(Topic ID: 225496)

Stern Electronics Club (1977-1984).

By Mitch

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 2,426 posts
  • 203 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by slochar
  • Topic is favorited by 102 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

7 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 (9 months ago)

Post #1958 Star Gazer podcast episode link. Posted by DRDAVE (3 months ago)

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#78 1 year ago

I don't mind sharing what I paid for mine:
Seawitch $2100 - 1 small wear spot on the playfield, new plastics & drop targets, repainted cab and backglass 9/10
Star Gazer $1200 - Blown out playfied, missing boards and hacked up wire harness. With Greatwich playfied/bg, boards and misc parts all in for $2600
Meteor $800 - Excellent condition w 2 bad displays
Big Game $900 - Players condition with bad backglass

#229 1 year ago

I currently have a Centaur and a Big Game at my location. Centaur is the worst earner to date, Striker Xtreme got played 3 times as much in a week! Big Game gets twice the play as Centaur does, week after week. Both are dogs compared to the others, our EM's out earn both even at $.25 a play. EATPM is also the surprise earner, week after week it is one of the most played games in our lineup. The other surprise earner is Austin Powers. The modern Stern's are the big winners however as they have the best lighting and gimmicks.

2 months later
#655 11 months ago

Hi all, for the past month I have been testing my own protectors for Classic Stern playfields. I've been using them at my location and have yet to hear any complaints in regards to ball hangups or strange behavior. I have also been asking the regulars for active feedback and has been all positive so far, no one even knew I had them installed for the first week.
For those unfamiliar with the concept this is a single piece of PETG plastic that covers the entire playfield surface. The plastic is crystal clear and very thin only being .02" thick. The main benefit to a protector is that is essentially a poor mans version of clear coating a playfield. The protector will help stop a playfield that is starting to see wear. You can apply decals or touch up paint underneath and the protector keeps them fresh and intact. They also help level cupped or sunken inserts and returns these classic Sterns back to the screaming fast game that they were when factory fresh. This is also a fully reversible mod that can keep a playfield intact until you are ready to do a full and proper restore on it. The added bonus is that you also get a nice glossy playfield plane as the pictures will show. I want to be clear that this is not an original idea but as no one has made these available for Classic Stern games I figure that now is the time.

I have my version available which I call Pinball Playshields and are available for Meteor, Big Game and SeaWitch at https://beehivepinball.bigcartel.com/ for $75. Use discount code pinside10 for $10 off now thru Xmas. Playshields for Stars, Star Gazer and QuickSilver should be ready by the end of next week. After that I should have more titles coming including Flight 2000, Galaxy and Dracula. I'll also be recreating ball guides and wire forms for each of the games listed and will be rolling them out soon for anyone doing a restoration - Thanks

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#659 11 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

They look nice. Nice price, too.
I have made 5 protectors for my pins. I am a big believer in them.
How are you addressing the star rollover inserts? There are 5 rollovers on Big Game. How is the play action at the rollover inserts?

This is a great question as the star rollovers are a major problem when it comes to the protectors. On my Fathom I constantly have bad hangups because of the rollovers and the inline targets and have I kept this in mind while creating these. For my design when it comes to the rollovers the Playshield is not an exact mirror of the playfield itself. For the star rollovers the bottom is set a bit proud over the bottom edge of the insert and leaves a small gap at the top. The idea being that the curve of the star button will help level the field of play and not allow a low point where the ball can get stuck while at the same time allowing a little bit of extra momentum when the ball drops off the Playshield from the top and onto the insert. Between the pitch of the playfield, gravity and momentum the ball should have nowhere to come to rest. My drawings are a bit crude but I think it gets the idea across. The protector is meant to "float" above the playfield surface and should have about 1/16" of play when positioning it. Again gravity will come into play as the Playshield will come to rest at the lowest point on the playfield once all the solenoids have rattled it into a final position. Creating an overlap is the key to keeping the ball moving. On Big Game 4 of the 5 rollovers are hugging the ball guides which helps as they are in places that only a fast moving ball can come into contact with. This is more a testament to Harry Williams fantastic design than it does with anything I have done to help solve the problem of the rollovers. Contact with the ball guides also helps steer momentum away from the rollovers lip and keeps the ball moving smoothly. The 5th rollover in the middle of the playfield was a concern as a slow moving floater could get stuck but I have yet to see it personally and no one has reported to me having it happen. My Big Game is on location and has seen a few hundred plays since I installed the protector about a month ago. I gave a copy to a friend that also has a Big Game and he has not reported any issues to me, I'll see if I can get him to chime in to the performance as he is also a longtime Pinsider.

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#660 11 months ago
Quoted from dasvis:

Great news on the Seawitch protector. Have one on my Old Chicago & it is great.
Only issue is on slow balls sometimes hang up on the top rollover.

I was a bit worried on this game also. The playfield design once again is the key to the problem more than any solution I have come up with. On SeaWitch the star rollover hugs the top guide rail so even a slow moving ball shouldn't be allowed to get stuck on the lip of the Playshield as the ball is forced back towards the pop bumpers or toward either orbit. The diameter of the ball is larger than the insert so gravity, the balls momentum and the proximity of the ball guide should force the ball to keep moving off of the insert and prevent any hang ups. This is also true of QuickSilver as both rollovers are overlapped by the ball guides. Again these drawings are a bit crude but I think it conveys my point. I'll have some actual pics of what I'm saying in this and my previous post once the holiday is over.

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#669 11 months ago
Quoted from Leeb18509:

It fit good and I only had to trim just a bit above the left drop target bank...

