(Topic ID: 32189)

Flash Flipper upgrade?


By Spraynard

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 45 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by rockhouse
  • Topic is favorited by 21 Pinsiders

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#1 6 years ago

I'm not a big fan of the flippers on Flash (sluggish, clunky, weak, etc.). I was originally thinking of just rebuilding them with new parts, but I've heard its really the design that sucks, and a rebuild would help but they would still suck. I've played a couple other games from that generation, and they seem to all be like that. I recently read a thread (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/59658-13-flash-generation-flipper-upgrade-awesome) where some guy upgraded the flipper assemblies to the next generation Firepower style assemblies (http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=711).

What does the pinside community think? Rebuild or upgrade? Is there anything to the upgrade beyond removing the old assembly and making space to mount the new one? How about voltage for the new coils?

Thanks!

#2 6 years ago

I've got a Flash, and I know what you're talking about. Those style flippers really make drop catches difficult. The spring just isn't strong enough to return the flipper to position fast enough. Check out Vid's guide, I'm pretty sure an upgrade is possible:

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-upgradingrebuilding-flippers

#3 6 years ago

If you're going to upgrade, and since you'd need new baseplates anyway, should just go to WPC-style flipper assemblies.

viperrwk

#4 6 years ago
Quoted from viperrwk:

If you're going to upgrade, and since you'd need new baseplates anyway, should just go to WPC-style flipper assemblies.
viperrwk

This ^

I plan on doing that, eventually (during my full overhaul). I love the way this game plays, I can't wait to find out how great it plays with snappy flippers...

#5 6 years ago
Quoted from Deaconblooze:

This ^
I love the way this game plays, I can't wait to find out how great it plays with snappy flippers...

That's my feeling too. I think great flippers will take this game to the next level.

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from viperrwk:

should just go to WPC-style flipper assemblies.
viperrwk

I thought about this, didn't know it was possible. Pinballlife offers a number of coil sizes and coil stops for those assemblies. (http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=172). Which size do you think? Do I need to worry about voltage issues?

I should mention that I don't want to "overdo it". That is, I don't necessarily want to be rocketing shots up the playfield at unnatural speeds and breaking targets.

#7 6 years ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

I thought about this, didn't know it was possible. Pinballlife offers a number of coil sizes and coil stops for those assemblies. (http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=172). Which size do you think? Do I need to worry about voltage issues?
I should mention that I don't want to "overdo it". That is, I don't necessarily want to be rocketing shots up the playfield at unnatural speeds and breaking targets.

The stock flipper coil in Flash is a 20-300/30-800 coil. This was listed for $5.00 in the original Flash manual in 1979. Today you can buy that coil for $9.75 @ PBL. Adjusted for inflation, the coil should cost $15.77, so the price of the coil has DROPPED. Anyway, I digress.

You can replace this with a Firepower/Sys6 style coil in the WPC baseplate - SFL-19-400/30-750-DC which is functionally about the same. You shouldn't be breaking anything with this coil that would with the stock coil. And you'd have nice smooth flipper action.

viperrwk

#8 6 years ago

I just rebuilt my flash flippers with a system 3-7 rebuild kit. I also cross drilled the "flipper shoe" and made it ~20grams lighter than it previously was. The flippers FLY, they're strong and drop catch/ bounce passes are easy to pull off. The EOS switches need to be perfectly positioned for them to work well, otherwise they're slow and weak.

#9 6 years ago

If I recall, the flipper coils on Flash are 24 volt.

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from viperrwk:

You can replace this with a Firepower/Sys6 style coil in the WPC baseplate - SFL-19-400/30-750-DC which is functionally about the same.

The only objection I have here is that this coil is not an option on PBL for the WPC mechanisms.

The default coils that come in the PBL WPC mechanisms are: (Coil Number, Manufacturer, Size, Resistance, Notes)

FL-11629 WILLIAMS FAT 4R4/135R6 Flipper Coil (50V) (Blue - strongest - 5/5)
FL-11630 WILLIAMS FAT 4R7/? Flipper Coil (50V) (Red - medium strength - 3/5) - Wico sub 04-0718
FL-11753 WILLIAMS FAT 10R3/164R3 Flipper Coil (50V) (Yellow - weakest - 1/5) - Wico sub 04-0720
FL-11722 WILLIAMS FAT 7R0/156R3 Flipper Coil (50V) (Green - weaker - 2/5)
FL-15411 WILLIAMS FAT 4Rl/69R6? Flipper Coil (50V) (Orange - stronger - 4/5)
FL-17636 WILLIAMS FAT 4R3/? Flipper Coil
FL-15411 WILLIAMS FAT 4Rl/150R Flipper Coil

All of them are 50V, I'm guessing none would work? I wonder if I contacted them they could substitute coils.....

#11 6 years ago

Couldn't you just use the existing coils? You could just get the coils you use for BSD, and use the rest of the mech on Flash. Just a thought.

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from Deaconblooze:

Couldn't you just use the existing coils? You could just get the coils you use for BSD, and use the rest of the mech on Flash. Just a thought.

True, and I may do this. I believe the Flash coils are shorter, so in order to use the Flash coils I would have to redrill the holes for the front part of the coil holder to make sure that it fits snug.

#13 6 years ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

True, and I may do this. I believe the Flash coils are shorter, so in order to use the Flash coils I would have to redrill the holes for the front part of the coil holder to make sure that it fits snug.

Yes they are which is why it's easier just to get three of these:

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=717&parent=107

You also need new bats as they are different than the older style.

For the upper right flipper you have to cut the base out and relocate a couple of the lamps so it will fit. Another reason not to use the existing coils. There's already enough work here to do.

Terry will sub in the SFL-19-400/30-750-DC coils in the kit. He's been known to do this in the past.

And yes, Ken is right - Flash flipper coils are 28v. That's why you need the SFL-19-400/30-750-DC coils in there. The equivalent FL-11630 will be too weak if they are used.

viperrwk

#14 6 years ago

Thanks viperrwk. I think that's the winning combo. I'll let you all know how it works out. Might b a while, lot of work to do on this machine still.

#15 6 years ago

Definitely keep this thread updated, I'd like to see how you get them mounted up. Good luck!

#16 6 years ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

True, and I may do this. I believe the Flash coils are shorter, so in order to use the Flash coils I would have to redrill the holes for the front part of the coil holder to make sure that it fits snug.

More than that. The plungers are shorter as well on Flash. Put the coil back to far, it might work, but might not pull back. To far forward, the plunger will bottom out before the flipper fully extends.

Try a flipper coil for Fire Power and later system 6 games (SFL-19-400_30-7) rated @ 28 VDC http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/SFL-19-400_30-7.
These should fit on a WPC style flipper assembly

1 week later
#17 6 years ago

Okay, so I finally got to doing this upgrade, but I ran into a snag. I installed the left flipper first. Everything appears to be in order, but the left flipper just won't fire. I'm getting proper voltage readings at each lug on the coil, so no blown fuses. Last night, I thought i heard the coil making a noise each time i pressed the flipper button so I decided to hold the flipper button (no idea what I was thinking) and the coil started to smoke! Any idea what's going on here? Did I kill the coil? This feels like I'm making some dumb newbie mistake, but I figure best to stop and ask pinside before making any other dumb errors.

#18 6 years ago

Oh yes, and I used a test cable to make contact between the center lug and ground wire. The coil did fire here, so it's probably not dead.

Edit: ok after this test, the flipper worked normally using the flipper button like two times, then the center lug on the coil sparked and it no longer worked again. Ugh! Now the coil no longer fires when i connect the center lug to ground. I have no idea what is going on.

1 month later
#19 6 years ago

I was thinking of rebuilding my Flash flippers and came across your post. Just wondering if there's an update to what happened to your machine.

