Tommy upgrades !!!

(Topic ID: 2661)

Tommy upgrades !!!


By gweempose

7 years ago



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  • 89 posts
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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by gjm
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There are 89 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 7 years ago

So I finally got around to upgrading the speakers in my Tommy today. I am still supposed to be taking it easy, so I had my tech Gavin install them for me (it took him about ten minutes, probably would have taken me an hour). My machine already had a Pinball Pro sub, so we only replaced the backbox speakers. Overall, I'm happy with the results. The difference didn't blow me away, but the new speakers definitely sound better than the stock ones. There probably would have been a much greater impact if I was also adding the sub at the same time. One nice thing is that the dreaded Data East hum seems to be slightly softer with the new speakers.

While he was over, I asked Gavin if there was anything he could do to make the auto launcher perform better. Balls were sometimes not even making it all the way out of the shooter lane. He said that the older Data East/Sega auto launch kicker assemblies were a terrible design, and the best thing to do would be to replace it with one of the newer Stern types. Fortunately, he had one on hand, and he proceeded to swap it out. HOLY CRAP what a difference it made. The new auto launcher works perfectly every time, fires the ball much harder, and is 10,000 times better than the original. I highly recommend this upgrade to anyone with a qualifying machine. In my eyes, it's an absolute must. Here's a link to the part:

http://www.marcospecialties.com/product.asp?ic=500-6091-00

Kicker_Assembly.jpg

By the way, if anyone in the greater Chicago area is looking for someone to fix their machines, Gavin Miller is the best in the business. The guy's pin knowledge is truly unbelievable. He also does video game repair. Here's a link to his site:

http://www.gavinsgameservice.com/

#2 7 years ago

Good to know if I ever get another DE.

#3 7 years ago

Found this great DE Tommy vid. Wish the guy recording, would record the actual in-game sounds during Tommy multiball. Those EM chimes are awesome.

"Extra, extra, read all about it...Extra Ball!"

#4 7 years ago

gweempose will this work in my GNR? On mine when the ball is in the shooter lane it dose not make it up the shooter ramp. The ball will come back down then reshoot. Like in 6 ball multiball if this happens I will have ball stuck in shooter lane. I have to remove the glass.

#5 7 years ago

Nice to hear you finally got your speakers installed gweempose! I particularly like the report on the hum. I haven't ordered mine yet, but will very soon.

Nice resolve on the auto launch problem, my Tommy of course does the same that yours did - that's a nice simple fix... Hopefully it will work on Tatmans GNR as well. Tatman I would check the online manuals for both machines and verify if the part number for the auto launch is the same, if so it would likely work. Here is a link with both manuals.

http://files.flipperspill.no/Support/Pinball/Pinball_Manuals.htm

#6 7 years ago

Originally posted by tatman9999:

"Will this work in my GNR? On mine when the ball is in the shooter lane it does not make it up the shooter ramp. The ball will come back down then reshoot. Like in 6 ball multiball if this happens I will have balls stuck in shooter lane. I have to remove the glass."

Wow, that sucks! At least on Tommy, you can manually plunge the balls if they get stuck. Considering the fact that GNR came out shortly after Tommy, and they continued to use that same auto launch assembly throughout the Sega years, I see no reason why it wouldn't work. The only possible obstacle I can think of is if the new assembly won't physically fit in your machine. I suppose that's possible. This is probably a good question for RGP.

#7 7 years ago

Originally posted by Bill2626:

"Nice to hear you finally got your speakers installed gweempose! I particularly like the report on the hum. I haven't ordered mine yet, but will very soon."

I hope I didn't get your hopes up too much when it comes to reducing the hum. It's still there, just a little quieter.

#8 7 years ago

tatman,

I did some quick research for you. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to determine if the new kicker assembly will work in your GNR. I did, however, come across two service bulletins on Stern's website that directly relate to the issue you are having:

http://www.sternpinball.com/downloads/sb63.pdf
http://www.sternpinball.com/downloads/sb64.pdf

#9 7 years ago

I agree - the most improvements are in the base.

#10 7 years ago

I would think that there would be some kind of line filter or whatever you could install which would eliminate that hum. I bet audiophiles would be able to figure something out.

#11 7 years ago

The interesting thing is that my JP doesn’t hum, the Tommy most definitely does. If those new speakers Gweempose installed helped even a little that’s a plus in my book.

