How to work on electro-mechanical switch stacks on pinball machines

Switch stacks are the primary parts of electro-mechanical pinball machines, triggering game activity. I go over in this video, how they work, the different types of switch configurations, and how to clean and maintain them so they work reliably.

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How to remove the inside/backplane from an EM pinball machine?

Sometimes when you have to do more extensive work to relays in an old electro-mechanical game, you can’t bend over the cabinet. You need to get all those assemblies on a bench to service. I go over how you can remove the insides of a game so you can more easily access the components.

The next video in this series goes into repairing a broken latch relay.

The backplane (bottom panel) is typically held in place by a few specific things that need to be un-bolted before it can be removed: Several bolts on the panel itself, then some Jones plugs that attach to the wiring harness going to the playfield and backbox, then the power button, and finally, the board holding the tilt/plumb bob and Jones plug going to the coin door.
The tilt board is removed with a few screws, then detach the coin door Jones plug.
Also don’t forget the power cable has to go too, which may require unbolting the head to pull it through the inside.

Diagnosing gameplay issues on EM pinball machines (Target Pool)

This is a fun video that I think is quite informative. I go over the process of how I discovered a feature in the game was not working. It’s a good example of how even supposedly “fully-working” games are often not fully working and many people don’t realize.

So what do you do when you discover a play feature isn’t working? I go over how we can diagnose and identify/fix the problem, even without having schematics. Check it out!

Pinball Stories #21 – A grail game from a special place!

I’m a firm believer of being patient in the pinball hunt. I’ve always wanted a Bally Wizard EM. It’s such a great game and has such beautiful artwork. They made a bunch of them so why has it taken so long? Because they’re an A-list game and often command A-list prices and I wanted a good deal. I waited and got more than what I wanted…

Here’s a video I did when I first picked the game up: https://youtu.be/kXVg88WqMIo

Pinball Stories #17 – Random phone call and random pickup

This just happened yesterday so it’s a timely addition to pinball stories. Got a call from a friend who had a bead on a retired guy who had two games in his garage. We’d each take one of the machines. What does he have? We don’t know – mystery game time!!