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Thread: Bought my first pinball today

  1. #11
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    OK, made some progress tonight, but didn't have as much time as I liked. I drilled out the two locks (found keys after opening the coin door, but tried them on the backbox and they didn't work.) I got the game to power up and when I hit the start button it began the reset sequence. All score reals reset except for two, and of course the reset sequence would never complete, it just kept running. I hope tomorrow to take the offending score real assemblies apart and find out why they won't advance. I found instruction on pinrepair.com (thanks again Scott) for how to check these out. I hope it is as easy as cleaning them and not the coils, but I will post another update after I find out. If anyone has any score real knowledge to share, I'd love to hear it.

    Did a little cleaning while I was in there, but didn't want to mess with too much until I get some Novus.

  2. #12
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    Manually advanced the score reels to zero, and the game resets! Put some points up to make sure it would reset again and it did fine. I am guessing the things have just been sitting for a while and I hope I loosened it up.

    The switch for the right hand flipper button has come off. I found the rivets sitting in the bottom of the box and the switch itself is fine. I've never riveted anything, so I guess I am going to figure that part out. Any suggestions?


    Going to put together a parts order for a few things including schematics and cleaners. So far so good

  3. #13
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    In an EM, there are lots of places that can be lubed unlike a SS that has almost no places to lube and should be run dry. On an EM NEVER lube any coil but some mechs like score reels and shafts can be lubed. My weapon of choice is slick 50 one lube.

    You can replace the rivets with screws, if you want to use rivets, there are tons of good aluminum rivets cheap at Lowes or Home Despot. They are dead easy to use, you just slip the rivet in and put the rivet puller over the rivet shank and squeeze until it pops off. One rivet and you have the skill down.
    Last edited by SubaruBrat; 30-03-10 at 03:37.
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  4. #14
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    I have another question, maybe a good topic for a tech question. I have read about LED bulbs in pinballs, but don't find any basic information. I would like to know if I can buy LEDs to replace the lamps in my EM, or do you have to install something special to change the voltage? I really know very little, and would like to hear some introductory info on LED bulb replacements. I do like the idea of reducing the heat production and power load of my game.

  5. #15
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    OK, fixed the flipper switch and replaced all the burned out lamps yesterday. The game is now 100% operational. I really want to play a bit, but I am going to be patient until I have it properly cleaned and waxed. Having never owned a pin, I am really happy with how well designed and serviceable they make these.

  6. #16
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    The best product for cleaning a pin is the Novus #1 and #2 cleaner you can get from any pinball supply house.

    Ok, LEDs and bulbs are an important topic. There are many different bulbs used in pinball machines but the vast majority of bulbs used are #44s, 555s probably in second place. Bulbs are a source of two problems in a pin.

    The first is power draw which is less important on an EM, but in a SS it becomes more important. As there is a cost associated with building anything better pinball manufacturers usually built to the bare minimum to get the job done and sometimes less. Lets say a machine needs 6amps and a 5 amp rectifier is $5 and a 10 amp rectifier is $10 there is a choice they make. They can run a 5 amp one hot and stressed or a 10 amp one cool and well within its capacity. They almost always chose the 5 amp one.

    The second problem is heat. Heat creates or makes worse many of the problems in pinball. Heat warps plastics over time, yellows and browns them, causes dust to rise into inserts, causes expansion and contracting of surfaces which is biggie. The paint on the glass does not expand and contract at the same rate as the glass, the more you go though that mechanical process the more you induce and worsen flaking and bubbles.

    The goal is to reduce these two problems. The difference for each individual bulb is small but the collective impact is large. In a SS machine you have the benefit of reducing the load on the individual components that control each bulb and the combined reduction of the load on the power supply. In an EM you don't generally have the issue of stressed power supplies and circuitboards but you do have the cumulative heat load. Both LEDs and lower wattage bulbs will get this done and the choice is mainly based on how it looks. Personally I don't care for LEDs in EM machines, but to each their own. There are LEDs made to match the voltage and sockets of many pinballs and are direct replacements. You can get them at most pinball supply shops. Another option is to replace your #44 bulbs with #47. The difference is light is small but the #47s will run cooler and at less current.
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  7. #17
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    Thanks for the info Scott, I appreciate it. I have already replaced the #44's with #47's, I heard you mention that before on a previous podcast. I think I may order a few LEDs for the Pop Bumpers and see what I think. From what I have read, it seems that just replacing the playfield insert lamps and Pop Bumper lamps is a popular choice.

  8. #18
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    It looks great - Keep us all updated, with your post and the excellent section in Roundup, it's making me more convinced I should get one and have go at doing it up as well. Just need to find a cheap one in the UK now

  9. #19
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    Not to go all the way into another topic, but as another step, you can always upgrade the existing power supply. You can bolster the ground and supply paths, upgrade from minimal to heavy duty components, all for a few bucks. If you spend the extra $10 to make that power supply half of what it needs to be it will likely never fail.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubaruBrat View Post
    Not to go all the way into another topic, but as another step, you can always upgrade the existing power supply. You can bolster the ground and supply paths, upgrade from minimal to heavy duty components, all for a few bucks. If you spend the extra $10 to make that power supply half of what it needs to be it will likely never fail.
    OK, that sounds interesting. Being a pinball noob, what would that entail and do places like Marco's sell the parts, or somewhere else? I know my power cord looks rough, and I read on pinrepair about replacing it. Might tackle that after I get it cleaned and actually get to play a bit. My order from Marco's is on the way, hope to get it before the end of the week.

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