PINBALL MEDIC'S Coin-Op Arcade Technical, Maintenance Tips and Techniques - page 3

Ask Our Coin-Op Arcade and Pinball Game Tech (Aby Normal) a Technical Question.Tech Question Submission.
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Information on supporting our Tech Tip pages.

Pinball and Video Game Coin Operated Amusement game repair and Technical Tips

35. What are some Wide Body and Standard playfield glass dimensions?
To be used as a general glass size guide.

36.Who are the major Pinball manufacturers in the U.S,A.? (Whom are still in business)

37. How to get started constructing a new pinball machine. Our opinion on game themes.

38. What is the correct pinball leg length for my game?

39. What are Flyers and where to find them?

40. What does "Restored" mean? See QA Number 20 for more information on "shopped" and "refurbished" .

41. How to show and find Easter Eggs and Cows on your pinball.

42. What is a Bowler or Bingo game and why can I not find anyone to repair or refurbish these arcades?

43. What is a Scoremotor and were might a replacement be purchased?

44. Can a Pinball game be equipped with a smaller/larger game ball to multiply or decrease the game's playing speed?

45. What's an Arcade suicide battery? (This question is scarier then it sounds. Parental guidances is recommended).

46. What the heck is a Beer Seal and what does it do?

47. What is Protective Dirt and what might it do?

48. What does Factory Setting Restored mean?

49. What can be used in an emergency to clean an assembly without having to disassemble it

our 50th question contest.What is the 50th question?

Glass Cleaner Consequence.51. What is Glass Cleaner Consequence and what can be done to prevent it?

Find out how bad hacked repair can get at Coin-Op Disasters
35. What are some Wide Body and standard playfield glass dimensions?
Pinball Playfield glass Most modern pinball games use a standard sized playfield glass.

Widebody pinball games can have different playfield glass dimensions that changed with the game's title and manufacturer.

See Tech Tip 6 for more on widebody PF glass replacement.

Pinball Medic does not sale new or used playfield glass.
We are not responsible for any PF glass measurement errors on this page.

NOTE: PF=Playfield. LB.=Pounds. "=Inches.
Glass dimensions are Width" X Length" X Thickness.
All flippered pinball machines use a tempered glass (without the tempered "seal or mark").

A standard pinball playfield glass measures 21" wide x 43" length x 3/16 inch thick (double strength). It is used on most pinball machines, although there are many exceptions to this standard size.
Standard playfield glass part numbers.
08-7028-T / A-08-7028-T.
Data East / Sega / Stern 660-5001-00.
Bally G-409.
Midway 0360-00921-0000.
Game Plan 08-10003D.
Capcom GL00102. Weight: 14.9 lb..

Early solid state Williams wide body pinball machines PF glass measures 27-5/8" x 43" x 3/16" thick. 08-7359-T Weight: 16 lb..

Early Bally electromechanical (EM) PF glass (metal framed glass holder) is 21" x 41-1/2" x 3/16 inches thick. G-337, Weight: 18 lb..

Wide body early Bally solid state PF glass measures 27-1/2" x 43" x 3/16 inches. G-409-1, Weight: 16 lb..

Williams Joust Pinball machine - Measures 25 1/2" x 42 1/2" x 3/16 Inches.
Williams Hyperball and Bally Rapid Fire - Measures 21" x 37" x 3/16 Inches.
Williams Magic Clock PF glass measures 21 3/4" x 43" x 3/16" Inches.
Wide Body and Game Specific playfield glass dimensions
(by game name and manufacturer).

Pinball 2000 - Uses a special half-mirrored playfield glass on all Pinball 2000 games. Revenge From Mars and Star Wars Episode 1. 04-12739.1 Weight: 19 lb..

Wide Body glass measures 23-3/4" x 43" x 3/16" thick.
Used on the following games: Demolition Man, Indiana Jones (IJ), Judge Dredd (JD), Popeye, Road Show, Star Trek The Next Generation (STTNG), Twilight Zone (TZ). Williams 08-7028-1. Weight: 21 lb..

Wide body PF glass for early Stern (1980-1982) and other pinball machines measures 24-9/16" x 45-3/4" x 3/16" thick.
Fits - Big Game (BG), Cheetah, Flight 2000 (F2K), Freefall (Stern), Iron Maiden (IM), Orbitor 1, Split Second (SS), Viper (Stern). Weight: 12 lb...

Data East wide body PF glass size is 23.75" by 43" by 3/16" thick.
NOTE:This is incorrectly stated in the Guns N Roses and WWF Royal Rumble game manuals. See Service Bulletin number 99.
Fits: Batman Forever, Guns N Roses, WWF Royal Rumble.
660-5014-00, Weight: 15 lb...

