Sunday, May 29, 2011

Big Repair Day!

Oh man, today was a big one.  Jon and I met up at noon and then spent SIX HOURS working on our pinball machines.  It was intense!  Here's a shot of Jon working on his machine in the background, and a pile of burnt out, filthy, junk parts that we had pulled from the machines.

Last week Jon posted all about getting the circuit board from his Jurassic Park expertly fixed by Sarah St. John at the Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, New Hampshire.  That fixed a pop bumper coil and sling shot coil.  Then, today, Jon replaced both of the end-of-stroke switches and red caps on his flipper mechanisms.  He also took the plunge and put in a TON of LEDs for his computer controlled lights.

We also both put red rubber on the flippers (ironically, we both re-rubbered our entire machines with black rubber about a month before learning that white/red rubber is bouncier and more fun to play on than black rubber - ugh!)

Let me tell you, IT'S LIKE A WHOLE NEW MACHINE.  The flippers are fast and responsive, everything's working, it's so much easier to understand the modes and what to shoot with the brighter lights.  It's that great moment in restoring a machine when everything mechanical is finally working, and all that's left is the cosmetic / aesthetic restoration.  

Meanwhile, over on Medieval Madness, I went through the whole machine and replaced every single nylon coil sleeve.  I've seen this recommended on lots of different pinball blogs, but never got around to it until today.  I wish I had done it sooner.  It really breathes new life into the game.  Everything's running more smoothly.  It was also a good chance to learn more about each of these coils.  I found a couple that were starting to swell and will need to be replaced.  I also was able to CLEAN a lot of stuff.

I also went through and tried to replace some of the strain on my General Illumination circuits by replacing about a dozen #44 lamps with the cooler burning #47s and even a some LEDs under the ramps.  My mid-playfield G.I. string fried the triac on the driver board, so that will be my next repair, and hopefully these preventative measures will keep that from happening again in the future.  

ANYWAY,  it was super fun nerding out all day, wrenching on the machines.  Get your tools out on memorial day tomorrow and tune up those pins!

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