7 months later
#20 5 years ago
Quoted from jedimojo:

I was thinking of rebuilding my Flash flippers and came across your post. Just wondering if there's an update to what happened to your machine.

Oh man, totally forgot about this post. Just saw your reply, jedimojo. I don't remember the exact details of what happened, but I ended up taking off the capacitor on the EOS and replacing the coil diode and everything worked again. Haven't had an issue since.

#21 5 years ago

Was it worth it?

#22 5 years ago

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-upgradingrebuilding-flippers/page/3

Complete, step by step directions, about 1/2 way down the page.

#23 5 years ago

Vid's guide is great. Here's what mine looked like when I was done. I used plates from HS and Cyclone that I had lying around, rebuild kits and coils from PBR (who also sells the upper flipper switch activated from the right flipper.
Left Flipper
flash 4 sale 001.jpg

Clearance is tight to this insert lamp above the left flipper.
flash 4 sale 003.jpg

Right flipper - requires moving some wires and splitting the switch stack across the mounting plate
flash 4 sale 004.jpg

Another shot of the right flipper switch stack - clearance around the pawl is critical.
flash 4 sale 005.jpg

Upper right flipper
flash 4 sale 006.jpg

This lay-down insert lamp had to be moved and the base cut so it didn't contact the other lamp by the upper right flipper.
flash 4 sale 007.jpg

It's a lot of work but in the end worth it. Shots are very nice and you can easily make successive shots to the loop/spinner from the upper right flipper!

viperrwk

#24 5 years ago

Nice work!

#25 5 years ago

Sometimes when the baseplate covers part of an insert, you can move the lamp socket and light the insert with a flexi LED.

#26 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Sometimes when the baseplate covers part of an insert, you can move the lamp socket and light the insert with a flexi LED.

That's a good suggestion. I was worried that it would obscure too much of the light but after cleaning the inserts and the lamps it wasn't really an issue (at least for me.) It's the 10,000 insert below the saucer for those looking at the vid. Besides, everything else was incandescent - I couldn't bear to put one flex LED in it!

viperrwk

#27 5 years ago

Looks just fine as it is!

#28 5 years ago

Totally worth it.

#29 5 years ago

Cool, thanks for the info, everyone! I planned on converting my PinBot to wpc, and using those sys11 flippers in Flash. I figured that was a cost effective way to improve two games. Winter project!

1 year later
#30 4 years ago

I've been working on getting a Flash project up and running and after getting a brand new Rottendog board and all the lighting issues worked out, I thought it was time to address the flippers. My old plungers were rusted out, shafts stripped, and the links were so sloppy it had become uplayable. After reading this thread I bought 3 WPC assemblies from pinball life with the SFL-19-400/30-750-DC coils swapped in as well as the 03-7811 high voltage EOS switches. I did forget to add a secondary N.O. for the lower right, but I'm placing an order for that today.

Last night I removed the old components and mounted the new assemblies. Mechanically, everything is aligned and in good shape. I wired them according to Vids guide with the 28V going to the banded side of the diode, middle going to the far (taller) EOS leaf, and the ground and closer (shorter) EOS leaf on the non banded side of the diode. None of them will flip. I get a pretty significant spark at the cabinet button EOS, and if I hold it for more than a second or two it blows the fuse. Any suggestions of things to check? It seemed like a fairly straight forward swap but I'm stumped.

#31 4 years ago

Happening on both sides or just one? Are you somehow getting high voltage to the button switch? I'd think it should be low voltage and not expect it to spark so much. You might post your question to Vid's rebuild guide thread, he's very active over there.

#32 4 years ago

Well I was able to rig up the old secondary EOS onto the lower right coil and got both of the flippers on that side working. The left flipper, despite being wired the same and having the same voltage as the right side isn't doing anything. When I press the button I can actually see the fuse flex, and if I hold it in for any amount of time it will blow.

