(Topic ID: 142990)

The Who's TOMMY Club - Can you hear me? Members Only!

By ChadH

3 years ago

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  • 130 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by pinballjah
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#10 3 years ago

Tommy was my first machine - in 2003. Still have it .... when it goes I am done with pinball

Check out my dedicated Tommy fanpage on Facebook Extra , extra read all about it !!


Couple pics of my machine



#14 3 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Any suggestions of what you'd like to see changed?

Ooooooh this could be exciting . Yes please !

A few things spring to mind, probably think of more later when I go play some more Tommy.

2x Scoring (mystery award) - this is a biggie and has always really bugged me. As it stands you can't start any Union Jack modes , or Captain Walker ramp/spinner mode, whilst its running !?! So in effect scoring opportunities are extremely limited and make it pretty pointless. This could be a huge improvement.

Option to switch off the usual 'gimme' multiball by 3rd ball. Currently Tommy letters are spotted at start of each ball guaranteeing Multiball is always ready by Ball 3.

Loop/orbit shots - I have definitely on occasion had the Extra Ball lit as a reward for hitting 5 loop shots but I'm really not sure the qualifying criteria for this. Maybe needs looking at. Possibly the Loops could do with a rule tweak. I need to check this out again on my game and think more about it.

Holiday Camp mode - horrible mode. Hitting the dangerous captive ball for not many points.Thats it. Maybe hitting the ball could light another shot(s) ...maybe timed ? Something to make it more interesting.

Captain Walker Video Mode - haha, not sure what could be done with this bar replacing it with a better video mode . At the very least look at the scoring, pitiful at present and unclear as to what hitting buildings/planes actually scores, anything to make the mode worth playing.

There's A Doctor mode - too difficult to complete,I have rarely done it even when *really* concentrating on it, reduce number of pop hits needed.

Spinners - increase value, would make the Double Value from inlanes more worthwhile

Blinders - don't want to overuse them, but possibly have them in another mode ( currently only in Tommy Scoring mode, the advanced stage of multiball, and Wizard mode )....Smash The Mirror mode ??

The BIG points when playing Tommy are to be had from multiball, particularly achieving the Super Jackpots. So maybe some balancing is needed. Possibly some of the modes need a points boost to make them more attractive to play ...thinking Sally Simpson, There's A Doctor, Christmas.

#15 3 years ago

A very young Bowen on Tommy in 1994


#18 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

Hi Ive,
where do these nice propellers come from?

I got them from Robert Hoffman ... I believe he may be on Pinside ??

He used to list them on ebay from time to time. Or try contacting him through his website http://www.pinwizman.com/GamesForSale.html

#21 3 years ago

I have always wondered about this extra hole. It feeds into the subway but there are no switches to register a ball entering. Its tucked away so you cant aim for it , and its position makes it extremely unlikely for a ball to ever fall in it ...I think I have had it happen once maybe. A leftover from the proto ? An idea that was abandoned ? Who knows.

Capture 1.PNG

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from dendoc:

Don't forget there is an excellent original "the Who" re orchestration on the pinsound card. Beats the "Broadway Cast" version of the songs hands down.

Hmmm. I think I'll stick with the DE sounds. I actually find in the context of the game that the Who's originals , with the exception of Pinball Wizard, just sound dirgy and dreary in comparison. I guess also I'm so used to how Tommy sounds now that anything else just doesnt seem right. Of course the sound quality thru Pinsound is much improved.

#26 3 years ago
Quoted from RDReynolds:

May just be me (I've only had my Tommy about a week), but I'd really like it if at start the game didn't always start with the same mode (Christmas) lit. If that was random, I think I'd like it a lot better.

Pops change the lit modes. Just drop the ball into the pops from the start. Job done

#28 3 years ago
Quoted from GAP:

May game doesn't start with Christmas all the time.

Interesting. Mine does, and AFAIK that is how it is set. What ROM revision are you running ?

#46 3 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

I have to ask about the sling plastics. The background colour on mine is orange. It exactly matches the orange background on the inlane ball guides. The Marco repros are red, and so whenever I see red sling plastics I think repro. I think Arts are original but they look red in the photos. And the story above about the lightly played NIB has red looking background on the sling plastics as well. Was there colour variation on the originals?

Interesting. Looking around images on the web I see way more RED than ORANGE. They cant all be repros surely ?

#69 3 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Its funny, as a WHO fan too, I thought I would want to replace the tracks too, but I really like the mix in the game, so its staying. I added a nice subwoofer to it and it sounds great.

Yep. As I mentioned before ... in the context of a pinball game most of The Who originals actually sound a bit dreary/plodding to me. There is a reason that as a Who fan why I don't actually listen to Tommy that often


#79 3 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

I don't see this documented anywhere else. So here we go.
3 Way Combo - Right Ramp, Left Ramp, Right Scoop - Scores 10 Million
3 Way Combo - Left Ramp, Right Orbit, Mirror - Scores 10 Million and advances two TOMMY letters
4 Way Combo - Right Orbit, Right Ramp, Left Ramp, Right Scoop - Scores 20 Million
4 Way Combo - Right Orbit, Right Ramp, Genius Lane, Mirror - Scores 20 Million and advances three TOMMY letters
3 Way Combo - Left Ramp, Right Orbit, Right Ramp - Scores 10 Million
Can build to a 4 Way Combo - Genius Lane - Scores additional 20 Million
Can build to a 5 Way Combo - Mirror - Scores additional 10 Million and immediately lites Multiball Ready.
Also, there are these miscellaneous Combo/Bonuses:
1 Way Combo - When Mirror is down at start of ball and player launches ball into play with a full plunge and immediately shoots the Tommy hole from the upper left flipper - Scores 5 Million
Sigma Bonus - Bounced off the right side of the Silver Ball target and into the Tommy hole when Mirror is down and Multiball is ready - Scores 10 Million
Extra Ball Combo - From Lite Extra Ball at Right Scoop to Genius Lane where you immediately Collect Extra Ball - Scores 5 Million
4 Engine Start Bonus - Four consecutive shots to the Left Ramp (only available during higher Captain Walker levels where it takes 4 or more Left Ramp shots to start the Captain Walker Spinner/Ramp Bomb Dropping mode) - Scores 10 Million

Great stuff. Thanks for documenting Chad

#90 3 years ago
Quoted from Number41:

Thank you! I'll be the exact same way. I'm having as much fun cleaning, tuning, and tinkering as I am playing it! The silver ball target on my machine is actually a bit worn - so I'll have to see if I can get one from Mayfair as well - thanks so much!

