(Topic ID: 247214)

Odd bits on my Paragon...


By Deezer5150

8 months ago



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  • 25 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 82 days ago by BigAl56
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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#1 8 months ago

First off I wasn’t sure where to post this so I chose here.
I recently picked up a VERY clean Paragon. It appears as though it sat in somebody’s game room for the last 38 years or so. I was looking at some pics on the net and noticed that my playfield has something that I’ve not seen before. There is a diverter gate in the right out lane that sends the ball back into the launch lane. The out lane also has a red and green light recessed in it. On the cliff edge in the lower right of the playfield it says “Shoot Again Opens Gate”. Has anyone ever seen or heard anything about this? To me it looks way too clean to have been somebodies homebrew mod. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 8 months ago

Hmmm...never seen a paragon with a ball save gate? Seems like the extra inserts in the outlane are new looking and they lack any artwork registration like black borders around them. Does the “Shoot again opens gate” lettering look added or original screen?

#3 8 months ago

Let's see some more pictures. Looks real nice

#4 8 months ago

A prototype maybe? Does the gate work?

#5 8 months ago

Underside. How is it wires? How does it function when playing? Lamps also.

I would guess the shoot again lamp energizes the gate coil? But it would not reset until you drained hitting out-hole switch. So you keep it until draining from lair or SDTM.

Why two lamps? Red / Green do what while playing? Checking wiring and playing with glass off would answer what it does. Looks like a well done modification. Underside would tell a lot.

#6 8 months ago

What is the serial number? Take a pic of number on the side of the head and body.

#7 8 months ago
Quoted from Ballypalooza:

What is the serial number? Take a pic of number on the side of the head and body.

I don't think this is going to be a prototype if that is what you are thinking. Those inserts are done well but not standard looking. Also the lettering on the cliff. Well done but not period.

#8 8 months ago

Right now the gate does not work. The underside looks like it was rewired somewhat recently based on the wire used. I don’t know if it was ever a working feature. My personal inclination is that it is an aftermarket mod but it looks too clean. The holes drilled in the field have no chipping around the hole typically found in drilled wood. The playfield itself has no chipping of the screening where the holes for the lights are drilled. The lettering is very clean but appears to be on top of what ever the clear is that Bally used.

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#9 8 months ago

Interesting wall art btw. If I hung that up in my house my ass would be grass

#10 8 months ago

The wall art is an original theatrical one-sheet. There isn’t, wasn’t, and never will be any arguing over it being there....

#11 8 months ago

Colors on that playfield are stunningly bright. Looks like someone did a awesome job on the playfield side to look factory. Nice machine.

#12 8 months ago

So I’ve spent a little time today doing some research and it appears that the diverter and the inserts came from a 1979 KISS pin. Thoughts?

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#13 8 months ago

There is talk regarding this mod in the Paragon club thread around post 330 ish.

#15 8 months ago

Is that speaker wire soldered to the coil?

#16 8 months ago

I love that someone thought "Not enough going on here on Paragon. Need to add a return lane diverter."
Nice clean work though.

12
#17 8 months ago

Hi,

Someone showed this thread to me and I saw how well this Paragon modification was done. Yeah, too good for your average homebrew mod. I contacted Greg Kmiec, designer of Paragon, and showed him this thread and its pictures, pointing out several details to him and asking him to comment. With his permission, I am providing his detailed response below.

***************************************************

Hi Jay,

That's a modification that added a free-ball-gate.

From the underside:

1) COIL WIRE: Bally would not have used plastic coated wiring: it's too tough to tell the "ground" side from the "hot" side on the fast-paced production line (correct wiring is required for the diode on the coil.) It looks like speaker wire. The free-ball-gate coil itself is probably "tapped" off of another feature somewhere in the game, meaning that either: 1)when the other feature coil is held in, the free-ball-gate coil is held in (this puts 2 coils on one circuit); or 2) an added relay (low powered) could be triggered by the Shoot Again light and this added relay could trigger the free-ball-gate.

2) SWITCH WIRE: It looks like the "hot" side of the light switch on the relay is tapped off of a general illumination (GI) light. It looks like the switch turns on the red and green lights alternately. If this is the case, since the feed (hot) part of the circuit is always hot (for a GI light,) one of the lights would remain on in the case of a tilt. A no-no.

From the topside:

1) LETTERING: It looks like the lettering is somewhat raised, as if done with pressed-on letters that we used to use on our whitewoods. The application of clear lacquer to prevent erosion from the ball can cause the individual letters to "pucker" somewhat, as can be seen in a close-up view of the letters.

2) INSERTS: The inserts do not seem to correctly fit into their holes. This would never happen on a production playfield because the entire playfield is sanded once all of the inserts are installed. It looks like some glue is missing around the inserts.

3) ARTWORK: The artwork doesn't seem to completely encircle the inserts. This would never happen in a production piece. Also, the artwork does not continue under the free-ball-gate wire. Whenever Bally used a free-ball-gate, the path of the ball was acknowledged as it was directed by the wire into the shooter alley. The artwork under this modification is consistent with the inner wood rail being cut and a free-ball-gate being added. Also, there is chipping where the "return" brad (nail) is installed. The free-ball-gate wire would rest against the brad in the closed position. Bally would predrill positioning holes for these types of brads for the specific purpose of preventing artwork chipping.

4) GAME PLAY: Most important, are the use of the colors red and green for the inserts. Bally always used red inserts to indicate a "Special." Specials were important (after all, you played a game to win a chance to play again.") Specials were always called out in the artwork. Maybe the red and green lights were added as gate-status indicators (green = open/ red = closed.)

