This is another one of those video series where I thought to myself, “If I were smart I would edit this.” But then I thought, I can’t be the ultimate pinball repair guru and I’m not really trying. If I have some kind of “angle” it’s that I’m doing a FPS (First-Person-Shooter) perspective to the hobby, collecting and restoring. And often times when you’re in an FPS, you poke your head down the wrong hall and get fragged. This is kind of how this video series starts off but it takes part 3 to realize the plot twist…
Ok I’ll get off confusing metaphors and back to pinball repair..
The problem I had was when I got this Bally Mystic, one of the targets was broken. I had ordered replacement targets. I opted for the same style as the side targets even though on many Bally Mystics, for some reason, the front targets are bullseyes and the side targets have explosion graphics on them. Go figure? Anyway, after replacing the targets I discovered that two of them would often get stuck in the “up” position and would often not retract when hit. I knew the springs on some of the targets were old and had “lost their zest” (that’s an official technical term by the way). So I thought I’d make a video on replacing the springs, showing an alternate source for some of the components as well as a trick to make an old spring kinda new. Along the way I discovered the real reason why the drop targets weren’t resetting…
In this latest episode I deal with a sound problem on our Mr & Mrs Pac Man pinball machine. The sound and speech is intermittent and low in volume.
When dealing with any game that is 30 or more years old, you can bet that the capacitors are suspect. These electronic components are known to go bad over time, since they have liquid inside that can dry up, or leak out. It’s relatively easy to acquire and replace the components provided you have the right tools, and then you insure your game board will ideally last another 30 years.
In the video one thing to note is you aren’t always limited to having to find the exact same value/model capacitor. You can replace a capacitor with a lower voltage rating with one of a higher voltage rating. (i.e. replace a 25v cap with a 50v) But you want to make sure the capacitance value (in farads or microfarads) remains the same. You can also replace an axial cap (one with the leads coming out of each end) with a radial cap (with both leads coming out from just one end) as long as you get the polarity properly oriented. Make sure you note that markings usually point to the negative lead, while an indentation on one side of a capacitor will mark the positive lead.
After replacing the caps, we still have some flakyness with the speech portion of the board. I’ve got some replacement pots on order – when they come in I will check on the board traces and solder joints and probably replace that pot… stay tuned and thanks for following the saga!
Every once in awhile you find something in the wild that’s pretty neat. In my case, I stumbled upon an amazing example of a nearly 40 year old pinball machine that looked like the day it rolled off the assembly line. Allow me to introduce the first in our series of “Pinball Porn”: Pictures of a vintage 1977 Classic Bally game, “Mata Hari!”
Bally’s Mata Hari features a historical WWII spy-based theme. It was one of the most popular and prolific pinball games of all time, with over 16,000 made. There is also an electro-mechanical version of which less than 200 were made.