(Topic ID: 216674)

The Road to Andromeda


By seshpilot

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 50 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by StylesBitchly
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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13
#1 2 years ago

September 1985, Chicago, IL. An absolutely fantastic pinball is created by the powerhouse team of Ed Cebula and Mike Kubin, with gorgeous artwork hand-drawn by Paul Faris. Sadly, the game's manufacturer, Gameplan, is on its last legs and can only sell 500 before closing up shop (Cyclopes is technically the last production game, but this was also still on the line). Very few survive to this day, and even fewer in good shape. This is the story of my journey to "Andromeda."

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I've been working on this deal for over 3 months now. The game is currently up in Canada (quite far from my home in Indianapolis, Indiana). I found this specific example on IPDB after looking at pics of the game, and contacting the poster. I've been trying to convince him to sell for some time, but two things stood in the way:
1. The seller only wants the game picked up and it's over 14 hrs one way.
2. Seller doesn't speak English, only French.

After perusing KLOV just for kicks, I notice that an arcade game is for sale in my hometown (which doesn't happen often), so I click the link. I happen to notice that someone who's in Canada really wants to buy this game (Armor Attack), but can't figure out how to get it. I contacted him and suggested we buy each other's games and meet halfway. After much discussion, he agreed! Not only that, but he speaks both English and French and worked out all the details with the seller of my game!

Two weeks later he drives 2.5 hours away and grabs Andromeda for me, and I grab his Armor Attack (only 30 minutes from my house). We coordinate our schedules and find a date that works for us to meet near the Canadian border: which leads us to today!

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7:57pm, May 2018, Indianapolis: while I've done long trips for pins before, I really don't feel like making a 12 hr round trip (+ any extra time that I deal with at the border, as I'm the one that's going to have to go over and back) in one day. So I'm leaving tonight after dinner, and planning to stay at a cheap hotel in Detroit right next to the border.

Here's a shot of me crammed in the car w Armor Attack (it barely fit!):
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I'll keep updating as the trip progresses!

#2 2 years ago

Peace out Indy!

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#3 2 years ago

Good Luck with the quest.
My game was a bit easier to acquire here in the states,
From what was then El Dorado Games in Orange County CA.
The owner of the game & Shop was reluctant to sell also,
but I made an offer for a 3 pin deal that he could not refuse.
Included in the deal was also another Game Plan Cocktail pin Lady SharpShooter
and probably the real catch or at least equal to Andromeda was a Stern StarGazer.
Andromeda and Lady SharpShooter are now in the hands of the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda CA.

#4 2 years ago

Nightfall has settled in and I'm almost to the Michigan border. I find it comical that a game that was manufactured in Chicago, ships far away over the border to Canada for its entire life, and 33 years later, finally makes her way back home to the Midwest!

Getting hungry...

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#5 2 years ago

Made it to the hotel. 12:30 and so tired. Done for today.

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#6 2 years ago

Cool story! Did you know if your andromeda came from laval, qc? It can be my old one...

#7 2 years ago

Enjoy the score seshpilot! Have a safe trip back. Oh and pics please.

#8 2 years ago

You will not be disappointed

#9 2 years ago

you and I are cut form the same cloth brother!

safe travels and you will LOVE this game!

Seriously suck a great game all around. Tops in the 2 ballers.

Looking forward to seeing more pics of the travels and game!

#10 2 years ago

Great story. Here's a guy who knows how to make $hit happen...
-mof

#11 2 years ago

Armor Attack. Man I despise that game... I've repaired a few of them though.

#12 2 years ago

Love the eerie sci-fi artwork and sound fx; this game would fit right in with Centaur and Barracora. Enjoy it!

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from Redketchup:

Cool story! Did you know if your andromeda came from laval, qc? It can be my old one...

It did actually!! Cool! Any backstory on the history of this one?

#14 2 years ago

Left around 7:30 this morning. Went under the water in the underground tunnel. Seriously, how the heck do they build stuff like this?!
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And TOTALLY spaced it with bringing my passport!! Crap. Wound up at immigration and customs but only for 20 minutes. They were totally cool and let me thruIMG_3179 (resized).JPG

As this is my first time to Canada, some quick observations:

Pros:
1. People seem nice and their government is doing some very cool things right now.
2. They use the metric system. Seriously America, let's get with the program.

