(Topic ID: 240307)

Twilight Zone Restoration


By McSquid

9 months ago



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  • 66 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by McSquid
  • Topic is favorited by 26 Pinsiders

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#1 9 months ago

Hi All,

I'm going to be documenting my Twilight Zone restoration here over the next year or two. I have never fully documented a restore from start to finish in one place before, having previously only done so with single step facebook updates. This thread will likely contain a compilation of those brief updates as well as some extra detail that typical internet scrollers would be bored with.

The reason I am documenting this restore fully is because this one is different to me. Twilight Zone is my favorite game of all time. It is one of two games that really grabbed me as a kid. (Roller Coaster Tycoon being the other.) As such TZ is at least half the reason I really got into pinball later in life, starting playing competitively, and began restoring pins. If it weren't for this game I would not have met all the wonderful people this hobby has brought me into contact with and I wouldn't be the person I am now. In addition to the sentimental value this game holds, this game is so far gone... that this thread might as well be titled "building a Twilight Zone from scratch." It will definitely be the most difficult and rewarding restoration Ive ever done.

I bought this TZ in an online auction (affectionately referred to mistake number 1) in PA. I had Fast Eddie bring it up to me in NH from the auction house. I cant recommend Fast Eddie enough. He is AWESOME. Treated my dumpster fire game like it was made of pure gold. If you are in the Northeast US look him up! When it arrived, the game is a damaged, incomplete, almost beautiful mess. I have since been compiling missing parts, and finishing up other projects before diving into this one.

Here is the full "Before" gallery

https://imgur.com/a/ukM08vY

You can see right away that this game was abused. Strap damage on the side rails, Large holes in the cabinet, broken glass in the cab, and what looks like 30 years of warehouse dust. Not to mention most of the key game feature components are missing (gum-ball machine, clock, ramp, etc.) It DID come with a box full of random parts, some of which are actually for TZ! Luckily, there is some good in here as well. The underside of playfield is dirty, but appears mostly complete. There doesn't seem to be any sign of rust on the parts even if some of them are bent out of shape. Most parts that should move still do without binding. There are so many wires here id be surprised if we were missing any major wire harnesses, and most/all of the under playfield boards are here. The most valuable part we got out of this box was definitely the power mini playfield. which after some cleanup was in pretty good shape.

The cabinet itself seemed savable, but after trying to fit a coin door into the gap, I found that someone had previously cut a hole for what must have been the worlds largest coin door. After a lot of research, and being goaded by a friend of mine, I caved and decided to have a new cabinet made. My first time outsourcing ANY work is not the way I like to start a restoration, but I am not a woodworker. I don't have the tools and experience needed to do the cabinet job RIGHT. I COULD fix this cab, and for any other game I would have. I want this one to be perfect though, so I found another local pin restoration specialist and cabinet maker Leslie Thompson. He has now picked up the old cabinet and the decals I ordered, and is making me a new lower cabinet and fixing up the original backbox. This brings me to my first work session of the restore: Stripping the old cabinet.

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#2 9 months ago

Holy crap... That thing is in rough shape.

#3 9 months ago

Episode one: Where is everyone?

When I started this project I decided that while working on it, I would watch all ~150 episodes of the original TZ series as I had never seen them before. This session started the project proper and the series as well.

After speaking with Leslie, I set to the task of stripping the cabinet bare for him to use as a reference while making the new cabinet. Many stripped bolt holes, and a small amount of rust on the backbox hardware made this somewhat annoying, but overall it was a pretty easy task. Finished the first 3 episodes of TZ and I have to say I am really enjoying it so far. Leslie picked the cabinet up in the morning, and checked out the rest of my collection. We chatted about motorized ToM saw blades and of COURSE the one time mine doesnt work is when I wanted to show it to him haha. Cabinet is gone and can no longer distract me. On to playfield stuff next...

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#4 9 months ago

Episode 3: Mr Denton on doomsday

I procured a used playfield on ebay once I found that my original had broken wood near the hinges. The price/condition/timing was right. The new playfield is a bit warped/twisted, so I clamped it to my table while I work on it, figuring that whatever warp doesn't come out while clamped will come out when the side rails and everything else are installed later. 2019-04-07 12.54.02 (resized).jpg

Mylar removal using freeze spray, Glue removed by first soaking a paper towel in 90% iso alcohol and putting a piece of plexi and weight on it for ~15 minutes to soften it, then wipe away using more paper towel and a bit more iso alcohol. I wish all mylar glue came up this easily!

