(Topic ID: 321968)

Tommy’s not a wizard yet - he needs serious help! (PROJECT/Refurb thread)

By snyper2099

1 year ago


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#1 1 year ago

It’s going to be a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll with this pinball. But I like a challenge. Missing parts, damaged everything, no boards. At least 10 people before me decided to NOT buy it. Am I nuts? Probably so but here we go.

This is not really a “restoration” thread, it’s more of a let’s get it running so we can play the game thread.

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#2 1 year ago

So I did a light cleaning of this and mounted the untested boards I had in the head. The main goal here is to first get the game mostly working since it’s missing a lot of parts, including parts of the harness.
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I DO HAVE the transformer... BUT, the screws I had to mount the transformer were too long so I repurposed some old Flasher sockets so they wouldn’t poke out the bottom of the cabinet:
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#3 1 year ago

I repaired the GI plug. It’s bad on nearly every single game I’ve ever owned…

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I got the playfield in the game, added a missing playfield hanger. Got the head hinge on the cabinet (there is only one) and put a bolt in the other side to hold it up safely.

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#4 1 year ago

First main problem, there’s no wiring in the head. So I have to create the power supply harness, and the display harness. I also need to order the three ribbon cables.

Shown here are the new power connectors from the power supply to the MPU and sound board, and the power supply to the DMD power connector.

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I happened to have a spare lamp harness that goes from the MPU to the power supply (all blue and black wires) so I installed that too.

No, we are not playing Guns n' Roses with this MPU.

#5 1 year ago

Now I wanted to test the power supply (unknown if it works) so I just plugged in the “mains” or AC voltages from the lower cabinet and I used my new harnesses to make testing a bit easier. I had +5, -12, and +12 and 68vdc but no high voltage. Hmmm.

#6 1 year ago

I pulled the power supply out of the game and started poking around. I found two shorted diodes, D10 and D11. I replaced them and then had -98dc and -110dc voltages back.
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Shorted diodes...

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#7 1 year ago

More testing and I was still missing +12VDC at the display connector and realized by looking at the schematic that it originates from the lamp voltage. I tested the lamp fuse next to the bridge and it was bad. Tested the bridge and it looked fine. So, I replaced the bad fuse with a new slow blow 8 amp and now we have 12VDC at the display connector.

All voltages now present! Some time this weekend, I need to burn a Tommy rom for the MPU.

That’s enough for now. I will try to post in the thread as I make progress. I’m close to placing the first parts order, still making a list...
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Bad lamp fuse... VERY BAD LAMP FUSE!
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#8 1 year ago

i think i have all the main wiring harnesses for this machine, i bought from a guy about 3 yrs ago.

#9 1 year ago

That’s cool. I think I’m ok on the wiring at the moment, Cept for the two small three pin harnesses on the right side of backbox... I’ve built the other pieces that were missing. If I can’t figure out the two 3 pin plugs, I will send you a PM.

#10 1 year ago

Little progress today. Stapled some loose lights in insert panel.
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Burned Tommy 4.0 rom for CPU.
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Current state of the backbox. Very close, need to make speaker panel and place parts order so I can prepare to boot for the first time.
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#11 1 year ago

Mounted servo pcb, straightened a backbox bolt, and removed some very dirty playfield parts. A friend of mine has some plastics so Im hopeful to have a complete unbroken set between the two. Parts order placed…. (Largest order I ever made)

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#12 1 year ago

I started to remove parts from areas of the playfield that need work. The auto launch is destroyed. I am converting this to the “modern Stern” auto launch solution.

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I also straightened and strengthened the crappy playfield supports. Looked like they were installed with one screw at the factory. wTF?

#13 1 year ago

I installed the flipper board and prepped the display driver board with correct ROM for when the display panel is complete.

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#14 1 year ago

Modern Stern style shooter lane switch is ready now.

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#15 1 year ago

Here’s most of the parts needed to start building the Mirror assembly. Half of it is MISSING!

Shown here is the built motor, cam, and nylon bushing. The cam is from Pinball Life and it did not come with a set screw so I had to add one.

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#16 1 year ago

I did a thing… Don’t have any speaker panel at all and can’t find one??? Just build your own! Thank you to Pinball Life for having display controller board and the backglass plastic. I know they have DE clips too but I am going to make my own since this is a custom panel.

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#17 1 year ago

It’s alive! At first I got nothing on display and through swapping things I discovered I had a bad display. Then, realized it was upside down, so I had to rotate it.

This is a huge step forward. Now I can use switch test, lamp test, and coil test to get the playfield sorted out.

