(Topic ID: 212916)

Flash Gordon: A shop out log


By FatPanda

1 year ago



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  • 118 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by FatPanda
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There are 118 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 1 year ago

This will be the biggest project that I've undertaken, which isn't saying much since everything that I've worked on has been working 90% or more. The game traveled from Texas to Wisconsin and has years' worth of dust, dirt, and grime. All the rubbers were brittle and fell apart, and the bulbs were black from being left on all day long. I'm sure it had a hard life in the wild.

This log is more for me to lay out the issues that the game has, so it'll serve as a checklist and a troubleshooting thread for me. Hopefully you all can come along for a ride and help me out! I'll need it!

First things first. Back box didn't have a key so I had to drill out the lock. It was my first time drilling a lock, and I have to say, it didn't go super smoothly. The back glass, though I could move it up, did not want to come out. After about an hour of babying the thing, I was finally able to pry it out and not damage anything in the process. Whew! Took out the latching bar, and will have to order a new tumbler. I found out that the ones used in the coin door are too short

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#2 1 year ago

Pics of the dirty, tired, worn, playfield.

It's going to need a lot of love. Been thinking about going the overlay route, since there aren't any CPRs available...I guess I'll see how well it cleans up.

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New game: Name The Drop Targets? Hint: they're not FG targets

#3 1 year ago

following

#4 1 year ago

After everything was reconnected, I powered it on for the first time...I was nervous.

The list:

First thing I noticed was that there was no sound. Ok: seller disclosed that info to me when I bought the game. It did work on the 3rd or 4th time i powered it up, but then went dead again. U11 LED light is locked on upon powered up, no flashing or blinking. Seller thinks a capacitor kit will resolve, and after a little bit of searching, I will try that first. GPE has the cheapest kits (by a long shot). Anyone know how long it takes before it gets back in stock?
The speakers work, and I can turn the volume pot up and down to hear volume go up and down also. Reflowed header pins on the boards, but will also probably re-crimp all connector pins on all the boards...just for fun

Second thing I notice, and it wasn't until after a while, was that I can feel current running through the side rails. At first, I thought I was imagining things. But when you slowly touch the side rails or the coin door, you can definitely feel a "vibration." Well, shit. That's not safe. So I'll probably replace the power cord with a 3-pronged power cord. Anyone know how to do this? I'll do a bit of research. Will be #1 on my priority list. Unplugged.

Next is the right flippers don't work. I ran through the solenoid test and all the solenoids fire, and I can hear the flipper relay ticking during test. Left flipper works. I cleaned the flipper switches. Nope. Then I swapped left and right switches. No go. I'll next reflow solder to the header pins in the solenoid driver board, then recrimp the connector pins.

From what I could see, GI was working, about half of the controlled lamps were working, only a handful of the back box lamps were working. So not sure if they're bad bulbs, bad sockets, bad SCR's, bad whatever else you can think of. I've read the sound board draws power from the GI? Who comes up with these things? Anyways, they may be related.

Because I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere, and it was late, but I had to wait for the clothes washer to finish, I started wiping down the plastics with Novus 1...because dirty...and so that I wouldn't feel like I didn't accomplish something. They are yellowed and crusty, but they'll do. Only one was broken, but nothing a little mylar couldn't patch together. Also did a wipe of the playfield with a little simple green and naptha. The pf is still dull. Novus 2 brought back a little color ( I just did the left outlane). So when I get it stripped down, I'll probably have to go in with Novus 2 after the initial wipe down....unless anyone else has other thoughts on this. Will lay down a layer of wax when it gets to this point.

I'll work on it more when I get home, maybe...

Oh, and I've been hacking up my lungs with all that dust. I hope I don't die before it gets cleaned up. Vac'd and wiped the inside of the cabinet. I could probably build another pinball machine with all that dust, and the random bulbs, rubbers, and hardware inside.

#5 1 year ago

I have a feeling I will be pasting a lot of Vid's guides. What a pinball treasure!
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/replacing-line-cords-plugs-wall-sockets-vids-guide

#6 1 year ago

there is a vid guide for replacing power cords.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

there is a vid guide for replacing power cords.

I beat you to it

#8 1 year ago

Cap kit for S&T probably a good idea.
You should not operate game without a grounded plug. Green wire in power cord is earth prong, black is hot, white is neutral (wider prong)
Probably a bad flipper coil if you checked the switch.
If lamps ain't working probably bad SCR's. That game has an aux driver board so if that goes out you will see a bunch of lights out on the BB. Quickest way to tesy, take test lead tied to ground braid (after you fix plug) and short to lamp terminal. That should bypass the driver and light the lamp if it has power on the other side.

