It’s alive! Well sort of… Last pinball night was very productive. It was mostly me sitting around drinking beers while watching Mark replace the 40 pin PIA chip. What a pain that turned out to be. It was very difficult to wick all the solder out of the holes. Once we did that, we put the new chip in and powered it up. Turns out that we had a copper whisker between two of the pins, and as soon as we removed it, the driver board was up and running. We finished all of the test EPROM tests which passed with flying colors.
We moved on to testing the “whole” system which involved powering on the machine with the real PROMs installed and praying. Let’s test the displays. Oops two of them are cracked and don’t look like they will ever work again. Swap one of the working display cables with a bad display just to make sure, and y’up the two displays are toasted. Next comes the lamp test. Why is it when I buy a pinball machine, we can get it working in a couple of hours, but nearly every bulb is burnt out, and when Mark buys a machine, it takes us three months to get it working, but nearly every bulb is good? There are literally only three or four bulbs out on the machine. Oh well, let’s move onto the solenoid test. (Of course, the one of the displays that isn’t working is the credit/ball number display. This is also the display that shows you the test, and the solenoid that it is testing.) Without that info, it is a little more difficult to know what is going on, but it should still cycle through the solenoids. Nothing…, not a single solenoid. That’s easy, that is the main fuse on the supply board. We test it which shows that it is bad, and replace it with one of Mark’s many fuses from his fuse kit. (Who owns a fuse kit with over 200 different types of fuses in it? That would be Mark. Earlier we were looking for a voltmeter and he pulled out no less than six different DMMs. ) We replaced the fuse, hit the credit switch…nothing. Ooops, forgot to put the pinball in the machine. Cracked it opened, tossed in a ball, powered it on.
Threw a credit on the machine, hit the one player button and we were off and playing. When you hit the right flipper you score 100 points. Hmmm, play the machine, not the game, so I quickly racked up a couple thousand points without even sending the ball into the playfield. Left flipper, well it doesn’t work at all, so that is going to make the game a little bit more difficult. We play two or three games and it is time to go home for the night. There was no background music, I’m questioning if I ever saw the lower pop bumper work, and of course the left flipper doesn’t work, but wow, not too bad for the first real power up of the machine. All these issues are easy to fix. The only one Mark is worried about is the displays being bad. Looking at prices on the web, they are pricey to replace. Looks like we might be making our own displays. I’m thinking it should be pretty easy to reverse engineer those and make some new ones.