Cons:
1. Pick a language. Is it French or English? Every tiny little road sign has to be duplicated a few feet apart because Canada can't settle on a common tongue. I jest here, but I do think there's probably a lot of wasted tax dollars on all these expensive duplicates.
2. Tim Horton's is not Starbucks.

#15 2 years ago

Just got back over the border in the US. The moment of the reveal...

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Overall she's in fantastic shape! The cab is pretty dinged up but nothing I can't fix. She's got it where it counts, which is the playfield and the backglass! Four more hours till I get home and can finally actually play this game. I'm stoked to hear the game fits well with Barracora, as that is my all-time favorite pin (shout out to dayhuff for turning me into that one--which was another long drive to get in BFE, Iowa)!

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#16 2 years ago

congrats!

#17 2 years ago

I got it pretty cheap because no one was able to have it work... It came from Saguenay... little north from montreal. I bought a new mpu for it (repro made by... didn't remeber) and she start right away. Very nice game and play awesome. I really like it when she was in my collection... The Pictures from IPDB name Gino Villeneuve came from me.

Enjoy!

#18 2 years ago

Thanks brother. I need to make my way up to you sometime. Hey, are these the orignal game plan drop targets? I've heard some people say they break easily and have to be replaced with data east ones because these are unobtanium.

#19 2 years ago
Quoted from Redketchup:

Gino Villeneuve

I have you to thank then! The pictures of this specific example shoved me over the edge to buy it

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

Thanks brother. I need to make my way up to you sometime. Hey, are these the orignal game plan drop targets? I've heard some people say they break easily and have to be replaced with data east ones because these are unobtanium.

anytime.

those appear original but not 100% without seeing under the hood as there were some hot stamped ghetto remakes at one point.
Either way those look good. Retro fitting with DE is east if needed, just have to spacer the mech down due to slightly higher target face

#22 2 years ago

Great road trip story and congrats!

#23 2 years ago

I am surprized they let you back into the USA without a passport!!!
With contraband no less.

#24 2 years ago

Congrats on joining the club! One of my favorite old SS pins for sure.

#25 2 years ago

Better than my experience where they tossed our car and didn't let me through! Loving this story.

Quoted from seshpilot:Left around 7:30 this morning. Went under the water in the underground tunnel. Seriously, how the heck do they build stuff like this?!

And TOTALLY spaced it with bringing my passport!! Crap. Wound up at immigration and customs but only for 20 minutes. They were totally cool and let me thru
As this is my first time to Canada, some quick observations:
Pros:
1. People seem nice and their government is doing some very cool things right now.
2. They use the metric system. Seriously America, let's get with the program.
Cons:
1. Pick a language. Is it French or English? Every tiny little road sign has to be duplicated a few feet apart because Canada can't settle on a common tongue. I jest here, but I do think there's probably a lot of wasted tax dollars on all these expensive duplicates.
2. Tim Horton's is not Starbucks.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from KHL:

Better than my experience where they tossed our car and didn't let me through

Wha??! No way!

#27 2 years ago

When I got it home it wouldn't start a game, but I figured out it was just a loose connector. I haven't played enough to form any opinions yet, but the sounds are pretty rad.

Some more pin-porn:

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I don't know how they did their serial numbers but here's mine:

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I wonder if Shirley, Esther and Sarah knew they were weeks from losing their jobs? Sad.
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#28 2 years ago

So far I've also replaced the flipper cool sleeves but everything else looks really good!

Looks like this one was manufactured toward the end of the run:

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#29 2 years ago

Well crap. Something weird is going on and I can't get a game to start again.

#30 2 years ago

Awesome score, man! Beautiful example!

I just picked up a Sharpshooter, which i think uses the same drop targets. I've gotta replace mine too. The data east ones apparently work fine, but they're a 1/4" taller so you'll need (4) 1/4" spacers to put under the mech and you'll need 4 screws that are 1/4" longer to make up for the gap the spacers create. I'm in the process of converting mine, just waiting on the targets to arrive.

