out, so it's a good read. For Sys11 the particular one to take care of is adding the 2 missing fuses to protect against rectifier failure. Direct link to that is here:

This is great to know. Thanks guys, I had no idea. I honestly haven't looked under the hood much except to look under the playfield. Having two kids, and this being my first machine, I want to protect both. Adding this to my life of "to do's".

#472 5 years ago

I just followed the instructions to install it. It basically goes on like a water slide decal. Wet the plastic, throw the sticker on top, slide it around into position, squeegee out the water with a credit card, allow to dry. Viola! Then trim after it is dry. I find the sticker blocks my view of the "Mach 3" bulb due to the angle. I also don't like how "Mach 3" is where the screw hole is and interrupts the lettering. I think it was short sighted of the designer not to align the "Mach" and "Landing" lettering to the right instead of the left. I could have just not cut out the hole, but I cut it out from the back and didn't realise it until I went to install the black post.

Back to my two ball multiball misfiring… I had to play quite a few games before it happened. It happens on the 2nd multiball. Ball 1 is in the right lock. Ball 2 is plunged and drops into the center lock (right side). It ejects and hits the T in T-O-M-C-A-T to complete the word and all the flashers go off to alert the player that she/he can lock another ball. This is when Ball 1 launches prematurely.

I "think" this is what is happening. Again it's hard to catch and it happens infrequently and I am not able to replicate it manually with my fingers or using the balls. It's an odd one. I'm going to try and see how many games inbetween instances it actually happens. Unfortunately I don't set off a 2nd multiball often so my results may be skewed.

#473 5 years ago

Played another 10 games tonight. No misfire. The mystery deepens…

In other news. I took the two KILL stand up targets out. The left was shifting left every time the ball hit it. Pulled it out with the intention of using vice grips to crimp down the rivet. I look closer and I see the point of a nail sticking out of it. I peel back the tape and find an ancient nail. I guess the rivet broke sometime in the past and the repairman decided to quick fix it with a nail and electrical tape. I removed the nail and put in a proper rivet.

I love (and hate) finding things like this. I think it's cool to find a piece of history like this. Some point in the past someone worked on this exact same target and this was the fix she/he decided on to get the game running again.

1 week later
#478 5 years ago

Has anyone added mirror blades to their F-14? If so, I would like to see it. Thank you.

#482 5 years ago

So if I buy a set of blades from Cointaker I can transfer them onto another Williams/Bally game down the road right? Sys11 isn't a specific cut or anything?

#484 5 years ago
Quoted from volkdrive:

I put some on my Grand Lizard, you have to cut a piece out that's under the PF, if you want to move them to a different game later WPC etc, it would be underneath and not noticeable...

Would you mind sharing a photo of how it looks?

#486 5 years ago

Awesome! Thanks for the photos. I think it looks pretty good! It's not Fish Tales, or WPT, but I still think it adds to the look and is worth the price. Especially if you can move them out and into another machine later.

Thanks again!

#490 5 years ago

F-14 is like a drug. Well, pinball is the drug, but F-14 is like your re-up.

#498 5 years ago

Does anyone else have a bitch of a time getting the landings during multiball? I've had the game for 6 months, and I don't consider myself a novice, but I have yet to put my name on the high scores. I have failed…

#500 5 years ago

Yeah, I'm still having problems with that banked shot off the 5. Maybe 1 out of 10 I hit it properly. That use to be 1 out of 20 or 30 before I waxed the playfield. My "5" target is warped so it doesn't deflect properly. I'm waiting to place an order for a few new ones.

#503 5 years ago
Quoted from Gov:

Strong flippers make a difference as well.

This is on my larger "to do" list. I just haven't gotten there yet.

Lowering the high score defaults sounds like a great idea.

While I have everyone talking, what do you guys think I should do to fix this;


After 27 years of pinballs hitting it the metal guide that leads to the flipper has been flattened. There is actually a bit of a dip and then just before the flipper bat you can see the corner is flattened. I've actually gotten a ball stuck between the post side of the flipper and the bracket. Nothing a tiny nudge didn't fix, but this piece of metal is affecting gameplay as it slows the ball sometimes when it comes down the inner lane. Not always, but sometimes.

Any ideas to fix this? I can't hammer it flat.

#506 5 years ago

Sourcing the sheet metal (proper thickness) and getting it cut are the two main blocking factors for me. Then I have to ensure it's polished sheet metal as well.

It's not a game breaker, so I'll file this in my back pocket as something I'm looking for casually, not hardcore.


#509 5 years ago

Yeah, mine is the original mylar as well. I would like to remove it and fix some of the inserts. I'm not going to attempt this until I'm a year or two in.

I tried adjusting the high score defaults this evening. I managed to lower all of them, but then I wasn't sure what to do. I closed the coin door, but the game didn't go into any sort of playable mode. So then I flipped the power switch on the belly, but this lost all the values I had put in. How do I save the new lower high scores?

#512 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

I think once the value is where you want it, you press the start button on the front of the machine to save it. To get out of the menu, just run all the way up to adjustment 70, once you go over that it'll quit back to attract mode

The start button allows you to move the value up and down depending on if you have the coin door button in auto or manual mode. I figured that out by myself. I'll try running all the way up to adjustment 70 tonight and see if that does the trick.

Quoted from Pinball_Nate:

FiftyQuid, you could try raising that metal plate slightly - put taller spacers on the bottom and shorten the spacers beneath the slingshot plastic - or just put a washer beneath the metal plate - that just might move it enough to lessen the problem with where the ball strikes it........

I don't understand how this would help. Maybe I'm not understanding what you are saying.

#514 5 years ago

Thanks for the link! Email sent for pricing.

#515 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

I think once the value is where you want it, you press the start button on the front of the machine to save it. To get out of the menu, just run all the way up to adjustment 70, once you go over that it'll quit back to attract mode

This didn't work. Well, it kinda did. Now when I look at the values in the menu it shows the high scores I inputted, but when I close the coin door or turn on/off the machine it still shows the defaults on the display? What the?

