New! Dark mode!

Browsing Pinside at night? Getting tired of all the white? Switch to dark mode using the button in the top right (or CTRL-B)!

(Topic ID: 219936)

weird issues with my 1980 Stern Galaxy

By K1ngN0thing

2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 42 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by eh97ac
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


Linked Games

  • Galaxy Stern Electronics, 1980

Topic Gallery

There have been 7 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

pasted_image (resized).png
J-1 (resized).jpg
J-1 A (resized).jpg
a2 (resized).jpg
deadlights (resized).png
machine (resized).jpg

#1 2 years ago

(phone didn't record audio for some reason)

just got a galaxy and don't think I reconnected everything correctly. P1 score display flickers and has a dead digit, the others are fine. also, the spinner causes the right pop bumper to trigger, and the start button causes the left one to pop.

unplugged it, plugged it back in again, and am seeing similar issues though not the exact ones. the other displays now have a dead digit, the Y rollover causes the uppermost bumper to pop, the spinner no longer triggers the other bumper, nor does the start button trigger the left one. however, pressing the start button three times caused my credits to hit 99. also, it's not counting down whenever the ball drains. these issues were not present prior to transport. one thing I noticed were the ribbon cable connections having more pins than there are holes on the connectors, and I wasn't sure on exactly which pins to connect the left connection.

each time I plug it back in the issues are slightly different. the last time I plugged it in, this happened:

#2 2 years ago

there appears to be some kind of short in the coin door.

after disconnecting it the game logic issues seemed to be resolved. however, I'm still not sure what's going on with the score displays. also, after running out of balls, it will go from 0 credits to some positive number.

#3 2 years ago

Not weird at all. Quite typical problems actually.

You didn't hook up anything wrong.

You have cold solder joint(s) on that display.

Regarding coin input issues, you probably need to reset your audit information. Instructions for that are in the manual which can be found on

You could also have MPU battery issues or dip switch issues relating to coinage.

The randomly firing solenoid(s) on a Stern or Bally are usually due to a shorted disc capacitor somewhere on the play field. Enter switch test and diagnose by triggering each switch on the top and bottom of the play field, confirming along the way that only one switch is being triggered at a time. (instructions in manual).

#4 2 years ago

any idea where I can download the manual?

also, there's definitely something going on with the coin door. I forgot to tape it shut before the drive and it got knocked around a bit. when the game's running, if I close it with a little force, it causes a reset, as if I had just plugged the game in.

regarding the display, it was working properly before I moved the machine, so I'm not sure cold solder joints are the problem.

#5 2 years ago is where you download the manual. Just search for your game.

ClosIng the Coin door hard is causing a slam tilt. The game is supposed to do this.

It’s cold solder on your display.

#6 2 years ago

I don't think the issue is on the display end as the problem has now evolved to displays 1,2,4 all having the same digit out, while 3 only has one digit lit

#7 2 years ago

also, the general illumination lights are off and do not light during the self-test

#8 2 years ago

You need to do one thing at a time and this is gonna take little bit to figure out the multiple problems. You may want to look through pinside at other repairs that have been done to the classic Stern machines.

#9 2 years ago

To clarify, the Player 1 display flickering is cold solder, not the missing digit(s). Those are likely a missing wire or broken pin in a harness at the mpu.

#10 2 years ago
Quoted from K1ngN0thing:

also, the general illumination lights are off and do not light during the self-test

They are on in your video. Have they since gone out?

#11 2 years ago

yes. shortly after they went out they flashed on for a second or two but have not seen any action since.

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from K1ngN0thing:

yes. shortly after they went out they flashed on for a second or two but have not seen any action since.

In that case, you probably need to rebuild the AC voltage GI plug that connects to the transformer.

#13 2 years ago

the fact that I have no idea what you're talking about means I should probably hire someone

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from K1ngN0thing:

the fact that I have no idea what you're talking about means I should probably hire someone

Maybe if you add where you are located another pinsider may offer to stop by and take a look. It is much easier to diagnose an issue if you can see it in person.
Just a thought.

