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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Solid State Pinball Repair

 
36 results - showing 1 - 10 1 2 3 4
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Rebuilding Flippers
Most games haven't had the flippers rebuilt in years and yet it's one of the easiest ways to improve game play. In most cases two flipper rebuild kits will cost you less than $50 and the time investment is also minimal--a couple of hours. Note: This procedure requires some basic soldering skills (see references). Flipper Overview and Variations While all flippers are very similar in design there are a few variations. In Image 1 you can see an exploded parts diagram for a flipper used in Williams Fliptronics games. Image...
 
 
Soldering Tutorials
If you want to learn how to solder, or improve your soldering skills, check out our basic and advanced soldering tutorials, including videos. The Basic Soldering Tutorial and Basic Desoldering Tutorial are oriented towards beginners who want to repair wiring or replace solenoids, diodes and switches. Both are structured to get you soldering quickly and properly and include quizzes to measure your progress. Our three part advanced series is oriented towards hobbyists with some soldering experience who want to move on to repairing pinball circuit boards. The first tutorial, Advanced Soldering - Tools and Supplies, provides you...
 
 
Electronics Repair Tutorials
This is a seven part series to help those new to pinball, or new to repairing solid state devices. Each tutorial is written at a beginner level and intended to build upon the previous. Following are brief descriptions of each. Basic Electronics -- Covers the basic concepts of electricity, including AC and DC circuits. Covers the concepts of voltage, current and resistance and their interrelationship. Introduces some common components and how to test them including resistors, capacitors, fuses and coils/solenoids. Provides a list of common circuit symbols. Transistors...
 
 
Switch Matrix - Theory and Troubleshooting
All solid state pinball's use a switch matrix and although the actual implementation may vary slightly, the theory and troubleshooting are the same. The purpose of the switch matrix is to reduce the number of driver circuits form 64 to 16 and minimize playfield wiring. This is achieved by pulsing each column sequentially while monitoring all of the rows. This is why the column is called the strobe, or send side, and the row is called the return side. For a list of common problems and troubleshooting, you can jump to this section...
 
 
Using a Logic Probe
One of the simplest and cheapest tools you can include in your test equipment arsenal is a logic probe. Although a lot of people seem overwhelmed by logic probes, they are actually very easy to use. In regards to their purpose, consider a logic probe as a bridge between a meter and a scope. While a meter is great for reading constant voltages (see Image 1) they fall short when a signal is pulsed (see Image 2, which is a 12 volt pulsed signal from the switch matrix). What the meter will try to...
 
 
Pad and Trace Repair
When it comes to pad and trace repair the two common solutions are copper foil or jumpers. Both methods are functionally equivalent and which one you select depends on the specific situation and how original you want the board to look. One other method I should mention, since I get asked about it a lot, is liquid trace or silver conductive epoxy. Other than a few specific situations, like repairing the glass on a DMD, I stay away from them. Both solutions add some resistance to the circuit, which can sometimes cause problems,...
 
 
Repairing WPC Dot Matrix Controller
Display problems are typically the result of failing DMD's, bad ribbon cables or connectors, a cable installed one pin off (or reversed) or the high voltage section of the Dot Matrix Controller (called DMC herafter). Once you have confirmed the problem is with the Dot Matrix board (either logic or high voltage) this article will assist you with the troubleshooting process. For informational purposes I will also address some common symptoms that indicate problems other than the DMC board. You can either test the board in the game or use a test fixture...
 
 
Building a WPC Test Fixture
As my Dad would say, there are several ways to skin a cat. So while this may not be the ultimate WPC test fixture, the design was limited by a couple of my personal objectives. First I didn't want to mess with a transformer, and secondly I did not want high voltage on the bench. While this design precludes the possibility of troubleshooting DMD's or the high voltage section of dot matrix controllers, I can live with that. Most DMD problems can't be fixed anyways, and the high voltage section of the dot...
 
 
Board Rework Standards
While it's not always feasible for a hobbyist to adhere to industry standards in regards to board rework, it is a good idea to understand those standards. Plus, in many cases its not any harder, or more expensive, to repair a board to the IPC standards. IPC (The Institute for Printed Circuits) is the generally accepted standard for printed circuit board rework. While their standards documents would cost several thousand dollars to purchase, there is an alternative. Circuit Medic has an online guidebook that covers all aspects of board repair and adheres...
 
 
Circuit Board Updates
While I'm not a huge proponent of upgrading circuit boards (in most cases I find very little benefit versus the risk of damaging the board), but there are a few updates that are definitely worth doing. WPC DCS On your DCS sound board remove C37 and C45. This will help dramatically with the sound quality. The difference on games like Demo Man is dramatic. Williams did the same modification on later WPC 95 AV boards. WPC Power Driver Board If you experience the flipper enable relay (on the power...
 
 
 
36 results - showing 1 - 10 1 2 3 4