(Topic ID: 231017)

Look Here to Sea Witch Project the Tide Washed in!


By TractorDoc

2 years ago



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  • Latest reply 1 day ago by TractorDoc
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#851 24 days ago

With Earthshaker cleared from the workbench I saw the opportunity to tear into my next project. . . sort of. This will not be a all-in, full "chapter" in my thread -- more like a simple shop job with a couple posts of before and after. The next big project will come after this one!

A number of months back I had the opportunity to pickup a wish list game within a couple hours drive. I only had a couple fuzzy pictures and what the owner knew of the game (not much) to go on, but the price was reasonable so I took a chance and brought home this Stargate.

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The previous owner had kept it in his garage for a number of years but the game booted up and played -- which is more than I can say for some games I've brought home. For the record I had to remove the upper cabinet to fit the game in a Jeep Liberty (my winter pin hauler).

Of course when I bought it home I had to look over some of the fine details. I pulled the glass and while a bit dusty the underside of the playfield did not show obvious signs of damage or corrosion.

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Inspection of the upper playfield found components to be dusty and dirty. The lighting was dim and rubbers were a bit stiff (the upper flipper had nothing on it until I installed a temporary ring). Anubis had lost his ears at some point.

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I replaced the dim GI with natural whites from Comet. I also replaced the insert bulbs with the same. This was a good improvement. . . except that it highlighted more of the dust and dirt.

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I put quite a few plays on the game in this state. . . until I was tired of reading the message in the dust under the pyramid.

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With Earthshaker back in its box I decided to give Stargate a tune up. . . and the workbench soon started to fill back up!

#852 24 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

With Earthshaker cleared from the workbench I saw the opportunity to tear into my next project. . . sort of. This will not be a all-in, full "chapter" in my thread -- more like a simple shop job with a couple posts of before and after. The next big project will come after this one!
A number of months back I had the opportunity to pickup a wish list game within a couple hours drive. I only had a couple fuzzy pictures and what the owner knew of the game (not much) to go on, but the price was reasonable so I took a chance and brought home this Stargate.
[quoted image]
The previous owner had kept it in his garage for a number of years but the game booted up and played -- which is more than I can say for some games I've brought home. For the record I had to remove the upper cabinet to fit the game in a Jeep Liberty (my winter pin hauler).
Of course when I bought it home I had to look over some of the fine details. I pulled the glass and while a bit dusty the underside of the playfield did not show obvious signs of damage or corrosion.
[quoted image]
Inspection of the upper playfield found components to be dusty and dirty. The lighting was dim and rubbers were a bit stiff (the upper flipper had nothing on it until I installed a temporary ring). Anubis had lost his ears at some point.
[quoted image]
I replaced the dim GI with natural whites from Comet. I also replaced the insert bulbs with the same. This was a good improvement. . . except that it highlighted more of the dust and dirt.
[quoted image] [quoted image]
I put quite a few plays on the game in this state. . . until I was tired of reading the message in the dust under the pyramid.
[quoted image]
With Earthshaker back in its box I decided to give Stargate a tune up. . . and the workbench soon started to fill back up!

The cable management of this Gottlieb looks 10x better compared to Bally/Williams games...

#853 24 days ago

Job well done on the EarthShaker, those pictures are pinball book worthy!!

#854 24 days ago
Quoted from chad:

Job well done on the EarthShaker, those pictures are pinball book worthy!!

Thanks for that! Not sure about a book, but if I complete enough games perhaps a calendar.

Quoted from Davi:

The cable management of this Gottlieb looks 10x better compared to Bally/Williams games...

Short of minor tweaking on a Waterworld I owned I don't have much experience with Gottlieb, but I do like how they've gone about the workings of this game at least. It does seem to be much more service friendly and I really like how the underside of the playfield has all the mechs, switches, etc. labeled. The pop bumpers and drop target mechs have been easy to access and rebuild. One thing I don't like so much are the acorn speed nuts that secure most plastics to stud posts. Instead of simply removing the nut the entire post tends to come out with it.

I was not telling a fib. . . the workbench has filled back up.

