(Topic ID: 63352)

Twilight Zone Owner's club

By Caucasian2Step

8 years ago


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Post #5897 Updated 9.4H manual with corrections from Coyote Posted by Coyote (3 years ago)

Post #8716 Have your picture taken in the translight Posted by Neal_W (1 year ago)

Post #10381 Switching to stereo sound. Posted by hawknole (4 months ago)


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#4897 3 years ago

After many years of admiring it from afar, I FINALLY got my TZ!! Three weeks now and not a single regret!

So glad that I can now count myself as a member here; I've been lurking for a while and just completed reading every post here (took about a week to do it). I've certainly learned a great deal from the various experts here, insomuch as I believe I have an early production model, dated April 15, '93. It has the green Lock insert and the Gumball sticker placed over the Sprial sign, along with holes and plugs by the jets. It also has the P-3 game and sound roms. The only mod on it was the gumballs. No fade on the cabinet, so that was a plus.

I needed to make a few adjustments after transporting it home, but it plays surprising well for the most part. Had to adjust the rocket shooter and guide a bit, as the ball was going every which way; also smoothed out a divot there to stop the ball from getting stuck, so this is ripe for a Cliffy. Also got a switch 26 trough proximity warning initially; upon inspection I found it kind of flopping around from not being tight because one of the screw holes was stripped. Did the bamboo fix and all is now well with that. Lower left GI was out; this was nothing more than a fuse, which I replaced, along with an intermitent bulb, and it's been fine ever since. I did a suggested mod of moving the Gumball sign to the right; it was bothering me that you couldn't see the Spiral insert when it was lit. I followed the advice that someone had suggested earlier, and now we're good to go there. I noticed that the DMD has some burnout in the lower right hand corner; eventually I'd like to replace it with a ColorDMD, but that will have to wait until after the holidays. Still have a couple of issues (credit dot with switch 71 message, as well as insert GI with clock lighting) that I have tried to troubleshoot without success, but I think it would be better to perhaps start another thread about those and see if anyone has any suggestions.

Got my first LITZ two days ago; that was pretty intense! We are enjoying this pin very much, and once again, I'm so glad to be a part of this family!

1 month later
#4977 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

.... like hell.

You tell 'em, Coyote!

Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

That is cheating!

No, it's not cheating! I have the green "Lock" insert on my TZ, as all sample and early production units do. Personally, I like it, as it is unique and really stands out.

Now, as far as that green "Clock Millions" is concerned, THAT is cheating!

3 weeks later
#5061 3 years ago

I used Super Lube on my clock gears; worked out really well. It's a synthetic grease, so it's safe to use on plastic parts. My clock was really noisy when I first got my TZ; it was AMAZING the difference that this made.

If you have a Harbor Freight nearby, they have it:

https://www.harborfreight.com/85-gram-super-lube-grease-cartridge-93744.html

1 month later
#5509 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

For this board, it is usually recommend to remove the connectors, and hard-soldered to the two boards, twisting the two wires between the boards.

Yep; based on your recommendation, I've done this exact procedure, and I haven't had a problem with mine since.

1 month later
#5751 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

You know what the insane thing is? My game just turned 25 years old a couple weeks ago. (Apr 8th, 1993.) Before I got the playfield restored in '16, I had *none* of these issues. The game was rock solid. Well, except for a few very bad spots on the playfield.. Mechanically, though, NOTHING broke. Never had to replace a switch. Never had to adjust the lock kickout. Never had the outhole or ball eject assemblies sticking.
Get playfield all beautified, reassemble it, and.. nothing but issues. Non-stop. From shorting of switch column, to a set of optos randomly closing, to switches falling apart and sticking assemblies.. Argh.

Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

I think my game turns 25 tomorrow. Yikes! I better look out... looking forward to getting my PF restored soon, but... maybe I should wait!

Mine turned 25 yesterday. I celebrated by allowing it to kick my rear end in numerous plays.

#5754 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Maybe mine is going through a mid-life crises.
In either case - think about this.. 25 years old? A quarter of a century. Not bad.