#15 2 years ago

located in MA. I should update that some of the earlier issues, like credits being added or not counting the balls correctly I think were a misunderstanding of custom settings that add 3 credits for a high score, and the ball count seemed stuck I think because I had a multiplayer game going. Also interesting to note is the issue with the pop bumpers triggering on spinner and credit button is gone now that the GI lights are off.

#16 2 years ago

Haven't touched anything and the problem has spontaneously degraded. Now display 1 is not lit, and 2 is flickering as if the bulbs are dying. Now wondering if my GI bulbs have burnt out. note that when I press the credit button during the last ball, a solid 0 shows up. this definitely seems like some kind of voltage issue.

#17 2 years ago

credit button wasn't properly insulated. stuck a piece of paper in there and it fixed the new issues of starting with 80 credits and crackling from the speaker coinciding with random digits flickering on the displays. little to no crackling now and little to no flickering digits, but still have the other display issues. it seems this short did some damage, but where, and is it repairable?

#18 2 years ago

difficult to justify spending more on this machine than I already have, but I can offer 5 sticker vending machines to someone willing to do the job. these are easily worth at least $50 each, and much more if you use them to sell stickers.

machine (resized).jpg

#19 2 years ago

I do repairs but I am in VA. Much too far of a drive. You will probably have a hard time hiring a pro to come out for trade on those sticker vending machines. Maybe a pinsider close by you will come help. At any rate. the displays on that machine need components replaced to get them working correct. There are repair guides out there but if you don't own a desoldering gun and soldering equipment and have experience this is not a good place to start getting the experience. This displays are virtually irreplaceable as far as originals and you destroy one you will be spending $250 for new replacements. If you only replace one it will not exactly match the other originals. To help with your GR issues you can unplug and replug the connectors on the rectifier board. This is the small board in the bottom right of the back box sitting just above the transformer which is the black cube inside a small cage with wires coming off of it. Do this with power off. Pull at the connectors and not the wires. Be firm but gentle because you could snap the board if you just go yanking stuff around. This MAY get your gi working but may not. As far as your issues with one thing triggering another and such, there are componenets under the playfield such as diodes and ceramic capacitors that need to be checked and replaced. Again, a good soldering iron and steady hand are needed. Also needed is a good multimeter with diode checking function to check these components. If you have a knack for picking up these kind of skills then investing in the tools is a great idea. then read repair guides and watch videos on Youtube to get you along. It sounds like you are more interested in hiring this out though. nothing wrong with that. Be aware labor isn't cheap by any means for a quality tech. We invest a lot in our tools and have spent a lot of time getting the experience we have to be able to do repair with quality results and efficiently. Good luck in your search.

#20 2 years ago

you buy a pinball machine to relieve stress and all it does is add more. I just don't have the budget for this hobby

#21 2 years ago

It is an expensive hobby. I suggest if you want a machine and aren't going to make major repairs yourself and don't have a tech in your area that can fit your budget get a machine that is already working properly and well maintained. You'll pay more up front but probably get to enjoy the game more.

#22 2 years ago

there was nothing wrong with this machine until I moved it. the $800 I spent on this machine was barely justifiable. it was my leisure expense for the year. can't justify pouring more into it. being self-employed my income isn't easily predicted, and the IRS fucks you by essentially doubling your income tax. I'll just mess around with it over the next 6 months or however long it takes, I guess.

#23 2 years ago

reseated the display connectors. they're all lit up and all missing the tens digit, which I can live with for now. however, many of the feature lights are now out as well. as I understand it, the GI lights are all on a single relay. is there a fuse I can check for this? what about the feature lights?

also, wondering if there's anywhere to purchase the star rollover housing circled in green. the stem is broken so the star sometimes lifts out.

deadlights (resized).png
#24 2 years ago

I have a Galaxy and had the wrong solenoid fire also. The issue on mine was the wires going to the solenoid driver board had some bad connectors. I would be willing to bet you need to redo the connectors and maybe the header pins also.

