(Topic ID: 65903)

Flash Gordon: Saviors of the Universe Club

By TheShameGovernor

6 years ago

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  • Latest reply 7 hours ago by solderboy
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#511 2 years ago

I have a Flash Gordon I am very slowly restoring. My lift bar on the back glass is really rusty and awful looking. Any good idea on how to safely remove it, the rest of the backglass looks very nice.

#513 2 years ago

I have heard of that method, how hard are these things stuck on, am I expecting to tap hammer, or use some solid force?

#515 2 years ago

ok, good, the slide method is what I was planning to do. I like the WD-40 idea but only in the front. Thanks.

3 weeks later
#519 2 years ago

I don't know if other people do this or not but I like to establish a mental value for whether I am playing below my normal skill level or not. I find on my Classic Bally's (machines I play a lot, not a new to me game) that I like to pick a number as the threshold between a decent game and a crap game. I usually use 50% of the first replay value that I think is the factory default. I have an Eight Ball so 50% is 135,000, a game below that value means I should be playing better. On Black Jack it is 170,000, Xenon it is 250,000, Embryon it is 200,000.

So on Flash Gordon it is 300,000 but it is so different from other machines. There is a random component to every pinball machine but on FG it is a much bigger factor. On Eight Ball my high score is 914,000, never quite rolled it, but in 20 games I can always get within 25% of that score. On FG, my high score is ~2,590,000 but I rarely get over 1,000,000. I might play 20 games under 750,000.

All this makes me realize that my high scores on most machines reflect some of my skill, on FG it is much more luck. Is it this way for everyone?

1 month later
#525 1 year ago

My FG is waiting for a proper restoration but in the meantime I am making the many typical repairs. I solved a strange issue and maybe this story will help someone else.

A couple of weeks ago I thought the leds behind the Flash Gordon name at the top of the backglass were not as bright as they had been. Strange for leds. Over the ~ 2 weeks I realized the Game Over, and Tilt etc were all getting dim too. I was thinking it was the Aux lamp board but I realized that board controls many play field lights too which were working fine. Then I realized that the lamp boards only ground the lamps, they don't provide them power. So the PF lights had their own power feed and the Aux board was grounding them and everything worked.

It took me a lot of sleuthing but in the end there is a pin (dark blue wire) on the rectifier board in the cabinet that is dedicated to providing the controlled lighting power feed on the back of the score insert. It travels through a couple of connectors, crosses the head to the hinge side, snakes across the insert down the middle and attaches to the bare power wire on lower corner near the player 4 score. This wire failed right at the crimp on the pin in the connector down in the cabinet, it failed almost fully open. Even after pulling it all apart it and examining it looked absolutely fine. I cut off a few inches of wire, spliced in some new wire, and used a new pin, and it all worked.

The reason it took me so long to figure out what was happening was really a weird thing. My main lighting board is an Altek board. Since I was using leds I had connected up the line they give you to prevent ghosting. They tell you to connect it to, you guessed it, the power feed for the controlled lighting on the insert! The result was that when the pin failed in the cabinet, the Altek board started to backfeed power from it to the insert and was feebly able to power the leds on the insert. This is why everything was dim and not just off. I hope I did not stress the Altek board but everything is fine now.

5 months later
#558 1 year ago

I think getting 7 digits on your score is always an accomplishment.

1 month later
#577 1 year ago

Pull the playfield fuse (depowers solenoids) now you can check if any switches actually cause a reset like the left pop bumper. This will isolate switching issues from the high power mechanism issues. You need to look carefully at which backglass lights are not working. The Aux lighting board drives lights on the insert as well as a few on the playfield. Are the Aux board lights on the playfield working? Its possible because the power feed for them comes from the PF and on the insert those ones have a different power feed. The Aux board only grounds them so lights in one place can be working with the others not working. Or is the power to the Aux board itself missing in which case none of its lights will be working (PF or insert).

On my FG I had an issue where the harness that pivots between the door and the head was tugging on a pin feeding the Aux board causing flakey behaviour.

#579 1 year ago
Quoted from Spitfiren8:

Thanks, ill pull the pf fuse and check it out tonight. All my insert lights work but the lights behind “Flash Gordon” letters in backbox are inop.

Those are all powered by the Aux board. Check the two clock inserts in the playfield they come the same board as do the upper play field roll overs that blink.

1 week later
#584 1 year ago

Very hard to understand how a single switch can cause that. Nothing similar from the other switches on the same column or row of the matrix? Is it like hitting the slam switch? All other switches score normally? Make sure there is no continuity between the switch leads and the solenoid power lines.