I replaced mine a few years back with NOS. Guess what ....its worn again ! Almost not worrying about I think

#94 3 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

You are correct! However, it looks like it is only granted if you get to Pinball Wizard without ever starting Multiball. It is worth 20 Million.
I'll update my original post with this info.

Awesome. 13 years of owning and playing Tommy and I didn't know about this award until this week. Not surprising ... I doubt very very few players have ever reached Wizard and not started multiball !

#102 3 years ago
Quoted from Number41:

Thanks a ton for checking! I was about to order one when I found it inside the cabinet. My OCD is now curbed for the moment haha.

Dammit ! Now you have made me double check mine and notice I don't have one

Wonder why it was there - to prevent a potential ball trap maybe ?

#104 3 years ago
Quoted from Number41:

Another weird thing on my machine was that the blue metal shooter lane guide (flap?) wasn't installed...it was just sitting in the coin tray. Ball launch was a little unsteady until I put it back in.

Hmm. You have picture of this ?? No flap on my shooter lane either.

#105 3 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

I think it is possible on any ball... as long as Multiball has never been started. If someone can confirm, that would be great.

Yep. Possible on any ball. Collection of Extra Ball is fine too. Just don't start Multiball

#112 3 years ago
Quoted from Number41:

Ive, here's a pic (it's blue like the other ramp flaps). It was sitting in my coin box and never installed. My tech noted that the ball launch felt "squirrely" (haha) and it was better after we installed this.

Ooooh. Never seen that before. Never had a problem with my launch but now I want one of those fitted My Tommy was originally a French machine, now in Brighton which makes much more sense ...'From Soho down to Brighton'

#120 3 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

You are correct! However, it looks like it is only granted if you get to Pinball Wizard without ever starting Multiball. It is worth 20 Million.
I'll update my original post with this info.

Here's a pic of the Race To Wizard graphic that shows, it then splits apart to reveal the bonus. Looks like they threw in a nod to DE's Checkpoint ??



#121 3 years ago

So this is VERY interesting news. Could repro blinders finally be available


2 weeks later
#128 3 years ago
Quoted from Number41:

I've been testing out Titan silicone flipper bands and I'm pretty much sold - they play wonderfully. I had just finished putting PL black rubber all throughout (to keep it similar to factory original), but now I'll likely do a complete Titan silicone overhaul. The only issue is the lack of 2.75" bands for the slingshots (Matt from Titan said 2.75" will eventually be added, but 2.5" may work for now). One thing I noticed is that my rubber ring configuration (original black Happ rubber from the factory that was never changed...so hard and brittle!) was slightly different than what's in the manual. I've been considering making a diagram to document how it came from the factory (differences are pretty minor). If anyone is interested in seeing this, I'll definitely do it.
Can't decide which color I want to stick with for a while. Not sure if I'm crazy, but I feel like the orange Titan bands are a bit more rigid than the other 2 colors - may have to ask Matt about that. These pics were taken today - my Tommy has seen many hours of polishing, cleaning, restoring, and tweaking since I picked it up!

TommyBlack.jpg TommyRed.jpg TommyOrange.jpg

I have White Superbands on my Tommy, with White rubber. I like it


#141 3 years ago
Quoted from MauriceSTYS:

Let's talk about that right spinner.
Imagine you have the ball trapped on the left flipper, union jack is not lit.
What do you shoot? Silver ball? Bumpers? VUK? Holiday Camp? All kind of pointless and risky.
The obvious choice would be right orbit to relight the union jack and get a feed to your right flipper (parachute hole) or loop all the way to the upper left flipper for a shot at the mirror/right ramp.
But with the right spinner, the chances of that shot making it even up to the parachute hole are about 5% (on my machine). What I get is the ball rolling back down, often onto the slingshot and out of control.
I was wondering why I only ever saw one 3-way-combo, and the answer is because every other combo requires a full right orbit.
And what use are the spinners anyway? 100k/spin during captain walker? Whatever lousy value they are when in normal play?
So my question is: Do you think the right spinner should be removed? Can it be "fixed" to not stop the ball as much? Would removing the right spinner make the game easier in a bad way?

Wow - it shouldnt be that poor. You need to ensure the spinner is really dialled in ....free spinning, no hangups. You may need to adjust the spinner wire or mounting. I really dont have a problem with it on mine.

#145 3 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

I don't see this fully documented anywhere else. So here we go.
3 Way Combo - Right Ramp, Left Ramp, Right Scoop - Scores 10 Million
3 Way Combo - Left Ramp, Right Orbit, Mirror - Scores 10 Million and advances two TOMMY letters
4 Way Combo - Right Orbit, Right Ramp, Left Ramp, Right Scoop - Scores 20 Million
4 Way Combo - Right Orbit, Right Ramp, Genius Lane, Mirror - Scores 20 Million and advances three TOMMY letters
3 Way Combo - Left Ramp, Right Orbit, Right Ramp - Scores 10 Million
Can build to a 4 Way Combo - Genius Lane - Scores additional 20 Million
Can build to a 5 Way Combo - Mirror - Scores additional 10 Million and immediately lites Multiball Ready.
Also, there are these miscellaneous Combo/Bonuses:
One Way Combo - When Mirror is down at start of ball and player launches ball into play with a full plunge and immediately shoots the Tommy hole from the upper left flipper - Scores 5 Million
Sigma Bonus - Bounced off the right side of the Silver Ball target and into the Tommy hole when Mirror is down and Multiball is ready - Scores 10 Million
Extra Ball Combo - From Lite Extra Ball at Right Scoop to Genius Lane where you immediately Collect Extra Ball - Scores 5 Million
4 Engine Start Bonus - Four consecutive shots to the Left Ramp (only available during higher Captain Walker levels where it takes 4 or more Left Ramp shots to start the Captain Walker Spinner/Ramp Bomb Dropping mode) - Scores 10 Million
Lyman Bonus - If you drain and are within 2 Million of the replay score, you will be awarded an extra 2 Million and you will get your replay - Scores 2 Million
Ramp Skill Shot - Shot to the right ramp after full plunge at start of ball - Scores 10 Million
Race To Wizard - Start Pinball Wizard before ever starting a multiball - Scores 20 Million

There is also 'Parachute Sneak In Bonus - 1 Million'

Awarded during play when ball drops in to the Skill Shot. Had forgotten about this as only occasionally seen, but got it last night, not quite sure the criteria for getting it though.

