(Topic ID: 298861)

Seawitch from scratch, Allentown edition (Bally/Stern multi-game platform)

By gdonovan

3 months ago


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  • 843 posts
  • 43 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 hours ago by gdonovan
  • Topic is favorited by 46 Pinsiders

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There are 843 posts in this topic. You are on page 17 of 17.
#801 12 days ago

Think I have been slacking? Nope.

Final show prep- Repair a sticky leveler, compound the playfield surface, adjusted a balky flipper and more backglass tune up.

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#802 9 days ago

Just some pics from Pintastic, getting a workout!

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#803 8 days ago

I regret i will not get to play it at pintastic.
It is a fabulous piece of work.

#804 8 days ago
Quoted from PinballAir:

I regret i will not get to play it at pintastic.
It is a fabulous piece of work.

Thank you! When I left at 4PM there was a 140 plays on the clock and the crowd was still going strong!

As an aside, something that gives me a chuckle when I hear it.

I have the volume UP. You can't miss Seawitch half way across the busy room. I hate not being able to hear a game at a show.

Pump it.

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#805 8 days ago

Excellent work! Thanks for having it out for all to enjoy, was fun to play.

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#806 8 days ago

Looks Great!

#807 8 days ago

Another contestant!

This one is going to take considerable effort to make presentable. Good thing I have a vinyl cutter now to make masks and I think I'm going to have to learn airbrushing. Won't be starting on this one for some time.

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#808 8 days ago

Parts! Picked up at the same time as the Skateball, no plans to fix this wreck up nor inclination.

I squint and I see a Skateball harness and several mechs though.

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#809 8 days ago

Take a break? No time for that!

And the bulk of the wiring was all desoldered! Set the shop iron to high and just started contacting tabs and pulling off.

Steve Austin is sent to the recycling bin!

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#810 8 days ago
Quoted from Irishbastard:

Excellent work! Thanks for having it out for all to enjoy, was fun to play.
[quoted image]

Best quote of the day?

Older couple "its just like The Beatles!"

Yes ma'am.

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#811 8 days ago
Quoted from gdonovan:

I think I'm going to have to learn airbrushing.

With the skill set(s) you have displayed here for the last couple of months I figure you will take right up to the airbrush. Airbrushes have the coolest trigger to work with.

#812 8 days ago

Over 400 games on Seawitch.

#813 8 days ago

Home safe! Thank you everyone for the kind words, was a fun project!

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#814 7 days ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

With the skill set(s) you have displayed here for the last couple of months I figure you will take right up to the airbrush. Airbrushes have the coolest trigger to work with.

Think I drove my wife nuts on the way home turning over in my head how I'm going to repair the playfield. I got the "I thought you were doing this in the future" question. I'm like sure I'm doing it down the road but that doesn't stop me from working the problem over in my head as were killing miles going down the highway.

Still, there are a number of parts to acquire. I need 3x 3 drop banks, 2x 4 drop bank (one with memory), 2x 5 drop banks just for starters. Or one 5 drop and one 4 drop inline.

#815 6 days ago

In case anyone is wondering how much this project costs...

Just under.. $2500.

BUT (there is always a catch!)

This does not reflect use of hardware already in my possession (MPU, LDB, SDB, cabinet, slings, legs, lower flippers, apron, wiring) nor does it reflect tools obtained in the building of this here project.

That being said some of the costs will be spread out over time since they are not Seawitch specific such as the purchased electronics hardware ($140), displays ($170) and base cabinet hardware ($150). All of which will be utilized by whatever game is currently installed.

Nor do they reflect some of the costs coming out as I'll be selling one of the transformers (2 are on the cost sheet)

#816 5 days ago

Just an FYI- I'm going to consolidate the Centaur posts into this thread.

Since the base cabinet is going to be basically the same and all the playfields are extensions of "the Seawitch project" it makes sense to do a running thread here as each playfield is worked on rather than having separate thread for each one.

I think ultimately separate threads are more confusing for people jumping in for the first time.

When I have a free moment I'll touch base with a moderator and see if they can move the Centaur posts here, if not I'll recreate them and request the Centaur thread be locked or deleted. The first post I'll place links to "key posts" as work is added or progresses to a major milestone.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience and open to suggestions for new thread title.

#817 5 days ago

You are going above and beyond as it is! Thanks for your community contributions.

#818 4 days ago

Not looking good for any pin work the next few days, the Mrs had a car breakdown and work has exploded.

