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Tag: pinball

Sinbad Baseball

Over the last several days I’ve been playing around with a baseball themed way of scoring and playing Sinbad. Essentially, one game is an inning for one player, and each drop target bank represents a hit. The 3-bank is a triple, the 4-bank a home run, etc. Runners on base advance logically based upon what’s hit.

This weekend I had a chance to play test with my son Josiah. We played two nine-inning games. It was really fun. The main challenge is keeping track of who’s on base and how many runs, since it can get pretty fast and confusing in the moment.

I’ve started to think about creating an arduino or raspberry pi driven interface for the baseball scoring, and last night I started writing out notes for the design and coding of that ruleset and the user interface. I’m really hoping I can put this together, just as a fun experiment.

In any case, I’m having fun thinking about it and making plans and stretching my brain.

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Repairing a flipper coil

I didn’t test my coils before before installing, so that was dumb. When looking up test procedures I saw a note about fixing coils so I went ahead and tried that, managed to fix one of the broken ones. Installed it, and had the same “flipper don’t work” experience. Installed a known working coil, and it still doesn’t work.

Surprise, jackass! You’ve been wiring the flipper wrong from the beginning! This is a case of moving too quickly and not taking enough process photos during teardown. SLOW DOWN.

Surf Champ is now working properly, and I repaired a couple of plastics and installed lexan washers to keep them from cracking or breaking again. I lubed the spinner, and did some light cleaning. Unfortunately, when it was all back together I found another couple of bulbs that need socket fixes but I’m moving on for now. The pop bumpers are strong and responsive, so I passed on rebuilding them too.

The game is playing better than it ever has before. I adjusted the playfield angle to about 4.75 and with the right coils installed, it’s like a dream. Reminds me that someday I hope to do some light restore to the playfield and clear coat it. The geometry of this game and the mix of shots is so satisfying. Of all my games I have the least amount of money into this one, but it’s absolutely a favorite.

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Hotwiring old flaky bulb sockets

A number of sockets on Surf Champ were flickering or not even working. Thanks again to pinside for the recommended fix – which involves soldering the bracket and the barrel together, and then moving the wire connection from the tab to the “tit” of the socket. I did 16 sockets – the top lane rollovers (which weren’t working at all), the bonus counters, and a few others. Shout out to pinsider Don_C for his comprehensive notes on the subject which I used as a guide for my work. I ran out of flux during the process but was able to eek out the last few sockets with some extra patience and cleaning. Plugged in the machine and the lights are all working perfectly!

I also switched out the flipper coils back to original, and remembered why i replaced them—they are broken (doh)! I’m putting in a Pinball Resource order this week for new ones, but luckily i’m able to cannibalize the coils from Team One so i can complete Surf Champ this week.

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EM playfields are heavy

Gearing up to do some work on Surf Champ. I’m going to switch out the flipper coils (back to original), and while I’m at it I’m going to fix a bunch of bulb sockets. May possibly do a pop bumper refresh but I’m not sure if I have the requisite parts on hand for that.

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Gavin to the rescue


Brought Gavin out to fix a few issues that I was stumped by. He got the bell working on Taxi and fixed the issues I was having with Funhouse.

After Soren’s birthday party I think I’ll focus on giving Funhouse a proper shop job. It needs cleaning like nobody’s business and I plan on replacing some parts, maybe install new ramp set and MAYBE a reproduction playfield. That depends most on what happens when I attempt to remove the mess of mylar on the playfield!

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