(Topic ID: 209960)

Nine Ball Overhaul -- My Attempt to Resurrect a Classic Stern


By TractorDoc

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by TractorDoc
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There are 171 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 4.
#51 1 year ago

De-harnessed the display panel and gave it a quick sand to try and remove some of the bulb skid marks.

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After prep it received a nice crisp coat of white.

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I had ventured into Home Depot for a few items and on a whim walked down the hardware isle. Scored a box of the screw nails used to secure the side rails to the lower cabinet.

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Sometimes its the little things.

#52 1 year ago

Spent part of the evening installing the display panel onto the upper cabinet.
The harnesses and displays were wiped down and cleaned -- quite a few spiders had made their homes on the display boards.

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Once wired in the machine is starting to show the first signs of life after who knows how many years.

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I installed the Solenoid Driver Board to check DC Volts down at the Rectifier Board. The good news is the voltage is in the proper loaded range on the Rectifier. Bad news is after a minute or so I started smelling the subtle smell of cooking electronics. My nose localized it to the large blue capacitor at the upper left of the board -- probably not a surprise finding.

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No obvious signs of lifting, burnt joints/connections, etc. on the back.

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I will look into sourcing new capacitor(s) and have a try at replacing them -- worst case scenario I can acquire a new aftermarket replacement.

#53 1 year ago

Before calling it a night I put the Wizard back into his safe space.

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#54 1 year ago

Mouser or Digikey are good sources for your capacitors. They are very easy to replace and your board will be like new once you do it.

Instead of nails for the rails, you may want to consider mini screws. They are a lot easier to install and remove if you ever want to do something again on the cabinet. I know they are not original/genuine, but will save tons of time in the future.

Yves

#55 1 year ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I will look into sourcing new capacitor(s) and have a try at replacing them -- worst case scenario I can acquire a new aftermarket replacement.

https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=BALLY-P22E-KIT

#56 1 year ago

probably a good idea to check the transistors in the HV area too if you smelled burning around there. When they short out it makes one of the resistors burn up near that filter cap. It is the 22k or 82k resistor burns, i forget which one exactly now.

#57 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

Mouser or Digikey are good sources for your capacitors. They are very easy to replace and your board will be like new once you do it.
Instead of nails for the rails, you may want to consider mini screws. They are a lot easier to install and remove if you ever want to do something again on the cabinet. I know they are not original/genuine, but will save tons of time in the future.

Quoted from barakandl:

probably a good idea to check the transistors in the HV area too if you smelled burning around there. When they short out it makes one of the resistors burn up near that filter cap. It is the 22k or 82k resistor burns, i forget which one exactly now.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I was reading up as much as I could on PinWiki last night, making a list of all the bits to order. There seems to be some variance in capacitors that are available, looking forward to giving the board fix a try.

I had thought about screws for the side rails and may go that route; Ive only installed the nails at the very back/under the upper cabinet at this point.

#58 1 year ago

Of course the kit is out of stock.

https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=BALLY-P22E-KIT

Hopefully they are back in soon as $14 is much better for the kit. Marcos wants $20 for just one capacitor (the one great plains does not have in stock of course). I will probably have to redo the soundboard as well; need to check into the sources Arcane recommended.

Thanks again!

#59 1 year ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Of course the kit is out of stock.
https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=BALLY-P22E-KIT
Hopefully they are back in soon as $14 is much better for the kit. Marcos wants $20 for just one capacitor (the one great plains does not have in stock of course). I will probably have to redo the soundboard as well; need to check into the sources Arcane recommended.
Thanks again!

Check for the individual parts for the kit on GPE's site, they probably are all in stock

#60 1 year ago
Quoted from dasvis:

Check for the individual parts for the kit on GPE's site, they probably are all in stock

Ha, I just did for the OP....both are in stock along with https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=STERN-S3E-KIT

#61 1 year ago

Thanks again guys.
I did try looking them up individually, found C23 easily enough but not C26. I will check again.