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Several shop out pictures of the playfield less most pieces. I've removed enough to create access for cleaning, rubber/post changes, bulb changes, etc.

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I had visions of putting everything back together and flipping a few games later today but when I pulled the flipper mechs for a rebuild I found the coils had swollen to the point of not allowing removal of the sleeves. I usually replace the coils but thought I could get away with just the rebuild kit this time. Time to start searching PBR's site for anything else I might need.

#855 23 days ago

Top job on Earthshaker!
One of my faves and you turned it into a beauty!

#856 21 days ago
Quoted from Quint:

Top job on Earthshaker!

Thanks Quint !

I know I could have done more with the cabinet (and I still may ) but I too am very happy with how it turned out. I always thought my Whirlwind looked respectable before, but now that I have this Earthshaker to compare it to I cannot help but think it looks a bit tatty. I need to finish up a couple other games before I start WW's transformation though.

Waiting for a couple of flipper coils from PBR before officially starting the next project. . . . . . I wonder Witch one it will be? You'll just have to wait and Sea!

#857 21 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I wonder Witch one it will be? You'll just have to wait and Sea!

I see what you did there

Looking forward to seaing witch pin is next!

#858 21 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Thanks Quint !
I know I could have done more with the cabinet (and I still may ) but I too am very happy with how it turned out. I always thought my Whirlwind looked respectable before, but now that I have this Earthshaker to compare it to I cannot help but think it looks a bit tatty. I need to finish up a couple other games before I start WW's transformation though.
Waiting for a couple of flipper coils from PBR before officially starting the next project. . . . . . I wonder Witch one it will be? You'll just have to wait and Sea!

Oh my god- awesome. You've got some great tastes in pins Doc

1 week later
#859 14 days ago

Stargate is criminally underrated on here, and I believe if it were made by someone other than gottlieb, it would be a top 40 or higher pin.

#860 13 days ago

I don't know where/how it falls in the Pinside rating but I'd agree Stargate is an enjoyable pin.

I've always been fascinated with Ancient Egypt so it is a good theme for me. I'll even admit to finding the movie and watching it (again) and I'm currently starting to catch an episode of the television series -- SG1 -- now and again as a follow up.

Happily the new coils arrived and I've been able to get the new parts installed. I like how the switches in the PBR kit come pre-soldered to the capacitors.

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A close up view of the original fiber link suggests a rebuild is a good idea.

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The only issue I experienced was probably due to reusing my old flipper shafts/shanks. When I would tighten the allen head screws they would "find" the old recess worn into the shaft previously. You can see the circular depression from the screw.

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The flippers moved freely when the screws were hand tightened but when followed up with the wrench the flipper would snug up to the playfield and had resistance to movement. I'm thinking the new arm cranks are a bit thicker than the original parts and the screw opening differed in height from the originals.

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To try and fix this I marked on the shaft the position I wanted the flipper to sit, then I took a square file and created a wider flat area for the set screw to firm up against. It seems I took this picture before using the file to make the flat spot.

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That made a big difference and I was able to get all three flipper mechs rebuilt, installed, and moving freely. A picture of the lower set from under the playfield.

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I was able to get a few games in this evening. Still a few adjustments to make after having most of the parts off the playfield, but it should not be long before the glass goes back on!

#861 12 days ago

Stargate Shop Job Accomplished!

My original golden pyramid had lost some of its luster so before reinstalling it I gave it a new golden metallic coating. It was also a bit beaten up at the bottom due to a broken hinge mount and then hitting the post screws above the plastic. I flattened things out as best I could.

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I also had some new decals/lettering made (so we know what game we are playing ) and added them. I was happy to remove the "clear" rectangle that is part of the original decal as I felt it looked cheap. A hindsight note is that it probably would have been easier to do this with the pyramid out of the game, but I still think we achieved a desirable result.

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A stand back view after reassembly. My wireforms have lost some of their golden hue as well but I think the game still looks nice with the Comet LEDs and Titan translucent rubbers. Look real close and you can see I've also replaced the Horus/Anubis targets with some translucent blue versions. I'll work on taking a few more detail photos later to truly finish this project off.

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#862 11 days ago

As promised -- some final pictures to close out the Stargate mini-chapter.

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I'll be starting a new project soon (or perhaps I've already started ) so look for a fresh title and some new imagery going forward!

#863 10 days ago

Looks great!
I have to ask how you're getting the ball to stay in place in your pictures, or are you quick enough to get pics while the ball is moving?

#864 10 days ago
Quoted from RCA1:

I have to ask how you're getting the ball to stay in place in your pictures, or are you quick enough to get pics while the ball is moving?

You want me to give up my secrets, eh?

No, I'm not a fast enough picture taker to catch the ball in the position I want as its rolling. I have a lot of respect for anyone that can pull that off.

What you cannot see behind the scenes in my pictures is that I usually have the playfield pulled out from the cabinet some and have some array of materials under the front edge (between the playfield and cabinet) to more or less make it level. There is a lot of trial/error and shimming, but eventually I'll get a position where the ball stays put. To make it more fun I usually have to readjust each time I want to move the ball to a new location as all areas never seem to be universally level. Even when I have things just right I more often than not will bump the cabinet and send the ball rolling away from where I want it. . . it is a process that takes a lot of patience!

#865 10 days ago

Time for the Next Project!

This game was advertised here on Pinside and I was lucky enough to see it early. About a year and a half ago tdiddy listed this project Seawitch in the classifieds and I made the drive out to his place with some cash to pick it up. I believe I also picked up a populated Cheetah and bare Dragonfist playfield on the way from a different pinsider (which is what you see at the left). I would have liked to hang around and put a few games on his Quicksilver but also wanted to get home before darkness fell so it was more of a grab and go type transaction.

All loaded up. . .

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The drive home was successful and I dropped the game in my garage. . . where it has been waiting for its turn for attention.

The time has come and so begins Chapter 7: Look Here to Sea Witch Project the Tide Washed in!

#866 10 days ago

When I say the game has been living in my garage I don't mean that it has been folded up in some sort of storage mode. It was the sort of game I felt comfortable leaving out there due to the condition that it was in. There was no backglass so flaking of paint was not a worry. There was significant playfield wear (as you will see) so I was not worried about temperature variation.

Despite its roughness the game did boot up and play -- so it would be my go to entertainment when it came time to be in the garage or more often than not when I would fire up the grill. My cooking routine usually followed the path of light the charcoal, put a few games on Seawitch, throw the burgers on, play another game or two, flip the burgers, play another game or two. . . you get the idea. It was perfect setup for awhile.

Here are a couple pictures of how this Seawitch lived for the better part of a year.

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Several months down the road I found a crackled backglass at the Cleveland (I think) show and enhanced the cosmetics a bit.

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Late last year I made some garage renovations of sorts and Seawitch was moved back into an environmentally stable environment. It is also now living next to several games that have had their own makeovers. . . so now is a great time to give the Witch some love and make her a bit less ugly.

#867 10 days ago

Excited for this one!
Hell I’m excited about all your games! Lol

#868 10 days ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

Excited for this one!

I hope not to disappoint. I'm going for respectable player vs. high end on this one.

Here is Seawitch in the new room. Just a bit less clutter surrounding it.

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(I pulled the plastics to obtain an accurate post count for ordering purposes.)

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Taking a closer look we can see mostly original boards in the upper cabinet. I say mostly because that Solenoid Driver is actually a Bally.

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The original battery was still on the MPU when I bought the game so it was promptly removed early on. Can't really tell you what my high score has been at this point.

#869 10 days ago

Some playfield pictures. No need to say more than some wear is present.

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That upper right flipper has a Williams Logo on it!

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Awhile back I picked up one of greatwichjohn 's repro playfields as I think this one is beyond my restoration abilities. It was a less than perfect playfield by his standards (I think it has white vs. yellow triangle inserts), but it was a good price and will obviously be better than what I have.

Not sure what is up with the red drop targets -- I think those were destined for a Dragonfist. I'll be putting those in my stash of rare pinball parts for potential future projects.

