(Topic ID: 223174)

Firepower - looking to get smarter before selling

By zamboni

11 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 20 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by Hdmike444
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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There have been 17 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

Firepower playfield L1 (resized).JPG
Firepower playfield L3 (resized).JPG
Firepower playfield L5 (resized).JPG
Firepower batteries (resized).JPG
Firepower backglass 1 (resized).JPG
Firepower backglass 3 (resized).JPG
Firepower R side (resized).JPG
Firepower L side (resized).JPG
Firepower coin buttons (resized).JPG
Firepower slot bottom (resized).JPG
Firepower ID (resized).JPG
Firepower playfield bottom (resized).JPG
Firepower playfield middle (resized).JPG
Firepower slot top (resized).JPG
Firepower bank box (resized).JPG
Firepower front (resized).JPG

#1 11 months ago

My mother moved from my childhood home and I snagged the family Firepower. My younger brother moved out in 1988, so this machine has literally not been touched/used/maintained in 30 years. It turns on and lights up but I can't get it to work. From my extremely untrained eye it appears to be in very good condition. For the past couple days I've been lurking, searching and learning a lot from this great site... so thank you for providing this great resource. I'm trying to determine if I sell it or enjoy it and have a bunch of questions...

What do I look for to determine condition?
What are signs of "playfield wear"?
What does "flaking" mean?
I'm not very mechanical and honestly a little afraid of the electrocution thing... but are there some simple things I can try to get it working?
Is it possible to sell it "as is" or should I get it fixed first?
Can anyone recommend a good repair person in the Minneapolis area?
Your thoughts on value/price? (I'm only looking to get a fair price and not get "taken")

Thank you in advance for any info, advice and encouragement you can provide.

Firepower bank box (resized).JPGFirepower front (resized).JPGFirepower playfield top (resized).JPG
#2 11 months ago

Looks like a good playfield. Get more pics of lower playfield .

#3 11 months ago

When you say it's not working...do all the displays come on? What happens when you hit start? Are there credits in the game if not in free play? All balls are in?

#4 11 months ago

all the display appear to come on and all 3 balls are in the "holding bin". I'm not able to get credits... can I change it from coin play to free play? how do I add credits?

a couple more playfield pics (sorry about the sun glare/reflection)...

Firepower playfield bottom (resized).JPGFirepower playfield middle (resized).JPGFirepower slot top (resized).JPG
#5 11 months ago

Dead batteries?

#6 11 months ago

That 149... code means the battery is dead or you have bad ram. Turning it off and on quickly can sometimes bypass the battery issue.

#7 11 months ago

Thanks everyone for your help!

uh-oh...batteries have not been inspected or changed in 30+ years. Hopefully this hasn't caused too much damage. I will check tomorrow. How many batteries are there and where are they located?

#8 11 months ago

There will be three, located inside the backbox. Remove the backglass (VERY carefully, and avoid setting it somewhere it could fall) and open the inside panel with the light bulbs - there will be a latch on one side that you pull up, and the panel will swing out. The batteries will be on the upper left circuit board.

Definitely look at them - I would at least remove them, and there are guides online (here and elsewhere) on how to clean up battery leakage damage if there is any.

Incidentally, I cannot really estimate a value as I'm not an expert on the early Williams SS games, but that machine looks to be in very good shape. If you are not comfortable working on it, I highly suspect that some enthusiast here would indeed be willing to buy it as-is.

Edit: Playfield wear and backglass flaking seem practically nonexistent, at least from my brief glances at your photos. Warm white LEDs across the board would keep glass and plastics perfect basically forever, and a skilled clearcoat job would keep the playfield perfect forever as well. If you decide to work on the machine before selling, I would also consider adding plastic protectors (clear plastic washers to help prevent edges from breaking).

Basically... there's lots of bulletproofing that can be done on a game like this. If you lived closer I would find it hard to resist the urge to buy this thing.

#9 11 months ago
Quoted from zamboni:

What do I look for to determine condition?

The best way to determine condition (for a prospective buyer at least) is to just take lots of pictures, inside and out. Pics of all sides of the cabinet, front, back, and under. Pictures of the playfield with the glass off. Pictures inside the backbox showing the boards. Pictures under the playfield and inside the cabinet. Pictures of the back of the backglass.

For yourself, just check for obvious signs of water damage, rust, etc.

Quoted from zamboni:

What are signs of "playfield wear"?

Missing paint, most common around the inserts. If you can see bare wood where it looks like there should be artwork, that's "wear".

Quoted from zamboni:

What does "flaking" mean?

Paint that has fallen of or has lifted from the surface it was applied to and about to come off.

Quoted from zamboni:

I'm not very mechanical and honestly a little afraid of the electrocution thing... but are there some simple things I can try to get it working?

Sounds like you're getting power so check in the backbox to see if anything looks unplugged or loose. Obviously, check all this with the game UNPLUGGED.

Quoted from zamboni:

Is it possible to sell it "as is" or should I get it fixed first?

If you're not able to fix it yourself (which it doesn't sound like you are), it's probably best to sell it as-is. Any prospective buyer probably has the capability to fix it themselves and would buy the machine based solely on condition.

Quoted from zamboni:

Can anyone recommend a good repair person in the Minneapolis area?

Sorry, can't help you there but I'm sure others will chime in.

Quoted from zamboni:

Your thoughts on value/price? (I'm only looking to get a fair price and not get "taken")

Just going off the pictures you've supplied, it looks to be in very nice condition. Hard to tell without more detailed pictures (see first paragraph). I'd say easily $1K+ in non-working condition. Maybe more once more pictures are available.

If you were closer, I'd buy this in a heartbeat!

#10 11 months ago

excellent info & advice...Thank you!

I will determine battery damage and take more pics tomorrow.

Here are a few more I took today...

Firepower ID (resized).JPGFirepower L side (resized).JPGFirepower R side (resized).JPGFirepower coin buttons (resized).JPGFirepower slot bottom (resized).JPG
#11 11 months ago

You've got some pretty good replies so far, but I'll add:

The number you're seeing in the player 1 display is the ROM (game code) revision. It's booting up to that display because the batteries are dead so the game has lost its settings. If the batteries haven't been checked in the amount of time you describe, they've almost certainly leaked onto the boardset and very likely damaged it. This can happen even in just a couple of years. Fact is it may not be entirely safe to leave it on very long until you can do some closer inspection, as damaged boards can be unpredictable and may cause further damage if left powered on.

However, the fact that it's booting up that far is a really good sign despite the likely damage - means it may be minimal, and fixable. Even if not, the boards are more easily replaced than the cosmetic items like the playfield or backglass.

As Robert mentioned the game appears to be in very nice condition. Firepower is a title that usually got played to death - it was a popular game in its time, and while the production run was very large compared to most other titles (around 17K were made) not many survive today without noticeable wear...making yours worth more than your typical project Firepower even in non-working condition.


#12 11 months ago

Thanks Richard for you insights.

good news...I found the batteries and luckily only the right one appeared to be leaking slightly. The other two were intact, which is surprising after sitting for 30 years. Attached is a picture that shows slight green/gray discoloration to the right battery terminal. Does this look bad? Also, the backglass looked nearly perfect to my beginner eyes... also pictures below.

bad news...I put new batteries in and put it back together and the machine will still not give me credits and allow me to play it. Any other easy/obvious things I should I try?

Thanks again for all your assistance. I'd still love more feedback on value and a possible asking price.

Firepower backglass 1 (resized).JPGFirepower backglass 3 (resized).JPGFirepower batteries (resized).JPG
#13 11 months ago

Also, I removed the glass and took a bunch of better (less glare) pictures of the playfield. Here's a few...

Firepower playfield L1 (resized).JPGFirepower playfield L3 (resized).JPGFirepower playfield L5 (resized).JPG
#14 11 months ago

If there's any corrosion on the holder you should remove it. You'll get a flaky connection and the corrosion can still soak down the leads and into the rest of the board.

#15 11 months ago

I'm going to say that you are not getting voltage to the memory, and I base that on the looks of the right battery holder. You are likely still getting the 1497 in the player one display.

It sounds like you're not familiar with an ohmeter, so I won't go into details on how to check voltages. So, in my opinion, with the backglass in good shape, and the playfield only having minimal wear, I don't see a problem getting $1100 - $1200 as is. Make sure you are honest about the battery holder - the MPU will need to be repaired.

#16 11 months ago

GREAT looking example of Firepower! You have a beautiful survivor there!

I wish you were closer, I would be on my way over to help you get it working and back into playing shape!

#17 11 months ago

Thanks everyone for the fantastic info and insights.

Since I'm not sure how to price this thing, I think my best option might be an eBay auction and let the market determine the price (a worse condition, non-working Firepower sold for $1,205 a month ago on eBay). Or list it locally on Minneapolis Craigslist for $1700 and see if it generates any interest (shipping costs really limit your target market on these things!)

Thanks again Pinsiders... cool site with cool participants.

#18 11 months ago

I remember that Firepower on eBay, it was also in pretty good shape playfield wise. You have a nice original backglass, nice original playfield (with I'm sure some cupped inserts). As mentioned, 1000-1200 would be a good price for you in non-working condition. I honestly think it would be a tough sell for a non-working one at 1700, but hey, I suppose you can never go back up. And if you list for 1200, I'm sure someone will offer you 400 . On eBay, you can also list as Local Pickup only with no shipping option...

As a disclaimer, I already have one, so I'm not trying to talk you down in price. I bought mine in the area working for 700 3 years ago, albeit with a much worse playfield/backglass combo. But of course times/prices have changed...

#19 11 months ago

that battery holder is toast. You can see an air gap where the rivet came apart on the top of the rightmost battery spot.

Prior to replacing that battery holder you can get the game temporarily out of the test/audit mode by opening the coin door, then quickly turning the game off and back on. If you do it quick enough the game should switch to attract mode. Then you can coin it up and hit the start button so see what works.

#20 11 months ago

Nice looking firepower. I’d be all over this if it was local. Been wanting one for a while. Good luck with it!

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