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#5 9 months ago

Following

#6 9 months ago

Here is a bonus post about parts collected for this project, after this I am caught up and everything will be in real time
I put a lot of parts on my Christmas list because I didn't know what else to ask for and bought a bunch of parts off some pinsiders

New ramp off ebay (He forgot to install the decals, and sent them later)
New plastic set and promo flyer from my mom
Flipper rebuild kit from my wife (who had no idea what it actually was that she bought me)
Clock, Gumball machine, Transformer (yes this too was missing) and translite from pinsider dangerdann

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#7 9 months ago

Will be following, good luck, great game and worthy of the effort!

#8 9 months ago

Following. Good luck

#9 9 months ago

Episode 6: The Escape Clause

Tonight, I stripped the powerfield and found it to be in great shape. The protector screwed underneath did its job beautifully. I'm pretty sure it's complete as well, or close to it. FJIMG_20190408_191020 (resized).jpg Once stripped, I scrubbed both playfields with novus 2, magic eraser/alcohol for some ball trials, and naptha. FJIMG_20190408_175307 (resized).jpgThe slightly abrasive cleaners removed the shine, but it reveals itself to still be there when the naptha is used. Both cleaned up very well, and will only need minor touchups. FJIMG_20190408_194928 (resized).jpg

The main playfield had what looked like wood filler on it in a small area under where the powerfield goes. I sanded it flat, and noticed some small cracks. Thankfully none of them go all the way through to the other side of the playfield. They were very small cracks in an out of sight area, but I still tried to push some super glue into them just to be sure, then sanded it flat again once it dried. Feels good. Don't forsee any issues.

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1 week later
#10 9 months ago

Episode 8: Time enough at last

Last weekend I build myself a Pin rotisserie for this project. Its something I always wanted but never really needed until now. I used the plans from Vid's thread and changed them slightly to fit what I was able to source at my local lowes. It came out really great and even sort of folds up for storage. Some structural pipe fittings allowed me to skip drilling/tapping as they came with set screws already installed. I'm going to make hand turn set screws next time I get to the hardware store. I used the new playfield to test it and adjust the length since its lightweight. Once it was 100% I mounted the old playfield to start the teardown process. This is likely where we will be for a while.

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#11 9 months ago

Episode 8 gives our first context for a piece of playfield art. The man with the broken glasses on the right orbit is Mr. Henry Bemis. He is a man who only ever wanted to read. His total witch of a wife wont let him... until the world ends. He survives because he sneaks off to read in the bank vault where he works as a teller. He is able to find plenty of supplies as the sole survivor of the apocalypse, but he does not cope well with the boredom. He is about to kill himself when he finds an intact library. Suddenly this future is the best thing he can possibly imagine. He has all the time in the world to just read....until he breaks his glasses. Truly a sad ending. I felt really bad for him.

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#12 9 months ago

Wow cool, that’s an early Powerfield without the Flip Here text. Did the original PF have the different color inserts and the signs with the labels on them too?

#13 9 months ago
Quoted from gunstarhero:

Wow cool, that’s an early Powerfield without the Flip Here text. Did the original PF have the different color inserts and the signs with the labels on them too?

I'm not sure. I'll compare the two tonight!

#14 9 months ago

Episode 16: The Hitch-hiker

Ive spent a few hours stripping the parts off the old playfield. At first I was working by habit trying to strip the upper playfield but then remembered that EVERYTHING has to come off this one. After removing metals, subways, boards, and the mechs that were already loose and dangling its starting to look a little more sparse and less intimidating. I'm not looking forward to figuring out where all the cut wires are supposed to go... But it should be manageable. Several of the mech mounting brackets were mangled. Most are able to be straightened out with some pliers, a rubber mallet, and a small anvil. Still, the more I remove the more I'm relieved that the more fragile parts like the subways/boards are undamaged. The list of small missing parts continues to grow, but so far its not overly concerning.

Episode 16 brings us context to another playfield art piece; The Hitch-hiker. Basically a woman dies in a car crash and doesn't know it (and neither do we). She continues to drive across the country and keeps seeing the hitch-hiker everywhere no matter how far or fast she travels. No one can see him but her, and she starts to go a little crazy. This continues until a call to her mom reveals to her that shes dead. Once she gets the news all her fear evaporates. She gets in her car, finds the hitch-hiker in the back seat who simply says "Looks like you are going my way." Not the best episode.

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1 week later
#15 9 months ago

Episode 17: The Fever

Once I realized I had removed all the major mechanisms and boards from the old PF, I decided it was time to battle the Kraken. I spent about 30 minutes removing fasteners and suddenly the entire beast was free. I was expecting more of a fight from this step honestly (Hence the mythical many-tentacled beast reference), but it wasn't that bad.