It's odd, because I tried turning off high scores using the same method and was able to turn them off.

#517 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

I think that after you change the values, you then need to reset the high scores, that's a button inside the door from memory

Duh. Right that makes sense. Let me try it…

Yep! Worked! Thank you!

#518 5 years ago

Where is all the F-14 love?

I reverse modded the service bulletin tonight and added back in the two missing red flashers. Simple to do as long as you use some patience. Took me about an hour. I love the look of it. Playing in the dark is killer on the eyes, but now it's even worse/better. This might very well be the only Williams game you need to wear sunglasses to play.


#522 5 years ago
Quoted from NightTrain:

Where did you get that decal that goes over the ball diverters?

Yep, eBay. Very high quality decal. It's a water soluble decal. You need to use soapy water to apply and move it around then squeegee out the water with a credit card. I was in contact with the eBay seller and artist for this and asked him if he ever thought about designing side or rear decals for F-14. He had not, but is now considering it. However, he is currently working on similar decals for the clear plastics on the right (over the plunger lane.)

Quoted from mbott1701:

Good job with the flashers, Fifty! They really do enhance the light show.

Thank you! For my first mod, this is a good one. I would recommend this mod to anyone that has modding in their blood and is itching to do something with their F-14 pin. It was a lot of fun.

#523 5 years ago

So I triggered a two-ball multiball last night. I am pretty sure I yelled out "shit" because I was on a good run and this meant my score was bogus with two balls now rolling around on the PF.

The first two-ball multiball triggered with ball one locked. Ball two had just rolled past the switch in the second habitrail when I heard "Fire!" and ball one launched out of the lock.

I am starting to think one of the switched located in the habitrail is sticking. I am leaning to the defective one being in the lowest habitrail.

#527 5 years ago

Woot! Finally put up a decent high score! 4,099,650!!! I knocked out 3,000,000 points on Ball 1 alone! Me and the pin were in complete sync. What an awesome feeling! Added my score to the leaderboard, and I will add a photo later! Ha!

#530 5 years ago
Quoted from NightTrain:

Anyone have any NOS, repro, or nice used F14 slingshot plastics they'd be willing to part with? I suppose I only really need the left, but would prefer a pair. Maybe they're still for sale somewhere but I couldn't find them.

Did you try contacting this guy?

I know the banana plastic is gone, but I didn't think the slings were yet.

#536 5 years ago

I had a couple more instances of the 2 ball multiball last night. I really think it is the switch in the lower habitrail misbehaving.

When I send the ball to the upkicker the ball gets shot upwards towards the divertor. Sometimes the upkicker hits the ball perfectly and it rolls quickly over to the divertor. Sometimes the upkicker hits the ball less that perfectly resulting in the ball rolling more slowly towards the divertor. When the upkicker really connects I notice the switch trigger in the lower habit moves. I'm thinking this is my issue. It shouldn't move unless something comes in contact with it. This switch is the only thing that sets off the kicker in the right side lock.

I am going to try replacing all 3 habitrail switches and see if this corrects the problem.

#537 5 years ago

(mods please delete)

#541 5 years ago

Woohoo!!! Just broke my high score! 4,688,910! I set off multiball, got 1 landing. Then I got the extra ball, then I set off multiball again, no landings. Then I had the extra ball lit, and 1 ball locked with the lock lite for the second ball and I drained!!! F-E-C-K!!!

Man, I'm drained! No pun intended!

Man is multiball a pain to trigger the 2nd time. Spell T-O-M-C-A-T for every ball lock and then again to light Release? Holy crap. I guess it's best to get the Fighter Jackpot on the first multiball, but I like how the Landings carry over from one multiball to the next. I don't get many Landings so this was the first time I noticed this. *blush*

Quoted from Gov:

Please report back!

I need to order the switches first!

I discovered the wire gate in my ball trough is broken tonight. I think it's been this way all along. Whenever a ball drains I can hear the trough shuffling the balls around a few times and then it stops.

Does anyone have a picture of the ball trough and/or know what the gate is supposed to look like? I can't find a part number in the manual. Maybe it's not a gate? I just have the broken part to go on.

[EDIT] Is this it?

#544 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

There's a picture here from a PinBot, trough is the same.

I think that would do the trick

Yep, that's what it looks like. I still have part of the old one and it matches up to your picture.

Quoted from Ghoen:

That would be the gate you need.
Don't forget Planetary Pinball has the complete parts catalogs on their website.

Damn, I wish they showed the lengths of each side. I have wire and a bender from Marco so I could just make the gate myself but I don't know how long the wire should be before each bend. I could wing it, but if I screw up I don't have a lot of wire.

#547 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

In case you F-14 owners missed it, Jean-Luc Picard has pop bumper decals available for Tomcat now. I just installed mine.

Pretty nice. I just order a Comet red/white bumper ring for my F-14. I'll see how that turns out and then maybe look at making my own decal.

Quoted from SPeD66:

You're getting somewhere now friend.
Before you know it, you'll be rolling the displays back to zero & beyond.

Ha! I wish!

#550 5 years ago

Yeah, I think I have a long way to go before I roll the display. I can dream though!

#553 5 years ago

A couple things corrected on my F-14 tonight! First, my Cliffy return lane guides arrived! They are stunning and a perfect fit! Here are a few photos of my old ones. Please note the straight lines - not! Check out the flattened edges on these babies. The last photo is the new ones installed.

Don't cut yourself on those raised edges!

Bends where there should be straight lines.

New Cliffy's INSTALLED!!!

Built my first ball gate from scratch tonight too! It came out pretty nice. This was my second attempt, my first was a complete mess because I was trying to get the measurements right (and didn't). It fits and moves around just like it is supposed to. No ball hang ups and no shuffling sounds in the trough. Perfect!

