(Topic ID: 162417)

"Get us a bday gift" they said so I'm rehabbing my first EM - now DELIVERED!


By goingincirclez

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 58 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Mk1Mod0
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 42 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

Installed_(resized).jpg
Done_(resized).jpg
CardsIn2_(resized).jpg
LatchOut_(resized).jpg
LatchIn_(resized).jpg
Lever_(resized).jpg
InstCard_2_(resized).jpg
20160710_122436_(resized).jpg
20160710_122447_(resized).jpg
20160710_122350_(resized).jpg
20160710_122302_(resized).jpg
InfoCardPostable_(resized).jpg
Inst_Card_2_(resized).jpg
20160709_161415_(resized).jpg
20160709_161354_(resized).jpg
20160702_141218_(resized).jpg

There are 58 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 3 years ago

Some friends of ours have admired my growing collection every time they come by to pick up my older daughter for her volunteer work. So, this week out of the blue, the wife in that family asked about the feasibility of getting her husband a pin for his birthday. They were loosely familiar with the foibles of breaking into the hobby, so the question wasn't entirely unreasonable...

...but she'd like to keep it as far under $1k as possible, and family friendly theme of course. Not particular for tech or era. She would happily pay me for any work necessary to get and prep one, etc...

But the birthday is at the end of June...!

I told her that was probably not gonna happen, but I'd keep an eye out. Then I remembered a project I saw listed close by a couple weeks back, but skipped in favor of another (one does not pass a cheap PinBot): the "Prospector" EM by Segasa. I'd actually planned to get this for myself, but would they be interested?

Indeed they would. So I went and inspected it. Seller claimed it would play but "needed one coil replaced" but when I got there, it wouldn't reset and the main motor just kept spinning. But it all looked clean enough... ish... and while the pin was dirty from sitting a year in a barn/garage, it was just on the cusp of needing rescue. So I paid $175 and brought it home - my first EM. Now the fun begins!

20160618_140555_(resized).jpg

20160618_150613_(resized).jpg

20160618_150618_(resized).jpg

20160618_150626_(resized).jpg

20160618_150723_(resized).jpg

So I've blown out the fuzz and debris and wiped out the mildew and barn critter funk. No real damage, but that particle board cabinet is a joke. There's no way to clean the paint without flaking it off, so I'll have to come up with some way of sealing what's there. I actually kind of like the "adobe" stucco texture it's acquired with age, since it fits the southwestern theme. Regardless, I will need to find a way to reinforce the bottom edges to keep the exposed particles from flaking off any further than they have, AND keep the bottom from falling out.

So why preserve this game? Well how about this:

20160618_150640_(resized).jpg

20160618_150712_(resized).jpg

20160618_165027_(resized).jpg

The playfield is in great shape (one sunk insert), and that backglass is FANTASTIC. I'd like to think that even if the rest of the game were trash, the BG is worth $175 by itself. I know I'd love to display it. What a wonderful piece of period-style art and color.

But anyway. I'm going to need some sage advice and help if I'm to stand a reasonable chance of fixing this in two weeks and getting it to a reliable state to pass along.

So when it comes to troubleshooting and getting an EM going, what's the best routine for starters? I've already identified that the knocker and player 3 thousands digit coils were disconnected. So is the large red relay bank coil under the pf (the seller said that was all that needed to be fixed, but when I manually reset it, it did not help the game). Outhole relay coil looks blackened. The score reel mechs seem clean enough to work.

Obviously though, I need to fix THIS:

20160618_150901_(resized).jpg

20160618_150931_(resized).jpg

Or maybe THAT was the problem that kept it from working? I didn't see it until I got home... but if you're gonna use a bolt to jump a fuse, why not use one that actually stays in place?!

Oh, and does anyone know what the hell THIS is?

20160618_140907_(resized).jpg

Looks like someone tried to hack in a four-channel sound board to a single speaker. What would that have done? I see there's no chime bank here, unfortunately. I need to check the schematics....

#2 3 years ago

I'm no good technically to you but I gotta say that playfield and backglass look beautiful!

#4 3 years ago

I have seen many 1/4-20 No-Blow fuses before. That looks like a 5/16 bolt. Very nice.

#5 3 years ago

Wico add on sound board. I may have an instruction manual for that. They make some real funky "space age" sounds. Too bad they ditched the chimes. I would post a wanted plea in the EM parts wanted section.

#7 3 years ago

I actually love Prospector, would love to have one, fun game so good find. Maybe there's another one sneaking around a barn some where. The PFs on those import pins are often great because of the super clears they used.

#8 3 years ago

Woo, so this thing is pimped with 1978's version of a Pinsound mod? Ha!

While part of me is greatly amused at the thought of "mods" existing back in the day, I can't say I'm keen to keep that, and I don't even know what it sounds like. Would love to revert back to chimes. Thing is, I don't see anything in the cabinet wiring that looks like a harness for the coils a chime unit would have used. Or were the chime units fairly modular, and have plugged in (coils and all) using the same plug that Wico board appears to use? Guess I have to do my own research but if anyone can spare a quick tip before then I won't be offended

So far though, the thing that amuses me the most about this game, is THIS

20160618_180734_(resized).jpg

Fake score reels! I have often felt that pinball scoring is so needlessly full of arbitrary bullshit zeroes. "Oh this game has a Million / Billion / Trillion point shot / display / mode!" Well who the hell cares when the lowest shot possible is worth 10K by itself? Sometimes I think trying to get the LOWEST score possible on a game can be amusing. Anyway, yeah. Fake reels. What was the point? Are 4-digit scores so offensive? Almost as funny as the Bally match routines that show random numbers in the "ones" place even though a score always ends in zero.

Ahem. I digress. I've cleaned the mech board in the cabinet and all the mechs look good at a glance except for the kickout coil.

The cabinet is still the worst part. I found a few ants and what looks like the first few holes from carpenters, so I've wrapped the cab in plastic, placed baits and such within, and will wait a few days to see what happens. Did not see any frass or larger signs of establish colonies or infestation, and the PF and mech boards are pristine. Head looks good. Just a one spot in the lower cab where they might only have just started exploring, or so I hope.

20160618_180710_(resized).jpg

As for the flaking particle board, I've got some pine corner molding strips that I will apply along the bottom edges to clean up the cosmetics and create a more stable base. I figure every time someone dragged this game while loading it (as I did in my van for example) is just shredded those panels. Oddly enough, the front of the cabinet is plywood. Everything else is particles, man.

#9 3 years ago

The good news as you have already identified is the playfield and backglass condition are exceptional. Par for the course for this manufacturer.

The bad news is it is a four player EM and has more contacts, in general, to inspect than any other EM pinball out there.

If you want to enjoy seeing your friends to play this game as opposed to work on it go through every single switch and mech on the game.

Inspect each switch and lightly run a point file across every single point.

Inspect every switch for proper wipe and adjust where necessary. There should be very very few switches that will need adjusting.

Look at every single part on the game and inspect it for being complete, set up correct, etc. Look for defects that could inhibit proper game function and correct them.

Do all of the above before you put the game back together and turn it on. Once you've gotten that far start a new thread of issues on the Tech EM group.

The game is worthy of the above suggested effort.

#10 3 years ago
Quoted from MikeO:lightly run a point file across every single point.

I disagree on this one. Maybe just a piece of cardstock, but it shouldn't be needed, and you'll probably mess at least one thing up in the process. Only file if there's white stuff on the contacts. Making sure each contact makes contact properly, and going through every stepper, cleaning and ensuring proper stepping, should be almost all you need.

#11 3 years ago

This game sat in a barn for a year. If you want to be sure every contact is clear lightly use a point file.

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from MikeO:

This game sat in a barn for a year. If you want to be sure every contact is clear lightly use a point file.

Actually, a wire wheel on your Dremel tool really makes quick work of cleaning contacts. I was skeptical, so I tried it on some junk in my parts bin first. Will never go back to a file on contacts.
Just be sure to blow out the area with compressed air after in case stray bits of bristle are present.

Most likely problem will be gummy Steppers. You will need to disassemble, clean, & lightly lube.

#13 3 years ago

I sauntered over here from the project pin thread. Nice pick-up. Best of luck on your ambitious (2 week???) restore.

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

ambitious (2 week???)

Quite doable. I picked up a similar condition game and had it completely cleaned, shopped, and running within a day. Dealing with the cabinet is another issue, but even for a first timer making it start shouldn't be that bad as long as you can devote some time regularly.

http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index1.htm

#15 3 years ago

Once you go through everything as others have suggested, you'll find EMs to be very dependable over a long period of time. The more you play them, the better they do because if the switch gap is correct the switches basically clean themselves with normal use of the game. I thought I'd never get my 1st EM up and running but once I found the stuck reset relay, it's running now with zero issues for the past 2 years.

I find myself looking for EMs more here lately. They're more in my price range and between locations, friends and shows I can play all the new games and A titles I want... I even know a guy that has a kick ass Space Shuttle (wink)!!

-Steve

#16 3 years ago

Woot, I got a lead on a chime unit thanks to that EM parts thread... and not just "any" chime unit, but the proper OEM unit for this game. So that janky sound board is coming outta there! I won't have the chime unit till early July but it should be worth the wait.

Meant to take a pic of the lower mech panel after I cleaned it (the board, not all the mechs) and what a huge difference that made. It also presented a good opportunity to see and understand the mechs themselves. All the swtiches looked pretty good! I'll be cleaning them with old fiber business cards dampened with alcohol to be sure, though. Also have the schematics to check NO / NC / M+B configurations, so I'm not expecting big problems there.

Quoted from dasvis:

Most likely problem will be gummy Steppers. You will need to disassemble, clean, & lightly lube.

Yeah, I was having fun figuring out the coin and ball steppers. One of them seemed really loathe to reset - that is, it wouldn't at all without manual encouragement - so I took it apart and cleaned the shaft bearing and now it seems better. It will reset but a little sluggishly. If I loosen the tension on that... contact starfish (LOL?) part, it works better but then how tight should that be? I obviously don't want so loose that it makes poor contact.

Actually the worst parts on the mech panel are at the jones plugs: something chewed off some of the fabric insulation on several wires. I'd almost guarantee some of these conductors were shorted when we tested the game. I figure some liquid electrical tape to patch the bare spots will take care of that.

Got a couple brackets that are a but rusty but I'll make those pretty once I know things work well enough to warrant the effort.

Once that stuff is checked out, I hope to get the panel back into the cabinet and out of the way. But I need to fix the cabinet first. Not sure how long I should wait before declaring it "bug free" but so far I've not seen any traces of stragglers or refugees in my wrapped, bombed, and baited cab. I'll probably give it a few more days.

If it passes the bug tests my plans are to lay furring strips along the edges of the cabinet bottom, to build its thickness flush with the bottom edges of the side panels. In addition to gluing the length, I'll screw these strips into the cross-braces inside the cabinet. Then I'll apply pine corner molding to those strips, wrapping around the exposed chipping particles to the outside. This will create a nice, smooth, solid edge that will prevent further decay and assist with moves, as well as look good. The pine in't too thick so the lip won't seem very prone once the legs are installed. Of course pine isn't the most durable wood out there, but it's way better than particle board AND not as heavy as oak or even MDF.

Anyway, I'll post a couple pics later... just dumping the text wall while I had time and clarity of thought.

Thanks for the encouragement and advice, all...!

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

It will reset but a little sluggishly. If I loosen the tension on that... contact starfish (LOL?) part, it works better but then how tight should that be? I obviously don't want so loose that it makes poor contact.

Sanding the disc and contacts with 400 grit sandpaper can sometimes work great. At worst, you may need to adjust the springs a bit. They do get weaker with age...

#18 3 years ago

So the harshness of the flash required for my potato to take a pic in the basement, hopefully reveals a cleaner mech board than what I started with!