After reading Vids guide for shoving your whole wiring harness in the dishwasher I decided to give it a go. My wife happens to be away this week visiting family this week so I can ask for forgiveness instead of permission. I don't normally feel the need to do much wire cleaning, but this beast was disgusting. The hardest part was keeping it from tangling and not letting any bits or ends drop below the rack to be ravaged by the spinning water jet. I tossed all the metals in there as well as a first cleaning step. I will sand and buff them all later but Id like to be done with this coating of 30 year old warehouse dust for good if possible. When the cycle was done I was amazed. This stuff looks almost new! I only lost a single coil wrap and a EOS switch that is getting replaced anyways. This will be allowed to sit until the new playfield is ready for it (which is on hold until the weather grants me a good clearcoating day.)

Episode 17 give us context for the slot machine. Franklin Gibbs is a practical man who understands the value of a dollar. So when his wife win a trip to Las Vegas he goes along (because its free) but he knows that gambling is a rip off and not worth his time. He refuses to try out a slot machine after being coaxed by his wife, but when a stranger puts a quarter in the machine for him... well its already in there, and not even his money! His pull is a hit, afterwhich he goes to bed. But the money talks to him and wont let him sleep. He decides his winnings are "immoral" and that first thing in the morning he will go put it all back into the machine. By the time his wife wakes up, he has developed a full on gambling addiction. even yelling at his wife when she tries to get him to stop. Over the course of the next >12 hours he manages to lose every dollar he has to his name, But this isn't enough for the machine. After being thrown out of the casino for breaking the slot machine, he is finally coaxed to bed by his wife. Before he can get to bed however, he starts hearing the voices again coming from the hallway. He opens the door to find the slot machine in front of him, which scares him so badly he backs up through a window and falls to his death.

This is one of my favorite episodes so far as you can really feel the madness and addiction that take over even the sound and practical mind of a man like Franklin Gibbs. Addiction is a disease. The people suffering from it cannot help themselves. I will think of Franklin whenever I hit the slot machine shot when this project is done

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#16 9 months ago

Episode 22: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

About a month ago one of my previously completed projects (Bally Playboy) turned out to not be completed when I discovered the game came with the wrong backbox lamp board. I was fortunate enough to have a friend with a spare, and I need this done before the Pintastic show in ~2 months, so lamp boards are next. As far as TZ goes this was a simple job. Remove lamps/hardware, Sand, Repaint. I still need to decide if the lamp sockets are salvageable. Playboy took a lot more work, but that's not what this thread is about. With this, Playboy is actually done. So efforts can move back to TZ

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#17 8 months ago

Episode 30: A Stop at Willoughby

Small update, I finished the backbox lamp board. Decided not to shotgun replace the lamp sockets, I filed the contacts and ordered some deoxIT. If any of them give me trouble I can replace them later. New connector, and I discovered that the TZ manual has unusually well documented connectors including pin numbers and wire colors. Maybe replacing all the random cut connectors in the rest of the game wont be such a nightmare after all. Ive started cleaning all the various parts that I stripped off the game, subways cleaned up nice. The rock tumbler has been running all week with various parts and fasteners. More on that next update.

Though I do not know if it is referenced anywhere on the game itself "A Stop at Willoughby" is probably the most relatable episode of TZ ive seen so far. A stressed out businessman, who never wanted to live such a life in the first place, dreams of a place called Willoughby while commuting on a train. Its a small rural-ish town where life is simple. Over the course of the next few days his wife and boss continue to make his life miserable and he decides he cant handle it. Next time he dreams of Willoughby he gets off the train to visit. His body is found soon after, with witnesses saying he just walked right off the moving train.

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#18 8 months ago

Episode 31: The Chaser

I've had the tumbler running nonstop this week cleaning various parts. First, if mixing mechs, all their parts get a picture taken with their labeled bags.2019-04-29 18.49.28 (resized).jpg Only parts small enough to easily fit get tumbled. If you try to tumble a part that is too big, you end up with a traffic jam; half your parts don't get cleaned and walnut shells are all over the floor. Once your parts are added, cover them in the tumbling media (Walnut shells is what I have always used) and add a little Novus 3 metal polish.
2019-04-29 18.58.28 (resized).jpg 2019-04-29 19.03.38 (resized).jpgI tend to tumble parts for between 12 and 24 hours, checking on them once or twice to clear any traffic jams. Once done, I dump the entire mix onto a window screen and sift away the media. 2019-05-01 21.25.21 (resized).jpg2019-05-01 21.25.42 (resized).jpgThe parts are then vacuumed, and in some cases small gaps have excess media picked out of them (screw heads are a big one) The mechs can then be reassembled or just tossed back in their bags until its time to populate the playfield. You can see how truly effective it is especially with all these small irregular shapes.
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#19 8 months ago