1 week later
#173 3 years ago
Quoted from LOTR_breath:

You can ck the blinders operation by holding in the extra ball button and pressing start. They should open up and stay for the entire game. Cabinet wear by the flipper buttons is extremely common. I guess that yellow paint is easily worn thin.

Some machines came from factory with the extended side rails which afford some protection to the flipper button area (as seen on the flyer), though not completely - mine has them and there is still some small paint wear. Oddly these seem more common on the European machines I have seen, with US games more likely to have the regular rails ???? I have no evidence that this is the case just something I have noticed over the years, could just be coincidence the games I have seen.


#177 3 years ago
Quoted from Kerry_Richard:

A couple other differences I've noticed;
Some backbox side brackets are exactly like the B/W (approx 3" wide), while some taper down to a point, like these last 2 picts.
Mine has the glass rails that don't wrap any part of the flipper button and the B/W type backbox bracket.

Yep. Mine are tapered. Extended side rails. Originally a French market machine.

1 week later
#191 3 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

yea, it's a trick mode that you should just relight union jack. Just like fiddle about and christmas. Just move along, nothing to see here.

Yep - Holiday Camp is certainly a mode I rarely attempt to actually play. Christmas and Fiddle About are useful immediately stacked into a multiball. Although in fact a decent Fiddle About can be worth OK points. I do actually 'play' that mode, just gotta be ready to work those outlane nudges


2 weeks later
#198 3 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Next question. I have been checking out the stacking options in TOMMY> Seems some of the modes stack with other modes but some don't. Why is this important? Well you can plan your strategy for points and completing the union jack based on what you can pile on with the stacking options. I concentrated exclusively on stacking last night and ripped thorough the union jack and made it to pinball wizard.
Here is a list of modes and what I have determined. Any changes/corrections?
Mode stacks?
------ ------

From a points perspective , what can be stacked with Multiball is important. A mode like Silver Ball can be very lucrative when you are wailing on those targets with 3 or 4 balls

Any mode can be stacked with Multiball EXCEPT those that involve more than 1 ball - i.e ...Smash The Mirror, Cousin Kevin and Tommy Scoring.

#199 3 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

So I was checking out the combos last night and was able to get them all but I was not able to get the Lyman Bonus described below.

I had replay score set to 550,000,000 and I drained with score of 547,015,870 and a bonus of 1,100,00 for a score of 548,115,870.
This is within the 2 million replay score but I didn't get a Lyman Bonus. Is there something else I need to do?

You may have to be within 2 million before the bonus is added ? Not sure, rarely seen it and I'd have to check on my machine.

1 week later
#217 3 years ago

Here in the UK I would expect £1500 / approx $2100 for an ok Tommy. More for *very* nice.

But yeah, prices over here too have certainly been on the rise the last few years.

#219 3 years ago
Quoted from PoolDawg:

Do you guys have your Tommy's set at 3 or 5 balls per play? I left it default, and the old man says "I am a 5 ball pinbawler", or something to that sort.
Also, what changed from ver 3.0 to 4.0? The one I just picked up has 3.0 on it.

ROM revision discussed here

#221 3 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Oh no! After 6 years of playing this game everyday my blinder arm finally broke
Everything else works fine, the motor, etc. Does anyone make a blinder arm?


BigLebowski is reproing the arm also I believe

2 weeks later
#227 3 years ago
Quoted from MAJRob:

Count me in! I just found a real nice one here in Northern Virginia. The blinders work, it has the silver ball topper, and the playfield is excellent. The cabinet is not that great though, but who really cares? We have been playing the hell out of it and love it. I need to change out some rubber and slap some new bulbs in there but otherwise everything is good to go. What a great game!


Welcome to the club

The extended side rails would have helped prevent that wear around the flipper button. I don't know why they didn't fit them to all Tommys. As I have said before they certainly seem more common on the Exported Euro machines.

1 week later
#232 3 years ago
Quoted from Number41:

The pop bumpers on my machine were pretty bad when I got it - the bottom pop wouldn't go off enough and the top two were also fairly weak. I adjusted the leaf switches to be as close as possible and that helped a fair bit. After reading about changing spoons, I picked up some new ones from Pinball Life and changed them out - now the pops are killer. Factory DE spoons are stiffer (don't flex as easily) and have less of a conical shape compared to the new ones. Cycling through modes is a lot more random and fun now!
» YouTube video

Yep. This is a must do on Tommy, mine was the same years ago. I still feel the design is off though, too many times a ball is diverted into the pops via the divertor post and sails right on thru the 3 pops Very annoying especially if you are trying to complete There's A Doctor

#252 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

Thanks, I almost thought so, it looked completely out of place where it was mounted in my Tommy

Yep. Definitely not original part.

#253 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

Thanks, I almost thought so, it looked completely out of place where it was mounted in my Tommy

Yep. Definitely not original part.

1 week later
#261 3 years ago
Quoted from Number41:

BigLebowski - as promised, here are all the original factory positions for the clear plastics! The hover-over captions help describe where they are just in case. If you need any additional pictures let me know.
Behind the VUK.
Under the right ramp.
Above the upper flipper.
On top of spotlights.
Left side of left ramp.
Next to the mirror.
Right side of right ramp.
Right side of left ramp.
Undernearth the left ramp (with white strip on top).