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from BigAl56:

Cap kit for S&T probably a good idea.
You should not operate game without a grounded plug. Green wire in power cord is earth prong, black is hot, white is neutral (wider prong)
Probably a bad flipper coil if you checked the switch.
If lamps ain't working probably bad SCR's. That game has an aux driver board so if that goes out you will see a bunch of lights out on the BB. Quickest way to tesy, take test lead tied to ground braid (after you fix plug) and short to lamp terminal. That should bypass the driver and light the lamp if it has power on the other side.

Problem is, GPE is out of stock, and I'm impatient! and I don't want to spend $20+ on other kits, since GPE is only like $7. I'm too cheap for this hobby.

Going to stop at HD or HF after work and pick up a black extension cord or IEC cord, and solder that in. Making sure all of the grounding braid is attached securely. Going to follow Vid's guide to the letter.

#10 1 year ago

make sure you have the grd braind attached in head also (should just be a pi tail that screws into the head braid)

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

make sure you have the grd braind attached in head also (should just be a pi tail that screws into the head braid)

yep, got that. There was a screw in the head slightly raised on a ground braid. I attached it there.

#12 1 year ago

https://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-8-ft-16-3-Extension-Cord-Black-AW64003/206029137

I'm assuming this will work, rated at 13 amps, black, grounded. Let me know before I travel back to the future

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

I'm assuming this will work, rated at 13 amps, black, grounded.

Looks fine to me

Funny how a full extension cord is less costly than an "appliance cord"

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#14 1 year ago

Brand name vs generic? Who knows. It's all in the marketing. I hear there's an expert marketer that does a podcast. I digress...

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

. I hear there's an expert marketer that does a podcas

Good point about brands, maybe that's it. But I bet they both came from PRC (peoples republic of china) yes people, that is what PRC means on packages.
Talk about clever marketing!
Sorry, don't wish to derail this thread, please continue.

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

Brand name vs generic? Who knows. It's all in the marketing. I hear there's an expert marketer that does a podcast. I digress...

unfollowed

#17 1 year ago
#18 1 year ago

If you're already going to order parts from PBR.....get the cord from them too

14'Electrical Cord Replacement
PBR # CORD-SET-14
$6.35ea

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#19 1 year ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

Pics of the dirty, tired, worn, playfield.
It's going to need a lot of love. Been thinking about going the overlay route, since there aren't any CPRs available...I guess I'll see how well it cleans up.

New game: Name The Drop Targets? Hint: they're not FG targets

I see you have one of the dark blue playfields. The "IGNITES PLAYFIELD" is a dark blue. Every photo online is a sky bright blue. I am making my own overlay and yours is the only one besides mine that has this colour.

#20 1 year ago

Always glad to see another FG brought back from the dead & restored to greatness The game is too amazing to remain neglected.

Good luck with the project!

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from BJM-Maxx:

I see you have one of the dark blue playfields. The "IGNITES PLAYFIELD" is a dark blue. Every photo online is a sky bright blue. I am making my own overlay and yours is the only one besides mine that has this colour.

Cool. I didn't realize this was a thing!

Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

Always glad to see another FG brought back from the dead & restored to greatness The game is too amazing to remain neglected.
Good luck with the project!

Greatness??? Let be real here. I'm shooting for mediocrity at best.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from Captive_Ball:

If you're already going to order parts from PBR.....get the cord from them too
14'Electrical Cord Replacement
PBR # CORD-SET-14
$6.35ea

Already bought a 15' cord from the big orange store....but believe me, once Ive finalized the plethora of parts from PBresource, they can close down for the rest of the year

#23 1 year ago

Black, white and....blue?

Using my superpower of deductive reasoning, i concluded that the blue wire was the ground. So...in it went.

And no more zappy mczappyface!

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#24 1 year ago

Dang boy! Look at those joints!

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#25 1 year ago

This resolved the flipper issue, so now both sides flip. Yay! Next is sound and lights. I might buckle and buy the more expensive cap kit from Marcos to do the S&T board.

With the lights, I'm going with good ol' Comet LEDs in warm white. No wedge bulbs to flub up so I can't blame them when something gets shorted.

Let's see how many actually work and if I'll be doing all the SCRs...

#26 1 year ago

I think I gotta go with the overlay. The pf feels rough, and it aint pretty! I don't think I would be really happy with it unless I had a better playing surface. Plus, there are a few inserts that are cracked, and I might as well go the full 9 on it. But thats down the line I think. I need to get it playing 100% first.

