A couple of weeks ago, I posted that I found yet another pinball machine – a 1980 Stern Flight 2000 – sorely in need of some love. A quick recap of the issues:
- Crackly, paint peeled backglass
- Broken playfield glass
- A few cracked plastics
- A 4″ square worn spot on the playfield
- Missing a lot of bulbs
- Two broken drop targets
- The big one – it doesn’t start up
Did I say it was cheap?
Last Wednesday, it came home with me to the T3sk3y compound. As soon as I got the legs and the backbox bolted back on, I started debugging the problems with it. When you it the power switch, it gave six ‘dings’, then hung without going into attract mode. Fortunately, the electronics in this pinball machine were used in dozens of different machines – so they are pretty common. There are LOTS of repair guides on the web, the best of which is at www.marvin3m.com: Pinball Fixit Guides. They say that a properly operating machine of this type should ding 7 times, then go into attract mode. The missing seventh ding, according to the manual, signified a problem with the solenoid driver board. This problem was usually attributed to there not being 43v DC supplied to the board.
As I started to debug the solenoid board, the guide had a checklist of things to look at. Here’s how far I got:
Step 1: Check the fuse for the 43 volt supply on the regulator board
Check – it’s blown. I replaced the fuse, half expecting it to blow again instantly. Not only did it not blow, I got the seventh ding and the machine started up! After I cackled wildly, I added credits and hit start. I was able to play a complete game – and nearly everything worked!
I love fixes like that
There’s still tons of stuff to do on it. Since then, I have stripped and polished the playfield using Magic Erasers and the Treasure Cove polishing kit. Most of the ball swirls went away, and it’s nice and shiny. I put over 50 new bulbs in and installed a new bracket to hold the playfield up. My next tasks will be to rebuild the drop target mechanism and replace the rubbers.
As to the backglass, I downloaded a 115MB TIF file of a scanned perfect backglass so that I can reproduce the artwork on the glass. I’m trying to decide if I want to make a translite (about $125) or get a full glass reproduction (about $250). Hmm…