(Topic ID: 249801)

New (to me) High Speed - play it or tweak it?

By PatD

4 years ago


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  • 35 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by PatD
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 4 years ago

Just purchased my first pin - High Speed. Machine is very clean and I even wonder if it's ever seen time in a bar/arcade. Previous owner said he bought it from a home user who's husband had it. He had died 10 years prior; not sure how much use it saw in those 10 years, but it's been in a home at least 10 years. Person I bought it from had the machine gone over by a professional. Boards look brand new (to me.) But I also see nothing has been done in terms of "upgrades". I've read through the various bullet proofing threads, and feel there's some items I SHOULD do. Do I go full hog or just enjoy the machine for now?

In order of (my) priorities -

- I need balls! Balls I was given look pretty beat up.
- Still has batteries on the board, though at least they're AA lithiums. I removed the batteries first thing and will probably do an NVRAM upgrade. A must.
- No fuses on the bridges; install Inkochnito Bridge board. Another must in my eyes.
- Bottom right (player 4) display is out. Haven't troubleshooted it all yet; seems most folks when they discuss troubleshooting are quickly told to just upgrade to Pinscore.
- Caps on power supply appear original. EVERYTHING appears original. Considering replacing PS with board from PinballPCB. Then I never have to touch the board again (I hope.) Probably overkill until/if the board dies. But the caps need to be replaced (Most say) if I stick with the original PS.

So I'm quickly at close to $400. Plus I want to upgrade my soldering iron and probably get a Hakko or similar so I can start doing the work myself (Once I've played with the Hakko for plenty of hours on a junk board.)

Am I going overkill or. . .? I'd rather spend a little more upfront to minimize issues later, especially if some of those issues cause major problems in other components (Like fuses on the bridges!)

#2 4 years ago

I mean bulletproofing is a fine idea but yes you're probably going overkill. Have those plans and if you want to do them, deal with them a little down the road. Certain(t)ly don't avoid playing the game because of these things.

NVRAM is not a must, You can put a coin battery in there and be safe.

#3 4 years ago

I would not buy a new power supply board. Cap kits are cheap.

#4 4 years ago

I would fuse those bridges to be safe for sure. That can cause a ton of damage. You can simply add fuses without the add on board. Other than that I would play it while you practice some soldering skills.

#5 4 years ago

- Get new balls. Inspect them periodically for scratches and pits. $5
- for now, remote battery or coin cell. Nvram requires solder work that you might not be ready for. $10
- stop reading this and fuse those bridges now! Two fuses and holders are much cheaper, but the replacement board is pretty slick. $6
- you can find a working numeric display for
$40ish and swap it in easily. The old one is likely outgassed.
- recap the power supply, do the high voltage resistors and 91v diodes. $15

#6 4 years ago

Okay, so let me clarify - these items aren't keeping me from playing the game. I actually don't have it setup yet. Need to remove the back box to get it downstairs first, but hurt my back in the mean time. So it sits on a handtruck in the dining room!

On the batteries - I've read enough posts about NVRAM vs coin cells vs lithium AA. Seems everyone has their own preference. Ultimately, I prefer NVRAM. Folks that talk about installing coin cells though keep saying things like, "5 minutes and you're done." I haven't seen a step-by-step for installing, but it appears you have to remove the board so you can remove the battery holder. Then you can solder in the coin cell holder. If that's the case, I can't see that being 5 minutes, unless you already have the board out. If I have the board out, seems like the ideal time to do the NVRAM anyway. I'm very comfortable with a soldering iron, but never used a Hakko. Have used the handheld suction solder things from Radio Shack, but if I'm going to start doing ICs and such, would rather have the right equipment, right?

For the PS rebuild, is there a good guide on this for the system 11? Or a link to a good cap kit (That might have the basics showing where each cap etc is?) Not finding one and I'm sure there's plenty out there. Thanks all, you guys are great! I think I've found my new hobby!

#7 4 years ago
Quoted from PatD:

Okay, so let me clarify - these items aren't keeping me from playing the game. I actually don't have it setup yet. Need to remove the back box to get it downstairs first, but hurt my back in the mean time. So it sits on a handtruck in the dining room!
On the batteries - I've read enough posts about NVRAM vs coin cells vs lithium AA. Seems everyone has their own preference. Ultimately, I prefer NVRAM. Folks that talk about installing coin cells though keep saying things like, "5 minutes and you're done." I haven't seen a step-by-step for installing, but it appears you have to remove the board so you can remove the battery holder. Then you can solder in the coin cell holder. If that's the case, I can't see that being 5 minutes, unless you already have the board out. If I have the board out, seems like the ideal time to do the NVRAM anyway. I'm very comfortable with a soldering iron, but never used a Hakko. Have used the handheld suction solder things from Radio Shack, but if I'm going to start doing ICs and such, would rather have the right equipment, right?
For the PS rebuild, is there a good guide on this for the system 11? Or a link to a good cap kit (That might have the basics showing where each cap etc is?) Not finding one and I'm sure there's plenty out there. Thanks all, you guys are great! I think I've found my new hobby!

