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
In this video work, continues on a newly-acquired game, 1987 Bally “Escape from the Lost World” – a late-model 6803 MPU game that instead of mounting a remote battery pack or memory capacitor, I’m going to show you how simple it is to install a 2032 lithium coin cell holder on the motherboard and use a cheap coin cell battery instead. This is such an easy fix that you don’t even have to remove the board from the game (if you’re careful and the board doesn’t need cleaning).
Today’s I’m looking at a 1978 Bally “Supersonic” pinball machine. A friend had this in storage for a long time. While the game was in pretty good shape for its age, the original MPU board still had the battery on it, and the electrolyte from it leaked all over and damaged many components. Here’s a first look at the game.
Now that I’ve got space to pull more of my project machines out to work on them, I’m diving into Sys80 stuff. The first order of business is to work on a “Jacks To Open” machine, which is a solid-state remake of Gottlieb’s popular wedgehead, “Jacks Open”. This game came with the battery removed (or maybe I removed it when I got it – I don’t remember honestly) but the MPU board was in good shape, but the game wouldn’t remember any settings because obviously, there was no battery-back-up.
This is a simple fix, and for these games it makes more sense to add a memory capacitor than a remote battery pack, so in this 4-part series, I go over adding the memory capacitor to the machine. Check it out:
This is a quick post of a short video I shot awhile back that I hadn’t had a chance to upload because I’ve been spending so much time renovating the new pinball place, but I wanted to share with you all soem of the new pick-ups. I’ve been on a moratorium of pinball buying but every once in awhile the price is too good to pass up, and some of these games I believe if I don’t get them, they’ll end up cannibalized and turned into a hipster’s coffee table — we can’t have that if the game has a chance of living again, so into the repair queue it goes!
In this video I give you a “first look” at a new game before I’ve unloaded it and show you the damage caused by a leaky old battery and why that’s so bad.
Another deal came my way recently and as usual, when you’re out of room and almost out of money, and someone offers to sell you a game, I threw out a pretty low number and it was accepted. Actually, I’ve been wanting to get a Black Rose pinball machine for awhile. These early Bally/WMS DMD games are quite good IMO, and they bridge the gap well between the older games and the more modern ones with extremely complex rulesets. Like its predecessor, Party Zone, Black Rose is a very fun game that doesn’t require curling up with a big printout to understand the ruleset and enjoy the gameplay.
However, first things first… when the owner told me they had no key to the backbox I suspected the worst…
And as expected, we had battery issues, but this looks like it was rescued in time…
Remember, the first rule is to neutralize the acid on the board and then clean it thoroughly. Then make sure everything is thoroughly dry before you put the board back in the game.
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: