(Topic ID: 209960)

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


By TractorDoc

1 year ago



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  • 171 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by TractorDoc
  • Topic is favorited by 33 Pinsiders

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There are 171 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 4.
#101 1 year ago

After work I stopped by the shop to get a closer look at the result of yesterday's clear coat. I set the new woodrails and ball guides in place to get an idea of how things were going to look.

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I also rolled the work table outside to get a better look at the playfield in day light. Even without the finish sand and polishing I am very happy with the outcome, as of now it looks better than I ever thought it would.

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Now I just need to be patient and let the clear fully cure. . .

#102 1 year ago

That looks amazing! I think when you're done with the machine you'll be really happy with it. It is a unique and fun game. You'll have a prime example when finished.

#103 1 year ago

You wanna do my playfield now?

#104 1 year ago
Quoted from RCA1:

You wanna do my playfield now?

I know you are likely kidding, but I'm gonna wait and see what kind of result I produce on the second playfield before I open the shop for restorations. I was lucky to have minor wear on this first attempt.

Honestly the clear coating was not that difficult. Like all painting situations proper preparation and use of safety equipment (due to isocyanates) is key. Come over and look at this one in person and you will still see imperfections. . . I just chose not to highlight those with the camera.

Thank You both Robotworkshop and RCA1 for the compliments.

#105 1 year ago

If you end up doing playfield work I may end up having one down the road. Could always swap for board repairs, etc....

#106 1 year ago

Gave the playfield the final sand and polish today.

Started with 2000 grit, then went over everything again with 3000 grit.

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I wanted to take a picture of all the "stuff" I used to clear coat. The Spray Max Clear, Sand Paper/Block, Orbital Polisher.

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I just now realized that I forgot to add the polishing compound I used in the picture. I went with Meguiar's 105 followed by 205 followed by #7 Finishing Glaze.

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As always, not perfect but more than good for my purposes. The glare throws things off a bit, but still another nice overhead picture.

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The Drop Targets' reflection look nice.

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And the Money Shot.

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My next step will be to secure the new wood rails to the playfield surface, rotate 180 degrees, and start work on the bottom side.

#107 1 year ago

Started to work with some wood rail/ball guide installation.
I thought it would be a good idea to have these pieces in place in order to flip the playfield (give it some legs to stand on if you will) and work on the underside. I know a rotisserie would make life a little easier in this area but I think I can manage without for this build (for now).

When securing the wood rails to the playfield I used a couple clamps to keep things snug and prevent a gap between the two.

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The left side (player's view) ball guide is secured to the wood rail with tiny little nails and one screw to the playfield itself. I installed the single screw and then used the holes in the ball guide to mark the nail locations. I know, I need to clean out my drop target holes a bit better.

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I removed the wood rail to install the ball guide so as not to scratch up the playfield clear. I used a punch to drive the nails in with the hammer to minimize trauma to the ball guide.

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When I emptied my parts bag I could only find three of the tiny little nails that held the ball guide to the rail. I thought I must have broke or lost three of them during removal but double checking the second machine found the nails were only used in the top holes, not the bottom. Luckily I was able to pull the bottom set out without scratching up the stainless. I think the ball would hit those nails if those holes were used.

Everything else was straight forward assembly.

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I hope to be bottoms up by the next post.

#108 1 year ago

Starting to devote some attention to the less glamorous side of the playfield.

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I started by cleaning and replacing the rollover wires, slingshots, etc. that I removed to get the playfield flat for clear coating. The three wires in front were polished up while the fourth is still dingy.

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Busted out the new flipper coil assemblies that I had ordered from pinball life. The originals were missing parts and were likely worn so I thought new replacements were the way to go.

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Between the two machines there was one flipper coil still holding on. Assuming the coils are setup the same I should be able to transfer the wires from old to new. I need to do my homework on flipper coil wiring -- I know the two yellow wires will go to the switch but not sure if it matters which terminal. I am not as lucky on the opposite side; I have a double blue wire and single orange wire hanging from the harness. I will do some research to determine which coil post each should be soldered to.

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I also started cleaning the inserts from the underside. All that black on the swabs was from cleaning one insert. . . luckily I get those packages of swabs by the 100s from work because the Nine Ball playfield has a lot of inserts. . .

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Will be working my way back to the pop bumpers and drop targets once I have the flipper coil wiring sorted. I just might be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

#109 1 year ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

end of the tunnel

Doin' great!
Exciting...
-mof

#110 1 year ago

Worked with the three bank drop targets today. I'll probably break the update down into several posts to keep my pictures straight.
Previously in the thread it was mentioned that the new drop targets are slightly different than the originals in height. To get a baseline for what I was working with I installed one complete assembly without modifications to see how the drops looked from the playfield.

When in the down position, the drops are essentially level with the playfield -- which is good/what we want, right?

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In the up position, they measure just under an inch (about 7/8") above the playfield surface. The other fixed targets measured out at an inch or slightly over.

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Looking at the front I get the impression the stars are sitting slightly lower than they should be.

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I pulled the bank assembly off and examined it to see how I could give the targets a touch more height in the up position.

#111 1 year ago

This was my solution.
I cut a piece of thin sheetmetal, gave it a couple bends, and drilled a couple holes so it would mount on and raise the lip that the drop targets catch in the up position.

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I reassembled the bank assembly with the "shim" in place and it raised the drops to just a whisker over an inch when up.

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Happy with that, I made a second shim for the second three bank drop assembly.

#112 1 year ago

Once both drop bank assemblies were back together (and once I cleaned out the corresponding inserts/installed new bulbs) I secured them back to the playfield and installed the switches/coils.

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Inspection of the surface with the drops down.

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And up.

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I do think the stars look more centered. . . if that makes sense.

Still admiring the reflections provided by the clear coat.

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Next up will be inspection of the large eight drop bank target. The lip that catches the drops in the up position is a different design and a universal shim for all eight targets will not be possible. Will have everything mounted up first to see how things look before getting too crazy with modifications.

#113 1 year ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Starting to devote some attention to the less glamorous side of the playfield.

I started by cleaning and replacing the rollover wires, slingshots, etc. that I removed to get the playfield flat for clear coating. The three wires in front were polished up while the fourth is still dingy.

Busted out the new flipper coil assemblies that I had ordered from pinball life. The originals were missing parts and were likely worn so I thought new replacements were the way to go.

Between the two machines there was one flipper coil still holding on. Assuming the coils are setup the same I should be able to transfer the wires from old to new. I need to do my homework on flipper coil wiring -- I know the two yellow wires will go to the switch but not sure if it matters which terminal. I am not as lucky on the opposite side; I have a double blue wire and single orange wire hanging from the harness. I will do some research to determine which coil post each should be soldered to.

I also started cleaning the inserts from the underside. All that black on the swabs was from cleaning one insert. . . luckily I get those packages of swabs by the 100s from work because the Nine Ball playfield has a lot of inserts. . .

Will be working my way back to the pop bumpers and drop targets once I have the flipper coil wiring sorted. I just might be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

Nice work ! Your flipper wires are easy. You should have a Blu-White wire coming from pin #6 on connector J-1 at rectifier board. The Blu-W wire should go to the banded side of the diode on the right flipper and another Blu-W will cross from the right flipper to the left flipper and will also be attached to the banded side of the diode. This is your power wire. There will also be a short yellow wire attached along with the Blu-W wire both flippers. This powered yellow wire will feed power to the switch. You should have an Orange wire which will go to the non-banded side of the coil on the right flipper. and there will be a green wire that attaches to the non-banded side the left coil. Then, on both coils a yellow return wire will come from the switch to the middle lug on the coil.

To try and make it less confusing, if you are holding the right coil in your hand with the lugs pointing up and facing away from your, Orange will be on left lug, Blu-W power wire on the right lug. The left hand is same except the Orange wire is replaced with Green. The switch is not polarized so your yellow wires can be either way.

#114 1 year ago

Thanks cottonm4

I've read some of your comments in the Nine Ball Club and other threads.
If I can figure out my rights from my lefts wiring the coils should be no problem -- is that your right or mine, looking at the playfield top or bottom? (half kidding of course)

The Orange and Green wires should make differentiating between the two simple enough. Helpful to know no polarity to the switch -- one wire from power lug and one from center lug to each switch terminal. I will give the diodes/coil wire sizes a close inspection to make sure the new coils are wired the same as the originals to know which terminal receives the power wire.

I've found several other loose or disconnected wires on the playfield underside. Making a list so everything gets fixed back in place at one time.

Thanks Again!

#115 1 year ago

Gave the flipper coils a quick inspection over lunch.
For simplicity I will refer to them as the "green" and "orange" sides.

Looks like the Green side will be swapped over exactly as it is on the original coil. Banded/power side is closest to the player.

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Orange side has the banded/power tab farthest from the player. Tried to set the ugly wires close to the correct lugs.

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I will be sure to clean up the wires/terminals/etc. before soldering everything up. Thanks again for the help!

#116 1 year ago

Having an hour here or there limits how much I can accomplish some days -- today I had enough time to focus on several upper playfield components.
The process is dragging on because I ordered stud posts that were longer than the originals and I am cutting the new ones down to the correct size one by one. The originals were an oddball size (2 1/8"), had a carriage bolt style head, and most of them were broken during removal.

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My graphics design friend made up a number of decals for me to refurbish the spinner.

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I had him make a couple of the bulls eye (patterned of the top of the pop bumper cap) to potentially put on the large red drop and white stationary targets on the upper playfield.
Not 100% committed to using them -- will see how everything looks once together, but especially white one looks a little plain as is.

#117 1 year ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Having an hour here or there limits how much I can accomplish some days -- today I had enough time to focus on several upper playfield components.
The process is dragging on because I ordered stud posts that were longer than the originals and I am cutting the new ones down to the correct size one by one. The originals were an oddball size (2 1/8"), had a carriage bolt style head, and most of them were broken during removal.

My graphics design friend made up a number of decals for me to refurbish the spinner.

I had him make a couple of the bulls eye (patterned of the top of the pop bumper cap) to potentially put on the large red drop and white stationary targets on the upper playfield.
Not 100% committed to using them -- will see how everything looks once together, but especially white one looks a little plain as is.

Hey man !! Do you have any of those spinner decals you can sell ??

#118 1 year ago

I don't want to profit off my buddy's talent. . . so no, I won't sell you any.

Send me a PM though and I'll be happy to mail you a couple. You took the time to walk me thru the flipper wiring after all, what goes around comes around!

#119 1 year ago

Finished installing the thru-playfield stud posts and also polished/installed the wire forms.

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I also cleaned each insert from the underside and replaced the bulbs with new 47s. I ordered/have the new lamp boards offered by pinball life to replace the rack/12 grids on the underside but I put off installing those for another rainy day.

I think I have accomplished all I can in the shop at this point -- today the playfield was loaded into the back of the Wrangler and brought home, soon to be reunited with the cabinet.

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#120 1 year ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Finished installing the thru-playfield stud posts and also polished/installed the wire forms.

I also cleaned each insert from the underside and replaced the bulbs with new 47s. I ordered/have the new lamp boards offered by pinball life to replace the rack/12 grids on the underside but I put off installing those for another rainy day.
I think I have accomplished all I can in the shop at this point -- today the playfield was loaded into the back of the Wrangler and brought home, soon to be reunited with the cabinet.

Just want to make sure that you are aware of these.

https://pinballreplacementparts.com/products/stern-nine-ball-complete-set-of-boards-to-replace-metal-panel-sockets

M0ZFNUZFRjZCRDU5RDU1RjNCQkE6YjhjZTg0MGM4NGU3M2VmNjBkYmMwYWYyOTNjM2ZiMjY6Ojo6OjA_1024x1024@2x (resized).jpg

#121 1 year ago

Yep, those are the ones I ordered/have. . . from pinballreplacementparts.com and not pinballlife.com !

Thanks for keeping me honest. I'd like to see what happens with the current metal bases before I switch everything out -- seems like a good winter project to me.

#122 1 year ago

Flipper Coils (and about half a dozen other loose/disconnected wires under the playfield) have been soldered in place.

