(Topic ID: 225496)

Stern Electronics Club (1977-1984).


By Mitch

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 3 hours ago by cottonm4
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#3251 15 days ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

I know I have mentioned this somewhere before, but time to say it again.
You can take a hooded target and get your sanding and filing equipment out and make a tombstone target from a hooded target. The job will look at good as your skillset.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]

Here is a quickie job. Seeing is believing.

IMG_3676 (resized).JPG
#3252 15 days ago

Never understood why the remade targets weren't tombstone as well. They look so much nicer.

#3253 15 days ago
Quoted from cottonm4:When you load your pictures, pinside gives you the tools to rotate them into upright position. Those small curves arrows make it possible.
This sideways business is fairly new to me. It used to be I could load my pics and not think about it. But now every pic I load needs to be rotated. It is a PIA but doable.
[quoted image]

Rotate feature wasn’t working so I said f it.

#3254 15 days ago
Quoted from slochar:

Do the replacement drops have the rib on them or just the shelf right below the target face? Rib is correct for Memory Lane, and 'chichlet' style (no hood).
The ones that are shelfs are Bally style drops and they brick exactly as you are describing.
Since the drop bank is straight on they will tend to brick a little bit, Lightning's center bank is terrible this way and ML is likely similar. You can try and move the entire bank forward as much as you can and people have tried stiffening the drop to help its downing, but it tends to be a losing battle - it's endemic to the game because of the angle. Gottlieb drops are the only ones that don't brick straight on.
Higher flipper strength doesn't help either.... someone a long time ago did a slo-mo video of drops that wouldn't drop and the reason they don't is that the target flexes and hits the back of the slot with such force that it comes back front onto its shelf rather than dropping. Stronger springs help but then they don't reset properly.
If you look on rec.games.pinball there's a lot of threads where people played around with this, as well as likely here on pinside.

Quoted from dothedoo:

First off, make sure ALL the metal pieces are smooth. The plating on Stern mechs oxidizes and acts like sandpaper, hindering the smooth operation of the drops.
Secondly, the springs may be getting a little weak. On my Freefall, the bank in the middle is close to the flippers and had the same problems yours does. I had to move the rod the springs are mounted on a little bit lower to give a bit more tension. I don’t know how much different your mech is from mine, but maybe yours has some holes a little bit lower in the sidewalls that you could use.

Thanks for the tips guys.

They are the chicklet style. I honestly don't mind the bricking so much as I do the targets often not staying in place. In Memory Lane, the target bank locks to a certain value/reward when hit. Sometimes you want to hit it, other times you don't, so a target falling down on its own kills the flow of the game. But yeah, like was mentioned, hard hits tend to reject, while slow ones are fine.

I'll look at the mechs under the playfield again with these tips in mind.

20200519_1658121 (resized).jpg
#3255 15 days ago

That's not chichlet style, those are flattops.

#3256 15 days ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Tombstone dont have the wide top.[quoted image][quoted image]

Quoted from slochar:

That's not chichlet style, those are flattops.

Yup. Now I'm confused.

Thanks guys.

#3257 15 days ago
Quoted from akm:

Thanks for the tips guys.
They are the chicklet style. I honestly don't mind the bricking so much as I do the targets often not staying in place. In Memory Lane, the target bank locks to a certain value/reward when hit. Sometimes you want to hit it, other times you don't, so a target falling down on its own kills the flow of the game. But yeah, like was mentioned, hard hits tend to reject, while slow ones are fine.
I'll look at the mechs under the playfield again with these tips in mind.
[quoted image]

Make sure the bottom bracket that resets the targets is correctly assembled. It should have one edge resting on the bottom of the assembly. If it’s assembled wrong two edges of the bracket will be resetting on the bottom of the assembly. I’ve noticed when this bracket is installed incorrectly the targets trend to fall back down after a reset.

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#3258 15 days ago
Quoted from akm:

Thanks for the tips guys.
They are the chicklet style. I honestly don't mind the bricking so much as I do the targets often not staying in place. In Memory Lane, the target bank locks to a certain value/reward when hit. Sometimes you want to hit it, other times you don't, so a target falling down on its own kills the flow of the game. But yeah, like was mentioned, hard hits tend to reject, while slow ones are fine.
I'll look at the mechs under the playfield again with these tips in mind.
[quoted image]

Something doesn’t seem right there. Those drops seems to be sitting very low. It looks like the tops of them are just at the rubber ring height? If so the ball is hitting the top of the targets. That’ll make more flex.

