Wednesday, August 31, 2011

'Medieval Madness' Madness!

A friend of mine recently purchased a Medieval Madness machine. It's in pretty good shape, except that the castle didn't work! Well, as anyone who has played MM knows, the castle is the biggest toy in the game. The previous owner included a replacement gate/drawbridge assembly. I looked up instructions on how to replace the assembly online, and was shocked to find that the instructions were over 20 pages long! (Here's a link to the tutorial.)

 So, with a stack of instructions in hand, I set out to swap the gate assemblies. Besides shopping an entire game, this is one of the largets projects I've worked on. I figured it would take about 5 hours, and I was right on. That included time to install Cliffy protectors and plastic protectors, and clean anything I came across. Besides stalling out while testing the gate. It did take about 4.5 hours. Unlike the instructions, I opted to unsolder the optos, and that only took a moment. I assume its much faster to unsolder and resolder the optos, than to pull all the wires out, one by one, but both methods work.

Here's a few photos I snapped along the way:

Here you see the old mech in the foreground, and the new mech behind it. The silver disc on the drawbridge is a weight that was added to allow the drawbridge to drop. I'm not sure why this was needed, the only issue seemed to be the obviously broken gate (in the top photo you see that it snapped clear in half!). A little adjustment of the set screws and switches on the drawbridge link allows you to properly raise or lower the bridge. I also found shards of soda cans taped to the underside of the gate. Someone needed shims and got creative! We've all been there...

Here's a shot underneath the game, with the mech and moat removed. It's a pretty large hole.

This is a shot with the exploding castle mech removed, as well as the stone pathway into the castle. In order to install the Cliffy around the sinkhole here, I had to remove the catapult and left ramp, as well as much of this area. I removed much more for the Cliffy than I did to actually replace the gate mech! I love seeing that clean, untouched wood though... niiiice... 

It was fun, and I learned a bit about MM. Namely, DON'T TRUST TEST MODE. I was able to get each item to work in test mode, but not all together in order to pass the test. I finally got fed up and just played a game, and it worked perfectly in game mode! We played about a dozen games, and it worked great every time! Don't be afraid to dig into your pins. Most were made with operators in mind, and are somewhat easy to pull apart. If you don't trust yourself, take lots of photos! Every time I have to mess with soldering, I take lots of photos to be certain and get all the different colored wires in the correct spot. Mixing wires leads to more repairs! Now onto that playfield swap....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

UPDATE: A Tale of Two Pin*Bots

After rushing to make at least one playable Pin*Bot in time for last months DCP Open House, I was left with one unit playable for the event, and another left in the carhold. *COUGH*

One game was cleaned up and shopped, while the other went untouched. It did however give it's kidney so that the cleaner machine may live. Sure enough, the cleaned up and beautified Pin*Bot was on display for the open house and has incurred dozens and dozens and dozens of plays in the meantime.

What of the kidney-less PB? Well, it became a solid starter project for another DCP member... their first pin! Beats the heck out of my first pin, a Bally Odds & Evens. It had a gorgeous backglass, but didn't even come with a power cord! Still, that was a nice machine to learn on, as I hope Pin*Bot will be for it's new owner. Glad to see the seeds of pinball spreading across the state.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Duke City Pinball Open House July 2011 Recap

The July 2011 DCP Open House has passed! We had a great time with lots and lots of great food and pinball. The $1 World Cup Soccer 94 tournament brought in about $70, with nearly $50 awarded to our first place winner.

First Place: Colson F - 1,467,165,690 points
Second Place: Nelson F - 1,092,809,580 points
Third Place: Zach B - 999,448,960 points

Still working out the tournament kinks, but everyone (except me) was pretty patient with the long line to play! Zach racked up nearly one billion points early in the competition. From that point on, everyone was chasing him down and racing to do so before the 9pm deadline. Very late in the game, Colson knocked Zach out by 500 million points! After 9pm passed and final paid games were being played, Nelson eventually landed in second place by less than 100 million points separating him from third. It should be noted that Hunter jumped on for a few unpaid games and blew all of those scores out of the water! I think he finished with over 3 billion on his last game. Gotta pay to win though! Hunter will be boning up on his yoga and meditation to focus his entries next time around....

Lots of new faces this time around too! Welcome Ray, Rodney, Cameron, Douglas, Kristen, Emily, Kevin and Christina among others! Thanks for joining us!

The photos seem to have been taken at the very start and very finish of the event, as many games seem unattended, but it was a solid mix of folks one each game, as well as playing Pinball FX2 on the Xbox in the living room.

Thanks to everyone for making this months open house a success and a special thank you to Bryan for bringing his awesome Addams Family machine! It was a hit with everyone, and a nice surprise as no one knew it was going to be there! It's collectors like Bryan that keep the hobby alive! I know we all get a little nervous moving these machines back and fourth. One wrong move and you're looking at hours of repairs! Thanks again Bryan!

Photos of the event are located here.

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