Archive for November, 2012

What’s this for?

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Whilst putting the cabinet back together again, I came across a part which mystified me. Do I really need to put it back in place:

What's this part do?

A close-up of the mysterious part

Time to go on the forums to ask this very question.

I got some interesting responses, from “it’s to help balance the machine”, to “it’s to make the wood sound thicker, so that thieves who want to break in to the machine believe that the wood is 7cm thick instead of just 2cm” to “it’s to prevent anyone from releasing the lockbar by going in through the Start button”.

All of which were incorrect, as it turns out.

The actual answer was to be found on Pinside. Lloyd Olson had once written on RGP that these “cabinet blocks” were there to “Keep the playfield from sliding to the front of the cabinet in shpping, bending the playfield hangers.”

Question answered. Thanks Lloyd!

Coin Door

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The coin door that came with the machine had a Coin Controls 220 coin mechanism and bracket in it. But I want to use an NRI coin validator as I’ve had it programmed to take tokens. Unfortunately it is not possible to put an NRI coin validator in the C220 bracket, meaning that I’ve had to find a new door.

I had a three channel coin door given to me, so having taken it apart and sprayed it with Hammerite Hammer Finish paint, I was all ready to put the coin door back together, when I came across a better solution:

I had acquired an NBA Fastbreak (to use as a donor machine for my AFM – although I won’t be scapping it – more about this later) and the coin door on that was just what I had been looking for – single channel with an NRI type of bracket and, most importantly, in good condition. The door was slightly dented at the side and there was some surface rust on a few of the parts and a few paint chips, but all in all an excellent basis for my nice new coin door.

There was just one slight problem: although the bracket was the correct one for the NRI the retaining mechanism was missing. However, I managed to find a two part retaining mechanism in my ST:TNG the bottom part of which I had to adapt, so that it fit in the bracket:

NRI coin validator in bracket without retaining mechanism

The new two-part retainer showing where I had to adapt the lower part, so that the NRI mechanism would fit

Not only was the retainer missing, but also the locking mechanism, which attaches to the key cylinder. Here’s how they both should look:

An example of the missing locking mechanism and the coin validator retainer

All in all, though, the door wasn’t too bad:

Rear view of the "new" coin door

Just look at that tilt-mechanism!

Slam-Tilt mechanism. 10/10 for artistic impression!

A few rust patches

So on with the renovating.

First up was taking everything off of the old door and taking loads of pictures. Then I cleaned all parts with a fat-remover (Breff Fettlöser). I removed all rust patches using a fibre glass pen, so as not to disturb too much of the good paint. I then treated the bare metal (where the rust had been) with rust coverter. Once that had dried I sanded the areas down slightly and then cleaned all parts with Isopropyl Alchohol. I finally sprayed all parts with satin black Restoleum Painter’s Touch and let it all dry before putting the coindoor back together again. I also managed to get a locking mechanism from a member of my favourite pinball forum in Germany – Thanks Andreas.

The result:

Front of renovated coin door. Note you can still see the famous Williams paint structure

Back side of the renovated door with lock mechanism and retainer

Disaster strikes – yet again!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

A bit of cleaning was undertaken today, with the ultrasonic cleaner. I used it to clean the bits and pieces from the cabinet door and various bits and pieces for the cabinet.

In attempting to take the “Launch Ball” button apart to clean it thoroughly, I broke the disc with the text on it:

Broken disk

These discs can’t be bought separately (only the entire button assembly with plastic housing, switch and lamp) so I tried to repair it using Pro-Weld (which melts the parts together instead of sticking them and should therefore gives a stronger bond) and touching up the text:

Repaired disc

Touched up

Finished article

Although not perfect, the button looks a lot better than it did. However unfortunately light shining from the back shows the two cracks, meaining that I’m going to have to think of another solution.

So I’m currently looking to see whether any pinheads have an old button which they don’t need (in any condition). As this button is used on Attack from Mars, Champion Pub, Demolition Man, Dracula (Williams), Johnny Mnemonic, Medieval Madness, Monster Bash & Popeye I might be lucky…

If not, I could always try making my own – the problem here being that the disc would have to be made in such a way, so that the light from the bulb is dispersed evenly across the entire surface area of the disc – not an easy task!

UPDATE: It turns out that I didn’t break the disc after all. By scrutinising the photos I had taken of the disassembly process, the cracks were clearly visible in the Launch Ball button having taken it off of the cabinet. Makes me feel a lot better:

Photo of Lauch Button taken at time of disassembly. The cracks are clearly visible.

Considering these buttons cost less than 6 dollars at MAD Amusements (US) I just bought a new one (and sold this one to a pinhead in Germany for half the price).

Building up the cabinet

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Mounted a few bits and pieces today, starting with the support bar. Had to cut away some of the decal around the screw head in order to avoid the decal rippling, as happened on the head (reported earlier):

Decal cut-away for support bar screw

Having mounted the bar and a few stickers it started to look promising:

Support bar and new stickers

Next was the tansformer and isolating plate:

Transformer mounted

And that was it for the day.

Wireloom labels

Monday, November 5th, 2012

I was inspecting one of the cable looms yesterday and although I had cleaned it, the sticky label around it, with the part number on it, had collected dirt and looked awful.

When I removed the cable originally, I was planning to leave it like this, but yesterday it looked a lot worse, for some reason. So, off with the old:

Old and dirty cable loom lable - ready for scanning

I scanned in the label, reproduced the barcode in Code 39 format, using the Barcodes Inc website; squished and squashed a font in Photoshop until it closely matched the font used on the label; printed the label out on normal white paper; cut the outline of the label using my plotter; cut the same outline on some matt clear sticky paper; cut the paper label in half and stuck the printed half to the back of the sticky foil, et voilá:

New set of labels for the three wirelooms

Because of the amount of time it had taken to duplicate the font and find the right source and format for the barcode, I finished off making all three labels for each of the looms.

Finicky, or what?