#586 1 year ago

This may be a rabbit hole but the slam switch resets the machine, different than a tilt. Most playfields have a slam switch near the bottom middle oriented to trigger if the machine is dropped. Whether that switch is there or not, the matrix believes it was triggered. If it is there, try that switch, you should get the same reset. You could try disconnecting either the column or row that the bumper may share with it.

1 month later
#621 1 year ago

Can someone confirm for me this is normal behaviour? The two rollovers at the top of the left ramp often do not make distinct sound effects, often just one of them, or sometimes neither. I think it is related to the left spinner cutting of the rollover sounds while spinning. If I test the ball at the top and lock out the spinner they seem to work every time.

Both switches are freshly adjusted and have new capacitors on them.

7 months later
#717 7 months ago
Quoted from epeabs:

Working through a couple small issues with my FG. All my GI is working with the exception of these four bulbs. They flash on upon startup, but then they all go out at the same time. When I check voltage compared to other GI, all four read differently than anything else. Any thoughts is far as a direction to troubleshoot?
[quoted image]

Those are controlled lamps, controlled as two pairs although in game play they always blink together. They are often on steady but when Ming speaks, they blink together. As others stated they should blink in lamp test mode.

#726 7 months ago
Quoted from epeabs:

flynnibus. Thank you. That may explain some of my symptoms. Should I start testing diodes with the switches I've had issues with? All of the small capacitors are connected currently . And again, I'm not showing stuck switches in switch tests. Every pin I play with, I seem to learn something new as far as testing, troubleshooting, Etc.

When the game is playing, do you get any false firing of pop bumpers or slings?

#728 7 months ago
Quoted from epeabs:

No. No false firings.

Do any of the switches have the original old caps on them? They are usually green.

3 weeks later
#762 6 months ago

Anyone have this problem? I replaced all coil sleeves and cleaned all mechanisms on my Flash Gordon. Now the saucer lobs the ball into the glass when throwing it onto the upper playfield. It does not hit hard and the game plays fine but I cannot see a nice way to reduce the saucer power. This was part of a long restore so the dirty coil sleeves are long gone.

#766 6 months ago

I have not really looked at the options yet but limiting the travel of the plunger would reduce power to the ball lob. A small nylon washer ahead of the coil stop might do it. Or a collar at the free end of the plunger would do it as well. Just have not had time to play with it. I figured I was the only one with the issue.

#790 6 months ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

So sprayed this board with primer, and then black gloss (I sanded the board smooth first). Let dry for 4 hours and then sanded the far end of the board, and didn’t sand the other part to spray gold over it thinking I would have just recreated my head paint issue. Nope all gold looks fine. WTF! Any ideas?
[quoted image][quoted image]

4 hours is not that far out of the recoat time window. It may not have cured to much of a depth and then you sanded off part of the cured layer. I have done the exact same tests and also had similar perplexing results. The difference has always been that with my test pieces I never took the time to really sand it smooth, prime, sand, prime, sand, then top coat. It would be a pain but a true duplication of the cabinet conditions would be needed.

#801 6 months ago

Anyone have this problem? My upper targets can take a direct hit from the ball and not go down. The work perfectly almost all the time but when hit hard its like they tip backward rather than get pushed back. Hit them more gently, they go down.

#803 6 months ago

Sorry, not following.

#808 6 months ago
Quoted from rack-em-up:

Mine do that periodically.

Quoted from FatPanda:

It's the common "Bally Brick." If you hit the drop target too hard, it'll bounce right off like nothing happened. Happens in a lot of games though, not just Bally.

The upper target bank has a flipper aimed right at them so I have not seen it on the other two target banks. Interestingly I also own an Embryon that also has a short range flipper aimed at a triple bank and I have never noticed the same behaviour. The only real difference is the FG targets are new ones. Just a wild guess, if the new ones were more flexible I could see this issue being worse.

#811 6 months ago
Quoted from epeabs:

After doing the cabinet, I pulled the transformer, power module, the mounting plate, Etc all out of the machine and cleaned everything up and repainted it. I reinstalled everything and just installed the playfield this afternoon and the back box panel light panel. Plug the machine in and turn it on, and I get absolutely nothing. I've checked every fuse in the machine, made sure all the connectors are connected. I have power all the way through the switch up to the connector right before the transformer. Any ideas?
[quoted image][quoted image]

Do the rectifier board voltages all look correct?

I just did a coloured transformer plate myself. Make sure you have solid continuity between the plate and the cabinet braid and the brackets to the plate.

#847 5 months ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

Still looking for solutions to this saucer up kicker problem if anyone can help. I’ve tried bending/adjusting the kicker arm to no avail. I’ve double checked the coils are correct. I removed the coil spacer thing to introduce some more “slop”. Ball still pops up into glass. 90% of time it bounces straight back to saucer too...boring.

