(Topic ID: 166924)

Documentation of all differences in a sample Twilight Zone

By lyonsden

5 years ago


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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Coyote
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#1 5 years ago

I recently picked up a TZ and after getting it home started to notice some differences between it and other's I've seen. After a bit of digging, I found this article which documents several of the differences between protos, samples, and full production TZs: http://gameroomblog.com/guides/twilight-zone-pinball-prototype-vs-production

I *think* this game only had one owner and was completely stock and want to post some photos of it. If there are things that I should look for, please let me know.

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#2 5 years ago

Head decals are different -- missing the stars at the top, I think.

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#3 5 years ago

Manufacturing date: 3/24/93

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#4 5 years ago

Various documents and manuals found with the game. Manual is from Feb 1993 and has a white cover. (I like the catalogs from PBR and Marcos )

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#5 5 years ago

Power mini playfield lacks "Flip here"

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#6 5 years ago

Sticker "Shoot here to load gumball" added over a plastic that says "Collect next spiral value"

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#7 5 years ago

Interestingly, the clock face is colored as opposed to white.

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#9 5 years ago

Third magnet

The link above says that only the core and magnet were installed on samples, but this has the magnet and is plugged in.

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#12 5 years ago

Green lock insert (I missed getting a photo with the light on)

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#14 5 years ago

Instruction cards and lockbar receiver. Someone hand wrote 5 steel balls. . .

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#15 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

You have the grapefruit colored pop bumper cap.
LTG : )

Say more. . .

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Could have been changed. And may have came that way.
Same with translites with the stars cut out or not. They just grabbed them at the factory and stuck them in, no pattern to which game got what.
LTG : )

Cut outs on the back of the translite masking (white stuff)?

#19 5 years ago

Door panel -- not sure which text is different, if any.

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#21 5 years ago

Light board for door panel seems different. Holes for flashers for gumball and lock inserts?

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#22 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

In front of mini playfield on right side in his picture.
You just don't see too many of them. They were changed to a different color early in the production.
LTG : )

Thanks LTG!

#23 5 years ago

I think these are the two 7-switch boards that were replaced with a single 10-switch board in later runs.

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#24 5 years ago

Piece of a creature and whitewater cabinet used for the playfield support.

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#26 5 years ago

Hard to see in the above picture, but the leg brackets have three holes and the cabinet was drilled for all three.

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from spidey:

Do you have holes in the pf in the pop bumper area? These were for star posts. I didn't like them so left the out.

Yes, I think. I'll get a photo.

#29 5 years ago

Pop area:

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#32 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Could have been changed. And may have came that way.
Same with translites with the stars cut out or not. They just grabbed them at the factory and stuck them in, no pattern to which game got what.
LTG : )

Backside of translite

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#33 5 years ago

Some other photos -- not sure if there is anything else to specifically document. Interesting to see that the exact placement of the backbox caution print varies greatly from WPC to WPC (in that row -- NGG and ToM).

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#34 5 years ago

Happy to post any more photos that people want to see. Other notes, it has L-3 ROMs, has been cleaned, LEDs (which I like), and rubbers replaced. Plays great and I'm enjoying getting to learn the game.

#35 5 years ago

Are the pop skirts color matched to pop tops something that wasn't on production games?

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Very nice sample and only thing that may have been changed at some point is tranlight and clock face . It has the white door on head, green lock, two ooto boards,different door panel light board,third magnet, mini playfield and so on and so on. It sld have a extra opto between the piano scoop and slot scoop also i believe?

Thanks for the info. I checked the subway and it doesn't look to have the extra opto. Just the switches at the piano and slot machine, with a proximity sensor at the junction.

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#41 5 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Actually i meant topside . Sld maybe be a opto between piano scoop and slot scoop.?

Thanks! Yes, there is an opto there.

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#43 5 years ago
Quoted from golfingdad1:

Dude how do you find these things?
Il be over soon .

Come check it out. This was pure luck -- popped up on craigslist, looked nice, and bought it. My wife likes Addams Family (ahem!), and I figured she'd enjoy TZ since it was made by PLD right afterwards and had a lot of similar features/layout/programming. I didn't know about the sample game things until I had it home and started to go through it and did some research. Neat that it has some differences, but overall, it plays just like any other TZ (and my wife thinks it is fun).

