Status 10/6/2013

So there are a couple of machines that I’m task to get running by Thanksgiving.  While that probably doesn’t seem like that much of a push, but I have three machines that none of them are currently in running shape.  Let’s go through the list:

Taxi.  Mark and I fixed three pinball machines for Ed in Vermont, and at the end, I get a “working” Taxi machine that is in sad shape.  We fixed a POTC, Addams Family and High Speed II up like new.  Of the three, I think I enjoyed playing HSII the most.  One reason was that we had the machine for over six months.  (We tried to get a new beacon motor from Marco, but it turns out that their motors had issues.  It took them a long time to fix the issue, but they ended up needing to send all of their motors back to the manufacturer and getting new ones.  The nice part is that Marco listened to Mark and found the root cause of the error and fixed it.  Most dealers would not have spent the time).  I got to play a lot of games while waiting for the motor.  Well the “working” Taxi machine showed up a couple weeks ago, and it wouldn’t even boot.  Traced the issue down to a small fire that occurred in the backbox from a coil that was shorted.  Fixed that issue, and it seems to have killed the 5V supply.  I got the parts to fix the 5V supply on Thursday and fixed it on Friday.  That machine is now booting and playing, but there are many issues.

Gulf Stream.  Mark and I touched up and clearcoated the playfield.  The only thing that was still missing were the rails at the bottom of the playfield which were rusted beyond reuse.  I tried to buy rails to fabricate them from scratch but finally got in touch with Sarah from the Pinball Wizard Arcade, and she sold me some (for a great price).  She took me into the bowels of the back room and there is just a treasure trove of stuff back there.  She had a couple of old penny arcade style shooting games that she promises one of them are going out on the floor to play.  The only thing that doesn’t work on the Gulf Stream is that the letters aren’t staying lit.  It could just be that I don’t understand the rules of the machine, but I have to do some research.  This is the machine that I’m eventually hoping to make into a multiball.  (It will be my first “programming” of an EM machine).

Dolly Parton.  Major battery acid damage, and it hasn’t booted for about a year.  The playfield is in sad shape.  Stretch goal is to get it working by Thanksgiving.  I believe that it boots enough to run diagnostics, but I don’t know enough about Bally machines yet to run them.

Puck bowler.  Boots, but needs a lot of wood working to make it stay together.  I bought it and all the advance units were seized in the head.  They are now working, but each one still needs to be taken apart to cleaned properly.

The last thing that I’m working on is the small play field to verify the Disaster driver cards.  I started trying to get all the parts together.  I’m only missing two pop bumpers at this point and a couple of switches.  Since I don’t have the pop bumpers, I think that I will just go forward without them.  Next weekend is the York show, but I just can’t justify the 8 hour drive to try and pick up a couple of pop bumpers.  I even have free lodging for it, but the show is Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and I can’t take the time off work.  It would be easier just to grab them off Dolly for the short term.  If I had something to show, I would make the drive, but my goal is to have something to show next year.

To get the mini playfield working I need to do a lot of routing.  If I had access to a CNC router, it would make it a lot easier and more accurate.  Since I’m really only proving out the drivers, it isn’t that essential, but will be more essential if I need to make a run of machines.  The CNC router would probably take me a month or two to get up and running, which is time that I don’t want to spend right now.

As soon as the mini-playfield is running, I can begin the programming.  That is a month or two of work just to get a simple rule set running.  If I do it right, it should be easy to leverage that code later.

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One response to “Status 10/6/2013

  1. CNC routing: In the short term to get parts made, contact either ben heck (in-house router) or try ponoko. Both should have reasonable rates for hourly cutting.

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