The Great Switch Matrix Wild Goose Chase!

Here are six videos of an 8 part series of clips I shot this past week while working on restoring a Bally Theatre of Magic game.

What’s interesting about this series is you can really follow along with me as I fumble around trying to figure out what’s wrong. This is an all too common path many enthusiasts take which often leads them back to the beginning of the trail and emphasizes a number of common troubleshooting principals.

At this point, I have a working game except for two minor glitches with switches: An opto in the ball trough is not working, and it’s causing the game to kick balls into the shooter lane when powered up, and the EOS switches on the flippers are not being registered by the MPU. The solution to both of these issues was finally found and may or may not be what you expect. Watch the series to find out!

Securing and adjusting stand-up targets and their leaf switches

On many games such as this Theater of Magic, there are stand-up targets in the middle of the playfield that take a constant beating from the ball. The switch blades in these targets, as well as the entire assembly will often get bent out of position and stop registering. I demonstrate how to use a simple tool to fix the leaf switch blades and put them back into position, as well as some other techniques for making sure the targets are solidly-attached to the playfield.

Stand-up targets have changed very little over the decades so this technique works on both old and new pinball machines.

Pinball Flipper Tune-Up: replacing bushings

If you have a wobbly-feeling pinball flipper, there’s a good chance the bushing is either worn or broken. In this two-part video I go over how to remove the flipper assembly and replace the bushings so you can get nice, snappy, flipper action.

This general technique applies to most flipper assemblies with only a few minor detail changes. Some bushings were screwed into the flipper assembly (especially with Gottliebs) and others were connect to the flipper assembly plates themselves (as in later WPC games).

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.