Friday, September 9, 2016

Introducing... Kick Off!

Huzzah, it is my first Bally electromechanical machine: Kick Off!

Lord Of The Rings has gone back to his home and Kick Off is filling up that empty space.
Back in the spring a pinball friend of mine was selling this game for a decent price, but I didn't have room.  It was a good opportunity, since the seller was someone whose tech skills I highly respected.  (If you can get a game that's been gone over by someone who knows how to make games perfect, it is such an added bonus.)
Another friend offered to buy the game and play it over the summer, then sell it to me, and so that's what we did.  It worked out so well and I'm grateful to have it now.

Want to know what I love about this game?  this:

See that?  That is five ways to drain.  Sure, you can attempt to bounce in from the outlanes, but take note of the gap under the upper flippers.  You try and catch a ball and it rolls up?  That's going up the side, under the upper flipper, and out.

Let's take a closer look:
flippers resting

first, take note of that drilled hole above the middle rubber band.  That's probably an adjustment, meaning the post could be set at a higher anger, so the gap is smaller, and the ball won't just roll in with the flippers resting.
Buts nuts to that, we want this game to be brutal.  We're leaving those gaps open and dangerous, so you better not plan on letting that ball roll up as you attempt a catch.

flippers up!

With the flipper raised, look at that massive hole.  It doesn't mess around.
And if you get the ball anywhere underneath there?  If you release the flipper, it's just going to swat the ball directly to the outlane.

The game;s backglass is in excellent condition, and the playfield is decent.  Very bright, minimal damage, but lots of cupping around the inserts.  After initial cleaning and waxing, I took some of my low tack laminate sheets and covered all of the inserts to add a temporary touch of more smoothing.

it's very hard to see the covering, which is kind of the point.

Next up is to start swapping LEDs in to the backglass.  I know lots of people hate LEDs in EMs, but for me it's all preservation.
The glass itself will also be sealed with Triple Thick later this weekend.
At some point I'll redo all of the playfield GI and insert lights as well.  Time to place a Comet order.

This game plays FAST and brutal, with tonnes of high speed bouncing.  Cool and calm patience is required to observe the angles and to know when flipping is necessary.

Tomorrow I am going to give it a fresh coat of wax, and see if I can pitch it up an extra whole degree to make it extra tough.
The game gives up the extra ball a touch too early for my tastes, so I am going to see about making it even more of a drain monster.

Also, coloured coded super bands rubber will need to be ordered!

cat on the machines

What do you think you are doing?


get down from there

no, not just to there.

Dammit, Sleater!

BTW I have put up on Pinside ratings and reviews for every game I have had in my basement...  27 and counting!

Things haven't been shifting around much, but expect 3 out and 3 new ones down as we enter the fall!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

gameroom art update!

Newly up on the walls:
Atomic Punk marquee
A much nicer Future Spa backglass
Space Duel and Astron Belt marquees
A rough Peter Pan backglass  (rough shape, alas)

Friday, July 15, 2016

LOTR dmd update!

My friend lent me his NOS DMD and we swapped it in and the power went out again, so we know there was much more to investigate.
We finally traced down cracked solder on the power supply, reflowed that, and put the old DMD back in.


Stars lights!

Stars needs all of it's indicator lights!  Very important for decision making.
After replacing a few more sketchy light sockets, it was time to hunt down the bad transistors.

The manual for Stars is a bit of a mess.  Go download it at IMDB, page 5 is a long list of corrections for the lamp driver board.
On top of that?  We found that even the CORRECTIONS had a mistake!
J1-10 is listed as SPECIAL WITH WHITE STAR, but we confirmed it is actually just the WHITE STAR.

So we proceeded carefully with the transistors we had.  But J1-10 needed a MCR-106 transistor, and I only had bought 2N5060s.  So the game will be missing that single light.
BUT, the rest are now working!

With the light board removed, we also noticed Capacitor C1 was disconnected.  Looking at the schematics, I don't quite understand where J4-3 connects to, but it's back connected now.
Lamp driver A5-J4-3 connects to A3-J3-16, on the voltage regulator / solenoid driver board.
So looking at the schematics, I really think this capacitor is there to connect two voltage test points, so probably not critical to gameplay.

The wires connecting the left flipper are now sealed properly, with the flaking electrical tape removed.

At this point?  I think we might just be one transistor away from a fully working game!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

more public pinball at the Neighbourhood Pub!

Very excited that Ottawa has another wonderful place to play!  Check out Ottawa, Canada over at the pinball map!

We have 3 main spots:
House Of Targ, with 18 pinball machines and an equal amount of arcades
Lowertown Brewery, with 6 pinball machines and I have yet to visit yet...
and now.. Neighborhood Pub at 2257 Baseline Rd, with 9 machines plus a few arcades


Neighbourhood Pub, which I will forever refer to as Neigh-P, is also the first to dive back in to the EMs.
Yes, that is a 60s era shuffle bowler!
They are all wonderfully fine tuned, and a blast to play.

Neigh-P does 45 cent wings on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays, and they are delicious and probably the most affordable meal in the city.
MAACA people are going to be meting there on Wednesdays (with the wings special honoured,) I think.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Stars: lighting update

I got in a bag of light sockets, so it was time to start tackling the light bulb issues on Stars.

First up was the task of figuring out what sockets do not make a good connection, and therefore should be replaced.
Open the game door and press the test button and all of the controlled lights will start flashing.  With the playfield up, for each one that doesn't blink, I use an alligator clip to jump from the connection of a working light to a non-working one.

If the light does not light then, you know you have to replace it.  I replaced about 5 of them.  
There are also a handful of lights where the light is rather dim, due to dirty sockets, and I'll probably replace those as well.  
Stars uses a single lamp driver to drive both Stars on the playfield:  the one at the target, and the same colour at the spinner.  Problem is, if one lamp socket is dirty and intermittent and goes out temporarily, the other other will as well.  So doubly best be sure the lights are OK.

But now that the bad sockets are located, time to move up the chain to the connectors and the transistors on the light board.