8 months later
#33 3 years ago

Old post, but I'm doing this right now. Anyone that's done this on Flash, where'd you mount the upper flipper? I'm scratching my head trying to figure out where that could possibly fit..

Edit: Wow, nevemind, right in front of me. Viper had it there all along!

1 week later
#34 3 years ago

I've upgraded my flippers, but they're not as snappy as I'd like. I think I'll try messing with the return spring a bit, but it may just be that the 28v is just never going to be as snappy as the 50v I'm used to.

Are people able to continuously make the loop with the upper flipper? I get mine to just below the gate on a perfect shot. I'm at about 6* pitch, so maybe leveling it down a little would help, but I also don't want to make the game too "floaty".

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from Deaconblooze:

Old post, but I'm doing this right now. Anyone that's done this on Flash, where'd you mount the upper flipper? I'm scratching my head trying to figure out where that could possibly fit..

Removing one of the mounting tabs is an option. 3 will hold it just fine.

100_0652.JPG

#36 3 years ago
Quoted from mwsmith:

Removing one of the mounting tabs is an option.

Or if you are an LED kind of person, leave the legs and use a flexi LED.

images.jpg

#37 3 years ago

I think I'll go the flex route should it become necessary, I was able to mount it after checking Viper's post.

How about that upper loop? Has anyone dialed that in for repeated hits?

#38 3 years ago
Quoted from Deaconblooze:

Are people able to continuously make the loop with the upper flipper? I get mine to just below the gate on a perfect shot. I'm at about 6* pitch, so maybe leveling it down a little would help, but I also don't want to make the game too "floaty".

Ten plus years ago on RGP I asked that question it seemed like I could never do it no matter how I adjusted flipper.

Steve Richie replied saying yes it was designed to make multiple loops.

I still to this day don't think I have ever gotten more than once around.

Take a Vid if you can get more consistently.

#39 3 years ago

That's really interesting, thanks for chiming in.

I was trying with the glass off after my upgrade, and I failed to get the ball past the lanes. I had a different flash that could sneak it past the gate on a perfect shot, so I think I'll need to dial this one in. Considering I've installed a brand new flipper, and am getting proper voltage, I think it must be my personal game's geometry. I think I'll start with lowering the pitch slightly.

If anyone else has any other direction, I'd love to hear it.

#40 3 years ago

I did the loop twice earlier today but I wasn't really trying. I rarely use the upper flipper as more than a guide unless the ball is coming down just right to shoot the loop with it otherwise its unpredictable where the ball will end up. I can see how it could be a multi shot loop but its not worth trying for more than shooting back up to the lanes.

When I play I use the left flipper for shooting the spinner
Right flipper for the left drop bank
Upper flipper for a guide
And never shoot the center drop bank

Good thing I saw this post I was planning on upgrading the flippers on mine too.

#41 3 years ago
Quoted from 20eyes:

I did the loop twice earlier today but I wasn't really trying.

Video or doesn't count.

your right about upper flipper if missed is usually insta drain on the left side.

1 week later
#42 3 years ago

I have all flipper coils as SFL-19-400/30-750-DC. Is there a stronger coil that I could use for the upper flipper to see if that can get the ball past the gate on the loop? I wasn't able to find anything obvious..

#43 3 years ago

SFL-19-400/30-750-DC.
If reading correctly series flipper coil. 19ga400turns for the power winding.30ga750 turns for the hold coil. So you would be looking for a coil with less turns of the 19ga wire to be stronger. Ie 19-350.

#44 3 years ago

Thank you for the explanation. It looks like there aren't really any other options with exact gauges... can anyone tell me if this would be an acceptable replacement?

FL-21-375/28-400

Also, does anyone know where the original design failed? Why can't that shot be made consecutively? I haven't met anyone whose machine does (though my old flash could on occasion with a perfect shot and a fresh wax). Did they weaken the coil before it went into production or something?

1 month later
#45 3 years ago

and part number for double eos is??

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