(Topic ID: 225496)

Stern Electronics Club (1977-1984).

By Mitch

1 year ago

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  • 2,700 posts
  • 215 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 21 hours ago by Chalkey
  • Topic is favorited by 108 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

9 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #227 Various gate tips. Posted by cottonm4 (1 year ago)

Post #269 Hi quality thoughts from Cotton about inlanes. Posted by cottonm4 (1 year ago)

Post #279 Playfield touch up tips. Posted by klr650 (1 year ago)

Post #309 Stern inserts suggestions. Posted by cottonm4 (1 year ago)

Post #310 Seawitch gate flap solution. Posted by frunch (1 year ago)

Post #1033 Bally drop targets on the classic stern, even mix and match. Posted by cottonm4 (11 months ago)

Post #1958 Star Gazer podcast episode link. Posted by DRDAVE (5 months ago)

Post #2587 Link to 3D printed parts available from HHaase. Posted by HHaase (31 days ago)

Post #2590 Link to 3D printed parts by Swinks, available at Shapeways. Posted by swinks (31 days ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#16 1 year ago
Quoted from DRDAVE:

The top 5 players for me anyway are:
Star Gazer

Nah, the only 2 mentioned thus far worth owning are Nine Ball and Stars.

I agree that Seawitch is the cheaper of these three asked about but that game is poorly designed, just like Star Gazer.

Some not mentioned that play better than all of these are Catacomb, Big Game, Dracula and Ali.

For the bargain hunters, you pretty much have nothing better than Meteor or Stars for less than 1K. Possibly Flight 2K for around 1K.

To track down any classic Stern machines worth keeping, you are looking at 1K and WAY up these days. I would buy a Quicksilver but would probably have it sold on Pinside in an hour for top dollar since 50+ people on here are looking for one.

#57 1 year ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

QS is the best classic Stern experience. Period.

For you? Ok. But what if you can't stand the color green?

#66 1 year ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

I don;t doubt people would buy it...but 500? Are you watching all the reviews and talk aboot what people like now? I don;t know if there are enough old school folks to make up for the people raging against no bash toy or ramps.
I wish they would try though

Agree. I think they could sell 50 but 500? No way. The demand and market isn't high enough for them yet. If originals were like 8K right now, maaaaaaybe. People would look for a cheaper alternative. But with all new parts and play fields being auto-cleared, new displays, and new back glasses, we are essentially already playing reproduction machines... Just buy a "restored" original.

#109 1 year ago
Quoted from pinlawyer:

I've grown to love Viper, and play it more than any other classic Stern in my lineup (which has 10 classic Sterns). The rules are great, the shots are great, if simple, and the center turret seems at first like a stupid novelty (think Hot Hand), but grows to become a fun challenge. The only part of Viper I find less than appealing is the sound.

What, no Nugent? I hope to purchase a Dragonfist at some point but I feel I will have to eventually trade to acquire that one.

I think classic Stern machines are unique but there is no way that I could justify owning more than a couple of them at any given time.

#115 1 year ago
Quoted from DRDAVE:

Had a Nugent....restored it up...played it for a month..sold it. Very few early Sterns make the grade I've found. Stars is THE shining star of the early Sterns.

There's your problem right there, you restored it. Classic Sterns don't play the way they should unless they are original. Restoring them lets all that "magic" out of the machine.

#185 1 year ago
Quoted from Methos:

QS beats both of them.

Only for the color green.

#194 1 year ago
Quoted from Methos:

Those two are pretty comparable, Fathom has a more traditional layout while SG is pretty unique.
QS beats both of them.

Anyone that thinks any classic Stern is a better playing game than Fathom is living a lie. Remember, rare does not always equate to good. I love the classic Stern machines but c'mon man... we all know how any why they were made. There is a reason that back when these Stern machines were available they did not earn as well and were cheaper machines to purchase, compared with Bally and Williams.

#196 1 year ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

I just recently played Fathom and Seawitch and I thought Seawitch was way more fun to play than Fathom.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion but I just can't get over how the shots in Seawitch are not properly lined up with the flippers. That right orbit area is a dumpster fire.

One reason I like classic Sterns is that you can set them up to be very difficult, while still remaining very fun. But it's harder to fix how the play field is designed.

#199 1 year ago

I am a firm believer that your opinion of a game is in response to the exact tables that you have played over the years. The newer the machine (of the same title), the more similar one plays to to another.

So, these early solid state games have a MUCH wider gap of how one title of the same name plays to the next. I think that is one reason people seem to have such strong opinions of older machines. The older the machine, the wider the opinion gap.

Possibly it would only take one single experience on a Star Gazer or Quicksilver to change my mind. I have played two examples of each for a very extended time (many multiplayer games for hours) to learn to detailed rules of each table. I have decided that neither are worth owning. I suppose I could change my mind but that is probably just as likely as someone who does not like Fathom, playing a different example of it and changing their mind on the spot, erasing all the negative playing experiences in the past 15 years.