Good luck with the troubleshooting, and don't forget there's a 3 amp slow blow fuse (double check rating to be sure) under the playfield...mine was blown when i got my game. Still haven't figured it out yet but I've got other fish to fry at the moment. Also get a good look at the head-to-cabinet wiring connectors, they're apparently prone to corrosion. I'll be replacing most (if not all) of mine soon. I think they're 0.084 size, but it should be fine to go with 0.093 if you have pins and housings.

Congrats again on the game!

#31 2 years ago

Beautiful machine and magnificent artwork, Game Plans are really hard to find in AUS, Sharp Shooter was the most common (not that they were very common). Congrats on your find.

#32 2 years ago

It's weird because the game boots up just fine, balls are in the trough, the game's switches all test fine in test mode, but the start button won't start a game. Any thoughts?

#33 2 years ago

Do the coils fire in coil test?

#34 2 years ago

Figgin Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#35 2 years ago

That came up during the finals of Pinburgh last year when they were playing it... I recall someone commenting about the switches in the outhole and the ball through being very problematic on Game Plan machines. I would look there.

#36 2 years ago

I’ll second the trough switches. That was the problem on mine.

#37 2 years ago

snyper2099 and swampfire it checks out fine in switch test (it wasn't working earlier due to a bad connection, but I fixed that) which is why I'm perplexed.

frunch, the coils are all firing fine in test mode

?

#38 2 years ago

stupid question, but how many credits are on the game?

#39 2 years ago

Not stupid. 40!

#40 2 years ago

Maybe reset to factory settings, power down, then turn on again and try starting a game again.

#41 2 years ago

Any updates?

#42 2 years ago

Figured out the game start bug: so both balls are not technically supposed to be in the trough. 1 has to be in the trough ready to go into the shooter lane, the other has to be placed on the switch in the outhole. So while they are both there, their placement is key. <facepalm>

In other news, I've got the game running quite nicely but the original Gameplan coils were swapped out for Bally AQ-25-500/34-4500 Flipper Coils. Contrary to what some have said in other Gameplan threads, this is NOT a direct swap and has considerably less power. As a result, the game doesn't play quite as snappy as it should (a la the PAPA video). I've ordered 2 new GP coils from PBR (Steve Young) and should be good to go soon!

I also put LEDs in all the GI; no issues whatsoever. The game doesn't like LEDs in the computer-controlled sockets, but honestly it doesn't like incandescants that much either (they flicker too). I'm going to wire resistors across the sockets in ones I think need LEDs the most. Beautiful-looking game. Now I want a Cyclopes!

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#43 2 years ago

I have the opposite problem: my flippers are way too strong for this game. I should check my coils.

#44 2 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I have the opposite problem: my flippers are way too strong for this game. I should check my coils.

I would happily ship you mine if you want.

#46 2 years ago

I much prefer the art of Andromeda to Cyclopes. But Cyclopes has a pretty sweet layout.

#47 2 years ago

No way bro -- the double eye thing is un-look-at-able.
-mof

#48 2 years ago

I always liked alternative women. Heck, I prefer Nebula to Gamora. Actually Nebula kind of looks like Andromeda...hmm

#49 2 years ago

Guys, I installed the NOS GP flipper coils in my game today and I gotta tell you: HUGE difference. Anyone that says the Bally AQ coils are similar is just not accurate.

2 things stand out to me beyond just the faster gameplay of having original coils installed:
1. Making it back up to the top of the game via the spinner is so much easier now! I always felt like this shot was too hard to make but no longer! Ripping the spinner feels so much more rewarding now as well.
2. The ability to backhand shots from the left flipper is now much better. Before, the game felt like so much more of a “right flipper” game, but now it’s way more of a balanced game.

Long story short: get rid of the AQ coils in your Andromeda and call Steve Young.

PS: make sure to look carefully at your flipper wiring if you’re switch from (or to) Bally coils; it’s backwards.

#50 2 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

Figured out the game start bug.

Congrats!
Looks amazing! LED's will rock!

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