Gottlieb early solid state System 1 wide body tempered glass measures 27-1/2" x 48-1/2" x 3/16" thick.
Fits the following games: ROLLER DISCO and GENIE, Weight: 10 lb...

Wide body tempered glass for Gottlieb early solid state System 80 measures 24-5/8" x 48-3/8" x 3/16" thick. GTBSYS80-W, Weight: 20 lb...
Fits the following games: (1981-10) Black Hole (BH), (1980-06) Circus, (1980-08) Counterforce (CF), (1982) Eclipse, (1981-02) Force II, (1982-06) Haunted House (HH), (1980-10) James Bond 007, (1980-06) Panthera, (1981-03) Pink Panther, (1980-10) Star Race, (1980-05) Spider Man, (1980-12) Time Line, (1981-09) Volcano.

Williams Slugfest pitch & bat baseball machine. 23" x 35.25" 08-7572-1

18.5" x 36.5" x 3/16" Fits - Bally Safecracker, Ticket Tac Toe. 90003 or 08-8103, Weight: 15 lb...

Stern's Orbitor - Measures 24 5/8" x 45 3/4" x 3/16 Inches.
36. Who are the major pinball manufacturers in the U.S.? (still in business)

Note: This list is obsolete. Note was added on 4/6/22.
Pinball companies and their links. All are Solid State now.
The oldest is Stern Pinball (1977-Now)
Jersey Jack pinball (2013-Now) Mostly Widebody pinball.
A small company named Spooky Pinball LLC.
37. How to Manufacture a new pinball game.
We have read many articles about modifying existing machines or building a game from scratch. We tried to do both at the same time making a Plexiglas pinball cabinet and playfield and used a great EM game as a template.
This turned out to be one of the hardest, expensive and time consuming projects imaginable. We never finished it.
Search the internet for a Plexiglas EM and the "Mirror Universe" pinball projects. They are two good exceptions to the "don't build it" rule and can provide information on home built pinball games.
Hey! Keep scrolling down to our opinions on game theme and the general state of Pinball design.

If this construction of new games warning was not enough, go here to learn more about building a pinball machine.
Pinball Construction
Custom made pinball games.
Even if you don't like the theme, game play or the long construction times of modern pinball machines, let the major three remaining pinball companies continue to make them.
It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and parts (woodworking, electronics, playfield mechanisms, CNC machine, screen printing equipment and many specialised parts) to make a modern pinball, at least a good professionally looking one.
Wait for a game with your favorite theme to be made. Play it first before you buy or at least read the opinions of many other players of a specific game (use more sources then IPDB).
After a period of time reflecting on this complex and expensive decision, save some money and buy the game used. That's the surest way to purchase a game you will actually want to play without making one yourself.
Our opinions on game themes.
There are too many pinballs based on flopped movies or very old Rock n Roll bands. At least read the script and forget the hype before building another movie themed pinball. Realize the pinball may flop with the movie (remember Waterworld?).
Manufacturers, go get yourself some young people's money and extend the future of pinball at the same time with a wider generalized pinball topic. Also, take the "Suits" out of the design process. Don't even think about skimping on the playfield toys.
You cannot wait a long time to produce a good playing and themed pinball either. Old Pinball collectors and arcades are dieing at an alarming rate. Most kids don't know what a pinball is or how to play one (playing on a cell phone doesn't count).
The End Is Nigh!

It would be refreshing to play a pinball with more of a "general theme". Anime ("panty shoots" anyone?!??), Science Fiction, classic\modern coin-op game, literature. or even a music style (instead of a pinball based on only one band) are examples of a good theme. This was how it was done in the past sixty plus years of pinball! It will work again. Think of all the royalties the pinball companies could save with a general purpose theme and a well designed game.
Can you image the uniquely American style of Jazz as a pinball? Think of all the classic upbeat Jazz tunes that could be used.
Change the game play as the game is played. Improvisational Jazz is not played the same way each time. Nether should an entertaining pinball. Keep people interested and engaged. Make it hard to truly "beat" a pinball (Oops, pun occurred.).
Devices that randomize the ball's roll, faster open field playfields with hidden paths\kick-back targets, multiple flippers (small and three inch sized), powered targets and a half pop bumper instead of slings. All these concepts and a few critical stand alone skill shots thrown in could make the game less predicable. Keep the player's attention for a longer time, dropping more quarters in as a result!.
Some unusual playfield toys would bring back the spark of pinball to the masses. Players could use more then their flipper fingers (Maybe their brains?) to strategies the best way to score big.
New thinking would reignite the pinball industry. Get this game back to being the top coin-op game. Not just a way to deliver a gum ball.
You have reached the end of our ranting opinions. Just know that without new ideals, Pinball could end up as another dead art form like Jukeboxes. The world would be made lesser as a result.
38. What is the correct pinball leg length for a game?
Legs changed in more ways then length.
Legs can be painted\plated with different colors like Chrome, Black, Grey, White and even Green. They can also have or not have a rib running most of the length of the leg.
Woodrails typically used wood legs. No one sells legs for these games. So little information is know about this type of pinball leg.

General rule - Games with deeper cabinets have shorter legs
(Example. Gotlieb's Roller Disco uses short legs).

Update: (12/12/2018) We briefly worked on a pinball with the wrong (too short and really rusty) legs on it.
According to the game's owner: A repair shop
(NOT Pinball Medic) took his game to their Austin refurbishment shop. When he got the game back, it no longer had the new legs he had put on the game!
The game's owner had spent many hours investigating and then purchasing the correct Gottlieb style legs. He got back a set of legs that were two inches too short, bent and rusty. He had paid this other shop over $800 for a refurbishment.
Pinball Medic could not tell anything was done to the game after months of this shop's work. The game only played for a short time after their "shopping" and they would not come out for warranty repair. Ouch!
This situation will be added to our CCC page

RUST is not a valid leg color. Don't be fooled by a dealer that uses bad or the wrong legs on a game.
Pinball game specific leg lengths.
The word correct is subjective in this question. The formulation of "correctness" in this case is made with the consensus of various manufacturer and other web sites provided information.
It is assumed that all four legs on a pinball are the same length. Leg levellers are used to change the playfield slope and the general height of the game. However, there may be some rare games that use shorter front legs to set the slant of a game. We don't have any proof this situation ever occurred on a commercial pinball.
With this many variables, we have decided to provide links to sites with the most probable answer to this question. Instead of presenting a large set of leg data here on this Q and A page.
We may combine all this information on a separate page at some later date.

PBR's leg page -- a good source for legs.

One of the best preserved pinball related sites had
more information

NOTE: There are many shops that sell pinball machines equipped with what ever legs were wasting space in the showroom. This is a very common issue.
However, most styles of legs are either still being made or someone has a stash of the correct legs for your game. Just don't assume your game came equipped with the right legs when you bought it.
39. What are, and how to locate arcade and pinball Flyers.
cpflyersmA flyer is a sales brochure normally created by the game manufacturer to advertise and promote their latest coin operated arcade machine. They usually list the game features and have full color photos of the arcade.
Flyers were sent to game operators, trade shows or game distributors.
Many people collect them when they don't have the space for the actual game or when they like the flyer's artwork. Others want the flyers for the games they own. It's a good relatively cheap hobby that doesn't take up the space of collecting coin-op games.
Finding Fantastic Flyers for Free.
Or better yet, collect the real paper flyers.

We will provide a sample list of links to downloadable examples.
If you find a few that you really like, try and get the actual paper flyer. They make great displays for any wall or can be framed and kept beside the full sized arcade game.

NOTE: Much like comic books, hard copy flyers can not be collected for free. Most hard copy originals will have to be purchased.

We didn't get any indication of what games the provider of this question was looking for (video game, arcade (SS,EM) or Pinball). So we will post links to sites and descriptions of what types they list.

nypin -- We like the layout of this pinball flyer hobbyist.
Way more to come. We'll add them when we get a chance.

KLOV flyers -- Source of video, arcade, pinball flyers and other game info.
40. What does "Restored" mean?
Thought we would revisit this and some other commonly abused terms when describing a game's condition or the work that has been done to a routed arcade. The original Q and A on this subject is located at QA number 20
Lets begin with one of the most abused terms. Then discuss a term we like to use and lastly concentrate on a word that has greatly increased a game's value in the eyes of game sellers.
Shopped is commonly used as a catch phrase for any condition a game can be. Totally bogus and undefined term that can be used interchangeably with the term "Minty Fresh". Shopped is so undefined and misleading it can only cause a distraction to the real issues of the game's condision.
Second is the term we think is appropriate for a used arcade. If it has been totally disassembled, cleaned, parts replaced and made to 100 percent operate as the factory intended.
Refurbished is this grand word. You can tell if a game has been truly refurbished. If the work on the game took many, many hours to accomplish and if it didn't damage the game in any way. The operation of the arcade was brought back to as close as possible to the manufacture's original concept for the game. The cabinet could still have blemishes because it was determined the game would be harmed if repainted by the refurbisher. Painting would take away the patina of the game and therefor reduce the 'value' of the arcade.
Now we get to the real purpose of this Q and A or Tip. This word means a great number of different things to many people. Some in advertisement or sells and additionally, those who live and work in the same reality as the rest of us.
The word is RESTORED.
Defined as - to bring back to or put back into a former or original state.
Synonyms for RESTORE are reconstruct, rehabilitate, reestablish, recover and paradoxically refurbish.
Unfortunately, there are other synonyms like modernize, improve and reconstitute. These last three alternative concepts should never be attempted if one is to revamp an arcade to as close as possible to its original, right out of the manufacturer, condition.
The next paragraph was gently assimilated (with editing) from here

The definition of 'restored' changes the longer you have been in the repair hobby. It's purely a relatively ambiguous term.
Ask yourself restored to what state? Original factory condition? Restored to working condition? Restored to an authentic period condition for a game of its type and age? Has it been restored to a functional state that serves its originally intended purpose?
No MODS (no modifying) should ever be used because they were not part of the original game. Unless they replace a part that often breaks because of its poor design or construction. Most MODs, in our opinion, reduce the value of a game. There is no BLING in restoration. For example, pimping LED lighting onto a pinball not equipped with them from the factory (especially on EM arcades!).
Restoration is an unattainable goal and not a conditional game state. The arcade may have old wood, ink and parts that will never be exactly like what they were from the factory. One can only strive to achieve the same manufacturing as the original factory.
A true restoration can only be done with a time machine and some old original paper money from when the game was made. An approximative restoration can occur after a full refurbishment and with the appropriate replacement parts added.
What mainly separates a refurbishment from a restoration is when carpentry, re-inking artwork or other extensive work was done after the refurbishment. Very extensive rework can be considered doing harm to a game. In fact, it can lower a game's value as less of the game remains original.
This concept is in direct contrast to many game sellers thinking of adding additional non original parts enhances the game. No it does not, in the same way as adding new white gauges or a tacky cheap tachometer enhances a stock 1927 Ford model A car. Do not ask for thousands of dollars more for a model A or arcade simply because you screwed the restoration. The value of the arcade has been dramatically reduced, unless you can find a sucker.
By restored, we mean to the original factory condition or if that can not be accomplished, at least to the authentic period condition for a game of its type and age.
41. How to show and find Easter Eggs and Cows on your arcade.
Note: We credit the link to the right for most of this information. Go there, it's a great site.

Cows are an internal joke for the people at Williams/Bally.

Easter Eggs can also be found in video games.
How to eat your Cows and Easter Eggs.

Simply go here: for much more information. The & sighn will need to be entered from a key board for the above link to work.

Appearing in many pinball machine DMD animations is DOHO. Scott Slomiany (aka. Scott Matrix) created the "DOHO" . It stands for Doris Ho, Scott´s wife.
Also look out for these things: the red button with a telecord (appears in Pat Lawlor designed games), Skull and crossbones, Champagne glasses, 3, "SM" , "Feel The Power" , Bob, "Eat at Joe´s" and the artist/designer himself.
42. What is a bowler or bingo game and why can I not find anyone to repair or refurbish these arcades?

Bowler arcade A Bowler's lane can be as long a 30 feet. It can't be set up in a small shop or home arcade.

Bowling pins and some other parts are still being made for most of these games. There is a good chance they can still be fixed.

Bingos are not usually worth as much as a popular EM pinball and can be hard to find a buyer for them.

Bingo ArcadeA Bingo repair technician can be impossible to find and this can effect game values.
We can't provide information on any repair shops. So it's caveat emptor.

Bingo arcades have another detraction.
They are considered closer to gambling then most arcades. Some games use a kind of "pay to win" feature before the game starts to make it easier to win a "free" game or tickets. Just like some modern one arm bandit gambling games.
Repair shops don't want to be caught repairing a gambling devise without a license. This is why it's really hard to also find a 8 line video gambling arcade repair shop. Most don't want to be registered for these types of devises.

Here are some helpful repair, parts and game buying links.

Ball Bowler company We think this used to be Big Ball Bowling. We don't know if this is the same company. Lots of game parts and games for sell.

Bingo Cdyn The mother load of all things Bingo arcade. Lots of schematics and manuals. The starting point for anyone wanting to repair, buy or sell a Bingo.

More Bingo game techno-babble.

There are robust repair hobby groups on the web. There is still a chance you could find someone who will repair the game locally.
Bowlers, Bingos and Wall Hangers, Oh My.

These question(s) were partially answered when the term "arcade" was used. These are in fact two different kinds of usually EM arcades. They are only similar to pinball because they both use a ball(s), relays and solenoids.

Bowler is short for Bowling. It's an arcade that simulates a bowling ally except for its length of lane and size of ball/puck. Some use a puck similar to a hockey or shuffle ally puck. Some use a mini bowling ball complete with a return lane.
There are a lot of wall hanger Bingo playfields for sale because they do have great looking artwork and can be shipped for a reasonable price. We would prefer they were none on the market because each playfield destroys an arcade.