Unless the ram chip is socketed, you will need to desolder the chip and solder in a socket for the nvram. You can buy AA lithium batteries to get you through in the meantime.

#9 4 years ago

I misunderstood but reread it. Sorry. There are cap kits available, just search for your system. If it is not acting up, you can play it until issues start or until you are ready. Like others stated, that fuse issue needs done before anything. If it were me, I would fix the fuses, slap in lithiums and play the snot out if it and do other upgraded / bulletproofing as time allows. Really up to you though.

#10 4 years ago

And new balls so you dont damage the playfield.

#11 4 years ago

I owned a HS once.
I would suggest a fresh kickback plunger as the tip wears down.
Inspect the ramp thoroughly. Mine had a small crack near the exit. I bought the Freeplay40 clear replacement with the extra protector. I never had it get worse but having the parts on hand made a sale later easy and I had piece of mind.

#12 4 years ago

Thanks all. I have a feeling I'm just going to leave the PS as-is until there's an issue. Then may just replace it. Yes, the kits are cheap enough (Looks like $20 before probably another $20 of shipping is my guess.) At that point, if the nice new board is $100, I'll just swap it. I could see spending at least an hour rebuilding the PS, so not sure it's worth my time at that point.

So balls, bridge fuses, deal with the batteries in some way (Came with new lithiums, maybe I'll leave them for now until I NVRAM this sucker), and figure out my display issue. And play it like I stole it! Should keep me busy for a bit.

1 week later
#13 4 years ago
Quoted from PatD:

Yes, the kits are cheap enough (Looks like $20 before probably another $20 of shipping is my guess.) At that point, if the nice new board is $100, I'll just swap it. I could see spending at least an hour rebuilding the PS, so not sure it's worth my time at that point.

That's hard to say, imo. Are you good at board work? If not, it may be a better choice to go with a new one. If you're looking to learn though, it could be a good opportunity.

I'm just thinking if it's your first pin, this could be a chance to gain some skills and knowledge that may help you further down the line. You may eventually need to change out a transistor or some header pins or something, and having the tools and experience already in place will help make it an easier task to navigate. Replacing a board over a bad cap or transistor can add up pretty quickly, though that may not be an issue for you.

Still, if you decide to replace the board, be sure to hold on to the old one to practice soldering on, or offer it up for someone to buy and refurb for their game. Old boards sometimes get a bad rap, but i find they are generally as reliable as any aftermarket boards once properly gone over. Plus there's *tons* of technical/repair info accumulated for the original boards, generally making them easier to troubleshoot and fix than aftermarket boards. I'm not saying every old board is worth saving, but a fair amount of times they probably are. Either way, enjoy your game! (Once you get those bridge rectifier fuses installed, of course! )

#14 4 years ago

grats on getting high speed! it's super fun. remember the freeway spinners become 1000 per spin if you hit them twice during the same ball. this is a good way to rack up a huge score. I'm really new too so i don't have any great advice for the hardware stuff. I do know that converting the game to led lights isn't too hard and looks pretty cool.

#15 4 years ago

I just picked up a Comet a week ago, and was in the same situation you are in.

First thing I did was add fuses to the bridge rectifiers. Cost $3, and about 20 minutes.
IMG_20190823_133022503 (resized).jpgIMG_20190823_133022503 (resized).jpg

Then earlier today I added a lithium battery board. Cost $14 and about 45 minutes.
IMG_20190828_114232652 (resized).jpgIMG_20190828_114232652 (resized).jpg

I went with the battery board because it's cheap, easy, and bulletproof. All of my machines now have them. Adding NVRAM is OK I guess.... It's a bit more involved installing it, but why change a good thing?

While the board was out I inspected all of the solder joints, and while they looked good I still reflowed them, and cleaned off the flux.

The power supply still has all of it's original caps, but it still works great. All of the connectors look good so I'll leave it alone. IMHO the original design is awesome. It's still working flawlessly after 35 years. Can't get any more bulletproof than that. If down the road it fails, or I'm really bored I'll install a new cap kit so it'll be good for another 35 years.
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Good luck with your High Speed! It's a great game.

-Paul

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from PatD:

Thanks all. I have a feeling I'm just going to leave the PS as-is until there's an issue. Then may just replace it. Yes, the kits are cheap enough (Looks like $20 before probably another $20 of shipping is my guess.) At that point, if the nice new board is $100, I'll just swap it. I could see spending at least an hour rebuilding the PS, so not sure it's worth my time at that point.
So balls, bridge fuses, deal with the batteries in some way (Came with new lithiums, maybe I'll leave them for now until I NVRAM this sucker), and figure out my display issue. And play it like I stole it! Should keep me busy for a bit.

You seem to hung up on this NVRAM (I've had machines with and without it), but if rebuilding the PS isn't worth your time (I think you will find buyers like original rebuilt boards), in no way would I suggest you desolder on the existing MPU.
Do a remote holder or similar for $5 and be done with it.

#17 4 years ago

Play the game first...a lot. What happens if you don't like it or want something else instead? You will have saved yourself a lot of time and money.
If you do decide it is a long-term keeper, then start with nvram. I wouldnt get the rest until you actually need it. You can take 1 step forward and 2 steps back sometimes with pins. What happens if you destroy a trace or make it unplayable for a time?

When I get a new (or new-to-me) pin, I try to play it and get a feel for it. You would be surprised how many don't make the cut.

#18 4 years ago

Thanks for all the advice gang. Yes, probably right in that I should stick with the original power supply. I'm back and forth on it, and thinking new is going to be more efficient. But there certainly is something to be said for a design that's worked for 35 years!

Started adding in my fuses for the bridge rectifiers last night. Will wrap it up today (Can never finish a project at one shot with kids around!) Once those are done, new power cord (Since someone cut the ground off) then load up the new balls and play!

2 weeks later
#19 4 years ago
Quoted from PatD:

Thanks for all the advice gang. Yes, probably right in that I should stick with the original power supply. I'm back and forth on it, and thinking new is going to be more efficient. But there certainly is something to be said for a design that's worked for 35 years!
Started adding in my fuses for the bridge rectifiers last night. Will wrap it up today (Can never finish a project at one shot with kids around!) Once those are done, new power cord (Since someone cut the ground off) then load up the new balls and play!

You don't need a whole new power cord, you could just replace the plug part. $2 Home Depot.

#20 4 years ago
Quoted from kermit24:

You don't need a whole new power cord, you could just replace the plug part. $2 Home Depot.

Yehhhhh, but I just can't do that. Feels dirty to me. If I'm doing a job, I do it all the way!

Already replaced it, added fuses on the bridge rectifiers and special solenoids, replaced the traffic light and used LEDs (Hopefully it keeps the heat down a bit), new CORRECT coil for the kickback, new spring on the launcher. . . It's like a house. Always something to do!

Really enjoying the game. This is definitely one of those that won't be leaving my house. Seems everyone I speak to that ever had one say they should have never let it get away.

#21 4 years ago

Oh, I was quite happy to step up to a multi mode dmd.
I don't miss HS at all.
After a few years it kinda gets easy, too easy.

2 weeks later
#23 4 years ago

Little bit of both. A bunch of new parts, but nothing that really kept me from playing it for a long period of time.

Though right now I've lost interest. My launcher was pretty beat up - spring looked back, other spring looked bad, black plastic all chewed up, chrome all chewed up. . . So I replaced the entire unit and used a red spring. Worked great for a few weeks. Now - it won't launch up the ramp no matter what. No idea why. There's no was to adjust it, and it definitely looks like the launcher is hitting to the left of the ball a little bit. I have a spare red spring I'm going to try, but beyond that. . .

#24 4 years ago

You can usually re-position the ball launcher a bit by loosening the nuts or bolts that fasten it to the inside of the cabinet. Try to center the shooter with the ball and re-tighten.

#25 4 years ago

What color rubber tip are you using? A black tip will transfer more energy than a white one.

#26 4 years ago
Quoted from PatD:

Little bit of both. A bunch of new parts, but nothing that really kept me from playing it for a long period of time.
Though right now I've lost interest. My launcher was pretty beat up - spring looked back, other spring looked bad, black plastic all chewed up, chrome all chewed up. . . So I replaced the entire unit and used a red spring. Worked great for a few weeks. Now - it won't launch up the ramp no matter what. No idea why. There's no was to adjust it, and it definitely looks like the launcher is hitting to the left of the ball a little bit. I have a spare red spring I'm going to try, but beyond that. . .

You can adjust the plunger assembly and the guide rail as well in case it is not guiding the ball up the ramp cleanly.

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from frunch:

You can usually re-position the ball launcher a bit by loosening the nuts or bolts that fasten it to the inside of the cabinet. Try to center the shooter with the ball and re-tighten.

Yes, I have done that - I have it moved over as far right as I can get it. Any more and I'll need to dremel open the opening on the box a bit more. Problem is I don't have much room before you'll see the opening on the left side.

Quoted from gutz:

What color rubber tip are you using? A black tip will transfer more energy than a white one.

Yes, black tip.