20160621_015318_(resized).jpg

Haven't checked all the mechs and such for spec, yet. Trying to finish another shop job so I can get it out of the way first. Having that space back will allow me to work on this more efficiently.

My customer came by yesterday to see the machine - as-found condition and all - and is pretty excited. Also agrees the "stucco" particle texture looks very cool on this game. Also cool on delaying the timeframe some to do the job right... having to wait that long for the chimes to arrive helps too. ha ha.

But hey, did I mention I may be moving in a little more than month? Either way there's a pretty tight deadline! If I wasn't swamped with other stuff this would probably take all of a marathon weekend. Instead I've got kids, a day job, a writing gig on deadline, and other projects to contend with. Sigh, but I did it all to myself...!

Should have that shop job done tonight. Hopefully that will mark day 3 with no further sign of ants or anything and I can move the cab to start repair work on it later this week AFTER I get my other gigs submitted.

#19 3 years ago

that is a pretty clean board!

I'm in the 4-player EM boat as well with a Chicago Coin Juke Box that I'm working on and let me tell you... make sure you have a passion for cleaning score reel units. My backbox was missing the cover completely to the point that I had to break out a few mud dobber nests. Yeesh!

Anyway, that is a great looking game and it will provide tons of fun once you get it up and running!

#20 3 years ago

Tonight I reassembled the game "temporarily" for testing.

I still need to work on the cabinet and for that I'll have to break it down again, but having it assembled actually makes parts of it easier to clean. Also, I'd visibly fixed several exposed (and probably shorted) wires and a few bent switches when I cleaned the mech board. Did the same on the playfield to a minor extent. Replaced suspect fuses (including the 1/4-20 Never-Bloze bolt). Resoldered the disconnected playfield 1-7 relay coil. And a couple other minor tweaks...

So reassembling the game allowed me to test its functionality with those easy low-hanging-fruit problems addressed.

And... it looks like I've got my work cut out for me, but there are some encouraging signs:

- All of the fuses stayed intact! So the good news is there's no hard shorts or faults now. For that matter, nothing else shorted / sparked / buzzed / stunk / blew either.

- The backbox GI which was previously out, now works

- The scoring motor no longer runs infinitely. It runs when I trigger events (other relays) and stops - I can only hope and guess appropriately.

- Manually triggering the relays seems to cause things to happen. There are a couple that don't work though. And obviously I don't yet know what SHOULD happen with all of them. But it seems like 90% of them are functional. I need to follow up with a better list. I do know the "outhole" relay on the mech panel never caused anything to happen. Interestingly this is the one with the dirtiest looking coil, but I would have expected manually pushing the lever to do something.

As for the bad? Well as you may have guessed I cannot play a game. This makes troubleshooting more difficult. The short list of obvious things is:

1: Previously I could attempt to start a game, but that only started the infinite scoring motor. Now, pressing the start button does nothing. I did find the credit relay and add some credits (at least that relay made a bunch of stuff click), but that doesn't work. As mentioned before, if I trigger other relays the scoring motor seems to function.

2: It seems a couple steppers are not resetting. But I turned them manually and that had no effect on observed functionality / playability.

3: Cannot get flippers, slings, or pops to work. However if I manually trigger a lock switch, relays are triggered and the eject coils fire. When should power to these come on?

4: Playfield rollovers and targets, etc have no effect

5: Did not see score reels work.

I'm thinking (hoping) the later symptoms are caused by the earlier ones, and are not independent problems? Anyway, I'd appreciate any advice. Need to break it down again this weekend to work on the lower cab, but it would be nice to get some more pointed troubleshooting in first...

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

did find the credit relay and add some credits (at least that relay made a bunch of stuff click)

Check to see if the credit unit in the backbox actually ticked up. Better though to just 'set' it to freeplay by permanently closing the top of the three switches on the back of the credit counter. (you can see, if you step the credit counter by hand, how they close when it's at 1+ credits and open at 0).

As for the start button not doing anything, if you've got credits, take a look at the "Williams Start-Up Sequence" (Sonic games are very similar to Williams) on http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm#start, and follow the path until something isn't doing what it describes.

You'll want to free up all the steppers eventually, however for now putting them all in their reset positions should be good enough to get a game started.

Quoted from goingincirclez:

As mentioned before, if I trigger other relays the scoring motor seems to function.

Normally, even in game over/attract mode, even giving the score motor a push by hand should make it at least complete a cycle. In order for anything to happen as the score motor turns, at least one of the relays that triggers it must be closed (usually they stay closed until the motor is done, is the relay that is triggering the motor staying closed, even once you take your finger off?)

Quoted from goingincirclez:

3: Cannot get flippers, slings, or pops to work. However if I manually trigger a lock switch, relays are triggered and the eject coils fire. When should power to these come on?

Is the fuse under the playfield good? The bridge rectifier near it could also have gone bad (check the AC voltage going in and the DC coming out, if you've got AC but no DC, replace it). For the playfield to be active, the tilt relay needs to be off, is it?

Quoted from goingincirclez:

5: Did not see score reels work.

Do they work if you manually actuate the 10,100,1000,etc relays in the back?

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Check to see if the credit unit in the backbox actually ticked up.

Hot damn, Zacaj you're a genius!

I'd actually triggered the score reels manually and confirmed they worked... and checked the steppers in the lower cabinet... but never thought to check the credit stepper in the backbox.

So obviously, the credit relay in the cab did not advance the stepper in the backbox. But when I advanced the credit unit manually, everything else came to life! Flippers, pops, slings, targets... even the scoring reels (for player one anyway) all worked with a finger test. It was just before bed when I saw your post and tried this, so I didn't even try to play a game. But tonight I plan to experiment a bit more and see just what is/isn't working now that the checklist heavily favors the "working" column.

(For the record though, since you addressed the other points: Yes, manually pushing the scoring motor makes it run a cycle; Since it came to life it seems my AC rectifier is good; the scoring reels did in fact work when triggered manually but again seem to work with the game too. So hopefully this credit issue is the main root of the problems).