A Bingo arcade is a simulation of the game of Bingo except a metal game ball is used to drop into a playfield hole to choose the row and collum on the Bingo card(s). Unlike pinball games, Bingos don't have flippers. Nudging and skillfull use of the ball poper rod is how the ball is controlled.

Bingo can be really hard to repair because of its complexity. They have to scan the cards by column, row and diagonaly to determine if the player has won. Many Bingos have more then one card that can be played at the same time. If you add various special winning conditions like magic squares to change the probability of winning a game, you greatly increase the number and complexity of stepper units and relay circuitry. Some stepper units have more then 60 steps on them and don't share any parts with an EM pinball stepper unit, other then springs.

Both of these games types are usually more complicated and larger then the typical EM pinball game.
Most shops don't have the space or the knowledge to repair them. Even though most schematics and game manuals are available on the web and are free to download.

Note: We like the really large score reel units in some bowlers.
We wish they had put them on a pinball game.

Pinball Medic will not work on these games because of the expensive shop space it would require. It also takes too much time to repair them during a field service call. Shipping the game would be a huge hurdle to overcome.
Note: We assume selling parts for Bingo games falls under the 25 year rule for most states gambling device laws. It's not clear whether selling parts for Bingo machines is legal.
Pinball Medic does not sell parts for, or work on Bowler or Bingo arcades.
43. What is a Scoremotor and were can I find a replacement?

Sealed-in relay -
A contact is used on a relay to permanently power on the same relay after it has been activated. The relay will remain activated unless the relay's power is interrupted.

Sling Shot - A mechanism using a special solenoid core to hit a playfield rubber ring, after a ball has hit the same ring.
This causes the ball to shoot across the playfield.

Rotor - The moving core of a motor.

Stator - The non-moving case that surrounds the rotor. Used to create electromagnetic fields to spin the rotor.

Remember - a Rotor rotates and a Stator stays stationary.

The Scoremotor's purpose - If you hit a 500 point target it will seal-in a 500 point relay.
The 100 point score relay will be pulsed five times by pulses from a Scoremotor cam switch. Advancing the 100 point score reel five steps and adding 500 points to the player's total score.
After the points have been added, a cam switch on the Scoremotor will open and deactivate the 500 point relay. At the same time other scoring playfield switches can be hit without loosing points.
This gives the scoremotor enough time to add the 500 points and the game should not loose other points scored close to the same time.
This is why playfield switches scoring multiples of 1,10,100,1000 points (score reel point values) are not placed close to each other on an EM arcade.
The Scoremotor produces most of the solenoid coil pulses the game needs to advance a stepper unit, score reel, activate or deactivate a relay, pulse a chime, activate an outhole, almost any other solenoid coil or for resetting everything to start a new game.
It does not pulse directly activated mechanisms.
Example: Sling Shot or Pop Bumper.

Nerdy Note:
By using a score motor and cam switches multiple scores can be added at the same time. This is as close as one can get to multi-threading on an EM game.
With the 500 point relay sealed in, the 100 point relay can still be pulsed by anything scoring 100 points on the playfield. Including the 10 point score reel when a carry over has occurred.

Original Motor Builder for Williams and a lot more early EM arcades. They opened in 1958.
Motors are vary precious to them and they have a large minimum order requirement. If they even still make a replacement motor for your game.
It's better to order indirectly through the link on the answer portion of this question.
Scoring a Scoremotor.

A scoremotor is one of the most important and hardest working geared motors in an electromechanical game.
This motor turns score motor cams activating multiple switches to pulse coils for the required number of pulses and at the appropriate times.
It's the pulsing hart of the arcade and are mostly found in EM arcades, pinball machines and gun games.
The Scoremotor uses multiple brass gears to slow down the drive motor's speed. The drive motor has a metal gear at the end of its rotor. The spinning rotor is lifted up into the motor's stator when the power is first applied. This solenoid action engages the rotor's metal gear into the softer brass gearing each time the motor is activated and disengages these gears when deactivated. This helps to keep the scoremotor cams from turning when the drive motor is spinning down after deactivation.
The metal rotor mounted gear can slowly destroy the softer brass gearbox gear. After 20-30 plus years, usually the gear closest to the motor is destroyed. Although in some cases, some of the other brass gears wear out too.
Because the original motor builder (still in business) stopped offering motor/gear rebuilds, when either this motor or its gears are destroyed it ends the playability of the game. The game will never reset or operate without a working Scoremotor. It's dead.
DON'T PANIC just yet!
The parts aftermarket has come to the rescue!
PBR has remade both Williams and Gottlieb type replacement gears, motor gear boxes and a new Williams motor geared toward resolving this situation.
The costs are reasonable when taking into account the possibility of the old part turning your game into a parts donor.
They sell the brass gear closest to the motor for $20. A motor rebuild kit (gears, etc) for $40 and a whole new motor mechanism for $90 plus shipping for EM Williams pinball machines and perhaps Gottlieb and other game manufacturers.
They can rebuild the old motor for you, however, with two way shipping, it will cost more then a new motor. So why do this? The old scoremotor will hold down lots of paper.
If all you can do is solder and turn screws, get the new replacement motor and forget about repairing this part for another couple of decades. It's almost the same Williams EM motor and gearbox. It now has all metal gears except the last one, farthest from the motor, is made of brass. If the cam switches jam the brass gear strips to ensure the motor doesn't bind, overheat and cache fire. Fire is never good in a game made from wood.
A little budget will get you the gear. It's not hard to replace the old one. Just don't grease anything including the brass gears!