I agree SealClubber an audiophile would likely know how to take this problem out… That is clearly not my expertise.

#12 7 years ago

My guess is that either the audio isn't properly shielded from the power supply, or there is some type of ground loop issue. The former is more likely, since it makes the most noise when the DMD is active.

#13 7 years ago

My JP hums, but it used to hum a lot more until I went through the backbox and adjusted the boards. It now hums a little and if the other machines are on, it doesn't sound out of place at all.

Gweempose, try loosening the screws on your sound board and see if that helps. I have read many places that say the new speakers should get rid of most of the hum.

#14 7 years ago

Check to make sure all of your circuit boards are grounded properly. I had a machine with bad hum once and it turned out that the sound processor wasn't grounded properly.

G

#15 7 years ago

just replaced my cabinet and back box speakers 2 days ago with the pro set up.
Must say the base sub made very noticeable difference.
The back speakers I think I could have done without.
May have been more noticeable of a improvement I think if the actual voice recordings on the chips were better.
I have had my Tommy for 2 weeks and noticed right away there was a hum in the speakers while in attract mode and became louder and quieter as lights would sequence .
The hum is totally gone since replacing both speaker set ups.

#16 7 years ago

Very interesting, rajung. I wonder why in my case swapping out the speakers only made the hum softer, whereas in your case it completely eliminated it. Out of curiosity, how is your auto-launcher? I assume your machine still has the original kicker assembly.

#17 7 years ago

gweempose and rajung it sounds like the best thing to do is replace base sub. I will buy one and go for it. I was also going to replace the play field insert lights with cointaker LED's. Have you done that yet? So far the super bright cool whites are working real well under my yellow, orange and white inserts ( alot of those colors on Tommy) on other machines. The hum sounds like a grounding issue to me. I am fortunate that I do not have the Hum and 95% of the time my kicker works.

#18 7 years ago

Gweempose thanks for looking. I did the 2 updates already.I also put a stronger coil and new shoot assembly in it.

#19 7 years ago

sulli10,

I'm glad to hear you don't have the hum. From what I have read, it's a very common issue with many DE games. As far as LED's, my entire game has been converted, including the backbox, all GI's and flashers. Tommy is one of those games that looks fantastic with LED's. It also doesn't really have much of a ghosting problem, so pretty much any LED will do. I would highly recommend that you color match the inserts with the LED's. Put red LED's under the red inserts, orange LED's under the orange inserts, and so forth. This will help to make the colors more vivid. The only exception is yellow. In this case, I have found it is better to use white LED's instead of yellow. If you use a yellow LED under a yellow insert, it tends to make the insert appear a bit orange.

When placing your order from CoinTaker, you are going to need to get a few of the flexible ones to properly illuminate some of the inserts. If I recall correctly, I needed to use these for both of the spinner arrow inserts as well as the right Union Jack re-light insert. I can't lift up the playfield at the moment, so I'm going off memory. Hope this information helps. I'll try to get some photos of my machine in all its LED glory when I get a chance.

#20 7 years ago

FYI, I did some experimenting last night with the volume control for the backbox speakers. After some tweaking, I was able to get a better balance between them and the sub. I now think the new speakers sound a bit better than they initially did. It really does sound pretty awesome when you crank it up. The match sequence is particularly impressive. Man, I love this game!

#21 7 years ago

Thanks for all the great suggestions guys! Although the hum in my Tommy isn't really that bad I will work with all of these ideas and see if I can reduce the hum as much as possible.

#22 7 years ago

I also just finished converting to all LED bulbs ( coin taker-great service)).Its true you will need some flex style bulbs.
Not sure if I like the LED ones on both up ramps I used frosted so the light isn't straight out the front.
Also for me I think some white LED's ( super white) look better and brighter under certain colored inserts since color matching tended to lower color brightness.
One thing I did do different is put quick changing color LED's in the 3 spot lights,Tends to give a stage lighting look and also put slow color changing lights in the back box behind the pinball back box area-makes it appear to look a little like fireworks.
Also added soldered in one red 555 LED behind each plane engine, really makes them glow.
My auto shooter hasn't failed in the 2 weeks I have had it but looking at it, it has the blue colored plastic elbow so I am not sure it it has been replaced or if the original is also blue.
I adjusted my back box speakers in the middle and turned main machine volume up a little to give a lot more base but still has plenty of speech volume,If you turn the back box speakers too far down you cant hear it very well and too far up it starts to sound like an old AM transistor radio.
Added Cliffy protectors,I can see should have been done a long time ago.Now just wish I could find blinder assy.I did post a want ad on some Pinball site and did get a replay for a complete excellent assy. from someone from the U.K.
They wanted $650.00 plus shipping!!!!!!!!!!!!I don't want to be that blind.

#23 7 years ago

Sure would like to see some pics of the led lights when you get a chance. I agree the plane needs a little help with lighting, it needs more light. I have been experimenting with adding more spots and lighting under the plane. The plastic at the very back of the machine over the plane needs lighting as well. I just haven't decided how I want to do it yet.
Ouch $650.00 for the blinders... Keep searching sooner or later you will come across them, good luck.

#24 7 years ago

Here are some quick pics I took of my machine. I would have removed the glass, but I'm not really supposed to do that myself yet. I agree that the plane could use some extra lighting. I've seen people put an LED in the nose, and it looks pretty cool. I think the backbox LEDs in mine are a bit too bright. I plan on swapping them out for something else, but I haven't decided what yet.

Tommy_#1.JPG Tommy_#2.JPG Tommy_$3.JPG

#25 7 years ago

Wow mate that Tommy looks sensational!! Im not thinking backbox or any part is over done whatsoever..looks like leds were made for this machine,welldone!

#26 7 years ago

Here are 3 pics, one of the plane and 2 of the back box at 2 stages of color change.
I plan tomorrow to add flasher LED to the plastic shield behind back of plane.One in back of ea. explosion area.

plane_resized.jpg back2_resized.jpg back_resized.jpg

#27 7 years ago

Oh man!

INCREDIBLE LED work on that Tommy, gweempose!

I wonder if you can buy those under-cab light kit plastic tubes and do something up top for the pinball topper. That Tommy topper is so awesome though, I don't know if it even needs it.

#28 7 years ago

I forgot to mention that I performed one more "upgrade" that I think improves gameplay. I was getting a lot of bounceouts from the right VUK hole, so I added some Pinbits dead drop foam to the back and left wall. While it didn't eliminate the bounceouts entirely, it does seem like it has improved the chances of the ball getting in the hole. It's already a tough enough shot, the last thing you need is the ball bouncing out half the time. Here's a link to the product I used:

http://www.pinbits.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=17&products_id=131&zenid=hbdnau3htpk368g1e3gjqrvl97

#29 7 years ago

That looks great, rajung! I love the red led's behind the props. I think your translite looks better than mine as well. The top one is probably a little too red, but the bottom one has a nice mix of colors. What kind of LED's did you use for it?

#30 7 years ago

they are color changing led from cointaker.
I also tried color matched led's behind some of the back glass such as behind tommy,in the corners with green and red but they just washed out too much color such as skin tones looked orange or green so I just stayed with super white on everything except color changers behind pinball machine area.

#31 7 years ago

Both of these machines look fantastic guys! I am going to light the props as you have here, it really looks great. I do like the color changing Led's in the back box rajung, the stock flasher bulbs are a little bright as gweempose mentioned.

Its interesting how the same machine can exhibit different problems that others don't seem to have such as the bounceout you mentioned, I have never experienced that on my Tommy. Thanks for the tip never the less.

Nice work guys your machines really great!!

#32 7 years ago

Regarding the DE hum, I've read on RGP that it is mainly due to the input to the pre amps being set too high. I think there are two pre amps on the 5050 board used in JP and SW. A little messing with resistor values would probably help out, but I'm not savvy enough at the moment to know what would work best. I posted a thread on RGP asking for guidance and nobody replied.

In my case, my JP is pretty quiet and my SW is noisy. My SW has a rebuilt power supply and everything is well grounded. So I don't think the hum is coming from improper grounds or dirty power.

I have another 5050 sound board that I need to program the EPROMs and I want to swap it into my SW to see if the hum is any less. That will at least let me see if the hum is due to the board or some other issue.

I have a WWF, which has the 5077 sound board (same as Tommy). Edit: It also hums.

#33 7 years ago

Besides having the random vuk bounce out problem which I've learned to deal with
..tho I may try the foam you got gweempose.

...my biggest problem was the genius shot. 8 times outta 10...the ball would whip around... hit the metal.. bounce out and fall straight down resulting in a drain. I added a piece of target foam to deaden the ball. Has worked 100% since.

