Jurassic Park Pinball Machine (Data East, 1993)

Location: Niwot, Colorado
Symptom: Smoke,  GI lights not working, some switches not working

There were a number of burned connectors in the backbox.  There were a couple associated with the GI lighting on the light board and the play field, and another connector on the power supply board.

I was able to re-pin one of the GI lighting connectors and the owner suggested just bypassing (removing from the circuit) the connector for the light board since it was unlikely that anyone would need to take the light board out of the backbox.

Burned connector, CN1, on the power supply board.

Burned connector, CN1, on the power supply board.

The power supply connector was problematic.  I tried several ways to fix it, but it would just heat up and start smoking again.  Part of the problem was the plastic had melted and mixed with the solder, making it very difficult for the solder to stick to the metal.  I decided that it would be best to replace both the PCB mounted connector and its mate.

Fixing the connectors solved all of the power problems.

There were several switches not working.  One had a broken wire.  Another was mis-wired at a connector, making me wonder if it hadn’t left the factory that way.  After everything was fixed, the owner and his son were trying it out and exclaimed they hadn’t seen various modes of the game previously.  It hadn’t been fully working in the 10 or 15 years they had it.

 

Star Wars Pinball Machine (Data East, 1992)

Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Symptoms: Wrong wiring on switch and lamps, broken drop target

This is the first machine I’ve ever encountered that had an alarm system attached to the coin door.  I’m pretty sure the owner wasn’t even aware of it.

pb-0120

Coin Door Alarm System

The switch on the shift lever (used in place of the ball shooter) was disconnected.  The normally closed terminal of the switch had broken off.  Normally this terminal is used to hold the diode.  I re-wired the switch and diode and covered the diode and connections with shrink tubing.

There were a number of playfield lamps not working correctly.  Some were staying on, some weren’t working at all. I found that someone had disconnected the “Jabba’s Bounty” overhead light on the playfield and twisted the wires together.  This shorts out the lamp circuit.  Once I un-shorted the wires and reattached them to the lamp socket, many of the other lamps started working.  The remaining lamps were burned out.

The broken drop target was preventing the other drop targets from resetting.  The stem was jammed in the reset mechanism.

I ordered a new drop target, which comes blank.  There are Star Wars decal sets for sale on e-Bay, but they are missing the right target.  The sellers suggests just taking the left decal and turning it upside down.  I think it looks stupid.

Decal set with left decal turned up-side-down to make the right decal.

e-Bay decal set with left decal turned up-side-down to make the right decal.

Here is a link to the IPDB showing the drop targets.

Since I have the old broken drop target, I decided to scan and print a new decal.

Scanned and retouched decal image

Scanned and retouched right decal image

New drop target on left, original on right

New drop target on left with my decal, original on right

The colors don’t match exactly, but I think it’s better than an up-side-down decal.

If you would like the high resolution files for making your own right drop target decal, they can be downloaded here.  There are two .tif files contained in the .zip, one is the original scan without any touch-up, and the other is the touched-up version.

Rocky & Bullwinkle and Friends, Data East Pinball Machine

Symptoms:  Stuck flipper, flipper fuse blown, many lights not working.

The flipper circuit uses two voltages, one for pull-in (50V) and another for hold (8V).  The transistor controlling the pull-in voltage (Q9) was shorted, leaving the high-power on to the coil, blowing the fuses.  Replaced the transistor and the flippers worked.

I replaced many burned out lights.  There are two rows of lights (in the 8×8 grid) not working.  The transistors looked fried, and it looked like the board had also been hacked.  Many GI lights on the backbox were not working too.  Someone had re-wired some of the GI lighting bypassing one of the boards.  Some of the ramp diverters are not working, so you never get the Hat Trick. The owner was not interested in fixing these issues!  The machine needs to be “shopped”, but it is still being used in a bar.

Location: Denver, Colorado.

 

The Simpsons, Data East Pinball Machine

Symptoms: Turbo bumpers not working, blowing fuses. Broken wire under playfield, loose playfield components, stuck switch on left slingshot, lights not working.

Machine needs to be “shopped” as it’s not in good working condition.  Found shorted transistor that drives solenoid for turbo bumper.  Replaced it, but it immediately smoked.  Took a closer look at both the input and output sides of the drive transistor (TIP122).  On the output side, discovered a melted solenoid under the turbo bumper.  Replaced the solenoid.  The bumper switch was ok.  Checked the input side of the drive transistor and found the 2N4401 was shorted as well as the 7402 NOR gate IC was blown.  Replaced all the bad parts.

The stuck switch on the slingshot was because the entire slingshot assembly was ready to fall off the playfield.  Tighten it, repaired the broken wire.

Replaced many burned out bulbs.  Backbox lights not working.  Owner didn’t want those fixed.

When playing a test game, right flipper was getting stuck.  The flipper shaft bushing didn’t have any screws holding it to the playfield.  Found enough screws lying in the bottom of the cabinet to fix it.  Flipper was still sticking.  Took it apart to find someone had greased the flipper solenoid.  NEVER DO THIS.  Went through and tried to clean up all of the grease.  Flipper worked fine after that.  Overall the game is working.  It is in a bar.  The owner doesn’t want anything else fixed.

Location: Denver, Colorado.