PBR linkPBR - They at least have the Williams 60 Hz. version, Gottlieb Scoremotor and many other arcade game motors.
Call them as they stock more then what's on their site.
44. Can a game be equipped with a smaller or larger game ball to multiply or decrease the game's playing speed?

Normally you should not put a smaller size of game ball on a playfield designed for a larger ball. The game's main coils like flippers and pop bumper coils would be too strong for a very small game ball. Also, the ball would probably get stuck under a playfield rubber ring and break general illumination lights or a playfield ring plastic post.
There are games designed to take a smaller then stock (One inch instead of a 1 1/16 inch ball) to speed up the game. There is a least one pinball that uses the white que ball from a billiards table for the game ball. Some coils on this game are 115 volts!
Go to Question 22 to learn about game ball sizes.

A slight increase in ball size can be used to slow down or make a skill shot harder to get.
We assume most games with the wrong sized ball installed are the result of the game's refurbisher or a maintenance operator not knowing when installing the ball and are not the result of malfeasance. It also might have been used to shorten the total length of a game (make more money from a game due to short game play times) or to make a skill shot impossible to make (this also shortens play time per game).

A standard game ball sometimes can be placed in a game designed for a smaller ball to slightly decrease the number of free games caused by high scoring skill shoots. A larger ball makes the flippers weaker and therefore all skill shots and top of playfield targets are harder to hit. This slows down the ball's speed and diminishes the length of ball travel. Slanting the playfield is also a way to cheat customers with a short game.
The top of the ball must be checked to see if it will contact any playfield plastics that use shorter mounts for smaller game balls. If the ball ever hits the playfield plastics it will break them. Also, if the rubber rings are lower then on a full sized game ball pinball, the ball can lift up from the playfield and cause playfield artwork destruction when it lands.
45. What's an Arcade suicide battery?
This devise should not exist in a normal non greedy society.
It's part of great classic games like Darkstalkers (Oh, Felicia, you pretty kitty).

Historical Note: Because some video arcade game manufacturers (Capcom and Sega are the two major ones) didn't want any form of their games to be released in a different format or on another manufacture's equipment, they installed a really diabolical anti-hacking scheme. They combined the memory chip with its battery!
This memory and battery combination not only holds the game's settings, but a key to unlock the game's code so the arcade will boot up and run. Usually a memory map for the game. When this is gone there is no way to put it back into the memory chip as it is built into a blob of epoxy with the battery.
The game can now only be played on the system made by one manufacturer. When this non-replaceable battery died, so did the memory's data and the arcade! Most repairmen call this a suicide battery video game. The game commits suicide when the battery dies.
This system and battery is designed to limit the lifespan of an arcade and to provide copy protection.
It consists of a special memory chip that is backed up by a nonrecoverable battery. This memory chip holds the decryption codes for either the game's code or it's bus line address decoder. When this battery dies, so does the Arcade! This is not the friendly screen of death requiring just a reboot. This completely and permanently causes game death.
There are some techniques to try and avoid this final end of game. However, this is both hard to accomplish and sometimes doesn't work all of the time due to the amount of acid damage from the battery.
These are potted chips with a battery implanted in the Epoxy. This is not easy to bypass and it is illegal to even try to do so.
Our advice is to avoid these rare and dieing games and buy something that doesn't have a suicide battery.
It's no longer just bad capacitors in the game that will Harakiri it. This time it's designed obsolescences in the circuit board that will kill the game.
There is always a way. Check out this older then dirt site for information on what games commit Seppuku and a lot of other information about this great tragedy in the name of greed.

The Dead Battery Society

Membership dues are not required.
46. What is a Beer Seal and what does it do?

