First Look: Gottlieb Target Pool and adjusting stepper units

I’ve been on the lookout for more 60s-era Gottliebs with the small flippers. We don’t have hardly any in the collection and after hearing Bowen Kerins say “Target Pool” was his favorite game from the 60s, I knew I’d made the right choice in picking this machine up. Unfortunately, I never turned it on or checked it out electrically/operationally before I bought it. But I could see the game was complete and the seller said it did work. This was one of those times where I knew I was going to get it any way. So here’s the first look so far, a playlist of 3 video clips covering the initial examination of the game, and finding out what’s wrong and fixing some issues. This is a good example of how to fix certain problems with stepper units.

If you watched the previous story on the Target Pool you may see the same first-two videos. I am keeping them all together in case someone sees this story by itself. If you’ve watched some of the videos in the series before, just hit next on the player to skip to the next video.

A most unusual glitch in an “A-List” EM game

I’ve been very excited about one of my latest acquisitions. A much-coveted Bally 4 Million BC pinball machine that I drove almost 1200 miles to acquire. The game is in great condition but was having a very unusual problem whereby it would kick out extra balls into play constantly. After going after the most obvious places and cleaning relays, then looking at the schematics and expanding my search, then finally going through every relay in the machine and cleaning contacts, the problem still persisted.

Here’s a description of the issue:

Then finally, it dawned on me. How obvious the solution was! But a very rare thing to see in an EM: a glitch that was the result of the logic design of the game and me being careless when I went to wax the playfield!

EM game gets stuck on one ball and does not advance? How to fix it.

Today I finally got a chance to set up a game I purchased last year and brought back from Houston. A 1976 Williams “Space Mission” EM game, the theme centers around the Apollo-Soyuz link-up in 1975. This game exhibited a somewhat common problem, of the ball not advancing and being stuck on “ball one” over and over, so the game would never end. In this series of videos, I illustrate what causes this and how to fix it.

2013 Texas Pinball Festival – in pictures

I’m back from Dallas and attending the Texas Pinball Festival. It was another AMAZING, WONDERFUL event, and special thanks to Ken, Marcus, the DFW group and everyone else involved. The venue was huge; the lineup and number of games was incredible. The tournaments lasted until the wee hours of the morning and a good time was had by all.

Here are some pictures:

These were also uploaded to our Facebook group, check them out here:

2013 Texas Pinball Festival photo album

I will be posting some videos very soon.