Episode 33: Mr. Bevis

FINALLY some good weather! it was 65 degrees, sunny, and humidity was at a season defying 37%! Drop everything and clear coat time! Some incredibly minor touchups (none larger than the head of a pin) here and there, mostly in the black where its most noticeable. Cleaned out the garage and setup the "Spray booth" which is a greenhouse a friend got me from The Christmas Tree Shop. Surfaces prepared by a light wet sanding of 600 grit (I usually use 800 but I was out apparently), Naptha, Oil/silicon remover, then Naptha again. Level the PFs with cardboard under the corners and get suited up. I used 3 cans of Spraymax 2K aerosol cans to clear. I don't do enough playfields to warrant buying a full shooting setup and Ive had great results with it in the past. This stuff is SERIOUSLY toxic though, which is why I wear a tyvex suit, gloves, and a full face-mask forced air respirator. No attempts to filter this stuff. I get my air pumped in from outside the garage. After letting it cure as long as possible before the weather cooled off, I moved the playfields to my basement to finish curing. I used some plastic sheeting to create a dust/bug barrier. Its not airtight, but it will do its job. Id like to prevent another beetle from swimming around in my clearcoat like BK2K. Stole some pictures before covering it. It looks good, but I will probably end up having to sand and polish out some microbubbles. The hard part is leaving it alone for a week afterwards! Should have some kind of update before then though. Leslie is about to start work on building the cab and promises pictures, and I have a meetup with a local powder coating guy tonight!

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1 week later
#20 8 months ago

Episode 34: The After Hours

As I predicted I had microbubbles and small imperfections that my fingernail could catch on the main playfield. Not so much on the powerfield so that's neat. This means I'm in for an evening or two of sanding and polishing. I wet sanded from 800 grit down to 3000 grit, going in different directions each time unlike my previous polish jobs. Really made a difference and I don't see nearly as many lingering scratches. 2019-05-14 16.43.49 (resized).jpg Then once it was nice and flat, I busted out the random orbital buffer. An hour for each of the 3 levels of cut of the meguiars mirror glaze I have. The shine came back with the heavy cut. 2019-05-16 15.33.04 (resized).jpgThe cloudyness faded and colors were vibrant again after the medium cut.2019-05-17 20.35.38 (resized).jpg2019-05-17 20.35.43 (resized).jpg The final cut brought it to a mirror finish.2019-05-17 20.59.36 (resized).jpg2019-05-17 22.03.39 (resized).jpg2019-05-17 22.03.51 (resized).jpg2019-05-17 22.04.09 (resized).jpg My camera can auto-focus on reflections of the playfield. If you zoom in on this photo you can read the numbers on the meter stick hanging on the wall.
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Next I will be cleaning the underside and holes a bit, maybe putting some extra epoxy in the inserts to reinforce them. After that I have a bucket of metal parts to clean and polish. Ive been promised cabinet photos this week. The meeting with the powder coating guy went well. Ive chosen my colors, and I'm working on tracking down a crossover wireform ramp so I can have it all done.

#21 8 months ago

That is _gorgeous_.

#22 8 months ago
Quoted from JWJr:

That is gorgeous_.

Thank you! I hope the whole thing looks like this by the end.

3 weeks later
#23 7 months ago

Episode 38: Man in the bottle

Been super busy lately. Time to catch up with a project update!
I received some cabinet build photos from our woodworking genie. It is looking absolutely incredible so far! Little bit of water damage on the head but it's totally salvageable. Someone tried to cover it up with some paint which is no match for Leslie. Unlike Arthur & Edna Castle it looks like I'm getting exactly what I wished for.

I haven't done much work on my end lately as I prepare my other games for Pintastic. I've mostly been working on sourcing the last few parts im missing. Once I have them and pintastic is over there will be some exciting things happening.

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1 month later
#24 6 months ago

Episode 42: Eye of the Beholder

Prepping for Pintastic meant I left a lot of messes behind. The ones that would bother the wife obviously get cleaned up first, so my basement workshop was the last to get any attention. It's been such a wreck down there that I couldn't get anything done and it took a while to muster the will to clean it. It's still not "clean" but at least I can work.

Cleaned the under playfield a bit, and brushed all the clearcoat slurry dust out of the holes. Time to reattach the Kraken. This is a bigger project then I have time for today however. It's just nice to be working on it again.

Sorted all the parts that are getting powder coated. My local guy picks them up tomorrow.