The pinball bear sealThis photo will be replaced as soon as we can make a better one.
The photo shows where the seal goes, but also shows a two piece seal that would not be standard on a pinball (and too thin of a seal).
Most people install a 10 inch(ish) length of weather stripping that you can get by the roll at your local home improvement big box store. It's not usually the best of quality replacement material to use.
This same weather striping is what is sold for a premium at most pinball part sites.

Good: What can be used is Heavy density, closed-cell PVC vinyl foam tape 3/4" wide X 3/8" thick about 10 inches long (measure first before applying).
Stop thinking this is a seal drinking beer.
This is instead one of our favorite trivia questions we like to ask our customers (next to what does the light on a playfield apron indicate, that is probably question 48).
Williams, Gottlieb, Bally and all of the other major manufacturers put this seal under the lockdown bar between the bar and the playfield glass.
It tries and usually fails to seal. It can only seal out Beer. No other liquid can possibly be spilt on a pinball.
The general relativity theory is it's there to both keep beer out of the coin mech (and coin box areas) and to keep the glass from rattling or hitting against the lockdown bar.
If it ever worked (it doesn't mainly because it is usually old or missing), then beer would find a way around the playfield glass's side edges and damage more of the apron and playfield wood.
It's still a big mess if liquid is ever spilled on the playfield glass. Seal or not.

Better: PBR sells the right stuff.
47. What is Protective Dirt? (Posted 3/18/20)
This term was used to facetiously describe a filthy playfield as shown HERE
It transmogrified into a situation that can actually "preserve" a playfield with specific dirt configurations.

Warning: Not all dirt can be categorized as "protective" and can cause part damage from excessive moister and removal difficulties. Also, don't spread regular dirt on a game to "protect" it. This might have been already done by another repair shop we know of. Don't add more.

It looks like we have wasted another QnA on a silly topic. What was we supposed to do while social isolating during a pandemic? Our past government knew for months it was coming, believe in science.
A term we exclusively developed, after years of research, to describe the dry dust or dirt that has settled usually on a playfield without a playfield glass. Most of these pinball games have been kept in storage or a dirty abandoned room with stuff piled on them for years.

This unique contaminate "protects" the artwork, wood and playfield plastics from ultraviolet damage from sun light (playfield sun screen!) and helps to prevent wood from dry rot.

It seems to provide the correct amount of moister the wood needs to stay non cracked. While preventing physical damage caused by the hack saw resting on the playfield (in rare cases). This special dirt also seems to protect the artwork from sun fading, but can't provide rust protection to the game ball.
48. What does Factory Settings Restored mean?
(Posted 3/18/20) Updated: (8/21/20)

Game manufacturers could have stopped the damage caused by this situation decades ago, but chose to save a buck and ensure game destruction.
Non volatile memory (kits) has been around for most of this time and are currently used to replace the battery backed up memory in both Coin-Op Video games and Pinball machines.
Why did engineers wait too long? Because the Suits stopped them, design obsolescence at its worst.
It is truly critical the batteries be moved off the circuit board or better yet, the memory chip needs to be replaced by a non volatile replacement memory kit. Most of these kits reguire a chip socket be installed.
It simply means you have waited way too long to change the batteries on the pinball's and arcade's MPU board. They are dead and might be leaking.
All of your high scores and game set up settings have been replaced by the data in the game's ROM chips. This is refured to as "Factory Settings".

Most game owners don't know there are batteries on the MPU board that keep game information during the time the game is powered off. They don't replace them til after battery acid has taken its toll on the circuitry around the batteries. There is usually 360 degree damage around the battery holder.
There are plenty of times we have had to replace instead of repair the MPU circuit board. The only salvation for some games is new boards are available for most pinball games. Otherwise there would be more 350 pound paper weights lying around in garages.
49. (Posted 8/21/20) What in an emergency can be used to clean assemblies without having to disassemble it.
Hint: It's not WD-40.

Pinball Medic normally doesn't use any form of liquid cleaner or lubrication on plastic parts. We do use a drop of zero weight 100% synthetic oil on metal to metal joints (used in steppers) and on the score motor's felt oiling pad.

We have been spending $20 for a very small can of potentiometer (pot) cleaner that does not destroy the pot. Or using a slightly cheaper cleaner (brake cleaner) to clean off solder paste on the back of circuit boards.
While our customers pay for these expensive products, it doesn't seem to make them or us very happy to have to use them.

Cleaners are highly flammable and use lots of VOCs. Use a lot of space for evaporation to prevent brain damage. It is a must to wear gloves when using spray on liquid cleaners. Eye protection too. It's also smart to use a cloth rag at the bottom of a stepper unit to catch excess solution before it flows onto nearby assemblies.