I did notice that the lock relay on the mech panel has a noticeable hum. It doesn't get hot, and if I understand correctly that one is actually on all the time. So is a hum normal?

BIG THANKS again for reading my longass post and supplying that timely hint! I feel much better now about this project, and that investing time on the cabinet etc will be a good thing. More pics to come this weekend...

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

the credit relay in the cab did not advance the stepper in the backbox.

For some reason, the last five EMs I've worked on have not advanced their credit unit. I never saw an obvious reason, but I assume it was some common hack to do. Since I just jumper that switch for freeplay (who wants to actually put in coins, what a pain), I have to admit I've never bothered looking into it further. (I'd worry about it if I ever planned to sell one, but most EMs are not worth selling in my opinion)

A hum is, sadly, normal on any well-played game. I've seen suggestions to lessen the strength of the spring and contacts (so that it doesn't have to work as hard), sand the top of the coil and the area on the plate (as they are often dented from age), and to stick a piece of tape in between, but none have ever worked for me. You might also try switching the plate with one from another, momentary relay, or, if that doesn't work, replace the coil (if you can find a new one). Or live with it.

#24 3 years ago

Well the only thing the ant baits ever seemed to catch was my Bengal-Tabby cat - who like a big canine idiot, kept sniffing them out and then dragging them around the house - so I officially deemed the cab salvageable and set to work on that.

First, I knocked the bottom out. This made it easier to get rid of the stubborn filth in the nooks at the front of the cab. Since this is not just a customer commission, but intended to be a gift, I really want to make sure it's as clean and fresh looking (and smelling!) as possible, even though the customer likes most of the aged patina. So after removing the filth I decided I might as well repaint the bottom panel while I was at it. Most of this will be covered by the mech panel, but the coin box area might as well be clean.

(I should probably admit, if this thing had a ground braid like every other game I own, I might not have been so motivated. So easy to take everything out when there's not a maze of staples and wires and solder blobs all over the place!)

20160624_193103_(resized).jpg

20160625_165028_(resized).jpg

After the paint was dry, it was time to reattach and reinforce it, along with fixing the shredded edges of the sides and rear, which are of course that stupid particle board. In fact, the particle board had disintegrated to such extent on those edges that the only thing holding the panel in was the original staples on the cross braces!

So I used Liquid Nails along the inner groove of the sides, then set the bottom panel in place and clamped it in a few spots. To rebuild a consistent thickness along its edge where the side panels had disintegrated unevenly, I attached furring strips cut to length (a 10' strip was not available so I made do with sectioning an 8' piece). I attached these with Liquid Nails (the exposed, textured side of the bottom panel helps give it some bite)... but I also positioned them so I could sink wood screws through the strips and into the gusset blocks in the cabinet corners (note, the photo below shows them staged before I thought to attach them that way). I also sunk some screws into the cross bracing as well.

20160625_145219_(resized).jpg

After the strips were set, I applied Liquid Nails to the inside of pine corner molding I had previously measured, cut, primed, and painted. A 10' length was just enough to do both sides and the rear. The liquid nails gave this good bite to stay seated as I once again drilled holes to sink wood screws through the corner molding, furring strips, and into the cabinet bracing. Since the corner molding did not fully cover the strips, I had to set these screws at an angle.

But the final result looks great! As hoped, the molding is not prone of the legs. And I dare say it's all probably stronger than it was originally.

20160625_171814_(resized).jpg

20160625_165017_(resized).jpg

Now I need to figure out how to seal and preserve the original paint, especially on the backbox which is in fragile shape. I might start a new thread as a standalone reference, and link it here.

Oh yeah, I should mention: I played a game last night before breaking it down! Everything seemed to work for gameplay, including the ball kickout(s) which were the only thing the seller claimed "never worked right" so I guess I fixed those! However, I had an "infinite game" going well past 5 balls so I know I need to work on those stepper units. And this of course was only for one player, so I suppose there could be other issues as well. But it was fun! I can dive into the mechs while I let the cabinet ponder its new lease on life

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

And this of course was only for one player

The only things that should affect 2+ players are the player and coin units.

Quoted from goingincirclez:I had an "infinite game" going well past 5 balls

Did it never leave ball one, or get stuck on five?

#26 3 years ago

I didn't have the back glass on so I'm not positive... But I seem recall noticing that what I thought were the light bulbs for ball count (which I tested ) were not changing. I figured that was another thing to check, but I think I understand where you're trying to lead. So it would be the ball counter and not the game over relay....?

#27 3 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

I didn't have the back glass on so I'm not positive... But I seem recall noticing that what I thought were the light bulbs for ball count (which I tested ) were not changing. I figured that was another thing to check, but I think I understand where you're trying to lead. So it would be the ball counter and not the game over relay....?

When the player unit resets back to player one (every ball in a 1 player game) it pulses the ball count stepper, which, if it's moving freely, would have to change what light is lit, but when you finish ball 5, it also has to sense (through the ball count unit) that that's the last ball, and to trip the game over relay, instead of just stepping the ball count again) which would just leave it at 5). So, getting stuck at ball 1 is a different problem from getting stuck at balls 2-4, which is also separate from being stuck at five. (although if the ball count just isn't stepping reliably it could get stuck at 1 too...)

#28 3 years ago

I would bet that there's already an old thread pertaining to a seal coat if my memory serves me correctly.

#29 3 years ago

I'd started a topic last night but so far there's not much traction.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-best-way-to-preserve-this-cabinet-is

Someone even linked another thread to there, but that linked one didn't get too far either. Seems this is just not that common a situation. I've read some on the net and woodworking forums and there's a lot of situtational caveats with no guarantee; almost all of them recommend sanding which is not an option here.

I picked up some spray polycrylic but I'm not totally sold on the idea. I'm leaning more toward a traditional clear spray finish.

Today has PERFECT weather to do this, so I'm going to finish touching up the colored areas and see how brave I feel when that's done...

