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(Topic ID: 119277)

Looking For Advice - Williams Match Unit

By SilverBallKid

5 years ago

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  • 3 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by SilverBallKid
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 5 years ago

Hi Everyone,

So, this weekend I finally started swapping out lamp sockets on my 1976 Space Odyssey. A lot of my GI sockets on my playfield were pretty well shot and I had a lot of lights that burned very dim. Yesterday I worked my way around the playfield and replaced all lamp sockets that had 1/2 inch brackets. I am still kind of new to soldering so I was a little hesitant, but my buddy who used to repair pins is the one who taught me so I had good guidance.

Anyway, once I was done soldering in the new sockets and fired up the table, things looked MUCH better. Better light pools, consistent from area to area, all lights equal brightness, etc. Needless to say I was very happy.

Today I started swapping out the Flush Mounted "Staple" type sockets for my match unit as a start on repairing the bad ones in my backbox. I have a lot of weak/bad ones up there as well, and even a couple that contain either cracked bulbs or the remnants of things used to try to remove cracked bulbs. I have a new CPR repro backglass, so I want things to look as good as I can.

Here is a look at the first 5 sockets I pulled (match lights 0-4) so you guys can check out the condition of my existing ones. As you can see, they are terribly rusted and corroded and the springs inside are shot. I also included a bulb so you can see another thing I am running across, which is sockets that have a buildup of greasy gunk in them. It almost looks like old Vaseline to me. Some sockets have it and some don't. I find them all over the game from place to place. Regardless, between the rust, the corrosion and the greasy stuff, I just felt it would be better to swap them out.


Anyway, now that the match light sockets are swapped out, I am disappointed to find that the match lights are still not coming on. I have four that work (2, 6, 8, 9) and these all worked BEFORE the socket swaps. So, here is my question:

I have looked at my match unit itself and I see a buildup on the PCBs on either side of it. It looks just like my steppers all did when I first got the table. I have NEVER cleaned this match unit. Is there a trick to getting a Williams EM match unit from this time period apart and back together correctly. In my player unit stepper and bonus steppers, there was always a way to ensure I got everything back together correctly (bolt holes in specific places, etc) but when I look at the match unit I don't see such things. I am assuming that the fingers that contact the PCBs should be making contact with the same number on each side of the unit at any given time. Any other advice about dis-assembly/re-assembly as I try to get these lights to all work?

For the record, the game will activate the knocker on matches when the corresponding lights do not come on. I kept notes on this for a time as I played to ascertain which lights worked and which ones didn't.

Any guidance is greatly appreciated. I checked Clay's site and couldn't find any specific info on these units.


Tim in Motown

#2 5 years ago

Your match relay is just a small stepper unit.

If you are successful in lighting lights and earning match credits then the unit and those legs of the circuit are working which is good and gives us hope that the balance of the circuit is competent.

Clean the circuit board with a scotchbrite pad and apply a small amount of SuperLube to keep the contacts from wearing the board out. Make sure there is continuity at each position between the wiper arms and the circuit board. That is your first item to validate. Just because it contacts at one position doesn't mean it will contact at all positions.

Inspect and report back to us.

Below is a link to the match unit that would be in your game. There are two configurations shown as this catalog covered a large range of games/years.

#3 5 years ago

Thanks so much, MikeO!

I always forget that those parts catalogs are on Planetary Pinball's site. Very helpful.

So, after I finished out swapping out all my match light lamp sockets, I went ahead and dis-assembled the Match Unit itself. Followed the First Golden Rule (in my opinion) of EM Repair and took lots of pictures first. Cleaned everything up and now all match lights work. Gotta say it was insane to see the condition of those lamp sockets when I started removing them. Cracked housings, heavy corrosion, etc. Now they're all brand new and finally functioning properly.

I have already moved on to swapping out the other lamp sockets in the backbox. What a HUGE difference. To see the words SPACE ODYSSEY actually lit correctly is quite a sight. I was so used to it being uneven and shadowy. Crazy what a few bucks and a soldering iron can do.

Thanks again, MikeO! I appreciate the guidance.

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