(Topic ID: 184129)

Replacing the infamous CFTBL motors (repro?)

By thenaimis

3 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by thenaimis
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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Topic poll

“If a repro CFTBL motor were available, I would...”

  • buy one or more motors for personal use 11 votes
  • buy many motors for distribution 1 vote
  • not buy new motors, mine work fine 4 votes
  • not buy new motors, I've replaced the holo with a mod, or I don't care 1 vote

(17 votes)

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20180221_220445 (resized).jpg

#1 3 years ago

I have a Creature From the Black Lagoon and like so many others, the hologram motors are dead. I've spent several hours searching the interwebs for replacement options, as well as posts here on pinside and pinball parts vendors in specific, and haven't really found anything. I don't think the original manufacturer exists any longer or if they do they changed their name before the web was a thing.

In any case, what I have found is a source for a substitute that should work well. The main issue here is that it would be a custom order and most likely have a minimum. I believe such an arrangement would result in a drop-in replacement for the original motors. I haven't contacted the company yet to get a quote or anything. I think the ideal thing would be to get a bunch of these made and make them available to the usual suspects (marco, PBR, etc.) for people to purchase. I don't particularly want to be the single-source distributor for these things

Before I go down this path, did I miss an existing source for drop-in replacements? Otherwise, I need to gauge interest in having such a replacement made to determine if it's a viable solution. I suspect most of the 7000+ cftbl machines made don't have a fully-functional hologram, but that doesn't mean that we could muster enough interest for 14,000 motors either

I've added a poll for creature owners out there to help gauge interest. Thanks!

3 months later
#2 3 years ago

Sorry for the delay. I just spoke with the original manufacturer of the motors (they were a bit tough to track down for reasons below) and found that they would be $26 and change ea. with a minimum order of 50 which is $1300 or thereabouts. The person I spoke to explicitly mentioned Marco Specialties so the fact that they're out of stock there maybe just means that they haven't ordered any new ones. I've left a comment with Marco Specialties in the hopes that they'll restock which would likely be better for everyone than me ordering 50 of the things myself. I'll post another follow-up when I hear anything concrete from MS.

Additional information for the future (bit of history, some detailed specs, prepare for your eyes to glaze over).. The motors were made by Bowman Elec. Prod. Corp. in Chicago, which was acquired by Hankscraft and moved to 300 Wengel Dr, Reedsburg WI 53959. (Leaving this hear because some info on the web had them erroneously listed at 308 I think). Motor specs are: 50 VAC, 60 Hz, 10 RPM clockwise. It's a model G motor which I think means that the brass bushing around the shaft is ~.25" in length and .375" in diameter. The shaft diameter is also ~.25" (my calipers measure smaller but I'm pretty sure that the specs are going to say 1/4") and the length of the shaft outside of the brass bushing is .387" which I guess is about 3/8". The shaft has a flat edge for keying and that "flat" dimension measures .216".

1 month later
#3 2 years ago

After two months of nothing from Marco Specialties, I finally called to get an update. The original email I received from them was:

We'll check with Hankscraft and see if they can do a run. I'll let you know what we find out.

Thanks and kind regards,

Steve Midgette
Marco Specialties Customer Support

After a few seconds of unconvincing hold time (as in it didn't seem long enough to even express the issue to someone, much less get an answer), I was told that they (MS) weren't going to do it. Kind of reluctant to give them my business, now.

I'm going to start looking into other options. I think in the (next to the) worst case I'll place an order myself and sell the excess stock on ebay (the worst case, I guess, is not doing anything at all).

#4 2 years ago

$1300 sounds like a remarkably good deal for 50 of these things - each machine needs 2, and you should be able to sell them for $40 (or whatever) each very easily

#5 2 years ago

Definitely interested if you do a run. Let me know please. Thanks

#6 2 years ago

If and when I get one of the upcoming creature video displays I'll send you mine, no charge

#7 2 years ago

See if Pinball Life &/or The Pinball Resource is interested in a few sets.

5 months later
#8 2 years ago

I've been in touch with Hankscraft and the latest I've heard is that they've actually thrown away all of their 50V motor coils because no one wanted them. This is unfortunate, but not a show stopper. After some emailing back and forth I'm going to try to use one of their 24V motors, and the last message I received was that they had one available to sell me as a sample. The 24V coil is one of their standards so it would be much easier to replace in the long run than these odd-ball 50V coils (I'm pretty sure the ONLY reason they ever had 50V coils was because of the pinball industry).

I've already purchased a few transformers to experiment with and between that and looking at how the hologram motors are wired in the back-box, I think it should be relatively easy to put together a functional retrofit kit with a single transformer in the back-box and a couple of new motors.

Oh, and I don't know if I'll be able to find a vendor to sell the kits, as the responses haven't exactly been enthusiastic, but if not I'll sell them myself.

1 week later
#9 2 years ago

Got the engineering sample and put it in place of the hologram "pusher" motor. Works great! More to come..

#10 2 years ago

Definitely interested, patiently standing by.

#11 2 years ago

Fortunately mine works great. But, I would buy a set just as a back up.

Does anyone know where to get one of those video mods?

1 week later
#12 2 years ago

I am putting together retrofit kits. Motors currently on order. I *hope* to have some ready for Texas Pinball Festival, but it doesn't look promising given the lead time on the motor order.

One issue I'm encountering is that there isn't enough current to start both motors. I will investigate further.

Edit: to clarify, my creature has sufficient current to start and drive one motor. If I have only one connected, it will start and run, regardless. If I have two connected, only one of them will start and run, and there's a 1.6A current drop on the motor side of the connections.

20180221_220445 (resized).jpg

2 weeks later
#13 2 years ago

Kits are now available for purchase. See https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/61571

Installation videos, which for whatever reason aren't being turned into embedded videos in the market ad.

Would have put it up on ebay, except they seem to have deleted my account for lack of use

As mentioned in the ad, contact me if you want to buy one from me at TPF.

#14 2 years ago

I've been asked about the current/power issue I mentioned earlier. It has indeed been resolved. The original plan was to use a single transformer for both motors. By changing the design so that each motor had its own transformer, it works fine, now.

#15 2 years ago

I'm at Texas Pinball Festival with 6 kits. If you want one, find me wearing a black Falcon Heavy baseball cap

#16 2 years ago

Shipped off the first set of kits today! Here's a link to the text version of the instructions:

#17 2 years ago

I received my kits yesterday. The motors, transformers and additional parts were neatly packaged and well protected from the Fed Ex guy. Unfortunately, I'm in the process of a cabinet swap for Creech. A more detailed review will have to wait.

2 months later
#18 2 years ago

My Creature was borrowed for use in the Bat City Open tournament. I clipped it on twitch https://clips.twitch.tv/HedonisticAgreeableBeanPunchTrees

Unfortunately, while it's possible to see that the hologram is lit and to see movement, because of the camera angle looking straight down, it's even less clear than it would normally be if you were taking a picture/video from the player's point of view. If you want to see the whole segment, it's here https://www.twitch.tv/videos/276752927 with Trent Augenstein starting off the round at around 17:30. There's some multiball action and you can see what little there is to see from that camera view.

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