#27 1 year ago

If you wait, you may be able to get the hard deck instead of the overlay.

#28 1 year ago

There's no rush right now to do the overlay or the hardtop (I'm assuming that's what you're talking about).

Just throwing out my thought that after I clean it and get it working 100%, that some new playing surface is in its future I guess we'll see what's available whenever that time comes.

#29 1 year ago

Does the sound board boot properly with correct number of flashes (IIRC there should be 5 flashes). If not, then I doubt recapping will help as most are in the analog section.

My sound board didn't boot when I got it. Couple of reasons:

1. Bad U11 AY3-8912
2. TMS 5200 was in U9 instead of U8! Luckily it wasn't damaged. Be careful if you remove that IC as it is hard to find and the pins are susceptible to breaking.

Lots of info here:
http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bally/Stern#Squawk_.26_Talk_Sound_Board_Troubleshooting

#30 1 year ago

The Squawk and Talk in your FG booted a couple of times when I had the game, and worked correctly until I power cycled it. The correct sounds and speech. It probably needs the IC sockets replaced, as well as a cap kit. The machined SIP sockets Great Plains sells work well - Cut them to the needed length - but there are other good sockets too.

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

There's no rush right now to do the overlay or the hardtop (I'm assuming that's what you're talking about).
Just throwing out my thought that after I clean it and get it working 100%, that some new playing surface is in its future I guess we'll see what's available whenever that time comes.

you for sure want to get it 100% before planning to swap or tear down. Outside of that my advice is put out the feelers/ISO now to try and find a CPR playfield.
The hardtop stuff is junk IMHO and you want the real feel of wood and clearcoat if you are going through the effort of a swap. Bonus is that with CPR you can do a hot swap instead of a full teardown of you game, then hardtop install, and then repopulate. If you are going through all that effort, you would be happier with sendng your current pf off for restoration and clearcoat. End product will be original and way better.

#32 1 year ago

If anything, I would do overlay and clear coat, with just doing a topside teardown. But that's off off off...Im not sure if CPRs would be even available for this game anymore. One in a million??? But it wouldn't hurt to start a WTB thread.

Right now, like you said, a deep clean and 100% running machine. I may just enjoy it for what it is too! Man though, it is dirty!

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from RoyGBev:

The Squawk and Talk in your FG booted a couple of times when I had the game, and worked correctly until I power cycled it. The correct sounds and speech. It probably needs the IC sockets replaced, as well as a cap kit. The machined SIP sockets Great Plains sells work well - Cut them to the needed length - but there are other good sockets too.

Thanks for the SIP sockets! Will get a bunch of those. I like that you can cut to length. So I know for sure, which IC's did you replace?

#34 1 year ago

I changed U11 and the board worked. I figured, great, I fixed it. But on the next power up, the LED was locked on again. I put the old U11 into the board the new one came from - a good working S&T - and it worked. Later on the board powered up again, and I started a game and worked all the switches to confirm the sounds were all there and correct. On the next power cycle it was locked up again. So something is intermittent, and IC sockets are often the cause of that.

U11 is a PIA, either a 6820 or 6821, don't remember and in fact I think for this application the two are interchangeable. U10 and U11 on the MPU board are the same chip.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

Already bought a 15' cord from the big orange store....but believe me, once Ive finalized the plethora of parts from PBresource, they can close down for the rest of the year

The power cord PBR sells is an exact reproduction of the original power cord on early SS Ballys and Sterns. But it's an 18 gauge flat design, and probably not as damage resistant as what you got, which appears to be a 16 gauge with a tough outer jacket.

Only once in 20 years have I ever purchased an early SS pin with an unmolested original three prong plug. I just assume I'll be changing the power cord on everything I buy.

#36 1 year ago

Worked on it quite a bit today. LOTS of cleaning. Stripped it down and busted out the Novus 3 because it was bad. Short of Magic Eraser and rubbing alcohol, it did a pretty decent job. Went over again with Novus 2. Then a coat of wax. All of the posts and hardware went into the ultrasonic. I feel a LOT better about the playfield now. Also removed the ramps and sanded them down with 100, 320, then 600 grits and also sanded the stainless guides in the back.

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#37 1 year ago

Anyone know where this spinner came from?

I ended up throwing this in the ultrasonic too and cleaned off the paint. I'll find some spinner decals to replace it with.

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#38 1 year ago

Another bit of good news is that all the GI and controlled lamps work! Woohoo! One less thing to troubleshoot.

But a bit of bad news is that I'm going to have to replace a few star rollover inserts.

Advice on the best way to go about This? I'll probably replace them with red since PBR says the orange ones don't match.

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#39 1 year ago

Spinner looks like Evel Knievel

#40 1 year ago

Titan rubbers were supposed to show up today but it looks like they got lost or something as the tracking information has been generic for the last two days. . Otherwise, i would have been flipping the Ball! Waiting on more packs of LEDs.

Will also have to order the siegecraft boards for the controlled lamps. Otherwise it seems like everything else is basic shop out: rebuilding pops and flippers, cleaning all mechs, replacing drops etc. Fingers crossed, hopefully the S&T board is the only real issue!

#41 1 year ago

For the MPU, you'll want to pick a battery or NVRAM option. Yes the game will work with no battery or NVRAM but on games with the S&T board there is a bookkeeping option that selects the type of sounds it makes. I think it's option 18; look online for the manual. The game makes the best sounds (noise effect with background) when option 18 is set to 03. Without a battery it will probably default to 00 with every power up. This gives you LAME-O chime effect sounds with no background. So to keep the sound option at 03 you'll need to address this.

#42 1 year ago

Going with NVRAM. Will place an order with barakandl soon! Just wanted to make sure I didn't need to order anything else at the same time.

#43 1 year ago

Another day, a bit more stuff done. Cleaned and resleeved the slings and the saucer kicker (cool mech btw) nothing too special...but I did remove my first inserts today! They were so brittle, it took barely any force for them to crumble. 2 out of the 3 came out mostly whole. The 3rd one crumbled to pieces and left a ring inside the playfield. A little more heat and a flat screwdriver took care of it though. The others seemed to be replaced already. I just think it's funny that they would only do a few and not all of them. Ordered a bunch of parts today too. Now the waiting...

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#44 1 year ago

I replaced my FG inserts with orange and had no problems... but it was like 4 years ago. Edit: smugmug tells me it was 6 years ago..

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I touched up my PF with acrylics and its still holding up without any clearing over it.

#45 1 year ago

That looks great! Mine is probably better off without me doing 2nd grade art on it . I can live with it. If down the line I decide to keep it, I'll do the cabinet repaint and overlays with clear on it. I still haven't even played a game on it yet, but it'll great when i finally can.

#46 1 year ago

Hard deck was what I was talking about. Rumor has it that CPR does not want to do another run of FG, so I am not going to hold my breath.

#47 1 year ago
Quoted from wm6929:

Hard deck was what I was talking about. Rumor has it that CPR does not want to do another run of FG, so I am not going to hold my breath.

Not sure what hard deck is. I know CPR won't be doing another run. I was referring to people selling their playfields. Do you have a link for hard deck?

#48 1 year ago

Hardtop, the new playfield overlay they did for Space Shuttle. Your game will look good when you are done.
Not everything needs a new playfield. Some wood showing on the playfield is not a bad thing. I thought I would post some pictures of a Verona Don "custom" touchup job on a Flash Gordon I picked up several years ago to inspire you lol. The only game I regret buying...
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#49 1 year ago

Hardtop is what I meant. dangit.

#50 1 year ago
Quoted from 20eyes:

Hardtop, the new playfield overlay they did for Space Shuttle. Your game will look good when you are done.
Not everything needs a new playfield. Some wood showing on the playfield is not a bad thing. I thought I would post some pictures of a Verona Don "custom" touchup job on a Flash Gordon I picked up several years ago to inspire you lol. The only game I regret buying...

That's pretty bad lol. Would much rather have the bare wood than a headless Ming! I've seen good results with the ebay overlay that some other people have documented. I wouldn't replace every single insert (but who knows, I might just be crazy enough to!) But yeah, there are other alternatives to CPR playfields. That's what I was trying to say earlier

The bare wood is growing on me. There is a ring of glue near the top bumper when the mylar was removed. I haven't tried to take it off yet, as I don't want to remove any paint. I was thinking a bit of goo gone on it....

I did make a little more progress since my last update. I switch over all the lamps to LEDs, and found that I only had about 15 or so lamps that were strobing. Score! I added resistors to each socket, and now I don't have to sweat about spending another $75 on Seigecraft LED boards. Also did black Titan rubbers. I didn't realize that the slings called for 3" rubbers?? That felt way too loose, and I didn't have 2.5" on hand so I went with 2". I'll have to change it out to 2.5" the next time I place an order. Not sure how long the 2" rings will last.

Cap kit and NVRAM arrive today. Hoping my PBR order arrives before the weekend, got a few things arriving tomorrow too! I love getting pinball parts!

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