(Topic ID: 204236)

Williams Music Mite restoration

By PinballAir

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 104 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by PinballAir
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders


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    There are 104 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
    #51 1 year ago

    #52 1 year ago

    Holy crap!

    What are you going to do now?

    #53 1 year ago

    It has flipped a switch in my head. I am considering leaving the hobby.
    I have decided to wait 2 weeks and then make a decision.

    I have the wood working skills to remake the cabinet.
    It is tapered in 2 planes so the compound miters would be an absolute PIA.
    Then I would have to recreate the graphics.
    It was a project that I knew I would be upside down on, but this tips the scales towards absurd.

    I was just waiting for the idler wheel and the motor mounts to put power to it.
    I was so close....

    #54 1 year ago

    Dude that truly sucks.

    #55 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballAir:

    " I am considering leaving the hobby."

    You are kidding, right?

    #56 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballAir:

    I was so close....

    to killing your son?

    #57 1 year ago

    I could not go and look at this until tonight.
    Its bad.
    I have decided that since it was so close to putting power to it that I am going to glue it back together so I can put the mechanicals back in it. They were not in it when it was hit.
    I am going to power it up and see if it works.
    Then, well... we'll see.

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    #58 1 year ago

    Way to go

    #59 1 year ago

    Man that is sad.

    I'm glad you've decided to push forward.
    Patch it up and get it working.
    Maybe you'll come across another one.

    That really is the coolest little jukebox I've ever seen.


    #60 1 year ago

    We're behind you all the way! Resurrect that thing!

    A friend has a restored one in his collection, let me know if you want/need me to bug him for pics/info.

    #61 1 year ago
    Quoted from MrArt2u:

    We're behind you all the way! Resurrect that thing!
    A friend has a restored one in his collection, let me know if you want/need me to bug him for pics/info.

    That one in Long Beach is like new.

    #62 1 year ago

    That's the one I'm talking about. I assume it's restored but, knowing the collector, it could also be an amazing original.

    #63 1 year ago
    Quoted from MrArt2u:

    A friend has a restored one in his collection

    Do you know what is in the base? What I mean is that I had always planned on building the base using photos. The whole thing seems so top heavy in the pictures.
    Is the base cast iron or is it hollow and filled with plaster?
    I doubt it is simply wood.

    #64 1 year ago

    You can see the very bottom of the cabinet flares out to another piece that is tiered. I wondered if that is cast iron or something heavy.

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    #65 1 year ago

    I emailed him the question, awaiting an answer for you. Hold please....

    #67 1 year ago

    My buddy responded and provided some pics he had for reference. First off, he wanted to point out that the base was optional. The unit was designed to sit on a countertop without the base, as an alternative. So you could have one sans base and it would totally legit.

    In the pics he provided it shows that the base is made from dimensional lumber. This is not of his Music Mite but one from this auction:


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    #68 1 year ago

    These should be useful to anyone restoring a Music Mite. Make sure to hit the little magnifying glass or download them and open them in Photoshop, to really see the details. (I'll upload flyer scans later)



    #70 1 year ago

    Thank you all for your help and support.
    This information will help me push forward.

    If I get this to work I will make a new cabinet from scratch. The old one simply will not show well once glued back together. If I am buying cabinet grade plywood for the upper, I may as well build the base too.

    I really do not have counter space in the game room where this will be displayed.

    Thank you all!

    #71 1 year ago

    Hey Cliff,

    Just caught up on the news from 5 days ago. My God.. I'm so sorry to hear this. What a blow, both emotionally and literally. Oof...that picture was hard to stomach, but thanks for posting and sharing.

    I'm glad to see that you'll likely be moving forward with this. I'd agree with electricsquirrel...

    Quoted from electricsquirrel:

    That really is the coolest little jukebox I've ever seen.

    Just wanted to add another man-hug to the pile-up of support here. This has been a really enjoyable thread to follow. Your capabilities are so far beyond mine, it's inspiring.

    Looking forward to more updates moving forward.


    1 week later
    #72 1 year ago

    I received the idler wheel and the motor mounts. I have cleaned up the record player mechanicals and "un-gummed" all of the different mechanisms. I have also moved all of the parts without power. It does seem as though everything is functioning however the mechanism that drops the records is still unreliable. The brown dogs pull in to drop a single record while the metal shelves come out to hold up the stack. Occasionally the metal shelves stay extended when they shouldn't. In moving the parts manually, getting the arm to lift off the record is jerky and the drop is short of the edge of the record. It is ready to see power as a unit for the first time in likely 40 years or more.

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    #73 1 year ago

    Since all of the mechanicals are ready to test with power I am moving onto the cabinet. I have started gluing the delaminated cabinet back together. My strategy is to sure up the panels and pieces individually first. I am scribing Masonite templates to recut the cabinet panels out of new birch plywood. I have sourced the materials but have not purchased them yet. I will road test this thing first.
    I have looked closely at the graphics on the side. It is a screen printed sticker. I do not have a source to reproduce the sticker on off ( actually 2, one for each side) so I will likely do it the hard way with frisket, air brush and spray bomb.
    Based on some measurements 1 sheet of plywood should yield the cabinet for the MM and the pedestal base.

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    1 week later
    #74 1 year ago

    I will skip ahead and not show the step by step of gluing and nailing.
    The cabinet is back together. It was not a prom queen before the incident but now it is rickety and there are chunks of wood missing. I left out one brace and the other one is only placed in its spot but not secured. When I make the new cabinet will remove these to copy them and to locate the mortise and tenons.

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    #75 1 year ago

    I added a power cord. Freshened up the fuses to the correct sizes and installed the base unit. I also reinstalled the phonograph part.

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    #76 1 year ago

    I put power to it and no smoke came out. It did not do much but some of the selector buttons lit up.

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    #77 1 year ago

    It's still cute even with it's tortured past.

    #78 1 year ago

    I spent a couple of hours fooling with it. The first thing that worked was the coin mech and the credit unit. With some more coaxing the turntable was spinning. There are issues with the tone arm as far as movement and placement.
    With some more cleaning and checking switches I got it to lift and drop records.

    I have attached a photo of the schematic. It is not readable. I made a copy that I could write on. I am trying to identify the components and write on the drawing what they are.
    I have a very , very , very long way to go. I am happy with the way it is working considering it probably has not been plugged in for more than 40 or 50 years.

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    #79 1 year ago
    Quoted from AlexF:

    It's still cute even with it's tortured past.

    Yes it is still cool even if it is a basket case.

    #80 1 year ago

    Great to see the updates, Cliff. Man, those backlit selector buttons look like little jewels. I'm still quite taken by this machine. Thanks for sharing your progress with us!

    1 week later
    #81 1 year ago

    Its been a couple of weeks and I have been working on the MM a little every night.
    Each night there is something that is accomplished.
    I have spent hours trying to identify and label components/switches on the drawing.

    Not having a legible schematic does slow things down.

    At this point I am just tracking a few small nagging issues but overall the machine is functional.

    I need to address:
    1) if there are credits and no selections, the MM will continue to play the 10th record over and over until it is out of credits.

    2) the motor that lifts the records has a cam on it. As with any score motor, there is a notch to open the switches. That cuts power to the motor. However, the motor continues to spin with inertia and goes far enough to make the switch and run around again. If I drag my finger on it , the motor stops and all functions as it should.

    If I can solve these issues I will install the amplifier and the cartridge. I will see if it will make music again.

    Lastly, I had wondered in the beginning of this thread if the machine lifted the stack and counted out each selection. It does. It will lift the whole stack for each selection even if the next selection is the next record to drop.

    #82 1 year ago

    Your motor brake is either stuck in the disengaged position or removed/intentionally defeated.

    #83 1 year ago

    The 2 switch stacks acting on the cam have heavy metal "riders" that run on the wheel.
    I had considering adding tension to those.

    There is a "lever stop bracket" that is adjustable, but it does not actually contact the wheel. It only stops the cam motor lever when acting on the tone arm equalizer. If I add more tension on that arm by lowering the lever stop bracket I am not sure the result would be more friction as the cam motor lever only receives its tension via the horizontal spring.

    On many of the ems I have worked on in the past, there is simply a dead switch that acts as the brake. This is not the case here.

    Since it would appear that the upper horizontal spring is adjustable I am going to reposition it from the 2:00 position to the 12:00 position and see if that slows it down.

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    #84 1 year ago

    Is there a clutch on the motor pinion?
    If so, is it operating?

    #85 1 year ago
    Quoted from electricsquirrel:

    Is there a clutch on the motor pinion?

    No, it is a direct drive early version of the motors used in all pinballs.
    Spec 810 Motor Research Co. Racine Wisconsin.

    #86 1 year ago

    Adjusting the spring on the slide bar did nothing to slow the cam so it could stop where it should.
    I put tension on the riding arms on the two switches and it was just barely enough to stop the unit on the rise side of the notch. Problem solved.

    I also read in the manual I have that the repeating of the number 10 selection is the way it works. If a person put in 25 nickles and only made 2 selections, the machine would play the #10 selection over and over until the credits were used up.
    Must have drove the people who worked where these were installed nuts....

    I put 10 records on and I am having an issue with the records dropping consistently. It may be that the records are more modern than the machine but I also noticed that the separators and shelves ( the pieces that separate and drop each record) are hanging up a bit. I am going to have to remove the record player assembly to remove the turntable. The access to these separators and shelves is under the turn table .

    While I have it out I am going to install the cartridge and the amplifier. I am hoping that with the 3 spare turn tables and the original one I can make the drop mechanism work as it should....

    The electrical drawing is shaping up very nicely with labeling.
    I am also working on a switch stack layout page as well as printing up switch labeling inside the machine. On the 1956 Rifle game I restored Williams labeled all of the switch stacks on the steppers and indicated what they controlled.

    1 week later
    #87 1 year ago

    I took a break on working on this while I worked thru an MPU issue on my Gottlieb Volcano. Those of you who have owned Gottlieb solid state machines know how that can be....

    I did remove the turntable assembly. I did some research and some fooling with the table. I found even though I had taken care in assembling the internals of the drop assembly it did not always move freely. I gathered the 3 sets of parts I had and picked all of the best pieces and polished and reassembled it. I lightly lubricated the shaft that drives the knifes and shelves.

    Once it was working freely by hand I ran the mech over and over and I came to the conclusion that the drive arm needed to be a bit longer, Before adding steel to steel I read in some paperwork I had previously printed that the timing was key. I watched it work more closely with that in mind. The drop mech is driven by a star wheel. I timed the star wheel to maximize its contact with the drive arm. It worked ok by hand.

    I reinstalled the turntable and tested it tonight. It works well. I think some records are thicker than others. I also read that modern 45's are thicker than their 1950's counter parts. They do not appear to be hanging up so I am moving forward.

    Tomorrow night I am going to install a cartridge and my amplifier and see what it does. I will post a pic of it assembled and if it works I will post a video of the machine in action.

    #88 1 year ago

    I installed the cartridge and the amp.
    The amp did not work at first. There are 3 switches that have to be made to power speaker. No time to track that down tonight. Jumped from amp to speaker.

    It is taking nickles and playing music as it was intended.

    I still have some issues:
    1)Which of the three switches in the speaker circuit is open?
    This should not take long to track down.

    2)Due to the height of the cartridge, the 10th record cannot be played as the height of the stack and the thicker than factory cartridge make the arm stop because it hits the edge of the stack. There is another replacement cartridge that is smaller but more difficult to install. I will order that one.

    I will do some tweaking before the weather warms up. I will then remove the mechanicals again and begin building a new cabinet and base.

    #89 1 year ago

    Unit with the amp installed.

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    #90 1 year ago

    Amp is working and tubes are glowing

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    #91 1 year ago

    Playing records. I wanted to post a video but it is too big of a file to email.

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    #92 1 year ago

    Such a cool machine. Great job!

    #93 1 year ago

    I got a milk crate full of 45 RPM records when I got this machine. I picked out 10 records that I like and stacked them on the turntable. This new stack is about 3/16" to 1/4" taller than the "test" stack I was using.

    The issue of not having lift height to play the 10th record is worse now. If the machine does clear the 9th record and play it, it drags the stylus across the record on reset.

    I can solve the problem by searching out "thinner" 45s. My research has pointed towards the original 45 RPM records of the 50's were thinner. I hope that I can create a usable stack of 45s I like rather than 10 records of music I don't like. If I do not like the music it will never get used when I complete restoring it.

    Lastly, I am sure I will be upside down on this. I am considering trying to restore the "run over " cabinet to keep some "originality". I think that restoring the one I have could add up less time than creating a new one. The new one would be better, but if it is still in the original "restored" cabinet it will likely be more valuable.

    #94 1 year ago

    When you cannot solve a problem there is always someone who has the answer.
    I joined Antique Radios Forum.
    I had been going over there right along and searching out answers to my questions.
    The stack of records issue had me stumped.

    I was pointed in the right direction by a kind member of the forum.
    He said " cant you raise the arm height?"

    I searched the forum and found a service manual and there it was in the trouble shooting section. There is an adjustment.
    I raised the height of the arm as it moves and voila I am playing the records I like.

    #95 1 year ago

    Awesome to see you didn't abandon this project after the "incident"! Doesn't appear that the cabinet would be too difficult to remake! Continue to update your post ....neat project to watch coming to fruition.

    #96 1 year ago

    I think the old cabinet looks just fine and it's got a story to tell. The fact that it basically got crushed and is now presentable and playing is pretty cool.

    1 week later
    #97 1 year ago

    I have ordered the new cartridge to increase useable record stack height.

    I have also been working thru some small switch and connection issues.
    Corrected open circuit on speaker wiring: switch on record release relay.
    Another sound issue related to loose fitting Jones Plug.
    The 2 coins to start first record issue: switch adjustment.

    It is all pretty reliable overall.
    One of the vacuum tube sockets cracked when I transplanted it from the original record player to my new bracket/base. I have to put the tube in at a little angle for it to make. It works ok but will move after a while and not make. I am going to look for a new/used socket for that tube and try bending the contact legs on the tube itself.

    With warmer weather coming and the ability to work in my garage with out wasting a ton of money heating it, I will soon be putting this project away until next fall.

    #98 1 year ago

    When the jukebox is idle, waiting for someone to put money in it, is the amplifier on?

    Or does it come on after money is inserted?

    #99 1 year ago

    The amplifier gets its power after a coin is inserted and after a selection is made. The tubes all have heaters but there is not instant sound. If you pick the first record, the stack lifts, the first record drops and the arm lands on the record. If it has not been playing prior to that, the sound just about starts before the first note on the record.

    Otherwise is all sits idle including the amp.
    The only thing powered on are the lights.

    If you put in a fist full of nickles it will run them out. If you only make one selection and put in 10 nickles it will play the selection and then play the last record ( #10) over and over until the credits run out.

    A reject button is on the side so you can cancel the record playing and move on to the next selection.

    #100 1 year ago

    The jones plug issue is still not corrected and is beginning to get frustrating. I may convert to a Molex plug if I cannot straighten it out.

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