Pinball Stories #2: Escape from the Lost World

This is the second installment in a new series I’m doing with the “stories behind the games”. Each owner has his own unique story about how they came to acquire the game. Sometimes the stories are as interesting as the game itself. The first episode was on my first game. This story covers a more recently acquired game and how I saved it from imminent destruction.

Pinball Stories #1: My first game, “Genie” by Gottlieb

One of the things us pinball enthusiasts love to do is tell stories about how we acquired games. Each game has its own unique provenance and history, and there’s almost always an interesting story behind them. This is the first episode in an ongoing series were we talk about the stories behind the games and how they came to be. I start the series off with the very first pinball machine I purchased, a Gottlieb “Genie” – before I knew anything about how to repair and restore games. It was the game that got me on this path. I hope you enjoy the story – be sure to subscribe on Youtube! Thanks for watching!

Here are some pictures from early on when I got the game and began to restore it.

Problems with coil stops in newer Stern games

Lately there’s been a bit of a hullabaloo (is that how it’s spelled?) regarding coil stops on newer Stern games. I had it happen to me as well, and I made a video to describe what’s happening. It appears whoever is manufacturing the coil stops for Stern has used inferior materials and they prematurely come apart. I’ve reported this to Stern and will let you all know what they are doing about it. I expect this supply issue to be resolved soon and if you encounter this problem, contact Stern support. They should be able to send out replacement coil stops.

coil stop literally fell apart. There’s a non-ferrous “washer” that separates the stop from the bracket that appears to be made of low quality alloy that disintegrates.

The next day I returned with the right parts. Here are two videos covering the repair.

https://youtu.be/rWnNejDq-uI

https://youtu.be/dtC6Sg-8tq4

damaged coil stop can also cause the plunger to mushroom and then damage coil sleeves and get stuck.

Building replacement LED displays (from a kit)

This is a fun series of videos of me trying something new. Let’s replace the old gas plasma displays in a Bally 35 solid state pinball machine with new low-voltage LED displays. This reduces the power consumption of the pinball machine and cuts out the high power portion of the power supply board for the display – a whole area we don’t have to worry about any more by switching over to LEDs. The price for this as a kit is quite reasonable (and cheaper than replacing them with used displays usually). But it takes some time and skill to populate your own circuit boards. I’m going to give it a try. Let’s see how it goes!

Here is a time lapse of me doing the lion’s share of the board work:

And here’s the finished product!