(Topic ID: 186391)

Solar Fire Club - Aliens need not apply


By ZEN

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 41 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 days ago by BobLangelius
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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#1 2 years ago

Its 2017, tons of owners club pages, but none for Solar Fire..?

I just picked one up and went through it top to bottom, its ready to hit the gameroom..

Surely there have to be other owners?

STATS:
Model Number: 507
MPU: Williams System 7
Production: 782 units (confirmed)
Design by: Barry Oursler
Art by: Constantino Mitchell, Jeanine Mitchell
Sound by: Ed Suchocki
Software by: Ed Suchocki
Notes: Compare the playfield to the single-level playfield of Williams' 1986 'Grand Lizard'.

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#2 2 years ago

Wish I was in this club!

#3 2 years ago

I am in ! Took me a long time to get one.

#4 2 years ago

So I finally got to changing the backglass out with a CPR repro and new trim . Here is a side by side for comparison ..

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#5 2 years ago

As always, CPR does not spend enough time on color matching.
I know you can not get it exact but you can come close. The
Rubine red color palate is hard to match.

#6 2 years ago

I have one. Love it!

Never leaving.

#7 2 years ago

Been trying to get in this club for years! Nice find. Anyone want to sell theirs look me up.

#8 2 years ago

Got mine in the game room finally , took six weeks of work , and tonight I replaced all the caps on the PS..unreal how much fun this thing is..

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#9 2 years ago

This is my second solar fire! I instantly regretted letting first one go however; it let me find a better example! It's the best of the WMS early solid state multi level PF games and yes I've owned them all!

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#10 2 years ago

I am probably in the minority, but my least favorite of the multi level games is Black Knight, although I do like it. I think Jungle Lord is the worst theme, but right there with Solar Fire on gameplay, Pharaoh is pretty awesome too. That is one great photo danczaz

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from ZEN:

I am probably in the minority, but my least favorite of the multi level games is Black Knight, although I do like it. I think Jungle Lord is the worst theme, but right there with Solar Fire on gameplay, Pharaoh is pretty awesome too. That is one great photo danczaz

I bought a BK on a Saturday and got offered package deal for the other 3 on Thursday... wasn't looking really for any of them (except was always on look out for solar fire)

#12 2 years ago

I've been looking to join this club for a several years now. Thanks for the thread, as I'm always looking to follow news on this machine and see everyone's pics. If anyone ever considers selling, please let me know.

9 months later
#13 1 year ago

I've had BK and Pharaoh, liked them both, but like Solar Fire way better for whatever reason. I let the other two go and kept this one!

It belonged to a buddy of mine for a while and I'd been pestering him to sell it to me since the rest of his collection was mostly newer games (WPC+ and a few Sys11) - he finally relented, AFTER I moved over 900 miles away! No biggie; I arranged to head out there on another mission (picking up a car from an auction) and combined the trip.

When I got there to break the machine down and load it, we found out someone had crossthreaded a couple of the backbox bolts, and that in turn ripped the tangs out from the t-nuts and they were just spinning. With a very long trip ahead of me there was no way I was transporting it with the backbox in place, especially not with it flopping around with two bolts that couldn't be tightened (or removed.)

So we carefully took off the legs, sat it down on the floor, and pulled the playfields. I then crawled into the cabinet with the idea of grabbing the backside of the t-nuts with vise grips while he removed the bolts. Couldn't quite wrangle my arm up in there. While changing positions, I put my weight on one hand on the bottom of the cabinet, which just happened to find one of those pointy nail-style screws holding the speaker in. It went ALL THE WAY into my hand. I didn't yell or scream, just told my buddy, hey could you get a paper towel because I don't wanna bleed all over your floor...so yeah, after that we did manage to get the bolts out, backbox off, game wrapped and loaded.

Before he got the game someone had installed NOS playfields. Where they got them I have no idea! The plastics and backglass are pretty nice, too. Only real downside is the cabinet is kinda beat. Not terrible but not great. I spent a good amount of time repairing the boardset, which had already been sent out for "professional" repair by a known company; previous owner had plugged the playfield in wrong and zapped 'em. The repairs were substandard and I had to go over everything. Now the game works great other than it still seems to give me more switch-related problems than any other classic Williams title I've owned, and that includes Firepowers with the leafs assembled backwards! Right now it's sitting there with a ball in the left lock that it refuses to recognize; I'll deal with it later.

Some crummy size pics from forever ago...one of them with Barracora and Time Fantasy, two other classics I never shoulda let go!

Richard

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#14 1 year ago

If you ever want to sell that, let me know.

Great looking game.