Also seen in first pic, I added the female side of the "backbox latch".

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#18 1 year ago

More things…. Coin door is there now, installed/soldered both flipper buttons, made connector for speaker panel. Also, I don’t have a picture of it but, the ground braid was not connected to the metal sheet in the backbox so I added one. I also added the yellow GND connector between the CN10 on the PSU and the DMD display. No idea why it needs two grounds but now it’s there. Oh, and that 2nd ground is NOT in the schematics.

I know these are 8 ohm speakers but I don't really care at the moment. I may upgrade to Pinsound later but, just want to get it flipping for now.

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#19 1 year ago

Next step, I need to figure out if I can cut some
“Older style 80’s era DE cabinet side rails” to fit on this game. They are a few inches longer than they need to be… if not, I will buy some used Stern ones from someone that changed theirs out. I’m fairly certain all DE/Sega/Stern are the same size from 92-2016.

--> I decided that does not make any sense and will use some used ones that are already the correct size.

#20 1 year ago

If it's in the budget, pinball life sells data east rails now, already powder coated.
For Tommy they would be the ones without notches

#21 1 year ago

These fancy chrome ones were pulled from a Shadow I did. They will prob work.
Yours if u want them

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#22 1 year ago

Actually, I think on Tommy they changed to the stern style. My bad

#23 1 year ago

Those will work fine. Thanks.

#24 1 year ago

So I plugged the playfield in and was able to test all the lamps and all the switches and coils (less the three that are missing) and… everything works. How the hell did that happen? Game looked like it hasn’t been turned on since 1997 and did not have the PF glass on it! Anyway, not mad, just very surprised.

One bad thing, the 8 ohm speakers are not loud enough at all. Need to get some 4 ohm.

Also, no flipper power. So, I check the flipper board in lower cabinet, no LEDs when flipper buttons are pressed... I will look at the two missing 3 pin connectors on the right side of the backbox tomorrow. I’m thinking they provide power to the flipper board and to the servo board for the blinders. (Found out later they do.)

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#25 1 year ago

Good to see a "basket case" game getting some love.

#26 1 year ago

I THINK I have all wiring done in backbox now. I traced the 6 missing wires for the 2 three pin molex Plugs on the right side of the backbox to be:

Small plug:
BLU/WHT: connects to “lamp plug” on MPU, CN4/pin 9. +18VDC—>This goes to somewhere on the PF.
BLK/ORG: GND, PSU in backbox: goes to servo blinder board, P2 pin7.
GRY/ORG: +5VDC, PSU in backbox: goes to the servo blinder board “P2” pin6.

Large plug:
GRY: +5VDC, to PSU in backbox, goes to flipper control board.
BLK: GND, to PSU in backbox, goes to flipper control board.
GRY/RED: +12VDC, to PSU in backbox, goes to servo blinder board P2, pin1.

I’m only documenting these because they are NOT in the manual or schematics. I connected it all and my servo motor is functioning.

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#27 1 year ago

After getting those two 3 pin plugs done, I now have the upper flipper working. But, no lower main flippers at all.

I checked at the coils for voltage. No voltage there... The flipper board is brand new and the PPB board is known working from another game. Not sure what’s wrong at this point. I do have the hold voltage and there is flipper voltage at the upper flipper, voltage is only missing on both main flipper lugs… Also should note that I don't have any EOS switches, they are broken. I am almost certain EOS switches are not needed on Tommy for testing purposes.

I also realized what I thought was a shaker motor board on the left side of the cabinet? could possibly fuse the flippers... I need to check that next.

edited [I later learned something important when testing here. There is no voltage present at the flipper coil lugs until activated for a pulse. This is different than the other Data East coils that are set up like a Bally/Williams game of this era.]

#28 1 year ago

I believe those Eos switches are normally closed.
You may need to just twist the wires together, for now

#29 1 year ago

I just discovered that is correct. I was able to get all 3 flippers working jumpering them as a test. I know they are normally Closed on the early Deger flipper circuit… I did read that later games like Tommy had an updated flipper controller board and supposedly, those boards did not suffer from that problem of "wanting the flippers to still work, even if the EOS's fail". I guess the Data East service bulletin is simply wrong on that point. I replaced the two lower EOS switches and now all 3 flippers are working.

Also, I looked at what I though was a shaker motor board again and it is in fact a shaker board. I traced the wires and that board has nothing to do with flippers. Since this was a Taiwan export, I guess it originally shipped with a shaker. I don't know and I don't have any desire to add a shaker.

