Saturday March 02, 2024

Project Overload =)
  Posted by: AceBHound on Jan 22nd, 2012 2:09 PM
I'm kindof on project overload at the moment. Way too many things in the works including a few household projects.

1. Williams Pinball CPU Tester
Bought this from Ed Cheung at the end of last year. This is a great little board Ed engineered to help diagnose Williams System 3-11 Pinball MPU boards. I have some of the parts like dip switches, led lamp matrix arrays, lcd display.. but I'll need to order a bunch of parts to complete it. Nice thing is, this will help make repairing any Williams pinball boards much easier.

2. Smart-Ball Alley - Audio Issue
Still have the audio issue with the Smart Ball Alley (skee-ball style alley with dot matrix display). I replaced the power amp & also the preamp but that didn't fix the issue. The next component to replace comes right before the preamp & is the digital-to-analog converter IC (TDA1543). I ordered some of these off eBay end of last year but haven't had the chance to change it out & machine is kindof buried in the garage.

3. Mr. & Mrs. Pac-man Pinball Machine
I actually have a few of these. They're in various states of non-working condition :) Corrosion to clean up on the MPU boards, wire harnesses that need to be redone. The big thing holding me up is this Molex/AMP pin extractor tool I need for the 0.084" wire harnesses. It's a pricey tool and I'll probably get one when I put a combined order in with an electronics site.

4. Haunted House Pinball Machine
Just got this end of last year. It's blowing its display fuse & I think it's a power supply issue but haven't had the chance to take a look at it. Looking forward to getting this one up and running.

5. Pinball LED Display Project
This project was moving along fast last year but I had a few design considerations holding me up. Hopefully get back to work on this one over the course of this year & be able to order some PCB boards.

6. Memory Adapter
I'm planning to do a few memory adapter designs with Ramtron ICs. Probably more for my personal use but depending on what I come up with I might offer a few for sale. This project will probably come before the displays since it's a much simpler PCB board design.

7. NFL Blitz Arcade Game
Got this arcade game sometime mid-year last year. It had a failing hard drive and I had to rescue the data off of it. Need to fix some of the micro-switches and the monitor is a little shaky so could probably be re-capped. I haven't re-capped a monitor yet and don't know if I'll end up doing this one since it's not a game I'll be keeping & the shaking really isn't all that noticeable.

8. Data East MPU Repair
I have this Data East MPU out of a Laser War pinball and I was thinking of doing a time-lapse video of the repair. The board's just been sitting though, I'm torn on whether I want to put in all the time on this repair, but at this point I'm thinking if I work on it a little at a time it won't be so bad. Probably have to replace 1/3 of the components on the board, but it would be neat to show that you can repair just about any board with some effort.

9. Hot Tub Repair
The heating element in my hot tub (a Jacuzzi Quanta from the early 80s) died end of last year. So that added a new project for early this year. Got the old heating element out, now just need to order the new one and get it installed.

10. Various House Projects
Have some rooms to paint in our house still. Have a bunch of other projects/repairs on the house planned for this year that will take up some time.

That's by no means a complete list. There are many other pinball machine projects waiting to be worked on, including some that my father and I will get a chance to clear-coat the playfields on for the first time. Also, many of my personal pinball machines have developed little issues that will need to be fixed just from use over the last couple of years. It's part of owning pinball machines though, I just haven't had the ability to move the machines in a place where I can get into them to fix their issues due to space issues toward the end of last year.

There is no shortage of things to do this year, which is good for web-site ammo =) But my first priority will be getting more organized at the beginning of this year so the projects go much smoother.

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