(Topic ID: 258269)

My $300 Alien Poker Restore


By RGarriott

51 days ago



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#1 51 days ago

Hello all. This will be my first restoration. I have no issues with most of the stuff like wood working, painting, cab work, playfield work but will be a little out of my element when it comes to the board work. The table is pretty rough, lots of bare spots, lots of dings and scratches on the cab. The backbox displays are just hanging there so im pretty sure they will all need to be replaced. The backglass is also trashed. Hopefully the boards will be in good shape. I haven’t turned the table on yet, i need to check the power supply out and give it a good look over. Let me know what has worked for you guys when starting out with a table in this condition. Thanks
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#2 51 days ago

Just an opinion but I would see what works or doesn’t work before replacing a single rubber. To easy now to take an inventory of repairs and get it working Before buying or not buying tons of new parts. No sense polishing something your going to toss out! Just be safe and check all fuses and grounds before digging around if this is your first swing at restoration. With that said, it’s hard for many (myself included) but after it working assess the actual value of the game and how far you should actually go. Sadly some games or components are not justifiable at a certain point. It’s just a fun player. Good luck.

#3 51 days ago

And last note... use this forum as a support system Especially in hunting for old parts. A used back glass may not be New but it will likely cost 1/4 that of new. Same with many of the parts I see you will be buying lol. With the recent re-run of new Playfields there will be Dozens of used ones available that will look 50 times better then the one you have for cheap.

#4 51 days ago

That CPU board doesn't look very good. I see lots of corrosion on it.

#5 51 days ago

I did a similar condition ‘restore‘ on a 1980s game —firepower. I documented it all on here if you are interested— although that’s one of many that have been documented. I’ll say it took a lot longer than I thought it would, and some of the things I did and didn’t do now make me laugh, as this was my first try with about zero knowledge / exp. ...it’s a learning Adventure for sure! Good luck!

#6 51 days ago

Did you find this on FB about 18 months ago? I recall seeing one...

#7 51 days ago

Still, 300 bucks is a score for this. Well worth the time to fix up.
-Mike

#8 51 days ago

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/post-purchase-checklist
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/shop-job-master-checklist
(Also scanning pinside for "alien poker" topics AND system 6 topics will help get a sense of the range of possible issues -- such as replacing the 40-pin connector, and reflowing all header pins, no matter what, etc... connectors, connectors, connectors...)
Good luck with troubleshooting! You'll be at a new level once this thing boots up -- all in due time...
-mof

google: site:pinside.com "alien poker" "system 6"
also, learn what other titles are system 6, so you can search for those as well to find solutions that should work equally for all system 6's -- such as just getting it to boot the first time.

#9 51 days ago

Ive learned these last few years its needed to replace the male 40 pin header on the cpu board as well. Ive always done the driver bd side on refurbs but not the cpu bd side. Best to do both.

#10 51 days ago
Quoted from dudah:

Did you find this on FB about 18 months ago? I recall seeing one...

My buddy txt me about a wk ago about seeing it on the fb marketplace, it was only about 1/2 hr from my house.

#11 51 days ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Just an opinion but I would see what works or doesn’t work before replacing a single rubber. To .

Yeah, makes zero sense to even touch the playfield until you get the game working electronically 100 percent. At that point you can do the rubber, flippers, lights etc.

You may never even get to that point. This looks like a game that could have some bail out potential.

#12 51 days ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

This looks like a game that could have some bail out potential.

Absolutely my thought. I have had far to many “chasing the Dream” restoration projects that ended up being a shiny money pit! If you can just get it playable electronically at that point (from what I see in the pics) might be a fast flip opportunity to someone with a donor machine to take this over the players condition finish line.

#13 51 days ago

The table has been stored for the last few yrs. They said that it turns on, sets there in attract mode but would not kick a ball. As you can see in the one pic all the fuses were gone. I pulled them all but the 2.5 amp solenoid fuse was literally broke into pieces. Thanks for all the input so far.

#14 50 days ago

At only 300, you could get the repro pf and still have good value when finished

#15 50 days ago

I guess it depends how far you want to take it. It's a wonderful moment to be an AP owner since new playfield, plastics, and backglass are available. I have invested in all of these for my game, but I plan to keep it. I think you'd be hard pressed to break even on selling after a restore with repro parts, but maybe I'm not aware of a surge in value on this game since I bought it several years ago.

It looks like you've got a busted pop bumper cap, and I don't think those are available.

I'd approach it by getting everything you've currently got working and decide if it's a keeper. You may be looking at a couple hundred more dollars just getting it up and running if there are many coils to replace along with whatever components needed for board repair, more if you end up replacing rather than repairing a board.