"Orange" side:

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"Green" side:

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I also took a minute to attach the eight bank drop target assembly. Unlike the three banks the drop targets sit just below the playfield surface this time. It should not take much, but a thin shim at the bottom/resting point should be able to bring them up to level.

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In the up position the blue circle drops appear to sit far too low -- they extend less than an inch above the playfield surface (I was able to get the stars up just over an inch). Because the design of the eight bank is different I cannot simply make one long shim to raise the targets in the up position. Each target has its own resting point.

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The simplest thing might be to bend each little metal tab upwards a small amount to achieve the desired height. Will work with the assembly this week and report back.

#123 1 year ago

Slowly adding bits to the playfield. Good thing I took so many pictures in the beginning -- they were a real help in knowing where to locate stud posts/screws.

The Novus really did a good job cleaning up the pop bumper units -- finally had a reason to use #3!

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I cut a shim for the bottom of the eight bank drop target. The test fit looked good/drops are flush with the playfield when down but I need to disassemble a few pieces to install it -- more details coming in the next post.

#124 1 year ago

I am not usually a fan of images/pictures on my shirts -- but very tempted to order one of these new retro Pinball Wizard T-shirts. I believe this was the shirt that was the inspiration for the Nine Ball Wizard.

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I will probably wait and see how much I enjoy playing the game first. . .

#125 1 year ago

Shim to level the Eight Bank Drop Targets.
Cut a thin strip of metal stock from the scraps pile.

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Drilled a couple holes and secured the shim to the lower resting plate.

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This raises the rest height -- but will it be enough?

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I think yes. With the bank installed the drops are flush with the playfield at rest (as the closest two show).

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I test fitted a couple plastics to see how the drops would look in the raised position in proportion. Combine that with where the ball makes contact and I think I need to raise the height in the up position as well. I will work on options for that and report back.

#126 1 year ago

It will be nice to see how those drops turn out. I'm getting ready to rebuild the 6 bank of targets in my Meteor and may run into the same issue.

You're going to enjoy that game once you finish it.

#127 1 year ago

Speaking of Meteors -- a project machine popped up locally so I snagged it. Going thru a Classic Stern should be easier the second time around, right?

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I want to measure the drop heights on the "new" machine to see where they stand -- that will give me a target to shoot for (literally). Bad humor aside, I should have measured the height of the original drops but did not do enough research to know about the difference until it was too late.

#128 1 year ago

Put on my Detective's badge to learn more about drop targets.
Started with Meteor -- I realize it is different game but thought there could be carry over from one game to the next.

I was surprised to find the "METEOR" drop targets were actually less than an inch above the playfield surface in the up position. I suppose they could have been replaced in the past, but they sure have a vintage patina to them. Shorter faceted posts are behind the targets as well compared to NB.

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The three bank drops were closer to an inch above the playfield. Noticed the stubbier faceted post behind the "M." (vs. the taller ones elsewhere) Looks like I will be in need of at least on passive bumper unit when its Meteor's turn.

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I thought the best thing to do was dig out the large bank assembly from the second Nine Ball machine and measure one of the original targets in it. About 1 1/2" -- got it.

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Measuring the new drops at home, what do you know? About 1 1/2" !

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Soooo, basically I may be making a big deal about nothing. (I believe that was mentioned previously in the thread, only the bottom shim was really needed ). Well, now I know for sure.

The plan is to install the large target assembly as is and move forward with getting the playfield into the cabinet. If I am unsatisfied after getting a few games in I can modify parts later. Game on!

#129 1 year ago

Nice undercover work Columbo, I like it
-mof

#130 1 year ago

I'm up past my bedtime because I cannot pull myself away from putting pieces back together.

Short Story -- The playfield is back in the cabinet. Still a lot of wires to repin, bits/pieces/hardware to secure, missing screws to find, etc. Not quite ready for a full reveal yet, but here are a few teaser pics:

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I think I can live with the drops at this height if the game plays smoothly.

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New decals applied to the spinner -- one of my favorite components of this game. I also accented the edges in red for a touch of flair.