Shiny! Please ignore my old man hands.

Snug as a bug.

That looks better!

Avec pinballs.

#554 5 years ago

Installed a new rollover switch in the plunger lane last night. It's the one halfway up the habitrail. What a pain in the ass! I had to disassemble half of the PF just to get at it. Clear plastics came off, ramp habitrail came off, PF plastic came off... Ugh! The wire form had broken on it so I thought maybe, just maybe this could possibly be a malfunctioning switch that might be causing my two-ball multiball problem.

It was late by the time I got everything back on the PF so I'll be testing out the new switch while playing tonight! Wish me luck!

1 week later
#560 5 years ago

So it's been 72 games since I installed a new rollover switch in the shooter lane. The one under the wire ball guide, not the one in front of the plunger rod. I am happy to report that so far I have not experienced the two-ball multiball issue that I have reported on a few times in this thread. Out of those 72 games I've played, many have been intense ones. Multiple multiball games, multiple extra ball games, ball flying all over the place, and multiple people playing multiple styles. My initials are now all over the high scores in spots 1, 2, 3, and 4.

I don't want to jinx it, but so far so good. I am keeping track of how many games I've played so I'll report back after I hit another 100-200 games. *fingers crossed*

#562 5 years ago

All you F-14 owners, how do you increase the bonus? I understand how to increase the multiplier BONUS X (red chevrons), but how do you increase the bonus (blue chevrons)? I can't figure it out.

#564 5 years ago
Quoted from Gov:

Dunno, I always assumed it was just added to each shot in a small amount.

This is why I'm trying to figure it out. Sometimes I'll have a great ball where it's hitting everything on the playfield and then I'll drain and get 6x 14,000. Other times I'll hardly hit a thing and get a 3x 90,000 bonus. WTF? Where are these magical spots on the playfield to hit?

#566 5 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Most of your bonus comes from the upper playfield orbit.

This was my assumption too, but any idea how it adds up?

#568 5 years ago

I could do this, but i was hoping someone already went to the trouble of doing this and could just share the info.

#572 5 years ago

Outlanes? Well I won't be aiming for those. Thanks very much for checking! I just got home and was going to give this a try. Instead I found a package at my door. New COMET LEDs!!!!!!!!! Check out this new pop bumper ring! The upper PF is much brighter now!

I replaced 3 of the blue chevron lights with LEDs, 3 of the red chevron's and some of the white KILL lights with LEDs. The blue is like night and day. The red is not as noticeable as I had hoped, but they really weren't bad to begin with. The white is crazy bright. I might have to rethink them.

Sorry for the quality of the photos. Anyone that has tried to photograph LEDs knows how difficult it is to capture the truthiness of them.



#575 5 years ago

I just used regular old 1 SMD under the entire PF with the exception of the Green LED for the 'radar' I use a 1 SMD flexi for that one. Cheapest bulbs they had. Clear dome for all.


I haven't had the chance to play as I just finished LED'ing under the entire PF last night. I'll let you know if the LED's bug me in any way. F-14 is just so incredibly bright and laced with inserts that I thought 2 SMD would be too much.

Red had the least impact. Blue and White had the most. The only colour I am disappointed with is the Orange. I find it too dark. I guess it really shouldn't be Orange, it should be Amber. Comet lists Orange and Amber as the same colour, but I still think it looks off. I tried White under the orange inserts but it was too much - almost washed out. I am going to order some Yellow next time and see if that brings it back to looking the way I like.

I don't plan on converting the GI to LED, except for maybe the blue bulbs in the divertor as the blue condoms let too much of the white incandescent light through. I'm considering doing the translite (but not the flashers).

I also ordered spare 1 SMD flexi LEDs so that I can light up the flipper buttons and spare Orange for the coin slots which brightened them up quite a bit. I might try Yellow LEDs in those too though.

I will take more pictures tonight.

#576 5 years ago

Finished LED'ing my F-14 last night. Holy crap it is bright! Fire up my first LED game and ended up getting my 2nd ever Fighter Jackpot. End score was 3.6M which was good enough for 3rd on the high score list at my house.

Overall, I find the 1 SMD incredibly bright. I cannot imagine using anything brighter. When I walked away from the machine my eyes were wide open. I didn't have a headache or anything, but I felt... uh, off. I'm guessing that it is the flicker of the LED's bothering my eyes. My wife has better vision than I do so I brought her down to take a look. She's able to read the thoughts in my head so seeing flicker isn't a problem for her. She says it's flickering.

I really like the look of the LEDs so I'm keeping them. I've decided to go ahead and purchase a LCD OCD board. There's supposed to be a batch of Sys11 released in Sept so hopefully I'll end up with one.

Oh, and my bumper ring broke. Part of the soldered connection came right off the board and it went dead. Art is going to replace it at no charge. Lastly, I still haven't warmed up to the new orange LEDs. I need to change them out for yellow or try another companies version of orange.

Photos to come I promise!

#578 5 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

CT premiums in mine and no flicker. Make sure your power supply is good too. Mine is quite bright with all the LEDs and standard bulb flashers along with the added in missing flashers. I can't play in total darkness, but with enough ambient light it's awesome.

How do I test the power supply? I'm getting power therefore it is good?

Are these the ones you bought?


These are more than twice the price I paid. I know I went cheap though. I think my entire order with the bumper ring was under $80 shipped to Canada. The money I saved on bulbs I can put towards the LED OCD PCB.

How do you find the orange?

#580 5 years ago

Your blue and whites look very similar to mine. Your orange is definitely better, but I'd wager my red is deeper. It could be the photo, but your red looks more white than mine. You would think LEDs would all be the same seeing as they are all coming from China.

I don't see any ghosting on mine. Ghosting is when an insert is lite up or partially lit up when it shouldn't be - correct?