Exactly what I was thinking! To get 25 years out of a very complex mechanical/electronic device such as this is astounding. Sure, we have to do all of these maintainence issues and fix things as they crop up, but don't you do that with everything? In my mind, sometimes, fixing and repairing is part of the fun. Plus, how many can say they get that much time out of a major appliance these days? (As an aside, I also have antique telephones through my house; all of them function, including a Western Electric candlestick that is over 100 years old. They sure don't make them like they used to...)

1 month later
#5922 3 years ago
Quoted from DylanFan71:

Free to first person to PM me. Just found it and TZ left a long time ago. PM me with a mailing address.

Damn! Missed by a minute....lol!

1 month later
#6053 3 years ago

The "insert" that is being referred to would be the GI lighting in the back box behind the back glass, namely the bulbs specifically behind "Twilight Zone" at the top center, and the two bulbs behind the clock at the lower right. If these are lit and your clock is not, then I would guess that you have a connection problem.

1 week later
#6085 3 years ago
Quoted from GAP:

Ingos clock board is easy to install. Great board.

Quoted from Thor-NL:

And Ingo has great after-sales, and a great guy all-around

Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

As he has proven time and again in this thread!

I can only add my praise of Ingo, too. It's amazing how many problems his board has solved. Very easy to install. Great to deal with.

#6089 3 years ago

Congratulations on joining the club! It looks like you made a nice pickup there.

There are really a great group of people here, all very knowledgeable about every aspect of the game. If you ever get stuck, feel free to ask; you will definitely get help.

1 week later
#6135 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

I'm sure its been said here before but your knowledge of this game and pinball in general is not only impressive but Extremely appreciated. Seeing people take time to decipher the most complicated or even simple problems to help another learn and enjoy is a wonderful thing. Just wanted to say Thanks for all of your contributions, I know I have learned a-lot!

I can't agree more. I just wish I knew as much as Coyote ever forgot about TZ. That and the fact that he personally helped me with my TZ problem that I would never have been able to solve on my own.

To paraphrase a TZ episode, "In Praise of Coyote".

1 week later
#6176 3 years ago
Quoted from Tranquilize:

I just soldered 555s direct to the board. No issues after years of illumination.

Or, you could just go the easy route and get these:

http://www.cometpinball.com/86-LED-p/1ledt10-86.htm

#6191 3 years ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

Wish I could say the same for the trough proximity sensor. Dang thing is always finicky.

As had been mentioned to me by Coyote, the recommended fix for this is to cut off the connectors at both ends, twist the wires, and solder the wires directly to the pins. I did this with my glitchy sensor, and I have not had a problem since.

#6199 3 years ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

Think I do need to directly solder the two boards. I keep thinking I have it good when it works right for a while but doesn't take too long to get that stupid credit dot. It just seems so wrong cutting off connectors and directly soldering wires like that.

I used to think the same thing; I'd put the connector back on, "That should take care of that!". Would be OK for a time, then right back to it once again.

I felt the same way about cutting the wires, too. But believe me, you'll get over that feeling rather quickly once you do take the plunge and then never see that error again!

4 weeks later
#6328 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

It's a keeper for me. Has been for over 20 years now.
But I hate it's everlasting guts.

Well, sounds to me like someone is involved in the classic "love/hate" relationship.

TZ was also my first grail pin. I've had mine for just under a year now, and I'm always experimenting with different ways to approach the game. If things are flowing right, you can be greatly rewarded, and that's very satisfying, but man, sometimes it can just beat you up.

While I'm here, I have a question: When playing PB Mania, after scoring the jackpot, I know that you have to send a ball up the left ramp to requalify the jackpot (I had to look it up). Is there anything on the playfield that would indicate this? One would think that any one or all of the arrows would flash showing the left ramp shot. I don't see anything happening on mine, so that's why I'm asking. Perhaps something is wrong with my pin?

#6330 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

When the Powerfield is active, the "The Power" insert in front of the right ramp will flash. Once you get a jackpot, the light will go out. There's no indication (on the PF) that the main ramp needs to be shot.

Thanks for answering that question; I thought perhaps something was wrong on my game.

Interesting about the playfield restoration. If I might ask, what exactly did you have restored? I'm asking because I have a possible issue with some cracks on my playfield, and I'm wondering if that might be able to be repaired or if there's a playfield replacement in my future.

#6332 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

My PF is an early sample, and the repro 3-Magnet version does not have some of the art differences that mine had. So, I spent about $500 more than the repro, but I wanted to keep the art differences and history.

Perfectly understandable. Just for the sake that yours is an early sample, just for the historical value, that makes perfect sense. I am something of a purist myself.

Quoted from Coyote:

The biggest issue I had reassembling was the new thickness on the playfield - that millimeters that was added made some things (like the skill shot ball gate) not work too well, strangely.

Millimeters are certainly big things when you are talking about precision, which counts in pinball. I would not have even thought about that.

Thanks for the info.

#6337 3 years ago
Quoted from JWJr:

While the insert is flashing, the DMD says "SHOOT RIGHT RAMP". Once you get a Jackpot, the DMD says "SHOOT LEFT RAMP"; doing so relights the insert.

Ah, well at least that's something. I guess I've never noticed that before. I'm usually looking down trying to keep from having balls drain to notice the DMD. I'll try to look next time.

Thanks for the info!

1 week later
#6395 3 years ago
Quoted from Neal_W:

... and new batteries die in less than 2yrs...

TZ is the only game that I own that I have batteries in (my other non-clock dependent pins have NVRAM), and just as a matter of course, I change the batteries once per year as a standard maintenance practice.

3 weeks later
#6471 3 years ago

You are correct; that screw needs to have a T-nut below the playfield in order to work.

Here's what you should get:
https://www.pinballlife.com/1-716-tall-metal-post-with-cutaway-with-wood-screw-base.html

I've done this mod on my TZ and it works perfectly. I can post a picture when I get home from work today.

#6474 3 years ago

OK here's some pics:

20181022_164817 (resized).jpg
20181022_164613 (resized).jpg

This really helps a lot! I used to have the skill shot constantly bouncing out of the rocket. Once I replaced that screw with the post and a rubber ring, problem solved! It slows the ball down just enough to gently land right where it's supposed to.

I hope this helps.

#6476 3 years ago
Quoted from gunstarhero:

Of course the sad thing is you want the ball to bounce out, since the rocket shoots it into the pops and probable death.

Well, of course, that goes without saying...

#6482 3 years ago
Quoted from Durzel:

How do you screw that in when there is barely clearance there?

I used a small adjustable wrench to screw it in. Takes a bit of time, but it gets the job done.

#6486 3 years ago

Here's something else that might be of interest:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tz-slot-target#post-2295409

I did this mod on my slot target; it's been great ever since. You can get some steel rod at Home Depot or Lowe's and do some bending.

2 weeks later
#6574 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

BE CAREFUL RECONNECTING.
Two plugs are identical, and it you swap them, you will fry your optos.

x1!! I did this exact thing, and fried my optos real good!

Take a marker or paint pen or something and mark the connectors before taking them apart, so this way you'll get them back to where they belong.

1 week later
#6588 2 years ago

Hey all.

I have Ingo's clock board in my TZ; in my opinion it's the single best and most necessary mod you can do for your TZ. I've had it for a few months now, and no "broken clock" messages to be found.

With that being said, I was wondering if anyone knows where I might be able to find replacement rainbow leds for it domestically? On one of the leds the green died, so now one is showing just blue and red and variations of those two colors only. I checked Cointaker, Comet, Pinballbulbs--no luck.

If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would certainly appreciate it.

#6593 2 years ago

If you are not having any issues with your original clock board, then God Bless! When I purchased my TZ last year, my board was a mess; it would work for a while, then it would start behaving badly. I would do all sorts of things to try and remedy this; reseat the Molex connectors, fiddle with the optos, etc. Again, it would work for a while, but a short time in everything would go crazy. I took my original board out and found that two of the optos had been replaced (and not very well, I might add!). I could also see some burn marks at various locations around the board; broken or burnt out bulbs, etc. After doing some research, I found that the general consensus was that Ingo's board was the way to go. I saved up my pennies and made the purchase, and I haven't looked back. The other thing that's nice about his board is that you can add different colored bulbs for wonderful effects; I like the rainbows that slowly change color. They really add a lot to the look.

