(Topic ID: 231427)

Gamatron Club; blast the giant robot!

By Chosen_S

2 years ago


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Topic Stats

  • 31 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by Nevus
  • Topic is favorited by 7 Pinsiders

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#1 2 years ago

1986 Gamatron, Pinstar and Segasa Spain;Sonic

There’s no record of the production numbers of this game. Even Gary Stern doesn’t remember...

(Still trying to find video of this explanation)

https://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?any=Gamatron+&sortby=name&search=Search+Database&searchtype=quick#984

From my research I had discovered that the Gamatron playfield was an original design by Harry Williams, and was not used by williams inc., but later used as a template for flight 2000 in 1980. Taking a normal style design playfield and creating a widebody, adding 2 inlanes and a popbumper and a few other design elements were changed...

Enter Pinstar 1986 with Gary Stern and designer Steve Kirk (stars, galaxy, 9 ball, meteor (early 80’s Stern)). Taking the original Harry Williams design and producing a kit for early 1980’s Stern cabinets...

From ipbd.com:

Gamatron was a conversion kit produced by Pinstar, a company started and owned by Gary Stern between the collapse of the 'original' Stern and the formation of Data East Pinball. The playfield is a version of Stern's 1980 'Flight 2000' and features a device similar to that game's ball-walker at the upper left, completing G-A-M-A-T-R-O-N letters to enable locks, etc. The Bally/Stern boardset is used - a PinStar daughterboard plugs into the CPU socket. A binary comparison of the software indicates that it is 100% identical to Flight 2000's software. The kit could easily be used to "upgrade" a worn-out game from the early 1980's, but it did not include the features that were starting to drive the market in 1986 - namely ramps, speech, and displays capable of showing text as well as player scores - thus not many Gamatron kits were sold and few examples exist today.

Reportedly, this kit was used to modify existing Stern games as well as Bally games. However, the manufacturer flyer shown here states only, "Fits most standard size 4 player Bally Manufacturing Corporation pinballs".

———————

The kit was advertised as plug and play, it took me several evenings to follow instructions in the Gamatron manual to convert a globetrotters wiring harness to Gamatron. I have yet to get the vsu100 speech board from flight 2000 to wire in to Gamatron to work successfully. I cannot find sufficient information to wire up the vsu100.

As far as I know, there is a collector in Texas DFW area that owns the only known white wood
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#3 2 years ago

I believe this, Centaur, & Comet were the first games I remmeber playing. I'd take it over a F2K for sure.

#4 2 years ago

Mine (converted from a Lost World) is currently on location at a local barcade

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Really wish I could find some rebuild parts for the flippers

#5 2 years ago

I'm in!

Does anyone have a rubber ring map? I haven't been able to locate a kit of any kind. The playfield is different enough that F2K rubber kit won't be a match.

I'll be shopping mine out one of these days...
Mine works, but it's a cobbled wiring mess in the head. I'll likely just swap for stern MPU and Sound boards with F2K roms and de-hack wires.

#6 2 years ago
Quoted from brenna98:

I'm in!
Does anyone have a rubber ring map? I haven't been able to locate a kit of any kind. The playfield is different enough that F2K rubber kit won't be a match.
I'll be shopping mine out one of these days...
Mine works, but it's a cobbled wiring mess in the head. I'll likely just swap for stern MPU and Sound boards with F2K roms and de-hack wires.

When I bought mine, it had a bag full of rubber ring and this sheet. I will scan it tomorrow at work if you need a better image.

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#7 2 years ago

I would take that chart with a grain of salt.
On the left of the playfield, the chart shows “D” (1 1/2”) but the playfield shows 1 1/4”

On the right side, the chart shows the “D” and “C” swapped.

Everything else looks good I guess. I’ll have a better idea after I rebuild the playfield, but the will be a month or so.

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1 week later
#8 2 years ago

I’m finally getting around to clear coating my playfield. Had some issues getting up the Mylar around the slings. Decided not to touch the white, didn’t want to paint over the rubber labels. First coat, I’ll probably let this sit for about a month while I work on the cab.

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#9 2 years ago

My Segasa Gamatron didnt need any clearcoating, it was covered with a 2 mm thick clear plastic plate. very smart move by the spaniards, if you ask me, the playfield looked pristine even after some 30 years.

#10 2 years ago

Love me some Gamatron!

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10 months later
#11 1 year ago

I joined the club yesterday. I was searching nationally and one was just an hour away. Special thanks to a local Pinsider (I’ll let him decide if he wishes to be named). This game was at the TPF in 2019 and previously featured in a video by Todd Tuckey. I believe it has made several owners happy in it’s life as a Gamatron.
Woot! I look forward to sharing it at future shows so more people can enjoy it.


