Diagnosing and testing optos on a Gottlieb System 3: Waterworld

Another video from my restoration work on this Gottlieb Waterworld pinball machine – actually two videos in this series where I talk about trying to isolate a problem with the optos on the game and comment about the design of the game and how the optos work, how to test and figure out what’s wrong?

But there’s more… I discovered an issue on this particular game, and possibly on other Gottlieb games that use this style of opto bracket… more info here:

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Creating your own drop target artwork

Here’s a short video outlining my process of creating some custom artwork for drop targets for a Gottlieb System 3 pinball machine: Waterworld. I thought I might create some custom images to commemorate the huge budget of the movie’s production 😉

One note – after you put the decals on, put some heavy mylar over the decals to keep them intact – just the decal and triple thick isn’t enough to keep the graphics from not being damaged by the heavy pinball.

Check out the video!

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First Look: “Waterworld” pinball by Gottlieb – pulled from a Casino

Here is a first look at a new pinball machine to enter the PinballHelp.com studio. This came out of a casino on the Gulf Coast, then found its way into the back room of a laser tag place and sat for quite awhile before the owners needed room and made me a deal on it. I don’t believe the previous owner did any work on the game so we have the original, largely un-maintained condition it was received from after being operated at a casino.

Follow along with me and let’s see what we notice about this game? How “hacked” is it? How much of it will actually work? What’s it going to take to get this game fully operational?

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Diagnosing weird game issues with Gottlieb System 80B (Raven)

Just when I thought I had my Raven running beautifully, it just started acting up. I would press the start button and the game would begin to start, but then not kick out a ball, the sound would stop, and none of the coils would fire. It was very odd. I knew from experience that Gottlieb games can get a bit wonky with irregular power or switch inputs, so here’s a short, 2-part video series of the “rabbit hole” I went down trying to figure out what was wrong? (As always, Ockham’s Razor tends to prevail)

Along the way, we learn a few things about the switch matrix on these System 80 games and how they differ from other manufacturers like Bally/Williams when it comes to trying to trace switch matrix issues. Here’s part one:

And here is part two, where we figure things out…

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“Raven” – Pinball Showcase, examining this 1986 cheesy but fun to play game.

During the mid to late eighties, Gottlieb was under the control of Premiere, and much to the confusion of those in the pinball community, they decided to create a string of popular theme knock-offs, from “Hollywood Heat” copying “Miami Vice” to “Raven” copying “Rambo.” To make matters worse, they used photo-realistic backglasses, which was quite a diversion from the hand drawn artwork people were used to seeing. The games ended up not being very well-received

As such, there’s not many of these games left. But I got my hands on the first game in this series, “Raven” – the first pinball machine to use a photo-realistic backglass. While there are many reasons to not like this game, there are also some reasons why it’s way underrated. It’s a very FUN game to play!

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