(Topic ID: 134341)

Girls On Waterslides?... Bally Future Spa Restore!


By radium

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by radium
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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#1 3 years ago

Future Spa Restore!!!

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Time to bring this Future Spa back to life. I picked this thing up a few months ago for $200. The seller said a buddy of his had it sitting in his basement for years and recently passed away. It came complete except it was missing the legs.

The good...
1. Solid cabinet except the typical crappy chipboard back panel
2. Nice playfield, pretty low wear, very restorable
3. Boards are pretty clean, minimal hacks
4. Displays are not burned, no measles
5. Nice plastics
6. Nice coin door
7. Entire machine is pretty clean!

The bad...
1. MPU does not boot
2. Displays show garbage
3. No sound
4. Flippers do not work
5. Backglass is a mess (restoring separately)
6. Cabinet paint is very faded
7. Apron graphics are scratched up

Eventually I will do a full restore on this machine, but for now I'm going to get it working and wax it up and play it. I'll try to document problems and progress here as I go.

Here's a pic after I hauled this thing into the garage...

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#2 3 years ago

Here's a few more pictures.

The playfield is going to clean up nice. Only minor touchup needed around inserts and rollovers. The ladies have hairy legs from the ball swirls, but I'll eventually repaint all of that when I do the playfield restore later.

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Here's a picture of the top area after a wipedown with naptha and a coat of wax.

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And a better look inside the backbox. This is the cleanest classic Bally I've picked up overall, but I already can spot lots of issues.

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Next thing I need to do is check the power supply and see if I can get the MPU to boot.

#3 3 years ago

Voltages are good. Got it to boot a couple times. The connectors are a mess, so I'm guessing that's a big part of the problems.

#4 3 years ago

Making progress. I'm stalled waiting on stuff from GPE, but here's where I'm at...

MPU would try to start, but LED locked on. Checking voltages on board showed very low 5V and low 12V. Voltages waiting at female connector A4J4 were perfect, despite major connector hacks (see pic). Probably bad solder joints on male connector pins, and weak ground.

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I'll replace all the MPU connectors soon (I'm out of 0.100" headers). For now I jumped 5V and 12V from the A3 driver board over to the MPU. Booted right up!

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Controlled lamps work 100% after changing 20+ bulbs. I can coin up and start a game. All solenoids appear good... except no flippers!!

Bunch of garbage on the displays here. Pulled the high voltage fuse until I can look into this more.

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Need to fix flippers and sound soon. Going to rebuild power supply connectors next since they are crispy.

#5 3 years ago

So I found one problem on the playfield. There's a little diverter gate in the left outlanes that isn't opening/closing when it should. It's a feature that let's you seal off one of the outlanes by making a shot at the top of the playfield. If the gate is open the ball gets returned to the flipper, if it is closed you drain.

I didn't have time to test it this morning, but the coil was warm and I'm guessing it's trying to work. The coil isn't shorted open. The feature uses a small relay-type coil mech to open/close the gate. Could be mechanical problem but it's not fully binding either.

This is a picture I stole from another thread about this issue (which was abandoned and never resolved).

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#6 3 years ago

So to bulletproof this game, the power supply needs some work.

Once my GPE order gets here, I'll upgrade the two bridge rectifiers and change R2 and a couple of fuse clips that are stressed. There's also a couple of jumpers to add to the back of the rectifier board to toughen it up.

And yeah, I said TWO bridges. Future Spa and KISS used the AS-2518-49 which only had two.

Anyways, for now I'm going to change the 0.156" headers on the rectifier board. You can see in this picture they are toast. Also look at fuses F1 and F5 here... when the fuse clips look like that, it is time to change them.

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This era of Bally games had the transformer in the backbox. Once the J1, J2, J3 connectors are removed, you can just lift the entire power section out of the game to work on it. Then remove the screws in the bridges and the rectifier board can be removed.

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The back of the rectifier board shows some heat stress, but it's not too bad.

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Time to desolder all of those crispy headers...

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Here's the shiny new headers soldered in. Also notice all the nasty 35-year-old heatsink grease on those bridges...

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Clean all that crap off with some alcohol and apply new heatsink grease...

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You can get heatsink grease from GPE. It comes in these little packets. Why the hell did I only order six of these last time?!

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Look better? Hells yeah it does.

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Still lots to do on this board, but this will suffice for now. Next up is to rebuild the female connectors for this board. Don't use nasty old female pins on shiny new male pins or vice versa. The new stuff will just get fatigued. Change both male and female if possible.

#7 3 years ago

Time to rebuild the female 0.156" power connectors. Sometimes I'll re-use the housings, but these are pretty nasty so I'll replace with new ones.

Here's how the connectors look before...

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And here's one I rebuilt. Nice new housing and trifurcon crimps.

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Remember when you change these, remove ONE pin from the old housing, crimp on the new connector and insert it into the new housing. Then do the next one. This is the easiest way to make sure you don't get your wires mixed up.

#8 3 years ago

I also got sound working!!

I could hear a very faint hum from the speaker, like a robot farting in the next room. This was enough to make me hope the amp section on the AS-2518-51 sound board was good. Before troubleshooting further, I noticed the PIA was an AMI chip. They suck. I tried swapping in a new Motorola PIA and sound works!! Got lucky there.

I do get some weird gibberish sounds when I power the game on. I think this is not normal. The game seems to make proper sounds after that, but I haven't heard a Future Spa in 20+ years so who knows.

#9 3 years ago

One more fix. The other day I mentioned my diverter gate would not open/close as it should. I really had no reference to compare how this thing should work, so I just started messing with it.

All I had to do was remove the wire gate (the thing my finger is on in the pic), rotate the shaft one turn, and insert the gate wire back onto the hole. All the electronics were fine, someone just put the gate on wrong at some point.

Now it works like a champ! Neat feature. I like.

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#10 3 years ago

Nice work! Great game! I picked one up a few months ago and it's tremendous fun to play. Also nice to see another LA person around!

#11 3 years ago

Flippers don't work. Coils test good, and fire when grounded. I do not hear the K relay click when game starts, so I'm pretty sure that's the issue. Grounding the driver transistor tab causes relay to click on, so problem must be elsewhere. Hmmmm... have to dig around some more...

#12 3 years ago

Flippers work now! Turns out the K relay wasn't being turned on due to bad ground on the MPU. I figured this out by accident. When I get my parts order and rework the MPU I'll beef up the ground and it should be good to go. Bonus side effect... displays were fixed by this also.

I'm still curious why this was happening but I don't know enough about electronics to explain it.

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

Nice work! Great game! I picked one up a few months ago and it's tremendous fun to play. Also nice to see another LA person around!

Thanks, yeah I think this ones a keeper. Played the hell out of it tonight and it's really fun.

Didn't know you guys had one. I really need to get across the lake sometime.

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from radium:

One more fix. The other day I mentioned my diverter gate would not open/close as it should. I really had no reference to compare how this thing should work, so I just started messing with it.
All I had to do was remove the wire gate (the thing my finger is on in the pic), rotate the shaft one turn, and insert the gate wire back onto the hole. All the electronics were fine, someone just put the gate on wrong at some point.
Now it works like a champ! Neat feature. I like.
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I really like what your doing and that gate is pretty much the gate that Space Shuttle uses.

#15 3 years ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

I really like what your doing and that gate is pretty much the gate that Space Shuttle uses.

Thanks! I forgot Space Shuttle had a gate like that.

I've been playing Future Spa a lot. I'm shocked how much I like it. It feels really fast for a wide body.

And my kids love it. They line up in the hot garage waiting for a turn.

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#16 3 years ago

GPE order arrived! Now I can finish bulletproofing this thing.

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