(Topic ID: 243867)

Resurrecting a Black Hole

By uncivil_engineer

3 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 67 days ago by uncivil_engineer
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders


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#1 3 months ago

One of the machines on my wishlist for the past few years has been Black Hole. Thanks to a budy of mine, I managed to pick one up about a month ago. It is pretty much a complete machine expect for one very important detail... All the Board in the backbox were missing. Other than that, the cabinet is in Ok condition, with the exception of some tape marks on the head, and the playfields could use some love. They are not completely torn up, but there are some bear spots on them,

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So over the past month, through various internet sources, I have managed at moderate expense to pick up a board set for the game. This has included a Pascal PI-80 combo board, a swemmer auxillary lighting board, and a swemmer A7 sound power supply board.

I plan on bringing this thing up instages: First check out the power supply with no boards attached. Then add the PI-80 board with no connections to the playfield. Then I need to check out all the coils on the playfield to make sure nothing is shorted before try powering it up.

So to make the power supply easier to work on, I pulled both playfields out of the cabinet.
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The first issue I encountered was with the plug. The ground rod was missing. So I decided to install a new plug. Then I plugged it in and started in on the power supply. It appeared to be a mess, complete with wire nuts, but when I broke out the multi-meter, I found most of it actually worked.
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And even with everything removed from the backbox, I showed signs of life!
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Now, I my next job will be cleaning up the connectors.... Every ground connection is corroded. I have never seen corrosion like this before in a pinball machine. I think the broken ground lug on the main plug may be the reason they all look so bad.
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#2 3 months ago

Repin the connectors. Scrub the green slime off the connector housing with a toothbrush and Isopropyl Alcohol.

#3 3 months ago

That green slime is from the insulation breaking down, nothing to do with a missing ground prong

#4 3 months ago

Well it is cleaning up with 90% rubbing alcohol. I am having to use pipe cleaners to clean out the pin housings after I take the old pin out.

#5 3 months ago

Well I made progress of a sort today. I managed to blow the 125ma fuse on the Pi-80 board. I had all the displays unplugged, and was attaching them one at a time... The player two display popped the fuse. I think it has a bad cap on it. Unfortunaly, I discovered I didn't have either the 125ma through hole fuse, or the 1uf 100v cap... So off to Mouser I go...

#6 3 months ago

Parts came in today and wooo hooo! She is now booting on her PI-80 boards! Next I need to start going through the playfield coils looking for shorts before I put it back in. I also need to finish repinning a few connectors.A24B609D-D345-47FA-9B55-300FFF7272EF (resized).jpeg
You might notice I only have 3 working displays. Display 4 has a broken element in it and can’t be recharged. So I’m in the market for a working 6 digit Gottlieb display.

#7 3 months ago

So today I took the sound board I got off eBay and loaded up a couple of 2716 EPROMs with the game sound code. I installed the board and it appears to work. The board originally has god of war ROMs in it.

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1 week later
#8 3 months ago

Well I finished cleaning up the lower playfield this evening. I replaced the upkick coil as the old one had melted. I also cleaned up the drop targets to make them go up and down again. The topside got everything cleaned up. It looks a lot nicer than when I started.

The before and after pictures:

1 week later
#9 80 days ago

I haven’t forgotten about this thread.. I’ve been working her off and on over the last month. So far here is what I have done: rebuilt the topside drop targets, rebuilt all four topside flippers, and finally a power up test of the machine with both playfields installed.

I approach the playfield install somewhat cautiously. I checked every coil for shorts... in fact I did have to replace three coils that were burnt up, and the under playfield drive transistor that operates the lower playfield up kick had to be replaced. After a few false starts I am happy to report all the controlled coils now work!

Next on my list is the topside tear down, and cleaning up the bumper contacts so they will work again too.

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#11 80 days ago

I need to post a picture of my board setup now. My Black Hole is up and running on all new boards with the exception of the sound board (which is an original Gottlieb board out of a Gods of War).

The boards I am running are:
The driver/MPU/Power supply is now a PI-80
The sound power supply is a new swemmer board
The Aux lamp board is a new board (also swemmer I think)
The Sound board is an original Gottlieb board

When I went through the power supply, I did replace the power cord with a new three prong plug, and I have re-pinned most of the ground connections at the boards. So I am currently operating without the ground mod, and so It has been working great. Had I been running original System 80 boards, I would have done the mod.

#12 80 days ago

Pretty sure the ground mods are not needed on the pascal board as they were designed with the proper grounds.

#13 76 days ago

I’ve made some more progress on rebuilding the upper playfield. I have to admit I like the look of the natural white leds in the GI. The new plastics look pretty good too.

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#14 75 days ago

Wooo hoo... She is flipping again. I’ve got all the lights working but the shoot again light, and I’ve put a few games on her...there still are a few kinks to work out, like why multiple pop bumpers fire at once, and I need to do the EOS mod to the up kick to keep the ball from jumping the closed reentry gate. It’s getting closer to being done.

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#15 75 days ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

there still are a few kinks to work out, like why multiple pop bumpers fire at once

I find that happens after I rebuild pops when the switch gaps are a little close. This is because that when everything is back to normal, the vibration from the pops is strong enough to shake the gaps closed.

#16 73 days ago

Well I tried regapping the pop bumper, but it still is going off with the others. I will next try swapping the trigger boards and see if the problem follows the board.

On another subject, here is the board set I am running:
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It’s been working pretty flawlessly so far.

#17 67 days ago

Well I finally got the pop-bumpers figured out... I finally adjusted the switches so one bumper would not set off the adjacent bumper. After that I had to figure out why some of my bumpers were sticking in the down position, and setting off the failsafe built into the PI-80 board (if a bumper stays down for more than 5 seconds, it triggers a tilt, and give an error). Turns out my plungers were magnetized. I put a strip of electrical tape on my coil stops, and now the bumpers work pretty well.

So for now, I am going to call this done. It is not the prettiest black hole I have ever seen, but it is my black hole. It plays pretty fast and hard, and I think I have over 100 games on it, and I have yet to get a multi-ball, but it is fun.

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