Btw I will be adding those color changing leds to the back box.

Excellent idea rajung.

#34 7 years ago

Also rajung you should look for rob h's propeller mods. He's on rgp or you can wait till he puts them up on ebay. 12 bucks waaaay worth it. They stand out a lot more. Gweempose has them.

#35 7 years ago

"...my biggest problem was the genius shot. 8 times outta 10...the ball would whip around... hit the metal.. bounce out and fall straight down resulting in a drain."

Interesting. I don't have this issue on my Tommy at all. I'm guessing the reason why some machines exhibit a problem like this while others don't is because of variances in flipper strength and playfield slope. Just a slight difference can completely change the way the ball interacts with objects on the playfield.

#36 7 years ago

"Also rajung you should look for rob h's propeller mods. He's on rgp or you can wait till he puts them up on ebay. 12 bucks waaaay worth it. They stand out a lot more."

I agree. They look a lot better than the original clear plastic ones.

#37 7 years ago

He offers those prop mods on e-bay as well, they are very cool, I will be ordering a set myself!

#38 7 years ago

That looks super nice. I am glad you finally landed your Tommy and that it is a nice one.

1 week later
#39 7 years ago

Here is a picture with 3 lights for the AAA explosions on the back plastic. I used 44 style warm white slow flashers for Cointaker and just zip-tied everthing up and tied the lines into the backbox GI lighting. Just one other thought, you can try the 4+1 pop bumper LED that Cointaker has and put in the nose of the plane. I used a red in the nose and it adds 'spots' of color in the plane and not just one huge glow. I may try a different color or maybe just a white one to see how it looks.

DSC_0037.jpg

#40 7 years ago

Welcome to the forum, mikehay1!

My latest Tommy mod is much less impressive from a technical standpoint:

Keychain.JPG

#41 7 years ago

Looks nice. I like your game room.

1 year later
#42 6 years ago

I will be posting another machine up SOON with chimes installed. Back at it after a 4 year chiming Tommy break.

#43 6 years ago

Any news/updates on shaker motor implementation?

1 week later
#44 6 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

I forgot to mention that I performed one more "upgrade" that I think improves gameplay. I was getting a lot of bounceouts from the right VUK hole, so I added some Pinbits dead drop foam to the back and left wall. While it didn't eliminate the bounceouts entirely, it does seem like it has improved the chances of the ball getting in the hole. It's already a tough enough shot, the last thing you need is the ball bouncing out half the time. Here's a link to the product I used:

http://www.pinbits.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=17&products_id=131&zenid=hbdnau3htpk368g1e3gjqrvl97

Great advice on the "dead drop foam". I installed it tonight and see a reduction in the number of bounce-outs from about 50% to 25%. After 3 games following installation, I had my all time best 3-ball score of 978 million and was one mode away from the wizard play which was about 3 modes higher than I had ever been.

#45 6 years ago

Looks stunning Gweem

Nice work

#46 6 years ago

Yes, I would like to add a shaker to my Tommy too! Although the shaker isn't implemented in the current software (since it was removed), I understand the shaker still works in the diagnostics if you have it hooked up, so I think we have something to try.

There is a new pinball add-on board called the PIG. This board can hook up mods to the existing 12v power. It can also trigger a switch or solenoid to turn something on. It should be possible if we hooked up the PIG and connected the SHAKER and determined the solenoid used, to get that shaker to work in the game.

Quoted from Pinballdad:

Any news/updates on shaker motor implementation?

#47 6 years ago

Welcome to the forum, mikehay1!
My latest Tommy mod is much less impressive from a technical standpoint:

I like this one too.

DSC06698.JPG

#48 6 years ago

I love the keychain, but it's the wrong rock opera. It's kind of like using the original NCC-1701 Enterprise as a topper for your STTNG.

#49 6 years ago

That would be a bad fit for a topper. I used to listen to both albums back to back, so to me they're a pair that go together. Only Who keychain I have. Trying to find close theme for my other machines too.

2 months later
#50 6 years ago

Has anyone tried the new 2LED bulbs in Tommy? They are the bulbs Stern is using for GI. My Tommy needs some brightness, but I don't want to mess with the controlled lamps so I thought perhaps the GI would be cool with these bulbs. They look amazing in XMEN.

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