How to work on electro-mechanical switch stacks on pinball machines

Switch stacks are the primary parts of electro-mechanical pinball machines, triggering game activity. I go over in this video, how they work, the different types of switch configurations, and how to clean and maintain them so they work reliably.

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How to replace or repair EM pinball latch relay parts/articulating arm/rollers

Ok, that’s a mouthful huh? This is a continuation of a previous series of videos I’ve done on fixing deep ruleset issues in EM games, and now that we’ve found what’s wrong, let’s fix it!

First, here’s a video on how to replace the latch relay – there’s another post where I demonstrate how to remove the backplane from the game so it’s easier to work on.

And in this next video, if you don’t have a replacement part, I show how with a little ingenuity and a #4 tap, you can fabricate your own roller for the articulating arm.

Now that it’s fixed… let’s see how the game plays!

How to remove the inside/backplane from an EM pinball machine?

Sometimes when you have to do more extensive work to relays in an old electro-mechanical game, you can’t bend over the cabinet. You need to get all those assemblies on a bench to service. I go over how you can remove the insides of a game so you can more easily access the components.

The next video in this series goes into repairing a broken latch relay.

The backplane (bottom panel) is typically held in place by a few specific things that need to be un-bolted before it can be removed: Several bolts on the panel itself, then some Jones plugs that attach to the wiring harness going to the playfield and backbox, then the power button, and finally, the board holding the tilt/plumb bob and Jones plug going to the coin door.
The tilt board is removed with a few screws, then detach the coin door Jones plug.
Also don’t forget the power cable has to go too, which may require unbolting the head to pull it through the inside.

Diagnosing gameplay issues on EM pinball machines (Target Pool)

This is a fun video that I think is quite informative. I go over the process of how I discovered a feature in the game was not working. It’s a good example of how even supposedly “fully-working” games are often not fully working and many people don’t realize.

So what do you do when you discover a play feature isn’t working? I go over how we can diagnose and identify/fix the problem, even without having schematics. Check it out!

Pinball Showcase: 1969 Gottlieb “Target Pool”

This is a very fun game that I recently dragged back to my house to work on. It was being a bit cranky and I finally got a chance to fiddle with it and get it working. I’m still tweaking it but wanted to do some gameplay videos. I forgot how really fun this game is. It’s all about nudging. This is one of the best games to learn the subtle art of nudgng on and widely regarded in pinball collection circles. Come see what the fuss is about..

Announcing a new series: Pinball Features – Episode 1: TILT!

As more and more people discover the joy of playing pinball, I find myself getting more basic/general questions, and this seems like a good time to launch a new series I’m calling, “Pinball Features”. Each video will focus on a certain element of pinball and offer some basic information on this feature/component of pinball. While this is geared for laypeople, I hope that regardless of your skill level, you may find it informative.

The first episode is dedicated to the Tilt Mechanism. I go into how it works, why it’s there and the different types of tilt devices found in pinball machines.