#44 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Some info -
Check for T-Nutted posts, all of them. (If they ARE T-Nutted, change out the ones you can.)
Colors in front of right ramp are different.
Your have a very early sample game, like mine. My UR Magnet was installed as well.
Extra Optos are "Clock Passage" (in front of clock between Piano and Slot), "2nd BigKick", and the UR Magnet.
Check the spiral insert. On mine the original "GUM-BALL" text was scraped off.
Your Door light board, yes, has holes for all 4 door flashers (see my linked video in TZ Owners Thread to see how they fire..)
Check the bottom/top of playfield over by plastic flasher in bumper area fire a drilled/filled hole.
Shooter ramp/ball guide is two parts, not one.
No pop bumper came with colored skirts - that was done after-the-fact, I did it in my game as well.
TZs were originally to come with 7 balls - 6 stern, 1 ceramic. It was changed. Our early samples have a decal that still state that.
Looks like yours wss made about 2 weeks before mine.

Quoted from Coyote:

To expand on a few of those items -
The backbox art is no longer a sure-fire way to tell a sample, as someone reproduced decals with that artwork, so anyone could re-decal their cabinet with the white doors up there at top.
The artwork differences on the playfield are one of the changes that is still unique - mainly because Mirco, when he reproduced his 'early' playfield (with the three magnets) wasn't aware that some of the art was changed as well. Specifically, in front of the main ramp - you'll notice the inserts are surrounded by a green rocket design - instead of white. Also, next to the autofire ramp (detail below), there's a post that was removed in productions games - sample games had the artwork rounded off for the post (regardless of whether the post was there or not.)
The autofire ramp & behind the UR flipper guide - originally this was two pieces - the ramp was mounted where it is now. But the metal guide on the left side of the ramp ended in a short postwith a rubber on it. Then another short ball guide mounted behind the flipper (same part # as the ball guide mounted to the right of the slot machine). They realized that having the autofire kicker ramp bordered by two rubber-wearing posts made it more difficult for the kicker to get balls up and around - so the ramp was changed to one piece - the left wall of the ramp comes down and ends down right above the rocket kicker. Funny enough, production manuals STILL show this as two parts. Check it out!
T-Nutted posts, at least in TZ, are difficult to keep tight. All the single short posts were routed on the underside of the playfield to accept T-Nuts. At some point, the posts were changed (longer threaded area) to accept nylon locknuts. This is another sure way to tell an early sample from a repro, as I'm pretty sure (not 100%) that Mirco's playfields don't have these either.
The "roof" plastic by the pop bumpers - you will note that there is one star post holding up this dual-layer plastic, and two metal posts. If you look in the manual - yes, even production ones - you will see that the star post, which is directly left of the bottom pop bumper, in the manual is moved out some - it is NOT up against the wood rail. You'll notice that the TOP plastic is also larger than the one under it, showing how the two used to be. On my playfield on the bottom side, there was a hole where this post should have been - it was filled in with a dowel and glued into place, then sanded down. As far as I can tell, this happened BEFORE the field went to printing - as I couldn't find any trace of seam on the top side. (And, unfortunately, I forgot to have HEP look for anything out of the ordinary when Chris restored my playfield.. so now, I'll never know.) I wouldn't be surprised if yours has a hole down there as well.
Oh - your Mini-Playfield likely won't have the spring / leveling feature. If it does, it was added later by an owner.
Your instruction card (it's a strange color.. Mine was white.) likely ends in "-1" instead of "-2". The only differences? A period was added, and font-size was enlarged.
You SHOULD have a wiring harness for the top two door flashers - look for an unused 4-pin .156" header, with three wires going to it. That will plug into flasher board.
Your game was probably also sent with the left spiral sign. Mine was installed - the same tech that scraped off my 'GUM-Ball' insert and put the decal on the right spiral sign removed the left one, and left it in the cabinet. (Idiot me, long ago I figured I didn't need them. I threw away the mounting bracket, and then later, somehow lost my plastic. Argh.) You may find screw holes on the mini-playfield up where that mounted.
You will also have a plastic shield over the main ramp switch. (I do too..) This was changed and removed - to be replaced by a grey rubber booty.
The optos - the 'Clock Passage' opto just scores you some points. (During 9.4H testing, I had asked Ted if he could play a sound like when Camera was lit, or Town Square Madness was going - like when the ball comes out of Lock or is caught by the magnet. He declined, stating that it would go off far too much. After thinking about it, I agreed with that..) The 2nd Big Kick opto doesn't really do anything - though if it's blocked, the game will try to fire the autofire a few times, before giving up. Apparently - and I haven't found any confirmation of this, I don't think - there was an idea of using the autofire kicker as a second 'ball lock' area.
Oh, and in the backbox - you'll find your 8-driver PCB (the small one that's connected to the MPU via the 'Display' cable) is mounted on the left side of the backbox - instead of where they moved it in production games - the upper right.
Yes, I know far, far too much about sample/prototype/production differences. I had a webpage up that went over MUCH of this before Gameroom ran their article. Since I was working at the arcade when we took delivery of the Sample TZ, and then made it into my collection.. it'll never leave.

