Diagnosing spinning score reels – Bally EM pinball

Here’s a video I made awhile back that I don’t see linked on my main site so I thought i’d include it. It’s a short video on how to diagnose problems with score reel switches when you turn the game on and the score reels just seem to spin forever and not reset/start the game.

Fixing Bally -35 reset issues and bullet-proofing the power driver board

I was having an issue with a Bally “Supersonic” pinball machine randomly resetting/rebooting. The problem was traced to irregular power coming off the driver board. In this video series I go over a necessary process to bring these old boards back “up to spec” as well as a few improvements that make the game overall more reliable.

The aftermath of an incomplete Bally-MPU board repair..

In taking an initial look at the latest game I picked up, this Bally “Mystic”, as always my main concern is checking to make sure there’s no significant battery damage on the game. What’s interesting is when I looked at the game, there was no battery on the MPU board. The owners insisted the game saved the high scores, but I didn’t see how? Was there a battery on the underside of the board? I had to pull the MPU out to see.

What I saw was a board that someone had repaired, that had leaking batteries on it. They simply pulled the board and replaced a few damaged components and did not put a battery back in. But they created another issue by not fully-cleaning the board, and as a result, the damage from the leaking battery, even though it was long gone, continued…

First Look: Bally “Mystic” prototype/early production game!

Bally Mystic with prototype cabinet colorLately, I’ve been developing a big appreciation for the 80s-era Bally games. As a kid I remember them kicking my ass and having unique and interesting rulesets that set them far apart from the Gottliebs and Sterns of the day, so when the chance to pick up a “Mystic” came up, I jumped at it, and drove about three hours to get this game.

Little did I know how special the game would end up being…

How to install a memory capacitor to replace a battery pack

As many of you know, one of the biggest problems with pinball machines and repairing them is dealing with leaky batteries on solid state machines, that cause corrosion and all sorts of damage. I’m going to go over how you can completely eliminate this from happening by replacing old-style rechargeable batteries with a high-tech “memory capacitor” that will last longer and not have the same problems that batteries do.

Now lets test the new memory capacitor in the game:

Here’s source info on the caps:

Category:

1.5f 5.5f “super capacitors” at Mouser Electronics.

Specific item I used:

1.5f 5.5f Panasonic Supercap

You can also get these from Great Plains:

http://www.greatplainselectronics.com/Category-67.asp

Product ID: CER-1.5F-5V
Capacitor, Radial Electroltyic, 1.5F, 5V
Capacitor, 1.5F, 5V, 85C, Radial Electrolytic
Manufacturer: Panasonic
Manufacturer Part Number: EECF5R5U155
Diameter: 21.5mm, Height: 8mm, Lead Spacing: 5
Price: $5

How To Add A Remote Battery Holder To Your Pinball Machine

One of the biggest problems with vintage solid-state pinball games is damage to the circuit boards from leaking batteries. Here I show you how to install a remote battery pack so the batteries are away from the sensitive circuit boards, eliminating the possibility of them leaking electrolyte and causing corrosion and other damage to the pinball machine’s electronics.

This type of remote battery pack will work with almost all major pinball systems. The main thing to note is some games by default used rechargeable batteries (many Gottlieb and Bally systems) while others used non-rechargeables (WPC). If you use a remote battery pack on games that by default used rechargeable batteries, install a blocking diode in the path of the battery pack to keep the batteries from having power supplied back to them. Doing this with non-rechargeable batteries can result in bad things like batteries exploding.

Installing it in the game..

and lets test it..