(Topic ID: 217453)

YCV - Bally Mata Hari - "Eye of the Day"


By Arcane

1 year ago



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#1 1 year ago

Folks,

Here is another Bally Mata Hari restoration thread. We all know it is a popular machine which was produced in great quantities and thus, it is not surprising that another restoration thread would be added to this forum.

Mata Hari was designed in late 1977 by Bally and its team of skilled designers (Jim Patla) and artists (Dave Christensen). Mata Hari is a very interesting case as it sits right on the edge of Mechanical versus Solid State eras. A couple of hundred machines were produced with the mechanical system and more than 16,000 with the Solid State system. Even though Bally introduced their CPU, rectifier, displays and light boards, they kept the pleasant and nostalgic Chime unit with its four channels. Other manufacturers such as Recel (Spain) kept the mechanical guts of the machine while introducing new Electronic Sound boards. Maybe Bally had not had time to perfect their Sound board yet and instead, decided to keep the melodious sound of the xylophone in their early Solid State machines.

The theme for this machine was inspired by the famous, rebellious and unconventional woman Margaretha Geertruida Zelle born in 1876 (maybe Bally was commemorating her 100th birthday) in Netherlands. After a short marriage and life in Indonesia and the SouthEast (the name Mata Hari means Eye of the Day in Indonesian), she came back to Europe where she fully explored her true personality and sexuality. She became an exotic dancer enthralling the French males audience with her lascivious moves imported from the Southeast, a courtesan reveling in the art of sexual pleasure and finally a spy for the German and later on French governments. Her late handler, captain Georges Ladoux head of the French Secret Police, probably jealous of her sexual excess with other men, decided to compromise her and had her sentenced to death by a military tribunal. On the day of her execution, she turned to face the firing squad, waved away her blindfold and blew the soldiers a kiss. Her motto during her entire life was: "I have always lived for love and pleasure."

Below used to be a beautiful and historical picture of Mata-Hari that the local forum censorship removed. Very sad indeed.

My first encounter with the Mata Hari pinball was in a fancy Bistrot on the Place Du Languedoc in the city of Toulouse in France. It was 1979 and I was barely 18 years of age. That machine with its beautiful colors and suggestive backglass was a magnet for all young men. I remember enjoying the tricky playfield with its nasty rebounds, reminiscent of French Billiard. The Bistrot in Toulouse still exists nowadays, but there have been no pinball machines in it, for decades. Forty years later, a visit to the Pinball Museum in Delray Beach, FL convinced me that I had to have such machine added to my small collection. A simple advertisement on rec.games.pinball produced the day after, what I was looking for (more or less). Timing is everything as we all know so well.

Yves

#2 1 year ago

Mata-Hari was found in a remote place, south of Lexington, SC. I realize, like most of the collectors, that gems cannot be found in affluent and large cities. You have to go to the country side or to remote places to still find some interesting machines.

In this case, the deal comprised a full cabinet, backglass in very good condition, all displays, boards and a potentially booting CPU, plus two fully populated playfields and one stripped playfield that I could almost qualify as NOS, in regard to its grand age. The cabinet has suffered a little bit and will likely need a full repaint to look pristine.

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This playfield is quite worn out and old, judging by the condition of the plastics. I will most likely, use it as my reference to rebuild the NOS playfield.

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This one will likely be my donor playfield. The plastics are in very good condition, although dirty. Nothing that Novus 2 can't change....

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This is what I call the almost NOS playfield. It had a couple of paint chips that I fixed with acrylic paints and artistic ink markers. I am reluctant to clear coat such piece and will likely keep it well waxed with fresh balls. I am not a clear-coat-at-all-cost kind of guy and when you find something so nice, it is an heresy to try to change it and risk a disaster if anything goes bad. Besides, for a home usage there is no way that I will manage to wear out this playfield.

Yves

#3 1 year ago

After taking apart the main cabinet and the lightbox, I decided to redo the little board holding the Tilt mechanism and the two chimes. I got the inspiration of painting it red, from Matt (see https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/i-thought-she-was-a-dirty-girl-before-i-stripped-her-down).

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I also painted in dark grey (same shade for the legs), the chime holders. The Chime were completely rebuilt with the little kit provided by The Pinball Resource. It includes all 8 grommets and sleeves as well as the little brass tubes keeping the grommets relaxed. All parts were tumbled and polished to the best of my abilities.