Flickering I relate to the refresh rate on an LCD monitor. Some people can see a computer monitor refreshing the screen and others cannot. A decent video camera will always capture a low refresh rate.

Strobing is the one that confuses me.

#583 5 years ago

I find the biggest change is the green LED. The radar stands out now instead of hiding in the PF.

#585 5 years ago

I had the two-ball multiball issue happen tonight. Actually I had quite a few oddities happen tonight.

The first weird issue, happened with the diverter. I was just playing a normal game. Ball was in play and I heard the diverter engage. I'm not sure which diverter arm was active because I have a decal mod on that clear plastic. The ball was no where near the VUK, or any of the switches that typically engage the diverter.

The second weird issue, was the two-ball. I had 3 balls locked and RELEASE was lit. The ball was in play and the next thing I know it kicked the ball out of the right lock.

Crap! It had been almost 150 games since I replaced the switch midway up the habitrail in the plunger lane with no issues until tonight.

This is definitely pointing to a diode issue. There is voltage leaking backwards somewhere. However, it could all be related the diverter, but I honestly haven't looked at the diverter in enough detail to know what could be wrong with it.

#591 5 years ago

I just want to confirm something with everyone that I believe is common for F-14, but I'm not sure. When set to FREE PLAY if your games ends and there are balls locked the game will go into MATCH mode and kick out the locked balls.

If I press START before the balls kick out it will start a new game and the balls will remain in the locks. The CPU doesn't seem to care. So now I'm starting a new game and I have balls already locked. Is this just an F-14 thing?

#593 5 years ago
Quoted from Pac-Fan:

Correct, this is an F-14 thing. In addition (I believe I posted earlier in this thread or another thread), if you press the start button (on free play or with extra credits loaded) *while* the last ball is draining, it will improperly give your bonus onto your new game, AND eat your first ball leaving ready to shoot ball #2 instead of ball #1. This is a bug I have only noticed on F-14.

Cool. Thanks! I'm bringing my pin to a show here in Ottawa and I was a bit concerned about this.

#594 5 years ago

Guys, I need to know the proper diode number for flipper coils. I have a broken one. It's a 1N4003. I took a look at the other diodes on my coils and the numbers are all different. 1N4002, 4004… what diode is supposed to be on the coils??? The manual doesn't list the diode number, just the coil and the diode for the EOS switch which is a 4001.

#596 5 years ago

4004 for the flippers it is. Thanks.

In the F-14 manual is states that the banded side of the diode should be connected to the solid blue wire and the non-banded side goes to the trace wires. On mine, none of the bands are connected to the solid blue wire.

Should they be?

#599 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

Just took a look at my old playfield and the manual. I see where you found the comment in the manual (on the page with the flipper assembly, right)? The comment there about the blue wire is wrong - checking my old playfield and the schematics later on in the manual, they are not blue. Also - this comment would only apply to the flippers anyway.
For general coils, there is one power line which daisy chains around all of them (there might be a couple of chains, but you get the idea). This one is easy to spot as generally there are 2 wires on that lug. One bringing the power line in from the previous coil, the other looping off to the next one. Only exception is the last coil in the line. You can also tell which one is the power line as the cable is thicker. The other lug has the ground connection - this gets connected to ground by the driver board when it's time for the coil to fire. The banded end of the diode goes to the power side, so generally speaking the lug with 2 wires on.

Yeah, it was in the flipper assembly notes.

What do you mean it would only apply to the flippers? The coil controls the flipper action. Aren't we talking about the same thing here?

If the banded side of the diode goes to the power side, then for me that is the blue wires and my diodes are all backwards.

Sorry, maybe I'm misunderstanding something...

Quoted from wayout440:

Add: If they were installed backwards, you'd pop your solenoid supply power fuse.

Good to know. Thank you!

#602 5 years ago

I'll take another look tonight to see if the blue wires to my flipper coils have a trace colour on them. I didn't see any, but I'll trace it back even further. The blue wires I'm talking about are soldered to the middle terminal on the coils.

#604 5 years ago

The center contact is solid blue wire. The blue wire is coming off the EOS switch. I resoldered the diodes onto the flipper coil and matched them up to the other flipper coils. Nothing blew up, or melted or started smoking so that's good. Played about 15 games after I done with the iron. No misfires.

#605 5 years ago

So I tossed another 35-40 games onto my F-14. No two-ball. Which is good. Even better, I left the pin plugged in overnight, and had it powered up and in attract mode all day. So whatever possible issues that may be lingering are definitely not being caused by heat.

#606 5 years ago

Check it out, all packed up for the Ottawa Pinball & Gaming Show this weekend! Pick up is Wednesday for me!


#609 5 years ago

You have to remove the clear plastic, and black divertor plastic. Unfortunately you have to remove all of the habitrails first to get it out of there.

#611 5 years ago

The screw driver needs to be the right size especially on stripped stuff. Many people think a Phillips is just a Phillips when really there are a variety of different sizes and shapes to the points. I'm not saying that's you, just saying for anyone listening.

Are you able to cut the heads off using flush cutters or a mini hand saw?

#614 5 years ago

You can also get them from Comet. Comet's version has LEDs on both sides of the ring. You are only purchasing the ring, not the bumper cap from Comet.

Here is what mine looks like;


1 month later
#628 5 years ago

It looks great Dreg! As long as the colours match I think I'm in.

If you need an F-14 to test a set on I'm in Ottawa. Canada Post lettermail is cheap.

#631 5 years ago
Quoted from Hellfire:

Does anyone have pics of these plastics installed on a F14???

Here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/f14-tomcat-owners-club-fans-also-welcome/page/5#post-1594698

Here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/f14-tomcat-owners-club-fans-also-welcome/page/10#post-1773798

Here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/f14-tomcat-owners-club-fans-also-welcome/page/10#post-1774318

Here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/f14-tomcat-owners-club-fans-also-welcome/page/11#post-1818785

My opinion of this sticker mod? I can't imagine my F-14 without it. I was unsure at first, but after having in installed for about a week I love it. Brightens up a dreary part of the PF. I'm all about colour and this fits the theme perfectly!

