Life Under The Playfield RSS

acid, alkaline, battery acid, controller board, cpu board, repair, soldering.

By Dermot Tynan, Monday, July 12, 2021

Solid-state pinball machines have a dark secret - they forget things. To hide this, the designers introduced circuits which can cause untold damage, if you're not aware of them. I'm about to educate you, so pay attention. This might just save your machine from an expensive repair bill, or indeed from the scrap heap. There are basically two kinds of memory chips used in earlier machines. RAM and ROM chips. RAM stands for "random access memory" whereas ROM stands for "read-only memory". RAM is what we typically think of when thinking about computer memory. It's an area where the processor...

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flash rebuild, general illumination, hardware, LED lighting, pinball repair, playfield.

By Dermot Tynan, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

So now that the playfield has been stripped bare (on the under-side at least), cleaned, and prepped, we've been focusing our attention on the general illumination. So, a few thoughts on GI...

General illumination started out as a series of 6.3 volt incandescent bulbs mounted underneath the playfield but peeking through the business-side, to light it up. Most often, they appear under playfield plastics, lane guides, and anywhere light can be added where it isn't shining in the player's face.

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flash, flash rebuild, mechs, playfield, Rebuild Tuesday.

By Dermot Tynan, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Not a huge amount to report on the Flash rebuild this week. I completed the wiring harness removal, and ended up dumping a lot of good but smelly copper wire. I briefly thought about re-using the copper wire, but it stinks. Years of cigarette smoke and that strange, ozone smell which lives beneath the playfield of all pinballs. I spent a lot of time removing mechanisms after that, and cleaning (with a toothbrush!) the underside of the playfield. It looks a lot better, now. It's not factory condition by any means, but it's presentable.

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flash, flash rebuild, pinball repair, playfield, Rebuild Tuesday, TP400.

By Dermot Tynan, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

So, the playfield is a mess. OK, we'll have to deal with that. We can start with the top of the playfield or the bottom. Seeing as this blog is called "Life Under The Playfield", guess where we started!

The big decision here was whether or not to remove the wiring harness. It seems like a drastic step to unsolder the harness because the chances of being able to ever solder it back, are infinitesimally small. Impossible, even. So this is a definitive, never-to-be-undone decision. I did think about doing the playfield first, so I could skip the big harness decision, or at least postpone it, but no...

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flash, flash rebuild, flipper coils, flippers, pinball, pinball repair, Rebuild Tuesday.

By Dermot Tynan, Thursday, August 29, 2019

So, the Flash playfield has arrived. The packaging left a lot to be desired, but overall the playfield is in better shape than I expected. Sure, two things strike you immediately. First, this machine was routed. By that, I mean it was placed in the wild to make money. That's no bad thing. Most of us first encountered pinball in an arcade somewhere, provided and maintained by a route operator. Second, since it was removed from its original cabinet, it has been used as a source of spare parts for other machines. I know it was routed because there are...

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