Pinball Circuit Board Repair And Restoration

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When I say circuit boards I mean all the boards located in the backbox (Figure 3.1 – 3.4), and any located in the lower cabinet. Most circuit boards will be green, and some will be red. For clarification, I also include the player displays, or dot matrix display in the circuit board category.

These components are as important as your upper and lower playfield, as they are the brains of the operation. If they are not functioning correctly, nothing else will be.

Some of the most common problems found in the circuit board area is battery corrosion, expired filter capacitors, burnt &/or brittle connectors, bad IC sockets, cold solder points, broken fuse clips, poor ground lines, and required safety modifications.

I always start with the power distribution / rectifier board (Figure 3.5 – 3.7), as it takes all the different AC voltages and converts them to DC, which is what most of the game circuits operate off of.

Once this board is rebuilt (Figure 3.8), and it’s output voltage is all within proper operating specifications, then and only then can I move forward with powering up the other components. At this point any other issues will reveal themselves, and can be corrected.

Many problems on these boards are connector related (Figure 3.9 – 3.10). I spend lots of time changing out connecters, and both have to be done, the male pin, on the board, and the female in the connector housing.

Each board is pulled out one at a time, and all solder connections are re-flowed, board mounted battery packs are removed, and remotely mounted (Figure 3.11 – 3.12), with a quick disconnect. Many board issues were caused by pinballs being stored away for years with the batteries still in place. Batteries over time leak fluid, and gases. I’m sure we have all seen the damage done to old radios or toys that had the batteries left in them; it’s the same for pinball machines. For those that are wondering what the batteries are for, well they hold things such as the high score thresholds in the memory, and game parameters such as free play and so on.

On all early Bally & Stern games I remote mount a custom made bridge rectifier board (Figure 3.13 – 3.14). The original 3 bridge rectifiers were very under rated for the job required of them. (8amp-200 volt) When they fail, they are very hard to replace, requires much de-soldering, basically a service call. The 3 new bridge rectifiers (50 amp-1000 volt) if they ever fail, are function identifiable, and easily changed.

Player displays on many of the older games will be what’s called gassed out. These cannot be repaired. The industry now has access to new LED displays that require much less power, which provides greater reliability; as the high voltage section on the power supply can be turned off, as it’s only function was to provide power for the plasma displays.

Again, I’m not going to go into huge detail, just trying to let you know the care that goes into each rebuild / restore here at Absolute Pinball.

Thank you...thank you...thank you for the Galaxy pinball machine!!!! A couple of friends of mine set it up this past weekend and it's fantastic!!! Whoever packed it for shipment did an outstanding job!! We are having the best time playing it. In fact the first night it was set up, I couldn't sleep so I went downstairs at 2:00am and played a bunch of games.
I contacted Devron to service and repair my 1977 STARS pinball machine, Devron was easy to contact and was waiting when I arrived. He is very knowledgeable and completed all the repairs he was asked to. Devron contacted me prior to making any extra repairs we didn't originally agree on, until he started to work on the machine and determine what was needed. The machine has been used every week since the last year and works excellent. Devron has a true passion for his work and I found the rates reasonable.
I was researching pinball machines when I found one of Canada's smartest techs and old school pinheads right here in Saskatoon. Devron's passion for this hobby goes well beyond just a business. He successfully coached me to fully repair and restore my first ever restoration, the magnificent Firepower. I also brought a fully restored Harlem Globetrotters and a unique Skateball for my next restoration. Devron helped me re-live my youth! All my buddies love coming over and we get old school for the night. Devron's service and support also allowed me to successfully take my new collection home to Australia and he continues to help me keep these great pieces of history alive even over such a great distance. You will not go wrong talking to Devron about your pinball or gaming machine needs!
Hello! I wanted to let you know I unpacked and set up Hurricane, and it is in beautiful condition, and working wonderfully! You did a magnificent job on the pallet/crate, and it arrived in great condition. It is currently set up in my living room, and playing it takes me back. Thanks! Pleasure doing business with you.
I was satisfied with Devron's services. His prices are reasonable and he is very knowledgeable. I bought a circus pinball machine from him two years ago. He has done an excellent job of refurbishing this machine. I can phone him anytime when I need questions answered or need to tweak my machine. He is always happy to help me. I would definitely buy another machine from him. I highly recommend him to others.