New Years Eve party.... 2024.....
All 3 pinball machines in the Vintage Vault Arcade were being hammered all night long... Alien Poker, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Cowabunga!) and High Speed.
Uh, oh. Alien Poker. Is this pinball supposed to be doing that? Left flipper was weak, practically crawling everytime you hit the flipper button... making
the game near unplayable. Not good. This pinball was shut off for the night, pending a future repair.
Here we are a few weeks later. I prop up the pinball playfield with its interior kickstand, exposing all the wiring, switches, solenoids and lamps.
I'm theorizing the solenoid plunger sleeve was warped from heat and age, which can make the flipper barely move.
A plastic sleeve sits inside the coil, and the plunger moves back
and forth from magnetic pull. That could be the problem, so I order in another sleeve... I push the old one out, and slide the new one in.
I fire up the game and same problem. Ugghhhh.
Well the solenoid itself was probably all original, 44 years old and has seen better days. It certainly shows signs of lots of heat
from ongoing use. I order a new solenoid and the new one came in with a broken diode.
The solenoid needs a diode across 2 terminals for
proper operation, and a broken diode would mean more problems. I replace the diode and install the new orange colored solenoid.
Same problem. Sheesh!
Now wait a second, lets rewind to an earlier pic. That EOS switch to the right of the solenoid looks VERY suspect.
There are no contact pads left
on the leaf switch. Also wired directly to the solenoid is the flipper button switch on the left side of the cabinet.
I pull up that leaf switch. OH MY! That is burnt to a crisp. So I have a bad flipper switch and possibly bad EOS solenoid switch.
I don't take any chances. I order 2 new switches and replace out both.
I turn on the pinball, start a game, and WHACK! Flipper is strong and very responsive. Exactly how it should be.
In the end, this pinball repair needed 2 badly worn out 44 year old switches. Plus, it got in a new flipper solenoid for good measure.
Another one for the books, and another repair complete in the Vintage Vault Arcade.w
Its been a long time since I went on a mini road trip for an arcade pickup. My arcade collection is pretty full and well rounded. That being said,
I'm not actively looking for new games. So recently, I moved the jukebox out of the arcade which left a nice 48 inch gap in my lineup where it used to sit.
The Rockola 470 jukebox was moved upstairs to the living room where I could get more daily enjoyment out of it.
Much to my surprise, about 1 week later I was contacted about a Pig Out arcade game. This game is a massive 3 player game. One thing I know about
visitors in my arcade, is they like the multi-player games. This one will be no exception. I mean c'mon, you play as the 3 little pigs, how cool is that?
I love the game concept and the 3 player action, so I made final arrangements for an arcade pickup.
Click below to read about the Pig Out road trip.
More vintage goodness for the Vintage Vault Arcade. An official Spuds Mackenzie calendar from 1988. Do you remember this dog? Complete nostalgia overload.
Watch this commercial straight out of the 80s.
So what were you doing in 1988? Well for myself... I just turned 16 and was a sophomore in high school. I had my first full time job and was flush with cash.
I bought all my own concert tickets to every rock band that came through the late 80s. It was an amazing year, with some of the best memories.
The original party animal, Spuds Mackenzie!
It's that time of year for the annual New Years Eve party down in the Vintage Vault Arcade.
This year was just for all my kids and their friends. The video jukebox was loaded up with over 2700 music videos,
we had a taco bar set up in the kitchen, and 280 quarters on standby for the candy and tattoo machines.
Things didn't wind down until early morning. I know for a fact that everyone was up until 4:30am. How do I know? I was up with them!
Always a good time down in the Vintage Vault Arcade!
I love my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pinball machine and no wonder....I was an 80's kid. The TMNT cartoon came out in 1987, the feature film came out in 1990 and this pinball
game was released in 1991. This particular pinball machine features the original cartoon theme song and voices from the cartoon show. How can you NOT like playing a pinball
game like that?
I bought this game 3 years ago and it has never had any issues. However, this is a 30 year old game and well.... 30 year old games break. A few months ago I noticed
that this game was kicking out 2 pinballs every time you started the game, or went to plunge the next ball. This made the game almost unplayable. The plunger
does not work very well trying to push 2 balls up the ramp onto the playfield.
There is a ball switch sensor right in front of the plunger, so I surmised perhaps that had went bad. I replaced that switch with a NOS
switch but the problem continued. At this point, it has to be a circuit board issue.
I open up the game and inside someone had replaced the MPU and driver board with a Rottendog MPU004 combo board replacement. Unfortunately, now this Rottendog board replacement seemed to be having a problem also. After researching it appears this particular Rottendog board is no longer made.
However, I managed to source a new old stock MPU004 board. Good news is that my old board says is a Revision 1 board and the new one is a Revision 4 board. They must have improved
on the original design. Nice. To swap in the new board you have to change over the 512K Rom which contains the TMNT game code, and also the 6802 CPU processor. My old board
had an NVRAM battery eliminator chip which I also swapped over.
After installing the new Rottendog replacement, I powered the game back up. The game came alive and shouted "Teenage... Mutant... Ninja... Turtles!!!!" This means at least the new board
swapped in successfully. I then proceeded to play over 20 games in a row. I'm happy to report this pinball machine is no longer kicking out 2 balls. The replacement worked and
TMNT pinball now returns back to the Vintage Vault Arcade lineup. Cowabunga Dude!
The month of May kicks of high school graduation... and with high school graduation comes graduation parties. A long time friend's daughter
had just graduated high school and wanted to have their party down in the Vintage Vault Arcade. Who can say no to that?
Now most parties run 4 to 8 hours... but they were having so much fun it ran all the way to midnight (11 hours straight)! I'm
not going shutdown a good party! Of course the video jukebox was loaded from todays hits, to hard rock to 80's soft rock all day and all night.
They even took a breather to go swimming in our 40 acre lake subdivison and then back again for more games. I'm always sad when I start
turning off power at the end of a gameday, but it was time to shut things down.
The Vintage Vault Arcade will come alive again another day.