#636 5 years ago

Guys, I've been curious about this for a while now so I thought I'd ask. Is this a common screw post on F-14? What the hell is the purpose of it?


Better pic;


#639 5 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

On another note... I've completed, for now, my production of Space Station ramps, and about to start on the one I want to do for the F-14. While not technically a ramp I guess, it's the collector/diverter in the upper left hand corner. Plan at this point is to do it in dark transparent BLUE and dark transparent RED and then look to offering a lighting mod tied into the landing/lock on signals. Could also do it easily in clear if desired.

Looking forward to seeing this!

#645 5 years ago

I think I'm leaning towards wanting red more than blue.

1 week later
#649 5 years ago

Time for my recurring post. I am still looking for this plastic;


Please PM me if you have one that you are willing to sell. I would like to pay under $30 shipped to my location.

#652 5 years ago

[post deleted by author]

#661 5 years ago

Got mine today Dreg! They look great! I hope to finish up my flipper rebuild/upgrade this weekend and put them on. I'll post photos for all.

#667 5 years ago

One of the #47 bulbs burnt out on my divertor. When I pulled off the blue condom it ripped (crap!) so I ordered a bunch from PinballLife. I put the new condom on today and turned on the game and the new condom with the bulb lit up looks completely different from the other two. Almost green. It looks like crap.

I installed a blue LED and it looks fine, but the bulb condom doesn't fit the bulb properly and the LED is shorter than the 47 bulbs.

Where do you guys purchase replacement bulb condoms?
What should I do?

#669 5 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

I would replace the diverter lamps with frosted blue and red LEDs and forget about the condoms.

What bulb do you recommend? I'm in Canada so ordering LEDs is not so easy and shipping can really bit me in the ass. I prefer Comet.

#671 5 years ago

Those bulbs look too short to be installed into the divertor. #44 bulb types stick out further, I'd prefer a taller bulb.

#675 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

Titan Pinball's are longer.

LED BA9S Frosted White Sq_070309... 8 KB

Those do look longer. At least longer than Comet's. Are you using them? Do you have the condoms on them?

#678 5 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

I don't get the obsession with the longer bulb, and why anyone would want/need big pointy long bulbs sticking out of the diverter sockets. Must be an inferiority complex

For me it's the look. The short bulbs are too hidden in the black divertor plastic. I also have Dreg's sticker mod on the clear plastic so that takes a bit of height away from the bulbs.

I personally don't like the look of the frosted bulbs sitting in the divertor. If I bought some I would cap them using the bulb condoms to keep the red/blue theme going.

Quoted from mbott1701:

Yes and Yes.
I kept the condoms on to reduce light bleeding into the adjacent frosted dome when one of the lights was lit but its partner was not.
Not the best pic...but

leds.png 406 KB

That looks perfect. Thanks for the photo! How long did it take you to find the correct bulbs?

#680 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

Actually found them by accident.
I got a bunch of 555s from Titan for the arrow inserts and I just included some 44s in the order. Turned out the 555s were too tall for the arrow inserts, but I figured the 44s would work great in the diverter. Tried it, like it, so I kept them in there.

No problems putting the bulb condoms on them? Are they loose?

#686 5 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

I guess your sockets are not right. Mine are just fine with the short bulbs.
» YouTube video

What? They're fine. I'm just more particular than you are.

Man, that new sticker mod looks great! What are your thoughts on it Industen?

#697 5 years ago
Quoted from el_brio:

If anyone could take a look at the one I posted I would appreciate it. What do I need to look at if I go see it?

$1400-$1500 seems to be the normal price for F-14 with the typical issues. Quick sales will be in the $1K range, but anywhere between $1K-$1.5K is average for a perfectly working machine that needs some TLC.

#706 5 years ago

Your wiring looks good, at least on the flippers. The lower right flipper has had some of the wires changed out completely, but it is wired correctly. You have solid red wire in place of factory white/purple wires.

I just rebuilt my flippers, and while I'm still troubleshooting a problem on mine, I have become familiar with how it should look. Yours look good.

#709 4 years ago

Before I start hunting all over the internet, does anyone know where to buy these snubber board pcb nylon standoffs?

#713 4 years ago

Uh… why do you only have one transformer under the PF? I have two.

#720 4 years ago
Quoted from TrainH2o:

second one simply burns electricity, and makes the Canadian government feel better.

I think the US government buys the electricity from Quebec and then sells it back to us so if any government is feeling better I would guess the USA.

Never knew about this isolation transformer. When I attended a pin show here in Ottawa a few months ago I tipped my pin on it's end and the damn isolation transformer nearly broke from it's screws and fell to the bottom. It held on with only one half screwed in screw. I'm taking that thing out tomorrow and selling it.

Thanks for the links!

#723 4 years ago
Quoted from LongJohns:

...but I have only 1 transformer on my F14 (and Getaway for that matter). %)
I can tell you that I never heard of having to install an extra transformer into a unit that already has a transformer (unless the voltage requirements are different) and I deal with CSA (Canadian Standards) fairly often as we bring in a lot of "foreign" equipment where I work.

It's an Ontario Hydro thing. This is the post from google rec.games.pinball;

"Way back when in Canada, many Provinces required an isolation
transformer for safety. Not needed so you can usually just unplug &
run the prestine original cord to the wall. Another thing way back in
the early electronic pin days in Canada, was that you couldn't have
bare wood under the transformer & power board. So the operators had to
roll on some gray or black paint to prevent a possible fire. That was
another useless thing which was abandoned, aolong with Ontario Hydro
approval instead of CSA or the USA version UL. Thank goodness for free
trade which has done away with stupid seperate approval agencies, so
now UL or CSA is good in Canada. We had ULC also in the past."