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#25 6 months ago

Episode 46: A Most Unusual Camera

The lower half of the kraken has been reattached. Pictures are less helpful than ancient markings on the playfield and wire memory. Everything in that mess behind the bag/cloth was deemed not today's problem. One wire/screw at a time. While I did a decent job of keeping everything in the correctish order, its tough to commit and screw things down because I keep being afraid something else will be tangled up. I tried to get as many things sitting in their proper place at once as possible before i started screwing things in. The wire harness brackets were like landmarks that anchored everything nearby to a small area. Overall moving the harness has not been the nightmare I thought it would be. As i finally start getting things in their final positions I service each part before installing it. a lot of the bulb sockets / switches have had their terminals crushed and are deformed. Its actually a good thing I need to reinstall every single part. It means I hopefully wont miss a critical short in one of the GI sockets

Powder coating parts were picked up today. Should have a bunch of really pretty parts in a few weeks.

Episode 46 gives us the story of the Camera on the playfield. A bunch of small time thieves with less than admirable acting ability accidentally steal a camera that turns out can take pictures of 5 minutes into the future. A brief discussion about giving the camera as a gift to the scientific community for the betterment of mankind quickly dissolves when one of them realizes they can take pictures of horse race results sign to find the winners before the race. After a successful day at the track, they find out they (might) only have 2 pictures left and start fighting over what to do next. The remaining few minutes of the episode somehow sees 4 people fall out the same window (nearly one at a time) for almost no reason. Very good case of "Uhhhh... everyone dies. The end"

This episode/premise had real potential but fell flat. If you want a better take on it, go read the "Legion" trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.

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#26 6 months ago

Episode 51: The Invaders

The Kraken has been defeated, at least temporarily. I had to start marking random cut wires I found with large zip ties to make sure I can find them later. Thankfully there aren't as many as I feared, and most are only single pairs of wires. I found a few decent high resolution photos of a proper working TZ online and they have been helpful in putting the puzzle together. I'm going to need to reach out to some other people who have done restores soon for pictures on how a good portion of the top side goes together. If you flip the playfield over things start to get somewhat exciting. It's got standups, rollovers, and a few other switches poking through! That means the true rebuild has begun. More exciting stuff to happen soon hopefully. but first I need to tackle the bin full of unpolished metal parts that I have been putting off for a few months now. I hate hand sanding, but unfortunately its the best way to make the metal guides look nice again.

Episode 51 was one of the best and strangest so far. As far as I can tell the episode contains no dialogue, and focuses entirely on a hermit woman being besieged by tiny adorable space men. They point little LED guns at her and she screams in pain and suffers severe burns. Eventually she fights them off. (with an axe like a badass.) The episode ends with one of the most quintessential TZ twists ever; one I did not see coming. (mostly because I was so entertained I wasn't looking for it) I'm pretty sure the Invaders show up on the DMD during several game animations such as clock millions, shoot again, and match. Unfortunately I cannot find a picture to prove it at the moment.

Post Pintastic episode dump is over. This is now up to date again for a little while at least

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#27 6 months ago

I love this thread. Your chapters being titled episode names is awesome. This game is one I would love to restore someday. Keep up the good work.

#28 6 months ago

Episode 55: Mr. Dingle, the Strong

I spent 3 hours sanding metal guides, forgot to take pictures, and accidentally got myself a little high on naphtha fumes... so ya know... Good day? I've been putting off the sanding for literal months so it's good to have it done. The next day I hit all the metals with the buffing wheel. Really brings out the shine and is a noticeable difference from the factory finish. Somewhat difficult to get a good picture of because they start to mirror my dark ceiling. I snuck in another run of the dishwasher while my wife was at work. This time I washed the cabinet harness, and playfield circuit boards. Made a little circuit board wind chime to let them dry for a few days. I'm not sure why it amused me so much.

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#29 6 months ago

Episode 66: Two

Serviced the (now dry) circuit boards today. Reflowed/cleaned all pins, reflowed the twist-in lamp sockets, and cleaned up everything else I could find. I then attached them to the playfield. Turns out I'm missing 2 lamp boards. The small one that i imagine holds flashers for the center door inserts, and the 4 lamp board that lights the inserts near the slot machine entrance. Not gonna be fun to try and find those. I might have to improvise. I was polishing the playfield magnet when it slipped out of my hands and got thrown by the buffer to the floor. The flimsy/old coil bindings broke and now I have a useless pile of wire. $30 mistake, but could have been worse. I installed the various scoops? Drop pockets? Holes? and as much as I could on the underside of the playfield. The more I install the less of a mess it all seems. and the easier it is to identify cut wire groups for later repair. I'm currently waiting on a $500+ Marco order that is waiting on back-ordered parts. Might have to slow down without these parts available.

Episode 66 was another (mostly) silent episode about two survivors of a war cause apocalypse. What should have been a rushed love story ended up feeling appropriate due to the good acting. I swear TZ gives their best actors/actresses the roles with the least lines. Great episode worthy of note.