Wow! Thanks Coyote! This is quite a list to go through. Right now, I checked the right spiral insert and it is covered by a decal with a rectangle size of clear/decal removed from the insert below it.

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#48 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Also, next to the autofire ramp (detail below), there's a post that was removed in productions games - sample games had the artwork rounded off for the post (regardless of whether the post was there or not.)

The autofire ramp & behind the UR flipper guide - originally this was two pieces - the ramp was mounted where it is now. But the metal guide on the left side of the ramp ended in a short postwith a rubber on it. Then another short ball guide mounted behind the flipper (same part # as the ball guide mounted to the right of the slot machine). They realized that having the autofire kicker ramp bordered by two rubber-wearing posts made it more difficult for the kicker to get balls up and around - so the ramp was changed to one piece - the left wall of the ramp comes down and ends down right above the rocket kicker. Funny enough, production manuals STILL show this as two parts. Check it out!

I'm not quite sure that I am following everything, but there is what looks like rounded off artwork for a post near the UR flipper and autofile ramp. It looks to be two pieces, but again, I'm not quite sure. Photos attached.

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#49 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Specifically, in front of the main ramp - you'll notice the inserts are surrounded by a green rocket design - instead of white.

I think I found this. Inserts in front of left ramp are surrounded by green.

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#50 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

The "roof" plastic by the pop bumpers - you will note that there is one star post holding up this dual-layer plastic, and two metal posts. If you look in the manual - yes, even production ones - you will see that the star post, which is directly left of the bottom pop bumper, in the manual is moved out some - it is NOT up against the wood rail. You'll notice that the TOP plastic is also larger than the one under it, showing how the two used to be.

I noticed this in the rubber guide in the manual when I was replacing them. Mine is pushed up against the wall.

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#51 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

In my playfield on the bottom side, there was a hole where this post should have been - it was filled in with a dowel and glued into place, then sanded down. As far as I can tell, this happened BEFORE the field went to printing - as I couldn't find any trace of seam on the top side. (And, unfortunately, I forgot to have HEP look for anything out of the ordinary when Chris restored my playfield.. so now, I'll never know.) I wouldn't be surprised if yours has a hole down there as well.

Mine does not look to have a filled hole.

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#52 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

T-Nutted posts, at least in TZ, are difficult to keep tight. All the single short posts were routed on the underside of the playfield to accept T-Nuts. At some point, the posts were changed (longer threaded area) to accept nylon locknuts. This is another sure way to tell an early sample from a repro, as I'm pretty sure (not 100%) that Mirco's playfields don't have these either.

I found a couple of routed holes for T-nuts for single posts, but they have nylon nuts. Otherwise, lots of T-nuts, but all the single posts look to have nylon nuts.

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#53 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

You SHOULD have a wiring harness for the top two door flashers - look for an unused 4-pin .156" header, with three wires going to it. That will plug into flasher board.

This guy?

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#54 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Oh, and in the backbox - you'll find your 8-driver PCB (the small one that's connected to the MPU via the 'Display' cable) is mounted on the left side of the backbox - instead of where they moved it in production games - the upper right.