#63 1 year ago

barakandl eh97ac arcane

Question on the C23 -- Radial Electrolytic 11700uF, 20 Volt Capacitor. I remember reading somewhere that there is an advantage to using a larger guage wire and shorter wire length when soldering in to the board. Cannot remember where, probably in another thread -- is this worth doing? I think I have some extra 18awg around but anything bigger I only have in copper (I do not know the size of the original wires). If the original wires are sufficient I may just leave them connected to the board and desolder at the capacitor terminals.

Thanks for any thoughts.

#64 1 year ago

Yes, I would replace the flimsy wires that came with the board with bigger gauge and clean copper.
Most likely, the copper on the 45 years old wires is somewhat corroded and offering an increased resistance.
This capacitor is what controls all your solenoids. You want some chunky wires that can transport a few amps, instantaneously.
I have repaired/redone three Bally pinballs (same as Stern electronics) and have always changed the original wires with multi-strands clean copper heavier gauge wires. It is worth it.

Yves

#65 1 year ago

While waiting for board parts to arrive I turned my attentions to the playfield today.

The shooter lane looked rather filthy, this picture was taken even after I started sanding.

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In his guide Vid mentions using different size diameters of pipe for even sanding, I used various diameters of deep well sockets from the tool drawer.

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Just like everything else, not perfect but better.

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A good amount was sanded away and deeper cracks in the wood structure left me thinking this would be a good stopping point.

#66 1 year ago

I also gave attention to the playfield surface.
Yet another one of Vid's helpful guides directed me to using isopropyl alcohol for this era of playfield to strip off whatever protective coating was used back in the day. Never having done this before I was not sure how aggressive I could be -- I started in the tiniest possible area under the apron and as I gained more confidence I eventually used the magic eraser/alcohol combo across the entire playfield. I was more cautious around the ball rack -- I was not sure how thin the paint was in this area and even though I wiped clean some of the areas I had previously tried touching up I do not think any further damage was done to the original art.

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The eventual plan is to spray a clear coat, but there are still a lot of small touch ups needed.

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#67 1 year ago

Gave the coin door components some attention today.
A handful of items fresh out of the blasting cabinet:

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The Rustoleum Hammered Silver really does a nice job matching what I think the original finish must have looked like.

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Poor man's chrome.

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There was a good bit of rust on the outside of the coin slot bezel -- more than I could buff out. I am too impatient to send it out to get rechromed -- I suppose I can always do that with parts from the second machine. The "fake chrome" paint finish will probably never be noticed in the dark confines of the game room.

#68 1 year ago

What colors did you use for the cabinet match?

#69 1 year ago
Quoted from CraigC:

What colors did you use for the cabinet match?

For the most part the cabinet art is original. There are/were areas I touched up with Createx Paints and basically I mixed colors (Red + Yellow = Orange) to get the right shade.
I did spray the interior of the lower cabinet and translite trim of the upper cabinet with fresh orange -- don't tell anyone but the new orange is not an exact match to the original -- but its close. You would never notice standing in front of the machine and probably wouldn't from the side either unless you were looking for it. I had grabbed about two dozen shades of orange samples from the paint store trying to find a match (without having to carry the entire upper cabinet in for them to match for me). At the end of the day the color that was closest was actually in a rattle can -- I think it was a Rustoleum Color and will look at the cap if it is something you want to know. Masked off the art, primed, and then painted the fresh orange. A final covering of Spray Max 2K Satin gave the colors a little more life -- I am finding myself wanting to rearrange the game room to highlight this cabinet as the design is getting more appealing every day.

#70 1 year ago

Relocated all the coin door parts back to their proper locations. It was much easier having the second coin door available for a reference even though I took a number of pictures before hand.

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Yep, that is the kitchen island at home with dog salt and pepper shakers.
The door looks even better on the machine:

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I also took ectobar 's advice and replaced the plastic leg protectors with metal ones. I agree the metal looks better.
I have not yet placed the decals on the door. Decal placement has such an aura of finality to it -- I am hesitant to put them on in case I drag a screwdriver across the door or something. I can always take everything apart and repaint it but decals are a one shot deal. . . sort of.

#71 1 year ago

Solenoid Driver Board Capacitors.

Removed C23 and C26 -- not sure what material zip ties were made of back in the early 80's but it was more of a challenge to remove those than desoldering. I did not have a proper snips available so a sharp thin pair of scissors did the job.