#25 2 years ago

would that cause the dead lights?

#26 2 years ago

Bad connectors can cause dozens of issues from no lights to flaky solenoids. And even some weird issues. There are several good YouTube videos on connector repairs. Start there. Some videos even give you websites to buy them from.

#27 2 years ago

First of all, none of your symptoms are "related". You seem to be searching for one single solution to all your problems and that is not going to happen. There are multiple problems, (mostly connection related) causing your game to not work properly.

Ok so we've established:

You don't want to spend any money on the game.
You don't care how long it takes to fix it.
You are completely committed to getting the game running on your own, with advice from

That's all fine but answer this:

You went to buy a machine from 1980 that appeared to be fully working. You moved it and now it's not. How long did you expect it to fully work without problems?

If your answer is anything other than, "I expect it to break and have issues for quite a while until I spend countless hours on repairing it myself, until they are all bulletproofed." then you should probably just sell it to someone else and move on to some other hobby.

For some people, owning a pinball machine sounds like a great idea until you discover you are not patient, and do not want to know or understand how to fix it.

The game you bought was never gone through and bulletproofed. Until it is gone over, it will continue to have issues pop up here and there, FOREVER.

If you are ok with being your own pinball repair man, then I 2nd the suggestion of replacing the General Illumination connectors and to visually inspect the display connectors at the MPU to resolve you missing digit. Then, you can resolve your other minor issues. If you are not willing to hunt down flakey pins/connectors and replace those (a very bright LED flashlight helps here so that you can see in to the connectors and check for broken/bent pins and corrosion), you will not get much resolved asking for help here.

#28 2 years ago

OK. Baby steps. Before you can learn to fix anything you first have to know what it is.

Here is a reasonable copy of your manual. Print it out if you can. Sometimes there is no replacement for hard copy.

A brief entry primer. The Stern you bought it not hard to work on. But you are going to need tools. As well as the correct screwdrivers you will need pliers. You will need a soldering iron and solder and you will need to learn how to solder.

And you need to know what the parts are or there is no way anyone can communicate with you. And there is no way you can communicate with anyone.

You have mechanical parts. You have electronic parts. Learn the manual.

You have 5 circuit boards in Galaxy. Underneath the play field in front of the transformer you have what is commonly called rectifier board--less commonly refered to as A-2 You have 3 connectors on A-2. Upper left is connector J-2, upper right is J-2, and the large connector is J-3. J-1 controls your GI lights (red wire), feature/play field lights (blue wire), ground wire for GI lights (white wire). ----more to come when I get home next week and have my notes in front of me.

Inside your back box you have 3 more large circuit boards. Upper left is the MPU which is the brains of your pin. Upper right is the SDU (solenoid driver unit). The SDU is loaded up with lots of transistors that control all of your solenoid coils that work the flippers, pops, slingshots, etc.

Lower left is the lamp driver board that makes ALL of your play field lights burn.

On the upper left side is a smaller board that is your sound board.

These 5 boards are A1,A2,A3, A4 and A5.

Here is another brief primer until I get home. This is electronics/schematic talk. I am going to tell you to take a close look at A2-J1-2. What I just said was to look at the red wire on the rectifier board A2. Look at the connector on J1, the upper left connector on A2. This connector can hold up to eight wires numbered 1 thru eight from left to right. You look at wire #2. If my memory serves me correctly, A2-J1-2 is the red wire that power your GI lights. And I believe A2-J1-6 is the white GI ground wire.

I'm done now. Read the manual. Learn some stuff. Try to come with lots of questions and write them down. I'll help you all I can when I get home. And it looks like you already have quite a few standing by to help out.

#29 2 years ago

I'm home and found schematics for Galaxy on

Ignore page #1 for now.

Page #2 is the schematic for your rectifier board. Over in top right it shows Connector J-2 (cabinet). The connector pins are not shown in count order which allows for cleaner drawing lines. The J-1 connector in in the middle and shows Pin 1 as the red "R" wire that controls all of your GI lights; this would be A2-J1-1. Pin A2-J1-8 is the White "W" return wire for all of your GI lights.