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#30 6 months ago

been an awesome read I'm sure to enjoy the next update hopefully that order gets backfilled quickly.

#31 6 months ago

really like your work it s freaking awesome!

#32 6 months ago
Quoted from JoeSoap:

been an awesome read I'm sure to enjoy the next update hopefully that order gets backfilled quickly.

They said they are only waiting on two parts now, so shouldn't take too long. I'm going to pinburgh for the first time this week so the time will fly by for me at least.

2 weeks later
#33 5 months ago

Awesome job on the restore, and the updates! Can't wait to see what comes next

#34 5 months ago

Very enjoyable read so far. Will be following this thread with interest, keep up the great work.

1 week later
#35 5 months ago

So I'm way behind on updates here. Got sick after Pinburgh and have done a lot of waiting on parts, however I still have a bunch of updates. here they are rapid fire!

Episode 70: A Game of Pool

I finally got the motor for the gumball machine so I decided to get it serviced and attached.I took it apart, swapped the new gearbox/motor, cleaned all the parts, and installed the marbles mod. One of the feet for the gumball machine I bought was broken off (this saved me ~$200) so I decided to fix it. I used a product I purchased a loooong time ago cal Plast-aid. I believe it is essentially acrylic dust and a solvent. You mix it up, add some paint if you want, and depending on the ratio you use it can either be poured or molded by hand. I made a mold out of some plastic portions of the packaging and was able to get a decent pour to create a new foot. once it hardens its drillable like other plastics and VERY solid. I don't believe it will be visible, but I did my best to not make it look too bad anyways.

Episode 70 was a REALLY good episode especially for anyone who is into competitive anything (including pinball) local pool wizard gets his shot at playing against the legendary (and dead) player who's shadow he is living in. An excellent opportunity for a lesson learned is missed. Watch this one.

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#36 5 months ago

Episode 79: Five Characters in Search of an Exit

The first of several big parts order came in and reconstruction is now in full swing. It's starting to look a lot like pinball! The real reason for reconstruction at this point was to deep dive and discover as many parts that are missing as possible so they can be sourced and ordered ASAP. I put a good 4 hours into the playfield since I was lucky enough to get linked to someone else's set of tear down photos. I THINK I identified MOST of the remaining missing parts. There are still a few tough to find ones nagging at me but I'm working on solutions or workarounds. For example, I may be 3D printing the flipper opto board mounts and if I cant find the missing lamp board I will be adding 4 lamp sockets to the playfield since there is room. more on that later. I couldn't resist putting the gumball machine on. It makes me smile everytime I look at it. INB4 someone calls me out for having the wrong color pop bumpers; I never really liked that they didn't match. I don't see any game/theme integration that the original colors contribute to, so now they are blue.
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#37 5 months ago

Episode 87: A Piano in the House

This is a big one! The cabinet has arrived! Leslie dropped off this beautiful piece of carpentry today and we spent some time kitting it out with some of the various parts I've collected. Buttons, transformer, hinges, power box, etc. There is still lots more to be done. Next up here will be to run the ground braid. I'm gonna have to check some other peoples work to determine the proper/most efficient path to take with that as Ive never done it before. Once thats done I've once again mostly hit a wall on missing parts (and screws/bolts ugggh). Two more large parts orders due in this week should open up a lot of work. Can't install flippers if you forgot the flipper bushings eh? That kind of stuff.

Episode 87 gives us the story of one of the major playfield features: the piano. The Jackpot shot! Long story short, guy buys an auto playing piano that has a unique power to make people either incredibly truthful or act weirdly opposite of their typical nature... It's not really clear. Guy is a jerk though and tries to use it to humiliate people, which backfires in grand TZ fashion. Decent episode. Was hoping the piano jingle from the game would be in the episode, I do not believe it was.

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#38 5 months ago
Quoted from McSquid:

Episode 79: Five Characters in Search of an Exit
I don't see any game/theme integration that the original colors contribute to, so now they are blue.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

The shooter lane skill shot has red, orange and yellow zones that correspond to the awarded skill shots and pop bumpers that are then lit. The DMD also references red, orange and yellow skill shot awards (if color DMD, the text is colored accordingly).

#39 5 months ago
Quoted from Devo10:

The shooter lane skill shot has red, orange and yellow zones that correspond to the awarded skill shots and pop bumpers that are then lit. The DMD also references red, orange and yellow skill shot awards (if color DMD, the text is colored accordingly).

Interesting. I knew the pops lit one at a time, but I never noticed that the colors matched... I'll decide if I want to switch back to color coded once it's up and running then. Bumper caps and LEDS aren't that expensive. Thanks for the explanation.