#30 3 years ago

I decided to seal the cabinet with a few coats of Krylon MAXX clear. Went through 3 cans; I tried satin first but decided that gloss looked better and finished with that. It's actually really not that glossy since the cabinet beneath isn't smooth, but the colors are a bit more vibrant and the inherent smoothness of a gloss (as opposed to satin) topcoat will make it easier to wipe clean in the future.

My color-matching on cabinet touchups went great on the red and blue areas, but less so on the base color. The colors I mixed for a match looked pretty good when applied but shifted as they dried, or under the topcoat. Still looks better than the exposed / unpainted areas they once were and my customers have seen this and given their blessing so we're good.

I took apart and dunked the coin door parts in white vinegar to get the really nasty rust and grime off, then rubbed them dry and polished the most visible components. The goal is not "showroom perfection" but simply to make it clean enough to touch and enjoy in the home. The coin door and coin slots are shiny though

Last night I went through the mech panel again. I found some problems with the ball count unit and after servicing it, it seems to function well manually. The leafs were turned 180 degrees (I might have done this accidentally) so that hopefully explains the "infinite game" I was having.

I also cleaned ALL of the switch contacts using a 3000grit sanding pad by 3M. It's a sheet backed by 3/16" foam. I cut this into strips and it works really well! Passing a strip through the switch points, their own natural tension would compress the foam just enough to remove grime without ruining the contacts or mangling the leafs. I could visually see the difference so this will hopefully pay off.

Next step is to go through the score board. Need to tune the reels, and credit and match units. Also clean the relays as I did the mech switches. I found a switch on the P1 100,000 reel that looks like it was connected wrong. Every other reel's switch has a matching pair of wires connecting to the same leaf, but this since reel splits that pair of wires to both leafs.

Quick question: how tall should the legs be on this game? The ones that game with it are nasty. I was going to throw a nice set of clean Sys11 spares I had handy, but to my surprise they are 2 if not 3 inches shorter!

#31 3 years ago

Some followup pics...

20160628_191438_(resized).jpg

Above demonstrates the use of the 3000 grit sanding pad, cut into strips and threaded through switches for cleaning them. For this switch I doubled the strip back upon itself as shown since the gap is sufficient. Smaller switches can only fit a single layer. Of note, the pad has a fabric backing which might even be just as effective. At any rate, a quick pass is all it takes, and hopefully gentle enough not to cause damage. This EM was made in 1977 and therefore might have the same gold plated switch contacts that contemporary SS games were using.

Speaking of which, if this game was inspired by Williams it seems that Segasa took too many lessons from them: some of the switches are assembled backwards (where rivets contact points) as Williams infamously did on their SS games through Firepower!

20160628_184242_(resized).jpg

20160628_184113_(resized).jpg

And here's an example of where staying up too late can sometimes bite you. Last night I was surprised to discover what seemed to be an incorrectly wired switch. Those two dark blue wires look like they should be paired, and the light blue one by itself. But I didn't fix it then.

Upon closer inspection today, I realized the paired wires each have a red tracer on them, and the "other" dark blue wire is plain with no tracer. So it's actually wired correctly. In defense of my original thought and oddly enough however, ALL the other switches with Blue+Red wires, the blue is the same dark color. This is the only one with a lighter blue, and just so happens to have that single dark blue companion line. Glad I dodged that bullet and didn't make work for myself!

#32 3 years ago

Regarding leg length, you want the lockbar to be close to the same height as your other games. I would have thought that 28.5" williams sys 11 legs would have been the right length. If not then you probably need 31" legs.

As for the contact points, they should not be gold plated. Even if they are, it's not an issue to file through them since it does not impact performance on an EM.

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from MikeO:

you want the lockbar to be close to the same height as your other games. I would have thought that 28.5" williams sys 11 legs would have been the right length. If not then you probably need 31" legs.

Thanks for that... it's what I thought too so I was quite surprised at the height disparity. A new set of legs isn't really in the budget for this, but I have to take the good ol' Aerobarge in for some windshield bodywork next week; hopefully the shop can blast the original legs down to at least allow a decent repaint.

I finished going through the score board and reassembled the game to test it last night. Everything worked! Well, I still had two reels to tune for resets but that was easy enough. Match unit also works now. Player count unit may have some funkiness to it as I'll explain.

Before I put the playfield in, I reconnected some switches and coils that were disconnected as-found. It seems a previous owner attempted to disable Extra Ball awards by disabling the Reset #7 bank, and disconnecting extra ball link to Target 1 (making targets 1 thru 4 is supposed to light the Extra Ball award). Previously I'd noticed the extra ball feature did not appear to work.

So I started a four player game and finger-tested it. All scoring and play functions seem to work with a few exceptions:

- The "infinite balls" bug is now fixed... it plays 3 balls as expected. (Ok that's not a problem, I just had to point out it's fixed now)

- the Extra Ball light does not turn off when claiming the extra ball. It turns off after draining the ball, which triggers the bank reset.

- However, it seems as if the extra balls are not put in play after the current ball drains (there was no "same player shoots again" light), but I *did* have extra ball(s) to play after the third ball, IF I'd claimed any...

- (so on one hand, I've fixed a feature that was broken since "Extra Ball" is available again... but is that the right behavior...?)

- There is a "phantom player" between 1 and 2. After Player 1 drains, the P1 light goes out but P2 does not come on. The next ball served, will split scoring between the P1 and P2 reels. After draining that ball, P2 comes on and scores normally. Drain that and P3 works fine. So does P4. Very odd, but the symptom would seem as if the player reel may be hung on advancing between P1 and P2? This "phantom player/credit" would actually be a fun bug to have (oooh a haunted machine!) if it didn't mess up the scoring.

- When the Silver Bonus is advanced and/or counted down, some of the lights don't progress accordingly. Seems the 6K light (IIRC which one) likes to stay triggered for a few counts, either instead of or along with the actual K light. Scoring seems to work correctly otherwise, though.

