(Topic ID: 215245)

My "New" Fish Tales - A Philosophical Repair Question


By SilverBallKid

1 year ago



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  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Pin_Guy
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#1 1 year ago

Hi everyone,

Well, after 5 years, 2 EMs and 1 early SS game purchased, I finally took the plunge yesterday and bought a Fish Tales and entered the world of "modern" games.

I swore I'd never do this, but then again I swore that "one is enough" in May of 2014 when I bought my first EM. You people know the drill...

So anyway, we moved the thing in yesterday. I can tell immediately that there are a lot of issues. I have no GI - backbox or cabinet. Tons of lights out everywhere. One of the pops is very sluggish. One of the lower slings is not working. There is a line of light across my DMD that stays there all the time. So much to work on. I have played a few games and, of course, worked through all features with the glass off. Everything seems to work, computer gameplay speaking. I'm sure addressing the mechanical issues is just like it is on my other three tables and I have a good amount of experience with that at this point. My Williams Pat Hand didn't really work at all when I bought it last summer and I kind of brought it back from the dead, so I am not a total noob.

OK, so here is my question: I am assuming that you long timers out there are going to say CLEAN UP THE FILTH first and then start fixing. I'm wondering if anyone has a system or a procedure that they stick by in these situations as they work through this first portion of fixing up a "new" game that they buy to ensure that they are not missing or overlooking anything as they go. I have to believe that the most logical thing now is to tear this pf down, clean posts in the ultrasonic, clean up ramps and plastics (I have already searched Pinside and found great info on doing these things and I love all the debates - "You can clean metal ball habitrails in your dishwasher." "NO YOU CAN'T." "Yes, you can..."), wipe out all grime, etc. Then get everything back together and see what needs attention at that point starting with a clean game.

Yes? No? Ans also again, does anyone use a set system at this initial post-purchase point?

Thanks,

Tim In Motown

Ps HOW BIG WAS IT?

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#2 1 year ago

I wouldn't tear anything down first. I'd fix all the issues first. Then tear down.

That way you know if it's a pre existing issue or something you did tearing down and reassembling.

LTG : )

#4 1 year ago

Nice snag!(Fishing pun intended) I would suggest that you take a bunch of pictures, naming them in a logic that makes sense to you. I made the mistake of taking closeups, but not noting of what. I would suggest taking pictures of the underside from every practical angle, at a distance with easy to find landmarks. Send everything to the cloud for safe keeping. I lost a bunch of great photos when my phone took a dump at the Albuquerque airport coming out of Airplane mode. The phone did some kind of forced update. Take your time, if you start to get frustrated, just walk away, play one of your EMs. Restoring is almost as fun as playing for me.

#5 1 year ago

Our shop procedure for a game that's been out in the field for several years is to strip the playfield down to just posts, rails, and topside mechs. Take off all plastic and rubbers, and put the nuts, etc, back where they belong, so you know where they go. You can put colors across any under playfield plugs you have to unplug if you're worried you might confuse them. Clean the heck out of the playfield with novus #2. Take a toothbrush and brush out all the little nooks and stuff with novus #1. GI should be more or less fully exposed, so replace all lights. While everything is exposed, go through solenoids and flashers one by one, and see how they work. Fix any solenoid/flasher problems at this point and change as many sleeves as you can. LTG's method is fine, but don't do the tests any time after this. Otherwise you'll have to re-strip to access things. Flip the playfield up and rebuild your flippers, and replace all lamps. Check the lamp test and fix any lamp issues. Put on rubbers. Test each switch with a ball, and a copy of the switch matrix in front of you, so you make sure you get them all. Fix switch issues. Run any special mech tests. Fix mech issues. Clean the removed rails and plastics, and replace them on the playfield. If there are any lamps, solenoids, or flashers that you had to remove, test those now. Run sound tests. Display should be pretty obvious by now if there's issues. Do the lamps/flashers/solenoids on the backbox or in the cabinet. Examine your balls and replace them if needed. Playtest. Cointest. Clean the outside and wipe down the inside and the glass. Am I missing anything?

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from CadillacMusic:

Our shop procedure for a game that's been out in the field for several years is to strip the playfield down to just posts, rails, and topside mechs. Take off all plastic and rubbers, and put the nuts, etc, back where they belong, so you know where they go. You can put colors across any under playfield plugs you have to unplug if you're worried you might confuse them. Clean the heck out of the playfield with novus #2. Take a toothbrush and brush out all the little nooks and stuff with novus #1. GI should be more or less fully exposed, so replace all lights. While everything is exposed, go through solenoids and flashers one by one, and see how they work. Fix any solenoid/flasher problems at this point and change as many sleeves as you can. LTG's method is fine, but don't do the tests any time after this. Otherwise you'll have to re-strip to access things. Flip the playfield up and rebuild your flippers, and replace all lamps. Check the lamp test and fix any lamp issues. Put on rubbers. Test each switch with a ball, and a copy of the switch matrix in front of you, so you make sure you get them all. Fix switch issues. Run any special mech tests. Fix mech issues. Clean the removed rails and plastics, and replace them on the playfield. If there are any lamps, solenoids, or flashers that you had to remove, test those now. Run sound tests. Display should be pretty obvious by now if there's issues. Do the lamps/flashers/solenoids on the backbox or in the cabinet. Examine your balls and replace them if needed. Playtest. Cointest. Clean the outside and wipe down the inside and the glass. Am I missing anything?