Great post , very useful

Regarding the VUK guard, I had always thought it was positioned along the top edge of the plastic - running alongside the mirror approach - many machines I have seen have it there. However it does make more sense where you show it as it prevents airballs nestling against the wireform .... which can still happen with a freak airball if positioned it is along the top edge .

2 weeks later
#272 3 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

If you are at MGC this weekend and you are familiar with the Tommy ruleset... check out the Tommy in the game hall. You may notice a few things with the gameplay.

1 week later
#275 3 years ago
Quoted from Number41:

If any one is considering putting an LED OCD board in their Tommy, here's a 1080p 60fps video comparison that I made after installing the board last night. I absolutely love the way it makes the LEDs fade like incandescents and it's very easy to install. I'm using mostly 1 SMD bulbs from Comet Pinball along with a few 2 SMDs in certain inserts. I no longer feel like I need sunglasses during the multi-ball light sequence.
» YouTube video

Wow. That is a huge difference. Thanks for posting.

#277 3 years ago
Quoted from Number41:

As Ive has posted in the ColorDMD 2016 thread and on the Facebook fan page, it definitely looks like Tommy is going to be their next release. I'm dying to see how this looks! So curious to see if they color the imagery and animations accurately - the show had very striking and vivid colors in its design. Can't wait to see how it turns out - yet another killer upgrade to consider...

Yep. This is gonna be a very good year for Tommy fans

1 week later
#304 3 years ago

Awesome work Chad - you have done a great job !!!

I have beta tested this and Tommy fans will not be disappointed Go get it people !!

#311 3 years ago
Quoted from LOTR_breath:

There are some great changes in there! Though I don't think I'm tech savy enough to install the code.
How well is this code going to work with the recently released colorDMD?

I believe Frank now has the new code and hopefully a ColorDMD update will follow

#324 3 years ago

So any Pinsiders installed the new code yet ?? Would love to hear thoughts on it

#328 3 years ago
Quoted from MauriceSTYS:

I'm terrible at shooting Holiday Camp because I never had a reason to before, but that 50M is tempting.

Worth getting a handle on that shot, it is risky but now there is BIG reward !

Especially with the revamped Bonus scoring - the multiplier can now result in very lucrative bonus points.


Original: Left Ramps are worth 100K. Right Ramps are worth 200K. Modes started throughout entire game are worth 600K. Multiplied by the Bonus Multiplier. This bonus and the multiplier are reset at the beginning of each ball.

Update: Left Ramps are worth 500K. Right Ramps are worth 1M. Modes started throughout entire game are worth 1.2M. Multiplied by the Bonus Multiplier. This bonus and the multiplier are reset at the beginning of each ball.

These changes to scoring may not seem that big a deal at first glance .... but the ramps are now worth 5x what they were, and the completed modes 2x . So a successful ball or 2 when you have hit 10+ ramps and nailed a good few modes means that bonus can start adding up. And combine this with the extra ways in 5.0 of increasing the Bonus Multiplier - Ramp Skill Shot now increase multiplier, shots to captive ball during Holiday Camp now also increase multiplier, Mystery award 8x Multiplier - and the Bonus multiplier is starting to really come into its own. I have on quite a few occasions had a 100+ Mill bonus, the highest being 190Mill !!

Previously the bonus was small change in the game . The Captive Ball which advances the multiplier is a risky shot and with little reward there was no incentive to go for it. That has all changed now with 5.0. A few changes have really opened up this aspect of the game

#332 3 years ago
Quoted from Yamisetatiggler:

Nice work Chuck.
Possibly a stupid question but what happened to the dots on the color DMD? It looks like an LCD screen which is awesome!! Is that the combination of the new code and color DMD in effect and would it look like the advertised DMD if the original code was in it?

Thats just the 'Upscaling' effect - with ColorDMD you can choose dots, upscaling or scanlines Nothing to do with the 5.0 code


#334 3 years ago
Quoted from shimoda:

I've wondered this as well but most of the time I think the targets on my game aren't sensitive enough.

I think in the original code the hit detection is a little flaky. Chad has corrected this for 5.0 Scoring wise, each target was 1 million points.

Chad might be able to elaborate more on the code side of this.

#351 3 years ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

Holy moly that wasn't the most fun... But success nonetheless!
» YouTube video

Yep .. I did *not* enjoy taking the dremel to the speaker panel And boy was that screen a tight fit along the bottom edge on mine. Was more of a mission than I first thought it would be.

#354 3 years ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

Was a first dremel experience and I got nervous with all the molten plastic flying everywhere. I had to slightly elongate my bottom mouthing holes. No amount of bending was going to get it past that bottom lip.
My Tommy is just about perfect except every once in awhile doing a loud speaker crackle and the whole game resets. Kinda annoying.

Did you find that the screen is *really* tight against the light board ?? I had to remove a few of the lower bulbs - which is slightly disappointing (These Tommy speaker panels are considerably shorter in height than Bally Williams panels.

#364 3 years ago
Quoted from Dmod:

If you suspect a powe problem you can check with a DMM. The problems you're reporting sound like a logic problem. Logic runs on 5V where the ColorDMD draws its power from 12V. I think it's unlikely to be a power driver problem.
It's more likely that communication on the logic bus is failing due to a ribbon cable being connected improperly or the Whitestar DMD controller board not receiving power.
Can you post a few photos that show the cable connections in the backbox and to the Whitestar and ColorDMD display boards?

Hi ColorDMD guys. I think maybe you should mention the lightboard fit issue and bulbs needing to be removed on your Tommy installation instructions just so folk are aware. My initial headscratching thoughts on installation were ...'this can't be right' ... I appreciate it is how it is, but would have reassured me it was how supposed to be.


1 week later
#380 3 years ago

There's A Doctor mode in 5.0 ............... just so much more enticing to play for, with less hits needed and a nice 30Mill award for completion along with a cool little celebratory sound effect.

