Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Dog in my stable... er, pony in my yard? Goat in the pasture?

Picked this up a couple of weeks ago.  It was a very low price and in such good shape that it went straight into the basement.  I had to replace a flipper coil and a couple of resistors on it, but other than that it's working great.

It's the first machine that I get to just "shop" out.  I jsut have to clean it up the dust, replace some bulbs, maybe get a new glass for it and that's it.

I'm a little worried because I've already scored almost 4.5 million on it and it rolls at 9,999,999.

New Power Connector

One of the connectors on my power supply was discolored and if you felt it with the power on, it was hot.  This usually happens with an old connector that isn't making good contact.  I missed one picture, that's of me crimping a new pin in place.  But you'll get the point.  I think that I showed the pin crimping in an earlier post anyway.

Here you can see the burnt connector.

I usually move one wire at a time to the new connector so I don't lose track of which wire goes to which pin.  You can clearly see the difference between the old connector and the new one.

Here the new connector is in place, and it stays cool as we're playing.  Another successful repair.

Coming soon:  Transfer into the new cabinet and then down into the basement.

Oooh, Shiny.

Not too much to say.  Windex and paper towels then "000" steel wool, brasso, and elbow grease will turn pinball legs shiny.

Lower Leg = Before
Upper Leg = After

Friday, July 2, 2010

PIA Error

You may recall that my display, the "J" segment to be exact, was not working on the Player 1 and Player 2 LCDs.  I fixed it by cleaning up corrosion on the board.

Well, it was always my intention to remove the chips, clean up all of the corrosion, then solder in sockets and hopefully reuse the chips again.


I was playing the game one night as Chad and I were deciding what to work on next, when both P1 and P2 displays started to flicker.  I shut the game down, reseated the cables, the started the game up again.  I got a "PIA ERROR" on the screen.  PIA stands for Peripheral Interface Adapter.  It's a common chip in many games. 

I knew that my time had finally run out.  I had to replace the chips that night.

I removed the board from the game and commenced work.  First, I tried to nicely unsolder the chips so I could reuse them, but I didn't get as far as the 3rd pin before I gave up on that idea.  The first two pins were very difficult to remove, they were a little mangled, and I had another 78 to go.  I just broke down and cut the pins like the Pinrepair guide told me to do.

Here is U41 with the pins cut.


After the chips U41 and U42 were removed, I cleaned the board some and then Chad helped me desolder all of the chips.  It required four hands so there are no pictures of that.  However, once the pins were all removed, I used my desoldering tool to remove all of the excess solder from the holes.

Here I am heating up each hole and using the vacuum bulb to remove the extra solder.  Doing this a few times is no problem, after 80 desolders, my fingers were cramping a bit.  Some day, when I can afford it, I'll get the really nice tool with the automatic solder sucking vacuum.  It's about $300.

After the solder was removed, I used some vinegar to neutralize the alkaline of the battery corrosion, and then some alcohol and a toothbrush the get the board nice and clean.

The board is clean and ready to receive new parts.

This picture has no real significance.  I just thought it looked cool.  This is the bottom of the board with a 100w lamp shining on the other side.

Here are the new sockets, installed and soldered.  The advantage of this is that if there are any other problems with those chips I can just swap them out instead of desoldering 80 points and resoldering them.


Here it is, all finished up with the new chips installed.  When I put it all back together, it fired up with no errors.  I don't think this problem will return.  I think it took me about an hour to get this all done from beginning to end.  Having a friend help you by heating the pins as you pull them out with pliers really helps the job go much faster.  Friends are good.  Thanks Chad!

Back from F-14 Haitus - Beacons

I'm back.  I will probably have a few rapid posts as I catch up on my blogging.  Some of this stuff has been sitting on my camera for a while.

I finally sourced out the last two beacons that I needed.  I know these look rough, but they just need a little cleaning.  I cleaned them a bit with Novus 1, but the paint still remains on the top of them.  I'll cover cleaning the paint up and polishing the plastic in an upcoming post.

This entry is about cleaning up and rebuilding the beacon assembly.

Here is the assembly with one of the reflectors removed.  I used some Naptha, Acetone, Novus 1, and Novus 2 to get it all cleaned up.

You can see that there is quite a bit of grunge and dust built up.  There was oil on the electric motor and I couldn't figure out where that could have come from.  The belts were misssing, I got new ones from Marco Pinball, but you can see the rubber built up on the pullies.  The reflector needed some shining up too.

I used some acetone to clean up the oily grimey mess.  Here is a shot of it half finished so you can see how bad it was.  Where did that oil come from?

Here are the parts all cleaned up.


There isn't much else to say about this.  The parts are cleaned up, I put it all back together again, and this is how it looks in action.


You can see they spin and light up, it's really cool.  The thing you don't know from these pictures is that with everything all squeaky clean... it squeaks.  I had to put a little oil in the bushings, and my guess is that over time, oil built up.  As I'm writing this, it occurs to me that I should have squeezed some graphite in there to kill the squeak and not get any oily buildup.

So the beacons are done.

I spent some time cleaning up the rest of my stationary targets.  I rebuilt 20 of them in all.

On to some of the other things on the list.

Oh, yea, I made a list too.