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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

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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...
 
 
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...
 
 
Electronics Tutorial - Reading Schematics
This is part six of a seven part series intended to provide a basic knowledge of electronics, test equipment, service manuals and troubleshooting in order to allow the reader to effectively repair pinball games. Whether you're troubleshooting a circuit or testing your work after replacing an IC, knowing how to read a schematic is a necessity. While you don't need to become a EE, you should be able to walk through a circuit and understand what components are involved and what connects to what. In addition, you should also be able to look at a...
 
 
Advanced Desoldering Tutorial
This is part five of a five part series on soldering. This article is specifically oriented towards the advanced soldering techniques. It covers the techniques necessary to desolder circuit board components. The most important things to know about desoldering is that it is much harder than soldering and is where most of the circuit board damage occurs (lifted traces or pads, destroyed through-holes, etc.). The sad part is that all of this is avoidable if you respect the board and know what you're doing. Should I be Repairing Circuit Boards? ...
 
 
Basic Desoldering Tutorial
This is part two of a five part series on soldering. This article is specifically oriented towards beginners and playfield desoldering. It covers desoldering tools, supplies and the skills needed to replace a diode, switch, solenoid or broken wire. Advanced skills, better equipment and experience are needed before desoldering pinball circuit boards (see my rant on hobbyists hacking circuit boards). Desoldering Tools and Supplies The first thing you will need is either a desoldering pump (often called a solder sucker) or some solder wick or both (see Image 1). ...
 
 
Advanced Soldering Tutorial
This is part four of a five part series on soldering. This article is specifically oriented towards advanced soldering techniques. It covers the techniques necessary to solder circuit board components and builds upon topics covered in the Basic Soldering Tutorial. Required equipment is covered in Advanced Soldering Tools and Supplies. Should I be Repairing Circuit Boards? Only you can answer this question, but consider that board repair shops have reported the number of hacked (non-repairable) boards has increased dramatically since Clay put out his repair guides. Just as you wouldn't...
 
 
Advanced Soldering - Tools and Supplies
This is part three of a five part series on soldering. This article is specifically oriented towards the advanced soldering techniques. It covers the tools and supplies needed for soldering circuit board components. A lot of the frustration felt by those new to soldering is the result of cheap tools and/or supplies. Avoid Walmart, Home Depot or Lowe's (I'm also no longer much of a Radio Shack fan since they now sell a lot of inferior products). Find yourself a good local electronics store like Fry's or buy online at Fry's, MCM Electronics...
 
 
Basic Soldering Tutorial
This is part one of a five part series on soldering. This article is specifically oriented towards beginners and playfield soldering. It covers tools and supplies and the soldering skills needed to replace a diode, switch, solenoid or broken wire. Advanced skills, better equipment and experience are needed before soldering pinball circuit boards (see my rant on hobbyists hacking circuit boards). This tutorial is oriented towards getting you soldering quickly and properly. If you're interested in more advanced topics see Advanced Soldering - Tools and Supplies, which is part one in our...
 
 
Electronics Tutorial - Troubleshooting
This is part seven of a seven part series intended to provide a basic knowledge of electronics, test equipment, service manuals and troubleshooting in order to allow the reader to effectively repair pinball games. With that goal in mind I have simplified the explanations and purposely glossed over some details that add no value, and can easily confuse beginners. Good troubleshooting is both art and science and takes years to become proficient at. Even the best in the business really can't explain why one person is a great troubleshooter and another is not. So while...
 
 
 
15 results - showing 1 - 10 1 2