#870 9 days ago

Time for some cabinet pictures.

Removal of the lock down bar reveals something I've not encountered before. . . a game originally destined for a foreign land.

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Probably the original distributor plate. . . Montreal, eh?

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If you look under the dust and you can just make out that there are two transformers in there. The isolation transformer emits a nice hum when the game is plugged in but not turned on. I think this was something Canada required as a way of preventing a lethal shock. . .

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Original rectifier board. I'll probably be installing an upgrade from Weebly.

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After all the years this operator (registration?) card is still floating around inside. In addition to some spare parts.

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Speaking of spare parts, the interior cabinet corners hold all sorts of valuable extras. I'm half tempted to take the shop vac to it all but ultimately I know I'll sort thru everything to keep the useful bits.

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The coin door looks respectable and complete. I plan to give it the disassembly/cleaning/painting treatment. Hopefully I can find a Pinside guide to restoring it.

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#871 9 days ago

Im jealous of your grey and red Craftsman box

#872 9 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

(I pulled the plastics to obtain an accurate post count for ordering purposes.)

Be aware that the reproduction blue Stern posts are NOT the same colour as the original ones you have. You would be fine if you are replacing all of them, but if you mix-and-match, it's quite noticeable and unacceptable . I ended up choosing to keep the somewhat worn originals, and hunted pinball scrap-piles for a while to get enough to complete the game.

#873 9 days ago
Quoted from edward472:

Im jealous of your grey and red Craftsman box

That was my Grandpa's toolbox. He was generous enough to pass me on a number of his tools as well.

Quoted from Dr_Dude:

Be aware that the reproduction blue Stern posts are NOT the same colour as the original ones you have. You would be fine if you are replacing all of them, but if you mix-and-match, it's quite noticeable and unacceptable

Oh don't worry. In addition to a new playfield there will be new drop targets, star standup targets, plastics, flipper bats, etc., . . . and all new blue posts. I hope it will be noticeable but at the same time very acceptable.

#874 9 days ago

Some images of the playfield underside.

First the big picture.

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Hmmm, it seems more Bally pieces have found their way into this game (Hint: pop bumper).

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It looks like some repairs/updates have been attempted in the past. The quality flipper coils suggest it anyway.

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That about takes care of the "before" picture gallery. . . now its time to get to work on making things new again!

#875 8 days ago

Looking forward to following this story! You always do neat work, Doc

#876 7 days ago
Quoted from ChipScott:

You always do neat work, Doc

Well Thank You!

The first task I chose to tackle is looking over the circuit boards. I pulled everything from the upper cabinet and gave them a good cleaning. Rather than show you the details of every board here is a quick before/after of the sound board with new capacitors installed. Luckily I have a number of Big Daddy rebuild kits in my parts box so I did not have to wait on shipping.

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The toothbrush is used for cleaning flux off the board with alcohol after soldering. . . just in case you were worried I was brushing while working on boards.

The original MPU received a remote battery holder and the lamp driver was just given a good clean at this point. I did not reuse the Bally solenoid driver, but I did dig out an extra Stern SD from the stash. It was missing a few pieces but I had what I needed to make it useful again.

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Here everything is all lined up on the workbench.

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You may have noticed the high voltage capacitor is missing from the solenoid driver. Your eyes do not deceive you -- I left it off because I plan on using something else I had bought months (year(s))? ago. A set of LED displays from Pinitech ( acebathound ). This was an older set that was being discounted when he/they were making more modern revisions. . . but they should still work the trick for me. The nice thing about them is they run on 5V so I can pull the fuse for the high voltage on the rectifier (230V) and have one less area to trouble shoot.

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I'll also be upgrading the rectifier -- I may have to place another order with barakandl / nvram-weebly for that.

#877 7 days ago

Before starting the teardown I put the SD back in place for a voltage check -- once that was found to be in proper order I replaced the MPU and saw my seven blinks. I swapped in a couple test displays just to make sure everything looked happy. I was even able to credit up and play a game. . . sort of. I ran thru all the solenoids/switches by hand to make sure everything was still working.