#727 4 years ago

I don't think this happens any more, especially since some of their isolation transformers have caught fire. Not to mention some of their 'precautions' are now listed as 'useless'.

#729 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Has anybody on this forum added bulbs to the Tom Cat spot targets at the upper play field? I just switched over all the lamps to LEDs on mine, and thought it seemed really strange that the same lighting detail wasn't in place at all the spot target areas. Doesn't seem like there's a practical reason why they wouldn't have done this from the factory.

I added the flashers back in and thought the same thing about the GI by the targets. The only thing I could think of was that they were worried the bulbs would shatter from the upper flippers.

1 week later
#772 4 years ago
Quoted from jeffpm:

This may be a stupid question, but when changing the GI bulbs, do you do it from below the playfield like the insert bulbs?

Depends on the bulb location. Some are easiest to replace from the topside of the PF, but there are quite a few where it's just easier to unscrew the socket and remove the bulb from underneath.

#780 4 years ago
Quoted from jeffpm:

Makes sense. And how do you change the diverter bulbs? I looked around but didn't find any obvious way of doing it.

These can be a pain in the ass, but they just untwist like the others. The divertor bulbs are the hardest ones to change, at least on my pin.

#784 4 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

It's not quite as fancy as that. During multiball, if you hit all the TOMCAT targets on the playfield (top and bottom), then the outlane SPECIAL will light. Or at least I'm pretty certain that's what it is.

Yes that is correct.

#791 4 years ago

Yep. Plus some whitening. I can't stand yellow flippers on F-14.

#793 4 years ago

What was the original colour? I thought white, but I may be wrong.

#796 4 years ago

In your location? Probably $1200. Price up here in the Great White North is closer to $1500.

#802 4 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

Pretty cheap. Good luck finding one in the locally in the Toronto area for that price unless its a little beat up.

Toronto is the center of the universe. Prices there are inflated. I picked mine up in Ottawa for $1500. Player's Copy. Needed some minor work, but it was my first pin so I put a shit-ton of work into it.

In regards to the sound, mine does the same thing. You just need to let the machine boot a little more. The sound on mine returns on Ball 2 or after I lock Ball 1 (I think).

2 weeks later
#816 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

How often do you guys see an air ball that get's trapped up top at one of the flashers or hits the glass hard down on the lower flippers or ends up back in the shooter lane? Not worried about the glass and the shooter lane but the one that gets caught up by the flasher sucks because I have to pull the glass and usually lose the ball that's being played. Flasher misfire probably happened about 3-4 times after a lot of games played since Christmas day. Just wondering if I need to adjust something or add a bounce off pin or ???

I've had this happen once. This was before I installed the proper coils (green) intro the upper PF area. Someone had put the stronger red coils up there.

#846 4 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

Not sure without checking the manual again. Also, often the manual was printed before the final ROM versions so they don't always tie up. The number of locks from spelling TOMCAT is adjustable though I think, if 2 isn't the default.

I'm not sure what ROM version I have, but the default on mine is 2 for spelling TOMCAT the first time. If you manage to set off multiball, then the default after multiball ends sets to 1 for spelling TOMCAT. I'm not sure if this is the same with everyone else's pin. Here is the summary;

START game.
Lock Ball 1, Ball2
Lock Ball 3
RELEASE lights

2nd time

Lock Ball 1
Lock Ball 2
Lock Ball 3
Light Release

The default for the second multiball feels a little unbalance to me when compared to the first.

#850 4 years ago
Quoted from jeffpm:

So if I spell TOMCAT 3 times, I can then lock all 3 balls one right after the other. Is this how it's supposed to be?

Yes. Mine is the same on the first MULTIBALL. After MULTIBALL finishes if I spell T-O-M-C-A and drain before getting the final letter it resets. My spelling progress is not retained.

#860 4 years ago

Hi guys, my VUK seems to be double firing. I'll send the ball up the right side of the PF into the VUK and it'll kick the ball into the upper habitrail. As the ball rolls into the divertor and passed the lower habittrail switch I'll hear and see the VUK activate again. This doesn't effect play at all, but I would like to fix it. I'm thinking it has something to do with the lower habitrail switch.

Has anyone had a similar issue before I bust out the manual and start digging?

#865 4 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

If I remember correctly, the VUK switch is a "forked" flat copper switch actuator that gets pushed down by the weight of the ball to trip, I think the double firing of the VUK is often related to how loose/tight the tolerance of the VUK trip switch is. It seems that after firing, the VUK can trip itself again if it is adjusted to be too sensitive. You might look into starting a switch edge test and adjust so that the switch trips only when it is all the way down with the weight of the ball and no sooner.

Sorry, I didn't explain my issue very well. "Double-firing" was not the correct term I should have used. It is not rapid firing, machine gunning, or double-firing. Here is what happens;

I will send a ball up to VUK, I'll hear "Fire" and it will launch it into the upper most habitrail. As the ball gets to the divertor I hear "Fire" again and I can see the VUK activating. So it is not an issue where the VUK is activating twice in rapid succession. There is a delay between the first "Fire" and second "Fire".

Has anyone experienced this sort of thing? Sorry for not being clear in my original post.

#871 4 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

Have you inspected the VUK, specifically the plunger from underneath?
I had a similar issue and it turned out to be the role pin for the plunger had worked itself out and was preventing the cup from re-seating itself, so the game thought it still had a ball in the lock on hole.

I have not. I was looking for bits of genius like this before starting my troubleshooting. This will be the first thing I check tonight. Thanks everyone. I will report back with my results.

#886 4 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

Check adjustment #45 in the adjustments menu:
01 - Weak Kick
02 - Hard Kick
03 - Weak Kick w/Flight Ins
04 - Hard Kick w/Flight Ins
05 - Kill Flipper

What's the default setting? Minus the kill flipper option.

#889 4 years ago

Weak is the default? Damn… I'd better check mine, there's no way that sucker is set to weak the way it is kicking out.