Quoted from RC_like_the_cola:

You can adjust the plunger assembly and the guide rail as well in case it is not guiding the ball up the ramp cleanly.

That was an early adjustment I made as the ball would keep glancing off the ramp. I have it dialed in perfectly now. Just not enough power.

#28 4 years ago

When the ball is sitting in the shooter lane, is it resting on the tip of the plunger?

#29 4 years ago

One other thing I have had to do on games not getting enough power from the plunger is adjust the little "prongs" that surround the shooter tip. Push them in to make the ball sit closer to the shooter tip. Then it delivers more power.

#30 4 years ago
Quoted from PatD:

Little bit of both. A bunch of new parts, but nothing that really kept me from playing it for a long period of time.
Though right now I've lost interest. My launcher was pretty beat up - spring looked back, other spring looked bad, black plastic all chewed up, chrome all chewed up. . . So I replaced the entire unit and used a red spring. Worked great for a few weeks. Now - it won't launch up the ramp no matter what. No idea why. There's no was to adjust it, and it definitely looks like the launcher is hitting to the left of the ball a little bit. I have a spare red spring I'm going to try, but beyond that. . .

Did you happen to replace the spring between the plunger handle and the cabinet (not the red one, but the small one that lives outside the cab)? Either way, check out my post in this thread to see if it's applicable:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/help-high-speed-driving-me-nuts#post-4977029

That spring I am holding in my thumb caused my plunges to be super weak - almost like I had a super weak/broken spring. I had to put the original one back.

Hope that helps!

#31 4 years ago
Quoted from frunch:

When the ball is sitting in the shooter lane, is it resting on the tip of the plunger?

Negative. The plunger tip is behind the metal, and the ball sits a bit beyond the metal. I'll have to take a pic.

Quoted from RC_like_the_cola:

One other thing I have had to do on games not getting enough power from the plunger is adjust the little "prongs" that surround the shooter tip. Push them in to make the ball sit closer to the shooter tip. Then it delivers more power.

The prongs?

Quoted from cjchand:

Did you happen to replace the spring between the plunger handle and the cabinet (not the red one, but the small one that lives outside the cab)? Either way, check out my post in this thread to see if it's applicable:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/help-high-speed-driving-me-nuts#post-4977029
That spring I am holding in my thumb caused my plunges to be super weak - almost like I had a super weak/broken spring. I had to put the original one back.
Hope that helps!

I did, because it came as an assembly together. I'll pull this apart and see how it compares to the original.

Thanks all!

#32 4 years ago

Ahhh - prongs. Tabs. Yes, now I understand exactly what you mean! So I did tweak those a bit and the ball is now resting against the tip of the launcher. But now I think I've made things worse. Now the balls bounces all around the launch ramp and is a mess!

There's a slight depression where the ball USED to sit in the launch area in the wood ramp. I'm wondering if now that I'm behind that, it's screwing up the ball launch. There's also the rivets on the right side of the metal launch area. Those are ABOVE where the ball travels, if the balls is traveling flat on the wood ramp. If it's lifting up, it could be hitting those.

#33 4 years ago

I fought with Grand Lizard to get it to launch consistently. Maybe you need a stronger spring. They come is several strengths. You could play around with that and see what works best for you.

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from PatD:

. Now - it won't launch up the ramp no matter what. No idea why. There's no was to adjust it, and it definitely looks like the launcher is hitting to the left of the ball a little bit. I have a spare red spring I'm going to try, but beyond that.

Mine started acting up last week...every ball launched hit the post below the ramp entrance, or strike just above the ramp entrance.
Turns out my side rail had come loose from the playfield, and the steel ball guide had pulled away from the side of the rail. I had to tighten the screws under the playfield to snug the rail back into place, then I had to tap in the nails with a nail set that hold the metal ball guide to the rail. Now I get a clean ramp shot probably 14 times out of 15 shots.

20191004_073825 (resized).jpg20191004_073825 (resized).jpg
#35 4 years ago
Quoted from RC_like_the_cola:

I fought with Grand Lizard to get it to launch consistently. Maybe you need a stronger spring. They come is several strengths. You could play around with that and see what works best for you.

I have the red spring in there now. Thought that was strongest.

Quoted from cosmokramer:

Mine started acting up last week...every ball launched hit the post below the ramp entrance, or strike just above the ramp entrance.
Turns out my side rail had come loose from the playfield, and the steel ball guide had pulled away from the side of the rail. I had to tighten the screws under the playfield to snug the rail back into place, then I had to tap in the nails with a nail set that hold the metal ball guide to the rail. Now I get a clean ramp shot probably 14 times out of 15 shots.[quoted image]

Oh yeh, I see that in your pic. Interesting. I did look at that on mine quickly, but didn't REALLY look. I'll check it out. Thanks for the suggestion.

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