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I also decided to connector-ize the four coils for some eventual Chime maintenance in the future. As always, I re-organize the electric wires and tried to make them look tidy.

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This is the sixth pinball that I am restoring (4 Bally's, 1 Gottlieb and one Recel) but it may be the most intense restoration that I have ever tried, so far. It will take time as we all know.

Yves

#4 1 year ago

Nice write up. Mata Hari is iconic for old folks like me(52). Keep up the good work. It will be worth all the trouble.

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

After taking apart the main cabinet and the lightbox, I decided to redo the little board holding the Tilt mechanism and the two chimes. I got the inspiration of painting it red, from Matt (see https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/i-thought-she-was-a-dirty-girl-before-i-stripped-her-down).

Thanks for the shout out man! Now I might have to revisit some of my tilt panel cuz I’m jealous of that dark grey you did to those fixtures. Amazing start!

#6 1 year ago

I am now working on the lightbox panel. The panel is repainted with white primer (flat white) as I like the more diffused light it provides behind the backglass. Each socket is filled up with a bunch of old bulbs which purpose is to help repaint lightbox panels. Then each socket is carefully cleaned with an abrasive stick and a blow of compressed air, a new #47 bulb inserted and verified. Really nothing fancy....just business as usual. Oh, some felt strips are added on the vertical plane only, to allow some air circulation and heat escape.
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Then we verify that the Transformer board works after changing the Trifurcon pins on #1 and 2 and #10 and 11 on the main J3 connector:
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Always pleasant to verify that one's work is not wasted. Now that the General Illumination lightbox panel works, we can verify each individual switched light.

I am now working on cleaning up and painting the inside of the lightbox.

Yves

#7 1 year ago

Matt was kind enough to send me the PDF files of the Mata Hari cards. I printed these on Manila paper sheet to give it an older look:
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The original ones are so old and cooked that they break at the touch.

Yves

#8 1 year ago

Some progress on the lightbox/Backbox. I have started putting back together some hardware, after painting the inside and the front of the backbox.

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The new printed cards from Matt are coming very handy and make a big difference with the old parchment from 40 years ago.
I also started painting one side and the top. These surfaces have to be painted horizontal because of the glossy nature of the paint.

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So far the paint is not reacting too bad. It takes some use to get a nice, even and shiny coat. I suppose it is time to order some stencils from Pimball Pimp.

Yves

#9 1 year ago

I am also working on the rework of the original Bally Boards.

The Solenoid Driver board was reworked and the ground and +5 volts circuits improved. All large pins have been re-flowed, which consists into sucking all the old solder with a vacuum pump and replacing it with fresh solder. Capacitors are being replaced as well. Although it is a Mata Hari machine from 1978, the board is the -22 newer version (most likely replaced down the road).

The Lights Driver board seems to be in excellent condition, even though it is an early version with the buffer chips, between Decoders and thyristors.

The power supply board has been reworked by the previous owner and I will likely replace it down the road, once the machine works. I like reliability in all electrical things I do and a healthy power supply is paramount on these machines.

The CPU is supposedly booting ....but that remains to be seen. Most likely an Altek unit will finds it way into this machine.

I am also replacing power cord, Power Line filter and a few other electrical components.

My goal in this restoration is to finish the cabinet and lightbox and get it painted and working. The painting and stenciling is really the big challenge in this restoration. I am a thousand times more at ease with electrical rework and design, than painting.

Once this is done, I will start rebuilding the playfield. I do have two spare playfields that can be plugged easily to verify that everything works correctly, so I am not in a rush to start the final playfield (based on the almost NOS playfield).

Yves

#10 1 year ago

The other side of the lightbox is painted as well as the back.

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Now, I need the stencils to finish it and re-install all the electronics inside.

I started working on the main cabinet. After removing both rails, the nasty task of sanding that old lead based paint has started. I do that outside with a professional mask and goggles. The front of the cabinet as is often the case, suffered from mistreatment and mishandling. I am strengthening it with a piece of pine and epoxy resin. Once dry and sanded, this repair will be a lot stronger than the original cabinet.

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Yves

#11 1 year ago

Starting the dirty work of cleaning the inside of the cabinet and painting it.....