Repairing boards on your own is cheapest, but you'll need to be able to desolder, solder, use a multi-meter, read schematics, and otherwise be patient with troubleshooting to track down problems. I've spent many hours working through board issues in my games. It does end up costing more than you'd think because you'll need one-off components here and there and tracking down a single source for a one time order is difficult. When you end up sourcing components from multiple vendors just to get everything you need, shipping costs and relatively high prices for small volume orders add up. Even if you could come up with a definitive list of all the parts you need to replace in advance, you very likely would not find them all from a single source. I enjoy board work, but totally understand the appeal of paying someone else to do it.

#16 50 days ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

I guess it depends how far you want to take it. It's a wonderful moment to be an AP owner since new playfield, plastics, and backglass are available. I have invested in all of these for my game, but I plan to keep it. I think you'd be hard pressed to break even on selling after a restore with repro parts, but maybe I'm not aware of a surge in value on this game since I bought it several years ago.
It looks like you've got a busted pop bumper cap, and I don't think those are available.
I'd approach it by getting everything you've currently got working and decide if it's a keeper. You may be looking at a couple hundred more dollars just getting it up and running if there are many coils to replace along with whatever components needed for board repair, more if you end up replacing rather than repairing a board.
Repairing boards on your own is cheapest, but you'll need to be able to desolder, solder, use a multi-meter, read schematics, and otherwise be patient with troubleshooting to track down problems. I've spent many hours working through board issues in my games. It does end up costing more than you'd think because you'll need one-off components here and there and tracking down a single source for a one time order is difficult. When you end up sourcing components from multiple vendors just to get everything you need, shipping costs and relatively high prices for small volume orders one add up. Even if you could come up with a definitive list of all the parts you need to replace in advance, you very likely would not find them all from a single source. I enjoy board work, but totally understand the appeal of paying someone else to do it.

You are probably right after time and parts it would be tuff come out ahead. But
If you were planing on playing it for a while I don’t think it would a loss
Just imo
Pretty cool game even for now

#17 50 days ago

So i did a little testing yesterday evening and started at the power supply. I installed new fuses and unplugged all out going connections from the board. I checked out the power cord and wiring leading up the the transformer mainly because the power cord is just a brown extension cord spliced in. Upon inspection i found that there is no on/off switch. The bottom cab panel has been replaced with some nasty fake brick panel and the switch removed and spliced together.
So after i replaced the power cord with a new one that had a ground prong i plugged it in. So far so good. So at this point the only thing that has power is the transformer and the power board. I start checking voltage on the fuses. All the voltages are nearly the same. 58-72 volts on all fuses and i checked some of the pins and they tested the same. I just did some fuse work on my firepower and I know this isnt right. Whats my next move? Check out the transformer and or its bad?
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#18 50 days ago

Are you sure your meter was set to check dc volts? Where were you placing the probes when testing for voltages?

#19 49 days ago
Quoted from frunch:

Are you sure your meter was set to check dc volts? Where were you placing the probes when testing for voltages?

Yep. I was wrong. But i do believe the transformer is bad. I took all the dc and ac readings on my firepower board and then went out to the AP to get those readings. They were considerably different from each other.
I wanted to eliminate either the power supply or the transformer so i installed the power supply board in my firepower. All readings were good. Looks like i have a bad transformer. Readings are as follows
AP. FP.
F1. 153.6. 88
F2. 10.5. 38.4
F3. 5.3. 17.8
F4. 10.5. 38.4

#20 49 days ago
Quoted from RGarriott:

Yep. I was wrong. But i do believe the transformer is bad. I took all the dc and ac readings on my firepower board and then went out to the AP to get those readings. They were considerably different from each other.
I wanted to eliminate either the power supply or the transformer so i installed the power supply board in my firepower. All readings were good. Looks like i have a bad transformer. Readings are as follows
AP. FP.
F1. 153.6. 88
F2. 10.5. 38.4
F3. 5.3. 17.8
F4. 10.5. 38.4

Ok you've got the right ideas here, just need to tweak a couple things. While comparing voltages between the working and non-working games is an excellent place to start, you need to know exactly what voltages to look for and where to find them. Do you have the schematics for AP? Unfortunately IPDB.org doesn't have a set so I'm using the power supply board schematic from a Blackout instead...i think it should be the same as AP or close enough. That said, here's what we have--i added green arrows to point out 5 fuses:

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Starting at the top you can see fuse 1 (F1 on schematic). If you follow to the left of the fuse, it's showing Display 90VAC. The wire leading up to the fuse (3J1-4) and the one below it (3J1-9) are carrying 90VAC from the transformer to the power supply board. In order to check that the transformer is supplying 90VAC to the board, you'll want to set your meter for AC volts and check between 3J1-4 and 3J1-9. If you have 90VAC there and the fuse is good (always check fuses by pulling them out and check with meter), and have verified that you have the correct type/rating of fuse installed--in this case a 1/4 amp slow-blow fuse-- then jot down your reading (AC volts) than move onto the next circuit, at fuse 2/F2.