Thanks leeb18509, I have actually corrected the vector file as I had to trim the same area a bit on mine. The cooling unit on my laser cutter crapped out over the weekend so its down for the week while I wait for a replacement. I still have Big Game and Meteor protectors cut but SeaWitch, Quicksilver, Star Gazer and Stars will be another week before they are ready.

Quoted from Methos:

Any possibilities of a Cheetah playfield protector?

I don't have access to a Cheetah unfortunately and its most likely going to be many a year before I find one local. If anyone wants to send me a vector file or a homemade template I can scan for a game I don't have I can cut a protector for you no problem.

1 week later
#692 11 months ago
Quoted from erico201:

Order placed!! Thanks for producing these protectors! What is the typical order-to-delivery time?

Thanks Eric. I'll have it in the mail Monday morning, usually 2-3 days delivery time via USPS priority mail. For anyone else interested I have Stars, Quicksilver and Star Gazer now available along with Big Game, Seawitch and Meteor at Beehivepinball.bigcartel.com

4 weeks later
#794 10 months ago

The left blade of the plug is the neutral (white) wire, the right hot (red). Follow the wire from the plug and you can tell which is which at the solder point.

3 weeks later
#956 9 months ago

I've never had the support rails on any of my classic sterns. (Meteor x 3, big game, seawitch, stars, quicksilver, stargazer x 2)

2 weeks later
#1022 9 months ago
Quoted from Chalkey:

Has anybody installed one of the new playfield protectors on their stars or meteor? Do they cause stucky balls on the drops?

Like @8bitrobo said part of the install kit comes with precut shims to level the drop targets to prevent balls from getting hung up. The install kit also has a flipper gapping tool, flipper washers, nitrile gloves and a plastic razor to help remove the protective film.

Quoted from cottonm4:

I am not aware of play field protectors being produced for either Stars or Meteor. However, there is one being produced for Star Gazer. There were 869 Star Gazers produced while Stern produced 5127 Meteors. It think it would be more profitable to produce for the larger number but it is what it is..

I actually have protectors available for Meteor, Stars, Big Game, Quicksilver, Star Gazer and SeaWitch. You can find them here - https://beehivepinball.bigcartel.com/product/playshield-playfield-protector

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#1053 8 months ago
Quoted from Alan_L:

Before I go ripping off a bunch of perfectly good caps and diodes, is there something else to look for?

If your switches still have the original pancake caps cut one leg off or remove them entirely. These things dry out and fail causing all sorts of issues in the switch matrix. The game will play ok with them removed but can be replaced for $.12 each.

1 week later
#1150 8 months ago
Quoted from hocuslocus:

1. all parts were cleaned, now the trough coil kicks the ball out and it ricochets of the metal shooter lane protector and goes back down the trough, but hangs on the edge. Anyone every added a resistor to a coil to lower the power?

The end of the trough guide is forked. Shim the top fork up a bit and the ball will roll back into the shooter lane. This will also change the angle that the ball exits on and help stop the bang backs.

#1153 8 months ago

I don't think you need to cut anything. When I had the issue on my Big Game I slipped a washer under the top fork and screwed it back down. It bent itself into the correct position not allowing a flat spot for the ball to come to rest on. I'll grab a pick later tonite.

#1185 8 months ago
Quoted from Fytr:

1. Where should the brass plastic holder posts be used vs the chrome ones? And where are those screws without threading near the top (2 shown in the middle of the pic) used?

The brass posts are for the shorter 1 1\16 posts and the chrome for the larger 1 3/16. As to where each actually go you may want to try posting in the bally/stern 2518 thread or if there is a fan club for Flash Gordon you may try there.

1 week later
#1256 8 months ago

Just in case you didn't see them, there are 2 screw on each crank holding the flipper in place. I've had these things be stubborn as well, a few I said f@ck it and used a grinding wheel to cut them out. Try with one hand holding the crank in place under the playfield and with the other twist the flipper back and forth while pulling up on the topside. A few good whacks with a hammer can always help to get it motivated to move also.

#1325 8 months ago

If anyone wants to send me scans of the upper or lower of these f2k plastics I can cut you some petg ones for cheap

2 weeks later
#1415 7 months ago

Im having some issues on my Stars with the switch matrix causing the mpu to reset. Can anyone confirm for me if the ball needs to be in the trough for a mpu 100 (stars specifically) to to credit up? Closing that switch causes the reset which is making trouble shooting difficult.

1 month later
#1565 6 months ago
Quoted from chubtoad13:

Is there a resource for instruction cards for this era? Specifically looking for Stars and Flight 2000.

inkochnito does some amazing work restoring these cards. We're very lucky to have someone who spends the amount of time he dedicates to the hobby.

1 month later
#1835 4 months ago
Quoted from Redketchup:

Question for the expert? Do you know if all the cab are the same...
I want to put a Catacomb in a dracula cab? Do i have to expect any problem?

You may have to swap transformers also. I'm pretty sure Dracula used the 3b version.

#1839 4 months ago

It's my understanding that stern upgraded the transformers to be able to drive more than 2 flippers on the playfield. Maybe quench or kenlayton may be able to chime in on the topic.

1 week later
#1849 3 months ago

After chasing gremlins all afternoon on a project Galaxy I finally got it up and playing correctly. The only issue I have is in attract the score displays don't show the high score to date, it alternates between the last game played score and then shows "2 5 7" instead. Is this normal like when Big Game flashes all 7's on the displays?

#1851 3 months ago

Thanks inkochnito, I'm running an altek while trouble shooting it and I'm pretty sure I already cleared it. Btw do you need any scans of the score cards or back box sheets for your site?

3 months later
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