#15 1 year ago

I've scanned all my plastics and drew a vector outline file to lasercut plastics protectors (I would hate it if any plastic broke). In case anybody is interested: just send me a PM with your email address and I'll send it.

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#16 1 year ago
Quoted from BobLangelius:

If you ever want to sell that, let me know.
Great looking game.

Thanks! I wish the cabinet was more solid. I doubt it's bad enough to ever get me to restore it though; would rather leave it original.

Unlikely I will sell this game! Don't you already have one? Or were you the one with the SF for sale on Mr.Pin a while back? I was trying to convince a buddy of mine up there to go buy it but he's a dummy and skipped it.

Richard

#17 1 year ago

I do have a very nice example. I have had it a long time, it's the game everyone plays.

I have one concern and it is the keylines around inserts are starting to degrade. Over the last 8-10 years, even though i wax regularly, i begin to see them deteriorate...

I am thinking seriously about sending it to HEP. but i would send it with the caveat that Chris set it up and play it for a month before he tears it apart. I would be concerned that it come back and not play the same way...

Also my PF has a couple of blemishes in the halftone areas and i am not sure if i would just leave them as they are as opposed to changing the halftoning to an airbrush fade.

Are your PF's clear-coated? If not, are you concerned about Vids theory that the Ink on NOS PF becomes brittle and requires Clear-coating to survive?

Bob

#18 1 year ago

Mine were installed as-is, no clearcoat. I don't put a ton of play on it so I feel reasonably safe keeping it waxed and being sure I don't run rusty/pitted balls through it (or any of my games.)

I will say that the ink looks thin on the inserts, as if they were using the minimum amount of ink possible while screening the black. There's literally no wear on my playfields, the factory clear is there and very shiny - just they skimped on the ink. If I were to tear this game down and clearcoat the playfields, there would need to be a good amount of touch-up done on the inserts before I think it would be worth it to clearcoat. Mind you, the rest of the artwork looks spectacular so I'm not complaining!

Richard

5 months later
#19 9 months ago

looking to get into this club, anyone selling?

5 months later
#20 4 months ago

The service switch inside my coin door has failed. I found a new one on eBay, but it looks like the way it is connected is not factory and I want to be sure I put the new one in correctly. Could someone take a photo of the wiring to their service switch for me?

Thanks

#21 4 months ago

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1 week later
#22 3 months ago

Looking for the inner backbox parts (no backglass or prints needed) or even better a whole Head without backglass.
Wiring harnesses (BB+Cab) would help too to bring a Solar Fire back to life and finally joining this Club.

Chris

3 weeks later
#23 3 months ago

Joined the club yesterday! Finally completed my bi-level set.

Do you prefer to have the black hole upper loop reset on collect, or stay until you light drain shield? Seems sorta easy to repeatedly hit for points...

Does anyone have trouble with their drops not all resetting? Some of mine seem to fall down pretty often right after a reset.

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#24 3 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Joined the club yesterday! Finally completed my bi-level set.
Do you prefer to have the black hole upper loop reset on collect, or stay until you light drain shield? Seems sorta easy to repeatedly hit for points...
Does anyone have trouble with their drops not all resetting? Some of mine seem to fall down pretty often right after a reset.
[quoted image]

Reset on collect.
I rebuilt all of my drops for reliable operation, I thin wms 3-7 games really need this done, if any targets are damaged I always replace them all so the die lot matches... I hate mismatched drops...

#25 3 months ago
Quoted from ZEN:

Reset on collect.
I rebuilt all of my drops for reliable operation, I thin wms 3-7 games really need this done, if any targets are damaged I always replace them all so the die lot matches... I hate mismatched drops...

Previous owner put all new drops in. What exactly do you do for a drop rebuild?

#26 3 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Previous owner put all new drops in. What exactly do you do for a drop rebuild?

I pull the thing apart, clean the parts real good, bend the horseshoe contacts a bit, replace the sleeves, clean the contact boards with alcohol, etc.

#27 3 months ago

These don't have horseshoes or contact boards though?

#28 3 months ago

If they dont it doesn't change the fact they most likely need disassembly and cleaned if they had not. Also, you can put these back together wrong and they dont reset properly. One of mine had a bracket mounted backwards, probably years ago.. Mine have some system 9-11 style too. All my drops were extremely gummy.

#29 3 months ago

On the system 7 drops, I usually make sure the spring flaps are nice and smooth. If not I buff them with the dremel and small buff. Lay flat on table.

I also make sure the tapped strap on the back( that the spring flaps ride on) is also buffed and has no burrs. Sometimes you need to flip it over.