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The original C26 was 150 uF 350V, my replacement is 160 uF 350V.
The original C23 was 11000 uF 20V, my replacement is 15000 uF 25V.

Picture of old vs. new C23.

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Ordinarily I'd be worried about the size difference -- but I tell myself electronics have come along way over the last number of decades and everything from computers, cell phones, calculators, etc. come in smaller packages nowadays. I soldered two new pieces of 18awg wire to the new capacitor's terminals.

New capacitors in place. Left my stash of zip ties at the shop, but will grab a couple today.

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On the back of the board I grounded the negative posts to the board ground (wire at top right/white wire in center).

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I wanted to stop here and make a post to the thread to make sure I am on the correct path. Not needing my hand held or anything, but this is my first attempt at this sort of work -- using Pinside and Pinwiki has been helpful but it just guides you as to what to do -- they do not tell you if you have done it correctly.

I know there is more to address -- C24 replacement, Jumping TP1 to TP3, etc. All that can be accomplished if I am moving in the right direction.

#72 1 year ago

Took a step or two forward this evening and found another challenge to conquer.
Plugged J3 into the Solenoid Driver Board and checked over my test points. Victory number one was the lack of burning electronics smell. Test Point 1 and Test Point 3 both checked out ok at 5.2VDC. Test Point 4 was good at 230VDC. Test Point 5 was a touch high at 15VDC (normal = 11.9 +/- 1.4) but I am optimistic replacing C24 Capacitor may help that.

The biggest disappointment was a reading of 25VDC at Test Point 2, which should read 190. I know my 190VDC supply wire tests good from the rectifier (and is also providing the 230VDC power), but somewhere in the jungle of resistors I am getting a loss.

Perhaps I am having an issue that barakandl eluded to:

Quoted from barakandl:

It is the 22k or 82k resistor burns, i forget which one exactly now.

If I look closely in the High Voltage area R51 (22K) might look a bit toasty.

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I am studying the schematic to try and follow the flow of power but it has been years since my physics classes in college and I am a bit rusty.

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If anyone has any suggestions or guidance I am open to it and would be grateful for the help.

#73 1 year ago

I should also mention that I am getting the same reading at the top fuse clip so I know the loss is not happening across the fuse before it reaches TP2.

Edit: My mistake, power enters the fuse at the lower clip (and at TP2), then travels out the upper clip back to J3.

Basically ignore this post, all the important stuff is in the previous one!

#74 1 year ago

You seem to be good at soldering and willing to work! I always advocate rebuilding solenoid driver boards as they are almost always saveable. You have bought the 2 large capacitors, which is good, but I would recommend rebuilding the entire 5 volt and high voltage sections on the board using the kits found on Big Daddy's site here: http://www.bigdaddy-enterprises.com/. You only need the "half kits" for both the 5 and high volt sections.

#75 1 year ago

Placed an order from Big Daddy for those pieces yesterday!

Thanks for the reply and suggestion. Thought I could get away with just Capacitor replacement but it looks like the smart thing to do is to update everything.

As a side note I was looking at the wiring schematic, looking at the board, looking at the wiring schematic again. . . the SD Board I have is the revision C and I am thinking the schematic is for an earlier (revision B?) board. There are a couple resistors on the schematic that are not on my board -- not sure if this is making any sense but I think I am slowly digging thru it. In some ways this is why I wanted to take on the challenge of this project machine -- to learn something new and see if I had it in me to make it work again.

Thanks again ronnie1114

#76 1 year ago

I am at a point in the playfield preparation where I need to see if I have what it takes to separate the boys from the men. The playfield has one ring of mylar around the pop bumper base. I've read enough of Vid's guide and the forum to know not to clear coat over it. Vid did not think simply masking the mylar off and clearing around it was a good idea either -- too much potential for compromise at the junction.

That meant that to do the job right I had to remove the mylar. I've been dreading this step considering some of the horror stories I've read about mylar removal in the archives. I think I am working with a nice playfield and I did not want to ruin it for the world to see. The paint work in this area is quite detailed, so it would not be fun to recreate either.

