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:

Recommended mods to Bally-35 solenoid driver boards

In today’s episode, I go over some standard, recommended modifications to the Bally-35 series solenoid driver board. There are over 60 popular pinball games that use this hardware setup and these quick modifications will help make the game run better and more-reliably. They involve adding three jumpers to the board. Whenever I have a chance to work on one of these boards, I do these mods.

Fixing Bally -35 reset issues and bullet-proofing the power driver board

I was having an issue with a Bally “Supersonic” pinball machine randomly resetting/rebooting. The problem was traced to irregular power coming off the driver board. In this video series I go over a necessary process to bring these old boards back “up to spec” as well as a few improvements that make the game overall more reliable.

Changing Ball Settings On Gottlieb EM Pinball Games

I’m slowly catching up on the maintenance of various games and working my way down the EM row. One thing I wanted to do was switch one of the games from 5-ball to 3-ball. I feel some of these games are a little long on 5-ball and since they’re on free-play and there’s dozens of other games around, a shorter game time is recommended. In the video below I go over how to make changes to game settings on EMs like this…

Pinball Tips: Color matching

Here’s some good advice on how to paint and touch up your game.

Color Wanted: Start with: Add a little:
Green Yellow Blue
Orange Yellow Red
Brown Red Black
Maroon Red Black & Magenta
Cream White Yellow
Tan White Brown
Ivory White Yellow & Brown
Gray White Black
French Gray White Yellow & Black
Olive Green Yellow Black & White
Pink White Red
Flesh White Red & Yellow
Coral White Orange
Purple Magenta Blue
Gold Yellow Brown
Lime Green Yellow Green & White

More hints:

  • Realize that not all areas of the playfield or cabinet, even if they were painted a single color, will remain the same color over time.  Different areas may fade to different shades.
  • Also note that many paint colors will change slightly as they dry, or appear different if a clear coat is added later, and try to do some test runs to see how the final result will appear before committing.
  • Mix your paint and put some on a piece of clear plastic and hold it over the area you’re going to touch up to see how well it matches.
  • You can pick up a pantone color matching set at most hardware and paint stores and use this to help match colors.
  • Don’t use hot water to clean the paint brush. This can weaken the glue that holds the bristles together and cause bristles to fall out.
  • There sites online such as this one ( http://pinballpal.com/colors/  ) which has color formulas for some popular pinball games.

Fixing airballs by replacing stand-up target back-padding

A common problem in many games that use stand-up targets is after awhile the targets lean backwards and will throw the ball up into the air, causing it to fly all over the place, get stuck or break other areas of the playfield.  Here’s a quick little trick to reduce this from happening.

How to install a memory capacitor to replace a battery pack

As many of you know, one of the biggest problems with pinball machines and repairing them is dealing with leaky batteries on solid state machines, that cause corrosion and all sorts of damage. I’m going to go over how you can completely eliminate this from happening by replacing old-style rechargeable batteries with a high-tech “memory capacitor” that will last longer and not have the same problems that batteries do.

Now lets test the new memory capacitor in the game:

Here’s source info on the caps:

Category:

1.5f 5.5f “super capacitors” at Mouser Electronics.

Specific item I used:

1.5f 5.5f Panasonic Supercap

You can also get these from Great Plains:

http://www.greatplainselectronics.com/Category-67.asp

Product ID: CER-1.5F-5V
Capacitor, Radial Electroltyic, 1.5F, 5V
Capacitor, 1.5F, 5V, 85C, Radial Electrolytic
Manufacturer: Panasonic
Manufacturer Part Number: EECF5R5U155
Diameter: 21.5mm, Height: 8mm, Lead Spacing: 5
Price: $5