F2 is a 2.5a slow blow fuse that protects the solenoid circuit. You should get around 28VDC coming in from one of the bridge rectifiers (not shown on this schematic, and unfortunately not included at all with this copy)...That can be tested by setting meter to DC volts, red probe on either side of F2, black probe on ground. Again, make sure you have correct fuse type and rating.

F3 is for the CPU controlled/lamp matrix lamps. 18VDC should be coming into the board from the other bridge rectifier mounted in the backbox, and can be checked at F3 the same way that DC volts can be tested at F2. Verify correct fuse type/rating.

F4 is 28VDC for the flipper coils, tested same as F2+F3. Again, verify proper type of fuse and rating. Note this voltage is also comes from the backbox-mounted bridge rectifier for the coils.

F5 is protecting the 12VDC that gets converted into 5VDC by the voltage regulator on that big heat sink on the power supply board. You should find approx 12VDC at fuse F5.

The transformer is not very likely to be bad, though anything is possible. If any of these voltages are missing or incorrect, you can unplug the transformer from the power supply board (big rectangular 12-pin plug at lower right) and test each of the transformer windings individually. Again, transformer failure is pretty rare. Power supply board issues, however...

Now that I've got that all written down, I'm noticing F2 and F4 on your game are at less than 1/2 the voltage that should be there--i would recommend checking the bridge rectifier that converts the AC from the transformer into the DC voltage the board supplies to the coils. Again, the schematic i am working from doesn't include the rectifier wiring so I'm not sure which rectifier it will be. There's only 2 in there, so it'll be easy to figure out.

#21 49 days ago

Thanks for that write up. I was going off my FP schematic. I did take readings off of the rectifiers but didnt include them. The solenoid rectifier has voltages of 10.5 then splits to 5.1. The lamp rectifier has an input voltage of 5.5 and splits to 2.3. I will go out and test each lead off of the transformer.

#22 49 days ago

No prob! Here's how to test a bridge rectifier. Note you'll need to use the "diode test" setting on your meter for this (do this test with power off)
https://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=General#Testing_a_Bridge_Rectifier

#23 49 days ago

Just my 2c that the transformer is probably not bad. In the rare cases they do fail, it was because it got dead-shorted, and became a smoldering mess. Even then, I've seen some smoldering mess transformers still producing the correct voltages.

#24 47 days ago

I pulled the transformer today and all is well. It checked all good to the schematics.

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#25 47 days ago
Quoted from RGarriott:

It checked all good

You got this man, step by step!
-mof

#26 47 days ago

Cool, so transformer is good...just gotta figure out what's causing the low voltage at F2+F4. This is also a good opportunity to install a pair of fuses for the bridge rectifiers. These games can be a fire hazard due to the lack of fuses for the bridge rectifiers, so for a few bucks it's a no-brainer. There's a really good write-up on the procedure here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-bulletproofing-williams-system-6/page/2#post-945742

If it were me, I'd just go ahead and put a new pair of bridge rectifiers in along with the extra fuse holders and fuses. They're cheap, and it may fix the voltage issue for the coils.

I think you mentioned you have another Williams game from this era--if so you'll probably want to add the fuses to that game too.

#27 47 days ago

I plan on changing the rectifiers and i did read over Vids bulletproofing guide. Looks easy and cheap enough so ill be doing that also.

#28 47 days ago

At this point i went ahead and labeled, took lots of pics and pulled all the wiring and boards. I took the boards to get checked out. As you can see from the pics, lots of yellow and black streaks On the inner backbox.

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#29 47 days ago

Right on, man. Keep us posted!

#30 43 days ago

Started a little cabinet clean up today. I tried to use simple green to clean the inside smoked filled panels but it didn't cut it. I had to use zep cleaner. That worked like a charm
Im also starting to make the backbox side stencil.

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#31 43 days ago
Quoted from RGarriott:

Started a little cabinet clean up today. I tried to use simple green to clean the inside smoked filled panels but it didn't cut it. I had to use zep cleaner. That worked like a charm
Im also starting to make the backbox side stencil.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Nice
Anyway you can make copy’s or scan the stencils. That would be a nice tool to have for cabinet restore

#32 43 days ago

Well it took me about an 1.5 hrs but i got the stencils ready to go.

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#33 43 days ago
Quoted from topkat:

Nice
Anyway you can make copy’s or scan the stencils. That would be a nice tool to have for cabinet restore

Iv been wanting to learn how to do that, not really sure how to take a picture and make a vectored file from it. Ill see what i can do.