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In Vid's Playfield restoration thread it was suggested that the older mylar is better removed with heat, so I busted out the heat gun and lifting tools. I used the second playfield for practice rather than botch the job straight off on the nicer one.

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Things were going well and I thought I had the process all figured out.

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Then disaster struck and paint started coming up with the mylar. I plan to fix this playfield at some future time but had to start touching up the orange to make myself feel better.

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The second playfield also had mylar installed in front of the slingshots. Going for broke I used a can of condensed air and tried the freeze method. In this situation it did a better job.

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I decided to go that route on the second pop bumper ring. . .

#77 1 year ago

And it worked!

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I did not have any flour handy to help with the adhesive. . . but I did have some baby powder (I use it when installing tubes in a tire) and it worked well enough.

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Mission accomplished. Mylar free pop bumper hole.

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I will sleep a little easier at night with this step behind me. A few more touch ups and we will be prepping for clear coat soon.

#78 1 year ago

It is still too cold outside/in the shop to move onto playfield clear coat and the Solenoid Driver bits I ordered from Big Daddy are on backorder so I thought I'd give some attention to the Sound Board. Knowing the capacitors on the SD Board were shot I thought the same would be true on the Sound Board, so I ordered a kit with the SD Capacitors.

Waited till the wife went to bed then took over the kitchen island again. I pulled the sound board from the second machine for comparison purposes.

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On the back of the boards one is labeled Rev (revision?) B and the other Rev C. The Rev. B board is the one with the red jumper wire; according to Pinwiki that is a mod when a speech board is also utilized. As far as I know Nine Ball does not have a speech card but I moved forward with the Rev. B board as it looked to have a cleaner backside (although closer inspection now has me thinking the Rev. C board just has some lingering flux from a potential past repair). I will replace the capacitors on the second board later anyway so it really did not matter which one I started with.

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After a little practice with the solder sucker I was able to get the old capacitors removed. The biggest challenge was where the trace had lifted on the negative end of the larger caps -- it took a few tries to quickly heat/remove enough solder to free the cap from the lifted material.

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#79 1 year ago

Started replacement with the three larger caps. You can see where the lifting was more severe at the bottom right.

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An after picture once all the capacitors had been soldered in place. Not as pretty as the Rectifier Board, but I think acceptable. I dropped down a size on the soldering iron tip but I think the smaller leads on the capacitors took some getting used to.

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Flip side.

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A before/after of sorts.

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Cannot really test my work just yet, not until the solenoid driver is working properly at least (I think).

The next step in the overall process will depend on what happens first. . . better weather or a delivery from the mailman.

#80 1 year ago

The weather warmed up enough so the playfield received some attention.

Taped off the open holes, gave everything a light sand with 400, put some old bulbs in the playfield sockets, wiped down with degreaser/wax remover.

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I chose to go with the Spray-Max Gloss Glamour as my clear for a couple reasons:
1. The smaller work area made using the can convenient vs. firing up the compressor, mixing, using/cleaning the gun (especially the cleaning!), etc.
2. According to the Archives Spray-Max seems to hold up well to pinballs -- the tread dedicated to it is going three years strong with few complaints.
3. A friend happens to be a sales rep for the company and gives me some of his sample cans from time to time to rotate his stock.

Split the first can between two coats. Aside from a speck of dust here or there things appear to look good. No fisheyes or other areas of suspected contamination.

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I will let this coat cure for a couple days before going over it with the sanding block and 400 grit in an attempt to flatten things out. From there I can decide whether a second can/coat will be sufficient or if a third will be needed.

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The colors certainly do pop under the clear coat.

#81 1 year ago

Came alittle late to this discussion.

A few things to note.
1) The new drop targets are short. This needs alot more time to discuss. Will discuss later
2) Pull back the display's on your tray's so you don't scatch the back glass
3) For the flippers add in a washer to put some height back into the resting point
4) You can add the "Gottlieb" board if you want to stop the double switch on the pop bumper during drop target resets.
5) the Long drop target back can be beefed up using a double link, shorted the link and add in the lower spacer. As above.
6) The back bar to hold the backglass. This needs tape on it to protect the glass. Again needs some details.