Again, if you are running original boards and have no problems, I would say there was no need to change, unless you want to add more color options and have less heat build up.

Also, again, if anyone knows of a source for replacement rainbow leds here in the US, I would be much obliged.

#6596 2 years ago
Quoted from german-pinball:

Hi Scott,
it very rarely can happen, that one of the rainbow LEDs can fail; these have a built in microcontroller and are sensitive against over voltage. Mightbe, one was a bit "weak" from factory.
You cannot get the rainbows elsewhere as they are manufactured specially for me.
No problem for me, to send you a new set of rainbows for free. You should not have hesitated to ask me - I do not bite
Simply PM me your adress and you will get 4 new ones!!!
- Ingo

Here's another great benefit from having Ingo's board; the FANTASTIC service!

Funny story; at the time that I wrote my second post regarding this, I stupidly realized I could have PMed him directly and ask about purchasing the replacements. As I was writing the PM, he actually PMed me offering replacements!

If someone can make something happen before it's even asked...I don't know how you can possibly beat that!

1 month later
#6723 2 years ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

Sounds great if you have the skills and know what you are doing. It's nice to have the option of getting a brand new upgraded board with leds for reasonable cost for those that lack in skills.

That and the fact that the LEDs can be changed easily to suit your whims; white, blue, red, rainbows. They can be popped right out and in as many times as you might desire, rather than soldering them in.

1 month later
#6800 2 years ago
Quoted from Antennaejim:

Hello fellow owners! I have a question about the locked ball area behind the clock. When I lock a ball and then the game ends before I can get a multiball. The ball stays in the lock area behind the clock. Then I turn off the machine. When I turn it back on the ball kicks out. Shouldn’t the ball be kicking out when the game is over before I start a new game?

The game is behaving correctly; it does the exact same thing on my machine.

Unless someone knows any better, I think this is right.

#6819 2 years ago

I recently had my diverter wireform snap right off during a game. After looking up the part on various websites and seeing that this $2 item had unreasonable shipping costs attached to it, I decided to form one myself. I went to Lowes and found some 14 gauge steel in the form of picture hangers that you insert into drywall. Using a photo of the correct wireform, I bent it into the proper shape and installed it. An inexpensive solution that works like a charm.

picture hanger (resized).jpg diverter wireform (resized).jpg

(This one is actually my first attempt, which wound up being about an inch too short, but you get the idea; the second one was spot on.)

3 weeks later
#6893 2 years ago
Quoted from Antennaejim:

Ingo is a great fellow pinsider! A fast and friendly transaction for his board. I highly recommend him!best quality out there!

Thirded! Not only is his clock board perfection, but he stands behind it 100% with support if anything should go amiss. If you are on the fence about upgrading your clock board, do not hesitate! Rest assured that your clock problems will disappear instantly.

1 month later
#7000 2 years ago
Quoted from Thor-NL:

Remote AA packs, done that to all my machines

+1. I put one in with enough length of wire so it would attach to the coin door for ease of access. Works like a charm.

As far as the clock, I would recommend Ingo's clock board. I was having all kinds of issues with mine, but once I installed Ingo's over a year ago, there have been no problems since.

2 weeks later
#7065 2 years ago

...and Jordan Peele, who is hosting the current version.

2 weeks later
#7126 2 years ago
Quoted from pacman11:

Thanks guys I made sure the connection was tight on the eddy board and everything is working good now.

As someone may have mentioned before, that might not be sufficient. It will work perhaps in the short term, but as time goes on, with vibration and all, it might work its way loose again. See how it goes, but the only true solution is to solder the wires directly to the pins on one end, twisting the wires, and then soldering the other end.