Page #3 shows your switch matrix, your solenoid matrix and your feature lights on the play field and there connector numbers. I don't expect you to understand any of this at this time. It is confusing when you first look at it. And then a light bulb will go off and you reach the "Aha" moment.

Page #4 shows how all of your wiring connects together. This is the A1-A2-A3-A4-A5 business I talked about.

A1 Insert is for your displays in the back box.

A2 is the Transformer or rectifier board I talked.

A3 is the Solenoid driver board (SDU) and lives in the upper right hand side of your back box.

A4 is the MPU and it lives in the upper left hand side of the back box.

A5 is the Lamp Driver (LDA)

And now, unfortunately, some of the drawing I need to show you is on another page that is not here and what is here is too fuzzy to read. I can make copies to up load and will wait to hear from you to see if you are still interested and if you have decided to keep you Galaxy.

#30 2 years ago

there is nothing connected to A2-J1

also, here's the solenoid firing while the rocket sound plays during attract mode:

a2 (resized).jpg
#31 2 years ago

Are you sure the connector is not stuck behind the board mate? , the red /white/blue white / blue wires,
Or someone has soldered them to the back of the board , I wouldn't think so as it's a new rectifier board .
The plug that's got the green wires is to the knocker , knocker looks missing as is the cover on the flasher relay

#32 2 years ago

they are soldered to the back of the board

not sure what you mean by missing plug

#33 2 years ago

I mean I see that it looks like those green wires need to connect to something, but there's nowhere for them to go. not really sure what's going on there.

#34 2 years ago

I was home and now I am not. I will be back home late tomorrow and get you some pics.

I don't what that little thing that is clicking is supposed to be for.

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from K1ngN0thing:

here's the solenoid firing while the rocket sound plays during attract mode:

That's a relay that switches the playfield general illumination lamps on and off for special effects

#36 2 years ago
Quoted from K1ngN0thing:

I mean I see that it looks like those green wires need to connect to something, but there's nowhere for them to go. not really sure

That connector with the green wires is for a knocker coil, Which is missing, I can see the 2 screw holes where it has been mounted
And The wires that you say are soldered to the back of the board , would normally be plugged to the J1 socket , This is common that they get soldered to the back sometimes ,
If it was my game , I would reverse that, de solder them and put them back into connector housing

#37 2 years ago

OK. You got some horseshit relay that someone added on. It should not be there.

Here is the J-1 connector and wiring.

Red wire powers your GI lights. A2-J1-1

First blue wire powers some of your feature lights. A2-J1-3

Blue/White wire sends power to the flipper coils.
You will see it soldered to the fuse holder under the play field between the flippers. A2-J1-6

2nd blue wire is an extra buss for powering a different string of feature lights. A2-J1-7

White wire is return/ground wire for the GI lights.

J-1 (resized).jpg
J-1 A (resized).jpg

#38 2 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

OK. You got some horseshit relay that someone added on. It should not be there.

Galaxy uses the relay....although that one could be replaced.

#39 2 years ago
Quoted from eh97ac:

Galaxy uses the relay....although that one could be replaced.

My bad. I did not see it on the IPDB. org blueprint. I'll have to study my manual more closely when I get home. Do you know where I can find it on the print?


#40 2 years ago

It should be on the cabinet wiring diagram, look for a "Gen. Illum." or "G.I." relay

#41 2 years ago

Only mention I can see of the G.I relay in the schematics:

#42 2 years ago
pasted_image (resized).png
Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
From: $ 25.00
Machine - Wanted
Mount Washington, KY
From: $ 45.00
From: $ 15.00
From: $ 18.00
Apparel - Men
Pinside Shop
$ 49.99
From: $ 140.00
$ 100.00
Playfield - Protection
Beehive Pinball Co.
From: $ 5.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
UpKick Pinball
From: $ 14.00
Third Coast Pinball

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside