(Topic ID: 59006)

Meteor: fuse list & tuning drops

By jasonbar

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by jasonbar
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


Linked Games

  • Meteor Stern Electronics, 1979

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There have been 8 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

Stern_1979_Meteor_Manual.pdf (PDF preview)

#1 5 years ago


I just shoehorned a Meteor into my garage this past weekend. Love it. I've done the usual bit of fine tuning, tweaking, adjusting, etc. There are a few items that are eluding me at the moment. I welcome help on the following:

1 - Fuse list. I searched but couldn't find a comprehensive count & description of all of the fuses that the game uses (that I'd like to have on hand). I can hunt through the machine & document them, but I was hoping that there was already a comprehensive published list (that I could trust over my self-generated list, as I might overlook a fuse--this is my oldest game & my first Stern, so I'm not very familiar with it).

2 - About 2/3 the time, when all the "METEOR" drop targets pop up (when a game is started or after they've all been knocked down), 1 or 2 of them immediately drop right back down. The most frequent offender is the first "E". I understand that it probably requires a little bit of adjustment to be done with the common shaft & its set screws, but I'm unsure of the technique.

Thanks in advance for any help!

#2 5 years ago

Fuse values are documented in the schematics in the power supply section.

I'm pretty sure the drop target problem is a spring issue, not really an adjustment - perhaps a Meteor owner can confirm this?

#3 5 years ago

PBR sells "Bally" springs for the early SS that work just as well on the early Sterns, assuming a worn spring is your problem. Also, you might examine the drop target itself to see if the little plastic nub that catches on the top plate and holds the target in place has been worn away or damaged. A loose spring is the more likely offender here. If the common shaft was poorly aligned, I would imagine you would have the same problem with the "M" at the very least.

There are six fuses on the rectifier board in the base cab and (IIRC) one under the playfield. The rectifier fuses are as follows: F1 - 10 amp, F2 - 0.75 amp slow, F3 - 4 amp, F4 - 5 amp, F5 - 20 amp, F6 - 3 amp slow.

I tend to replace the connectors/headers in all my early Sterns for reliability reasons (and to solve problems).


#4 5 years ago

Congrats on the Meteor. Its been awhile since I've had one. The dropping target might be from one of the spot target switches being too close or always closed.

Steve could be right too. He knows his Meteor. I attempted to help him with it a few years ago, but didn't do a good job.


#5 5 years ago

The springs lose tension. You can replace them or shorten them. I generally will remove the spring, clip it shorter, and then bend a new hook.

#6 5 years ago

I'd look at the switches for spot targets first. The springs are there to pull the targets back and down when hit and have nothing to do with the targets staying up unless they were the wrong springs and too tight. The target itself could be worn like mentioned above.

#7 5 years ago

Thanks tons for the feedback. I've got a baby at home, so my time to work on projects is not only limited but is usually broken up into tiny chunks, often with 1 hand holding a baby & 1 hand free to poke around. Having said that, thanks again for the help!

- Thanks for the fuse list & for pointing me to the right page on the manual/schematics (which I already had, but I hadn't found the fuses in the schematics in my previous perusal).
- I snapped a pic of the 6 fuses in the Transformer Schematic (p. 34 of the scanned manual PDF download).
- In addition, there's 1 under the playfield that seems to be for the flippers, labeled "WARNING USE ONLY A 1 AMP SLO-BLO FUSE"
- In the backbox, on the display door, there's another labeled "1/4 AMP 175V DISPLAY FUSE".
- And, in the top right board in the backbox, there's 1 fuse that I can't make out. I pulled it but can't read the specs on this crusty old fuse. The PCB doesn't seem to have any info screened on it. My (briefly applied) deductive powers of reasoning have led me to narrow that top right board down to be either the Solenoid Driver Voltage Regulator or Electronic Sounds PCB, but I don't see a fuse in either of those schematics. Help, please? :]
- Hopefully, my survey uncovered all fuses & there aren't any others hiding somewhere.

