After many years of wanting a pinball machine, I took the plunge a few days ago and decided that a Dr. Dude I came across would be my first pin. It's a little rougher around the edges in parts than the seller's pictures suggested, but it's still a machine I'm excited to now own. I've enjoyed reading through this forum thread and getting ideas about things to look for, such as the state of my BigShot and how he's mounted. He appear to be an original and in generally good shape, though upon closer inspection I see that he's ziptied through the screw holes to his post (which actually seems to work pretty well).
I'll probably post some of the following in the Alpha-Numeric support thread in hopes of finding a solution, so my apologies for the potential, partial cross-posting. My wife and I have been enjoying taking turns playing, but about 6 games in my wife noted what she described as a piece of white plastic that had appeared on the playfield and just as quickly disappeared after the ball struck it. We later found that it was a random LED that we couldn't account for at the time and just chalked it up as something that had come loose during the drive home with the machine. A little later during one of my games I saw a silver piece shoot across the playfield. I stopped the game and found that it was from one of the two spotlights in the bottom third of the playfield. Realizing this I use the random LED and the silver piece, mirroring the other instant one, and reassembled it. All appeared to be back in working order.
A game or two later I noticed that game was starting to score random 1,000 points even when a ball wasn't in play. Thinking there might still be debris from the spotlight parts, since one small portion was still missing, I took of the glass off and titled the field to see if anything came loose. Nothing seemed to shift, but afterward it starting playing normally again. A few more games down the line it started doing all kinds of scoring, including triggering the mix master and gift of gab. Finally noticed a note about pressing advance for a report (it only seemed to display every few games). After doing that I got the report: Check switch Mixer gab <b> 35. After referring to the manual I found the part of the play field identified and after manually pushing each target found that all of the mix master targets will score points and play the sounds, except for the yellow one closest to the exit. I tried working a small piece of clean paper down between the contacts to see if I could clear any possible debris or clean off any corrosion. No luck and no results, still no scoring on that target and still some random scoring. Lifted the playing field and did a quick check for any loose wires underneath in that area or any loose connectors, but all appeared to be good. Also checked the back box for any loose connections or disconnected wires (leaving no stone unturned). Again, no results.
After looking more through the manual and cross checking this thread and some others, I learned about the Switch Test and gave that a try. The results from it were an interesting sound effect and alternating between two messages: Mixer Gab <B> 06 35 and WHT-YEL ROW 4 SHORT 06 04. I'm starting to learn to decipher this (the first part seems to still be about the same switch from earlier and the new one may be about the coin door), but am still only about three days into being a pinball owner, so I appreciate your patience with me on this new journey. I appreciate any help and guidance any may be able to offer. Looking forward to being able to play more round without the machine intermittently scoring on its own. I'm happy to post any pictures of the machine that may be helpful.
Thank you for your time and consideration.