(Topic ID: 47227)

Unsure - Is this a prototype F-14 Tomcat or not?


By wayout440

6 years ago



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  • 19 posts
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  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Smithlife
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f14_clear_domes.jpg
793379435_2813441751_0.jpeg
793379532_2813442072_0.jpeg
$T2eC16Z,!)UE9s3wDd4,BR,rowzulw~~60_3..jpg

#1 6 years ago

An Ebay post for an F-14 Tomcat supposedly a prototype, but is it actually?

ebay.com link

It has some of the characteristics but no "X" in the serial number (abiguous according to the IPDB,
"Designer Steve Ritchie tells us that there were 10 prototype games made. He also says that, while the X in the serial number means "prototype", this was not used consistently at Williams. One of these games is pictured in this listing with serial number 554-X 94222.)
http://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?any=F-14+Tomcat+&search=Search+Database&searchtype=quick#804

The Ebay posted unit has a production cabinet like mine. It does have the clear dome and lenses (I also have the clear dome and lenses). The Ebay posted unit has ROMs marked as proto, as mine does not. I have added back the red flashers that were missing at the top of the playfield.

I've posted a pic of the game serial tag in question (95204), then the next pic is of my F-14 serial number tag (99125), and then a pic of my date of manufacture tag, which shows 87117 (does this translate to January 17, 1987?) IPDB shows manufacture date of March 1987, so what does this mean?

Looking at the serial numbers on the Internet Pinball Serial Number Database puts them pretty far down in the list, I don't think either are truly prototype, but just early production units.
http://www.ipsnd.net/View.aspx?id=804

$T2eC16Z,!)UE9s3wDd4,BR,rowzulw~~60_3..jpg 793379532_2813442072_0.jpeg 793379435_2813441751_0.jpeg

#2 6 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

An Ebay post for an F-14 Tomcat supposedly a prototype, but is it actually?

The game is early production and not a prototype. Mine is a few numbers before 95204. Has the proto roms, clear flasher caps and the extra flashers are wired from factory. It's early production. My game was built in March 87.

#3 6 years ago

Mine is an early production unit as well. Still haven't added the flashers. But, I've been trying to deyellow the clear white beacon cap. It's much improved but has more to go. One more try and I'll accept where it is.

#4 6 years ago

I've been trying to deyellow the clear white beacon cap. It's much improved but has more to go. One more try and I'll accept where it is.

I bought a new clear dome at a show a few years ago, mine was bad.

f14_clear_domes.jpg

#5 6 years ago
Quoted from sanctumwear:

The game is early production and not a prototype. Mine is a few numbers before 95204. Has the proto roms, clear flasher caps and the extra flashers are wired from factory. It's early production. My game was built in March 87.

So what is the date code format actually? Is it yy/mm/dd? or yy/dd/mm

Hard to tell with 5 digits - almost certain the first 2 would be the year - 87
but then the whole number is "87117" on my tag.

Mine is early production too. Has the striped fancier cabinet, no proto label on the ROMS and no X in the serial number. I don't think that Ebay one is a proto just because I could stick proto labeled ROMs in mine and it would be the same.

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from sanctumwear:

I bought a new clear dome at a show a few years ago, mine was bad.

If my science project doesn't work, I'll try to find one like that, looks good.

#7 6 years ago

My f-14 sn# is 554 103546

The other sticker is faded but reads 87147

#8 6 years ago

Item seems to be gone.

F-14 is a weird game because a lot of the things listed as prototypes seem to randomly occur throughout the production run, and are not confined to any particular points in time. My game has the clear beacons, clear flashers in the back, but is missing the extra flashers and has the standard cabinet design.

My hunch is that Williams made the changes, and then the game was so popular when they ran out of the new parts they randomly slapped whatever they had lying around in the games to keep them coming out of the factory. It's very confusing though, as the way IPDB labels it seemingly half of the F-14s I have seen are prototypes.

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from goatdan:

Item seems to be gone.
F-14 is a weird game because a lot of the things listed as prototypes seem to randomly occur throughout the production run, and are not confined to any particular points in time. My game has the clear beacons, clear flashers in the back, but is missing the extra flashers and has the standard cabinet design.
My hunch is that Williams made the changes, and then the game was so popular when they ran out of the new parts they randomly slapped whatever they had lying around in the games to keep them coming out of the factory. It's very confusing though, as the way IPDB labels it seemingly half of the F-14s I have seen are prototypes.

Yes it is. Another variance I didn't mention is that some F-14s have pc boards running the length of the arrow inserts using 555 wedge bulbs and some (early?) games like mine have 44/47 sockets under those arrows.

When Ritchie mentions on IPDB quote "the X in the serial number wasn't used consistently at Williams" that really throws that estimate of 10 prototypes out the window doesn't it? It's almost worse than the quantity of Marilyn Taxi's debate.

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from goatdan:

Item seems to be gone.

Huh, found again:
ebay.com link » Williams F14 Tomcat Prototype Collectors Pinball Machine Leds Custom Jet Mod

#11 6 years ago

not a prototype, they had different side art. Could be a sample which had clear flasher domes in the back panel, clear dome on top, and all 4 flasher working at the top. Also has a different pcb on the score display assembly with 4 lamp socket acceptors for lighting up the "#1 in Pinball" area.

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from epotech:

not a prototype, they had different side art. Could be a sample which had clear flasher domes in the back panel, clear dome on top, and all 4 flasher working at the top. Also has a different pcb on the score display assembly with 4 lamp socket acceptors for lighting up the "#1 in Pinball" area.

Hard for me to tell if the red flashers are actually working from the photos, almost looks like just bright GI from the LEDs. As well the "#1 in Pinball", I'm not convinced that is backlit from the photos, could it just be the red lettering is being illuminated from the front since the game is so bright?

#13 6 years ago

My game is a late model ( high sn#) and has the individual lights under the red and blue chevrons. It looks like it had the two extra flashers at one time, there removed now. The back flashers are red... But wouldn't it be easy to change these to white, to make it look like a prototype machine

#14 6 years ago

I wonder why he didn't LED the blue inserts? My ROMs had Proto 5 stickers on them. He should post a screenshot of the display showing what version is installed instead of the chip photos.

#15 6 years ago
Quoted from Geocab:

My ROMs had Proto 5 stickers on them

doesn't make it a proto machine, my sample Earthshaker had proto 4 roms

#16 6 years ago
Quoted from epotech:

doesn't make it a proto machine, my sample Earthshaker had proto 4 roms

Exactly.

I'd go with prototype (and proto price premium) if that game at least had
a) an "X" in the serial number
or
B) the black plain cabinet (like pictured on IPDB).

The clear domes/flashers, proto ROMs etc... can all be found on early production and spread throughout the serial numbers. On top of that all those items can be changed easily.

Nice game but I feel the price is a bit inflated as "1 of 10" proto, which I feel it is not.

#17 6 years ago

Definitely an early run not a proto. Mine is S/n: 95113, has clear flashers. clear beacon, and proto Roms and is just an early run machine.

#18 6 years ago
Quoted from epotech:

doesn't make it a proto machine, my sample Earthshaker had proto 4 roms

Oh, i wasn't saying mine was proto, i know it's an early run. I just left out a bunch of details explaining why i said that. It was early. Haha

In his photo, the sticker on the ROM says Proto 2 if I'm making it out right. Mine said 5, but i pulled the sticker off and underneath it says rev 1. I was just saying I'd like to see what his display says as to what software version is installed.

I definitely think his price is too high.

#19 6 years ago

Really good.I will concern about it.

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