Been giving my machine some love lately:
1 - E-clip on the end of the shooter rod disappeared, picked up some snap ring & E-clips sets, & a tool (which I used to have...probably lost it at BattleBots last year...). One of the washers also disappeared, so I scrounged up a spare washer.
After rebuilding, there was lots of scraping & resistance in the shooter rod. I found the correct missing washer way in the back of the machine, rubbed the shooter rod shaft with Scotch-Brite, cleaned out the sleeve, reassembled. Nice & smooth! For some odd reason, I'm somehow good at the skill shot, so the binding was throwing me off...
2 - My AA batteries are on a daughterboard on standoffs at the bottom of the MPU PCB, but I've always remounted my batteries remotely, so this still seemed a little too close. Found this page, with a great & easy idea: http://quinndunki.com/blondihacks/?p=1710 . I ended up putting the AA PCB above the light panel hinge instead of underneath it as shown on that page. This leaves a little more strain relief on the wires.
Despite being careful & never removing a battery or unplugging the cable, I must have briefly accidentally cut the battery power during this task, because I was greeted with a Factory Settings reset. Darn. Goodbye, 12,744,799,180 high score! *sniff* Well, next time I top 12 bill, I'll be sure to actually enter my initials correctly--must have had the jitters...
3 - Finding the back of the machine dark, if I don't play in bright light, I can't see the cityscape on back of the PF. I dug through some LED light strips to see what I had. Most were 12V, 1 or 2 were 5V. The only colors that I have are red, blue, & yellow. Blue, definitely. A quick test on the 6.6VAC for GI made them light up nicely: not too bright, not too dim. And I wanted it tied to GI so that it would be off when the GI was off--it does flicker a bit, but not badly.
I tested to see if they looked OK placing on the top of the PF back panel, facing upward & getting gentle diffuse light. Nope, couldn't see the light at all.
Better placement was on the underside of the glass back channel.
Decision: run wire down to PF or up to backbox? It's a shorter wire run to the PCBs, but I didn't want to get into modifying the PCB or wiring harness--slightly more risk, & possibly frowned upon for not keeping the boards "virgin."
So, wired in to one of the GI bulb sockets next to the umbilical, lots of cable ties, up the cable management tube, then across to the side. Oops, I used wire with yellow insulation--you can see it when playing. Black Sharpie to the rescue!
It seemed a bit too bright & was lighting up a larger area of the PF than I expected it would, so I put 1 layer of blue painter's masking tape along the strip to dim it. A bit better--I'll play with tape further till it feels right.
The pictures make it look way more blue than it does when I'm playing.
Maybe another piece of opaque tape just in front of the strip to act as more of a shield, keeping the light only pointing down & towards the back. Yeah, that's tomorrow's project.