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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Addams Family Power Magnets Addams Family Power Magnets Hot

Depending on your perspective, the power magnets (see Image 1) on Addams Family are either a cool toy or a pain in the ass (like when the ball is heading towards your right flipper and the magnet shoots it into the outlane).  While it's fairly simple compared to most toys there are a couple of things to watch out for.

The biggest problem with the magnets is an electronics failure can cause them to lock them, and overheat, which will do serious damage to the playfield.  Note the discoloration around the left magnet in Image 2 due to overheating.

Although in this case the playfield was not damaged since the circuit was fused (see modification below).

In Image 3 you can see the High Power Board that controls the magnets (bottom left side under playfield).  The board has a TIP36C for each magnet (see Image 4).  The TIP36C transistors are controlled by low power solenoid circuits on the Power Driver Board.

The most common problem is that one of these transistors will short and lock on a magnet.  The transistors can be tested with a DMM in diode/continuity mode or use the following technique to narrow down the problem.

Image Gallery

Addams Family Power Magnets
Addams Family Power Magnets
Addams Family Power Magnets
Addams Family Power Magnets
Addams Family Power Magnets

Pull J127 on the Power Driver Board and turn the game on.  If the magnet is still locked on (use a pinball on the playfield to test), then the problem is with the High Power Board TIP36C.  If the magnet no longer locks on, the problem is with the low power solenoid circuit (see Image 5) on the Power Driver Board.

You will also note in Image 3 the three fuses mounted above the High Power Board.  These are not standard from the factory, but are a very good idea to protect the playfield from damage if a magnet locks on.  Pinball Life sells a magnet fuse kit that does not require soldering or cutting of any wires. 

If you go with the triple fuse holder just mount it to the underside of the playfield (see Image 3).  Cut the wires going from connector J1 pins 1,2 and 3 to the magnets and solder each cut wire on opposite sides of a fuse holder.  Install some 3 amp slo-blo fuses and you're set.

If you want even more protection pick up three thermostats from Marco Specialties, or your favorite electronics dealer.  Wire them inline with the magnet coils and attach them to the coil with some heat resistant double-sided tape (available at most hobby stores).  The thermostat will open if the temperature gets over 85 degrees Celsius and protect the playfield.