So It looks like I have a few bugs to quash yet, but the game is otherwise very playable. Seems like a lot of fun. One of the spinners was an incorrect replacement with a chicken on it. It did not spin well and I realized this was because the wires were too wide; when I tried to bend them to fit, the wire broke. So I need to get a new spinner, oops.

I now have the PF disassembled for cleaning, with some shopout parts en route.

Considering LEDs for the inserts since these sockets are pretty annoying to access. But I love the filament glow on this game...

20160630_001521_(resized).jpg

#34 3 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

There is a "phantom player" between 1 and 2. After Player 1 drains, the P1 light goes out but P2 does not come on. The next ball served, will split scoring between the P1 and P2 reels. After draining that ball, P2 comes on and scores normally. Drain that and P3 works fine. So does P4. Very odd, but the symptom would seem as if the player reel may be hung on advancing between P1 and P2? This "phantom player/credit" would actually be a fun bug to have (oooh a haunted machine!) if it didn't mess up the scoring.

I had a very similar and aggravating problem on my Super Straight, except it would still just score player 1. The problem is that, when it's counting up, there's a 'latch' to keep the reset spring from resetting the disk. When the reset solenoid pulses (and it goes from player 4 back to player 1) it releases the latch, resetting it, but then when the step up solenoid pulses to go from player 1 to 2, it has the extra work to do of engaging the latch again (it stays disengaged after the reset), and the pulse the step up coil gets isn't strong enough to engage the latch and turn the disk, so it only manages to engage the latch, without getting to P2. The next time it pulses (when the phantom ball drains), it doesn't have the engage the latch, so it moves to P2 fine. On mine it's a very fine adjustment, all three springs (the two long ones, and the axial reset one) need to all be adjusted juuuust right for it to be able to step from 1 to 2 and also reset cleanly. In the end, after getting it to step 2-4 and reset properly, I started unwinding the reset spring a fifth of a turn, on the inside where it's attached to the disc, instead of full turns on the outside where it attaches to the mechanism, since a full turn was too weak afterwards to reset fully. Also note that it may be that actuating the step up coil by hand to test the P1-2 movement might not be enough. No matter how gently I stepped it by hand, it would always engage the latch, so I had to prop up the playfield in a two player game, hit the outhole switch, see if it moved to P2, and if it didn't, reset the player unit, adjust it, and hit the outhole switch again, until you get everything right.

Quoted from goingincirclez:- the Extra Ball light does not turn off when claiming the extra ball. It turns off after draining the ball, which triggers the bank reset.
- However, it seems as if the extra balls are not put in play after the current ball drains (there was no "same player shoots again" light), but I *did* have extra ball(s) to play after the third ball, IF I'd claimed any...

This seems really weird. If you get three extra balls during the game, does it give you three more after ball 3? If so there'd need to be another stepper somewhere counting that, for each player, which makes no sense. Make sure you don't have extra ball threshholds enabled (pull all ten pins out of the adjustment in the back), in case that's confusing the issue. If it was a singleplayer game my first instinct would have been that some operator converted it to addaball, but that doesn't make any sense in a multiplayer game. The extra ball light (which is tied to the shoot again text in the backglass), should turn on when you earn the extra ball (and the extra ball relay engages), and stay on till you hit your first switch on the next ball. If something's up I'd watch the extra ball relay carefully....

Quoted from goingincirclez:- When the Silver Bonus is advanced and/or counted down, some of the lights don't progress accordingly. Seems the 6K light (IIRC which one) likes to stay triggered for a few counts, either instead of or along with the actual K light. Scoring seems to work correctly otherwise, though.

Does it always count the right amount of bonus? If the 6K light was staying on alone I'd assume the unit was just sticking, but if it's on simultaneously with another number then it must be shorted somewhere

nooooooooo

#35 3 years ago

LOL I hear you. Don't worry, backglass and GI will remain strictly filament only. It's just a few of the more troublesome inserts that I'm only considering, with low-light warm spectrum at that. Just want something trouble-free that looks right, if possible.

So turns out this Extra Ball thing is... not working. The xball relay itself is not firing. If I do it manually, the "shoot again" lights come on as expected. But nothing I do gets the Extra Ball award light to turn off, nor can I get the relay to fire.

I spent over an hour poring over every connection and wire in the relay bank, and it all looks correct... I did correct a previous repair that seemed to be tying the Xtra Ball and Gold Bonus lights together, thinking maybe that's why the xtra ball light was staying on... but that made no change. Unfortunately there are so many in-series jumpers that are all the same color in that mess, that a photo would be almost useless. But checking point-to-point based on what the manual says, looks good. Switches look clean and adjusted good, I toned a few out to confirm. Xball relay coil has good resistance comparable to the others in the bank, and it's the first one connected in series with all the others which work, so I know it's getting power. Not sure what else to do, but I'm going to jump the coil to one of the target switches and see if that gets it to fire, just to rule the coil itself out.

#36 3 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

Don't worry, backglass and GI will remain strictly filament only. It's just a few of the more troublesome inserts

I actually care less about the gi than the inserts. Inserts are what you look at all the time. How are they being 'troublesome'?

I'm not sure what I can recommend about the extra ball problem beyond the old "jumper each switch in the line closed until one makes it work" system. Or you jumper every switch and every wire between them and it still doesn't work and then you go get a drink... The strange thing is that it won't turn on *or* off. Those should be two different circuits.

#37 3 years ago

What I mean by "troublesome inserts" is some of the sockets themselves... man, it's like they were made just that hair's width smaller in tolerance because it's amazingly difficult to get a bulb in or out! I've got 8 other games so I know it's not corrosion or age or quality. Just this game, they are far more aggravating than they have any right to be on top of the usual under-pf obstacles. So I'm just thinking to spare my customer the same grief. But if it were solely up to me and staying here I'd just deal with it and keep them old-school.

