Making a pinball board test rig using a PC power supply

Here’s a quick video that shows how to take an old PC power supply you may have laying around and use it to power up pinball boards for testing. I use the Bally-35 MPU board as an example of how we can set this up to do board work on the MPU while it’s outside of the actual pinball machine. This is great for testing things while you’re refurbishing a board that’s been giving you problems.

First Look: Bally Kings of Steel Pinball – bringing a dead MPU back to life

This is a nice video series I’ve been working on for the last 2-3 weeks involving a very nice-condition, 1984 Bally “Kings of Steel” pinball machine – you just don’t see this game very often. I think I’ve actually never played one before so I was psyched to pick up the game. Unfortunately, like most of the time, it didn’t work — this game would not boot up and had some obvious issues. Here is a video playlist of my work thus far getting the MPU board back in action. This is a particularly good sequence going over how to trace issues on the MPU board, and in this case, it wasn’t a typical battery-leaking-damage situation. Something else was wrong as you’ll see..

Repair, don’t replace that broken pinball coil!

Pinball coils (aka solenoids) are windings of insulated copper wire that create electromagnets that make things move on the playfield. If you have a coil that is no longer working, and doesn’t have any obvious signs it has “melted down”, there’s a very good chance you can repair it instead of replacing it. In this video I go over how this is typically done. This works on all types of pinball machines from the EMs to Stern, Bally, Williams, etc.

Fabricating a new lane guide for a Flash Gordon, reinforcing with metal and touch-up painting and protecting

In this installment, I’m working on a Flash Gordon pinball machine. There’s a common plastic part that breaks that is very difficult or expensive to replace. I go over how to replace this part by fabricating your own plastic lane guide using common parts from local hardware stores.

In Part 2, I take things a step further by adding a metal reinforcement plate to keep the guide from breaking in the future, and I show off some amazing playfield paint touch up work and use lacquer to seal the touch-ups: