Author Topic: Xmas pins - get em ready!  (Read 98 times)

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Offline Retropin

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Xmas pins - get em ready!
« on: December 22, 2017, 10:06:33 PM »
Normally for Xmas we buy the biggest F**K off turkey we can, I then cook it on the BBQ and around 24 people come for a slap up feed. The BBQ caught fire though and died and some of the 24 people are friggin painful to have around. So this year, ive treated the family to a big feed at the pub with all you can eat and drink. Then everybody is coming to my house for a lot more drinking and a swim in the pool etc.
My wife then says to me that it would be nice to have some pinball machines to play once everybody comes back.. well that stuffed it as the 3 woodrails I have downstairs no one wants to play.. the ones in the shed are mostly on their backs or tricky to get out.. only ones that would suit are WMS APOLLO and GTB AMAZING SPIDERMAN - both great games but a touch of new blood is required.
Nino had been storing some 5 machines for me for a few years.. these got sent up not too long back and because ive got nowhere to put them, they went on top of the Dexion shelving at work.. where the snakes like to live
Anyway, the decision was made to move the woodies from downstairs out and get possibly 3 from the work shed up and running.
1 is STRANGE SCIENCE.. that one worked straight off the bat and has been set up in the shed for a while now.
The other 2 ive been looking for an excuse to get down since I got them.. 2 classic EMs,
Now these games have been sitting for over 20 years.. working condition unknown but cosmetically excellent. MARINER in particular I was busting to get working. So Pete in the shed next door lifts me up with his forklift and we pull the machines out... the Eastern brown snake that lives in my shed SOMEWHERE wasn't in either machine and I must admit, the thought of getting bitten 4 metres from the floor had me a touch concerned.
So... I have 2 working days to get 2 machines running with no schematics... yeh.. we can do that...LOL.
First on its legs is NIP IT.. no problems so far, keys are in a bag inside the machine.
Next is MARINER.. locked with no keys.. bugger. So im just about to drill the lock out on the coin door and I notice the barrel moves forwards.. bit of prising with a screwdriver and the barrel pops out.. RESULT!
No leg plates inside though but I get some imperial nuts from another shed in the complex and get the body on its legs. Header back door has been prised before and locking plate is bent over.. bit of teasing and the back door is off and MARINER is now assembled.
I figure that NIP IT with the Gator feature and Zipper Flippers would be the most complicated and possibly the hardest to get going so I start with that one first.. ensure all fuses are in place.. put and Australian plug on it and plug in. Power trips.. try again and power trips, so I move onto MARINER.
What a great looking game this is,, beautiful backglass and stunning colours throughout. As usual, the reset cycle runs and runs. All 16 zero position switches read closed on the score reels, Game Over, Reset relays got cleaned and checked... steppers all cleaned and checked.. still it continued to cycle so I decide to pull the PF out and go hard... its then I notice that the far RHS Jones plug is hanging out... push this into place and it resets but continually trips the 100pt score reel over and over. This had me stumped for a bit as its been a few years since ive worked on a Bally EM and I couldn't get my head around what was going on.. cycle through the 4 players and the 100pt reel moves with each player. Stuck switch on the PF?.. No chimes in these machines and without a bell to tell me, I didn't think it could be a stuck switch and anyway switch stays closed.. bell rings once and locks on burning the coil out. Not on these Bally games.. each cycle of the score motor cuts the grounding out to any coil and so it keeps going. I found the closed switch on the far left lower PF.
The leaf switch on the COIN UNIT had been taken past the OPEN and CLOSE posts and so you couldn't choose 1 to 4 players.. put this into correct position and its now 99% working. Only issue is it doesn't score 10pts on Player 1 but that's a minor issue I can sort out later.. essentially, its a working game.
Heres some pics...

Lovely looking game and its pure EM enjoyment... plays fast ( unlike many GTB's) and like WMS of this era, idea is to keep the ball alive and score as much as possible.. up post between the flippers and ball save gate are all part of the strategy

So I move onto NIP IT and see an EMI filter screwed to the bottom relay board.. first time ive seen one of these in an EM... its there to prevent electrical noise going back down the mains line. So I pull it out and I wish I had taken a picture of it as it was swollen like a balloon, so much so that the spot welds had come away on the bottom. A whole new mains line is installed and I take the opportunity to heat shrink the 240v connection to the transformer and ON/OFF switch. Its surprising how dangerous these games can be... 30cm inside the door and you have bare 240v terminals.. perfect for little hands to grab onto.
Now I have a serious problem with NIP IT straight away.. again, the reset just cycles and cycles and looking at the score motor, I see this..

She aint going to work like that, but if you look closely, each switch stack has a few wires going to it that are tied off with waxed string so its obvious which switch stack this belonged to. I pull the stack out and keep it together with a rubber band ( its really bad news if these fall apart!)... Yellow with black pairs with yellow/ black etc so its a good assumption that my white with orange would pair with another.. find the tab and I see its got shiney new solder on it.. someone has been here before and so on it goes. While the bottom board is out, I clean every switch, check that OPEN/CLOSE functions correctly, clean steppers etc.
Put the board back in, assemble the Jones connections to door and switch and see how she goes.
100pt reel is clicking over and over... this time im wise though and go looking for a stuck switch.. took me a while but I found it..

...Oddly enough, its the same switch as MARINER.
Go to the back box and I see the COIN unit has the leaf switches outside the OPEN CLOSE posts.. again, same as MARINER!
Once this is all doe.. steppers cleaned etc, I start a game and NIP IT comes to life!
What a game this is... Zipper Flippers.. how come its taken me 25 years to own a game with this feature? Its the coolest thing ever!
When the ball is up by the RHS of the top bumpers, you hit the second flipper button on your RHS and the Gator mechanism grabs the ball taking it down under the alligator and you collect all your bonus... its a really fun game.
Only issue is that it stopped counting balls, so this stepper needs better attention... other than that.. its a working game.

2 games...2 days.. no schematics. I got the job done. Pins are coming home tomorrow and ill do the finer repairs then..

.. enjoy the pic of NIP IT.. another of the over looked BALLY gems

Offline Strangeways

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Re: Xmas pins - get em ready!
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2017, 09:24:15 AM »
Nice story mate. Great looking games. Cosmetically very nice. Typical of an EM, needs only a small amount of work to get going again, or a major restoration. All these games would conform to the former. One day I will get mine going. But for you - Cool Christmas party this year !
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Offline goodolddays

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Re: Xmas pins - get em ready!
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2017, 09:37:17 AM »
Both are great looking games Gav . I have played an EM with Zipper flippers in the past .. great fun and a good challenge
I need more room ! and more $$$