So working on the extra ball issue:

- If I operate the relay manually it DOES score, award, and serve the extra ball appropriately...
-...But the light never goes out. However, in this way I can claim multiple extras and they seem to award and serve as one would expect. So at least my ball counter is working, ha ha!
- I looked at the schematic and traced and toned every wire connecting the canyon (xtra ball) switch and the xtra ball relay. It seems that all of them are going where they should, with good connectivity. But the relay still does not work.
- So I ran the test I proposed in my previous post, by running an alligator jumper from the xtra ball relay, to the #4 target. When I hit the #4 target, the xtra ball relay worked! So I know the relay itself is good...

...now, given this discovery, one normally would suspect a wire or switch. But as far as I can tell those are good. So what am I missing...?!

#38 3 years ago

Could it be that the extra ball setting is off?

#39 3 years ago
Quoted from hlaj78:

Could it be that the extra ball setting is off?

iirc you can't turn it off, the adjustment is just for match and score thresholds. Looking at the schematics the adjustment doesn't seem to be linked to the extra ball relay at all. Worth a shot though...

Quoted from goingincirclez:

man, it's like they were made just that hair's width smaller in tolerance because it's amazingly difficult to get a bulb in or out!

ah. I have the same thing on my Super Straight. You've just gotta get the angle just right. But unless you're really worried about the incandescents going out, seems like replacing them all with LEDs is just going to be even more of a pain?

#40 3 years ago

1) Sonics are great games. Once you get all the problems sorted out they are quite reliable with hardly any upkeep outside of cleaning.

2) The mechs are all rebranded Williams gear. Once adjusted they work quite well.

3) Pinsider bflagg just completed a Prospector overhaul and could probably help a lot. Look over his thread - he had similar problems as did I with my Super Straight. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/sonic-prospector-troubleshooting-help-needed#post-2224493

4) The best thing about these games is the quality of the playfields. The worst thing is the cabs. All crap pressboard. One drop of water will ruin the whole dang works.

5) Mine was so bad I "had" to build a whole new cabinet top to bottom. Your results may vary.
TPF1_(resized).jpg

#41 3 years ago

Good thought on checking an xball setting, but there isn't an on/off for that on this game. The only scoring/award adjustment I have found is for Specials, to choose either a Replay or Xball. As it happens that was set to Xball.

So in further troubleshooting Xball, I thought I'd had a breakthrough moment. I jumped the canyon switch yellow wire directly to the relay as shown below. And holy crap, it worked! AWWWW YEAAAAH....

20160701_194953_(resized).jpg

Unfortunately I realized, wait a minute... crap, that means Xball is ALWAYS available any time that switch is hit, and not dependent on making the 1-2-3-4 targets first.

Indeed, looking at the schematic, that yellow wire is tied into the bank "matrix" between the #4 (target) and #5 (target) relays. And indeed, that's how this game is built. And it tones out with a meter. Arrgh, this simply doesn't make sense as to why it doesn't work as intended then... it's truly bizarre...

So moving on for now, I appreciate the other tips and hints posted earlier! I think I've got the respective wonkiness in the Silver and Gold bonus units figured out, inasmuch as the steppers just need some fine tuning. Does the Silver Bonus carry over and only reset once collected via scoop? A carryover bonus makes sense since a drain leaves points on the table for another player.... but I want to be sure that's how it should be, since starting with a maxxed bonus seems kind of odd.

Phantom Player showed up between other players but I understand why and in fact I got rid of all except between 1 and 2 again, so I just need to fine tune the stepper. I have some spring kits to help with this.

So I cleaned and reassembled the rest of the game... repaired some plastics, leveled some inserts, cleaned the metal guides, replaced rubbers and such, naptha'd and novused the playfield, lost track of every blasted thing I've had to do but it's looking pretty good and test plays seem good pending some switch tweaks and flipper mech cleaning...

20160702_141107_(resized).jpg

20160702_141218_(resized).jpg

Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

5) Mine was so bad I "had" to build a whole new cabinet top to bottom. Your results may vary.


Holy crap that is freaking astounding. What an awesome display! Man, I know what I'll if I find another Sonic with a trashed cab. Wow! You have a thread about that I assume...?!

Speaking of Sonic... yeah, so there's a lot of Williams flavor in these. But I have to wonder: did Sonic design these themselves and just buy Williams parts to assemble them, or did Williams do most of the work and sell them to Sonic under license? It's an even more interesting question when you realize (as I read recently) that Sonic was simply the pinball d.b.a of Segasa... which was the spanish arm of SEGA, as in THAT Sega we all know, who later bought into Data East / Stern....

Man, pinball companies are as incestuously connected as German carmakers. It's pretty fascinating.

#42 3 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

You have a thread about that I assume...?!

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-acrylic-pinball-project-i-am-clearly-insane

It's a bit lengthy at this point...

Also, the game is lower to the ground than any other. Makes it easy to spot them in a lineup. The spouse loves to play it as she can see it all at once without getting on tippy toes.

Your game is looking fantastic!

#43 3 years ago

How many prospector did they make? Looks like a fun game. Nice job on cleaning it up.

1 week later
#44 3 years ago
Quoted from Sijcolo:

How many prospector did they make?

I don't have any idea... they were made during the big heydey so probably more than you might think... not sure how their availability compares to other titles but this was the second I'd seen near me within a year. Cab attrition probably knocked a lot of them out though.

Back to the job at hand... we're nearing the home stretch!

I still haven't returned to troubleshooting the extra ball issue because, wow, is this game a ton of fun to play even without them! Oddly enough, making the 1-2-3-4 targets is harder than it looks so I can't say I've earned too many chances to earn an xtra ball in the first place. But, during a big enough round, I have actually earned a couple somehow. Not often enough to feel cheap or chintzy, so something must be "working" so to speak. I'll probably play more attention once all the debugging is done.

Debugging such as figuring out which light sockets needed attention, tuning switches, etc for optimal play. But everything is working fine. I replaced the broken spinner with one from a Laser Ball, then printed the Prospector stickers to cover both. Turns out I made them slightly undersized (something something measure twice print five times...) but for now they look OK. And the Laser Ball one actually has a very similar "explosion" on its backside so I left that part alone just for kicks, because

DOUBLE SPINNERS ARE FARKING AWESOME

Seriously, I never would have expected something so cheesy looking to be so tantalizing. I love when I rip one side only to have the ball carom back into the other one, zinging both spinners simultaneously in opposite directions... hearing the racket of the reels trying to keep up is another reward unto itself!

20160709_161415_(resized).jpg

Also got a proper 1977 Sonic chime unit from a helpful pinsider in the EM Parts thread. Huzzah, I now have a doorbell machine! The funniest part about it is, the unit he sent me had been previously serviced and the middle bar was the same length as the largest. Which as far as mixups go, that's the best sort because I could at least cut a "too long" one shorter, knowing the other two were proper length. So I did... and I don't know how, but damn, that new middle chime resonates and rings with a gorgeous tone compared to the other two of stock length. Hearing the "doong" of "thousands" versus "hundreds" really adds to this machine's charm. Especially during the two-tone ding for every Gold Bonus light awarded!

So yeah, this thing is awesome and I'm kind of sorry to be parting with it, but I think the price will be right so I should be able to land another one some time. Got a few more tweaks and dial-ins to pursue but after a crazy couple weeks, I'm going to relax a bit.

20160709_161354_(resized).jpg

This is a really great game... I might have the EM bug now...

#45 3 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

DOUBLE SPINNERS ARE FARKING AWESOME

EM spinners are amazing and blow SS spinners away, even ones like hot tip where they put a clicker in to mimick the sound...

#46 3 years ago

So the other day I finally found some stuff to "seal" the peeling edges of the rear of the backbox. Home Depot sells strips of clear U-channel for mounting rope lights. The channel has a slight curvature to the sides, and there is adhesive strip backing, but for less than $5 a strip, it's a very quick and economical way to shield the fragile particulate edges from further bumps / scrapes / chunking. Simply carefully widen the channel a little bit, then slide it over the edges. The curved sides are actually a benefit here since they will pinch the sides to stay secure! The adhesive strips are easy to peel off too if you desire... I haven't done so yet.

20160710_122436_(resized).jpg

20160710_122447_(resized).jpg

As a followup to the adventures in seal-coating: you really can't tell in these horrible photos, but there are 6 coats of Krylon Maxx Clear acrylic spray on here: 3 cans' worth, with a final of gloss. Despite the apparent texture, it's actually reasonably smooth and consistent to the touch, and should be much easier to wipe clean and handle as necessary. No more flakiness, and the wonderful "southwestern stucco patina" remains. I'm also very pleased with my touch ups in the blue and red areas... can't hardly tell at all

20160710_122302_(resized).jpg

20160710_122350_(resized).jpg

Today the customers came by to play some demo games. They're pretty thrilled with it as it sits, so I'm shooting for delivery this coming Saturday. Hope to polish up a few things before then, but the only stuff left is nitpicky things they seem amused by me even mentioning. I just prefer to be as upfront as possible.

After they left, I made some (not so) "quick and dirty" (and kid-friendly colorful) apron cards...

InfoCardPostable_(resized).jpg

Inst_Card_2_(resized).jpg

...the info card has some blank formatting I used for my contact and referral info. I omitted that here in case someone deems the card worthy of their own game

#47 3 years ago

Decided I didn't like that instruction card, so I made a better one.

InstCard_2_(resized).jpg

#48 3 years ago

Did you ever find out if the bonus is actually supposed to carry over? That seems weird to me still...

#49 3 years ago

Not officially, no. But as a play scoring mechanism, it does seem to make sense. There's almost a skill shot to claim the silver bonus right away, if you get a good bounce/nudge into the upper right scoop from a plunge... so if a player drains with a silver bonus uncollected, the next player could claim those points instantly. Seems like a neat rule to me.

Unfortunately after printing and installing that new card, now I can't add extra players. Just one. Haven't made any changes that would seemingly cause this... arrgh.

#50 3 years ago

Just in time for the reboot of everyone's favorite phantasm franchise, I busted the phantom player!

And holy hell do I have a new respect for stepper units. Every last pawl, catch, tooth, spring, and sleeve has to work in precisely perfect harmony. It looks so much less sophisticated than it really is.

It's hard to e to describe the problem since I don't know the terms for each individual part. But in the end, the problem was the "secondary pawl" on the step-up side. There's a really loose, flimsy feeling deal that flops into place once the unit steps from 1 to 2. Once it's in place, it stays there to lock out the step-down pawl.

Anyway, that piece was only just barely not sliding into play on the first pulse of the step-up solenoid. A second pulse would get it. And of course once it was in place it would stay there for all subsequent players. Bingo: that's why it would only show up between players 1 and 2, and only just that once.

So that was the problem. As for fixing it... well... yeah. It went something like file then bend then nearly break the pawl. Rescue and fix the part before I made it worse. Then mess with every spring... note that adjusting the tension on one spring fixes the conected function but throws the other ones off.... Wash rinse repeat until it all finally came into balance.

But I've now played several 4-player games without a phantom, so I'm considering that one resolved.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
From: $ 18.00
Apparel - Men
Pinside Shop
$ 400.00
Boards
Great American Pinball
$ 159.00
$ 90.00
$ 69.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lighted Pinball Mods
From: $ 99.99
Cabinet - Other
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 89.99
Lighting - Led
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 44.95
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
PinBoss Mods
$ 249.99
Cabinet - Armor And Blades
Id Rather Play Pinball
$ 24.00
Playfield - Other
Pin Monk
$ 25.00
Cabinet - Other
Filament Printing
From: $ 9.99
Eproms
Matt's Basement Arcade
$ 7,599.00
Pinball Machine
Classic Game Rooms
$ 2.50
Playfield - Decals
Doc's Pinball Shop
$ 229.99
Lighting - Other
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 89.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
From: € 15.00
Lighting - Interactive
TheDudeMods
$ 109.99
$ 7.65
Cabinet Parts
Third Coast Pinball
$ 69.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lighted Pinball Mods
From: $ 155.00
$ 69.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
There are 58 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside