The New Family Addition...

The New Family Addition...

By Dermot Tynan, Friday, July 19, 2019. Tags: em, hardware, jones plug, pinball, pinball repair, silver ball, smart set.

So, a couple of years ago, I came across a Williams Smart Set on a for-sale web site. As you can expect, the machine wasn't working. The machine is an Electro-Mechanical monster, which means it operates on relays and score motors. (Check out my earlier post on the subject of EM pinballs). Fun, fun, fun!

Anyway, the machine had originally lived in an architects office where they turned on the General Illumination each day, and there it sat, unplayed and unloved. The previous owner had rescued it and had hoped to restore the game to her former glory. Alas, the moving company ripped out the Jones Plugs (probably didn't know they were there), and detached a number of wires from the backbox. That's no way to treat a machine which first breathed life in 1969 while The Beatles were still recording.

My first job was to try and resuscitate the Jones Plugs.

A borked Jones Plug

You can see from the above photograph, that these plugs are pretty delicate. They connect signals and power from the cabinet and the playfield to and from the backbox. For the most part, I was able to match the wire colours to the sockets on the backbox, with the notable exception of three wires.

To cut to the chase, I powered the machine up (no smoke - that's good), hit the left flipper to activate the lock-relay, and the GI (general illumination) lit up like a Christmas tree! Yay!

I faked the coin credit and a ball was dispatched. I played a few games, and not everything worked as you might imagine. Scoring was particularly challenging, and I will have to rebuild the score reels. Also, the mechanisms associated with counting players and balls are likewise having step-up issues.

I will post on here from time to time, regarding the things I've done to bring the machine back to life. It's still an ongoing project, and there's no such thing as a "fixed" EM, only an EM which is in between breakdowns.


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