Monday, January 27, 2014

Flintstones: drop bank board FIXED!

I got great advice from commenter Atomicboy that it was most likely a cracked solder joint. 
Since the problem just moved down the line after replacing the center opto, I figured they were probably right, so I reflowed solder on the board and LO!  It works now!
No false-positives when the solenoids go off.  I wish I had been able to identify which one it was, but hey, it's playing great now.

I wasted money on optos I didn't need, but they can go in the spare parts bin.
At least I didn't spend $34 on a new PCB like most everyone else who was dealing with this issue did.

I do need to get another E clip though.  It's kind of scary:  you are removing the PCB and taking off those little clips then... *tinkle* it has fallen... somewhere.  I couldn't locate it.  I reviewed every wire beneath and made sure that it wasn't somewhere shorting out something, but I will be a touch paranoid until I find it again.
Cardinal rule:  Always have a white sheet beneath where you are working to make it easy to find anything that has fallen!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

game room updates and trade notices!

I forgot to share, I got a Panthera playfield for the wall!

sooooo badass.

All of my playfields are in pretty good condition, so I have to accept that fact that one day someone might want one to restore an old machine with.  I must be ready for those days.
But in the meantime, SO PRETTY!
And WOW, Panthera is a huge PF.

There are a few old playfields I would love to have:
Bad Cats (CPR reproduction coming son, so hoping for a flood of old ones in the market!!!)
Space Riders

So keep an ear to ground on those for me, OK?  :)

I had decided to sell/trade either Rocky + Bullwinkle and/or Street Fighter 2 in 2014.  I have happily combined them in to a bundle, doing a 2-for-1 for a Monopoly!
This will happen in the spring when things warm up.
Value-wise, it is a pretty square deal.  They are all good-quality player's pins, and the "book value" of R+B plus SF2 is dead equal to that of Monopoly.
In "Ottawa prices", I could probably get more for SF2 and R+B in cash than he could in Monopoly, but he also has a truck and so will be taking on a lot more of the burden of this trade.  He is also my expert technician, meaning he knows the games inside and out.
ALSO, he operates games, so trading to him is a best-case scenario as it means I will likely be able to go out and play these if I get a desire for them.

I haven't even been at this pinball thing for a year and I've already covered so much ground!  It has been a whirlwind of awesomeness and so much learning.
I have covered a vast range of systems:
70s Gottlieb (Royal Flush)
Capcom (Break Shot)
Data East (Rocky + Bullwinkle)
90s Gottlieb (Street Fighter 2)
90s Williams (Flintstones)
and soon... STERN!

Flintstones: pop bumper part, and replacing the drop-bank opto

I received the parts for Flintstones:  a metal yoke plate that had been noticed missing from one of the pop-bumpers, and an extra opto for the one that seems to be flaky on the drop-bank board, registering false-positives.

I had never taken apart a pop bumper before, and kept trying to see how little I would have to dig through to get it in.
I found this video very handy:

The game was playing fine, but I imagine with that supporting metal yoke it would wear and fail far sooner than if it was properly sheathed in place.

Here it is almost fully reassembled.  Need to attach one last nut on the right, and align the spring properly.

the drop-bank assembly, with the opto board removed, just chillin' out beneath it.

I had never desoldered anything before, and after much struggle I finally managed to get the center opto out!
I was using a solder sucker at first, but a friend reminded me to use a solder wick with flux and that did the trick.  I was worried in my clumsy attempts that I had charred some of the traces, but in the end everything tested fine.
My solder joints were little unsightly blobs, but I got out the multimeter and did connectivity tests and everything was lined up the way it should be.

my glorious tools

The plyers acted as a great stabilizer for all this.  And yes, I did trim the wires a bit.  :)

So now the middle opto is not giving false-positives!  I put it back in the machine and it's great!
Only problem?
Drat.  What could it be?
Could the top opto just have developed the flakiness suddenly?
If there was a problem somewhere else, by replacing the center opto how could the issue be exchanged to the top opto?

What a mystery.  Maybe I just should have paid the money and bought the replacement board...  but I did order a 2nd spare opto, so maybe I'll take some time and replace the top one too.  *sigh*

fix always-down 'K' drop target
Installed metal plate for underneath pop bumper bakelight
Replaced opto on left 3-bank drop target PCB

File down mushrooming on upper flipper (bottom two were done)
extra GI mods:  lights in the city plastics, dinosaur plastic
Fix broken 3-bank drop target PCB, scores 800,000 points when flipper/shooter solenoids drop the voltage.

Street Fighter 2: fixing the basics

In a short span there were 2 pieces of important plastic that broke on SF2:
The inner tip of the right flipper button busted off.  It was still kind of stuff in place inside, so I could play it, but the flipper button might fly off if you aren't secureing it.
Then a piece of the shooter rod broke off!  Never expected that.  SF2 has a skill shot that requires precision timing to an audio cue, so you need to be able to rocket off that plunge with an exact amount of force at a precise time.  that means pulling back the plunger and letting it "snap" off of your finger.  I guess the plastic was just aged, and the little snap plunge took a chunk out of it.


 Luckily Steve Young has a great stock of Gottlieb System 3 parts available.  (seriously, I'm scared to own a game he doesn't have a massive overstock of parts for)

Rebuilt and ready for action!

New button, new plunger rod, and we are back to 100%!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rocky & Bullwinkle; 600 DPI plastic scans

FireBrandX on pinside has done the world a great favour and scanned in a NOS plastics set they won off ebay.  Most of them still had the blue plastic seal on them.

I have offered to host them.  Download here:

Thanks, Wolff!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Flintstones opto board analysis

I am trying to figure out if I can salvage the 3-bank opto board, or if I'll be forced to buy a new one.  Background here.

char lines line up with the bigger resistors

there is a touch of charring under the resistors, but they all check out.  Ran continuity between solder points to check traces, diode tests, all seems ok.
With it installed, the switch edge tests are fine.  The optos work as they should, but opto #2 will also register when a coil is fired.