I have not had a chance to play with mine yet. In my case it plays fine, it hits the glass and actually lands almost on the single target, way up the upper playfield.

#858 5 months ago
Quoted from zahner:

Okay - nobody will like my solution, but I had the same frustrating issue [it was just the opposite direction - a mighty fling into the pop bumper] and the spring thing didn't work, the tab thing didn't work, none of the quick fixes worked - except one. I was going to put in a weaker coil, but as a stop-gap until I got around to that, I rummaged around and found a coil stop that had a much deeper reach than the stock one on the mechanism. I could not tell you what machine the replacement stop was from, it was just in a bag of old nasty goodies, but it worked, and it worked three years ago when I was rebuilding my then newly purchased FG, and I have long since abandoned the thought of messing with replacing the coil. It has for three years been very nicely popping out exactly as it should. it was a very mechanical,low tech way to restrict the throw of the plunger that has had no side effects as far as I know.

Any idea how much deeper that coil stop was? That is an ideal method if you have such a thing. I was contemplating stuffing something down the core of the sleeve to sit against my stop.

2 weeks later
#871 5 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

Congratulations. Looks like it is in nice shape too!
I'm still looking for one (in just about any condition) so I can join the club too. I want to try some code updates like I did to an older Bally Blackjack game.
Have fun with it.

I have been looking for a ROM disassembly of a Bally SS to look at. I actually had a Black Jack. I would love to update my Eight Ball to be 15 ball or something similar. Not sure where to start.

3 months later
#967 42 days ago

My FG sometimes turns on the High Score light while I am still playing. It works properly during attract mode after a game finishes and is off during the game as it should be. Just sometimes I will notice it is on during a game, I have only noticed it happening on Ball 3. Is this normal?

#972 41 days ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

No, it's not normal. Do you have LEDs and is it ghosting?

Yes they are LEDs, but this is full on bright, not ghosting. Like I say, it works normally at other times.

#974 37 days ago

I am using an Alltek board for the lighting and it is quite new. I would need to check if that light actually operates using the Auxiliary lamp board which is original.

3 weeks later
#994 14 days ago
Quoted from zahner:

I have a question regarding an issue with my FG's Pinpoint Bally Flash Gordon AS-2518-62 Strobe Board. I have had issues with it with various MPU boards since I installed the strobe a couple of years ago. Initially, I had it set up with the original MPU, and it worked, but did some weird stuff. The game sometimes wouldn't immediately boot, and the voicing and some sound effects from the sound board would not always work properly [half finished phrasing, starting in the middle of phrasing, sounds dropping off or starting in odd spots]. I replaced that MPU with an older Alltek MPU, and it was dodgy too, but other than the sound being kind of wacked out, it seemed to work. With both MPUs, if the strobe was unplugged, the game functioned perfectly.
Well, the Alltek MPU went spuds up and the good folks at Alltek did me a solid and replaced the board with a brand new one for a very reasonable fee. When I installed it - it would not boot at all. The LED on the board just kept flashing over and over, but no boot/start. Double checked voltage, and it was all good [all boards except the sound board are Alltek]. I unplugged the Pinpoint Strobe Board, and everything worked flawlessly. I kind of went over this before with the Alltek people and the Pinpoint folks, but they could not figure it out. Given the fact that the strobe messed with both the Bally and Alltek MPUs, it seems the issue is with the strobe or the machine [switch or something?]

A couple of of power supply things you could try is to make sure there are no funny shorts between the strobe's dedicated little transformer and the main rectifier board. They should be isolated from each other. You could also physically lift it off the big metal plate and see if something changes.
With that new Altek, you can boot with the strobe unplugged? What happens if you plug it back in after you boot?
When you disconnect the strobe, where are you doing it? Are you unplugging the transformer at the rectifier board or up at the strobe board? You could try pulling the trigger wire (I cannot recall if it is triggered from the solenoid board or from the lighting board). But interrupting that one trigger wire would leave it powered but not firing. If that fixes something then it would seem to be the strobe board firing an unwanted signal back into the MPU.

2 weeks later
#1019 15 hours ago
Quoted from treborlicec:

Did you ever resolve this? My Meteor does this too. It is not specific to ball 3 though. It flickers and sometimes even stays on during gameplay, but works find during attract mode and in between balls when the game flashes the HSTD. Never thought about a SCR though. I'll swap lamp boards with another of my games to see if it goes away.

I have not found a solution. Hard to understand how it could be an SCR though. The SCR is turned on by the game every half electrical cycle (120 Hz) to simulate a bulb that is on. Anything that fails to trigger the SCR should leave it off all the time.

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