Lately there’s been a bit of a hullabaloo (is that how it’s spelled?) regarding coil stops on newer Stern games. I had it happen to me as well, and I made a video to describe what’s happening. It appears whoever is manufacturing the coil stops for Stern has used inferior materials and they prematurely come apart. I’ve reported this to Stern and will let you all know what they are doing about it. I expect this supply issue to be resolved soon and if you encounter this problem, contact Stern support. They should be able to send out replacement coil stops.
The next day I returned with the right parts. Here are two videos covering the repair.
Pinball machines (as well as other arcade games) use a wide variety of wires and connectors. The most popular brand of connectors is called “Molex” which is a specific maker, but also a generic term often referred to as the plug/un-plug style connectors you will find on everything from power supply wiring to board connectors.
In this video, I go over the most common sizes and types of connectors you’re likely to find, what tools are available and how to rebuild and re-pin these connectors.
In this short video, I go over how to test the coin door service switches, and if faulty, how to replace them.
This is a fairly simple procedure.
If you have a button in the coin door that doesn’t appear to work, the first thing you should do is check to see if any of the wires have broken off or there’s a bad solder joint. This is very common because the coin door is opened and closed quite a lot and things can get snagged on the wires. Always check the wiring to make sure there are no kinks or damage to the wire. In the video I use a multimeter set to continuity to test the integrity of the switches. If the switches seem to work and the wiring is intact, the next thing to check is the continuity between the switches and the connector on the MPU board. If all that checks out, it could be one of the chips on the MPU board that handles the cabinet switches.
As work continues on the Mr. and Mrs. Pac Man pinball game, I am finally ready to fire up a game and see how it plays so far…
There’s still work to do. There are some audio problems and I have to special-order these odd light fixtures that work in the center of the game, the “Pac Lite Matrix” as they call it. As long as some of those lights are out, it’s very difficult to play that part of the game. Stay tuned!
In the continued saga of bringing this 1980s game back to life, I begin to go over the electronics and figure out why the game wouldn’t boot up. Normally you fire up these Bally machines and count the number of times the LED on the MPU board blinks, but in this case, the game didn’t even get far enough to begin to start up the MPU. Fuse F3 kept blowing and the game wouldn’t power up at all…
An examination of the schematics showed an area on the power rectifier board where it was likely some components were damaged and needed to be replace. Luckily, these were not very obscure items so I could pick them up easily.
Stay tuned for the next installment where I go into addressing an issue with a broken plastic rail guide that probably can’t easily be replaced, so I have to fabricate my own!
Fresh out of the truck is another acquisition. This came from a guy whose wife wanted it out of the house. The machine had been sitting for many years and would not work. Here’s a first look at a classic 1980s Bally solid-state pinball machine: Mr. & Mrs Pac Man.
Mr. and Mrs Pac-Man was built in 1982, with approximately 10,600 made. The designer of this game is the same guy, George Christian who did one of Bally’s most successful and critically-acclaimed titles, “Eight Ball Deluxe” (as well as the original Eight Ball game). The art is also by another renown artists in the field, Pat McMahon, who also did the artwork for Tales of the Arabian Nights.
In this video I show you what I see as I go through this newly-acquired machine. You never know what you’ll find inside these cabinets, interesting hacks, foreign objects, broken stuff, etc. I just moved the game into my workshop and am doing what I call an “audit” of it. Seeing if I notice anything in or out of place and generally getting an idea of how much work may be needed to get this game back in shape. Join me!
Since we picked up this Williams Earthshaker in such horrible condition and have never seen it powered up, before we even attempt to turn it on, we need to go over some areas of the game to make sure that applying power doesn’t cause more harm. In this article, I go over one check, which is making sure all the coils/solenoids are in good condition. A burned-out coil can cause damage in other areas of the machine, or even a fire.