Anyway that is a start. Lets talk at some point. CS

#82 1 year ago
Quoted from Classic_Stern:

1) The new drop targets are short. This needs alot more time to discuss. Will discuss later
2) Pull back the display's on your tray's so you don't scatch the back glass
3) For the flippers add in a washer to put some height back into the resting point
4) You can add the "Gottlieb" board if you want to stop the double switch on the pop bumper during drop target resets.
5) the Long drop target back can be beefed up using a double link, shorted the link and add in the lower spacer. As above.
6) The back bar to hold the backglass. This needs tape on it to protect the glass. Again needs some details.

Well, I think I have #6 covered.
I will pay more attention to the drop targets -- I remember reading somewhere that there were some differences between the originals and new/aftermarket options. I will check clearance on the displays vs. backglass -- I thought I was ok but will make sure there is sufficient space.

I will spend some time stalking your past posts Classic_Stern ; I am sure this is a lot there that I can learn. Thanks for the initial guidance points.

#83 1 year ago

I am so glad you are giving this game the love it deserves. You will be so happy. I have had my Nineball in my collection since 1999. It will never leave. I gone through hundreds of games. Nineball is as good as it gets for pinball. It is a spectacular game.

#84 1 year ago
Quoted from Classic_Stern:

I am so glad you are giving this game the love it deserves. You will be so happy. I have had my Nineball in my collection since 1999. It will never leave. I gone through hundreds of games. Nineball is as good as it gets for pinball. It is a spectacular game.

After watching several game play videos online I am looking forward to my first game.

I just hope I can #1. Get the machine working/playing and #2. Get it back together and meet the expectations of everyone that has been kind enough to give me advice!

#85 1 year ago

Over lunch I decided to take a closer look at the drop targets -- placed the new ones side by side with the originals.

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The new targets are just a smidgen shorter than the originals.

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I looked at the drop target banks and see where shims can be added to the framework to compensate for the 1/8 inch or so difference. I've also read that the coil plunger needs to be shaved down -- will look into modifying pieces more when the time comes for installation of the banks on the playfield.

It is good to know there is a difference and that something can be done about it -- thanks again for the heads up Classic_Stern .

#86 1 year ago

Really all that needs to happen is that the resting plate at the bottom needs to be higher in the down position. Over time I have accounted for this in different ways. The easiest thing is to wack the bottom in slightly with a hammer (doesn't take much). You could hog out the holes to raise the back up a hair, but the slight bow does the trick quickly and you don't notice it.

-c

#87 1 year ago

Started sanding the first coat of clear. Started with 400 grit and used the spray bottle to mist the sanding surface to keep the paper from clogging.

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Once finshed with the sanding block I used a scruff pad to rough up any remaining low spots to ensure proper adhesion of the second coat.

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After sanding the playfield looks a lot like it did when I first found it (dusty).

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#88 1 year ago

After sanding everything was wiped down with degreaser/cleaner and a tack cloth. Old bulbs back in place and the second can/coat was applied.

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I can already see the second coat looks much more flat/smooth than the first coat did. It looks like another round of sanding and a third coat will be needed, but that might get me across the finish line.

#90 1 year ago

I favorited this thread since day one and keep enjoying every update...

#91 1 year ago

Beautiful restoration. I enjoy it a lot.

Yves

#93 1 year ago

Big Thanks Yous to Everyone.

Sort of in a holding pattern while waiting for parts to arrive or for paint to cure.

It is difficult to be patient but luckily there are plenty of other non-pinball projects around here to take up my time.

I really appreciate the feedback!

#94 1 year ago

Took some time to polish the ball guides.

Used compound/the buffing wheel to clean them up as best I could. Somehow I forgot to take a before picture, but took a couple afters whilst admiring reflections of the playfield. The sort of blend in, don't they?

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Hello Mr. Wizard.

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Of course there is still a noticeable ball trail down the centers. I've read Vid's guide on making new stainless guides. I have not ruled out the possibility of doing so but I know I do not have one of the fancy rolling machines and to be honest the ball trails sort of fade away when the guides are in their proper locations. Oh pursuit of perfection, why must you tempt me??