Everything I can test at this point is working properly. Next, I need to build the mirror assembly and auto-shooter assembly, get the side rails and backglass sorted out, and completely shop the playfield out.

#30 1 year ago

Mirror assembly documentation… I honestly just looked at the manual and ordered the parts I could find. Only thing I could not find is the actual bracket and up/down adjustment stop for mirror. 2nd pic is what I started with…
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I took measurements and just cut the z bracket I needed from an old aluminum network controller frame.

Then, I used cardboard to measure for center and made a template to use for testing and also to transfer to the metal. I actually ended up mounting all the parts on the cardboard to test everything first.

#31 1 year ago

Here you can see the “inside” of the cardboard template to get the up and down motor switches aligned properly. I used a hacksaw to cut the metal. I test fitted the z bracket so I could get the bend correct the first time. You are only bending aluminum alloy once. Second time it snaps in half. I used a mallet to get the 90 degree bend at the end and used a dremel to sand off the sharp edges.

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#32 1 year ago

Both sides with just the motor mounted.

Also soldered diodes to the switches and tested them.

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I made the missing 4 pin connector (at top of pic) so you can disconnect the switches and motor to work on it or clean it.E25276EF-D4B7-4CFB-8321-0AB07572A9F9 (resized).jpegE25276EF-D4B7-4CFB-8321-0AB07572A9F9 (resized).jpeg

#33 1 year ago

This is pretty much how it ended up. I had to drill more holes to use zip ties to keep the wires away from the moving parts.

I also added a single adjustment screw for the mirror to rest. Drawing the direction the motor travels on all my templates and the arm kept my brain from exploding. I just zip tied the switches for now. Will go back and add machine screws and nuts later.

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#34 1 year ago

Here’s pictures of it installed in the game. And yes, it does work exactly as it should.
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Total cost for the parts for this assembly was around $120 and it took a few hours to make it.

#35 1 year ago

Great job!

#36 1 year ago

I added machine screws and backing plates to the motor assembly.

The next box of parts has arrived…
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#37 1 year ago

On to the auto plunger.

Here is a link to some crazy good help on adapting a modern STERN auto plunger to a DE/SEGA or even (Bally/Williams) game.

->http://purcellvillepinball.net/DataEastSegaSternRepairs.html#Tommy

I basically followed those guidelines but used a modern Stern switch instead of the metal mounted DE one.

I held the new Stern style assembly (from Pinball Life) on the playfield and marked where to drill the pilot holes…. I reused the old coil and the bracket that holds it but, had to turn the coil so the lugs didn’t short out on metal to the left or get hung up on the cabinet to the right. A tight fit!

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#38 1 year ago

Here is the final assembly. I had to add a zip tie because the coil was able to twist a lot. I had to put a spacer in the top most mounting hole and run a longer screw through it to the side rail.

You can also see the Stern style shooter lane switch. I had to bend it downward so the auto Plunger does not bang into it.

Tested this and it launches with great power.

2F4B8785-99E1-4304-B6FC-3ED626C0D955 (resized).jpeg2F4B8785-99E1-4304-B6FC-3ED626C0D955 (resized).jpegE63CCD1A-D8A1-46DA-9044-172F8DE54CEF (resized).jpegE63CCD1A-D8A1-46DA-9044-172F8DE54CEF (resized).jpeg

#39 1 year ago

I also added plastic speaker mesh and a clear display guard. Looks a lot better now. Thank you Pinball Life (again!).

6D73E53B-7387-4F4D-A3D0-76D2DBA1F57E (resized).jpeg6D73E53B-7387-4F4D-A3D0-76D2DBA1F57E (resized).jpeg

Looking over the list of what's next:

-Missing trough switch
-Shooter rod/assembly
-Wire coin door credit switches+lamps
-Side Rails
-Install left cabinet hinge
-Shop playfield
-Backglass and translite

#40 1 year ago

New Stern shooter with green spring installed.
5FC10B6D-1900-445A-9A9B-5E1E95E7D81D (resized).jpeg5FC10B6D-1900-445A-9A9B-5E1E95E7D81D (resized).jpeg

I believe this completes all non-cosmetic items… now on to the PF cleaning phase.

#41 1 year ago

What I call my “first pass” is done. It involves heavily cleaning the parts of the playfield the ball touches with rounds of Novus 2.