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#12 1 year ago
Quoted from Nevus:

I joined the club yesterday. I was searching nationally and one was just an hour away. Special thanks to a local Pinsider (I’ll let him decide if he wishes to be named). This game was at the TPF in 2019 and previously featured in a video by Todd Tuckey. I believe it has made several owners happy in it’s life as a Gamatron.
Woot! I look forward to sharing it at future shows so more people can enjoy it.

[quoted image][quoted image]

That’s great! I’m the one who bought it from tnt originally, that’s a very nice example!

#13 1 year ago

Awesome. I hope to see you at Houston or Dallas this year. I’d love to hear more about your scratch build.

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from Nevus:

Awesome. I hope to see you at Houston or Dallas this year. I’d love to hear more about your scratch build.

definitely! I'll be at both shows, lets connect at the houston show!

#15 1 year ago

Anyone know of a Gamatron kit available? CPR working on this title?

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from RC_like_the_cola:

Anyone know of a Gamatron kit available? CPR working on this title?

Best thing is to post a wanted ad here on pinside and on facebook groups. CPR will most likely never reproduce this title, most Gamatrons have good playfields because they were never installed, or were not played very much. Also, no-one knows how many games actually exist; I would guess less than 100.

#17 1 year ago

Someone on FB had a kit last week iirc. Can't find it now.

#18 1 year ago

How much does one of these conversions go for these days? I would like to put one next to my F2K. I imagine they are fairly hard to come by, but I have seem a couple come up.

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from Tomass:

How much does one of these conversions go for these days? I would like to put one next to my F2K. I imagine they are fairly hard to come by, but I have seem a couple come up.

I bought one for 2k from a retailer to trade... Mine that I have now is modified with a custom cab, decals , cc playfield and an overlay sound system.

It would take a serious event to pull it out of my lineup

#20 1 year ago

So 2K retail means about 1500 in private sale. I'd love to find one eventually.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from RC_like_the_cola:

So 2K retail means about 1500 in private sale. I'd love to find one eventually.

Not necessarily, I hope you find one ! Let us know what transpires!!

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from Chosen_S:

I bought one for 2k from a retailer to trade... Mine that I have now is modified with a custom cab, decals , cc playfield and an overlay sound system.
It would take a serious event to pull it out of my lineup

2k for the whole machine or just the conversion (pf / bg)?

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from Tomass:

2k for the whole machine or just the conversion (pf / bg)?

The whole machine, but that was 2 years ago... I’d really live to know how many of these exist as full machines and as kits

1 year later
#24 11 months ago

My gamatron was in rough shape, but I was hell bent on getting it going. I finally got It working!

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Corrosion never looked bad, but evidently is was effecting my mpu boot. Sanded the bottom of the board, found some rough traces, mostly under my 555 timer and near battery.

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Added a reset generator to the reset section.

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Completely removed the clock at U16, instead of pulling just the one pin. Not sure if it was effecting anything, but not needed anyhow.

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Found a way around the 40 pin dip ribbon cable and changed it to an IDC ribbon cable that can only go in one way. Had to build my IDC ribbon adapters.

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Electronics are now good, have gotten about 20 games through without any trouble from the MPU.
Just need to work on tuning the playfield. Also clean and solder mask my repairs.

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#25 11 months ago

Great news!

#26 11 months ago

Great work! Good looking machine too!!

6 months later
#27 4 months ago

Hey guys, i have just "joined the club". I Just picked one up at a weekend swap that was a mouse nest, no boards (except pinstar board) and generally a wire mess. Because of the heat, any chance of the original wrap being saved is a loss, really hardened and cockled. Plus the art is Meh. I am planning on repairing the cabinet and a full repaint, with some new graphics. I like what Chosen_S did. After rifling through board i have everything, actually from a F2K i need including the VSU-100. My cabinet was a Eight Ball Deluxe, some wiring will need to be cleaned up. I have a Power supply board on order already.

Another note i see some issues with the ribbon. This appears to be the same setup as Ms-Pacman. I have made new cables with a IDE cable the the following ends. https://www.jameco.com/z/8200-40-R-Jameco-Valuepro-Connector-IDC-Flat-Cable-DIP-Plug-40-Pin-0-3-Wide-0-1-Pitch-Gold-Pins_42712.html
The trick to "crimping" is to use a vise and a OLD socket with the pins ripped out. two blocks of wood.

I will most likely be doing a series on my youtube channel "pinball mayhem" while i work on it. Exciting project. Ill post some pics shortly.

#28 4 months ago

Here are some pics.

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#29 4 months ago

Take a picture of the original wrap please. I’m curious what I looks like.

#30 4 months ago
Quoted from Nevus:

Take a picture of the original wrap please. I’m curious what I looks like.

No problem. The wrap does wrap around the corners. The sides are also the front and it’s not under the side rails or event the bolt on the front to protect the cab from the return button.

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#31 4 months ago

Rgr thanks. My game (Post #11) came that way. I was wondering if it was part of the original kit. It's out for restoration and I was planning to use that design for the cabinet repaint.

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