(Topic ID: 254325)

Increasing flipper strength recommendations?


By EdHess

7 months ago



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  • 56 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by EdHess
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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There are 56 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 7 months ago

Have a fully restored Xenon That I’e done everything imaginable to make it like new. One thing that still bugs me is flipper strength. It seems like as time went on comparing age of machines flipper strengths have increased. My Bally Truck Stop seems to have slighter stronger flippers, and my Ghostbusters pro seems to have even more flipper strength.

Xenon had new flipper coils, stops, sleeves, and End of stroke switches, coil sleeves. Adjusted the switches so they dont open until just the very end of fill flipper stroke. 6.5 degree playfield angle measured on the playfield not the cabinet. Cabinet switches are clean also. They still seem like they are missing something compared to the other machines. Just feel like they need a bit more.

Recommendation for a coil with a bit more power upgrade?
Or just accept it and leave it alone? I think i saw a table depicting various coil strength someplace but until I stumble into it again... You thoughts?

7C67409A-4CE0-453D-85EF-985419CE2819 (resized).jpeg
#2 7 months ago

Can you rip the spinner? Make the ramp shot? Hit the drops down? If yes to all three, leave it.

#3 7 months ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Can you rip the spinner? Make the ramp shot? Hit the drops down? If yes to all three, leave it.

Hmm, yes I can do all that... just seems like it needs a bit more compared to my other machines. It’s not the ability to make those shots, albeit not always. Like a ramp shot that doesn’t make it all the way and rolls back down.
But compared too other machines the flippers are not as strong. Is this the way technology and flipper power progressed overtime?

#4 7 months ago

I'm assuming you have aq-25-500/34-4500 in there. That is a pretty strong coil as it is. You might be able to squeeve in a Stern j-25-475/34-4500 without the spring washer.
A-24-570/35-3600 may be stronger but I don't have one to ohm out. Those might be the 2 choices you have.

#5 7 months ago
Quoted from Jeewiz13:

I'm assuming you have aq-25-500/34-4500 in there. That is a pretty strong coil as it is. You might be able to squeeve in a Stern j-25-475/34-4500 without the spring washer.
A-24-570/35-3600 may be stronger but I don't have one to ohm out. Those might be the 2 choices you have.

Yes the installed coils are the aq-25-500/34-4500.

#6 7 months ago
Quoted from EdHess:

Is this the way technology and flipper power progressed overtime?

Yes. Your other option is put updated flipper mech in there with extension springs instead of compression springs. That will give them more snap. Also make sure the EOS switches are making good contact when the flipper is at rest. Test with a meter.

#7 7 months ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Yes. Your other option is put updated flipper mech in there with extension springs instead of compression springs. That will give them more snap. Also make sure the EOS switches are making good contact when the flipper is at rest. Test with a meter.

Never heard of this. Extension vs compression springs?

#9 7 months ago

I agree you could use the 25-475 classic Stern coils. However, in my experience 6.5 degrees is almost too much for this game. Everything is fine except for the tube shot. Mine is set right around 6.5 degrees too and some tube shots seem weak. I used to have it set at 7.0 degrees and had all kinds of problems with the tube shot. I need to try a pair of 25-475's in mine.

#10 7 months ago

Are they linear flippers on that game? If so might want to downgrade

#11 7 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Are they linear flippers on that game? If so might want to downgrade

Mine are not linear flippers

#12 7 months ago

Deleted response.

#13 7 months ago
Quoted from Jeewiz13:

I'm assuming you have aq-25-500/34-4500 in there. That is a pretty strong coil as it is. You might be able to squeeve in a Stern j-25-475/34-4500 without the spring washer.
A-24-570/35-3600 may be stronger but I don't have one to ohm out. Those might be the 2 choices you have.

Going to try both of these... the second one is also used in truck stop so if nothing else It goes into my spare parts organizer box for truck stop.

#14 7 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Are they linear flippers on that game? If so might want to downgrade

I’ve tried both and left the linear flippers in. May switch back to the old style which I prefer.

#15 7 months ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

I’ve tried both and left the linear flippers in. May switch back to the old style which I prefer.

Do the linear feel stronger?

#16 7 months ago

Have you tried filing the EOS and cab switches? Just to be sure, are the games circuit boards new or original? Have the flipper power and ground connectors been replaced (male and female)? I imagine all of this stuff has been tried, but just want to be sure.

#17 7 months ago
Quoted from EdHess:

Do the linear feel stronger?

Linear flippers are crap.

Not only are replacement parts a fortune, they're heavy, and the nylon buttons wear out quickly even in home use. Now, if your goal is to have a flipper that will last in service an extremely long time with little to no maintenance, they are great. Operators loved them, and if the flipper angle got steeper and steeper they didn't care.... they still flipped.

The earlier design is better IMO because there's less moving mass, the parts are cheaper, and because of the lesser mass, the flipper flips faster. The compression spring issue I don't think is a very large concern in flipper strength, the effect the return springs have is more for a snappy return to rest vs. strength, unless you have those crazy stiff compression springs in there.

Other than doing the linear replacement different eras of machines are supposed to have different feeling flippers. Even manufacturer to manufacturer in the same era are going to feel different - it's part of the charm of some of the machines.

Truck Stop needs super flipper strength to make the ramps. The ramp on xenon is relatively shallow vs. the later games.

#18 7 months ago
Quoted from frunch:

Have you tried filing the EOS and cab switches? Just to be sure, are the games circuit boards new or original? Have the flipper power and ground connectors been replaced (male and female)? I imagine all of this stuff has been tried, but just want to be sure.

Boards and connectors are new.

#19 7 months ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

If yes to all three, leave it.

I'm guessing by the looks of this "machine" leaving things well enough alone isn't the OP's wheelhouse

#20 7 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

I'm guessing by the looks of this "machine" leaving things well enough alone isn't the OP's wheelhouse

The Pursuit Of Perfection

#21 7 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

Linear flippers are crap.
Not only are replacement parts a fortune, they're heavy, and the nylon buttons wear out quickly even in home use. Now, if your goal is to have a flipper that will last in service an extremely long time with little to no maintenance, they are great. Operators loved them, and if the flipper angle got steeper and steeper they didn't care.... they still flipped.

I agree with most everything you wrote about linear flippers except saying "operators loved them". It was a crap design for everyone. Linear flippers would eventually pull the flipper baseplate right off of the playfield leading to larger and larger fasteners until the screws were poking through the playfield trying to hold the damn things on. Also, the springs weren't strong enough to pull the flippers back so Bally issued a Service Bulletin instructing ops to cut the return springs in half. To your point, those plungers would last forever though, when they were not sticking. Then they used the same design with the slingshots, too. Not a high point for Bally engineering.

#22 7 months ago

Newbie question:

What is a linear flipper?

#23 7 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Newbie question:
What is a linear flipper?

Flipper mechs used on early Bally SS games.

#24 7 months ago

As much as purists will dislike it I did this to most of my classics, I would add much stronger coils and increase the slope of the game to match. That way you’re game will play similar without the slow floaty ball feeling. Made the games much more modern feeling and exciting. I also kept the mechanicals on the flippers original and never seemed to have any premature failure issues due to the stronger coils.

#25 7 months ago
Quoted from C_Presley:

Made the games much more modern feeling and exciting.

This is exactly what I’ve been trying to do on this... Well Said!

#26 7 months ago
Quoted from EdHess:

i saw a table depicting various coil strength someplace but until I stumble into it again.

https://www.pinballmedic.net/coilchart.html

https://www.flippers.com/coil-resistance.html

#27 7 months ago

Thank you. Those were exactly what I had seen before. Now I have the reference I need. Way to go!

#28 7 months ago

My personal solution is to change the flipper plates and mechs to classic stern. They feel better are snappier and classic stern stuff is made like a tank. Keep the coils the same they will fit right on the classic stern plates.
I have done this to my restored Flash Gordon and love the result. I have also done this to other classic Bally’s I have owned. Pinballlife sells all the necessary parts.

#29 7 months ago

On my Xenon, I upgraded to wpc flippers and got rid of those fatter Bally flipper bats, went with Williams bats

#30 7 months ago
Quoted from nocreditdot:

I have also done this to other classic Bally’s I have owned. Pinballlife sells all the necessary parts.

Ooohh, interesting. Love the flipper feel on classic Sterns.

@nocreditdot When you have a minute could you please link to the parts for the clueless new guy who recently splurged on 4 Bally's with linear setups?

#31 7 months ago
Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

Ooohh, interesting. Love the flipper feel on classic Sterns.
@nocreditdot When you have a minute could you please link to the parts for the clueless new guy who recently splurged on 4 Bally's with linear setups?

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/classic-stern-flipper-rebuild-kit
https://www.pinballlife.com/classic-stern-flipper-base-sub-assembly-left-or-right-staked.html

Full
https://www.pinballlife.com/full-flipper-assembly-for-classic-stern-machines-031980-to-021982.html

Never thought aboot Stern in a Bally. Converted Ball linear to the ones in Vids guide but personally I don't recommend it.

#32 7 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Never thought aboot Stern in a Bally. Converted Ball linear to the ones in Vids guide but personally I don't recommend it.

Thanks!

Yeah, three of them feel fine to me so not gonna fix anything that's not broken.

Centaur, however, is due for a rebuild. Also: only 2 flippers so a cheaper guinea pig for sure.

I'm still a bit confused... I get that I use the same coil... but am I getting a rebuild kit and a left and right base plate and I'm good? Do I choose #6 or #6+#8 mounting holes for the plate?

Or do I need 2X full assemblies? Which I guess come with base plates?

#33 7 months ago

Yeah I juts put the full kits on there if someone wanted to go that route.

Haha the age old #6&8 or just 6...I go 6&8.
you'll need the bushings too

#34 7 months ago

I have tried the switching the linear to the older Bally style. I like the classic stern solution way better. You need the following

www.pinballlife.com/classic-stern-flipper-base-sub-assembly-left-or-right-staked.html

www.pinballlife.com/classic-stern-coil-retaining-bracket.html

https://www.pinballlife.com/classic-stern-flipper-rebuild-kit-left-and-right-flippers.html

#35 7 months ago

Oh yeah don’t forget the bushings

https://www.pinballlife.com/classic-stern-nylon-flipper-bushing.html

Quoted from nocreditdot:

I have tried the switching the linear to the older Bally style. I like the classic stern solution way better. You need the following
www.pinballlife.com/classic-stern-flipper-base-sub-assembly-left-or-right-staked.html
www.pinballlife.com/classic-stern-coil-retaining-bracket.html
https://www.pinballlife.com/classic-stern-flipper-rebuild-kit-left-and-right-flippers.html

#36 7 months ago

Killer! Last and final question:

Do I want a Bally or Stern flipper bushing? Presume the holes line up and either would work, but just want to be sure

#37 7 months ago

Holy shit JINX hahah. Thank you!

#38 7 months ago

Surprised at all the interest in this... When I asked the original question I had no idea that others would be so interested in this also. glad I could finally give back here on pinside.

#39 7 months ago

Just installed the Stern j-25-475/34-4500 coils without the spring washer. No tangible difference.

#40 7 months ago

I wonder... My Big Betty’s Truck Stop has oem Williams for the lower flippers and Bally linear flippers for the uppers. Wondering if I can take one of my spare Williams setups and install it if voltages are the same. Gotta go do some reading. But since I want it to work like the Williams setup might as well try to see if I can put the Williams stuff into it.

#41 7 months ago

I downgraded my flippers to the early style (non linear) during my Xenon PF swap and I'm glad I did. Replaced every wear part and they rock. You can rip the spinner and make the awesome through the pop bumper shot to hit a top roll over target. Nailing the tube shot with the right flipper now is possible with authority.

Bottom line the linear set sucks, even when rebuilt.

If you want to go whole hog, peel a bunch of copper windings off the coil. Keep spare PF plastics on hand, you'll need them.

#42 7 months ago
Quoted from tomdrum:

Bottom line the linear set sucks, even when rebuilt.

They sure do! The replacement parts cost on them suck even more.

Quoted from tomdrum:

If you want to go whole hog, peel a bunch of copper windings off the coil. Keep spare PF plastics on hand, you'll need them.

Unfortunately all that does is make the hold winding stronger, not the power. I took apart a Bally flipper coil a while back to determine if they indeed were parallel wound, and they are. The thicker wired power stroke coil is inside the hold coil, so you could in theory remove some windings from that, but you'd have to remove and reinstall 4300 or windings of the smaller wire to do so.

#43 7 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

I took apart a Bally flipper coil a while back to determine if they indeed were parallel wound, and they are.

Erm the two windings on those old Bally flipper coils are connected in series. What do you mean by they're parallel wound?