Bummer!

#819 4 days ago

I have asked Robin if he can fold the Centaur thread into this one, stay tuned..

Robin can't move the posts over so I'll repost what I can during the day and make a final post over on that thread to head over here before it is locked down. Robin has also allowed me key post access so if you see something in this thread that should be key posted let me know.

#820 4 days ago

My initial plan was to obtain a CPR playfield, backglass and plastic set and start making a wiring harness from scratch. Ball guides were already obtained from Mantis as were drop targets from PBR and I set about looking for a donor pin for common mechs.. The more difficult to obtain pieces like ball gates and lower ball handling mechs I was going to fabricate and then..

Last weekend a Pinsider dropped me a note.... Would I be interested in some Centaur playfield mechs? After some back and forth now I have this loaded playfield on workbench!

I owe you one buddy, this does cause me some extra work as now I'm contemplating TWO Centaurs. One would be a drop in module for the cab and the other would be an engineering "mule" for fabricating mechs that people are searching for. Eventually I'd have two working setups when I'm all done. Playfield restoration would be interesting due to the line art but I like a good challenge.

Step one is replacing various switches and other bits that are missing off the playfield so it is electrically sound and verify operation. I'll pick at this in between bouts of painting and clear coat on Flash Gordon.

This will take a bit since I'll have to update the transformer and A2 power board before being able to plug in.

Thanks for following along!

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#821 4 days ago

Playfield inventory, handy reference for me if I'm out and parts come up.

1) Underside.

Queens chamber stand up missing with screws.
1 screw missing top roll over.
Harness loop missing spacer and screw near rollovers/queens chamber loop.
Coil melted left popper, wire disconnected.
Center drop target bank missing two bottom pieces and e-clip (anyone have those parts? standard 5 target drop)
Steel flap missing one screw.
Left and right outlane roll-over switches missing.
Outhole switch missing.
Solinoid Expander & Aux Driver screws missing.
15 screws missing on wood side rails.
3 wire forms missing for roll-overs.
Slam switch missing bracket or spacer.
2 rebound switches.

2) Topside

Left sling, 1 red post.
Left return, 2 red posts and 2.5" lane guide.
Queens lane, 1 red post.
Right drop target bank, 1 red post.
Right side steel lane guide, inner.
Magnet area, 1 red post.
Magnet lane 3 posts, 2 steel & 1 red plastic.
Upper lanes, 4 lane guides, 5 red posts.

3) Wiring damage.

Light gauge wires.

GRN/WHT wire going to 10k insert one -> A5-J1-3 missing section.

Heavy gauge wires, A3 board.

GRN J1-8 Left Flipper Coil
ORG/BLK J2-9 Four Drop Target #1 (top)
ORG/RED J2-10 Four Drop Target #2
BLK/RED J2-12 Four Drop Target #4 (bottom)
GREY/RED J2-11 Four Drop Target #3
ORG/GRN J2-4 ORBS target reset
GREY/WHT J1-5 Outhole
ORG J1-9 Right Flipper Coil

So the J1 connector is accounted for (3 wires)

J2 has some wiring going down to the cabinet (2 flippers, knocker, coin lock out, test switch return) which of course is not there.

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#822 4 days ago

The sections of harness that were cannibalized have been repaired and the GI lamp circuit tested. Tonight I'll replace the smoked popper coil and various missing switches. If all goes well I'll plug it into Fireball for a switch test.

Edit: Looking at the Pac-Man harness, I see where Bally split off the cabinet wiring from the solenoid board J2 connector. Its exactly the same solution I came up with but they used a round pin Molex connector further down and I used the .156 connector closer to the board.

They split off the playfield solenoids from the J2 connector, I did just the opposite. The J2 connector remains with the playfield and the cabinet wiring is split off with its own connector.

Which makes sense since I started with a playfield and no cab or harness, Bally started with a cabinet and added playfields.

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#823 4 days ago

Queens chamber stand up missing with screws. (REPLACED)
1 screw missing top roll over. (FIXED)
Harness loop missing spacer and screw near rollovers/queens chamber loop. (FIXED)
Coil melted left popper, wire disconnected. (REPLACED)
Center drop target bank missing two bottom pieces and e-clip (FABRICATED)
Steel flap missing one screw.
Left and right outlane roll-over switches missing. (REPLACED)
Outhole switch missing. (REPLACED)
Solinoid Expander & Aux Driver screws missing. (REPLACED)
3 wire forms missing for roll-overs. (REPLACED)
Slam switch missing bracket or spacer. (REPLACED)
2 rebound switches. (DONE)

3) Wiring damage. (REPAIRED)

Of course there was more wrong than initial inventory. Screws all over the playfield were missing, a few diodes were missing for some strange reason too. Tweaked the ball launcher bracket so it was square, the center 4 drops bank was missing some parts and springs, a switch was broke on the inline drops. All control lights were tested with a battery and replaced if burnt out. One trough switch is missing the wire arm but I have spares.