Truth be told, my favorite Bally game is my Mr/MS Pac-man. Every other single Mr/Ms I have ever played was absolute crap. Lamps/switches not working, flippers not aligned, ect. Yeah, I know. Flame away.

Back on topic, I don't think you could buy a decent Seawitch for less than 2500 these days. The other two are basically impossible to price since it's a sellers market on those 2 titles. Could you buy one for 3K... maybe a beater. 5K gives you a better chance at them but you can't buy one for 5K if you can't find one for sale. A few have been "built" from parts or populated PF's. That's seems to be the way to go if you are on a budget.

#210 1 year ago
Quoted from tomdotcom:

I stopped reading when you said the best Bally game is Pacman hahahahah

I know you're kidding but I didn't say that.

Quoted from BrianBannon:

These other classic Bally comparison games were all in excellent condition, too.

From my experience, condition has nothing to do with earnings. Maintenance yes, condition no. Besides, I was talking about historic Stern vs. Bally back when men were men.

#228 1 year ago
Quoted from BrianBannon:

Are you an operator? Do you operate any classic Bally/Stern?

I operated some classic games along side some modern Stern machines (just a few years ago) when a friend of mine had an arcade in my neighborhood. It was only open on weekends. I had about 8 machines there for about 2.5 years. Best earning games were by far GOT and TWD. Those were not owned by me. Only classic game that ALWAYS did good was EATPM.

Had an EBD in there and that game got zero love. Stern ALI earned better than EBD! I know, I still can't believe that one. Hands down best earning classic game was EATPM. It was consistent EVERY SINGLE WEEK/MONTH. My second best earning game was probably WPT, followed closely by TFTC. I did have a Meteor in there for a while and it was .25 cents a play and it did get played a little but it was nowhere close to the newer games or EATPM.

Below is a pic of when we had our league there. I miss "the place".

There ARE currently some classics routed in our town but they do not get much play when up along side the newer Stern machines being released.

theplace_small (resized).png
#236 1 year ago
Quoted from Fytr:

Anyone want to trade a Fathom (any reasonable condition) for a nice original Medusa + Big Game?

I would possibly be interested if you were local.

#249 1 year ago

Thread is cool to me. I don't have any complaints. People chimed in with some pricing and the question has been answered thoroughly. No reason to get upset if the thread goes elsewhere.

#280 1 year ago
Quoted from klr650:

That's how I put the text back on as well.

What font did you use on this?

#299 1 year ago
Quoted from Mitch:

All the reviews and writups I've read are split 50 50 I'm not worried I have a large collection lol

It’s a lot of fun to me. You have to set it up hard though. If you get over 200k on mine, that’s epic. One thing that I like about Nugent are the rules to light he spinner. If you accidentally fall in the collect bonus holes, it sets you back to 1,000. You can only light the spinner if you reach 10k bonus.

Another thing I love is that you have to nudge to score the most valuable shot in the game (when top rollovers are lit for 9k).

I do understand why a lot of people don’t love it. For me, it’s a lot like Harlem Globetrotters. Very difficult and fast old school addictive pinball.

Another good change is to remove the top most acorn post on the left orbit shot. It’s too tight of a shot from the factory. Removing the top post converts it to a makeable, rewarding shot.

#320 1 year ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

I have a Stern Catacomb.
The third display was constantly flickering, jumbling up the numbers.
Re-seated a few times and now it does this.
Is it broken? I do have a spare but no point swapping if fault lies elsewhere!
Thanks[quoted image]

Swap player 2 and 3 to see if the problem follows the display. If it does, probably need to reflow solder points at the connector.

#322 1 year ago

The connectors will probably not be long enough... Just swap displays for players 2 and 3. You do have to unplug them to swap them. They are the exact same part. Oh, and make sure the game is OFF!

#327 1 year ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

Does this mean display 3 is at fault or could it be a board fault

YES. On the faulty display, reflow solder onto the pins of the connector.

You do not want to be anywhere near ~180+ volts DC when the game is on.

1 week later
#344 1 year ago

I think there’s a dozen people that want to buy it but only a few people willing to pay the going rate. I’m trying to buy a different Stern that is much harder to find.

Honestly, you should be able to get new Stern money for this very nice old Stern (Quicksilver).

#362 1 year ago

Freefall is fun an unique but as far as classic Stern wide body games go, it's NOT one of the best. Kind of reminds me of Viper. Very unique and fun, but only once in a while.

#412 1 year ago
Quoted from DrJoe:

Their best games, imo, were the -200 games with single-level and single ball play.

I mostly agree.... BUT Catacomb is a good multiball game.

#429 1 year ago
Quoted from brenna98:

What's the value Dragonfist? I could use one of those...

Way more than you should be willing to pay. I would consider trading just about any machine I own (minus a few) for one. I know they are out there but I haven't tracked one down yet. If you find one and don't buy it, please pass it along. I've gathered that there were quite a few exported.

#439 1 year ago

I believe it’s a jumper. Some games did have a pin in that harness. Could be for multiple speakers or an additional potentiometer.

