Diagnosing spinning score reels – Bally EM pinball

Here’s a video I made awhile back that I don’t see linked on my main site so I thought i’d include it. It’s a short video on how to diagnose problems with score reel switches when you turn the game on and the score reels just seem to spin forever and not reset/start the game.

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Pinball Basics: Why it’s important to regularly examine your playfield?

It seems like a no-brainer, but I’m regularly reminded of the importance of taking time to survey the playfield of pinball machines. In this video I go into why it’s important and how catching a minor issue early, can stop more annoying problems later.

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Sega/Stern South Park – fixing opto/ball trough issues

In this video I pull a game off route and work on it. Discussing the unusual playfield hardware used by Sega/Stern. There was a problem with the optos in the ball trough causing problems making the game kick balls out onto the playfield unexpectedly. The game displays “too many balls” when there is the proper number installed.

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Fixing drop targets on Stern pinball games (World Poker Tour)

I recently was tasked with fixing up a Stern World Poker Tour that had come off route. The game had a number of issues, the first of which was that certain targets would not reset. They would pop-up, but fall back down. Some research indicated this was a known issue that Stern released a service bulletin to address. But I soon found out my problem was deeper than that, and several things were wrong, including a broken bolt holding a coil stop, and the wrong plunger assembly used on one of the drop targets. In this video series, I outline how I identified and solved the problem. Here are some pictures of the work that was done to fix the broken bolt.

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Upgrading Gottlieb System 80 MPU board with new battery pack

One of the first things you have to do when you get an original Gottlieb System 80 game is deal with their on-board NiCad battery pack, if it has not already been addressed. Gottlieb installed these batteries on the actual MPU board itself and like on other games, it’s a common cause of serious problems with the game. The batteries begin to leak after awhile, releasing electrolytes that corrode the MPU board and the components on it. This can happen even if you don’t see any obvious leaks. The batteries need to be replaced. There are a few options you have to do this: a remote battery pack (3 AA batteries along with a blocking diode to keep them from being charged if they’re not rechargeable batteries), a 2032 lithium coin cell, or my favorite, a 5.5v 1.5F memory capacitor. The memory cap will last the longest and will not destroy any components on the board. It will keep a charge for at least a month or more without power. Here’s a video of me adding this fix to a Gottlieb System 80B MPU

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