(Topic ID: 81336)

"Welcome to the Circus!" - CV Club for Owners, Fans

By Dbaum88

5 years ago

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  • 1,024 posts
  • 165 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by burtcam
  • Topic is favorited by 87 Pinsiders


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#2 5 years ago

Just got mine last week and finally joined the club. I think it's one of the most beautiful games out there. Regarding air balls; yes! I had that happen when I first got the game. The Ringmaster assembly needs to be flush with the play field. There is good instruction in the manual about this, but the lid of his hat needs to be perfectly flush, otherwise it will ski jump and launch balls up and over him. Once I adjusted this, it hasn't happened again.

I have a few tweaks left to do to my game, but it's playing 100% and looking great!

Green neon over here and a yellow menagerie ball


#7 5 years ago
Quoted from Dbaum88:

Okay, I will give that a try! Thanks Marc. Did you just manually adjust it with your hands or open it up? Tighten it?

There is a set screw at the bottom of the mechanism, under the PF. It's easy to adjust. You loosen four screws that allow it to move around and then set the height properly. It's well documented in the manual. Should take you only a few minutes.


#23 5 years ago

Just had an amazing 58 million point game after adjusting and lubricating the ringmaster. If he is loud or otherwise not going up smoothly, it's time to lube the mechanisms and tracks. Can't believe how much better it is now.

Plastic protectors are on the way, along with a new skill
Shot plastic as mine is indeed broken

#24 5 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

I'll check in as a charter member--still have the CV I bought NIB back in '98. Really like the home ROM too.
Some tips and Qs:
I added some colored bulbs to mine--prefer the mellow look of incandescents. This includes some red GI to match a few red plastics, blue under the slingshots, and alternating purple and green for the 9 marvel inserts above the flippers. You can get lots of colored bulbs cheap at pinball life!
Put a plastic protector over the skillshot target plastic (under the center ramp). It WILL break.
Take a few minutes and tweak the horseshoe around the RM. I adjusted the lane guides so that neither slow nor fast shots will result in a SDTM drain. Also tweak the right orbit guide so the returning ball just misses the slingshot. Make the pops sensitive y adjusting the contact switches. These little things really make this game flow.
As mentioned above, make sure the RM top plate is flush with the pf. Buy some spare top plates and decals. They get beat up. Also make sure the boom balloon plastic top is perfectly flush with the pf. There's a screw at the bottom of the bracket (below the pf) to adjust overall height . Adjust this so the lower edge of the plastic is flush. Then adjust the screw holding the upper edge of the plastic down. It should have a small o-ring below it so this upper edge can be raised or lowered.
Some people replace the clear 'bell' disk in the backbox with a real metal bell. You can also get spare menagerie balls in different colors for variety. They're cheap!
Strategy-wise, it's best to AVOID the acrobat ramp and not complete the acrobat marvel. This way, you can defeat 4 ringmasters and then play the lucrative RM Battle mode. Stacking MBs is easy too. You can try to hit 2 non-locking center ramp shots before lighting all locks, so that the high wire and strike an arc MBs start together. And get the RM up before starting any other MB so you can stack the RM MB with it. Once you start a RM MB, you can't start another MB until the RM MB ends, so no stacking that way. It's advisable to stack a MB (juggler, high wire) with the RM Special MB. Otherwise, you have to score several hits on the RM for Special to get the RM up. If started during another MB, the RM Special starts with the RM all the way up.
Oh yeah. And I have JPOP's original proto 'rules' card in my apron.

How do you adjust the horseshoe? A slow shot around the back of the RM will go STDM. I would love to fix this! Maybe send some pics if you have them.



#36 5 years ago
Quoted from Dbaum88:

So, took your advice, tightened up the screw, now works great. Even balances the ball for a few extra seconds. Thanks!


#38 5 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

To adjust the horseshoe, just bend the end of the ball guide slightly, inward or outward. You can gently/carefully lever it with a thin screwdriver, grab it with needlenose pliers, etc. I really prefer NOT having unsaveable SDTM drains on a legit shot! It's good to tweak the orbit exit as well. When the ball comes down the orbit, it should not hit the slingshot, but run along the front of it to the flipper with little or no contact. That's how the games are designed.

Any chance you can share some pics? I'd love to see how you have your setup.

6 months later
#88 5 years ago

How many balls do you have installed into the game?

1 year later
#246 3 years ago

I ordered the ColorDMD

2 months later
#299 3 years ago
Quoted from jmountjoy111:

Hey guys, I am on the hunt for a bidirectional motor board part # A-15680. It is only used in a few games and CV is one. If any of you have an extra you'd be interested in letting go of I'd be a buyer. Working or not. I picked up a doctor who and the board is MIA. Hard game to play without the mini playfield raising lol. Just let me know. I appreciate it.


Homepin makes one but it's out of stock. Maybe ask Homepin if they plan to produce more.

4 months later
#328 2 years ago

Replace the switches. I found years ago these nice switches with rolling balls on the actuators. I'll see if I can find the link.

#338 2 years ago
Quoted from limelime20:

To know, you own a machine that was made by the worst criminal known in the pinball history...
How can you play it, let alone own it?

Because it's a great pinball machine?

#340 2 years ago
Quoted from limelime20:

To know, you own a machine that was made by the worst criminal known in the pinball history...
How can you play it, let alone own it?

You own a World Cup Soccer...

#341 2 years ago
Quoted from limelime20:

Who programmed it?

Cameron Silver

#345 2 years ago

Replace the switches

3 weeks later
#374 2 years ago

Totally normal. You're racing against the game turning the magnet on and sometimes it's just too fast for the magnetic field to catch it.

1 month later
#394 2 years ago
Quoted from flipper73:

Hi all. i also joined the club some weeks ago. a fantastic game! i wonder of you could help me with this. where can i buy the plastic from the boom baloon bumper? thank you in advance. best regards ralf


3 months later
#466 2 years ago
Quoted from Bluefishy:

Ok had little joy so far so thought would post this here on group, I have posted this in the wanted parts section as well. So trying everything. Any help appreciated.
Maybe I am mad but this is my Sleeper Project , I realised that I always seem to have had one of these , and then last couple of years my efforts got diverted to other stuff. So now its time to start the next project , No time limit , no budget limit , and will probably more a labour of love.
So the challenge. I got offered a badly damaged CV. In fact more accurately it's probably more like a bag of bits from a CV. It's a water damaged machine with a lot of bits missing. So for instance no,, no boards, lots of mechs missing , flippers , coils etc, but I have a cab and a bad play field that is partly populated, but they are badly damaged so need to be replaced. No problem I thought this is easy , you can source repro playfields and I also luckily have potential donor machine which is a NBA Fastbreak. So I could rob bits from that to get the CV working as it has the boards and flippers etc . Of course that's means a CV lives for a NBA to die, so not ideal but I was thinking , parts wise, between the two I should be ok, except the CV is missing machine specific toys to the machine and without them it's not possible to restore.
So that brings me to try and source them from pinside.
So I need help. I need the following:
Ringmaster mechanism, the main toy on the machine
Disappearing pop bumper mech – again a very specific toy to this machine
I am sure there's other bits missing but most other stuff I think I can source?
Condition does not matter as I just want to get it all working and then will look to do it up.
Anyone got anything , just sitting there , waiting to be restored , repaired , rescued ? Or know of someone who may have some bits, maybe some has has a spare play field with the bits I need. If so I would buy the whole thing as I am willing to look at anything?
I am based in the U.K. And we have a great pinball forum over here called pinball.info. If I can get these bits and get the project going will be posting progress pics and story over there and post a link on here of progress.
So let's try and bring a machine back from the dead, can anyone help?

I have a spare IPB CV PF. PM me.

#469 2 years ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

With regards to the metal guide that holds the Blue Nub of Death on the right side of the "SPIN" loop that is unobtanium https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/wtb-cirqus-voltaire-center-ramp-metal-protector#post-3068129 and many people have been looking for over the years. I talked to Kerry at Mantis and he said he could definitely produce it but he needs someone to send one to him so he can get all the measurements, etc. You'd receive a spare for your efforts and would be helping many owners who don't have one on their games (yours truly included). If you're willing to lend yours out for a week or so please PM me or send a note directly to Kerry - thanks!

I am going to do a PF swap very soon, so, I could possibly help. Is it the whole metal ball guide, or just the small bracket that holds the blue rubber piece? Feel free to PM me.


1 week later
#493 2 years ago
Quoted from shovelhed:

Anyone making the neon tubes? I would like to get one in aqua blue. Any leads would be great!

Bay Area amusements. I got my red tube from them.

2 months later
#570 2 years ago
Quoted from arzoo:

Hey all - I've been unable to get the Cannonball Luck switch in the backbox to work reliably (if at all). This of course displays a switch error every time the pin boots. Bending the switch wire out further so the ball will trigger the switch causes the ball to get stuck. Another post suggested adding weight to the ball, but someone else mentioned that the additional weight may cause the solenoid bracket to crack the plastic. Another suggestion was to add a second ball? Does anyone have a definitive solution for this? Thanks!

I just bent the switch until it was just so. It took a lot of tries, but I eventually found it.

#574 2 years ago

Try a new switch?

#579 2 years ago

Looks great! Nice pickup!

1 month later
#614 1 year ago

My swap/restore is done! New playfield cleared by Ron Kruzman, new plastics, posts, rubber, regrained all the metal, new rails by taylorva, new pops, basically I replaced nearly everything on top, cleaned anything I couldn’t replace (ramps were new last year). Came out great!

My favorite game, well worth the effort, did a ton of pre-planning and got the swap done in less than a week. I love vacations from work when I can just work all day. Probably 50 hours start to finish.

With the new playfield, the game is fast and much, much harder than it was before. It’s a brutal beauty that’s as much fun to play as it is to look at.


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1 week later
#617 1 year ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

Looks fantastic!

Thank you!

#622 1 year ago
Quoted from Coyote:

As far as I know, colors were completely random coming out of the factory. I don't know how much they made of each color. (Would guess that noone knows of-hand. Would need to check purchase records or talk to the neon shop that originally made them.)
There's two types of neon tubes used in the game - true Neon gas tubes (orange-red when on, *clear* when off) and Argon gas tubes (Blue, White, Green, Purple with the game, other colors can be done custom - these appear white or colored when off).
There are some games out there with custom tubes - back between '03 and '08, I had custom tubes made to order. Had a lot of neat colors go out the door. I don't know how many are left out there now.

I had a red neon tube that I bought from Rick in 2014; I believe it is one of yours. It replaced a green factory argon tube. I swapped out the transformer in 2015 when I replaced all of the ramps. I love the red tube; that game is so pretty.

1 week later
#628 1 year ago
Quoted from BallyWilliams:

Hi. Have you seen a guide (ideally video) on how to swap the neon?

There’s not a lot to it:

1. Remove the Neon ramp from the game
2. Drill out and remove the rivets that hold the ramp together

The neon tube has wires that protrude on both sides and are just hand twisted together.

#631 1 year ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Just do NOT DO THIS with the game on! That is VERY high voltage!

Hopefully the take the neon ramp out of the game would cover that, but, yes....

#634 1 year ago

The juggler will not be OK with this

#637 1 year ago
Quoted from BallyWilliams:

Thanks For that.
That's alot for a beginner. I'm spending my time sorting damage so to drill out stuff will be a first haha
Out of curiosity are you aware of a video tutorial or decent visual guides on this job?

I don’t since the work was done long ago. If you need help, just ask, not clear what would be helpful to you.


#639 1 year ago

I used small machine screws on my ramp. I have even seen people use white zip ties neatly trimmed. Either way, it’s not a ramp you need to often open up.

#642 1 year ago

It has been opened, possibly to replace the transformer or the neon. Hard to tell. But it has been opened; the factory didn’t do that.

3 months later
#680 1 year ago
Quoted from SuperDaveOsbourn:

Did a simple SearchTempest search for the entire US, and came up with this laughing cracker post about someone wanting $12,500 for a CV. I'm still rolling, but suspect that someone will actually pay for it at that price.
denver.craigslist.org link

To be honest, a HEP restored game is worth around that... you can’t get a beater CV for less than 6, and HEP isn’t cheap (but worth it). So, 12k is about what you’re pay to have one that nice.

2 weeks later
#690 1 year ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

The Mod Couple welcomes home Cirqus Voltaire with our first CV Mod "The Ringmaster Custom Guard" kit. While we understand this is not a New concept no solutions appear to be available and we wanted to make a few refinements to make it perfect for such a Beautiful game! Each ring is produced with a Very tough Nylon material to ensure extreme durability and uniform color. For some added value and finesse we added Raised lettering to showcase the star of the show and hand painted each for a great custom theme look. The ring is specially designed with a split ring opening for an easy straight forward installation and will also accommodate standard playfields as well as ones that are clear coated and slightly smaller in diameter!! The Ringmaster guard is a Complete custom kit including a New replacement Ringmaster Spell Wow decal and a New ultra strong nylon black top Ringmaster disk for a completely Smooth ball travel and minimized air balls!! Simple installation with color image instructions. PM for interest and order. Kits shipping this week complete for $69 US Free shipping. Thanks to all for your interest in our products!!

Finally! Just ordered; very excited to get this installed on my restored CV.


3 months later
#717 1 year ago
Quoted from whthrs166:

Installed the Pinbits Blackout mod last night. CV is only second to AFM for the dramatic difference it will make once installed. A certain "must have" in my book. I was not prepared for what the back box lighting does when you are in "fire that cannon" mode. Amazing! I have central stadium lighting in my game so when the GI goes out or is pulsed it's dramatic. During hits on the Boom Balloon, All of the lighting is pulsed and is a dramatic flash.

Oh - I didn’t know it worked on CV. I need to get one!

4 months later
#766 11 months ago
Quoted from PhillyArcade:

New owner checking in! Belgium re-import. In a home for the last 20 years. This is by far the cleanest re-import I've ever seen. Great condition. Typical broken plastics here and there. It was serviced first of this year for the last owner but they installed standard lamps as seen in one of my pics below when I first got her home. A few hours later, I've added LED's and a color LED screen. Did some mild cleaning here and there. I've been playing the hell out of it and love it! I've wanted one of these for some years and the perfect deal finally came along. What a great table! Also a new picture of my updated current line up!
Items I'm looking for if anyone has spares or can point me in the best direction...
-Complete plastic set.
-Metal top and decal for the Ring Master (slightly bent lip on it)
-Original manual set.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Should be available from all of the usual places - I had no issue getting them a year ago.

#774 11 months ago

Post some pics - shouldn’t be doing that.

#782 11 months ago

Ringmaster has this terrible habit of throwing the ball over his left shoulder and getting it stuck under the mini PF.

1 week later
#797 11 months ago

Let it go. It’s pinball. We’re all friends.

7 months later
#956 3 months ago
Quoted from partyguy1516:

Is a replacement available? Looks like a special screw. Additionally is there a guide to removing the ringmaster? Thanks![quoted image]

It’s not a special screw but it’s not something you can just walk into Home Depot and find. Fastenal should have them. It’s an: oval head #10 stainless steel screw

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