Ergo, this is not a test prototype game nor an early Paragon release. It is a well done free-ball-gate modification ala the Bally style back then.

Hope this helps.
Greg Kmiec

***************************************************

#18 8 months ago

I think it's a great idea.

#19 8 months ago

Interesting modification for a Paragon. It beats the classic and more common “elastic across the Beast’s Lair” Paragon mod.

#20 8 months ago
Quoted from I_P_D_B:Hi,
Someone showed this thread to me and I saw how well this Paragon modification was done. Yeah, too good for your average homebrew mod. I contacted Greg Kmiec, designer of Paragon, and showed him this thread and its pictures, pointing out several details to him and asking him to comment. With his permission, I am providing his detailed response below.
***************************************************
Hi Jay,
That's a modification that added a free-ball-gate.
From the underside:
1) COIL WIRE: Bally would not have used plastic coated wiring: it's too tough to tell the "ground" side from the "hot" side on the fast-paced production line (correct wiring is required for the diode on the coil.) It looks like speaker wire. The free-ball-gate coil itself is probably "tapped" off of another feature somewhere in the game, meaning that either: 1)when the other feature coil is held in, the free-ball-gate coil is held in (this puts 2 coils on one circuit); or 2) an added relay (low powered) could be triggered by the Shoot Again light and this added relay could trigger the free-ball-gate.
2) SWITCH WIRE: It looks like the "hot" side of the light switch on the relay is tapped off of a general illumination (GI) light. It looks like the switch turns on the red and green lights alternately. If this is the case, since the feed (hot) part of the circuit is always hot (for a GI light,) one of the lights would remain on in the case of a tilt. A no-no.
From the topside:
1) LETTERING: It looks like the lettering is somewhat raised, as if done with pressed-on letters that we used to use on our whitewoods. The application of clear lacquer to prevent erosion from the ball can cause the individual letters to "pucker" somewhat, as can be seen in a close-up view of the letters.
2) INSERTS: The inserts do not seem to correctly fit into their holes. This would never happen on a production playfield because the entire playfield is sanded once all of the inserts are installed. It looks like some glue is missing around the inserts.
3) ARTWORK: The artwork doesn't seem to completely encircle the inserts. This would never happen in a production piece. Also, the artwork does not continue under the free-ball-gate wire. Whenever Bally used a free-ball-gate, the path of the ball was acknowledged as it was directed by the wire into the shooter alley. The artwork under this modification is consistent with the inner wood rail being cut and a free-ball-gate being added. Also, there is chipping where the "return" brad (nail) is installed. The free-ball-gate wire would rest against the brad in the closed position. Bally would predrill positioning holes for these types of brads for the specific purpose of preventing artwork chipping.
4) GAME PLAY: Most important, are the use of the colors red and green for the inserts. Bally always used red inserts to indicate a "Special." Specials were important (after all, you played a game to win a chance to play again.") Specials were always called out in the artwork. Maybe the red and green lights were added as gate-status indicators (green = open/ red = closed.)
Ergo, this is not a test prototype game nor an early Paragon release. It is a well done free-ball-gate modification ala the Bally style back then.
Hope this helps.
Greg Kmiec
***************************************************

I_P_D_B, thank you for doing that. If there was any doubt before, we now know that it is, in fact, a very well done homebrew mod. You can’t argue an answer that came straight from the horses mouth.

#21 8 months ago
Quoted from Deezer5150:

I_P_D_B, thank you for doing that. If there was any doubt before, we now know that it is, in fact, a very well done homebrew mod. You can’t argue an answer that came straight from the horses mouth.

I still like it. I would however change out the clear coated speaker wire for red/black to look more appealing to the eye and help any future diagnosis of an issue.
-Mike

#22 8 months ago
Quoted from JayDee:

Interesting wall art btw. If I hung that up in my house my ass would be grass

What's worse is that your wife knows how "Debbie does Dallas!'

2 months later
#23 6 months ago
Quoted from Deezer5150:

I_P_D_B, thank you for doing that. If there was any doubt before, we now know that it is, in fact, a very well done homebrew mod. You can’t argue an answer that came straight from the horses mouth.

You're welcome. No problem. Happy to do it. Yes, on the IPDB I prefer to quote the source whenever possible so users won't contact me to debate with me what was stated! LOL

You know, I wonder if the person who did this remarkably well-done modification ever took credit or it and, if so, how did his credit get separated from the game such that all we eventually see are photographs of a mystery modification?

Did he take credit only in an undocumented way? Did he just show it to his wife, kids, and next-door neighbor? Did he document on his own personal website, a URL known but to him and his pinball circle? Did he place documentation inside the game which somehow was later separated from the game as it transferred ownership one or more times? Who did this great of a job but stayed anonymous from the get-go?

He may be out there right now, reading this thread, shaking his head that we went through all of this effort while still not interested in coming forward to help out.

I speculate here because of the possibility that other well-done mods may appear, as the years goes by in this hobby, as individual mod-makers' skills continue to become more adept and attentive to quality and authenticity, while at the same time our access to the original designers and artists may disappear such that we can no longer contact them to authenticate a mystery mod. Look how this modification attempted to imitate Bally's ways. Greg's detailed feedback may help future mod-makers be even more authentic-looking in their modifications.

Just talkin'.

#24 6 months ago

It is definitely very cool. I'm sure there are "purists" that wont like it though.

Paragon is such an underrated game anyway, it's hard to go wrong.

3 months later
#25 82 days ago

I personally thought Paragon was the best of the Bally wide body games and the art was fantastic.
The wiring was definitely not factory and the serial number was from regular production. Somebody badly wanted to change the way the game worked.
There was a French/German mod that eliminated the double flipper. That mod is shown in the owners manual.

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