Life Under The Playfield RSS

em, flipper coils, hardware, mpu board, pinball, relay, score motor.

By Dermot Tynan, Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Flash, when it was first produced in 1979, used the Williams System 4 MPU board and eventually graduated to the System 6 MPU towards the end of production. These boards, from the System 3 to the System 6 formed the early part of Williams migration away from Electro-Mechanical (EM) machines to Solid State (SS) machines. The first solid state machine was a game called Flicker from Bally in 1974. For Williams, the transition began in 1976 with a game called Aztec, for which a whopping ten machines were produced. Aztec was also produced as an EM (and over 10,000 machines produced). For the next two years, Williams produced both EM and SS machines. However, the company switched completely as and from the first of January in 1978. With the benefit of hind-sight, it's easy to wonder about why this happened over a year, and why they didn't just stop making EMs on Friday, and start with SS's on Monday morning, seeing as the technology is just so much better.

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coils, flash, flash rebuild, flipper coils, mechs, playfield, Rebuild Tuesday, TP400.

By Dermot Tynan, Monday, August 19, 2019

We just acquired a very old "Flash" playfield in not-great condition, but with all of the original coils and mechs, including the pop bumpers and flippers. We're always on the lookout for old playfields, because they make interesting wall-art. Well, it's interesting wall art if you're into pinball machines. This one came to my notice, and what was interesting about it was the fact it was still fully loaded. I have yet to receive the playfield, it is being shipped as I type this, but the photographs show a playfield which has seen a lot of play, and by the...

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competitive pinball, irish pinball league, league play, metallica pro, ruleset.

By Dermot Tynan, Monday, August 12, 2019

There are those who never play in pinball tournaments. They're happy to just play at home or in arcades, but never in competition. For most, it's because they're just happy to play pinball and don't feel the need to be competitive. For others, it's because they're terrified of how they'll rank.

I have to admit to being in the second category, up until recently. I know from sailboat racing though, that absolutely nothing improves your sailing abilities as much as trying to squeeze that last fraction of a knot from the slowest form of transport in the world.

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flippers, gottlieb, humpty dumpty, oblivion, pinball.

By Oscar Scheinhauser, Wednesday, August 7, 2019

There’s a peculiar gap in the early history of pinball. Sources tend to agree that it was in the early 1930s that the first actual pinball machine was invented – as in, the coin-activated ball on a playing field that people would come to know and love.

Amazingly enough, the device grew popular, and that’s amazing because it wasn’t until more than 15 years later that flippers were finally invented.

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coil burnout, end of stroke switch, flipper coils.

By Dermot Tynan, Thursday, August 1, 2019

The mysteries of the End of Stroke Switch. Set it wrong and your flippers will seem lifeless. Or your flipper coil will burn up. Seems pretty important, doesn't it? So how does it work, and why is it so important? Let's dig in, starting with the flipper coil design...

 

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