#3259 15 days ago
Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

Something doesn’t seem right there. Those drops seems to be sitting very low. It looks like the tops of them are just at the rubber ring height? If so the ball is hitting the top of the targets. That’ll make more flex.

The targets sit higher than the rubber. They just look even with them due to the angle of the photo.

Quoted from kickabit:

Make sure the bottom bracket that resets the targets is correctly assembled. It should have one edge resting on the bottom of the assembly. If it’s assembled wrong two edges of the bracket will be resetting on the bottom of the assembly. I’ve noticed when this bracket is installed incorrectly the targets trend to fall back down after a reset.

I just checked and yep, the bracket sits how it is supposed to as shown in your photo.

Going to have to take the whole mech off but haven't gotten to it yet, working on a couple of other issues.

Quoted from Coyote:

Yup. Now I'm confused.
Thanks guys.

Yeah, same here.

I've been looking around and it seems like this game would have come with the tombstone (?) kind, i.e., no wide flat tops. This can be seen in its original flyer as well as a few other collector photos around the internet. However, it seems like no one makes repros of these? The wide tops are everywhere, but I can't find the others at all. Might have to file down my targets and see if that helps (if it doesn't, a replacement set is cheap, not a big loss).

#3260 14 days ago

The core problem is that the replacement targets made today aren't made correctly with regards to the type of plastic. Vintage targets I remember replacing back in the day (i.e. 1990 or so) had NO issues.

Meteor seems to be the game where they went from Chichlets to Tombstones, I've had 7-8 meteors that had mixes of targets in the meteor bank, (all chichlet or all flattops/hooded) but the rockets were always chichlets.

The nomenclature of chichlet referring specifically to Stern drops came about on RGP way back when:

chichlets - stern drop with the rib and no flattop
flattop - stern drop with the rib and flattop
tombstone - Bally drop with the ledge, no flattop
hooded - Bally drop with the ledge, flattop

I think someone was selling 3d printed versions of them but I've never used them.

#3261 14 days ago

Thanks for the tips guys. I spent a while taking apart the drop target assembly. I cleaned all the metal parts that the targets rub up against as they raise and lower along with the arms they sit on, allowing smoother motion.

I also found a plate sitting in the bottom of the cabinet, the one that sits on the outside of the assembly and attaches beneath the three leaf switches. Seems that adds some support that wasn't there before.

I tested the drops 25-ish times and they locked into place with no premature drops on their own. Played a quick game solely aiming for the targets and they still reset fine. Bricks were minimal as well.

Going to put some good time onto the game tomorrow and see how it fares during normal play. Seems like a marked improvement so far though!

#3263 12 days ago

Welllll... I spoke too soon. Drops are still dropping on their own occasionally and rejecting. It doesn't seem as bad as before, but it's still far from ideal. Really at a loss aside from trying to find the tombstone targets somewhere (unlikely, it seems). Maybe I'll try some stronger springs, per the recommendation of a friend. Just going to have to live with it, I guess.

#3264 12 days ago

What are you guys doing to replace bottom panels cleats on a Stern cabinet?

I changed the bottom panel with a nice Baltic Birch replacement but I am not sure the best way to get the cleats as well as the cabinet corners for the leg holes.

#3265 12 days ago
Quoted from akm:

Welllll... I spoke too soon. Drops are still dropping on their own occasionally and rejecting. It doesn't seem as bad as before, but it's still far from ideal. Really at a loss aside from trying to find the tombstone targets somewhere (unlikely, it seems). Maybe I'll try some stronger springs, per the recommendation of a friend. Just going to have to live with it, I guess.

I was getting random drops, especially during bank resets and tightening this gap by loosening the capscrews and tapping the lever until almost snug was what solved the issue. Also manually lift the lever and make sure all 3 drops are being lifted at the same time and that one side isn't lifting too early -- if that is happening loosen one of the cap screws and twist the lever until the lift bar is parallel with the drops. I still have an occasional bricking of the target mostly on a very hard direct shot but i'll live with that over the targets dropping which just ruins game strategy. I never played this game until after restoration so i did not have a chance to see how it behaved with original drops. These are new drops from Marco.

ml (resized).jpgml2 (resized).jpg
#3266 12 days ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

What are you guys doing to replace bottom panels cleats on a Stern cabinet?
I changed the bottom panel with a nice Baltic Birch replacement but I am not sure the best way to get the cleats as well as the cabinet corners for the leg holes.

I know what a cleat is when repairing the neck of a guitar. I don't know what a cleat is on pinball cabinet.

Define "cleat" and maybe I can help you.

What problems are you having with the cab corners?

#3267 12 days ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

I know what a cleat is when repairing the neck of a guitar. I don't know what a cleat is on pinball cabinet.