#908 4 years ago

Woohoo! New high score for me! Finally managed to get my 2nd ever Fighter Jackpot! Almost set off multiball a second time, killed Yagov once. My longest game ever!

#911 4 years ago

Hi guys,

Noticed I lost the bottom two rows of lights in the backbox. Top two rows still work. Bulbs are fine. Flashers are fine. Connections look fine. It's the bulbs that use the brown and white/brown wiring.

My cheap-o multimeter has a dead battery. Hoping you guys will tell me it's just a fuse as I can't measure the damn voltage right now.

1 week later
#933 4 years ago

I fixed both of my issues today. Thank you for your posts. Resolutions are shown below to help others out in the future.

Quoted from mbott1701:

Have you inspected the VUK, specifically the plunger from underneath?
I had a similar issue and it turned out to be the role pin for the plunger had worked itself out and was preventing the cup from re-seating itself, so the game thought it still had a ball in the lock on hole.

This is exactly what had happened. The role pin had worked itself out to one side. A ball would sit in the cup and the VUK would fire, but on the way down the role pin, because it was sticking out to one side, would sometimes catch on the forked switch and trigger the VUK again. Simple fix, just pushed it back in with a flat head screw driver.

Quoted from wayout440:

Sorry but "look fine" doesn't cut it here, you'll have to break down and get some batteries for that meter. It's almost never just a fuse
The schematic below shows the connectors 6P4 at the backbox, 3J8 at the power supply board, and offboard 5A SB fuse that serve the brown & brown/wht circuit.

I measured the voltage coming off the power board. Voltage was present so I worked my way down the line. Through the fuses was also fine. Then I got to the 6P4/6J4 connector. I took it apart and voltage was okay here. Odd, since there's only another couple feet of wire before it is soldered to the lights. So I connected the 6P4/6J4 connector back up and voila! The lights came back on. I was surprised by this because the connector was a pain in the ass to take apart. Once it was back together I wiggled it around, but the bulbs remained on. Seems the connector pins are good. I'm guessing it is just oxidization that was the problem.

2 weeks later
#951 4 years ago
Quoted from GixerEd1:

Hello Fellow F-14 Pinsiders!
New to pinballing, about a month or so, but it's been a crazy few weeks.
I tried pinballing, found it intriguing (contrasted to arcade games), and here I am now - a proud owner of an F-14 Tomcat (cool theme and "lightshow" on this pin!!).
Hope to contribute someday to offset some of the knowledge and insight I'm gaining from you all and other pinsiders.
Already planning to go to Pinfest on May 2, 2015.
Talk about diving in head first.

Welcome aboard! Where are those new Pinfest posters anyway? *heads off to find link*

#966 4 years ago

I only replaced the incandescent bulbs under the inserts. I bought the cheapest LEDs Art sold. They worked great and made a huge difference in the look of the game, especially under the chevrons. After a few games I started getting a bad headache and I never get headaches. Since I liked the look of the LEDs so much I ended up buying a LED OCD board from Herg. This eliminated the LED harshness and the on/off transitions became smooth, almost fluid. To me it was night and day. I'd recommend one to anyone here thinking of going the LED route under the PF.

For the GI, I've been hesitant to switch to LEDs. I'm worried about ghosting or flicker. For those of you that have switched the GI to LED have you had any issues?

Oh, and sort of on topic off topic, has anyone found a decent orange? I ended up trying orange, amber, yellow and white LEDs under my orange inserts but I didn't like the colour and switched back to incandescent.

#975 4 years ago

Cointaker premiums are $2/bulb. I haven't counted the GI bulbs, but there have to be 50 of them no? So that's $100 plus shipping/taxes for me. Hmm... I'll check Comet.

Did you order frosted bulbs for everything? 1-SMD or what?

#980 4 years ago
Quoted from jeffpm:

IMO the Cointakers are not worth the money. But to each their own, of course. I used the 38 cent Comet bulbs for all my inserts and they are great. No ghosting or flicker.

I agree. I have used Comet and Art with zero issues. His customer service is excellent and he has always gone above and beyond for my orders. Even replying to emails at 2AM his time!

I'm sure Cointaker bulbs and service are also great, but for me Art has earned my business for life.

#983 4 years ago

I have the 1-SMD, what you are calling premiums, under my inserts as well. I find they work great and you can get them in nice and close and still not see the outline of the bulb.

I'll go with frosted on top of the playfield for the GI. I already have some 3-SMD and 7-SMD strips that I had planned on using in the Yagov kicker and by the apron.

#986 4 years ago

I've decided to place an order for GI LEDs. Anyone know how many bulbs I'm going to need off the top of their head? Thank you.

Oh, and is there a #1683 equivalent in LEDs? Beacon LEDs?

#988 4 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

Yeah, there is some equivalents out there for the beacon bulbs. IMO these are real aircraft beacons and last a long time, and are super bright - so I've left mine as is. The thing is bright as hell with all the standard flashers and premium LEDs in it anyway.

Good to know. I'll leave them as is.

For the GI bulb count, I checked the manual but it doesn't include GI under the "Lamp" section. It just goes over the inserts and flashers. I've counted the bulbs in the backbox using pictures people have provide in this thread, but it looks like I'll have to count the GI bulbs on my pin.

#996 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Comet sells 2 LED dome bulbs in packs of 25 for real cheap. Go crazy and get two of 'em.

I'm going to order the 1 SMD frosted natural white bulbs. I am using the 1 SMD bulbs for the inserts and I like them so I'll give them a try in the backbox and for the GI.

Quoted from jeffpm:

I can't find the notes I took, but I think it was somewhere around 22 GI bulbs. Might want to give it a once over to make sure I'm not totally off base.

I counted 27, but I tossed a few numbers in there because I wasn't exactly sure. Either way I'll order two 25 pack bags from Comet. Thanks!

