Williams Space Station (1987). Rebuilding & modding

(Topic ID: 68586)

Williams Space Station (1987). Rebuilding & modding


By Fred558

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 44 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by mof
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 5 years ago

Hello,

Just started my mission to get rid of my bad mylar layer. (first time I try something like this)

DSC_0002.jpg

DSC_0003.jpg

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In this picture where you see bubbles is the main reason for removing the mylar. These bubbles cause the ball to change course or even jump against the glass.

I'll post more pictures when I dare to start the job.

1 week later
#2 5 years ago

DSC_0028.jpg
Before removal

DSC_0029.jpg
Half way

DSC_0031.jpg
Finished removing the mylar.
(pretty scary, with every pull after freezing I thought I would take my whole paintjob with it)

I managed to remove it with only minimal loss of decals on some inserts.

On a side note. I found using a bottle of compressed air (up side down) to have better effect than a bottle of freeze spray.

Now to remove the glue layer.
I found some movies where people are using flour and alcohol to remove it pretty easily.
I have 2 bottles of Goo-Gone, but it seems the other option is much simpler so tomorrow i'll get a bottle of alcohol and start rubbing.

I'll post my findings here.

#3 5 years ago

I have never had any luck with the flour method, what has worked best for me is putting a paper towel over the glue, soaking it with 90% isopropyl and waiting 10-15 minutes then rubbing with the wet paper towel and some dry ones. Still a big mess and you have to be careful as sometimes the alcohol softens up the lacquer clearcoat and you can leave scratches in it if you are not paying attention.

#4 5 years ago

Thanks for the tip.

I'll first try the flour one. I hope it will work for me.
Otherwise I'll hit it with the goo-gone.

I'll give your way a shot to.

#5 5 years ago

Looks good so far.
Be sure to post updated photos when you get the glue off.
Good Luck!

#6 5 years ago

Well, the flour method is going pretty well.
It takes some practice to find the right amount of flour and alcohol to make it work to your liking. And I found that pushing the glue in one direction works better than making rotating movements.

DSC_0032.jpg

I put a thin layer of flour all over the glue so you can see what is clear and what still has to be done.
This was about an hour of work. So it goes faster than I thought.

#7 5 years ago

All the glue is gone. My inserts decals seem more damaged than I first thought.
But I don't think I will replace them.

I pushed the inserts down again.
I heated the glue with a hairdryer and pushed them down. Seems to hold over the night.
Anyone have any tips on this? Is there need for new glue?

I'll post some more pictures of it all soon.

#8 5 years ago

You gotta replace the decals. It would be naked without them.

#9 5 years ago

Naked inserts are one thing I don't like. Even on new games that don't have them. Just looks like something is missing.

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from Fred558:

All the glue is gone. My inserts decals seem more damaged than I first thought.
But I don't think I will replace them.
I pushed the inserts down again.
I heated the glue with a hairdryer and pushed them down. Seems to hold over the night.
Anyone have any tips on this? Is there need for new glue?
I'll post some more pictures of it all soon.

You might try a tacking iron. You can adjust the temperature (trial & error) and vary the pressure.

Example product:
amazon.com link »

#11 5 years ago

Thanks for the tips and advice.
But it's not that the inserts are not there. They are just damaged.

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#12 5 years ago

Putting it back together again.

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#13 5 years ago

Looking good. Have you thought about putting in green LEDs for "Condition Green"? My bulbs with the green covers are rather dim.

My Corvette machine has LEDs below the playfield and incandescent ones above. Gives it a traditional look.

#14 5 years ago
Quoted from Fred558:

I heated the glue with a hairdryer and pushed them down. Seems to hold over the night.
Anyone have any tips on this? Is there need for new glue?

Yes, glue them with epoxy from behind.

If you don't add glue, they rise up again.

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisAZ:

Have you thought about putting in green LEDs for "Condition Green"?

It has a complete LED set on the whole playfield. Looks great indeed.

I'm just not completely sure what lights to place in the backbox. When I bought this pinball the backboard had a discolored backbox image.
The new one I ordered came with cut-outs on the space station ring. I put green LEDs under the cut-outs, but it feels that they are a little to bright.

#16 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Yes, glue them with epoxy from behind.

If you don't add glue, they rise up again.

I guess at some point I will have to do this again then, because I had the idea they were staying down.
I'll wait for a while, and score some new insert decals so I can change those also.

#17 5 years ago

I added a blue led backlighting.

DSC_0053.jpg

I was also installing all the leds on the playfield, but I noticed that in attract mode the green leds on the right side of the playfield are also constantly on.
On the left side only the normal lights are on, but the greens are off.
They were working normally before i took it apart. Could I have connected one of the wires to the backbox wrong? I checked it a couple of times, but they all seem to be in order.

#18 5 years ago

See if the lights are stuck on with normal bulbs.

If not, try some "non-ghosting" LEDs.

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

See if the lights are stuck on with normal bulbs.

If not, try some "non-ghosting" LEDs.

Thanks for the tip. But normal bulbs also burn.
So they are getting power when they should not.

I guess it has to be a wiring thing. It's only the green lights on the right side of the playfield which are on together with the normal lights.

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from Fred558:

Thanks for the tip. But normal bulbs also burn.
So they are getting power when they should not.
I guess it has to be a wiring thing. It's only the green lights on the right side of the playfield which are on together with the normal lights.

There are 2 general illumination relays. The one closest to the front activates the green lights when the solenoid is powered. The second one just a little toward the back switches the white GI off when the solenoid is powered on. The circuit board is C-11998-1. It looks like this:

http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/C-11998-1

I would check the wiring to the connectors for these two boards.
I replaced both of my boards because someone chopped up the 7-pin connectors and soldered directly to the circuit boards.

#21 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisAZ:

There are 2 general illumination relays

This sounds like a good tip.
I did not have time to go at it with my multimeter though.

I did check the manual to see how these relays are connected. From what I can figure out they are connected to connection J11 on the aux. power board. They should get 25v power which goes through fuse F1.

I guess I'll start by checking if the fuse is not broken.

#22 5 years ago

Wish I still had mine. My favorite music in a pin.

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from PEN:

My favorite music in a pin.

It sure is.

Quoted from Fred558:

I guess I'll start by checking if the fuse is not broken.

Well, all the fuses are fine.
I did however check what happens if I leave out fuse F1. The situation with the lights is the same then. I'll have to start measuring some voltages to see if everything is correct on the aux drive board.

#24 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisAZ:

There are 2 general illumination relays. The one closest to the front activates the green lights when the solenoid is powered. The second one just a little toward the back switches the white GI off when the solenoid is powered on.

The relays are working good.
In test mode I can turn off the gi lamps, and also switch green mode on and off.

The problem with the right side green lights remains though. They are switches off and on together with the gi lights.
I have to find where they are connected wrong. It must be some connector which I connected wrong.

The rest of the solenoids seem to be working as they should.
Only the three orange lamps in the back stay off. But that is another problem I'll sort out later. (since they don't effect the gameplay itself)

#25 5 years ago

Pretty difficult to locate the source of this problem.
I started following some wires today to see if I could a possible source.

At least I found out all the green lights which are connected through yellow/green wire are the ones that are also burning along the general illumination. The ones which work good are connected with purple/green.

But I could not find a point where I might have switched some wires, or why the green lights get power along with the gi.

I switched the relays boards to test if one of them might be bad. But they seem to be working properly.

I did found that in testmode if I test the general illumination i the relay closest to the front clicks. And according to DennisAZ (and the manual) this should be the one that switches the green lights on and of.
When testing green lights the back one switches.

Could someone with a Space Station check if that also happens with their station?
I also have some pictures of what my lights look like during the test modes.

DSC_0074.jpg
This is general GI. On the right side you can see the green leds are also on.
In this test the lights flash on and off, and you can hear SOL10 relay clicking.

DSC_0073.jpg
In green mode all the general GI is on, and the left side green lights are also on.
in this mode all the light is continuously on and not flashing.
SOL09 switched one time.

I hope someone can shed some light on this.

#26 5 years ago
Quoted from Fred558:

At least I found out all the green lights which are connected through yellow/green wire are the ones that are also burning along the general illumination. The ones which work good are connected with purple/green.

But I could not find a point where I might have switched some wires, or why the green lights get power along with the gi.

It sounds like somewhere on the board, that the green lights (yellow/green) are shorted to the GI bulbs. They do share a common ground. So someplace the (+) green is touching the (+) GI.

The relay boards are wired:
JP1:
1 PWR
2 DRV

JP7:
1 COM2
2 COM1
3 NC, No Connection
4 NC2, Normal Closed
5 NC1, Normal Closed
6 NO2, Normal Open
7 NO1, Normal Open

On my machine the relay closest to front:
JP7:
1 Black
2 Black/yellow
3
4 Brown/grey
5 Yellow/grey
6 Violet/green
7 Yellow/green

Second relay:
JP7:
1 Violet
2 Yellow
3
4 Black
5 Black/yellow
6
7

#27 5 years ago

Looking fantastic, man!

Quoted from Fred558:

I added a blue led backlighting.

I was also installing all the leds on the playfield, but I noticed that in attract mode the green leds on the right side of the playfield are also constantly on.
On the left side only the normal lights are on, but the greens are off.
They were working normally before i took it apart. Could I have connected one of the wires to the backbox wrong? I checked it a couple of times, but they all seem to be in order.

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#29 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisAZ:

It sounds like somewhere on the board, that the green lights (yellow/green) are shorted to the GI bulbs. They do share a common ground. So someplace the (+) green is touching the (+) GI.

I also had this idea. Maybe something during transport caused this.
The machine is at work, and I took the playfield home with me to take the mylar off.

I'll have to start checking every connection then. The jacks seem to be in order, so if some green light + is touching a normal GI + it should be a visible connection. (I hope)

Quoted from DennisAZ:

Did you see my latest mod?

Now I did. Looks great.
I was thinking to make something like that with my backlight. in GI mode it's blue, with greenlight it should switch to green.

But first fix this greenlight issue.

#30 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisAZ:

So someplace the (+) green is touching the (+) GI.

So to narrow down the problem to the playfield I could disconnect the greenlight (+) power pin from the jack leading to the backbox. (correct me if I'm wrong)

If the green lights are still on then I know for sure some GI (+) is touching my green (+) somewhere on the playfield bottom.

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from Fred558:

So to narrow down the problem to the playfield I could disconnect the greenlight (+) power pin from the jack leading to the backbox. (correct me if I'm wrong)
If the green lights are still on then I know for sure some GI (+) is touching my green (+) somewhere on the playfield bottom.

I would first unplug the 7-pin connector on the front relay board and see if any of the green LEDs are ON.
This is the relay that turns the green ON when activated and the GI OFF. If this plug is disconnected, the green should not be ON. The GI should be OFF too unless you do the following.

If you are careful and go by the relay board diagram, you could test which lights turn ON/OFF by using a shorting wire (section of paper clip) inserted into the 7-pin plug thereby bypassing the relay. I would only recommend this if you are confident with what you are doing. For example, only connect COMM1 to NC1 or NO1 and COMM2 to NC2 or NO2. You can test which lights turn ON/OFF and if any are shorted. The pin numbers should be on either the plugs or the circuit board.

Pin 1 - 4: GI=ON, Green=OFF or
Pin 1 - 6: GI=OFF, Green=ON (on one side of playfield)

Pin 2 - 5: GI=ON, Green=OFF or
Pin 2 - 7: GI=OFF, Green=ON (on other side of playfield)

I would do these 4 test first and see what your results are.

The rear relay board is in series with the front relay board. If the rear solenoid is ON both GI and green are OFF. If the rear solenoid is OFF then GI or green are ON or OFF depending on the front relay.

Front relay OFF, rear relay OFF = GI ON, green OFF (normal play)
Front relay ON, rear relay OFF = GI OFF, green ON (condition green)
Rear relay ON = GI OFF, green OFF (attract mode) also the front relay should be OFF

#32 5 years ago

Thanks for the tip Dennis.
These are the results.

Pin 1 - 4: GI=ON (only left side playfield), Green=OFF

Pin 1 - 6: GI=OFF, Green=ON (only left side of playfield)

Pin 2 - 5: GI=ON (only right side playfield), Green=ON (only right side playfield)

Pin 2 - 7: GI=ON (only right side playfield), Green=ON (only right side playfield)

I also disconnected the yel/green wire (Green right side +) from the connector which connects playfield to backbox. With this wire disconnected the green lights on the right side of the playfield are still on together with the normal GI. So they must be getting power from somewhere on the playfield.

I thought that I found the problem. The front popbumper assembly was touching a gi and green light socket. But when I removed it the problem was still there.

Inspection of the sockets do not show any + hitting another +.
I could start cutting wires to isolate the problem, but I'd rather not start doing that yet. Don't want to have a whole bunch of connected wires down there later.

#33 5 years ago
Quoted from Fred558:

Pin 2 - 5: GI=ON (only right side playfield), Green=ON (only right side playfield)

Pin 2 - 7: GI=ON (only right side playfield), Green=ON (only right side playfield)

OK starting to narrow it down.
Put the 7-pin connector back into the front relay board. (right side GI and green will be ON due to your problem)

Remove the the 7-pin connector on the rear relay board.
This should remove power from both GI and green on both playfield sides.

If the GI and/or green are still ON then it is a short from another source on the playfield.

If the GI and green are both OFF, then I think the short is somewhere between the GI and green circuits on the right side. Start at either end of the playfield and exam each bulb. They share a common ground. Did you replace any of the wires to any GI or green bulbs on the right side? If a GI socket and a green socket were switched, then you would get the problem that you are experiencing. Basically all the GI are wired in parallel as are the green bulbs on each side. Switching the wires would in effect make them as one large parallel circuit.

On my machine, the green bulb sockets are indicated by a green marker.

Happy hunting....

#34 5 years ago

Thank you for your help Dennis.

I found the problem.

I removed the 7-pin connector from the rear relay board and no lights were on.
A collegue asked me what i was doing, so I started to explain to him the problem, and then I saw it.

DSC_0077.jpg

These two brackets were touching. But you could only see it from a certain angle.

Really great that it's solved. Now I can get back to rebuilding.
Not much time this week though.

I'll update in this post as I continue.

#35 5 years ago

Green Space Station with Launch Button.

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#36 5 years ago
Quoted from Slate:

Green Space Station with Launch Button.
1.jpg 131 KB

Launch Button ?!?! When did you do that ? That's awesome... Did you make a separate thread for it?
-mof

#37 5 years ago

Launch button totally makes sense on this game. This is a game I wouldn't mind ownong again.

#38 5 years ago
Quoted from Slate:

Launch Button

I'm also thinking to put a launch button and different start button.
But my housing is in fairly good shape, and somehow I don't want to make any changes which can't be reverted to original.

Quoted from pinballpete:

Launch button totally makes sense on this game.

On the other hand. The launch button indeed makes total sense.

#39 5 years ago

Love the launch button. Wish I was good at that kind of modding.

#40 5 years ago

Installed the first LED starpost.

2013-12-10 18.14.08.jpg

#41 5 years ago

Launch button! What a great mod. How strong of a coil did you need to ensure the ball makes it to the upper playfield?

#42 5 years ago
Quoted from Fred558:

Installed the first LED starpost.

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Ahhh you got the good lights, the ones that fit completly inside the post but they are spendy. I got some red ones for my Space Shuttle

#43 5 years ago

Got the lights working in the station.
2013-12-14 18.12.39.jpg
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I made a sort of connection on the bottom of the station. I still need to refine the construction, but it basicly works.

2013-12-14 17.54.48.jpg

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