It looks like my Big Daddy order arrived in the mail today. Will give the boards some attention later when time is available.

#95 1 year ago

On somewhat of a side note, I dug out something that I knew I had in the barn but never really had a use for (and perhaps I still don't). Somewhere, sometime ago I acquired this small storage unit of electrical parts. The pooch is drawn in by the smell of barn dust and critters.

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In the drawers are loads of resistors, transistors, capacitors, etc. I am sure the capacitors are past their prime but some of the rest might be worth saving?

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It will take some deciphering of the color bands but I think that is used to ID the specifications of the resistors? I've never really had a need for electronics components before pinball machines but I have a difficult time parting with "stuff" when someone somewhere might have a need for it. I suppose my hoarding condition could be justified if anything in the box proves to be useful.

#96 1 year ago

This is a good guide that talks about resistor color codes:

http://www.resistorguide.com/resistor-color-code/

#97 1 year ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I am sure the capacitors are past their prime but some of the rest might be worth saving?

The disc caps are fine, the Orange Drops are probably still perfectly dead-on , but the metal can electrolytic ones have probably dried out.

#98 1 year ago

Replaced the bad resistors/capacitors on the Solenoid Driver board last night -- went to sleep around 1AM or so. I was past the point of taking pictures, nothing you have not already seen anyway but I did learn a few things. I was using the PinWiki Test Point Voltage Ranges and was struggling because several of mine were not spot on. Some help from fellow pinsiders (Thanks Quench and WireDoug ) taught me that my readings may not always fall into the published norms. Test Point 5 on the SDB was reading 17V, PinWiki's range was about 12V. Test Points 1 and 3 were reading at 5V, so the incoming voltage(which I thought was too high) was being filtered/stored (and elevated) by the C23 Capacitor as it should have been. The 5V was the important number, and I was right there.

I also thought SDB Test Point 2 was to be at 190V. I was getting a reading of 175-180V (give or take an adjustment with the potentiometer) and thought I was going to be too low. Reading the archives told me that lower than 190V is ok -- this is to be the display power and apparently sometimes a little less juice is preferred to prevent burning up the display units prematurely.

A lot of that is probably common knowledge for most, but this has been quite the learning curve for me. I am writing out my experience just in case the next me comes along -- maybe it will help someone going thru the same process with their first machine. Of course if anything I have written is out of line please do correct me.

After the todays chores I placed the boards in their places in the back box, set the switches on the MPU (New Alltek), held my breath, and turned on the machine.

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No smoke, no fire, all the blinky lights did what they were supposed to do. So far so good.
I swung the display panel over and quickly saw I had lit displays. Success!!

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I'm sure the displays were trying to tell me there is an issue somewhere (like the MPU is set incorrectly, the game is in audit mode, or something else -- like the playfield is missing. . . ) but for now I am just happy they are lit. I did not know if any of them would even light prior to today so I will take this as a win.

More attention coming to the playfield next. It is due for a sand and third coat of clear; hope to be posting about that soon.

#99 1 year ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I'm sure the displays were trying to tell me there is an issue somewhere (like the MPU is set incorrectly, the game is in audit mode, or something else -- like the playfield is missing. . . ) but for now I am just happy they are lit. I did not know if any of them would even light prior to today so I will take this as a win.
More attention coming to the playfield next. It is due for a sand and third coat of clear; hope to be posting about that soon.

Those displays aren't really trying to tell you anything, I would check the left 2 connectors on the mpu. Re-pinning them will probably be required as the pins have worn out over all this time. Having the playfield out of the game shouldn't really effect what the game does at start up. Everything else looks great!

#100 1 year ago
Quoted from Ronnie1114:

Those displays aren't really trying to tell you anything, I would check the left 2 connectors on the mpu. Re-pinning them will probably be required as the pins have worn out over all this time. Having the playfield out of the game shouldn't really effect what the game does at start up. Everything else looks great!

Thanks! Re-pinning will definitely be on the to do list. I know there is one connector from the display board that is not connected yet as well.

Sanded/sprayed the third (and hopefully final) coat of clear last night. Looking forward to stopping back at the shop later today to see how it turned out.

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