Quoted from FLASHBALL:

Can any of my fellow F-14 fans post a picture of their spoon switch under the jet bumber? Or even direct me to a good thread? Im pretty sure my wiring is correct because points are scoring, but I dont know where the diode belongs.
Need some assistance and Im not 100% positive on what goes where.


1 week later
#1031 4 years ago
Quoted from Gorno:

Hey guys, I am looking to replace my back flasher domes, as I have an early run with the clear domes. I couldn't find the domes in the manual, so I wasn't sure which to replace them with. Will these work?

These are the wrong shape I believe. The ones in the back have a wider diameter. They would work, but you'll have a gap.

#1041 4 years ago

I don't see it in the manual. This looks like the one you need though;

It's best to take it apart and compare. I see this one as well. It's possible Williams used a VUK kicker for the outlane;

#1050 4 years ago

The stickers really do fit the game well. At first I was unsure, but now I can't image the pin without them. As a bonus, my right side clear plastics had yellowed slightly. No normal person would have even noticed it, but I noticed it all the time! I tried to sun bleach them back to white, but it didn't work. So covering them up made me one happy camper.

If you are concerned that you won't be able to see the ball going up the habit trails as you pull the plunger - don't. You can still see the ball plenty.

#1057 4 years ago

It looks fantastic! Beautiful work! For the plastics, did you just buy all new ones? Oh, and are those the plastic protectors off eBay? They look really nice!

#1060 4 years ago

Man those new CPR plastics are beautiful. I love the rounded edge on them.

#1096 4 years ago

Averell what size protector is that? I've been trying to make one but I can't get the size down.

#1102 4 years ago
Quoted from kilmarnock1350:

Pinball resource sells it for pennies. Just ordered one a month ago.

Part number or it didn't happen!

#1105 4 years ago

Thank you!

#1107 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

I believe mine has double rubbers on it to prevent the ball from getting in there.

Mine had the same, but I didn't like the look of it, especially since the holes for the guard are pre-drilled. In 100+ games I've only ever got the ball trapped in this space once and that was before I replaced my upper coils from red to the proper green ones.

#1110 4 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

you see this part is very necessary in that area.
My Tomcat is very very fast because not only the playing field has become very fast, I also have strengthened the coils, in addition, with condensers.
It's no compare to the normal coils or the weak green ones.
Now, the game is as quick as it should be.
A problem is the yagov kicker, the backfire is so hard, that the ball almost smashes the glass. That needs an adjustment, then this F-14 is perfect.

I'm not sure how to respond to this post. Why would you strengthen the coils? I had the red coils in the upper playfield and switched them to green. Green is what was shipped from the factory. You don't need anything stronger in the upper mini-playfield. The flippers up there are meant to be toned down so you don't put the ball through a target.

As quick as it should be? Your F-14 is beautiful looking, but it sounds like you've tweaked it so that lower PF flipper shots will send the ball through the back of the wood cabinet. That's not the way the game was intended to be played. To each their own.

#1130 4 years ago

Has anyone managed to source the red chevron inserts for the PF? My blue look to be fine, but I've noticed a line through one of the red ones. I can't tell if it is the mylar creating a line to trick my imagination or if the insert has broken. I'm surprised no one has tried 3D printing these things.

2 weeks later
#1175 4 years ago

Are the chevrons under some license or copyright protection? Why hasn't someone started 3D printing these things? They don't need to be perfect as they are going to be sanded flat when installed.

#1187 4 years ago
Quoted from Gorno:

I printed mine off of this guys website and they turned out great: http://www.pinballcards.com/Pinball-Cards/Page/2
In other news, I finished converting to LEDs and got rid of the ugly incandescent flashers. Looks 100% better. But, I did have to disconnect the warming resistors on my lamp boards.

Agreed. These are the best cards I've seen. I have a yellow set printed on glossy card stock on my pin. They look fantastic.

2 weeks later
#1236 4 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

I keep seeing folks that are changing the targets out for custom designs, I just have to say that I am not a fan...yes, it's your game so do what you will. It's odd, I've modded my games but there's something disturbing to me about changing the targets. Am I the only one?

I am not a fan either. There have been some nice ones designed, but having all the targets done up with a custom design to me is just as boring as them all being stock. Either way they are all the same. There have also been some that have the letters T-O-M and C-A-T, but I am not a fan of this either as there are already inserts on the PF for this. To each their own.

#1239 4 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

However, if they came out with OLED screen targets...I could be persuaded. Could you imagine targets that spell out T-O-M on the target face, then hitting them a small explosion of color, perhaps evolving into other pictures? An F14 plane flying "through" your targets sequentially during attract mode? Hey, if they can do it with slot machine buttons that folks are hammering on all day, why not a pinball machine target?

That would be sick! You painted a vivid picture.

#1248 4 years ago

Switch 44 is the is "4" target (right center) of the PF.

#1288 4 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

I used Cointaker.frosteds in mine and like it very much

1430866980361-1489537901.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

I stole wayout's colour scheme and used frosted 1 SMD bulbs from Comet. Looks great!

#1295 4 years ago
Quoted from tonedef131:

I've also thought about getting one in green with the flex head too.

I have a flex head under mine. I makes a world of difference. The entire insert is lit up now.

1 week later
#1310 4 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

Next step is my "Afterburner" for the upper flipperfingers.
With this modified circuit you get much more power into the game.
DSCN1518.JPG (Click image to enlarge)
DSCN1519.JPG (Click image to enlarge)
DSCN1522.JPG (Click image to enlarge)
DSCN1523.JPG (Click image to enlarge)
With the little switch you can fly without "Afterburner".
DSCN1524.JPG (Click image to enlarge)
The sign just shows the direction how to switch to play with "Afterburner".
DSCN1525.JPG (Click image to enlarge)

You're dedicated, I'll give you that.

#1315 4 years ago

Can't wait to see it with the mirror blades exposed.

1 week later