Before....
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...and After....

It will take a few days....

Yves

#12 1 year ago

Nice work on an iconic game.

#13 1 year ago

Good work. Maybe one day I'll redo the cabinet on mine. It's ok, but could be better. Keep at it!!!!!

#14 1 year ago

While waiting for the paint to dry and for the stencils to arrive, I am reworking the electronic boards.

The Solenoid Driver board needs some new capacitors as the original (40 years of age) or even if they have been replaced, are long toasted and dry. I am using a good quality capacitor for the +5VDC with much beefier wires than the original Bally wiring. The holes on the PCB are slightly enlarged to accommodate the bigger gauge of the cable. For the high voltage, I could have used a single capacitor but prefer to use a parallel configuration to get more capacity and more reliability. It may not be as pretty than a single cap, but it is lighter and a lot more reliable. If one cap dies, the other one will take over the job.
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On the back, I have done the modifications suggested by Marvin for the ground and for the +5VDC:
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For those who are not familiar, it consists to link TP1 to TP3 using a short length of wire (+5VDC) and for the ground, to link the two tracks as shown in the middle of the board. It goes without saying, but all the large pins have been re-flowed.

For the displays, it is imperative to reflow all the main pins on the connector. Here the old solder is sucked away and replaced with fresh solder. In addition seven 100K resistors must be replaced with 1/2 Watt metal oxide resistors. The original 1/4 Watt resistors are normally burnt and their carbon composition becomes pure powder. Just touching them is usually enough to break them as they have become brittle with the time and heat. Bally used the worst and cheapest kind of resistors you could find at that time. They are easy to recognize when replacing them: they are cylindrical in shape and black. The 1/2 Watt resistors are bigger and do not fit next to each other on the board. I simply place the middle one, slightly higher.
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If the glass display is not damaged, this will give the displays a long and reliable life.

Yves

#15 1 year ago

A few more details:

1) The Line filter. New one, beefier, hopefully a lot more efficient. I re-attached the varistor which seemed in good condition.
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2) Painting the inside of the cabinet.....not my cup of tea. Some felt to help the playfield, when it sits upright.
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Yves

#16 1 year ago

Painting of the inside of the cabinet is pretty much done: Marigold Yellow for the sides and primer + white coats for the bottom.
I like the white inside a machine as it brings light during maintenance and allows you to see and find little parts that may fall.

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Original label for that machine with the corresponding Cabinet number:
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I also have the original documentation that consists of the two books found in Bally pinball machines. They are dated from June 1977....

Yves

#17 1 year ago

Today, I redid the power supply.

The Bally AS-2518-18 are notorious for being extremely poorly designed and failing on a regular base. The original PCB is not very well traced and numerous modifications must be made to bring it to modern standards (See Marvin's recommendations). Instead of wasting my time trying to improve and make reliable an old piece of electronics, I decided to go with the $35 kit from NVRAM.WEEBLY for a complete replacement of the Power supply including fuses and shipping. It is truly hard to beat such a deal and I am very happy with the product and the final result.

Here is the kit as provided by NVRAM.WEEBLY:
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It takes a little bit of assembly to put it together. The fuse holders are re-enforced for the 20 Amps and 10 Amps fuses.

Here you can compare the original Power Supply and its replacement. The replacement uses 35 Amps rectifiers instead of the 20 Amps used by Bally in the late seventies. There is only one drawback with the replacement power supply: the clear plastic insulator cannot be mounted on top of the fuses, because of the up mounted heatsinks. It is not such a loss as the two resistors are generating a lot of heat and are better off with as much cooling as possible.
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The replacement circuit is very well designed with large tracks and makes for a much cleaner and more reliable assembly:
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Below is the finished assembly:
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The replacement PCB is mounted with four sturdy columns, instead of the awful and fragile plastic pins used by Bally. There is plenty of space to prevent a bending of the wires and for air flow, underneath:
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After powering up the transformer and installing the fuses, all the voltage values are matching the schematics. Overall, I am very happy and feel a lot better about this central and essential piece of equipment.

