Haunted House

No, not the one we live in, but my pinball machine.

The upchucker and the 5-bank reset were not working, and the replacements have been sitting around for a while, waiting for a rainy day. Well, today was that day.

Replaced the upchucker coil with an A-4895 as per Clay’s notes* (the manual calls for an A-5194) and the fuse with a 2.5A slow-blow (again, Clay’s recommendation) and it worked about three times before the relay arc’ed and the fuse popped. I might need the pop bumper driver board modification, but I’ve been thinking about it and I don’t think it’s necessary.

SW31 tells the CPU that there’s a ball to be up-kicked, and the CPU then pulses the K relay once which kicks the ball… once. This is what the pop bumper driver board also does, except using a one-shot (74121 originally, 4538 in the Rottendog replacement) and not a CPU (well, except for the solution, which uses a PIC).

My problem is that the K relay is failing, and replacing that with a modern transistor should do the job. This seems to be what’s happening here, as far as I can tell that’s a PNP/NPN pair driving the coil, the capacitor provides extra oomph locally, with the oomph held locally by the big-arse diode. It might be a hack, but I think it’s a good hack.

I also replaced the 5-bank reset solenoid, no joy. Clay (again) notes that the transistor is very likely to fail, so I replaced it with an MJ2955 I had kicking around and all is well.

Under playfield transistor on right hand side of lower playfield — this transistor is driven by a lamp (low current) output and drives the 5-bank reset coil.

* Which I downloaded way back before he went commercial. Seems one has to pay for them these days. I would. They’re really good.

Mechanical marvels

As mentioned before, we visited both the Pacific Pinball Museum and the Musee Mechanique in San Francisco.

The former is great, you can play for free all day for the cost of admission, and they have a lot of machines.

The latter can get expensive, but you won’t get a chance to see something like this anywhere else in the world*. While some pinball machines take 75c for one game, the player pianos are one, maybe two quarters, and while I love pinball machines, I straight out adore the players.

The Wurlitzer is also way high on my want list You’ll hafta tilt either your head or the computer screen for this one, I don’t have the software or the patience to rotate it right now.

(And yea, it doesn’t start from the beginning since you hafta put the money in then step back and hit the shutter.)

*If you can, I want to know about it, please.

I am not worthy

Between my brother and myself we have five and a half pinball machines.

This fellow has around 700.

In addition to collecting and restoring pinball games, Conger […] owns 15 classic cars (none of them running) and has a collection of more than a thousand nonadjustable wrenches. And somehow he still finds the time to be married.

(emphasis mine, of course :-)

Gorgeous eye candy. Thanks Roland.