Can't believe that after all these years of playing Tommy I have discovered its better to hit into the Pops from below from the left flipper. Ball then seems to stay up in the pops for a good number of hits. I often find that entering the pops from the orbits via the pop up post ,the ball just sails on thru and back into play ....grrrrrr.

And yes I have tweaked my pops so they are super sensitive

2 weeks later
#385 3 years ago
Quoted from MAJRob:

I did not use the spacers and instead just seated the display right up to speaker panel without them. This gave a little bit more clearance between the ColorDMD and the backbox which contains all the GI lights. I also only had to remove 2 lights versus 3 with not using any spacers.
Again, not the easiest installation compared to others but so worth it in the end.

Yep. I have just removed the spacers and its a much better fit, the screen is slightly closer to the plastic front panel and the ColorDMD is no longer jammed tight against the lightboard.

I'd recommend people leave the spacers out.

3 weeks later
#400 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

can somebody with the v5 code please check if their "O"-inserts in the backbox are flashing in attract mode? Mine are off and I´m not sure whether it´s a code or a connection problem

"O" inserts .......... ?????

#404 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

Exactly those , there's two for every letter in TOMMY behind the translite

Ah ok, I'm with you.

I'm running 5.0 and they are fine on mine.

#411 3 years ago
Quoted from dsuperbee:

Here is the Tommy I picked up. It's pretty darn clean. Only issue is I am missing the right spinner. So if anyone knows where to find one (or decals and a spinner) I am looking!

Nice. I highly recommend installing Chads new 5.0 code Lots of great improvements to scoring, gameplay, bugs.

#415 3 years ago
Quoted from dsuperbee:

As posted above, I am in need of the right spinner. Are the decals on both the left and right the same? Hoping I can buy a left spinner and use it, but I fear the length of the spinner is larger on the right.

Left and right spinners are same size, same decals

#424 3 years ago
Quoted from MAJRob:

Nice pick up, wish mine had the rails that went over the flipper buttons

Yep, dont know why they all didn't. As discussed before they *seem* to be more common on the exported European Tommys for some reason.

Out of interest was this a re-import ?

#434 3 years ago
Quoted from bob_e:

lighting issue in the backbox door
the lower string of 18 lamps is out
all my fuses are good,
lamp test, section still out... (all the flashers did cycle)
WHAT do I look for and WHERE do I look ??
solder connections good
Wires: Brown & White with Brown trace.

Locate the PPB board in the backbox - lower left. Have a look at the top left connector on that board - its *really* common for this to get toasty over time, it may show signs of overheating. Even if not give it a wiggle with power on and see if yr lights come back on. Could be flaky solder joint at the pins. If so pull the board and resolder. Any signs of burning, replace pins and connector.

Also check the GI connector on the power board. Upper left board. I think its CN9 ...(or CN8) ...from memory

1 week later
#460 3 years ago
Quoted from Linolium:

Hi every one!
I just got a Tommy yesterday. It's a great pin but a bit easy... Took me less then a day to get the wizard mode and the table's #1 score. Any ideas on how to make this a more challenging game?
I'm in the process of making these adjustments-
1) I removed the adjustable outlane posts from both sides
2) I am ordering 4 TOTAN yellow post covers to surround the left scoop, mode start hole, and the post left of the silverball target (along the guide for the hidden kickout area)
3) Setting the game software to 'hard' mode
Any other suggestions? Anything else to remove? disable? prevent mode stacking? etc? Should I update the code to the unofficial V.5.0 rom?

Wow. Seriously - took me quite some time before I saw Pinball Wizard for first time. I get it a lot more often now - but I know the feel of this machine so well after owning it for 13 years - but I still have to REALLY be trying.

I wonder if you have the game too shallow maybe ?

Out of interest were you 'playing' the modes or just hammering through mode start/relight/mode start ?? Remember the enjoyment of pinball like life is not about the final destination but the journey ....

I really encourage upgrading to Chads 5.0 code. Makes many of the modes much more worthwhile and rewarding to play.

1 month later
#472 3 years ago
Quoted from bob_e:

Does anybody know the diameter of the silver ball topper?

Believe 8 1/2 inch is correct

2 weeks later
#484 3 years ago
Quoted from dsuperbee:

If someone reproduced those, I would actually buy one. Most alternates never make use of the lights behind them properly, but the protoS do. Mind sharing what that set you back?

I too have the Proto translite, looks much better imo.

I got it from Mike Pacek , via ebay, about 8 or 9 years ago. Probably paid around $100 back then ..... ??? ... I really cant remember

1 month later
#488 2 years ago
Quoted from Djshakes:

I won a Tommy on ebay tonight. Now I just have to arrange shipping. Sounds like the seller won't offer much assistance. I'm hoping sti will lower the back box and wrap it a bit?
Also, is there an update rom that evens out the scoring, etc?


Chad's Code rewrite does awesome job of balancing out scoring - no longer does Multiball dominate, modes and bonus scoring can be very lucrative now

1 month later
#507 2 years ago
Quoted from Djshakes:

Anyone know where you can get the British flag cabinet decals? Saw a restoration done with these on youtube. Looks sick.

Those were a one off job. Try http://www.retrorefurbs.com/ ....they might be able to do something similar

1 month later
#542 2 years ago

Legs on my Tommy are black DE ones, all 28 1/2. No problem with pitch.

I have never been aware of 90s DE games coming with different length legs

1 month later
#576 2 years ago

Just a bump for Facebook users. I have a dedicated Tommy page. 'Likes' appreciated


2 weeks later
#583 2 years ago

WOW - that is awesome

I shall be sharing that on my Tommy FB page


More details please !

6 months later
#663 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Hello! Just picked this project Tommy up today, looking forward to digging into my first DE game...
Haven't gotten it set up yet to inspect things, but when I opened the coin door I noticed two connectors, maybe 10 or 11 pin, one orange wired and one grey+black, they go into the harness near where the right flipper button is. Are they supposed to be plugged into something?

Yeah that's normal ...same on mine. Not plugged in. No idea what they are for ..... connecting up a printer for audits ???, think there is some print option in the menus

#682 2 years ago

Pinsound board is the way to go for instantly noticeable sound improvement

#689 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Does it have any remixed/replaced audio or is it just higher quality Amp?

