torsdag 24 maj 2018

Tales of the crypt #1

Once again, long time since I wrote something here. The horses and riding takes most of my time, but I try to do some work in the workshop every now and then. This time I have two Tales of the crypt to take care of. The one to the left is bought as a partly working restauration object and the one to the right is bought as a fully working players machine and I started with the right machine. The reason for getting this game in to the workshop is that when the owner got it home and started playing it he discovered some audio problem. There was only one call out played, ‘Let’s go chopping’. Whatever hit at the playfield gave the same call out, quite annoying. I started with this problem and it was an easy fix, the flat wire from the CPU was inserted one pin off. Once it was in the right position all sounds worked fine.

Next thing to look in to were the drop targets not resting. These worked properly before the game was transported to me and when opening the game I found the reason. The reset plunger had in some way managed to drop out of the coil. There was no way to get it back in without releasing the coil, so how it managed to find its way out is a mystery. When I went through the drop target assembly I replaced the sleeve with a slightly longer one to prevent it to happen again.
The general condition of the game was quite good but it needed an overhaul with cleaning, new rubbers and all the mechanical assemblies gone through.
One problem I found while test playing the game before disassembly was that the ball sometimes found its way back in to the shooter lane during play. The reason was a broken ball gate and luckily, I found the missing piece in the bottom of the cabinet since this type of gate is more or less impossible to find now days. A couple of spot welds got it back in place again
Another problem I found while playing the game was the ball got stuck in some way in the subway to the upper right VUK. I managed to replicate the problem while having the subway out of the playfield and it was a misaligned switch causing the problem.
So, on to the disassembly of the topside, every bit and piece was removed to get full access for cleaning and polish the playfield, and of course also to clean and polish all the bits and pieces.


Once I had the top side disassembled I flipped the playfield upside down to go through the underside.
All inserts and light panels was cleaned and lamps replaced, there was no budget for replacing the bulbs with led’s, but a few led’s found their way in to the game anyway. Red leds in the bumpers and those bulbs that had rubber condoms at the topside was replaced with led’s, still with the rubber condoms to make it look like ordinary lamps, but brighter. Also the blue inserts at the playfield got blue led’s since it was very hard to see if they was lit with the ordinary bulbs.


All mechanical assemblies at the playfield was disassembled, cleaned, polished and got new coil sleeves. The flippers was rebuilt with new plungers, links, bushings, eos switches, bats and sleeves.

Four out of six screw holes for the right flipper assembly was damaged and the screws was barely hanging in there and just two screws was holding the assembly in place. The damaged holes was filed with plastic filler and reinforced with tooth picks so all six screws does now have a good grip and the flipper assembly is firmly attached to the playfield.

Then back to the top side again. I actually found a found a dead body at the playfield during disassembly, certainly the right game title for this 😊


I cleaned and polished the playfield and there was a lot of dirt and grime to remove even though it had been cleaned just before the new owner bought it. During the reassembly everything was cleaned and polished before reattached to the playfield.

The scoope hole had some quite bad wear, more than what a cliffy would cover. I rebuilt the missing wood using plastic filler, touched up the missing paint, covered it with a piece of mylar and added a cliffy protector. There are some reflections in the mylar at the picture, it looks way better in person.

The scoop was almost as made to be lit, the slit for centering the ball to the plunger was perfect for letting the light through, so I couldn’t resist to add a LED. I made a bracket for the lamp holder and connected it to the GI. I thought that purple would be a nice color to use but when lit it didn’t look as good as I wanted. After testing several colors I went for a blue LED. 
The captive ball gave me some headache. When I got the game there was rubber sleeves at both posts making it almost impossible to hit the ball. After reading through some posts at pinside and looking at the flyer at ipdb I’m quite sure that the game was designed for a rubber sleeve at just the right post. This makes it easier to hit the ball, and clone a ball during multlball. 

Next up was the speaker panel. There were two problems there, beside the dirt. No sound at all from the front speakers and the DMD was missing the right most column. I first looked in to the missing sound and when looking closer I found that both left and right speaker was connected in parallel to one power amplifier. Thais gave probably a to high load and the amplifier had failed. I changed this IC and reconnected the speakers properly and then I had sound at both channels.

The DMD problem was interesting. I first didn’t have much hope to be able to repair it but it ended up being quite easy. One connection pin to the display was broken off and it was an easy fix to solder it together again. I haven’t ever seen anything like this before. It’s probably some kind of damage during production, I can’t see any other reason for a pin to snap of in this way. 
The last thing to do was to go through the boards and reflow the connectors, and the most important of all… Relocating the back-up batteries out of the CPU board. And to top it off I made a couple of score cards.