It will be a little while until I find time to pull out & disassemble & inspect the drop target assembly to check on its springs & on the barbs on the back of the drops themselves. As such, for now, I'll probably first make some marks on the common shaft, fuss with its clocking & the set screws on the end, & see what results I get. I'll take more data on which drops are the offenders. Sometimes it's 1, sometimes 2, and most, if not all, of the drops do offend at some time or another.


1-Meteor_Transformer_Fuses.jpg 2-Meteor_Flipper_Fuse.jpg 3-Meteor_Display_Fuse.jpg 4-Mystery_Meteor_Backbox_Fuse.jpg 5-Mystery_Meteor_Backbox_Fuse_Detail.jpg

#8 5 years ago

Yes it is the solenoid driver board, and is roughly the same equivalent solenoid driver in Meteor as most Bally/Sterns. Example: S.S. version Mata Hari shows this "mystery fuse" on the output of the high voltage display supply section, right before the +185 VDC leaves the board. Fuse value is 3/16A.

#9 5 years ago

Excellent. I did think I saw "3/16" on the end of the fuse but hadn't seen that nomenclature before, so I didn't want to trust it. Confirmed! Thanks!
I'm off to buy a little bucket of fuses!

#10 5 years ago


You may have trouble finding tht 3/16amp fuse in that size. You can get a 1/4amp fuse in the smaller or larger size. You will have to modify your fuse holder tho.


#11 5 years ago

"Steve could be right too. He knows his Meteor. I attempted to help him with it a few years ago, but didn't do a good job."

Ha! I was a rookie then; now I'm much more confident and have a much larger skill set. I still chuckle every now and then at how tentative I was. Even though we didn't get to play any pinball that night, I appreciated your efforts.

To the OP: Do you have the chiclet targets or the newer targets with a flat "hat" at the top? It isn't relevant to your current issue, but this seems to mention that the original chiclet style targets drop much more easily than the replacement type with the "hats".

Have fun with your new game.


#12 5 years ago
Quoted from Evets:

"Steve could be right too. He knows his Meteor. I attempted to help him with it a few years ago, but didn't do a good job."
Ha! I was a rookie then; now I'm much more confident and have a much larger skill set. I still chuckle every now and then at how tentative I was. Even though we didn't get to play any pinball that night, I appreciated your efforts.


I too am more confident and have better skills. I recenyly had to work on a game that I sold about that same time. I was embarrassed with myself of how my work looked back then. I updated my work and felt a lot better.

#13 5 years ago

The drops are memory drops and could be dropped because of adjustment to the mechanicals or the switches. If you start a new game does it register points right away before playing the ball? that would indicate a stuck switch causing hte drop to come down. I would also urge you to rebuild the rectifier board connectors regardless if it works or not. I kept messing up 5101 ram chips on mine and having the sound go screwing. This turned out to be a problem with the plug on the rectifier board, 5v.

#14 5 years ago


Thanks for all of the helpful posts that keep pouring in!

Fuse Update:
I've been scouring eBay, Digikey, McMaster-Carr, etc., amassing a list of sources for fuses. I'm also digging into my other games & their manuals to put together a mondo fuse list & order(s) so that all my bases will be covered.

Drops Update:
I took a couple of pics for Evets. I'm not sure which I have, based on your text description, so the pics should answer that question. I'm guessing that they're the "flat hat" variety that you mentioned. BTW, my machine's 111, 222, 333 targets don't have flat tops like the METEOR targets. I certainly would not say that the METEOR drop easily, at least during gameplay when they're whacked with the ball.
As far as adjustment goes, I first marked the left side of the common shaft under the METEOR bank so that I knew my starting point. Then, I loosened the 2 set screws on the left side of the common shaft, rotated the shaft by a somewhat arbitrary amount (20-35 degrees?), & retightened the screws. Since then, it's been behaving 100% perfectly (for several days, with dozens of drop target bank resets). Lucky first tweak attempt on my part!
To be more specific about the original problematic behavior, when I'd start a new game, all the drops would pop up, then 1 or 2 might immediately pop down & give me points as if I'd hit them.

Thanks--Meteor is good for now!


Meteor_Drops_1.jpg Meteor_Drops_2.jpg

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