Yes, this board is mounted on the lower left of the backbox.

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#56 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

You will also have a plastic shield over the main ramp switch. (I do too..) This was changed and removed - to be replaced by a grey rubber booty.

Mine has the grey plastic booty. Also, there are a lot of "extra" holes in the main ramp. Not sure if this was an initial fit problem at the factory, due to the previous owner stripping holes, or a change in that cover.

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#57 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Oh - your Mini-Playfield likely won't have the spring / leveling feature. If it does, it was added later by an owner.

No leveling springs on the mini playfield. Not sure where they would be put, but here is a photo of where I would guess them to be.

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#58 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Your instruction card (it's a strange color.. Mine was white.) likely ends in "-1" instead of "-2". The only differences? A period was added, and font-size was enlarged.

It ends with a "-1". I am deeply impressed with your knowledge and memory of all these things!

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#59 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Your game was probably also sent with the left spiral sign. Mine was installed - the same tech that scraped off my 'GUM-Ball' insert and put the decal on the right spiral sign removed the left one, and left it in the cabinet. (Idiot me, long ago I figured I didn't need them. I threw away the mounting bracket, and then later, somehow lost my plastic. Argh.) You may find screw holes on the mini-playfield up where that mounted.

Unfortunately, no plastics or other spare parts were in the game except this metal thing, what I don't think came from the game (but I could be mistaken.) Also, the coin box is red, but could have been swapped from another game.

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#60 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Extra Optos are "Clock Passage" (in front of clock between Piano and Slot), "2nd BigKick", and the UR Magnet.

I documented the clock passage extra opto previously and here the one for the UR magnet. Where is the 2nd BigKick?

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#61 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Yes, I know far, far too much about sample/prototype/production differences. I had a webpage up that went over MUCH of this before Gameroom ran their article. Since I was working at the arcade when we took delivery of the Sample TZ, and then made it into my collection.. it'll never leave.

Thanks again, Coyote! That is an impressive amount of knowledge you have and glad to have documented some of it with photos. If you still have your page up, please share the link.

#63 5 years ago

Thanks again for the info. There is a hole drilled for that post and a T-nut under the playfield. Also, many thanks on the rocket kicker. I think it is a slingshot kicker arm and there is damage starting at the switch. I ordered cliffys to protect that area (and the others on the game), but do you know the correct arm for the rocket?

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#66 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Oh, and with this -
Check the other switch on the ramp - over in the top right corner. You'll see it' covered with a hard plastic shell. Mine has it as well - they changed this out to the grey booty sometime later. And for the extra holes - yeah - the bottom most screw on the left side of the top overlay plastic - that was moved later in the production run. I can get a pic of mine tonight to show you where it was moved to. (Though it looks like, on yours, someone just made new holes and moved the whole thing..)

Mine does have the hard plastic cover for the upper right switch. Also, photos of your cover placement would be neat to see.

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#67 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

That's the right arm - you're good there! Yeah, the cliffy's help protect the area (I get some ball bounce-out since putting the cliffy down, but it's something I can live with.)
And interesting then - you have the full piece ramp. Cool little difference there.
Oh, and I forgot something (I always do..)
On prototype and some early sample games, the crossover wire form (the ramp leading to the mini playfield) had it's leg too short - so to keep angle right, they put in two or three washers under the leg, on top of the post. WMS released a bulletin informing that if operators replaced the ramp, the washers weren't necessary. As far as i can remember, mine was fine, so yours is likely fine as well.

Good to know that the kicker arm is correct. I've had no problems with the cross over wire form (just the occasional bad drop from the diverter -- need to get a magnet, I guess).