The only major item under the playfield left is the two rebound switches. Have to get a good look at factory wiring, 5 switches share the same line and Bally is unclear which one should have the diode.

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#824 4 days ago

CPR playfield, backglass and plastics arrive.

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#825 4 days ago

Missing bottom of drop targets fabricated.

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#826 4 days ago

Consolidated posting on switch matrix below
-------------------------------------------------

Interesting problem- plugged into Fireball Classic to test the switch matrix, largely successful aside from the last column to the right which goes off to the MPU J4-16. If I'm reading the schematics correctly, this column is fed 5 volts hence the resistor in the circuit.

Quoted from Quench:

The fifth strobe wire on the playfield requires two wires from J4 at the MPU board.

One of them is the 5V wire from J4 pin 16 that goes to the playfield and has the 3.3k ohm pull-up resistor connected between it and the strobe wire. I don't remember where this resistor resides under the Centaur playfield, possibly near the inline drop target mech.

The strobe wire itself comes from the MPU board at J4 pin 5 for Centaur. This is actually one of the constant coil signals that normally goes to the solenoid driver board.

Note, some Bally games with the ST5 strobe wire get it from MPU J4 pin 5 (eg Centaur), other Bally games get it from MPU J4 pin 8 (eg Fathom). For some strange reason Bally didn't standardise on the same signal from the MPU board.

Ok so for the moment I'm done with the switch matrix as I'm not going to start making mods to Fireball and Seawitch is locked down from any further work till after Pintastic.

After Pintastic I'll upgrade the transformer and A2 board and proceed further with playfield testing. Time to flip Centaur over and clean and repopulate the missing playfield components.

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#827 4 days ago

Flattening, cleaning and replacing broken stuff.

Lots of work the last 24 hours.

Fabricated and installed missing ball guides, upper right side.
Flattened and cleaned plastics.
Tested GI circuits, replaced bulbs as needed.
General playfield cleaning, test elastics.
Straightened out lower ball gates, fabricated new gate wire.

Just trying to get things mechanically sound for testing purposes and decide which direction I'm going here. I think this playfield could be saved but would be really tough fixing the fine line art so have to think about it. For the moment its going to be my "engineering mule" for ball trough fabrication and testing while figuring out the ins and outs of the harness and if its feasible to duplicate.

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#828 4 days ago

I found the 2 pin connector for the extra switch matrix string, looks like I'm going to be stocking up on Molex MLX plug housings. As expected, its in the cab harness down by the A2 power board plug.

https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/products.asp?cat=90

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#829 4 days ago

Because everyone has that one friend who has to point out one flipper is a Williams.

Apparently missed it's a "function test" memo.

Also fun with plastics, fabricated the slings and missing queens chamber on the left.

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#830 4 days ago

So I tried making a stencil with some removable vinyl sticker material I had purchased in error.. When the vinyl was pulled off it had enough grab that it ripped the paint off with it! Back to square one, re-sanded the piece and repainted. For some reason the etching primer did not take.

I'll revisit making a stencil in the future but for the moment do it in vinyl (see next post)

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#831 4 days ago

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1) Thanks to Quench for a nice scan I was able to vectorize it and feed through my vinyl cutter and make a 2 piece decal.

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2) Took the old gauge, did some hammer and dolly work and it's ready for the next contestant.

#832 4 days ago

Parts arrive from Marco.

This is the last post from the Centaur thread, there is a few that didn't make it over but carries the bulk of the posts. I have one section about the switch matrix I added since.

The Centaur thread will now be locked from further postings, thanks for following!

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-centaur-playfield-module-2-for-bally-stern-cabinet

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#833 4 days ago

Eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series. Doesn't it suck when life gets in the way of hobbies!

#834 4 days ago

Quench points out:

"Note, the "ST5" wire from MPU J4 is not run to the solenoid driver board. So attaching that signal to the playfield should disconnect it from the solenoid driver board."