#34 43 days ago
Quoted from RGarriott:

Iv been wanting to learn how to do that, not really sure how to take a picture and make a vectored file from it. Ill see what i can do.

I can’t do that either. Maybe even a tracing of each. I plan on getting an ap at some point..be nice to have. You did allot of leg work.

#35 43 days ago

Well I noticed I forgot to cut out one of the black squiggly things in the bottom right. Had to fish out the stencil from the pile. All good now.

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#36 43 days ago

I have looked at your backbox artworks.....for me, black should be painted last.....
First blue base, then red and then black over red/blue
I think red over blue is difficult..........Good luck!

#37 43 days ago

damn that playfield has some hardcore wear. That is going to be a rough one to fix. When I did my alien poker, I bought 3 different ones and made one super nice one and restored the playfield. Sold off the other 2. Now I have a pristine beautiful Alien poker, and was well worth it. The game is amazing.

#38 43 days ago
Quoted from Theo_Ioannis:

I have looked at your backbox artworks.....for me, black should be painted last.....
First blue base, then red and then black over red/blue
I think red over blue is difficult..........Good luck!

I have black going down first. Then red then the black details inside the head.

#39 38 days ago

I will be picking up my boards in the next couple days. They are currently in a Gorgar running through test mode and getting some plays on that table. So if you are local to Lafayette Indiana and are able to go to Main Street Amusements you can play Gorgar with Alien poker speech and sounds.

All boards are working and have all the essential Updates. Dan does a awesome job and gets your stuff back in a timely manner at a fair price.

Alien Poker’s sound and speech boards are good to go. The sound board got the usual treatment, new caps and connector headers, plus two new fuses. The speech board’s output was very low. Replacing one of the 1458 amps took care of that.
With low speech (or sound) the first thing to check is the setting of the 5K pot on the speech board. This adjusts the volume balance between sound and speech.

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#40 38 days ago

Nice!!! You must be excited to get your AP up and running!

Sounds like you found a really good local tech. That's invaluable!

Any more pics of that test rig? I really like what I'm seeing there.

#41 38 days ago
Quoted from frunch:

Nice!!! You must be excited to get your AP up and running!
Sounds like you found a really good local tech. That's invaluable!
Any more pics of that test rig? I really like what I'm seeing there.

When I pick them up I will get a few pictures of his test set up.

#43 37 days ago

Started painting backbox hardware today and the transformer. I also got all my screws and bolts out of the tumbler. Looking pretty good I think.

I also bought some wood to make some repairs to the backbox. But after i got into it I decided I was just going to make a new one. It just had to much water damage and side damage. It also had some random nails and epoxy holding the bottom together. It has to go.

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#44 37 days ago
Quoted from RGarriott:

Started painting backbox hardware today and the transformer. I also got all my screws and bolts out of the tumbler. Looking pretty good I think.
I also bought some wood to make some repairs to the backbox. But after i got into it I decided I was just going to make a new one. It just had to much water damage and side damage. It also had some random nails and epoxy holding the bottom together. It has to go.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Do you have wood working experience. ?
It looks like you popped that out with no issues. Looks good

#45 36 days ago
Quoted from topkat:

Do you have wood working experience. ?
It looks like you popped that out with no issues. Looks good

I have made a few Mame cabinets and a virtual pin cab and also just normal home construction. Thats the extent of my wood working. I just get in there and do it. This is my last Mame cabs i built and my virtual cab. The last picture is my firepower table next to the VP cab playing Firepower.

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#46 36 days ago

From those I’d definitely say you have solid wood working skills.
Nice job

#47 29 days ago

Started finishing up the backbox today. Drilled the vent holes and installed the guides for the backglass. I made one mistake on the base. Instead of measuring where the square cut out was i just measured the cut out and then centered it in the backbox. Shame on me for assuming it was centered. I also salvaged one piece feom the old backbox and it was the top angled piece that holds the top of the backglass.
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#48 29 days ago

i have painted the metal surround for the inner backbox black and also primed and painted the backbox. Next will be the stencils. But that will need to wait till this coming Tuesday. Back to work tomorrow. And who knew that the blue on the alien poker cab and the Budlight can were the same. Any way. Cheers.
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#49 28 days ago

Does anyone make replacement backbox warning and diagram decals?

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#50 24 days ago

I started the PF cab today. Although not in horrible shape it definitely needed some repairs, clean up and some fresh paint. The bottom needed to be torn off and a new bottom installed. People do the damnedest things. 85BD9908-D7C4-4FA9-9A8E-789444B3B782 (resized).jpeg

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