Archive for the ‘TAF’ Category

Stage one complete

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Having added all the necessary plastics, we’re now at the stage where the top left corner has been completed, ready for the ramp assembly:

Top left corner complete

Building up the Bookcase

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Building up the Bookcase wasn’t difficult. I just reversed the procedure of taking it apart. However, before reconstructing it, I cleaned the opto-boards with Isopropyl Alcohol – which they definitely needed!

Bookcase built into playfield

Home-made protector for the Swamp kick-out

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Whilst putting the swamp back together again, I decided to make a customer hole protector for the Swamp kick-out (similar to the one under the electric chair). So I made one out of aluminium channeling and screwed it onto the front of the kick-out hole:

A glimpse of the protector in place

Swamp lighting

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Another popular “enhancement” to the TAF pinball machine is lighting up the swamp. So using another BA9s Noflix PLUS L – Superflux LED, this time in green, and a bulb holder and wire which I had won on eBay, I built this enhancement into my machine:

Swamp lighting enhacement (rear)

Only slight adjustment of the LED was then necessary to give a very pleasing effect for the swamp lighting:

Swamp lighting enhacement

Train wreck plastic

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I built in my first custom plastic today.

Based on the instructions here (in German) I took the custom Train Wreck plastic which I had already had made (see here for more information and as to reasons why) and applied the graphic and white backing to it (which was extremely difficult, time consuming and required me to develop my own methodology). I was however pleased with the results:

New Train Wreck plastic

The new (larger) size of the hole for the flasher bulb holder (it turns out) made the plastic very fragile and dropping it once actually cracked the plastic at the thinnest points of the plastic. However, the plastic flasher bulb holder held everything together nicely.

Installing the plastic with the new bulb holder brought with it a new problem however, which I hadn’t thought about: the new bulb holder was actually lower than the original. Directly underneath the flasher is a GI bulb, which, because of the lack of clearance from the playfield to the base of the bulb holder, meant I couldn’t use a normal GI bulb. So instead I tried out an LED solution. produces a range of LED based lighting solutions for pinball machines. One that took my fancy was the BA9s Noflix PLUS L – Superflux:

BA9s Noflix PLUS purple L - Superflux

By using this LED based solution (in yellow) instead of a standard #44 bulb, I was able to solve my head-room problem under the Train Wreck flasher.

Not only did I solve this problem however, this solution gave me an additional advantage: by pointing the LED vertically upwards it shone onto the flasher housing and cap (which I had also chosen to be yellow), thereby making the flasher cap glow yellow.

Yellow flasher cap "glowing"


This combined with my earlier solution to use aluminium foil behind the back GI lamps really made the corner under the ramp light up – thereby overcoming one of the major criticisms of the TAF pinball machine.

Plastic assembly

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

I started with the real re-assembly today. First up was the plastic around the Vault.

The plastic piece on the vault holding the lamps is normally white on one side and black on the other, which I don’t like. So I decided to cover it with the stone pattern. Spraying it (like I have done the bookcase base) would be too much effort for the reward (the plastic is not too obvious) so I tried to use a water slide decal. Unfortunately the decal wouldn’t stay on the plastic properly, so I used adhesive paper instead:

Vault plastic with stone pattern

In assembling the entire Vault plastic the only other addition I made was to use black tubing for the wires in order to better hide the wires:

Fully assembled Vault plastic from right

Vault plastic from left showing wire covering

GI bulbs

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Today I replaced all of the GI bulbs in the playfield with coloured variants. I matched the colours to the playfield:

Coloured GI lamps

Note that under the red staircase, I’ve used red and orange bulbs to blend the colour in to the train-wreck plastic.

I noticed that the light from the green and blue GI lamps at the very back of the playfield wasn’t easily seen, it being hidden by the ball guide. Plus the backboard being black didn’t reflect much of the light. So I stuck some aluminium foil on the backboard with the same height as the ball guide and was very pleased with the results:

Aluminium foil on the backboard reflecting light from the GI lamps

Power Connectors

Friday, April 30th, 2010

I’ve recently been getting machine resets on the TAF whenever I’ve switched it on. Not knowing why this should be occuring (there’s not a lot attached to the machine currently) I decided to take the opportunity to replace the power plugs and pin connectors on the power board.

In order to accomplish this, I used my newly acquired Aoyue 474A+ desoldering station, which has recently been recommended in several gaming forums as being easy to use and very cost effective.

Aoyue 474A+ desoldering station

It turns out to be very easy to use and gives good results:

J115 pins remove from board

What was left of J115 pin connector

Having replaced the pin connector on the board it was time to replace the plugs:

Old J115 plug connector showing overheating

Despite the numerous recommendation on the pinball newsgroup and forums to use Molex plugs with tri-furcon connectors, the company Pancon produces a range of IDC connectors which are similar to the originals but which can withstand a higher working temperature (the MAS CON range). Ideal for the power connectors on the power board.

I managed to find a local source of these and purchased them. Unfortunately, my local supplier only had 6 pin versions available, so in order to replace the 12 pin J115 two such plugs were needed.

Pancon Mas-con plugs for J115

At the same time I replaced the connector plug for the GI circuits (J121) which, being 11 pin required one of the 6 pin plugs to be cut to 5 pin.

Pancon Mas-con plugs for J121

Rollover Switches – Part 2

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Even though I had already repaired the broken wire on my rollover switch (see earlier post below) I received a new original switch wire today from a kind forum member. I promptly replaced my home-made wire with this original.

Original switch wire with my home-made version (below)

Signed translite

Monday, April 19th, 2010

It might have taken 41 days round trip, but I got my translite back today.

I had sent it off to America to be signed by the designer of the TAF pinball, Pat Lawlor.

Of course, this was no simple feat, as to get it done in a way that Pat could work with, required me to use the kind services of a very helpful gentlemen in the US, who had in fact helped me previously with my LED lamps.

Thanks a million Jay. You’re a hero!

My translite with Pat Lawlor's signature