I don’t typically shop games like most people, I only do one section at a time. That way, I don’t lose track of what posts and parts go where. It actually saves a bunch of time. Even if it’s an entire PF swap, after the major ramps and assemblies are removed, I still remove and install only one section of the game at a time, cleaning parts as they are moved. This way, you are only
handling most parts and posts one time and you can’t lose track of anything. I still take lots of pictures just in case but, I rarely need them. Posts are cleaned with Novus. Metal posts are wire brushed or wire wheel cleaned.

Sounds crazy but I’ve swapped many PFs in under 8 hours so, I’ve proven that it’s a huge time saver for me.

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#42 1 year ago

Current state of the game… Everything in the picture is done. I still need to clean/polish lane guides, ramps, underside tunnel, under the apron, and all the habitrails.

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#43 1 year ago

Getting close. I only have two large wireforms to clean and install and one plastic repair remaining.

The plane needs some serious cosmetic work to make it look good again. That will have to wait for now.

Probably flipping tomorrow.
72F15FCC-63A9-4C46-ABB4-214797E5FAC1 (resized).jpeg72F15FCC-63A9-4C46-ABB4-214797E5FAC1 (resized).jpegABDB772E-7421-4F40-AF09-44355C5BDF6E (resized).jpegABDB772E-7421-4F40-AF09-44355C5BDF6E (resized).jpegC29C8157-A4E0-4FEE-9AC1-29FE5A7FCF83 (resized).jpegC29C8157-A4E0-4FEE-9AC1-29FE5A7FCF83 (resized).jpeg

I realized for the first time tonight that the ramps on Tommy very much remind me of the ramps on Metallica.

#44 1 year ago

Everything but the plane is back in the game and the game is fully working.

One odd thing, during the very first ball, two tip42 transistors caught fire… I replaced them and all is well. No idea why they decided to blow up after weeks of testing all the lamps. After 5 games, I’m calling that issue resolved.

I have some switch adjustments to make then on to more cosmetics.

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#45 1 year ago

This looks great!
I've done a bunch of trashed data east, so it's nice to see someone else take one on.
Enjoy it, Tommy is a great game

#46 1 year ago

Played some games on it yesterday, a couple issues so far.

-The mirror switch seems to not be working so well... If disassembly and cleaning it does not help, I might add a disc capacitor to it. No idea if that will help at all.
-The poorly designed VUK assembly seems to have problems at least once per game... What were they thinking when they came up using those tubular c-clips attaching the "cup in ball" with a floating roll pin solution? Additionally, it seems weak even after cleaning the hell out of it and replacing the spring and sleeve.

#47 1 year ago
Quoted from snyper2099:

Played some games on it yesterday, a couple issues so far.
-The mirror switch seems to not be working so well... If disassembly and cleaning it does not help, I might add a disc capacitor to it. No idea if that will help at all.

I have tried this on a Data East before and it caused odd matrix issues, cheap enough to try though.

#48 1 year ago

I cleaned the mirror switch like 3 times and... it now works perfectly. It's a fickle contraption, that's for sure. Other problems discovered...

I had a LOT of trouble getting the game to consistently see all balls in the trough at all times. I had to take the apron off, start a game and remove other trough parts to see exactly what the problem was... turns out that some of the trough switches were out of adjustment. Got all of them exactly as they should be and, still had problems. So, then I just gut the thing. Remove it all. Sand it with fine grit sandpaper and Novus it all. Discovered the large metal bracket that holds the end of trough switch was bent A LOT, causing the balls to get stuck on the very top of the white up plunger. Got that resolved and... still had problems.

So, I started looking VERY closely at the switches and noticed the very FIRST roller switch on the right most side was different than the other 5. Well, it turns out this switch was not the correct part. It looked and worked fine but, the TENSION required to get the switch level pushed down was like 4 times stiffer than the rest of them. So, when a single ball was attempting to fall through the trough, it worked fine. But, if there were 3, 4, or 5 balls in the trough and the ball release sol. was opened, the tension on that 1st switch was too much because the balls did not have any momentum.

I removed it and used a switch that just barely needed any tension to actuate and all is resolved now. I played 3 full games without a single ball search. THAT was a nightmare, taking the better part of an entire day to get straight.

1 week later
#49 1 year ago

I had to use a large C clamp to level some raised inserts. I use an old high end hair dryer for this and crank down on the c clamp slowly as I heat up the insert from the underside of the playfield. Various sizes of wood blocks help a lot and a folded piece of paper on the playfield keeps damage from happening. I flattened a total of four inserts. They were all of the “hotdog” variety. No more ball hop.

I glued some of the delaminating cabinet back together.

I touched up some of the black paint on the front of the head.
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