Updated 4/06/22.
We have discovered a "miracle cleaner" that leaves only the smallest of films on contacts and is easier on plastics too.

For a fee*, we will tell you what cleaner we use.

After 30 years of repairing arcades, we have had problems with rusted on shaft nuts or issues with assemblies that are really hard to disassemble due to lack of working space or brittle slide contact boards. Breaking irreplaceable parts on an arcade can stop it from operating ever again. It is not always safe to take apart every assembly.
We sometimes need a fast, not permanent method of emergency (cold blue) "repairing" an assembly so we can test the rest of the game. We go back and fix it the right way. For a long time there was nothing we could use for this purpose. We only recently found a relatively cheap cleaner while doing car maintenance that does not try to eat plastic (not tested on all plastics), but does remove oil and other contaminates without leaving a dielectric film. Or costing our retirement fund to purchase.

*Please know: We got you! No fee is needed for now.
These are free to use (but don't plagiarise) tech tips and we would not charge for information on them unless we just have to.
Click HERE to find out or for a closer look at the cleaner. This is available in smaller cans for about $8 at most car parts providers.
50th. Pinball Medic politely asked for suggestions for this historic Tech Tip and got NOTHING!

One can not answer, through other means, the same question indefently. We think tips can help the Hobbist, repair Professional or Route owner do a better job or at least prevent game damage.

Are we wrong? Should we stop at 50? Could we stop?

The answer to these three tantrums is NO. You can still submit a question at any time.

Note: We are keeping the free air guitar we offered for a good suggestion. Maybe that was't a good enough prize? Maybe a bottle of this beer would have been better?

Posted 8/22/20. Updated 3/22/22.

It took 16 years to get to the 50th Tech Question.

We could have used some suggested tip topics for additional questions and answers.

We can't think of everything someone would need: to know how to repair, to ask how something works or to question fundamental coin-op arcade knowledge.

This question is so symbolic for us and the world.

Hmmmm, OK, that should do nicely.

The 50th Tech Tip will be a full page of coin-op schematic, electronic, mechanical and part SYMBLES!

If you don't speak up you get what you didn't ask for. Explaining symbles will at least help all skill levels of repairmen/repairwomen.

51. What is Glass Cleaner Consequence and what can be done to prevent it?

Have you ever wondered why your backglass has missing inked artwork along the bottom edge, just above the lift bar?

GCC is more then just a computer software compiler. It's a serious backglass condition. This backglass inked artwork disease can't be undone, but fortunately can be easily prevented.

A simple change in the method of cleaning the backglass can help to prevent Glass Cleaner Consequence (or G.C.C.).

Glass cleaners commonly use vineger and other corrosive chemicals. Many of them can't be used on a car's tinted glass. They can attack the tint film.

These non PH ballanced liquids run down an installed backglass. Pooling in the game's glass frame or inside the lift bar. Using a capillary process, the liquid cleaner travels the entire length of the lift bar. Wicking up into the inked side of the backglass. Over the years this destroys the artwork along the bottom of the score glass (much like a dead leaking battery damages the traces on a MPU board).

Pinball Medic is not responsible for any backglass or game damage caused by this question or answer.

Note: Glass Cleaner Consequence is the name we assigned to this condition and is not a coin-op term.

Posted 3/22/22. Updated 4/06/22.

Have you ever cleaned your installed Score glass (backglass) with a liquid spay on cleaner?

If yes, you have commited a common game owner's act of arcade aggression.

Maybe we should not have waited for the 51st. QnA to answer this important question?

What can I do if i've done this for years to my game?

Answer; very little. The damage has already started. Other then replacement of the backglass.
Rinsing the back side of the glass will rust the lift bar and perhas spread the artwork disease. This should not be done.

How can I help prevent this damage?

A) Instead of spraying the glass, spray the cleaning cloth. This prevents the cleaning liquid from running down the vertical glass. Don't soak the cleaning cloth. If it becomes wet, change to another cloth.
Note: The playfield glass should be cleaned with a different cleaning cloth.

B) Use the same cleaning method as option A but take the backglass out of the game to clean it. This is always dangerous, so we recommend option A.
Option B can be used to clean the inked side of the backglass. Only if extreme caution is used.
Dampen a very finely textured cloth with either D.I. or steamed distilled water (cooled down to room temp.) to clean the inked side of the glass. Don't drag the cloth but pad it down lightly onto the ink to help prevent damage.
If the ink is already damaged by either age or G.C.C., there is almost no known safe way to clean this side of the backglass!
Many more Q & A to come!
Copyright 2022 Pinball Medic All Rights Reserved.
Updated 4/7/22.
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