So back in the fall I ran across a Firepower that was badly in need of restoration. Based on the condition of the cab and playfield I would assume a good share of its life was spend in arcades before ending up in a suburban basement for a decade or two. I don’t think I would be going out on a limb if I were to assume that the previous owners were smokers, or that the basement could have used a dehumidifier.
When I got the pin back home to my basement I realized a couple of things:
1) Pins that smell smoky in a smoker’s house smell ten times worse in your house.
2) Pins that don’t boot up at someone else’s house won’t boot up at your house.
3) I’ve never played a game of Firepower in my life. And now I need to rebuild one before I get to play one. I’ve got a soft spot for Steve Ritchie games so something tells me I’m going to enjoy this one too.
I’ve been working off and on for the past two months on this restoration so I figured it was time to start a Pinside thread. Partly to document and share what I’m doing and partly to keep me on track to finish it! I’ve always enjoyed reading the pinball adventures of others and I’ve learned so much from all the great tech threads. Maybe someone will learn something from this one, or at least have a good chuckle along with me or maybe at my expense…
With the state of the cabinet and the head I had no reservations to pull the boards and put the cab and head under cover outside. A full restoration is in store so we will deal with all of the cab work later. The playfield was worn down to the wood in a dozen places and most of the inserts were cupped or sunken. A great candidate for a CPR replacement, which I didn’t have. And thus began my learning experience with Firepower. CPR playfields for Firepower are either a) virtually unobtainable or b) holy moly expensive if you happen to come across one. Hmmmm. Maybe I should start on the boards.
There are a couple of invaluable Vid guides on Pinside, one being the bullet proofing Williams System 3 – 7 thread. I basically ordered every socket, cap, diode, and transistor from GPE required to update the MPU, driver board and sound board. I also made a fuse block setup to fuse the bridge rectifiers. I like the way that this keeps the pin from burning my house down if the rectifiers short. Nice. I also split the GI into four individually fused lines at 5 amps each instead of the original 20 amp fuse. In order to make a little more room in the backbox I will be relocating the transformer from the backbox to the cabinet. One simple wiring harness and now the backbox has a lot more room and weighs about a quarter less as well. Works for me.