Define "cleat" and maybe I can help you.

What problems are you having with the cab corners?

I was reading that from another thread on replacing cabinet bottom, it is the triangle wood pieces glued between the cabinet side and bottom for additional support (12 of them total).

Similar for the tringle piece for the cabinet cornders, they were in such crappy shape that I took them off and I am going to make clean ones.

I assume a table saw at 45 degree through saw 2x4 with the cut width align to the original part size is the way to go?

#3268 12 days ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

snip...
I assume a table saw at 45 degree through saw 2x4 with the cut width align to the original part size is the way to go?

A 2x4 is typically pine. Is that what the cleats are or a hard wood for better strength?

#3269 11 days ago
Quoted from emsrph:

A 2x4 is typically pine. Is that what the cleats are or a hard wood for better strength?

Pine. A 2 X 4 is good material.

Quoted from hisokajp:

I was reading that from another thread on replacing cabinet bottom, it is the triangle wood pieces glued between the cabinet side and bottom for additional support (12 of them total).
Similar for the tringle piece for the cabinet cornders, they were in such crappy shape that I took them off and I am going to make clean ones.
I assume a table saw at 45 degree through saw 2x4 with the cut width align to the original part size is the way to go?

A table saw set at 45 degrees is what you are after.

For your cleats:

1) Along the sides, it is not all that critical. I put one above and below each of cross ties that the transformer board sits on. Then I put one more about halfway between the upper cross tie and the back of the cab. Do this on both sides.

2) I like to put two of them on the lower side of the tie. This divides the play field into thirds and gives good support for the floor. These will help keep the floor from sagging as the years go by.

Place on the lower side/player side of the tie. Reason for the lower side? If you place them on the upper side of the tie away from the player you have made a parts trap. If you drop a screw and it rolls under the transformer board it could roll onto the other side of the cleat and the only way you can access it is to remove the transformer board.

I might wind up installing some that the factory did not. I have the luxury that the factory did not have. I don't have to worry about the cost.

Unless you are entering some sort of restoration contest where the inspectors looking at every little detail a couple of extra cleats are not going to hurt anything.

#3270 11 days ago

My big game has these carriage bolts that are used as posts for certain areas (slings, GA targets, etc). Can we buy these anywhere? And any suggestions for getting the old ones out? The nuts holding the Star posts in are corroded to the threaded carriage bolt post and it just spins with the nut.

Thanks!

#3271 11 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

My big game has these carriage bolts that are used as posts for certain areas (slings, GA targets, etc). Can we buy these anywhere? And any suggestions for getting the old ones out? The nuts holding the Star posts in are corroded to the threaded carriage bolt post and it just spins with the nut.

if possible, i would hammer them out then put a 6-32 Tnut under the PF and use Machine Post/Stud 530-5012-02

#3272 11 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

My big game has these carriage bolts that are used as posts for certain areas (slings, GA targets, etc). Can we buy these anywhere? And any suggestions for getting the old ones out? The nuts holding the Star posts in are corroded to the threaded carriage bolt post and it just spins with the nut.
Thanks!

The Stern #6-32 carriage bolts are almost custom made. No body caries that size.
1) I would add a #6 washer head screw and some glue to the head of the carriage bolt
---that is mounted to the bottom of the playfield.
2) Add some drops of lubricant to the top nut...
3) You might have to add a little heat to the nut.
4) Carefully work the nut loose... Watch out... you do not want to strip the threads.
5) Once the nut is removed... use a 6-32 die to clean the threads to the carriage bolt.

#3273 11 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

My big game has these carriage bolts that are used as posts for certain areas (slings, GA targets, etc). Can we buy these anywhere? And any suggestions for getting the old ones out? The nuts holding the Star posts in are corroded to the threaded carriage bolt post and it just spins with the nut.
Thanks!

You can’t buy them anywhere.

I had a couple locked so hard that I had to destroy the post with a Dremel Tool to get the nut off.

Don’t hammer them out. They unscrew. And sometimes to get them started to unscrew I have had to jam two nuts to get them out.

The best you can do is get some 6/32 Phillips head machine screws and screw them back in.

#3274 11 days ago

I can’t get the nut on the top side that is above the star post to budge at all the carriage bolt just spins with it. I don’t care to keep it or replace, but I can’t get this old one out to replace with something else. There’s only two of them so I just didn’t replace those two star posts for now.

I replaced all the red star posts with green. Loving the way it looks. Replaced all the green rubber I had everywhere with translucent too. Looking nice.

#3275 11 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

I can’t get the nut on the top side that is above the star post to budge at all the carriage bolt just spins with it. I don’t care to keep it or replace, but I can’t get this old one out to replace with something else. There’s only two of them so I just didn’t replace those two star posts for now.
I replaced all the red star posts with green. Loving the way it looks. Replaced all the green rubber I had everywhere with translucent too. Looking nice.

You might try putting two nuts on top of post, jam them together hard and maybe you can get the other nut to release.

But I have had some that whoever had the pin years ago over torqued the nut and messed up the threads.

Or get some Power Blaster at the auto parts store and dob a little bit on the nut. But PB is not cheap.

If you have a Dremel with a cut off wheel that would easiest.

Where did you get the green posts? I want to see.

#3276 11 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

. I don’t care to keep it or replace, but I can’t get this old one out....

Straight Dremel homie.

#3277 11 days ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Straight Dremel homie.

Yeah. Believe it or not I’ve made it this long without one. I guess I need to get one finally.

#3278 11 days ago

Hack or jigsaw?

Get a corded one if you buy, always hated battery version.

#3279 11 days ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Where did you get the green posts? I want to see.

Titan pinball.
B24DBC18-388A-46AD-8D25-CE98FA948067 (resized).jpeg

Just realized my one spinner looks like he’s winking at ya. Haha

#3280 11 days ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

The Stern #6-32 carriage bolts are almost custom made. No body caries that size.
1) I would add a #6 washer head screw and some glue to the head of the carriage bolt
---that is mounted to the bottom of the playfield.
2) Add some drops of lubricant to the top nut...
3) You might have to add a little heat to the nut.
4) Carefully work the nut loose... Watch out... you do not want to strip the threads.
5) Once the nut is removed... use a 6-32 die to clean the threads to the carriage bolt.

If we could get these, how much interest is in these at $1 a piece?

#3281 11 days ago

Ok $1.50 minimum order 20?

#3282 11 days ago

Zero interest from me. I think these things are horrible.

#3283 11 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Zero interest from me. I think these things are horrible.

X1000.

First thing I do is rip them out and throw them away. Better to put effort into the over 2" tophat posts Pinballlife never has in stock.

#3284 11 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Yeah. Believe it or not I’ve made it this long without one. I guess I need to get one finally.

No Dremel? Dude, you’re a masochist.

#3285 11 days ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

if possible, i would hammer them out then put a 6-32 Tnut under the PF and use Machine Post/Stud 530-5012-02

I like this idea all but for the price at $2.15 each.

I like Dothedoo's thoughts of going with the T-nut and installing a 6-32 Phillips head screw from underneath. You get the benefits of the T-nut and you have a good solid post. And the screws can be bought at most hardware stores for around 25 cents each. But you will have to cut them to length.

#3286 11 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Titan pinball.
[quoted image]
Just realized my one spinner looks like he’s winking at ya. Haha

I like that green. I have been looking at it for 4 years. I just don't like the style. I know it is minor. But I like the Stern style because wax won't get caught in the flutes.

Quoted from chuckwurt:

I replaced all the red star posts with green. Loving the way it looks. Replaced all the green rubber I had everywhere with translucent too. Looking nice.

I like the frosted rubber rings. I'll go that direction when I need to restock.

#3287 11 days ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

I like this idea all but for the price at $2.15 each.

actually $1.10 for the post, and it makes it the wa7 all other manufacturer believe it should be Just following djblouw recommendation on his QS from scratch

#3288 11 days ago

My Galaxy came without the bee hive plunger. I have a new bee hive but what hardware and what’s the install look like for that? Not sure if I’m missing something else but it doesn’t seem intuitive.

#3289 11 days ago
Quoted from northvibe:

My Galaxy came without the bee hive plunger. I have a new bee hive but what hardware and what’s the install look like for that? Not sure if I’m missing something else but it doesn’t seem intuitive.

It s just 2 screws from the cabinet....as long as you have the metal piece for the cabinet they go through

#3290 11 days ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

It s just 2 screws from the cabinet....as long as you have the metal piece for the cabinet they go through

that metal piece
pasted_image (resized).png

#3291 11 days ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

actually $1.10 for the post, and it makes it the wa7 all other manufacturer believe it should be Just following djblouw recommendation on his QS from scratch

I missed djblouw's post about these. Best I can find is $1.59 for a quantity of 10. I might be tempted at a $1.10. Who has them for $1.10, please?

Screen Shot 2020-05-23 at 11.32.55 PM (resized).png

#3292 11 days ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

No Dremel? Dude, you’re a masochist.

I actually have one for my dogs nails. Haha. Still trying to figure out if I can get different attachments for it to make it like a normal dremel.

#3294 11 days ago

Guys, remember those posts probably aren't always going to work for tall starposts, only short ones. And a lot of these you plan to swap out will be tall, ie sling area.

Of course you can switch to the smaller ones...which I had to do with Catacomb until i get some longer posts in

#3295 11 days ago

I replaced a bunch of the carriage bolts with t-nuts and 2” post studs from PBL on one of my F2K’s. No issue on either 1” or 1-3/16” posts.

#3296 11 days ago
Quoted from play_pinball:

I replaced a bunch of the carriage bolts with t-nuts and 2” post studs from PBL on one of my F2K’s. No issue on either 1” or 1-3/16” posts.

Hmmm...yeah I'm starting to wonder myself.
I I'm justvreallt hung uk on the fact I couldn't the 2" to work on Catacomb , but that was CPR...wonder if there's a diff'rence?

Edit: or simpler I just wish I could remember wtf I did with the other 3 Sterns I own man losing your memory sucks.

#3297 11 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

I actually have one for my dogs nails. Haha. Still trying to figure out if I can get different attachments for it to make it like a normal dremel.

Is that the battery operated one with the high/low switch? If so, it runs too slow for cutting, but is definitely useful for other tasks.

#3298 11 days ago

I do not recommend using a 2" stud for 1 3/16" post.

Here is why:

I was an aircraft inspector. We have specifications that must be followed. If you like to fly you will appreciate the attention to detail and building the plane to blueprint. Some specs allow you to work with tolerances. Some specs are hard callouts that allow no deviation.

One of those specs is that any screw or bolt had to have a minimum of two threads showing beyond the nut. Since we are talking pinball and not aircraft you can make your own leeways.
==============================================

This would not be allowed on an airplane because the 2 thread minimum has not been met. But it is good enough to a pinball machine.

IMG_3718 (resized).JPG
================================================

This is a #6 screw that I cut to size. Its has a full 2" of threads. The piece of wood is cut to 1/2" thick, the same thickness as the new CPR Catacomb play field I bought.

IMG_3711 (resized).JPG

By installing this 2" screw from the bottom, I have enough threads left over to lock down a nut and also place a nylon cap on.

IMG_3716 (resized).JPG

IMG_3721 (resized).JPG
---------------------------------------------------------------------
In this pic the nylon cap is removed and the cap portion of a 2" post stud is matched for comparison. You can see the difference in the thread lengths. The extra threads on the post stud are going to cause you problems.

IMG_3723 (resized).JPG

====================================================================================

Use a 2" stud and you are left with this. How many threads did you manage to get screwed down into the T-nut? Guess. Just guess. Can you figure it out?
.
.
Lets say you are going to look at a pin to buy and as you look it over you see an empty hole in the T-nut. Hold this thought.

IMG_3722 (resized).JPG

The rest of the story:

This small gap between the nut on the stud and the red post is how much thread you are going to have when you tighten the stud down.

IMG_3727 (resized).JPG
IMG_3726 (resized).JPG

You only have about two threads locking the post to the play field. You can do what you want. It is your pin. If you think two threads are enough, go for it.

I am going to build my play fields up using a 2" Phillips head screw and the T-nut. This is the way Dothedoo suggested and it looks good to me.

About holding that thought from above. Let's say you went to look at a pin to buy that someone has built from the ground up. What are you going to think if you lift the play field and see a load of empty T-nut holes. Are you going trust that builder's construction methods?

#3299 11 days ago

I rebuilt all my F2K posts behind the 5 bank using studs and Tnuts but I also stopped using the PBL ones because they kept snapping. I'll have to take a look at what studs I did end up using, or if used longer Tnuts, or maybe I recessed them - I don't remember because it was 15 years ago or so that I did it. They aren't loose though, so apparently something came out ok. My inclination is that there's more than 2 threads holding these on.

I likely used the studs from a motordome playfield as I had just picked a populated scrapper PF of that title up at pinfest for $20. This is before people realized that a $20 populated playfield (even with the plastics removed) has about $300 worth of hardware and parts on it. (Ah, the good old days)

I'm pretty sure that there's lots of sizes of the studs with differing threaded portions. PBL's AFAIK are the modern Stern variety only, with the integrated washer at the top, vs. the older style from the 80s/90s that are just the captive nut.

#3300 11 days ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Is that the battery operated one with the high/low switch? If so, it runs too slow for cutting, but is definitely useful for other tasks.

Yeah battery powered. I would probably only need a dremel for stuff like this so I’ll look into the corded version.

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