(Topic ID: 46125)

Post-Purchase Checklist

By mof

8 years ago


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  • 35 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by TBatti
  • Topic is favorited by 41 Pinsiders

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    #1 8 years ago

    I've read from a few experts that it's a good idea to not turn that old pin on the moment you unload it from your vehicle. Take a chill pill and run a few checks first to avoid burning up components or even your property... If you are an experienced pin tech, please review the list and let us know what else we should consider before turning her on... thanks!

    (This is a minimal list in no particular order, there is more you can check first if you desire)
    BEFORE you turn it on review the following:

    1. Batteries: replace batteries and ensure battery holder has no cracks or broken contact points. Examine below the batteries and ensure there's no damage. (Eventually, get the batteries off the board completely)
    2. Boards: ensure all the boards in the backbox are mounted and grounded with screws. Several reasons for this. (Frequently there are some missing, which can allow for more board flex when plugging connectors back in. More screws = better grounding.)
    3. Coils: Check the resistance of each coil against the spec. Check each arm and make sure there's no resistance to movement. Check each lug and look for broken/loose wires.
    4. Docs: Get your game's documentation at www.ipdb.org
    5. Flipper Coils: check them against the specification for right type. Inspect flipper switches.
    6. Fuses: Check fuses against the specification
    7. ICs: Make sure no socketed ICs (integrated circuits -- "chips") are installed upside down
    8. Loose Items: After setting up the pin, before you plug it in, check the cabinet and back box for fallen loose items, using a bright light -- make sure no small parts have been wedged in somewhere
    9. Power Cord: Check the power cord for damage and fraying. Be sure there is an undamaged grounded three prong plug installed.
    10. Serial Number: Record the serial number, take pictures for your records
    11. Voltages: Check the voltages on the rectifier board (with connectors unplugged) -- see various troubleshooting guides to learn what voltages to expect
    12. Wires: Check under the playfield and make sure no wires are getting eaten away by moving parts (sling shot wires, and wires along the edge of the playfield that can rub against the cabinet sides) Check the coin door for clipped/cut GI wires that may be dangling free.
    13. Nut check: A loose or missing nut can mean undue stress going to a part that is loose on the playfield. Make sure all posts and pop assemblies are well secured. Review all nuts quickly. You will likely find a loose or missing one on your first pass.
    14. Add Fuses: Perform this safety mod on all your Williams pins made from 1977-1987. -- add two fuses to the bridge rectifiers to prevent fire. http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Williams_System_9_-_11 (see section 4.2 Power Problems) Also see vid1900's tutorial on how to set it up: http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-bulletproofing-williams-system-6/page/2

    ---

    Can you drop a few hints of things you like to do after purchasing a used pinball machine regarding reviewing anything related to power?

    I know to check fuses right away against the specification. Looking for more safety/power tips like this. Not looking for cosmetic/playability tips.

    I'll udpate a Summary (above) as comments are added.

    As you write up your suggestion, please include a link to any item to purchase, add any pic that can help show what you mean (if you have the time), and please include a few steps for those new to electrical issues or pinball. (For example, try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who doesn't know how to use a DMM, and include a few steps to help that person out.)

    thanks!
    -mof

    PS: When you are done, you may want to move onto the next checklist l-)
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/shop-job-master-checklist

    #2 8 years ago

    Would like to see some post ship notes too. I am will be having my first pin shipped from CA to WA and would love to know some quick things I can do before I power it on, like tightening nuts, making adjustments, etc.

    #3 8 years ago

    If it wasn't in working condition when you got it, make sure no socketed ICs are installed upside down before you power it on for the first time

    #4 8 years ago
    Quoted from GListOverflow:

    If it wasn't in working condition when you got it, make sure no socketed ICs are installed upside down before you power it on for the first time

    That sounds like a good one -- can you say more about that, and include a pic ?

    thanks!
    MOF

    #5 8 years ago

    Checking the fuses, and voltages on the rectifier board are a good start. I picked up a pin last year with a bolt wedged into a fuse clip on a Bally rectifier board. Can you say "burning down the house"?

    There's an excellent sequence to follow in Pinball Ninja's guides for this. Pinwiki also has sections on this topic (e.g., here for a classic Bally startup procedure: http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bally/Stern#Powering_up_the_first_time). All good advice to avoid headaches and potentially dangerous hacks by POs.

    Brian

    #6 8 years ago

    All of the above. Here is some other good suggestions. After setting up the pin, before you plug it in, check the interior/back box for fallen items. Use a bright light. I have found beer caps, various screws and pin parts, quarters, loose in the cabinet after moving a pin. Be prepared to unplug the machine right away on start up. Also record the serial number, take pictures for your records.

    #7 8 years ago
    Quoted from pinster68:

    Checking the fuses, and voltages on the rectifier board are a good start.