Yves

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

Today, I redid the power supply.
The Bally AS-2518-18 are notorious for being extremely poorly designed and failing on a regular base. The original PCB is not very well traced and numerous modifications must be made to bring it to modern standards (See Marvin's recommendations). Instead of wasting my time trying to improve and make reliable an old piece of electronics, I decided to go with the $35 kit from NVRAM.WEEBLY for a complete replacement of the Power supply including fuses and shipping. It is truly hard to beat such a deal and I am very happy with the product and the final result.
Here is the kit as provided by NVRAM.WEEBLY:

It takes a little bit of assembly to put it together. The fuse holders are re-enforced for the 20 Amps and 10 Amps fuses.
Here you can compare the original Power Supply and its replacement. The replacement uses 35 Amps rectifiers instead of the 20 Amps used by Bally in the late seventies. There is only one drawback with the replacement power supply: the clear plastic insulator cannot be mounted on top of the fuses, because of the up mounted heatsinks. It is not such a loss as the two resistors are generating a lot of heat and are better off with as much cooling as possible.

The replacement circuit is very well designed with large tracks and makes for a much cleaner and more reliable assembly:

Below is the finished assembly:

The replacement PCB is mounted with four sturdy columns, instead of the awful and fragile plastic pins used by Bally. There is plenty of space to prevent a bending of the wires and for air flow, underneath:

After powering up the transformer and installing the fuses, all the values are matching the schematics. Overall, I am very happy and feel a lot of better about this central and essential piece of equipment.
Yves

I’m so jealous of all of this

#19 1 year ago

Final picture for the weekend:
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I installed the leg anchors/holders and painted the neck with a black satin.

Matt, you do not have to be jealous of anything: your machine is a little marvel of perfection

Yves

#20 1 year ago

Well, the stencils have arrived. Very fresh stencils, perhaps a little bit too fresh....They stick so much, it is scaring.

Anyway, there is my first ever attempt at Using Pinball Pimp stencils:
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I am quite happy with the results but the stencils took some tiny specks of paint with it. Mostly on the edge. I wonder if placing the stencils in the fridge may reduce their stickiness a little bit.... I am mostly concerned for the final stencil (Black).

Overall, the quality and ease of these stencils is incredible. The junction between red and yellow is perfect and there is no leaking. I went with very soft sprays/coats trying to be patient (5 minutes) between them .... and ended up with about three passes. Five minutes later, I am pulling on the stencil.

Quite happy so far, but that is a lot of work and masking..... Rolling the colors may be so much more convenient.

Matt, it is your turn now with the main cabinet...... Be brave!

Yves

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

Well, the stencils have arrived. Very fresh stencils, perhaps a little bit too fresh....They stick so much, it is scaring.
Anyway, there is my first ever attempt at Using Pinball Pimp stencils:

I am quite happy with the results but the stencils took some tiny specs of paint with it. Mostly on the edge. I wonder if placing the stencils in the fridge may reduce their stickiness a little bit.... I am mostly concerned for the final stencil (Black).
Overall, the quality and ease of these stencils is incredible. The junction between red and yellow is perfect and there is no leaking. I went with very soft sprays/coats trying to be patient (5 minutes) between them .... and ended up with about three passes. Five minutes later, I am pulling on the stencil.
Quite happy so far, but that is a lot of work and masking..... Rolling the colors may be so much more convenient.
Matt, it is your turn now with the main cabinet...... Be brave!
Yves

Looking great! My cab is up to bat for sure. I’m going to be doing the front and one side on Saturday and hopefully the other side on Sunday if all goes well. -Matt

#22 1 year ago

Not much done today....no time really.

I just worked on the ground line, using braid wire as normally used by Bally. The rear legs, originally, are not connected to the ground and thus I added that extra connection. The middle line goes to the Lightbox and is terminated by a round lug for easy and clean connection. The upper line is soldered to the main cabinet line.
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All small details of importance.

Yves

#23 1 year ago

A little progress on the Lightbox:
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I am really impressed by the quality and precision of Pinball Pimp stencils. No wonder Jeff is the reference when it comes to repainting these classic Pinball machines.

Yves

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

A little progress on the Lightbox:

I am really impressed by the quality and precision of Pinball Pimp stencils. No wonder Jeff is the reference when it comes to repainting these classic Pinball machines.
Yves

Best feeling ever is when you’re peeling it off and that last little bit of the stencil let’s go and you’re left with a perfect re-creation. Looking good!

