How to Fix a Pinball Machine’s Score Display

Just did another pinball video. This one was on my Paragon pinball machine in that one of the score displays had missing segments on the bottom. When there are missing segments it’s usually the IC chip, transistors or resistors. I replaced the IC chip and one transistor in this video. Plus you get to see my solder in the IC chip socket. I know exciting stuff! Here’s a chart to help you figure out what to replace.


Twilight Zone stuck in a reset zone!

I haven’t posted this story yet, but I moved all of my arcade machines and pinball machines from my basement into my shop in my backyard. Everything worked before the move. But we had to carry all of the machines up a bunch of steps, across a yard and into the shop. One thing to remember about old games is that they DO NOT like to be moved!

So a few games stopped working after we moved them, including Twilight Zone. Argh,, So the game would boot up give a test report. When I start a game and hit a flipper the game would restart/reboot. This can be from a voltage drop, Super easy to check with your multimeter. Be remember the game worked BEFORE the move. My voltage was on the Driver board was dead on and did NOT drop when I hit the flippers. So next thing is to check the connectors. Games like Twilight Zone have a ton of wires, cables and connectors. This is mostly likely the problem after moving a game. I reset all cables and connections and still had the problem. So now I focused on J101 on the Power/Drive board, I played with the connection and pushed the wires in further into the connector. Turned Twilight Zone back and and now it’s working 100% again!!

Get into the Zone: Twilight Zone

I bought my Twilight Zone in 2008. BUT I wasn’t looking for a Twilight Zone at the time. I was hot after a Theater of Magic. There was one on Craigslist, I called the seller (on a Sunday) and he said that I couldn’t look at it until Friday that week. I had the cash and said, OK, I can wait until then. BUT then three days later I heard back from the seller that he sold the Theater of Magic to someone else. WTF, he said I couldn’t even look at it until that Friday.. Man I got burned on that one… So since I had the money saved, I called a few connections I had to try and find another Theater of Magic. One of my operator contacts said I don’t have any Theater of Magics for sale, but I am thinking about selling my own personal Twilight Zone. It’s been in his house for 10 tens and not on routes. It was about the same price I had planned to pay for the Theater of Magic. So a long story short, I bought his Twilight Zone and LOVE it. People frequently say, if you ever want to sell it, call me. Let’s just say I have no plans to sell it anytime soon!

Strikes and Spares Bad MPU board

The first thing to do with any MPU board is to remove the battery. On this MPU board the battery was leaking and there was damage on the board.  So cut off the battery, get an off board battery holder from the Real Bob Roberts and solder the wires in place. I use vinegar and water to neutralize the battery acid (actually it’s Alkaline leakage). After that I had to repair the trace damages. Reflow the solder to all connectors, then replace a few components damaged by the battery acid and the MPU was fixed!