All of the responses I got to my question are helpful, but this one really sticks out to me. I love this.

I bought the parts and tools I need to re-pin new connectors at J-120 and J-121 to see if that solves my GI issue. I can definitely see that one of them has a decent size scorch mark on it. I've obviously never done this before but I have watched a few videos and it seems like something I can handle. I have started to go through my mechs and make sure they all work correctly. It is hard because my "escape" button on the coin door control switch bank is faulty so I can't get out of any test or book keeping screen once I get in. I have a new switch bank ordered and once it is soldered in I can start running solenoid and lamp tests to check on everything correctly. I already took tons of pics of the playfield and such, and I will do so in a more detailed manner as I de-populate it.

And, of course, right after getting my "new" Fish Tales I started an 84 hour work week. Hasn't been much time to work on anything. Hopefully this week I will get to starting on some of this.

Thanks, everyone, for your ideas and suggestions. Always great so find so many helpful people here!

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from SilverBallKid:

It is hard because my "escape" button on the coin door control switch bank is faulty so I can't get out of any test or book keeping screen once I get in.

One of the primary things to be concerned with on ANY WPC game is alkaline damage to the CPU board from leaking batteries. Problems with the control switches is one of the first symptoms you see when alkaline damage occurs as the LM339s that control these switches is directly below the batteries on the WPC89 CPU board. I would do a really good corrosion inspection of the entire area below the battery compartment.

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#8 1 year ago

take out all the fuses and put new ones in according to the manual.in many cases the previous owner may have put in a wrong fuse or a higher amp fuse.
nice score good game. this game has optos,it would be a good idea to put the game in switch test and go over all the switches and see if they properly register on the screen.small steps first and it will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

#9 1 year ago

In my neck of the woods, non-working service buttons usually mean some idiot spilled pop down the front. So I'd flush it with contact cleaner first. If you already ordered a new set, though, that'll take care of it.

#10 1 year ago

OK, I never thought I would see this, but...

Yesterday I finally had some time to try to give a little love to the table. Whole day off.

So one of the first things I had on my list was that the slings needed work. The left side linkage was snapped at the top of the plunger so I replaced that. Then I started trying to tweak the switches on the slings to make them more responsive. With the plastic off, I decided to remove one of the old lamps just for fun and replace it with a new 44.

It worked as soon as I put in the new lamp..

Then, I started working around the playfield. Every time I changed out a lamp, it worked. Turns out that every single GI lamp on the playfield was just burned out. Unreal. All the 44s, 555s, 89s and 907s. Every single one.

Still have a few issues with feature lamps but I will work my way through that. Have to say, fixing becomes almost as much fun as playing for me. Still have the lower two thirds of the backbox lamps out, but I will deal with that once the playfield work is done.

#11 1 year ago

Sadly common for a game that's been either in someone's house, or left in the field too long. Glad you figured it out though!

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from CadillacMusic:

Sadly common for a game that's been either in someone's house, or left in the field too long. Glad you figured it out though!

yeah nice save,it could have been going to the dump

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from SilverBallKid:

Turns out that every single GI lamp on the playfield was just burned out.

This is why I usually start with installing all leds.
After the lightning is fixed/replaced then I just pick apart each problem one by one until they are all gone.
Once the game is playable, then I tear it down.
It's pretty much like restoring a car.

2 weeks later
#14 1 year ago

So my job has finally calmed down and I am finding the time to do some work on this table. I am also having to take the time to learn the theory and practicality of how these newfangled components work (as an EM guy).

After working my way through the PinWiki info I placed an order at Great Plains Electronics and finally got the parts in to replace my GI IDCs. I just pulled the IDC at J-120 on my power driver board to see what it looked like. Is this what you guys mean by "signs of heat damage" when you are helping out inquisitive noobs? Haha.

Now, let's see if I can fix it...

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#15 1 year ago
Quoted from SilverBallKid:

Is this what you guys mean by "signs of heat damage" when you are helping out inquisitive noobs? Haha.

The connector is actually burnt, the corresponding header pins have "signs of heat damage" as they are slightly discolored from the heat.

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