Much higher quality sound.

And yes you can replace the music with a mix of the original Who versions

2 weeks later
#720 2 years ago
Quoted from lhammer610:

I have upgraded my EPROM to the newest - unofficial version. There are some nice changes. But I still do not see the kind of action that I saw in Pittsburgh at PAPA. At PAPA, during game play, there were times when the blinders would quickly open then close. I do not remember a lot of the specifics, but it almost seemed like there was a sensor that the blinders knew when the pinball was approaching the flippers. Frequently, they did not open all the way. The opening was brief, not like what I see on mine during a specific multiball.
With my game now, when they open, they stay open completely through an multiball like "Tommy can you see me". Last night, for the first time, they opened during the middle of a multiball - almost like if I kept multiball going longer than a certain period of time, they opened. But they opened all the way and stayed open until multiball was over.
This is a great game. And the blinders are one of the best features ever. But to use them so rarely during a game seems a shame.
I do not see a selection in the software other than to disable them. Am I missing something?

That PAPA game sounds more like the blinders were malfunctioning - they should never be semi opening then closing during gameplay.

3 months later
#745 1 year ago
Quoted from BENETNATH:

Did anyone put a shaker in ?
I've tried to add a fuse, a motor on connectors 1 and 6 and did the link on the shaker board, but nothing happened
EDIT : additional question. I've flashed Chad's latest rom but my EPROM where not listed in the flasher's soft, i took a close reference but i have sometime no music, as if the sound was bugging. Can it be the reason ? If so, can you give me EPROM specs or chip reference so that i can dig in the flasher's database and be sure that's ok to flash ?

See Post #606 in this thread. Someone tied a shaker in to the propellers.

As the game code stands now there is no support for a shaker motor. I *think* the proto had it but for production Tommys they abandoned it.

1 month later
#757 1 year ago
Quoted from kilmarnock1350:

Anybody have issues with their right ramp? Tough shot to make, a Low or late shot hits that metal guide that does NOT help it. The coil and flipper are sting, recent rebuild.
I shot from the ball out of the mystery saucer RARELY has enough umph to get all the way up.
The orbit shot from the left flipper is super tight behind the spinner and therefore almost impossible to arrive at the upper flipper with enough momentum.
The shot from the Shooter lane is the only shot that arrives consistently at the upper flipper with enough umph to get up the ramp.
It’s very rewarding to hit, just not sure it’s supposed to be that tough to hit.

It is a tough-ish shot but you should be able to make it no problem from a saucer feed. Never had an issue with mine if hit sweetly. Is it feeding smoothly on to the flipper ?, not 'bumping' out in front of the flipper . What angle is the table at, maybe its too shallow ...could make the feed sluggish ?

That right orbit/spinner shot is tight and needs to be pretty accurate. However it's really important the spinner is super free moving so it doesn't kill the ball travel. I think tweaking the spinner(s) has been discussed on here before . They always need some attention on Tommy.

2 months later
#799 1 year ago
Quoted from 94_snake:

Hey guys. New Tommy owner, picked it up last night. Quick question.
On my table, I actually have a push button launcher, instead of a plunger. Anybody ever seen that before? I can get some pics tonight.

Nope. That's wrong. For whatever reason someone has changed it.

#802 1 year ago
Quoted from gweempose:

That's bizarre. It's supposed to be a manual/auto plunger setup. I can't imagine why anyone would have changed it. Without the manual plunger, there is no way to go for the skill shot.

What I like about Tommy is the choice of shots from the plunge.

1.Parachute Hole skill shot.
2.Plunge to top flipper for right side ramp skill shot.
3.Plunge to top flipper to shoot the mirror.
4.Soft plunge onto the playfield to get control and shoot mode start.

1 month later
#812 1 year ago
Quoted from wackenhut:

Is there a reason why with Tommy, the pinballs seem to go airborne more than other machines?

Can't say I get more on mine than any other game. Does it happen from the standup targets ? Check they have the foam pads still intact and check they aren't bent backwards.

#816 1 year ago
Quoted from bob_e:

Lasr year for my birthday my wife order these Flipper Bat covers and a Shooter Rod.

Who sells the shooter rod?

2 weeks later
#825 1 year ago
Quoted from HIPPY:

Anyone needing or wanting a CPR playfield for their Tommy should go to their site. Go to the preorder section,boutique zone. They are measuring interest in making them. You simply need to vote yes, give email, no commitments. If there is enough of us, a new CPR playfield. Check it out.

Be great if this happens - though to be honest most Tommy playfields I have seen seem to have held up pretty well.

#827 1 year ago
Quoted from bob_e:

Has Anyone ever seen a Tommy Calculator?
Reported to be a promotional Item for the tourof The Who's Tommy, original cast (1992 Broadway Revival)
The story behind it is that about 100 were made for Data East employees to be given out in 1994 or 1995.
Based on the FIREBALL calculator the Had Flipper Pool on the box and the sides of the calculator.

I have seen at least one pop up on Ebay over the years. Crazy price iirc otherwise I would have been tempted

2 months later
#842 1 year ago
Quoted from Gohigh54:

Hello all,
Picked up my first pin ever a few weeks ago and it is a Tommy! Played the game earlier this year and fell in love with it and now it is mine. It is a nice original example with an aftermarket ball topper. There are a few minor bumps and scratches, but otherwise really nice. The play field looks great to my untrained eye, with only some paint chipping around the VUK. There are a few lines were the ball rolls a lots, but it seems to come off with a little cleaning.
In the process of fixing a bunch of small items, I ordered two VUK plastic parts. Both are really nice, but the yellow color is orange. One was from Ebay and the other was from Bay Area Amusements. Neither matches anything on my machine. Does anyone have a source for more accurate units?
Here are some of the mods I put on since purchase:
Upgraded Props
Replaced all rubber
Replaced the blinder server controller/motor (TNT)
Union Jack flipper overlays
Hole protector set
Future plans:
Rebuild VUK relay (takes a few tries every once in a while)
Thank you,

Any good ??


1 week later
#845 1 year ago
Quoted from lhammer610:

I have rebuilt a Tommy, including adding a Cliffy protector to the VUK area.
Now I find that a large portion of my shots that enter into the VUK area bounce back.
I carefully re-centered the protector. I have also added some old foam on the left and back sides to absorb the bounce back. That seems to work for a few shots, then this foam does not seem to compress any more.
I have tried the typical blue pads without help.
Any suggestions?
Pic is a long shot of the area with the cliffy protector installed.
Also, it took me a while to work on the left scoop so that the ball did not drain. It aims to the left flipper now. The scoop also pushes up the playfield plastic a bit. Hitting that scoop from the right flipper is a tough shot. If I do hit it, it does not usually go down the scoop, but bounces back.
Suggestions for that too?
[quoted image]

Oddly I found after fitting the cliffy protector I got LESS rejected shots to the VUK.

Could you try something like these ??


I had a friend who used them on a scoop on a game and swears they help.

1 month later
#854 11 months ago

ColorDMD ROM update announced

Capture (resized).JPG
#857 10 months ago
Quoted from mavantix:

Just joined the club! Need to do a shop job, and my silverball target is pretty much an airball launcher... any fixes for that? Plastic shield or something? It's also pretty warn, has anyone tried re-chroming the plastic part?

Check the target isn't bent backwards - that will increase airballs.

I replaced mine with an almost new one - it didn't last long before it was showing wear too. I wondered about a small strip of mylar on it ? Not sure if thats practical. Decided to just live with the wear now

2 months later
#870 8 months ago
Quoted from Yamisetatiggler:

I too hated looking at the warn silverball target so I cut a real ball in half, threaded it through the centre and and put it in place of the original, had to put a second piece of flex to account for the extra weight and not get multiple hits registering. Its a little bigger than the original but not significantly.
[quoted image]

Good job.

If you were to make up a bunch of those I'm pretty sure you could sell them

#879 8 months ago

Congrats on joining the Tommy club ! One of Data Easts finest.

Quoted from zahner:

Question - is returning the playfield to the down position from having it propped up on the "support bracket" as difficult for all of you as it was for me? Wrestled with it until a big thump and it went back in place. Seems like it wants to be lifted from back while moving the PF back in place. I've owned dozens of pins over the last few decades, but this one kind of threw me.

Have you ever had a Data East / Sega / Stern machine ? - this *is* how they are. It's a horrible system - yes you can bump it over the supports but I hate crashing the playfield around like that so I push it in with my left hand, whilst lifting up the back at the bottom of the backboard with my right hand. You only need a slight lift to get it to slide far more gently over the 'bump'. Like I said ...it's a horrible design.

Quoted from zahner:

Also, any "just too cool to pass on" mods or otherwise that are unique to Tommy?

Absolutely upgrade the Code to Chad's 5.0 Revision - if it hasn't been done already. Huge improvements to score balance, bugs, extra lighting effects, extra dots, revamped modes, more blinder action ...it really lifts the game from very good ! to great !


Upgrade the flat original propellers to superior 3D ones. These in the video are sold by Robert H, sometimes on Ebay, or contact him thru his website


ColorDMD of course is always a good mod !

Tinkering wise - It is worth spending some time ensuring the spinners are spinning optimally. Especially the right hand one - it's a tight shot round there and any resistance from the spinner can stop a good orbit.

#883 8 months ago
Quoted from HIPPY:

You gotta get the color dmd, it does wonders . Because of the size of the translight, you can only go with color led. It is still very nice.

I have the LCD in mine - bought it before the LED became available. You have to cut a part of the plastic speaker panel to allow it to fit - on the rear so no difference when looking from the front. It also sits in front of the light panel meaning a couple of lamps have to be removed.

There used to be instructions on ColorDMD site but looks like they have now removed them.


If anyone did need them I am pretty sure I have a print out of them somewhere from when I fitted mine.

1 week later
#889 8 months ago
Quoted from zahner:

Pliers and brute force with a screwdriver then?

And pray the head doesn't snap off

#897 7 months ago
Quoted from zahner:

Ha, I've chickened out for the moment. But thanks for asking. I thought it a much better investment of my time to blow up an enerGI board I bought. Managed to get that smoking real good- but fortunately no damage to anything other the enerGI board. Still trying to figure out what the heck I did on that one.
I have had lot's of luck with a pinsound board, a lot of repairs, new blinder servo and arm, adding LEDs and some custom lighting, so all in all a positive experience. Going to add my mirror blades last - after I work up the nerve to try removing the propeller screws tonight. I'm going to add a bit of heat to see if someone put on Loctite - these screws are ridiculously tight. If I think I'm getting to the point of breaking off the heads, I'm just gonna offer up the new propellers to someone else.

I do remember he screws on mine being VERY tight. I had to grip the shaft with pliers. Good luck.

1 month later
#901 6 months ago


Don't see these often. Proto playfield with the different UJ design, different Acid Queen inserts.

This one is rough though, missing inserts !

Capture (resized).JPG
1 week later
#909 5 months ago
Quoted from zahner:

So, where did both the decal set and alternate translite come from? Are they still available? Inquiring minds want to know

That machine was restored by a friend of mine for a Who fanatic - that is it at his place a few years ago.

I think the translite was a one off custom made by someone. I'll ask him for the details on the cab decals - I believe they were designed by the customer and custom printed by someone.

Heres another pic I had, it wasn't quite complete at this point - posted on my Tommy Facebook page a few years ago https://www.facebook.com/The-Whos-Tommy-Pinball-Wizard-Pinball-Machine-Data-East-1994-147739828633855/
11200769_881764665231364_3844992065618555698_n (resized).jpg

#910 5 months ago

Oh and some video of the custom Tommy from Matts channel

1 week later
#932 5 months ago

Yep. That is hands down THE best Tommy backglass design. I wish someone would make these !

#941 5 months ago
Quoted from LOTR_breath:

It's the kinda U-shaped piece that fits right about the VUK. It's busted on most games. Mine has been repaired with epoxy.

Those are widely available in Europe


I replaced mine years ago, and then used the Pinbits plastics protector set for insurance against future damage

2 weeks later
#958 5 months ago
Quoted from colocole:

Would appreciate any help, it's a bummer to have a Tommy with nothing showing on the screen!

You have tried the obvious thing I take it - reseating all the display ROMs ?

#962 5 months ago
Quoted from colocole:

The good: the display comes on now, appears mainly due to flipping the display cable on the Display controller board (believe ColorDMD install instr. said put pin 1 to right, it's on the left now and display came on, maybe it's due to the replacement Stern board instead of DE?).
The bad: display freezes and then turns off. When I unplug either end of the display cable the Rom msg comes on and sometimes the display "recovers" and works normally into the beginning of the first ball if I quickly replug the cable, then freezes again. Can most consistently get display back by sliding display cable on/off connector at CPU board (but also works to do it at display board). Can't find any consistent way to get display to stay on or not freeze. Machine does seem to have other minor glitches related to this, sound will delay when display glitches sometimes, ball sitting in VUK but machine has lost it, power down and on recovers...CPU board problem? Thanks for the help.[quoted image][quoted image]

Are these ALL new ribbon cables ? I have had issues in the past with DE games and the long Ribbon from the CPU was failing.

If reseating the connector is temporarily fixing it then it would seem either the cable or the header pins are the issue. Give the header pins a good clean ?

3 weeks later
#978 4 months ago

Looks like driver board issue to me

1 week later
#987 4 months ago
Quoted from pinballjah:

Is the install of a LCD DMD worth the trouble for a Tommy? Anyone have the LCD installed? Understand there are some issues with it. Thanks.

I did it a couple of years ago before the LED was available.

You do have to cut a piece from the rear of the display panel - this is not visible from the front but obviously means your panel is forever altered if that kind of thing bothers you. You will need a dremel type tool to do this. The screen sits high in front of the light panel, I had to remove a couple of lamps to allow it to fit , and it means you can't swing out the light panel without dropping the display flat. Which isn't really an issue tbh.

If the LED had of been available I would have gone with that option.

To be honest I think I have been more impressed with the ColorDMD in other titles .... for some reason it looked a little 'flat' in Tommy to me, maybe the choice of colours ....the LED version probably 'pops' a bit more.

2 months later
#1022 41 days ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

Has anyone figured out a good paint formula to match the yellow at Lowes?

Cant help with that ....but a few years ago I got some from PU


1 week later
#1055 31 days ago
Quoted from pinballjah:

I am trying to resolve a problem with a Tommy I just purchased. When the game is turned on, the DMD has a few lines on it and the playfield lights turn on and there is a humming sound. Then the playfield lights turn off. The game will not turn on when I press the start button. When I unplug the DMD, I get an initial sound (for about one second), which I understand is the sound on start-up and there is no humming sound anymore. But again it won't start. The previous owner installed a new PinX power board but that did not solve the problem. I checked the fuses and they seem to be fine.
I noticed that on the old powerboard, CN1 had burnt pins 10-12. I checked the connection to the new PinX power board and the connector had burning marks on the same pins 10-12. So I'm not sure if this may be the problem or if something is causing these pins to burn out.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. See below photos.[quoted image][quoted image]

This is very common over time on Data East games. Overheating at pins 10, 11, 12 will mean problems for the 5v ...and game won't boot. You need to repin/replace the connector block. And the pins/tracks on the board if burned.

Hopefully it hasn't damaged the header pins on the new Xpin board.

#1061 29 days ago
Quoted from pinballjah:

Starting to work on a new Pinsound orchestration for Tommy. If you have any Who songs you would like me to include, I am open to suggestions. Like to update with more non-Tommy Who songs, The Seeker, Won't get fooled again, Who are you, etc. Thanks.

Great idea. TBH I find a lot of the Tommy tracks a bit meh.

'I Can See For Miles' is one of my faves and kind of fits the theme

#1073 26 days ago
Quoted from pinballjah:

If anyone can help with my ejection coil issue. See post in Data East thread. Thanks.

Thoroughly check and test every trough switch and the shooter lane switch

Don't forget the trough jam switch - that can cause issues

#1074 26 days ago


#1090 21 days ago
Quoted from pinballjah:

I was able to figure out my ball eject issue, for those that may come across the same issue down the road. When I started the game, the ball eject coil would fire off five times and also after the ball would launch. Also, game would stall with multi ball as game was not registering that ball was over. Also got error message 'Too many balls' and switch test indicated there were 7 balls.
The issue was that metal arm in the photo below. It had somehow got stuck behind the metal plate in front of it so it was not properly registering that a ball was ready to be ejected. Once I pushed it past the metal plate, closer to the balls, the game functioned perfectly.[quoted image]

Good news. I suspected it would be a switch issue.

1 week later
#1111 8 days ago
Quoted from pinballjah:

Any good suppliers of the Union Jacket target decals? I found these on Ebay, if anyone can recommend them. Thanks.
ebay.com link » Tommy Pinball Target Cushioned Decals

I don't understand these cushioned targets ? Surely they will change the ball action compared to regular targets.

#1113 7 days ago
Quoted from HIPPY:

I have had these on mine. About 2 years old, they get kinda ragged, coming unglued. However, I do like the looks, and recently replaced them. My other supplier of these on my games is Pinball Decals. They don’t have Tommy target decals. I have them on all my games and have never noticed them changing ball directions.

Was thinking more that they would deaden the (rebound) speed ?

I don't see anyone ever recommending sticking some foam or rubber to the front face of targets ..... ....so I wouldn't touch them myself.

Not sure why the guy doesn't sell an uncushioned variant.

#1116 7 days ago
Quoted from pinballjah:

Does anyone have a scan of the different Tommy targets? I have asked another forum member if he might be able to do Tommy target decals for the group. He does really nice work for Getaway and the targets he did for me are excellent and have great durability. Thanks for the help!

Often thought about applying mirror decal to the smaller Silver Ball targets

Would have been nice if they had of originally been silver ball targets, like the one currently in the game. Perhaps smaller due to their position.

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