New board or rebuild old?

(Topic ID: 8168)

New board or rebuild old?


By Fishmugger

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 22 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Slingshot
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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#1 6 years ago

New to this hobby and picked up a couple of older 80s games , Balley fireball 2 and mati hari. Fireball quit working and blows f 4 fuse in power supply. Suspect driver board and or bad rectifier or shorted coil. Noticed new driver boards are around $ 90 . With labor for a tech anywhere from 60 to 90 hr it seems like you could far exceed that in repairing old boards with all the upgrades recommended. Would it be better to just replace entire boards when need repairing these old type boards or have old ones repaired? Any help would be greatly appreciated .

#2 6 years ago

I just replace a board if it is going to be cheaper. It doesn't bother me if a machine I am looking at has new boards that aren't original, but it does bother some collectors.

#3 6 years ago

For $90 I'd just get a new one unless you are capable of repairing it yourself.

#4 6 years ago

Fish, send me your old ones if your not going to use them if you go the new route please!

#5 6 years ago

If you go the new board route, you could practice your PCB soldering/desolder skills on the old ones. Always a nice skill to have and sooner or later you'll have component level trouble you could fix yourself for pennies on the dollar.

#6 6 years ago

Troubleshoot the problem first and then decide if you want/need to purchase a new board. Test your bridge rectifier, check your coil, test your driver circuit.

At this point you don't even know the source of the problem so throwing money at new boards could be an expensive strategy. Plus you'll learn something in the process and be the better man for it.

Enjoy!

#7 6 years ago

I'd try to repair first.......hey if you are prepared to buy a new one...what's to lose, you can only save.

#8 6 years ago

It only makes sense to replace the boards instead of spending dozens of dollars repairing what isn't working right now on a 25+ year old PCB. Chances are something else will fail pretty soon.

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

It only makes sense to replace the boards instead of spending dozens of dollars repairing what isn't working right now on a 25+ year old PCB. Chances are something else will fail pretty soon.

I respectfully disagree.

I've repaired many boards that have worked flawlessly ever sense and the cost to do so is minor.

#10 6 years ago

It's your call, if you have the time and enjoy learning about board repair - DIY. If you couldn't care less about learning to fix your pinball machines then get a new board.

I'm a nerd so I like to work on my own boards, although I will say this Whirlwind I just got is giving me a headache trying to sort out the previous operator hacks. Nothing is better than fixing something yourself though. It feels so good when the game doesn't explode after you turn it on.

#11 6 years ago

You'll save alot of money and learn some basic board repair. Like I said before, if your prepared to buy a new board what do you stand to lose by trying to repair??????????

#12 6 years ago

Buy a new board, and use the old one to learn how to do board repair.

#13 6 years ago
Quoted from donjagra:

Buy a new board, and use the old one to learn how to do board repair.

Wrong order.

Use old board to learn board repair, order a new one if you screw up. Machine isn't working anyway, so it's not like you're risking breaking your machine without a part to replace it with.

#14 6 years ago
Quoted from rplante:

I respectfully disagree.

I've repaired many boards that have worked flawlessly ever sense and the cost to do so is minor.

Me too!!!

#15 6 years ago

I'm in the repair category. Especially for things like power supplies. They are very repairable and they will be very reliable after they are done. Probably even more reliable than the new power supplies when it comes to the high voltage section.

For a WMS WPC 89 and later CPU, if it is corrosion damaged and a mess it makes sense to buy new. If the only problem is U20 being out, repair it. DE CPUs are worth repairing as are System 11. WMS driver boards are pricey and repair often makes sense.

Of course each board and every person's situation is its own unique case, and you can't make a blanket statement that everything should be repaired or you should always buy new.

#16 6 years ago

I personally rebuild my boards. And on that rare time when my MPU was too damaged, I bought another used and repaired replacement.

#17 6 years ago

I duno...... you hear some bad stories about after market boards?
how long do you plan to keep the pin(s) in question?

#18 6 years ago
Quoted from DrAzzy:

Wrong order.

Use old board to learn board repair, order a new one if you screw up. Machine isn't working anyway, so it's not like you're risking breaking your machine without a part to replace it with.

I own pins to play, not to sit broken while I try an learn new skills. If $80 on new parts is a major investment, you should be looking at another hobby.

#19 6 years ago

I think it only makes sense to repair if you can do it yourself. Sending a board out for 2 repairs hurts if it approaches the cost of a new board. That said, a replacement board needs to be available...

#20 6 years ago

Thanks for all your replies . I think I will try to learn to fix myself knowing if I f &$k up I have the option of purchasing a new board. With 2 old pins I might as well learn . Off to frys to get a good solder station and sucker upper . Been reading all I can on electronic repair and found some good video on utube. Let ya know how it works out

#21 6 years ago

I feel like a broken record in all posts, but there isn’t enough info here or maybe you have another post. Why do suspect a board first of all? Most issues are in connections. First step for any general repair is to read the guides for the system you are repairing and test the voltages to every board.

I have helped many people, and everyone’s first action is always wanting to buy a new (whatever) board when something isn’t working. I have had so many people buy boards and still have the same issues, as they simply have no clue to what the real issue can be. Then, you still have a non-working game and much more expense, which likely wasn’t needed.

*IF* the issue is a board, then you have a decision to make, buy another or repair. Repairing takes time to read the guides (2-3 times before starting, and the beginners guide to what components are and how they work), and then to trace the problem area, but to own pinball is to fix pinball. It’s not a fun little hobby we pinball people enjoy, it’s a necessity that is a pain in the ass and happens at the worst possible time.

If it is a board, the cost of the part that is an issue will likely average under $1 for any given issue. The time is the expense here. So that is the dilemma, but again, some prep work/checks need to be done prior to being able to confidently say “it is in fact a board”.

#22 6 years ago
Quoted from Atomicboy:

I feel like a broken record in all posts, but there isn’t enough info here or maybe you have another post. Why do suspect a board first of all? Most issues are in connections. First step for any general repair is to read the guides for the system you are repairing and test the voltages to every board.

I have helped many people, and everyone’s first action is always wanting to buy a new (whatever) board when something isn’t working. I have had so many people buy boards and still have the same issues, as they simply have no clue to what the real issue can be. Then, you still have a non-working game and much more expense, which likely wasn’t needed.

*IF* the issue is a board, then you have a decision to make, buy another or repair. Repairing takes time to read the guides (2-3 times before starting, and the beginners guide to what components are and how they work), and then to trace the problem area, but to own pinball is to fix pinball. It’s not a fun little hobby we pinball people enjoy, it’s a necessity that is a pain in the ass and happens at the worst possible time.

If it is a board, the cost of the part that is an issue will likely average under $1 for any given issue. The time is the expense here. So that is the dilemma, but again, some prep work/checks need to be done prior to being able to confidently say “it is in fact a board”.

Well said Sir!

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