Sunday, May 2, 2010

Back in the shop. Opening Pandora's Box Part 1.

Someday very soon I will cronicle our adventures in eproms, but the story is still open.  That will have to wait.  I was able to finally get some time in the shop again today.  It needs cleaning very badly, but I really didn't want to spend time cleaning up instead of making my F-14 functional again.  I'll clean tomorrow, tonight, I get my hands on the pop bumper!

This is my Pop / Jet bumper.  It's a little dirty, it's not currently working because the coil blew, and also, anyone who knows the F-14 can see that there should be a lightbulb in there.  There's not even a socket for it.  I suspect that there was a problem along the way where the bumpber needed fixing, the light was removed, and the tech decided to just skip putting a new light socket in.

I've never done this before, so first I took a bunch of pictures, as per usual:

I'll spare the details.  There are a lot of pictures.

I then set about taking it apart.  I'll tell you what I did, then I'll follow up with what I should have done.

What I should have done:

With it all disassembled, I would clean it all up, install a new coil and new springs.  Finally, a new light bulb socket.

I may have made a mistake.  I like to polish up all of the metal before I put it back.  It's under the playfield and no one sees it, but when you lift the hood, I like to see shiney parts.  But I may have gotten overzealous here.  I don't know if that's brass colored for a reason or if they really oxidized, but I polished it right off.  It may just be me, but it looks like a surprised face.

With the parts assembled, it was time to put it back in place, then start working on installing the light.  I wish I had a picture of it properly done for you to see, but I don't, so you're stuck with how I did it!

Then it's time to lift the playfield and work underneath.

On the other side, I could not re-use a staple, and unless I wanted to simantle that side of the playfield, I could not staple it down.  Instead I used some shrink tubing to insulate the post.  I'll figure out a way tack that down.

With everything assembled, and an LED instead of the incandescent bulb.  Here is what it looks like.

So it was bright and happy!  But, why did I title this "Opening Pandora's Box"?

I turned everything on, and then tested the bumper.  It popped half heartedly 3 or 4 times and then WHAM!  It popped down and stayed down!

I turned off the pinball machine right away as not to damage anything.  Based on my reading, I now have a bad transistor.  I did some tests and confirmed that I didn't have one bad transister, I have 5.  I did check that a while ago and they were all fine.  I don't know what caused this but I suspect it was the shorted bumper coil.

More in the next post.

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