1 month later
#7273 2 years ago
Quoted from ramegoom:

I went with LCD on all of my pins. I like the pixel "smoothing" that goes along with LCD, as compared to LED. And the LCDs run cooler and use less power.
More a matter of preference I guess.

Gotta second this. I also did LCD on my TZ, as I like the smoothing as well. Of course, you always have the option of having it "look" like an LED, so that in an of itself is a plus; with LED you don't have that choice.

1 week later
#7318 2 years ago
Quoted from Mneubey:

quick question ... My clock on my TZ is some kind of early repro I believe. I got it working, and to read all of the optos correctly, but once the clock mode in the actual game starts, it quits working correctly, and the top opto becomes stuck on the minute hand. After taking the clock apart, it will work again until the in-game mode. My question is if this is a typical issue with the clock board, and if it's something that will likely be fixed with Ingo's replacement clock board?

I've had similar issues with my original clock board, where I'd get it to work temporarily, but then it would act up again shortly into a game.

Ingo's board will definitely fix any issues you might have. I put mine in over a year ago and haven't had a problem since.

1 week later
#7346 2 years ago
Quoted from Mneubey:

Is pinball life the only place to get 545 bulbs?

Someone on Ebay has been selling them for a while, but you have to buy 100 at a time:

ebay.com link: 100 OEM GE 545 Miniature Pinball Lamp Light Bulb blinker Insert Wedge Base 21003

2 months later
#7564 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Make a note of where the hands are! Take a photo! You need to replace them exactly the same way

If you power up the game first, the hands should come to the 12 o'clock position. This makes putting the hands back soooo much easier.

#7567 2 years ago
Quoted from Lhyrgoif:

I had some gooey sticky grease that I removed at the same time (added some new grease that others recommended but cant remember the name) and the clock got quieter afterwards.

Here's what I used:

amazon.com link »

Super Lube Synthetic Grease. As it is a synthetic, it won't do any harm to the plastic gears, and it really does quiet the clock down a great deal.

#7571 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

And just buy Ingo’s clock board please. That will save you all the trouble. LEDs? Yes. Fixes opto clock hand issue.? Yes. Different led colors available? Yes. Works with LEDOCD? LITERALLY THE ONLY MOD WHICH DOES.

I second this. Just cut to the chase and get this; it will eliminate sooo many clock problems.

2 weeks later
#7629 1 year ago
Quoted from monkfe:

Reach out to Ingo, I recall reading a post a ways back where he said he had them special made for his board....

Second this. I had one of my rainbows go bad, and Ingo fixed me up fine. I'm sure he'll do the same for you.

2 months later
#7789 1 year ago
Quoted from Giulio:

These one are great I agree, they really make the playfield 3d and deeper. I did customize them with other parts to increase the effect and it's really cool, from the player's perspective you really see the playfield like it's extended.
I love the others too.[quoted image]

Quoted from billsfanmd:

Who sells them?

You can get them on Ebay from a vendor in the UK. Here's a link:

ebay.com link: Twilight Zone Pinball Inner Cab Backboard Decal Set Mod

3 weeks later
#8047 1 year ago

I have a ColorDMD on my TZ, and I currently have it on the smooth setting. For me, I think it looks great!

I'll take some pics and video when I get home from work today so that you can actually see it for real on TZ.

I think the real beauty of the ColorDMD LCD is that you can make the choice on how you would like it to look; dots, squares, or smooth. If you try one out for a while and don't like it, you can go back and change the setting to look like something else.

#8061 1 year ago
Quoted from Adipocere:

Would love to see this in action. Given the popularity of TZ I'm surprised images of it with smoothed Color DMD have been so hard to find!

Sorry, but I was unable to do a video of this last night; I came home to find a broken toilet, and the wife, for some reason, said that needed to take priority.

I did get the toilet fixed, so I'll do the video this evening and put it up for you to see.

#8067 1 year ago

OK I finally got around to doing the video of the ColorDMD with the high resolution / smoothing setting. It's about 10 minutes long.

I did some editing on it, trying to show as many different elements as I could. There is a Jackpot hit at around 8:05 or so.

I hope this helps.

2 months later
#8473 1 year ago

Ingo's board is the best; you can't go wrong there.

I put the rainbows in mine. I didn't think that I would like it like that, but it has grown on me. For fun, I put some rainbows behind the clock on the backglass for a similar effect, and it looks great.

1 week later
#8568 1 year ago
Quoted from Coyote:

I believe - having rebuilt my clock plenty of times, that there is one or two white gears that could be off to cause the hour-slightly-off-issue. The black gear being off a notch is a lot more noticeable. I believe. It's been 3+ years since I rebuilt mine the last time!

What he said. I seem to recall this exact scenario when I rebuilt my clock. I needed to move one of the white gears over a tooth or two to get it to line up correctly.

I know that the clock looks overwhelming when contemplating taking it apart, and everyone always has warnings about it, but it's really not that difficult once you get the hang of it.

1 week later
#8594 1 year ago
Quoted from ramegoom:

The best thing you can do is solder the two proximity sensor wires to the pins on the prox board. Remove and eliminate those connectors. The failure rate is astronomical.

What he said. I did that on my sensor by the trough, and it solved the issue. Been almost two years now.

4 weeks later
#8675 1 year ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Clock not working will not affect operation of the rest of the game. (With caveats.) Likely you accidentally unplugged something, so switches aren't registering. Go into switch-test mode, and see what the game is seeing as far as switches..

What he said. I recently had similar problems where all of a sudden, my clock wasn't working correctly and I was also getting ball errors. After doing some checking I discovered that a wire had broken off of the lug on the clock target, which in turn took out the whole line on the matrix, which included the left outlane and a couple of 5 mil targets. Once I soldered it back on, everything was good again. Sounds to me like you might have the same issue.

1 week later
#8705 1 year ago
Quoted from Durzel:

Looks good, but..
"HITCH HIKER" is one word. Also it should be "AMUSEMENT" and "IMAGINATION" in the second card.

Also, it's "POWERBALL".

Otherwise, nice work!

2 months later
#8998 1 year ago
Quoted from awesome1:

I recently made my own cover for the mini playfield out of clear Lexan.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Yep, I did the same thing for mine. It's not that difficult to do.

6 months later
#9898 8 months ago
Quoted from The_Pump_House:

what is the latest twilight zone rom (for coin use, not home) and does it have ball save beyond the first ball of the game

Quoted from Coyote:

9.2, and I do not remember.

9.2 does indeed have ball save. It needs to be set, as has been discussed previously (I just set mine up that way after that was pointed out). It's called "Free Ride" in the adjustments menu. You need to enable that, and then select the number of balls that you wish for it to be in effect.

#9908 8 months ago
Quoted from The_Pump_House:

Put 9.2 in w/ 15 sec ball save through 3 balls.
Don’t want customers that may be trying pins for the first time to get kicked
In the teeth by TZ

Agreed. It's bad enough in the home environment when it happens; would be awful out there on location.

3 months later
#10366 4 months ago

I'd check the coil for the flipper. With the "fluttering" you describe it sounds to me like there might be a break in the coil's wiring. Either repair or replace the coil and that might help.

#10370 4 months ago
Quoted from awesome1:

I had similar and ended up replacing the flipper opto board and that fixed it. You can switch left and right boards and see if problem follows to rule out the board if that's not it.

Yes; I support this approach. That way you can definitely see if the opto board is the culprit. I had a similar issue in my TZ, and I switched the opto boards. As the problem continued, I was at least able to rule out the board. That's when I found a broken wire in the winding on the coil, which I was able to repair.

1 month later
#10689 3 months ago
Quoted from Mad_Dog_Coin_Op:

Funny - I didn't realize the blinking sockets were black. Someone prior to me installed a color changing random blinking LED behind the TV on the backglass. It makes it look like the tv is working (or at least trying to). I would like to get a few more of these but can't find them. Anyone have a source?

I actually put rainbows behind the clock on the translite to match the playfield clock, which is running rainbows on Ingo's board. Looks really nice.

At any rate, you can get LED versions of blinkers and the rainbows at Comet.

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