    Can you offer a few step by step hints on how to do this so that a first time pinball buyer can know what to do?

    thanks!
    mof

    #8 8 years ago

    Good tips, please keep 'em coming !
    MOF

    #9 8 years ago

    Going to add a VERY obvious tip -- (but not for first-timers!)
    Hit up www.ipdb.org and grab a copy of your user manual under (Documentation)
    =)
    MOF

    #10 8 years ago

    Check the power cord for damage and fraying. Be sure there is an undamaged grounded three prong plug installed.

    #11 8 years ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    Check the power cord for damage and fraying. Be sure there is an undamaged grounded three prong plug installed.

    You just reminded me I have a two-prong on the Taxi. What are my steps to remedy?
    Found this -- is this a best practice for doing it?

    thanks!
    MOF

    #12 8 years ago

    very easy, you can buy a new three prong replacement plug end at any hardware store for less than 5 bucks. Cut the plug off of the machine and replace. There are plenty of YouTube videos covering this.

    #13 8 years ago
    Quoted from mof:

    That sounds like a good one -- can you say more about that, and include a pic ?
    thanks!
    MOF

    Haven't had a chance to get some pics, but as an example on a Tri Zone I picked up in non-working condition someone had obviously been monkeying around with the ROMs. You will probably see this frequently on old Williams games with Scanbe sockets, especially if buying from someone who keeps a bunch of project machines or works on them. A lot of times they will have been swapping boards back and forth to see what works and doesn't, etc.

    So in my case I noticed the PROM that had some legs that were bent and sticking out sideways (another good thing to check) but failed to notice the PROM and 6810 RAM that were installed upside down in their sockets. When I turned the game on for the first time the PROM burned and 6810 seems to have been damaged (game boots with it installed but gets random lockups, works fine with a new one).

    Generally IC locations on the board will have a small dot or 1 next to the hole for pin 1. The ICs themselves will have a notch or dot on the case that indicates pin 1. A quick visual check will verify if anything is upside down, which depending on the pinout for the IC can smoke it quickly if the game is powered up!

    #14 8 years ago
    Quoted from GListOverflow:

    Generally IC locations on the board will have a small dot or 1 next to the hole for pin 1. The ICs themselves will have a notch or dot on the case that indicates pin 1. A quick visual check will verify if anything is upside down, which depending on the pinout for the IC can smoke it quickly if the game is powered up!

    VERY good info -- thanks!
    MOF

    1 week later
    #15 8 years ago

    Looking for more good tips on power/safety things to check right away on a pin -- right after purchasing.

    Just realized we forgot an easy one: A battery replacement is really important. Make sure the contacts are good after installing new batteries. Check for corrosion directly below the battery holder.

    thanks!
    MOF

    #16 8 years ago

    1. Have a ton of clear coat juice on hand...you want to cover everything.
    2. buy something dumb from amazon/ebay that has some sort of reference to your game, large or small; Make a topper out of it.
    3. Clearcoat topper.
    4. Since you own it, make a mental note the game is now with $150-800 more than when you bought, based on age, because somehow "that is what the market value is."
    5. Rate it super high no matter what...I mean you bought it right, you're a smart guy...you wouldn't by a game that isn't the best!
    6. Have fun!

    1 month later
    #17 8 years ago

    With older System (3-9) machines, and System 11's and 11-A's before Fire! (mid-1987) -- add two fuses to the bridge rectifiers to prevent fire. http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Williams_System_9_-_11 (see section 4.2 Power Problems)

    -mof

    #18 8 years ago

    Check the resistance of each coil to see if any of them are shorted, per Clay's recommendation.

    I like the idea of checking to see if any of the chips are put in wrong, but my guess is that the game was already powered up with them in the wrong way and any damage would already have been done. Who would do half-assed, "pull the chips and put them back in the wrong way" kind of work and not turn the game on to see if it fixed anything? Of course if the game is in pieces or you have some other reason to think they were messed with spend the time to look, but I would not be at the top of my list of things since I would assume the damage was already done.

    #19 8 years ago
    Quoted from mg81:

    Check the resistance of each coil to see if any of them are shorted, per Clay's recommendation.
    I like the idea of checking to see if any of the chips are put in wrong, but my guess is that the game was already powered up with them in the wrong way and any damage would already have been done. Who would do half-assed, "pull the chips and put them back in the wrong way" kind of work and not turn the game on to see if it fixed anything? Of course if the game is in pieces or you have some other reason to think they were messed with spend the time to look, but I would not be at the top of my list of things since I would assume the damage was already done.

    Awesome tip.


    -mof

    #20 8 years ago
    Quoted from Elfman:

    Would like to see some post ship notes too. I am will be having my first pin shipped from CA to WA and would love to know some quick things I can do before I power it on, like tightening nuts, making adjustments, etc.

    I think that all these "playability" ideas are much more intuitive like -- "I want my ramps to play tight" so examine all the ramp posts and make sure they are screwed down tight. My goal for this thread was fire safety and not burning up good machine components over something that could have been prevented with 10 minutes of checking something... I will say this...

    Run your fingers slowly over each leg bolt hole where you will screw a bolt back into... Last leg on my last pin I brought home had a sharp piece of metal sticking up, and as I turned the final bolt the final thread -- it cut deep into my thumb like a can opener. Took a week to heal. No biggie, but totally avoidable, so you bet your life, I'll run my finger over all leg bolt holes slowly once to make sure they are all smooth. And I have the metal file ready... hehe.

    -mof

    #21 8 years ago

    You might add to make sure all the wires are tucked away from moving parts under the playfield.

    Can't tell you how many times the insulation is chewed all the way through from the sling shots....

    2 weeks later
    #22 7 years ago

    Just found out my flipper solenoids were not correct in the Taxi I got last Winter. Hilarious, no wonder the flippers were a tad weak. One solenoid was a FL-11722/50V for uppers instead of FL-11630/50V!!! Doh! Doing my WPC flipper upgrades on Taxi today, 4 machines to go... Wish me luck!

    Learning more each day!
    -mof

    7 months later
    #23 7 years ago

    Brought a 1981 Gottlieb Black Hole home a few weeks ago... When it came time to review the fuses... It was nothing but, "Really???" for 20 minutes. I think about 10 of roughly 20 fuses were what I expected to find...

    "In short", (get it?) it seems that slow blow fuses get replaced in a pinch with available car fuses regardless of fast-blow or slow-blow and amps.

    Have a checklist and follow it... Don't "blow it" (are you still with me?)
    -mof

    #24 7 years ago

    One of the first things I always check....make sure the installed fuses are the proper value.

    It's funny what people put int the machines in a pinch.

    #25 7 years ago

    case of beer.

    1 year later
    #26 6 years ago

    I just want to thank the contributors of this list once again. These tips have been helpful time and time again over the last year...

    When I made the list, I thought it was a bit "too much"

    Now I think it's a bit "minimal"

    That's time and experience for ya...

    #27 6 years ago

    In addition to mof's list, even before purchasing, I:
    1. move every single solenoid plunger by hand, to do a physical check, making a note of the wear on a plunger, or examining the bakelite for cracks in an early SS.
    2. look at the flipper mechanisms closely. Check the switches, check the plunger, link, and pawl, check the nylon bushing.
    3. Check all the tilt switches. Sometimes they are cut. This can indicate...things.

    When I get it home, I always:
    1. Replace every coil sleeve
    2. Re-pin every plug (I don't, but now have the tool, so I WILL, and you should too!), unless this is obvious been done
    3. Clean that playfield! And then wax it. But really, clean it, clean it, clean it!
    4. Checking every fuse cannot be stressed enough.

    3 months later
    #28 5 years ago
    Quoted from L_satan:

    1. move every single solenoid plunger by hand, to do a physical check, making a note of the wear on a plunger, or examining the bakelite for cracks in an early SS.
    2. look at the flipper mechanisms closely. Check the switches, check the plunger, link, and pawl, check the nylon bushing.
    3. Check all the tilt switches. Sometimes they are cut. This can indicate...things.
    When I get it home, I always:

    Added! (trying to walk the line between a quick 1-2-3 hour check before turning on AND a shop job) =)
    -mof

    #29 5 years ago

    Make sure you have a few of the circuit breaker test fuse wallet savers or you will go broke trouble shooting a game

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/making-and-using-a-fuse-breaker

    #30 5 years ago
    Quoted from Elfman:

    Would like to see some post ship notes too. I am will be having my first pin shipped from CA to WA and would love to know some quick things I can do before I power it on, like tightening nuts

    Good point, I'll add this for sure.
    -mof

    #31 5 years ago
    Quoted from practicalsteve:

    very easy, you can buy a new three prong replacement plug end at any hardware store for less than 5 bucks. Cut the plug off of the machine and replace. There are plenty of YouTube videos covering this.

    Good point, I've read on Pinside two advantages to doing this:

    1. Appearance. Matching the original is always preferred over a big yellow block of plastic.
    2. Space on the power strip. You may run into a situation where big yellow blocks of plastic are fighting for space. Better to use the slimmer standard black plug.

    -mof

    3 weeks later
    #32 5 years ago

    Adding: ensure boards in backbox have screws in all the mounting holes.

    -mof

    #33 5 years ago

    Mof, I expanded upon your checklist and added a page for it on pinwiki: http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Post-Purchase_Checklist

    #34 5 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Mof, I expanded upon your checklist and added a page for it on pinwiki: http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Post-Purchase_Checklist

    Fantastic...
    -mof

    #35 5 years ago

    Great thread except NOOB's would need some instruction on how to do many of the items on the check list like me. LOL.

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