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Welcome to Pinball Intrigue, where I indulge my fascination with the silver ball. Here you will find posts regarding my pinball experiences, pinball machine repairs and mods, a virtual pinball build, and links to other pinball sites.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Update: More Bad News and What's Next

My fears that I expressed in the last post were realized when I temporarily put the 1/4" mahogany panels on the sides of the VP cabinet. Of course, the extra 1/2" of material, when combined with the warped veneer, is now too wide for the side rails and lockbar to fit. I have three choices:
  • Order a new custom lockdown bar and siderails. This will be over $100, maybe over $200, not including the cost to brass plate it.
  • Build my own lockdown bar and siderails out of wood with steampunk features such as copper pipe.
  • Sand off the veneer, and repaint the cabinet to simulate mahogany.
I'm leaning towards option #2, as I can make it easily fit with the theme. However, there won't be as much brass and it might end up looking more primitive. My roommate Kelly (who I mentioned as the driving force in acquiring CFTBL, Junkyard, and Popeye) feels that the last option is the best. He does woodworking and painting, so maybe he knows better, but I'm skeptical at the amount of work this would entail, especially when combined with my lack of skill in those areas. We'll see.

Up next, I've ordered some parts for the "real" pinball machines. For White Water, though I'd love to swap out all my bulbs for LEDs to help with power consumption and heat (and maybe help fix the reset problem), I've started more slowly with an upgraded LH6 ROM chip which shipped today. This is the latest ROM version and is dedicated to home use, so it may fix some other issues even if it doesn't help with the resets.

The second part ordered was a "green-up kit" for CFTBL from gamestencils.com. One of the main problems with the hologram of the creature is that over time the green color oxidizes and turns a shade of blue. You'll often see machines being sold where the seller states that the hologram is "functional but blue". Do to licensing costs, expense of technology, and limited customer base, replacement holograms are non-existent. A few years ago a pinball parts vendor sold some replacement holograms, although there are now horror stories of those repro holograms turning red! I don't know whether that's true or not - I'd have to dig into it more.

Anyway, a working hologram has several different parts (see this webpage for a good explanation). In the mentioned explanation, the light, mirror, hologram, and playfield insert are necessary to actually see the creature; the rest of the parts involve movement. The green-up kit addresses two of the four necessary parts: the light and the mirror. A bright green LED is provided to replace the old bulb, and a new mirror that has been tinted green is also provided. When I looked on eBay at green LED hologram upgrades (which contain only the bulb), I couldn't find any negative feedback that said it didn't work. Then when I found the green-up kit, I figured why not go a step further and upgrade both the bulb and the mirror? I can't wait to see if this restores the green back to my hologram. I must have go the last one because they are now temporarily out of stock.

Some other good news: Kelly has agreed to try to sell the Popeye machine, as long as it is for a great price. We have it advertised locally on Craigslist. I have a feeling it won't sell, but that's okay - he's open to the idea now. I had to promise him that despite the VP project, we will still purchase "real" replacement games for Junkyard and Popeye (if it sells). He actually mentioned Arabian Nights, which had me drooling! That wasn't a hard promise to make... ;)

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