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
Recently I decided to replace the trunk eddy sensor on Theater of Magic with something more reliable than the original Bally/Williams proximity sensors. They are prone to “drifting” and will need regular adjustment. There’s a company that makes an auto-adjusting board that I wanted to try out, so here is my video showing the installation of that new board. This should make the game a little bit more reliable.
In this video series, I am working on a client’s “Dr. Who” pinball machine that wouldn’t boot up. It was just dead. None of the diagnostic LED blinks would blink on the WPC-89 MPU board, so I go over the process of how to identify and isolate the problem, then I upgrade the board with NVRAM (non-volatile memory) so that it will never need batteries again.
Here’s a short video I did as I was working on a Fish Tales game about to be put on location. I go over a number of things I’m doing to make the game operate more reliably and some general tricks for reducing wear and tear on the game.
These days I’m pretty backed up on repair/restoration, but there’s always a “magic number” that’ll get me in gear to pick up a game. And when someone wants to reclaim their dining room or spare bedroom, I’ll do my best to help them out, as was the case with this “heavily-loved” Stern Meteor pinball game. I pop the hood on this baby and we take a look and see what’s going to be involved in getting it playable and in better condition..