1 week later
#40 4 months ago

Episode 100: I Sing the Body Electric

Time to catch up this thread again.
With the latest parts order in, tons of things can now come together. Side rails are now installed because they are 4ft long and get in the way a lot, Gumball serve ramp teases the powder coating, and we have flippers which were all waiting on flipper bushings.

Weird idea for an episode. Kid's mom dies, and after a while Dad is like... Ok I'm buying a robot grandmother/caretaker for you. She's wonderful, and apparently most importantly to the little girl who blames her mom for dying and therefore "abandoning" her: indestructible.

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#41 4 months ago

Episode 103: In His Image

Playfield construction continues. I added the missing posts that came in with the latestr order. Plastics go on where there's nothing left to do underneath them. I got the lock wired up and reinstalled, added optos to gumball serve ramp, and installed the polished magnets and their optos as well. Ive been cleaning and reflowing the opto boards as I come across them. I'm sure with all the neglect that a few of them will be broken. Ive ordered a few extra sets for this eventuality.

I've entered season 4 of twilight zone where they switched the show to an hour long instead of half hour. Unfortunately so far it doesn't seem like like it's helping. I used to complain that they were cramming too complex a plot into a tiny episode...now we have the opposite problem. They aren't bad... They could just be 30m and be fine.

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#42 4 months ago

Episode 110: Miniature

I've been looking forward to working on the mini playfield. It's one of my favorite parts of the game, so I'm putting a lot of effort into it! Hopefully got the mod lighting wiring right. It was nice to have all the parts for once (Just a few extra screws were needed.) I got a good look at the wires that typically get smashed on the right side. None were broken, but I added some heat shrink to each of them and a zip tie to each bundle. Hopefully this additional protection will be enough. If not, ill get the large Cliffy protector. I like the look of the wood so I didn't want to go that route if I didn't have to.

The switch brackets are aftermarket. They eliminate the large ugly grey switch covers that block view, as well as have an extra switch for mods. In this case using star post LEDs. So when the walls are hit, they light up! Unfortunately these lights didn't come in yellow so I went with warm white over yellow posts.

Episode 110 was a good one. Man who just doesn't fit in finds comfort in visiting his local museum. He discovers an incredibly detailed dollhouse display and to his surprise, a tiny woman lives in it. She can't see or hear him but he visits her anyways, often telling her how lonely he feels and how he can see that she is too. Meanwhile his well meaning family thinks he is insane. it was almost over I knew how I WANTED it to end, and it did not disappoint.
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#43 4 months ago

Episode 117: The Incredible World of Horace Ford

I finally made myself take a few hours and do the ground braid. It wasn't nearly as much of a pain as I expected UNTIL I got the rear of the cabinet and I couldn't reach things. Much swearing occurred. When running the braid I mounted each part as I passed it. So the lock bar, playfield stand, power port, and backbox light board are all now installed.

I designed and 3D printed board mounts for the fliptronics type 1 flipper mechs since they cant be bought anywhere as far as I can tell. I made my own "L" lower trim for the speaker panel that I couldn't find to buy out of an "H" trim that is readily available. Made my basement smell like burning plastic but it got the job done as expected.

Went to test fit the speaker panel into the new channel and found that the backbox was thinner in the middle than the top and bottom by about 1/4 inch. I measured and cut a brace to stretch it out. I figured leaving it like this for a few days/weeks will fix it.

Episode 117 is about a lot of people being mean to a mentally challenged person. With the exception of his boss, just about everyone in this guy's life has unrealistic expectations of him and yell at him whenever he is who he is. 3 people living in that house, 2 of sound mind and body, and the entire household income is provided by him? "What are we going to do?" Go back in time and get a job instead of making your mentally challenged son support you.

here is a link to the brackets: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3835725

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#44 4 months ago

Episode 119: Passage on the Lady Anne

So much got done today.
- The coin door is now complete. Custom price cards and clear button plastics look incredible. I should have documented which screws go where better. Could have saved some time. The third coin slot plastic (not button) had to be filed down to fit properly and not jam up the button. Not really sure why, metal might have been slightly bent?

- The clock mounting bracket came in. Polished it up and got it installed. Looks great! The replacement clock face I got is just a flat plastic and doesn't include the corner spacers as it should have so I made some new ones out of 1 and a half of the little spacers I bought for the backbox. Worked fine even if it was a little bit of a pain to install. Next time I'll glue the spacers to the plastic so they are one piece like the original.