2 weeks later
#30 74 days ago

Is Solar Fire supposed to make a loud buzz from the speaker when you activate the magnets? Assuming I have a sound board issue but want to make sure just in case...

Also, can anyone send me a picture of this area below the SOLAR target? Something seems wrong there to me. That red post has a corner missing so that it can fit so close to the metal guide, and then there's this little dot near the yellow post which looks like where another post should go?

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#31 74 days ago

I've had mine for 25+ years. Brand new playfields redone by Playfield Renovations. New backglass, cabinet repainted.

#32 74 days ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Is Solar Fire supposed to make a loud buzz from the speaker when you activate the magnets? Assuming I have a sound board issue but want to make sure just in case...
Also, can anyone send me a picture of this area below the SOLAR target? Something seems wrong there to me. That red post has a corner missing so that it can fit so close to the metal guide, and then there's this little dot near the yellow post which looks like where another post should go?
[quoted image]

The speaker shouldn't buzz on magnet activation; I would start with going over all your grounds. Make sure the boardset has all its mounting screws into the metal backplane and that the ground straps/wires are in place at the wing nut in the backbox and that the straps/wires are intact.

You're missing the elevated wireform on the right side; the front end of it is what goes in that "dot" on the playfield.

That red post is not in its original spot; that's why they chipped a piece of it away so that bracket could go where it needs to. Looks like they put the red post up front like that so they could stretch a rubber to attempt taking place of the missing ball guide wireform.

Sorry for the crummy pic; don't have a chance at the moment to slide the glass off.

Richard

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#33 74 days ago
Quoted from someotherguy:

You're missing the elevated wireform on the right side; the front end of it is what goes in that "dot" on the playfield.

Great... I'm sure finding that will be easy. :/

If anyone happens to have theirs out and could take some measurements, maybe I can fab it myself?

#34 74 days ago

No need for measurements; making one is easy. Just get some mechanic's wire which is easy to work with, and mock one up. Once you have the size right, use it as a pattern to cut and bend the final guide out of the correct stock.

A few pics attached of doing exactly this on one missing from Pharaoh...

Richard

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#35 73 days ago

I'm looking to buy a Solar Fire. I'm hoping I might be able to find one for sale that could be brought to Allentown Pinfest this year.

1 month later
#36 26 days ago

Hey, just joined the club. Love the gameplay and rules, but my playfield needs some love... fair bit of sub par touch up. Also, the Solar Gun switch was a bit mangled and I can't get it calibrated right. Seems like the magnet is working as intended, I think I just need a new switch. But most of the arm on the switch is broken off and I can't seem to find a direct replacement part even with the part number listed in the parts list document.

Can anyone help out with a replacement part number and/or post a photo of their switch. Thanks in advance for any help!

2 weeks later
#37 12 days ago
Quoted from OwenKhan:

Can anyone help out with a replacement part number and/or post a photo of their switch. Thanks in advance for any help!

I believe the micro switch had a plastic actuator.
I think you can use a flat blade micro switch, and have it have a round bump
at the point where the ball hits hit... A "J" type hook.

#38 10 days ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

I believe the micro switch had a plastic actuator.
I think you can use a flat blade micro switch, and have it have a round bump
at the point where the ball hits hit... A "J" type hook.

Correct; it's plastic. However I doubt you can replace it with a switch that has the regular metal actuator, as the ball will likely stick to it. Pretty sure that's why the original has the plastic actuator. Pic attached; it's not the greatest as it's on an assembled game but it does clearly show the shape of it.

Richard

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#39 10 days ago
Quoted from someotherguy:

Correct; it's plastic. However I doubt you can replace it with a
switch that has the regular metal actuator, as the ball will likely
stick to it. Pretty sure that's why the original has the plastic
actuator. Pic attached; it's not the greatest as it's on an
assembled game but it does clearly show the shape of it.
Richard[quoted image]

Maybe upgrade to a custom photo optic system?

#40 9 days ago

An opto setup would probably work but since my switch actuator is unbroken I'm reluctant to hack on the game. However, I suspect the switch itself is bad as the feature does not function 100% correctly. The ball gets "stuck" - not to the switch, but in one position instead of rapidly moving back and forth, so I suspect the switch isn't registering properly so the magnet isn't pulsing as it should...cheating me out of Solar Gun scoring! One of these days I'll get around to messing with it. :/

Richard

#41 9 days ago

Maybe a DB3 microswitch with a roller actuator would work? Or the honeywell?
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https://www.zoro.com/honeywell-premium-mini-swch-3a-spdt-lng-rollr-levr-v7-2b17d8-207/i/G4584535/

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