More to come, but time to sleep. Gonna be a long day at work tomorrow!

#132 1 year ago

Yes, love that red border! Great idea.

#133 1 year ago

Ordered new plastics. Told myself the originals would work just fine, but after the playfield turned out so nice I couldn't help myself. The inclusion of several key ring fobs convinced me I needed them.

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One of the new pieces did not have a predrilled hole (far right side). Luckily I know a guy with a drill.

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Placing new next to original makes me feel better about the purchase. No yellowed edges!

#134 1 year ago

I was lucky enough to have a full assortment of original apron cards. Now I just need to figure out how I want the game set up so I know which one to use!

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The apron cleaned up nicely with a little rubbing compound followed by a wax.

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Working on repining the playfield harnesses -- getting closer to plugging in and powering everything up.

#135 1 year ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

The inclusion of several key ring fobs

Gotta have those fobs!
You weren't going to have a game looking all nice just to use some plain Jane key ring.

#136 1 year ago

This is looking so fine.

#137 1 year ago

We have lights!

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A few contacts need cleaned but we have successful illumination!

#138 1 year ago

This is stunning. Congratulations.

Yves

#139 1 year ago

Thanks for the feedback ectobar cottonm4 arcane -- its always nice to hear that others approve of my efforts.

Finally have all the boards secured and connected.

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Also applied the "Stern" decal to the coin door. Still waiting on the credit button decal. Most importantly I have chosen a key fob.

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When I first powered the game on not much happened. It would make sound when I dropped quarters in the coin door but nothing when hitting the credit button. After several minutes of thought it occurred to me I needed to put balls in.

With balls installed a little more happened. When I hit the credit button a game would try to start and I was getting more sounds, but I had no solenoid power. After rechecking everything in the upper cabinet I finally decided to check J1 on the rectifier and one of the wires was not fully seated into the connector -- once that was corrected the solenoids started firing!

One other note on the new Alltek board, the odd numbers on the displays (mentioned previously when I first hooked the display board up) remained once I had everything else connected. It turns out the Alltek board needed the memory cleared -- now it is booting up/displaying normally.

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I have yet to get a complete game in at this point, but I'm getting closer. I am currently adjusting switches, bulbs, etc. get everything working smoothly. It is very satisfying to see the game operating knowing this is the first time it has done so in (who knows how many) years!

#140 1 year ago

The other reason this process is dragging on longer than it needs to is I've been taking a lot of pictures. Photography is something else I am interested in and I've been trying to take pictures of everything while it still looks new.

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#141 1 year ago

Several more close ups.

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#142 1 year ago

Nice work and thanks for documenting.

#143 1 year ago

This is looking so good. Awesome to see it all come together.

Sadly the location I used to get to play 9B got rid of it. Was hoping to get to play one at Pinfest but didn't see one there. This thread has been my fix.

#144 1 year ago

Wow those pictures are awesome. Beautiful colors and I really like that perspective on the camera shots. Looks great!

#145 1 year ago

Congrats! It came out fantastic!

#146 1 year ago

Thanks everyone!

Almost ready to put the glass on and clear out the high scores.

I know I will be biased but I really am liking how this game plays. The eight bank drop target impresses me with how it resets itself respective to which target needs to be hit. I am also learning to master the upper left horseshoe, but have yet to give the spinner a good rip. The new flipper assemblies feel great -- glad I decided to swap in complete new units.

I still use a camera to take all the pictures I post; if I can convince the wife to record some game play video with her cell phone perhaps I can link to it online.

Thanks again for all the positive comments!

#148 1 year ago

Question for anyone else that owns or knows this game -- while I believe my sound card is working correctly I have to ask if the background music sounds like an airplane engine droning on .

The sounds for scoring points sound right and Wizard like, just wanting to make sure my background sound is correct.

#149 1 year ago

Fantastic photos. That game looks so great.

#150 1 year ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I have to ask if the background music sounds like an
airplane engine droning on

Yup, working as designed!

Nice pics, beautiful game. Have a blast with it, NB is awesome! Have you collected the 173k shot yet? Cracks me up every time!

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