"By design, this line was used for games that would need some constantly powered coils. This signal was commonly used on Ballys with gates on the playfield (Supersonic, Kiss, Fireball Classic, etc). Some games also used it for a Saucer eject when they ran out of momentary coil drivers (Viking, Xenon, etc)."

Quench also points out the switch matrix in the manual contains an error.

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#835 4 days ago
Quoted from Skidave:

Eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series. Doesn't it suck when life gets in the way of hobbies!

Yes, yes it does.

Electrical system issues, I have to pull the a/c compressor out of her car to get at the alternator from the bottom naturally. I don't trust remans as far as I can toss them and just assume repair it myself.

I'm almost done with the insulated cabinet for the 3d printer, next on the pin list is installation of upgraded transformer and -54 power board, and lane shift flipper switches. Switch matrix plug in on the way too so that can get done. Once Centaur is dropped in and everything is verified as functional I'll start on the Bally sound board wiring.

Talking to Andrew about the fussy Weebly MPU the current theory is the 6802 is borderline. Its fine at Bally speed which is half that of the Stern setting. I'm going to swap out the chip and reinstall and see if the problem returns.

#836 4 days ago

Oh, and I have one of this on order along with stainless. Going to make my own lane guides from here out.

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#837 4 days ago

Thank you for bringing Sea Witch to Pintastic.

My wife was playing it as much as she could, and raving about it the rest of the time.

Someday, I hope to get her one of her own.

Thanks again for sharing your beautiful machine.

Eric

#838 4 days ago
Quoted from electricsquirrel:

Thank you for bringing Sea Witch to Pintastic.
My wife was playing it as much as she could, and raving about it the rest of the time.
Someday, I hope to get her one of her own.
Thanks again for sharing your beautiful machine.
Eric

No problem Eric!

I brought it to the show for everyone who has been following this thread to enjoy, I'm glad she did and it didn't break down!

#839 4 days ago
Quoted from gdonovan:

Oh, and I have one of this on order along with stainless. Going to make my own lane guides from here out.
[quoted image]

Looking forward to what you think of this. I’ve been trying to figure out what I need to make my own ball guides too.

#840 4 days ago
Quoted from play_pinball:

Looking forward to what you think of this. I’ve been trying to figure out what I need to make my own ball guides too.

Well with none available for Skateball and the board member who makes the odd set for Quicksilver a little busy I thought I'd dive right in sooner rather than later.

#841 3 days ago

Spent over two hours prying this out of my wife's Avenger. Slip ring smoked down to the shaft! $500 please, ouch.

A $10 set of brushes would have been less painful.

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#842 11 hours ago

Long day yesterday! Going to be several more days before alternator shows up so maintenance issues around the house getting caught up on among other things. General cleaning and organizing, need to do it.

1) Firepower: Picked up to give a spin but not really taking a shine to it. Going to bring to Pintastic in 7 months. Displays were ghosting, start button didn't work at times and the sound would work when it would feel like. On the plus side a playfield that wasn't shot and a newer reproduction backglass. Doing reflow work on the MPU and sound board resolved the various issues and I was even able to replace a few lamp sockets. Nice example but I like Blackout better. Alan Davidson already went over the boards in the past so 40 pin interconnect and NVRAM already done.

2) Gorgar: Belongs to friend of mine, also wonky displays. Reflowed the MPU and got 4 out of 5 working right but when you hook up the 5th it drops segments. With the smoked resistors on the master board I'd cheat and just toss in a set of Wolfpac LED displays and call it a day.

3) Seawitch: Replaced upper left flipper return spring with a stronger Williams/DE unit due to random slow retraction. Played a few games and eyeballed future upgrade points.

4) Space Shuttle: Strongly considering hardtop and bringing to Pintastic next year as well. Its a fine game but just not making the cut. Was thinking about restoring the playfield but if I'm not going to keep it..

5) Flash Gordon II: Mostly consolidation of parts, fasteners and mechs into one location so when assembly starts I don't have to waste hours looking for various bits and pieces. Going over parts, I do need to buy one rollover wire but that looks to be about it. Had them all, but I think one got swiped for another cough *Seawitch* cough, project.

6) Robocop: After being covered with vinyl cutting stuff for weeks finally got cleared off and it promptly blew a fuse for a popper. JERK! Something going on there, ugh.

7) Black Hole: Sound board still angry, no time to investigate further.

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#843 10 hours ago

Also on yesterday's work list is trying to master 3D printing with ABS, still without success.

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