- I finished the improvised grounding plate (left over sheet metal from DDR pad build) and got all the boards installed. I used plastic spacers because it is all I could find in sufficient quantity. People keep telling me to check local hardware stores. Yeah they have them... but they don't have 30 of the same size. I'll run a few extra ground wires on the ones that ground from the back and check them all with my meter.

Episode 119 was probably the first episode of season 4 to benefit from the full hour length. It gave room for some character development that could have easily felt rushed. A miserable couple meet some unexpectedly helpful company when their travel agent books them passage on the final voyage of the Lady Ann. Two people have never been happier to be put off the ship in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean.

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#45 4 months ago

Whoa! I like the coin door inserts. Clever!!

1 month later
#46 3 months ago

I know I have apologized in the past for being bad at keeping this thread up to date on my progress. This is probably the worst offense I have committed so far. 32 days since my last post? UNACCEPTABLE. While I have not been updating here, I have indeed been working on it. Here comes a months worth of work in rapid fire (again)

Episode 123: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

Side rails arrived and are installed. (Thanks again Leslie Thompson)
Now all the stuff that mounts to them can go on. I also started in on the cabinet wiring.
Unseen: missing lamp board and several missing GI sockets installed.

I almost dropped the entire playfield trying to mount the rear rails. I forgot I had removed a clamp to install it and gave the rotisserie a tip. The other clamp let go and let's just say I'm glad I had hands on the game. No damage, though I lost a clamp pad somewhere.

Episode 123 made one of The Scary Door episodes make way more sense. Only thing worse than a yeti on a plane is a yeti on the wing F'ing with stuff.

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#47 3 months ago

Episode 124: A Kind of a Stopwatch

Another very productive day!
-Powerfield mounted
-Power wireform ramp and diverter installed (made a hinge pin from a screw since i had no idea what was originally used.)
-Riveted flashers and the ramp flap I made to the ramp body. Also finished the switches.
-Started puzzling out missing or loose wires underneath the playfield.
-Repaired an opto board connector
-Wired up 8 GI lamp sockets that were orphaned.

I suck at riveting, so The new rivets are NOT pretty on the underside, but everything is holding in place and it looks OK on top so I'm calling it good. I also realized after the fact that I had installed the flasher sockets on the TOP of the ramp instead of the underside. I don't care. I'm not redoing it. Looks fine.

Episode 124 was a good one. Not sure if the main character fit the story, but he gets a stopwatch that can stop time. Tries the dumbest crap with it (like trying to convince his boss to sell magic stopwatches?) before figuring out anything useful. Where upon he Immediately screws it up and queues the twilight zone twist.

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#48 3 months ago

Episode 125: The Last Night of a Jockey

Spent the time to get all the plastics that have lamps attached done. This involves a lot of drilling out and setting rivets. Some of them have obvious wiring locations, others will need to be puzzled out as options are narrowed down. Next up: hanging the playfield from the ceiling so I can get at the ends before putting it in the cabinet

Episode 125 is a standard "careful what you wish for" thing... Skip it.

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#49 3 months ago

Episode 126: Living Doll

I didn't mean to get this far tonight but here we are! Playfield is in the cabinet! Looks awesome! I was nervous getting it in there but it actually went fine. I dont even think I scuffed anything. Now that the ends are open I can install the remaining mechanisms.

Unseen: a lot more wiring work with yet more to come. I had to repin the transformer connector with the correct wiring, and replace the fuse holder in the AUX box since the fuse insert was missing.

The beam across the backbox is there because The walls of the backbox are bowed in slightly. The opening is thinner in the middle than the top and bottom, so the backglass and speaker panel dont fit. The beam plus the cloth are 1/4 inch wider that the final product will hopefully be by instruction of Leslie. Left this installed for a few weeks.

Episode 126 tells us the story of "Talky Tina" whom you may recognize from the backglass, and the one who delivers any extra balls you may earn throughout the game. "Living doll" is a pretty standard "Evil doll says creepy things and then kills you" story. We all know how much I LOVE creepy dolls . This doll has the added bonus of being indestructible. Trust me the dude tried everything I would have! (including a vice, fire, and a chop saw.) She got him in the end, but honestly he had it coming. He made that painfully obvious by being just about as big of an asshole as possible for the first 15 minutes of the episode.
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#50 3 months ago

Episode 127: The Old Man in the Cave

I spent the entire weekend cleaning my house, so here is a quick one. The speaker panel is done, and the Pinsound board has been installed. I've been trying to boot the game. (without playfield) I believe the (new) DMD controller board is broken (voltages are all over the place or missing)

The MPU is booting however, and so it now makes sound! So far it's only complained about not have a USB stick but it's something. The first output of any kind the game has probably had in 30 years.

I also got the remaining playfield mechs and crossover ramp installed (like the upper and lower diverters)

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