3 weeks later
#75 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Bumping this, because even after 23 years, I *still* learn things about this game.
Back in the 90's there was, at some point always some discussion about how to stop balls from bouncing out of the rocket kicker after a successful skill shot. People recommended putting a post in one of the metal bracket screwholes behind the UR flipper to slow the ball down.
I never did this in my game, for some reason I never had to. I rarely had balls bounce out of there.
Well, because I had my playfield restored, and I put down a cliffy over the rocket kicker area, balls were getting occasionally trapped on the edge of the metal adjustable rocket guide and the cliffy. My adjustable guide is original to the game, and the end of it is pretty banged up where balls would hit it. So, I figure getting a new guide is in order.
Here's my original guide:

It's difficult to see, as my camera kept trying to focus on the jukebox, but you can barely make out the dented in end on the right side there.
Now, here's a picture of the new guide I ordered (on the left) with my original (on the right):

Well, isn't that interesting! This is why people have so many problems with ball bouncing out of the rocket kicker, and I never did. (You can also see the banged up end better in this shot.)
So, add that to the list - the rocket kicker adjustable guide was cut in so balls wouldn't hit the metal edge sticking out, instead hitting the rubber post. This inadvertantly caused balls to bounce out easier. (Which they do - I put the new one in for a few games, and sure enough - balls dribbled out over 3/4ths of the time.)

That is interesting! FYI, mine has the cutout.

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#77 5 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Sldnt go for the skill shot anyway on tz not worth the risk......

#80 5 years ago
Quoted from mario_1_up:

Lyonsden do you have the extra components on your mag board to run the third mag?

Yes. Third mag was installed with core, magnet, wires, and optos, and works as intended.

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#82 5 years ago
Quoted from mario_1_up:

When I got mine I had to put the driving transistor in to make it work.

Everything was installed in yours except the transistor on the power driver board? Interesting, but crazy.

1 week later
#84 5 years ago

After all this work documenting the differences between the samples and regular TZs (thanks again Coyote!), I found this very old web-page on archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20031006184206/http://www.frii.com/~foxtrot/games/tz_smp.html

#86 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Holy shit. That's my old page..! I'll have to review that, some info may be outdated now as new things came to light, etc..

Now that is classic!

1 month later
#96 4 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Bump for a month since the last post This is hands down my favorite thread on Pinside.
I finally got around to checking my TZ, and was able to confirm just about everything Coyote had listed. My manu date is 4/7/93, and the playfield stamp says March 12 (or 13? I can't quite make it out).
I have the green color surrounding the inserts rather than the production white, the sample playfield (no "flip here"), green Lock insert. 3rd magnet bracket (no magnet installed), nor were most of the additional optos.
I installed the 3rd magnet but have not added the optos yet. Do I risk some sort of danger by having the magnet installed, if the corresponding optos are not there? (I also have a TAF so a little sensitive to that
Second question: I would like to install the flashers on my board, as it has the 4 extra holes. Is there some alternative to installing those things rather than buying 2 of the Pinbits boards?

Congrats on the find. I recently added the four flashers using this socket:

http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/077-5029-00

And these stand offs: ebay.com link: itm

Then made my own wiring harness for the plug that should be on your game near the door board. I'm happy to take pictures if you need to know how the plug is wired.

#97 4 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

I finally got around to checking my TZ, and was able to confirm just about everything Coyote had listed. My manu date is 4/7/93, and the playfield stamp says March 12 (or 13? I can't quite make it out).

Also, you may want to add your serial number to IPSND. Here is mine: http://www.ipsnd.net/details.aspx?id=48163

#99 4 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Cool, that's the sort of idea I was wondering about. That is FAR less expensive than ordering the Pinbits harness. Great idea! And plus I can order it all from PBL!

If you need to order them, make sure to get the light sockets in the link I posted from Marcos. The ones from PBL are not angled correctly (lack the final 90 degree bend).

2 years later
#105 2 years ago

I just noticed another difference between my sample game and production versions of Twilight Zone. The playfield support brackets were changed so they are rectangular versus having a cutback slope at the back. This was something that bothered me about my game as the support bracket wouldn't support the playfield if the playfield was pulled all the way out. Fortunately, the production ones are available (https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/01-10523) and I highly recommend replacing them.

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#108 2 years ago
Quoted from MMP:

That's interesting. The manual shows them reversed, with the slope in front. I don't have a TZ yet- do they fit when turned around?

Not sure -- I replaced them with the updated part. I'm guess they would, but you'd still have the problem of not being able to prop up the playfield unless it was completely pulled out. In any case, the updated ones are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and work as intended.

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