Day 1

The pinball arrived today. Boy was it heavy!

Couldn’t get it down our stairs into the cellar as it was too wide, so decided to take off the backbox (to reduce the width and weight).

First task was to find the backbox key which wasn’t hanging on the hook on the inside of the coin door as it should have been (according to Stephan Schubert, the previous owner of the pinball).

A couple of ‘phone calls later with Mr. Schubert established the fact that the key must have fallen inside the machine. To get at the inside of the machine it was necessary to:

  1. open the front door
  2. pull the yellow locking lever
  3. remove the chrome cover at the front of the pinball by lifting it upwards.
  4. carefully slide the glass out of its channels and removing it to a safe place
  5. lift the front of the playfield by putting a hand in the outhole and lifting the playfield upwards.

The playfield hinged up from the middle and could be tilted back the whole way into a more-or-less vertical, but stable position. Boy was it black inside the machine! Everything was covered in “soot” (which I have now come to learn as being called “pinball dust”). I can only guess that this dirt has come from a combination of burning contacts within the pinball and smoke deposits from the environments in which the pinball had been played in its 16 odd years of existence.

Sure enough, with the aid of a torch, I found the key inside the pinball machine.

Removing the front graphic from the pinball backbox was a simple task of gently removing it having unlocked the box with the key (the lock is located in the middle of the backbox at the top, on the inside edge). The bulb-filled board behind it was easily hinged open by lifting the latch on the right side and opening the door (This latch can sometimes be fixed with a screw, but mine wasn’t). That’s when I found the “rat’s nest”.

So in order to remove the backbox meant disconnecting all the plugs from all of the pin modules on all of the PCBs in the backbox. And there were quite a few. Prior to removing each plug, I carefully noted the jumper number (printed on each PCB next to each plug) on the right hand side of the plug with a permanent felt-tip pen. All of the pin modules which didn’t have a corresponding plug I marked with a cross. Otherwise it would have definitely confused me at rebuild time!

Having removed all of the plugs and having detached the hinges from both sides on the inside of the backbox, followed by the mounting wing nuts attaching the box to the main body, I was able to gingerly lift the backbox off of the main body.

I carefully laid the two large cable harnesses on top of the pinball and put the backbox to one side.

And waited….

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