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Once content that I had the boards running properly I began the playfield topside tear down. Its been awhile since I've done this on an early 80s game. . . it did not take long at all!

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The playfield should be coming out soon. . . but I did bring a new-to-me game home yesterday so I'll have to pull myself away from it to keep the progress going.

#879 6 days ago

Just to confirm: This Seawitch project is GREAT! Following every step.

#880 4 days ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:

Just to confirm: This Seawitch project is GREAT! Following every step.

I'll confirm that I appreciate your interest and will do my best to keep updates coming.

Speaking of which, nothing ground breaking over the last few days. I have been in disassembly mode and just about have the cabinet emptied of the internals.

(Mostly) Empty Cabinet:

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Parts on Bench:

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At this stage I think I have decided how far I want to go with this game. The colors are still bright on the cabinet. There are scuffs, scrapes, and wear present, but not enough so that I cannot appreciate the originality. The structure is still sound and sturdy. I think I've decided to make this a "sleeper" game -- similar to a car that has a rough exterior but a tweaked out interior/engine bay. I'll try to clean up the inside of the cabinet as best I can, sand down the internals, then probably rattle can some new interior paint before cleaning/reinstalling all of the parts you see piled up on the bench.

Due to space and my desire to own a future game of a different title (or two. . . or three) I'm thinking Seawitch may move to a new home eventually, but its difficult to say when until its back together and I can play it as new. So far that plan of attack has not worked so well for Judge Dredd, Earthshaker, or Paragon (they are all still here) but someday something is going to have to give. I did sell my Meteor, Taxi, as well as a couple other games so I know it is possible.

The plan will be to fix Seawitch up to a respectable level but hope to break even when sell day comes. If someone will want to re-stencil the cabinet in the future they should be able to do so with minimal extra work. . . I know if I try to do it I will go overboard and completely blow the budget. I hope to have the cabinet out and in a more workable location by the end of this weekend. Wish me luck!

#881 4 days ago

Canadian Tip #1 The Isolation transformer might have asbestos under it, be careful.

Canadian Tip #2 While there is merit to using the iso, it also makes a great boat anchor.

#882 2 days ago

Canadian Tips Noted. On the plus side the original line cord is in great shape and still has its original ground prong.

Today I was successful in moving the Seawitch Cabinet back to the workshop.

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If you've read thru this thread you know that I can state my plans/intentions for a project and then change them in the very next post. I think that may be what has to happen with what I plan to do with the cabinet.

While I'd love a simple interior freshening up, closer inspection is telling me I really need to put more effort into the cabinet exterior. A few pictures of what I am seeing.

More planking/paint flaking than I like:

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A looser than expected front corner:

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Finally, most significant -- the bottom of the back of the cabinet. More pieces missing than I remember.

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Sooooo, I'm thinking of taking on the task of solidifying/prepping the cabinet for a new set of stencils. I needed to make sure Pinball Pimp offered Seawitch as an option (he does) before I started sanding down the exterior -- in the meantime I started sanding the inside and used my ancient nail puller to assist with pulling the side rails. Don't worry, I'm up to date on my tetanus shot.

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I'll probably start sanding the rest of the cabinet later this week.

Be forewarned -- this will be more of a rattle can job vs. using the auto paints as I had done on Fathom. I do really need to maintain some kind of budget!!

#883 2 days ago

Spent my day off today lazing about (first time in I can't remember how long), reading through this entire thread to date, very enjoyable. Some nice work, interesting side stories on occasions and some great help from others. Well done. I look forward to dropping into this thread each time it's updated. Especially looking forward to the current Seawitch project.

#884 2 days ago

Did you get a new backglass from John when you ordered the playfield?

#885 1 day ago
Quoted from Pinballer73:

Spent my day off today lazing about (first time in I can't remember how long), reading through this entire thread to date, very enjoyable.

Glad I could be part of your day! I appreciate you following along.

Quoted from Pinballer73:

Did you get a new backglass from John when you ordered the playfield?

You'll just have to check back and see on that one.

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