(Topic ID: 234773)

What to look for in a Gottlieb System 1 game


By DropTarget

3 months ago



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  • 32 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by DropTarget
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#1 3 months ago

Hi,

I'm sure this has been asked before, but.....

I plan on buying my 1st GTB system 1 game. What are the things to look for?

Thanks

#2 3 months ago

If you mean condition-wise, the board is a priority to check. System 1 hardware even at the time was known for not being well-designed.

If you mean gameplay, most System 1s play like one step above 70s EMs - no bad thing in itself. You won't find much with ball-to-ball memory though, and the majority are about maxing the bonus (generally 20,000 and up to 5x), collecting it from a lit eject pocket, and repeating. What you will get are drop targets, rotos and / or varis, and more interesting layouts than Bally were doing at the time. If you like rotos, look for Close Encounters or Torch. If you like drop targets, then Joker Poker or Count-Down are the games for you.

#3 3 months ago

Well, having just looked at a dead one yesterday, I think probably the most important thing to do is to check the condition of all the pins on every connector to all of the boards.

Nicad Battery leakage will eat the crimp pins. So, even if the MPU has been replaced with a Niwupf or Pascal, you want to make sure the pins are either in good original condition, or have been "expertly" replaced. I say expertly because if someone did a sloppy job, you may be doing it all over.

For good condition, they should be shinny, not dull or green. And the knuckle of the pin should be sticking out blocking most of the opening. If you see knuckles caved in or even missing (you can easily see through the entire passagway), its time to repin. A very time consuming process even for a expert.

Start by checking the two leftmost bottom connectors if the MPU. They are the most prone to battery drip.

Bring a bright Flashlight!

#4 3 months ago

And, of course, there is the possibility of the small transformer being bad which are no longer available. The work around is buying a new Aftermarket MPU and LED displays.

#5 3 months ago

There's the PI-1 option as well if you need it.

https://www.flippp.fr/pi1.php?lg=en

#6 3 months ago
Quoted from CactusJack:

And, of course, there is the possibility of the small transformer being bad which are no longer available. The work around is buying a new Aftermarket MPU and LED displays.

Rottendog do replacement System 1 power supplies.

#7 3 months ago
Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

Rottendog do replacement System 1 power supplies.

Unless I am mistaken, all aftermarket power regulator boards still require a working small transformer. The small transformer contains the HV (69v) winding for the fluorescent displays. The low voltage windings can be replaced with readily available filament transformers. Or, if you are going to go with LEDs, the MPU can be powered with a switching power supply.

#8 3 months ago

If you get it and you're not sure it boots I made a checklist out of Clay's first time power up. If you use it please make a copy first.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NV3NaXS6d696csiFSRcvi900dFwyPZSgFZfkDUwaZ4U/edit?usp=drivesdk

#9 3 months ago
Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

If you like drop targets

See my nick!

I'm looking at a Count Down. Seller say that it plays.

#10 3 months ago

Great info.

Thanks everyone. Thanks for the checklist Cheddar.

I should be picking the game on Monday.

#11 3 months ago
Quoted from DropTarget:

Great info.
Thanks everyone. Thanks for the checklist Cheddar.
I should be picking the game on Monday.

Give us a heads up when you bring it home and how it goes.

#12 3 months ago

will do

#13 3 months ago

Slight change of topic.

I was led to believe that the machine was working. I just found out that it boots, but does not coin up. The seller can't open the back box, and I'm not sure if I want him to, just in case it's something simple.

Any thoughts why it wouldn't coin up? worse case scenario? I read a thread regarding this on a system 3 game. Seems like it could be as simple as a blown fuse, a bad diode or harness.

thx

#14 3 months ago

It boots. that is a great sign as it validates the power supply (mostly) and the mpu (mostly). I assume this means displays work as well.

It could be as simple as the cabinet switch connector fell off. It could also mean that there is battery corrosion and the switch connector needs to be recrimped. Countdown is a fun game and the worst things are eliminated. I'd grab it

#15 3 months ago

Thanks,

Yes, the displays work, 1 is dim, but I guess it can be recharged. Hopefully, I can get into the head. Might have too drill out the lock at the sellers.

#16 3 months ago

Ok, I just got the game home, It's still in my car. I'm pretty sure that the cpu is bad, as when I turned it on at the sellers house, the displays lit right away, didn't wait 5 seconds.

I could not open the back box. We drilled the lock out, but still can't unlatch the back box door mechanism. Any thoughts of how to do that?

#17 3 months ago
Quoted from DropTarget:

Ok, I just got the game home, It's still in my car. I'm pretty sure that the cpu is bad, as when I turned it on at the sellers house, the displays lit right away, didn't wait 5 seconds.
I could not open the back box. We drilled the lock out, but still can't unlatch the back box door mechanism. Any thoughts of how to do that?

Can you get a flat head screwdriver through the lock on turn the mech on the inside?

It looks like this: https://images.pinside.com/d/14/d14cfca63121784f3728a1f69d409775ae9c437b/resized/largish/d14cfca63121784f3728a1f69d409775ae9c437b.jpg

#18 3 months ago

Tried, but no luck so far.

I guess the 1st job is to get it out of the car!

#19 3 months ago

On a system 80 recently we had the same information. We were able to use a bright light to pull back the lever that as holding the glass in. Those were on the top. In this situation if the head had been seperate I would have dropped it flat on it's back from a couple inches and let gravity work.

That won't work here as one latch goes down and the other goes up.

Is there the thinnest gap there? Can you push a credit car in from the top and push it down to trip the latch?

#20 3 months ago

not sure exactly what you mean. try to get behind the glass on the left side and pry the latch up?

I'm thinking that the mechanism may also be frozen. I suspect the machine was near water for a long period of time, as the lock down bar receiver is stuck too. At least that's stuck in the unlocked position.

#21 3 months ago

BTW, which way should the lock turn to unlock the head?

This is what I'm dealing with...

IMG_0881 (resized).JPG
#22 3 months ago
Quoted from DropTarget:

BTW, which way should the lock turn to unlock the head?

Sorry I had a couple typos. You'll turn counter clockwise.

In my post I left out that we used a coat hanger to pull the latch. I doubt this would work for you. You need to pull the top catch down and the bottom catch up. Easiest is to twist the mech in the middle counter clockwise

#23 3 months ago

Got it.

No problem about the typos. You should see my text messages!

I was able to wedge a screw driver in and turn it with using a pipe wrench. Actually I'm not sure if that did it, or it was in the unlocked position and I finally tried to open the front! lol. either way, it's open.

I also found this thread, which got me a bit nervous.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gottlieb-system-1-backbox-wont-open

#24 3 months ago

Now on to trouble shooting.

The displays did light until I opened and closed the backbox, now they don't Time to hit Clay's checklist I guess.

One more question 1st. where are the batteries on the MPU? I don't see any.

#25 3 months ago
Quoted from DropTarget:

One more question 1st. where are the batteries on the MPU? I don't see any.

Black rectangle bottom left of the MPU. Says Data Sentry on it

#26 3 months ago

ah the old it lights up therefore it works routine.

#27 3 months ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

Black rectangle bottom left of the MPU. Says Data Sentry on it

Not necessarily. Earlier Sys 1 MPUs had what looked like a single AA battery. Usually was white and went into clips. Later Sys 1 MPUs had the Data Sentry battery on them.

#28 3 months ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

Black rectangle bottom left of the MPU. Says Data Sentry on it

That's the one!

Quoted from Astill:

ah the old it lights up therefore it works routine.

LOL, It worked the last time I played it!

#29 3 months ago

you need to drill a bigger hole , to get all the pins

#30 3 months ago
Quoted from luch:

you need to drill a bigger hole , to get all the pins

It's open

#31 3 months ago

A little late to the party, but some rambling thoughts from the last time I fixed up my buck rogers:

-Replace every connector pin on those card edge connectors. It's time consuming, but you can get into a rhythm, and ensures complete reliability in the future.
-Do the ground mods.
-The power supply is pretty worthless, imho. It's one of the few boards I'd just replace with aftermarket. You can rebuild it for cheap though, but I still think it's a good idea to just get a new one.
-IIRC, there are two revisions of the driver board. One with blocking/protective diodes and one without. They're interchangeable, but if you don't have the diodes, it's a good idea to add them in.
-The ROM chip is a weird obsolete size, so don't lose it, but the game will still boot and coin up without it in the game.
-Switch diodes are mounted remotely.

---

If the game 'boots' right up with wavy zeros, it might just be a slam switch. System 1 games have normally closed slam switches, which is dumb, because its the opposite of what everyone else did, and any kind of dirt or tarnish can cause them to be unnecessarily flaky. You can permanently bypass the slam switches on the MPU, which takes everything, including the wiring, out of the equation.

If a spider chip on the MPU goes bad, that's it. Game Over. Might as well get a new aftermarket board. I've had both Ni-Wumpf and Pascal Janin boards, and I strongly believe that Pascal boards are lightyears better than the Ni-Wumpf, but the Ni-Wumpf are easier to get and cheaper I think. Really, they're both good.

#32 3 months ago

Thank you,

Heres a pic of my MPU, I'm guessing it's shot.

I started another thread for this, as I think this one is taking as different direction from the original heading.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/my-1st-gtb-system1-hellllppppp-#post-4810507

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