#25 1 year ago

Time for a little update. The other side of the lightbox has been painted. It did not work as well as the left side. One of the stencil piece reap off and I had to install it by hand, carefully. Then my black coat was slightly too heavy, causing some issues when removing the stencils. Fortunately, I found a trick to fix my mistakes using a small cotton swab, impregnated with Naphta. By working very lightly, it lifted the black paint, leaving the yellow or red untouched. Relief!!!
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After this, it is time to re-assemble the power supply and the various boards. Fresh 10-32 screws for anchoring the heavy transformer to its mount.
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I like this....
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For the time being, I am only installing the Rectifier and Solenoid Driver board and the Light board. Before going further, I want to verify all the voltages and grounds.
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It is coming along. One of the displays has been installed and the high voltage adjusted to 165 VDC. I can see a faint light on the left side of the display. There is hope.
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Yves

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

Time for a little update. The other side of the lightbox has been painted. It did not work as well as the left side. One of the stencil piece reap off and I had to install it by hand, carefully. Then my black coat was slightly too heavy, causing some issues when removing the stencils. Fortunately, I found a trick to fix my mistakes using a small cotton swab, impregnated with Naphta. By working very lightly, it lifted the black paint, leaving the yellow or red untouched. Relief!!!

After this, it is time to re-assemble the power supply and the various boards. Fresh 10-32 screws for anchoring the heavy transformer to its mount.

I like this....

For the time being, I am only installing the Rectifier and Solenoid Driver board and the Light board. Before going further, I want to verify all the voltages and grounds.

It is coming along. One of the display has been installed and the high voltage adjusted to 165 VDC. I can see a faint light on the left side of the display. There is hope.

Yves

Loving it. Looking good!

#27 1 year ago

Some updates: working mostly on the electronics and displays.

I received a new Alltek CPU and installed it. The beast is alive, sings a tune and scores accordingly when the playfield is connected.
DSC03125 (resized).JPG

Only shadow to this picture, the new Alltek board will not go into Self Test mode and I cannot access the Bookkeeping or test any of the lights and coils. What a bummer. I am in negotiations with the owner of Alltek to get an RMA and an exchange. I have purchased 3 Alltek MPUs in the past (10 years ago) and they have always worked perfectly. The new version (NVRAM based) although more sophisticated may not be as reliable as the old one.

I have tried removing J2 and J3 connectors on the MPU and pressing the SELF-TEST button....to no availability. I swapped it with another of my machines and the behavior is the same.

We will see how this goes.

Yves

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

Some updates: working mostly on the electronics and displays.
I received a new Alltek CPU and installed it. The beast is alive, sings a tune and scores accordingly when the playfield is connected.

Only shadow to this picture, the new Alltek board will not go into Self Test mode and I cannot access the Bookkeeping or test any of the lights and coils. What a bummer. I am in negotiations with the owner of Alltek to get an RMA and an exchange. I have purchased 3 Alltek MPUs in the past (10 years ago) and they have always worked perfectly. The new version (NVRAM based) although more sophisticated may not be as reliable as the old one.
I have tried removing J2 and J3 connectors on the MPU and pressing the SELF-TEST button....to no availability. I swapped it with another of my machines and the behavior is the same.
We will see how this goes.
Yves

Oh man.... I haven’t tested my board yet on mine. Let us know how it goes.

#29 1 year ago

Just finished the front of the cabinet:
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Still doing one pane at a time. My recommendation, keep the black coat very light......

Yves

#30 1 year ago

I started working on the coin door. Al parts were bathed in Evaporust for a few days..... This is what it takes to get something relatively clean after many beers and years of filth.
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Also, moving along with the sides of the cabinet. Still doing only one panel at a time:
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There is a big difference in the way the red color "cuts" sharply and cleanly when you remove the stencils, versus the way the black behaves. I am going to try a very light coat for the black, next time. You may notice that I hid the corner located near the left flipper button, so as not to paint it in red. This way, front and side will line up, color wise.

This is all for today.

Yves

#31 1 year ago

Finally, the coin door is finished, mechanically verified and fully working. I just have to electrically test all the switches on the door.
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I used pretty much all the parts that I disassembled, which is always a good sign when you deal with this complex mechanism. It helps to have the original Bally parts catalog as the assembly of the door is very well explained and depicted on the manual.

The Play button is fully insulated on the push button side and also on the frame side. A short to the ground of that switch can cause hours and hours of headaches before finding the failure. I use thermo-shrinking tube to insulate all parts.

I use my pinballs like in an arcade: you have to insert 25 cents to get a play. I find it slightly more challenging and it reminds me of the good old times of being a teenager .... short on coins....

Yves

#32 1 year ago

Just finished the left side of the cabinet. I am very happy with the results overall and did not have to do any touch-ups.
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I used a very light coat, still too heavy in some places. That black paint covers very well and does not need much.
The features of Mata-Hari are well rendered and I am amazed by the quality and perfect registration of the stencils:
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That cabinet has some scars and I decided to not hide them with Bondo or wood putty. I admit a certain romanticism in preserving some of the genuine aspects of these machines.

As soon as the paint is tacky on the stencils, I start removing them. Your fingers end up in a mess, but it seems to work with this brand of paint.

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One more side to do and I will be done with this critical part of the restoration.

Yves

#33 1 year ago

You beat me to it! I just finished mine and I experimented with the stencil on my right side and I wanted to let you know! Well, try this on your next side. I made 3 cuts in the stencil to make it easier to peel instead of one giant stencil. With mine I put the last coat on thick to keep it wet longer when I peeled and it came up like a dream. See where I cut it in the pics. Yours looks great!

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#34 1 year ago

Finally, the painting of the cabinet is behind me....phew.... Kudos to Jeff for his fantastic stencils. Mata-Hari with Xenon, is one of the most intricate stencil design and I am very happy that this delicate phase is over.
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As you can see, I have aligned the red border on the side with the border on the front. Even though most of it will be covered by the rail, I like it better this way.

A funny picture: what it takes to repaint the cabinet of a Mata Hari machine (inside and outside):
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I started mounting the leg protectors from Pinball Life: I use them on all my machines. Why spend so much time restoring the cabinet, when the legs will damage all your work, as soon as you tighten them?
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Now is the phase I enjoy the most: putting it all back together with clean, freshly painted and polished parts. Also, I always try to improve the electrical side of these machines, which were designed, let's say it frankly, to not last more than a few years. Engineered obsolescence.... at its best.

First a clean electric main wiring with a nice three wires high-amps 15 ft cord, attached to a new and stronger line filter:
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A pleasure re-installing a cleaned chime and tilt unit. Again, trying to keep the wiring as clean as possible. My guests like to shake these machines, so it has to be reliable.
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All my Bally machine have the channels painted like the legs. I know it is not original, but that part is usually so corroded that it is unrecoverable, without sending it to plating.
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A Tribute to Pinball Pimp...He certainly deserves it:
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That's it for today. Hope you enjoyed.
Yves

#35 1 year ago

I installed the knocker in the main cabinet. Bally was out of its mind when they placed the knocker near the CPU board.... All this to save a few feet of wires and one connector. It does not make any sense to have this coil spitting coil dust over the boards and shacking the backglass and all the electronics near by.... Very poor design that was quickly modified in the following years and models.
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That will provide a nice and loud whack that can be heard by the whole attendance.

Yves

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

I installed the knocker in the main cabinet. Bally was out of its mind when they placed the knocker near the CPU board.... All this to save a few feet of wires and one connector. It does not make any sense to have this coil spitting coil dust over the boards and shacking the backglass and all the electronics near by.... Very poor design that was quickly modified in the following years and models.

That will provide a nice and loud whack that can be heard by the whole attendance.
Yves

So good! I love the knocker in the cabinet, great idea! Keep it up Yves!

#37 1 year ago

Continuing with the electrical grounding of the machine. Look what I just discovered hidden in its yellow sheath:
DSC03146 (resized).JPG
...and which one do you trust more for your guests and kids?

The devil is in the details.....
DSC03148 (resized).JPG
DSC03149 (resized).JPG

Yves

#38 1 year ago

More details on the electrical circuit:
DSC03151 (resized).JPG

Installation of the coin door frame is almost completed:
DSC03152 (resized).JPG

I like a clean and well organized machine. Some people drool over a super polished playfield. For me, it is the electrical aspects of the machine which is the most important.
DSC03153 (resized).JPG

I know that this is a departure from the original design, but I like it better this way:
DSC03154 (resized).JPG

Yves

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

...and which one do you trust more for your guests and kids?

All looking amazing, Yves. I'm curious about your alternative to the yellow ground cables. I presume you made these yourself with a crimper? Do you have any details on the ends you used and the crimper type? I like this method, though I have reason to believe my yellow ground wires might be in better shape.

#40 1 year ago

Jsa,

Yes, I made them with a crimping plier and some lugs that I got from Digi-Key. You can probably find the same thing at Auto stores. Just make sure that the hole is big enough for the bolts (#8). The trick is to stretch the braided mesh until it becomes like a multi-stranded wire and then insert it into the lug. Very easy and very quick to do.

Yes, I know your feeling about these horrible Bally ground connections. You may think they are in good condition until you pull them out of their sheath and discover what is really going on in there. Plus the increased resistance of these 40 plus years connections offers a significant risk, in case something goes bad.

I want my machines to be as reliable and safe as possible. In addition, it looks so much better than the original Bally pieces of metal and you can rewire the ground in a more correct way. Bally, in their original design, created a lot of ground loops throughout their machines. As you may know, a ground loop will induce some parasitic noise and may cause strange behaviors that will take forever to diagnose. The way I have it, is to distribute the grounds in a tree like fashion, with a trunk line connected to the Line Filter and multiple branches never touching themselves.

Yves

#41 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

Jsa,
Yes, I made them with a crimping plier and some lugs that I got from Digi-Key. You can probably find the same thing at Auto stores. Just make sure that the hole is big enough for the bolts (#8). The trick is to stretch the braided mesh until it becomes like a multi-stranded wire and then insert it into the lug. Very easy and very quick to do.
Yes, I know your feeling about these horrible Bally ground connections. You may think they are in good condition until you pull them out of their sheath and discover what is really going on in there. Plus the increased resistance of these 40 plus years connections offers a significant risk, in case something goes bad.
I want my machines to be as reliable and safe as possible. In addition, it looks so much better than the original Bally pieces of metal and you can rewire the ground in a more correct way. Bally, in their original design, created a lot of ground loops throughout their machines. As you may know, a ground loop will induce some parasitic noise and may cause strange behaviors that will take forever to diagnose. The way I have it, is to distribute the grounds in a tree like fashion, with a trunk line connected to the Line Filter and multiple branches never touching themselves.
Yves

I'm with you, 100%. As I restore Future Spa, my intent is to re-work the ground line similar to later stage machines that used the "tree" like method you're suggesting.

What's your plan with the metal behind the PCBs in the backbox? Are you replacing that with new metal?

#42 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

Jsa,
Yes, I made them with a crimping plier and some lugs that I got from Digi-Key. You can probably find the same thing at Auto stores. Just make sure that the hole is big enough for the bolts (#8).

Also, any idea what gauge these things would need to fit the ground braid properly? I'm guessing 18 is fine but maybe it's thicker than I think.

#43 1 year ago

Usually, lugs are color coded. Red is the smallest and too small for the braid. Blue worked for me. You may try a size above it but then, the hole may be #10 or larger.

I am not changing any of the metal in the backbox. In the early Bally machine, that shield was of good quality. It is only starting with Eight Ball Deluxe that they replaced the metal sheets with metallized cardboard....and it was a disaster.

Yves

#44 1 year ago

Not much has happened recently, besides a few cosmetic details:

New shooter rod from Marco Pinball, with new bushing, springs, washers....etc:
DSC03155 (resized).JPG

The rails were a sore point on my machine. First they were heavily damaged and compressed from the top and I also scratched them and created some sinking when removing the twisted nails. Matt was kind enough to give me a lead and I ordered a new pair from Marco. Interestingly enough, the holes do not exactly match and the replacement rails do not have the hole on the top rear part. A drill with a tiny bit took care of the hole misalignment. The whole enchilada looks so much better with pristine rails:
DSC03156 (resized).JPG
Of course, the new rails are mounted with small Phillips screws.

There is so much work on the restoration of the cabinet, that it is better to do it all the way.

Yves

#45 1 year ago

Great restoration! I can't wait to see the rest of the journey

#46 1 year ago
Quoted from Arcane:

Interestingly enough, the holes do not exactly match and the replacement rails do not have the hole on the top rear part.

I noticed that too, almost every hole was off from the original. Thought it was just a fluke thing on mine.

#47 1 year ago

Finally, Mata Hari is on her legs:
DSC03157 (resized).JPG
and with her head:
DSC03158 (resized).JPG
All lit up:
DSC03159 (resized).JPG
The knocker has been wired and the feeders are mingled with the harness:
DSC03160 (resized).JPG
A few more intimate details.....
DSC03161 (resized).JPG
DSC03162 (resized).JPG

The Girl is almost ready. I just have to replace the coin lock-out coil before putting back the coin door.
Then, electrical debug phase, hunting down one gremlin at a time.....

So far, all lights on the lightbox are working, even the switched ones. All coils in the cabinet are working. The new knocker is brutal and very audible. It will trumpet your triumph... Only thing not working: the Test Button on the coin door. The connection, connector to connector is good when you press the button. I wonder....A4-J3-1...? Fortunately, the AllTek board has its own Test button. But that is a bummer and is impractical when the backglass is installed.

And of course, the playfield has to be rebuilt. But that will be another episode of our saga.

Yves

#48 1 year ago

There is always a need for extra help, checking things, making sure that everything works perfectly. Here Louie (my daughter's dog) is verifying the proper tuning of the Chime unit, during the boot up sequence:
IMG_20180630_191612572[1] (resized).jpg
Z4usDFnUSOOUyKkn71GuMQ (resized).jpg
IMG_20180630_191559973[1] (resized).jpg
The wagging tail tells me that all is fine and that we can proceed with the final installation of the coin door, after having replaced the coin lock coil, procured from PBR.
DSC03167 (resized).JPG
DSC03171 (resized).JPG
DSC03170 (resized).JPG

At this point, verification that all cabinet coils are working one more time is performed. Inserting one coin gives one play, two coins, three plays. Machine off, coins are rejected. All lights are working fine on the lightbox, with the exception of that stupid and mysterious Test Button on the coin door. Arghh....

The cabinet is finished and besides that Test Button gremlin, there is not much I can do at this stage. It is now time to direct my attention to the playfield.

The Top Saucer is in poor shape and needs a complete rework. The wood is eaten, chewed and in very pitiful condition. I am using BONDO (two parts first, then the red Putty) to fill up the damages and make it more presentable.
DSC03163 (resized).JPG
Fine sanding is done and the saucer is painted with Acrylic black Gesso. Gesso is basically the primer used by artists on their canvas before painting anything.
DSC03165 (resized).JPG
The final result is quite nice, very smooth and provides that black hole sinking feeling Mata-Hari would have given you, when killing you after a night or unbridled Love making.
DSC03166 (resized).JPG

Yves

#49 1 year ago

Trying to rework that Solenoid Driver Rectifier Board. I thought I had the reason why the Test Button does not work, but no.
Before, tracks are partially corroded:
DSC03173 (resized).JPG

After installing some wires for a better ground:
DSC03174 (resized).JPG

That stupid test function still does not work. It is most likely something I will pursue on the Tech forum.

Yves

#50 1 year ago

We are finally coming to a conclusion for the restoration of that Mata Hari cabinet.

The electrical gremlin (Test Button) has been fixed: it was just a defective pin on A4-J3-1, which looked like it was okay, but had lost all conductive properties after 40 years of lack of service. Replacing the pin (funny, it was the only one that I had not replaced because of its aspect) fixed the issue. Morale of the story: do not trust an old pin...!

The coin box has been installed, after careful sanding and painting:
DSC03176 (resized).JPG
The coin box contains, inside, a layer of grey foam to dampen the noise of coins falling down and mostly to absorb the humidity which is responsible so often for the internal corrosion of these coin boxes.
DSC03177 (resized).JPG

The cables on the lightbox have been dressed and are supported on the edge. I do not like to have heavy harnesses hanging from the connectors:
DSC03172 (resized).JPG
The extra connectors are for the Knocker, which has been relocated to the main cabinet.

We come to an end for that part of the restoration and our next installments will be the playfield and the backglass. In the meantime, the cabinet is sealed and will rest for a little while.
DSC03178 (resized).JPG

Thank you for following.
Yves

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