#44 7 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

Erm the two windings on those old Bally flipper coils are connected in series. What do you mean by they're parallel wound?

There's 2 separate coils of wire in them. Look at the terminals.... there's 4 wires coming out of the coil. Disconnect the wires if you don't believe me from the terminals and you'll get infinite resistance between them. Even though that "made sense" to me when challenged on it in the past, when I unwound the coil manually, the entire hold coil came off and I had a very messy pile of thin wire in one pile, and the thicker power stroke wire still remaining on the bobbin.

Parallel wound just meaning that there's 2 wires instead of one single with a tap like a series coil has, not whatever BS that williams later patented when they were dragged into the future around 1988 or so.

Don't make me destroy another coil to prove it again!!

Of course, I could be wrong wouldn't be the first time

#45 7 months ago

We might be looking at this differently which is what I'm trying to understand.

There are two windings on the Bally flipper coil (4 wire ends).
Thrust winding (short thick wire) deep inside around the bobbin, and hold winding (long thin wire) over the thrust winding.
Thrust winding on the side lug connects to ground via the flipper switch.
Other side of thrust winding ends on the middle lug where the hold winding starts.
Other side of the hold winding ends on the other side lug that switches to 43 volts.
These windings in total are connected in *series*.

F14 Tomcat apparently has Parallel wound flipper coils. Looking at the F14 Tomcat flipper schematics, both the thrust and hold windings connect at power and switch to ground which tells me they are indeed parallel connected.

Now I know nothing about games post '84 but look at the schematics... Or is there some other magic to parallel vs serial wound flipper coils?

FlipperCoilWiring (resized).jpg

#46 7 months ago

Based on what I think I understand here: I should have seen a difference. The solenoid driver board I upgraded to altek. The original rectifier and power transformer are still in the unit. Perhaps I need to get out my meter and do some testing to be sure I have true 43v. Unfortunately my idea above about swapping in williams units may be a problem as they require 50v.

I do not have linear flippers in this.

Can anyone that did this tell me if they saw a big difference or was it subtle when they went to the stern coils like I just tried?

One way or another I'm going to make this work...

#47 7 months ago

When I bought this machine it had some hacked up wiring in the gi and feature lighting circuits, they were tied together! So I have to wonder.

There is one extra brown wire on the left solenoid than the right. Anyone have photos showing wiring to the coils I can compare to.

#48 7 months ago

My feeling and experience is that it’s in the mechanism. Changing to the classicstern beefier mechanism makes it feel snappier and precise. Others opinions may differ.

The only coils on classic Bally’s and sterns I like a little more juiced up is the pop bumpers. I usually go from a 1200 coil to a 900. Everything else I leave stock.

Quoted from EdHess:

When I bought this machine it had some hacked up wiring in the gi and feature lighting circuits, they were tied together! So I have to wonder.
There is one extra brown wire on the left solenoid than the right. Anyone have photos showing wiring to the coils I can compare to.

#49 7 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

We might be looking at this differently which is what I'm trying to understand.
There are two windings on the Bally flipper coil (4 wire ends).

Yep, we are. Maybe it's not accurate for me to describe the bally coil as "parallel" winding, as the definition from Williams seems to indicate that they're not adding in the hold coil, they're substituting it? So the theory would be players that like to hold up the flippers a lot will not be heating up the thrust winding in this case - but on Bally coils you're adding in the hold winding to the thrust winding, so that would be described as 'serial' since it is. Now, that makes sense, so not accurate for me to call it a parallel using the williams definition. But it is accurate in that it's still 2 separate windings, which is really what I was trying to convey, unlike the williams series wound coils which I don't believe have the 4 wires, only 3.

So - what's to prevent someone from re-wiring a bally coil to behave like the williams' definition of parallel wound?

#50 7 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

So the theory would be players that like to hold up the flippers a lot will not be heating up the thrust winding in this case - but on Bally coils you're adding in the hold winding to the thrust winding

When the flippers held up, the voltage across the thrust winding becomes almost negligible due to the high impedence of the hold winding so the coil shouldn't be getting hot due to the thrust winding still being in circuit.

Quoted from slochar:

So - what's to prevent someone from re-wiring a bally coil to behave like the williams' definition of parallel wound?

Nothing really, but what exactly do you gain? Is there some Williams service bulletins explaining the benefits of parallel connected flipper coils?

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