Repair & Maintenance Log

05/05/06: Acquired game from the outdoor flea market area at the Allentown Pinball Wizards Convention.

05/21/06: Replaced power cord. Ground prong had been removed from existing cord.

06/02/06: Checked and replaced incorrect display fuses.

06/23/06: Replaced burned bulbs in head. New pair of matched locks. Rebuilt flippers including the newer style pawl with outside return spring. Replaced right-side FL-11629 flipper coil with correct FL-11630 coil. Replaced flipper bats with correct color. Fixed left lane change switch (cold diode solder joint).

imgimg

Right-side flipper rebuild before and after. The correct 11630 coil is mounted with the terminals away from the coil stop. Also note the newer style outside return spring.

imgimg

New flipper bats before and after. When the bat and ring color are correct the flippers become the clown's fingers.

img

A little Mean Green goes a long way.

06/25/06: Measured playfield glass - 43" x 21" x 3/16". Replaced more playfield bulbs.

06/26/06: Two of the four screw holes holding the right slingshot coil bracket to the playfield were stripped. Used the wood glue and toothpick method to fix. Cleaned under playfield ball troughs. Spook House trough mounting needed more wood glue and toothpicks.

img

Metal trough for the Boomerang and plastic trough for the Spook House. Boomerang kicker and bracket are removed and off to the side at upper right.

img

Spook House trough is in bad shape. It looks to have been broken in half and repaired with mesh and epoxy. I added an old lamp bracket to help support the ramp where the ball drops down from the Spook House. The lamp bracket replaces a plastic mounting tab that is broke and long gone. The trough may be ugly, but seems to work fine.

07/01/06: Installed NOS Spook House ramp.

img

It would seem that timing is everything. I called Pinball Resource to order some supplies and took a shot in the dark at a Spook House ramp. They had one! Compare this picture to the previous two. No more epoxy and lamp brackets holding the ramp together.

07/02/06 - 07/08/06: Shopped game. Playfield was stripped, cleaned and waxed. Old black rubber was replaced with correct white rubber. All GI bulbs were replaced with #47 bulbs. New Ferris Wheel belt. New ball. New slingshot plastics from Marco Specialties. New reproduction Cyclone ramp from Pinball, Inc. Cyclone ramp decals from Pinball, Inc. and/or Classic-Arcades. As this is my first game I didn't have the nerve to strip the whole playfield at once so I just did one section at a time. Cyclone is one of the few games to use red plastic posts on the left side of the playfield and blue posts on the right. Someone took this idea a step further and replaced the top right rollover guide parts with blue, but they were the wrong style parts. Fortunately the two original red posts were found in the bottom of the cabinet. The red posts were restored and three new red rollover guides were added. The playfield itself was a bit of a disappointment. There are several layers of Mylar. Some layers were applied without first cleaning the playfield. In the few places where there is no Mylar, the paint is yellowed and cracked. Instead of trying to restore the playfield I just cleaned it up as best I could. Since the paint is mostly intact and largely protected by Mylar, I believe this playfield would be a good candidate for stripping, restoring and clear coating, but that's a project for another day...

img

Here's the upper playfield as I work my way from right to left. New white rubber marks the areas I've already been through.

img

Under skirt shot. This was the filthiest area of the game.

img

Almost done. Ready to put the ramps back in.

img

I finished up my first pinball shopping with a new Cyclone ramp. One of the reasons I bought this game is because the existing ramps were in reasonable condition. But when I discovered the availability of a shiny new reproduction Cyclone ramp, I couldn't resist.

07/08/06: Ferris Wheel ramp fix. As I played my Cyclone I noticed a problem with the Ferris Wheel ramp. Occasionally the ball would hit the leading edge of the ramp and bounce back into the Ferris Wheel for a second ride. This problem was only sporadic. The Ferris Wheel ramp worked way more often than not, but the malfunction was disruptive to the game and got to be annoying. A little research revealed that others had had the same problem with their Cyclone, but no practical solutions were forthcoming. So I fabricated a bracket to better fill the gap between the Ferris Wheel and the Ferris Wheel ramp.

img

This under playfield shot shows the factory metal strap that prevents the ball from falling into the cabinet. But this is just a safety net, not a fix. The ball should not ride around the bottom of the Ferris Wheel to begin with.

img

My project started with a metal "L" bracket that was just slightly narrower than the Ferris Wheel ramp support bracket. I found this bracket in the lumber department at Home Depot.

img

I cut the short side of the bracket to be just a little shorter that the height of the Ferris Wheel ramp support bracket. The long side was cut off almost entirely.

img

Next I drilled and tapped a pair of mounting holes into the Ferris Wheel support bracket and mounted my custom bracket.

img

Here's the finished arrangement. The custom bracket fills the gap between the Ferris Wheel and the Ferris Wheel ramp such that the ball cannot hit the edge of the ramp and bounce back into the Ferris Wheel. Fitting the bracket does require some patience. The gap should be closed, but not so tight that the bracket would scratch the Ferris Wheel decals. I test fit the ramp and re-filed the custom bracket several times before I got it just right.

02/11/07: Added remote battery backup. Instead of permanently soldering some sort of remote battery setup to the CPU board I made battery place-holders from 1/2 inch dowel. This method requires no board modifications. And no connectors are needed between the board and the battery pack. The battery pack is from Great Plains Electronics. I like that the pack is fully enclosed. I don't like that it has an integral ON/OFF switch. I set the switch to ON and put a blob of silicone caulk over it. The battery wires are mounted to an end of each dowel with a screw and crimp terminal. The screw head becomes the "battery terminal". Don't forget to account for the height of the screw head when figuring the length of the dowel. Also shown is a plastic tool I got from Home Depot. The tool is for pulling large inline fuses, but is also great for pulling AA batteries.

img

Battery place-holders and remote battery pack. Note the blob of silicone over the battery pack switch.

The CPU board shows how each battery must be oriented, but does not show the location of +4.5 volts. Before removing the old batteries I used my volt meter to confirm that the lower-left terminal of the battery holder is +4.5 volts. The orientation shown here is correct for most System-11 CPU boards. Grand Lizard is at least one exception. Grand Lizard and the previous System-9 CPU boards (along with their battery holders) are oriented 180 degrees from that shown here.

img

Dowel sticks in place.

01/15/12 - Battery Pack Update: I rewired all my remote battery packs with 8' leads. Instead of placing the battery pack in the head, I drop it down into the body and place it next to the cash box. Opening the coin door is easier than opening the head. The idea is that I'll be better motivated to replace the batteries more often.

img

Remote battery packs with 8' leads. Scruffy gives each assembly a quality control check.

10/07/07: Here's an idea I read about on the Internet... I replaced all the Mystery Wheel lights with colored bulbs corresponding to the colors on the translite. These colored #555 bulbs are available at most pinball suppliers. You'll need red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

imgimg

Thanks to my complete lack of photography skills and equipment, you'll just have to take my word that this is a nifty, worth-while modification.

06/27/08: Now with LEDs.

imgimg

Thanks to my complete lack of photography skills and equipment, you'll just have to take my word that this is a nifty, worth-while modification.

10/21/10: Replaced display board. The Player #3 display up and died. I did some theoretical troubleshooting and decided the problem could be a chip or the #3 plasma display itself. Either way it was going to take a lot of tedious soldering and I wasn't sure about the availability and reliability of replacement parts. So I decided to replace the whole board with a modern reengineered LED display board. The consensus seems to be that PinScore makes the best replacement display boards. But I found a good show price on a Rottendog DIS200. At nearly $100 less than what I would have paid for a PinScore, I decided to give Rottendog a try.

There are a few things I don't like about the replacement board. The LED segments are white when unlit whereas the original displays are much darker. The new displays are set further back and have no sort of bezel. So the circuit board is visible through the backbox display panel. But it's not a distraction from normal viewing angles. Finally, I thought that some of the circuit board traces come precariously close to the right-side mounting holes.

On the other hand, the new LED design does not require high voltage. The whole board runs on just the 5 volt supply. Replacement is plug-n-play and took just a few minutes. Since the high voltage power supply is no longer needed, I deactivated it by removing fuse F1 on the power supply board.

img

Comparison between the original display board (top) and the new Rottendog board.

img

I added some cardboard squares to protect the board traces from the star washers on the mounting screws.

img

More bad photography. But for what it's worth, here's the original display board (top) compared to the new Rottendog board.

03/18/12: New playfield glass. New legs, bolts and levelers.

03/24/12: Installed standard-keyed (751) lock on coin door.