#464 1 year ago
Quoted from wolffcub:

My Lectronamo has been misbehaving over the last few days and needs a kick in the rear.
[quoted image][quoted image]

You need to install one additional rubber under that existing one and it will resolve this problem.

#506 1 year ago

I'm fairly certain Metallica and Sopranos both have one as well.

1 week later
#562 1 year ago
Quoted from eh97ac:

Classic Arcades is less than budget, it will be shit. Search for all the disappointed customers on pinside. Don't be fooled!

I've bought a few items from him over the years and they certainly do not belong in a "restored game".

However, everything has it's place. For a budget game you just want flipping, tournament game for a show, or a game on route, I believe they are fine.

#573 1 year ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

I bought brand new flipper mechs for my Dragonfist from Pinball Life. I installed the right side last night. I moved the wires over 1 by 1 from the old mech to the new mech. I realized quickly that the flipper was getting weaker. Lifted the playfield and found the coil was hot. Shut game off, let it cool a few minutes. Double checked the EOS switches and all my soldering connections, seemed okay. Tried playing again, this time each time I flipped the right side the lights in the game flickered and after about 4-5 flips the game just shut off completely. Now it won't do anything. No LED comes on at all with the MPU, nothing happens at all on the game at the moment.
Any ideas what just happened?

It does not matter what lugs you put the wires on, it matters what wires are connected to the proper diode sides (anode vs. cathode). Compare your old coil's diode orientation to the new coil's diodes. Not all are the same.
Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 2.16.41 PM (resized).png

#600 1 year ago
Quoted from Mitch:

Does anyone have any nos stern drop targets or and used ones (any condition) they would sell. Dont care what game they are from.
Send me a pm.

I may have a few with different colored Stars.

1 month later
#790 1 year ago
Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

Diving into lightning next. Definitely say awhile. Missing many board. Anyone have a vsu-100 speech board? It’s the only one I’m worried about. I think I have a lead on one but it’s sketchy

I have a speech board for lightning. PM me if it can help you.

#799 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

I live in a city of 400,000 people. All of the Radio Shacks closed when RS went out of biz. And we always had a local diehard type electronic store that recently closed its doors after 50 years. Here I am, 20% into the 21st Century and my only option for buying electronics parts in online. So, if I am in a hurry, I am just hosed. Add in mail order prices and it is no longer a $0.05 resistor.
The guy who robbed those parts probably had no other options.

Well said. I reuse parts whenever I can. It's very time consuming and inefficient to buy a .20 part, pay $5 shipping, and wait 3-7 days to receive it when I can just recycle from a pile of good parts.

The surplus electronics store I frequented for 15+ years has zero parts for machines any more. They were the go to option for resistors, diodes and transistors but now, they are very picked over and the last time I went there with a list of 5 parts, they had none of them. Guess I don't have to ever go back there again.

There are very few stores like this left in America and the fact that some of them have been around for half a century and are closed because of the so called "convenient internet" is so sad.

#812 1 year ago
Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

Ive switched over to using the weebly boards...

For me, there are even more reasons to use Weebly boards. For Bally rom hacks and rom testing, it is a great tool as well.

#821 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Alltek boards have the lifetime guarantee. Does that lifetime guarantee make the Alltek products worth the extra money?
What kind of warranty do the Weebly products have?

I've NEVER had anything made by Andrew fail. Having said that, I have known him to stand behind his products. I would PM him or email him directly regarding warranty questions.

#838 1 year ago

Those games are both a lot of fun. Underated for certain.

1 week later
#885 1 year ago
Quoted from Methos:

Hate to say this, but after playing these classic Sterns, when I go back to the Ballys from the same era...I'm getting disappointed with them. Centaur and Fathom are still great, but getting bored with my Viking, Medusa, and Supersonic.

Eh, Medusa is amazing. I will buy it if you are selling.

#894 1 year ago
Quoted from SergioJ:

Interested in moving your Defender? I have a nice Medusa.....

Yeah, I don’t think so. That’s not an even trade.

4 weeks later
#1039 11 months ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

I think I found some originals so I’m good! This thing is cleaning up great too. Can’t wait to play! Probably be done in a week or so after getting some parts in.

I have a couple star ones I found if you need some...

1 week later
#1091 11 months ago

Stern and Bally lamp and Sol. driver boards are interchangeable. Only exceptions are oddball games like Goldball and Baby pac-man.

#1155 11 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Wow !! An Ali sold on Ebay for $4,075.00 + $1,500.00 shipping.
Total: $5,575.00
I did not know Ali's were in that kind of demand.
[quoted image]

Well, it’s hard to find that title in good condition... just like all Sterns these days. I sold a nice one last year for a price I could not turn down, then immediately bought another broken one two weeks later. Crazy thing is that is sat on Craigslist for a month and no one bought it.

I don’t think the game is worth anywhere close to what that one sold, but I could say exactly the same about Seawitch or Catacomb.

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