Another deal came my way recently and as usual, when you’re out of room and almost out of money, and someone offers to sell you a game, I threw out a pretty low number and it was accepted. Actually, I’ve been wanting to get a Black Rose pinball machine for awhile. These early Bally/WMS DMD games are quite good IMO, and they bridge the gap well between the older games and the more modern ones with extremely complex rulesets. Like its predecessor, Party Zone, Black Rose is a very fun game that doesn’t require curling up with a big printout to understand the ruleset and enjoy the gameplay.
However, first things first… when the owner told me they had no key to the backbox I suspected the worst…
And as expected, we had battery issues, but this looks like it was rescued in time…
Remember, the first rule is to neutralize the acid on the board and then clean it thoroughly. Then make sure everything is thoroughly dry before you put the board back in the game.
And here we go with another acquisition. This was a game I initially turned down, but then the owner dropped his price into the area where it was worth the hassle for me to get. At first I wasn’t that excited about it, but like most Gottliebs, they are more fun and interesting that it appears at first glance. Here’s a “first look” fresh from a some guy’s house. The game was not working properly when I picked it up so it’s going to need some work to get running.
Since this is a “First Look” on this machine, I’m embedding a playlist which will be continually updated with all the work I do on this machine. You can watch the first few, or keep watching to see more work done on the machine (at least as far as I’ve filmed and published so far).
A common problem in many games that use stand-up targets is after awhile the targets lean backwards and will throw the ball up into the air, causing it to fly all over the place, get stuck or break other areas of the playfield. Here’s a quick little trick to reduce this from happening.
As many of you know, one of the biggest problems with pinball machines and repairing them is dealing with leaky batteries on solid state machines, that cause corrosion and all sorts of damage. I’m going to go over how you can completely eliminate this from happening by replacing old-style rechargeable batteries with a high-tech “memory capacitor” that will last longer and not have the same problems that batteries do.
Now lets test the new memory capacitor in the game:
One of the biggest problems with vintage solid-state pinball games is damage to the circuit boards from leaking batteries. Here I show you how to install a remote battery pack so the batteries are away from the sensitive circuit boards, eliminating the possibility of them leaking electrolyte and causing corrosion and other damage to the pinball machine’s electronics.
This type of remote battery pack will work with almost all major pinball systems. The main thing to note is some games by default used rechargeable batteries (many Gottlieb and Bally systems) while others used non-rechargeables (WPC). If you use a remote battery pack on games that by default used rechargeable batteries, install a blocking diode in the path of the battery pack to keep the batteries from having power supplied back to them. Doing this with non-rechargeable batteries can result in bad things like batteries exploding.
As work continues on the Mr. and Mrs. Pac Man pinball game, I am finally ready to fire up a game and see how it plays so far…
There’s still work to do. There are some audio problems and I have to special-order these odd light fixtures that work in the center of the game, the “Pac Lite Matrix” as they call it. As long as some of those lights are out, it’s very difficult to play that part of the game. Stay tuned!
In this latest episode I deal with a sound problem on our Mr & Mrs Pac Man pinball machine. The sound and speech is intermittent and low in volume.
When dealing with any game that is 30 or more years old, you can bet that the capacitors are suspect. These electronic components are known to go bad over time, since they have liquid inside that can dry up, or leak out. It’s relatively easy to acquire and replace the components provided you have the right tools, and then you insure your game board will ideally last another 30 years.
In the video one thing to note is you aren’t always limited to having to find the exact same value/model capacitor. You can replace a capacitor with a lower voltage rating with one of a higher voltage rating. (i.e. replace a 25v cap with a 50v) But you want to make sure the capacitance value (in farads or microfarads) remains the same. You can also replace an axial cap (one with the leads coming out of each end) with a radial cap (with both leads coming out from just one end) as long as you get the polarity properly oriented. Make sure you note that markings usually point to the negative lead, while an indentation on one side of a capacitor will mark the positive lead.
After replacing the caps, we still have some flakyness with the speech portion of the board. I’ve got some replacement pots on order – when they come in I will check on the board traces and solder joints and probably replace that pot… stay tuned and thanks for following the saga!