In my ongoing series I’m taking a look at individual features of pinball machines and how they work. Even the most mundane elements of games may reveal a few secrets you might not know!
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.
Here’s a quick video that shows how to take an old PC power supply you may have laying around and use it to power up pinball boards for testing. I use the Bally-35 MPU board as an example of how we can set this up to do board work on the MPU while it’s outside of the actual pinball machine. This is great for testing things while you’re refurbishing a board that’s been giving you problems.
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.
As work continues on the restoration of the Bally Mr. & Mrs. Pac Man machine, I have run into a problem. I got the machine working, but after playing a few games I noticed the ball getting stuck next to the lower left flipper. The problem is, this game used a piece of plastic as part of the rail guide that had one end chipped off, forming a crevice the ball would constantly get stuck on. This is not a printed plastic and this game doesn’t have a whole lot of available spare parts for purchase at various places, so my main option is to fabricate my own lane guide…
After a quick trip to the hardware store to pick up the parts, I show off one of the cool tools in my workshop…
After cutting out the plexi piece, let’s see how it looks…