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Pinball: France has a pinball machine!

I’ve been traveling recently and on my travels I have searched for pinball machines, however none have been found. Until now!

I was in France last November and during that time I never saw a pinball machine. Of course I didn’t travel too far out of the Gard département.

Three weeks ago I flew to . . . → Read More: Pinball: France has a pinball machine!

Phoenix: The Game Over Signal & Special Switches

In my Williams Phoenix pinball machine, there are two ‘kickers’ and three ‘pop/jet bumpers’. They are not completely under CPU control. Basically the way they work is the ball hits the (special) switch which goes to the driver board into an AND gate (shared with the CPU’s PIO output for that solenoid) which goes to . . . → Read More: Phoenix: The Game Over Signal & Special Switches

Phoenix: Sound Board Woes

After all that work replacing the interboard connector on my Phoenix pinball machine, I’m now treated with problems from the sound board. I think this machine has it out for me: Quick drains on the balls in play, letting my girlfriend & her friend consistanty win over me. Its saying “Just put me out of . . . → Read More: Phoenix: Sound Board Woes

Phoenix: The Lamp & Switch Matrix

My Williams Phoenix Pinball machine uses (roughly) 200+ Watts of power when on. Translated: Some components can get very hot. Especially if the pinball is left on 24/7 as it may be at an arcade or a bar.

To the right is a photo of some General Illumination power resistors (click to enlarge). As burned . . . → Read More: Phoenix: The Lamp & Switch Matrix

Phoenix: The Dreaded "Interboard Connector"

Williams pinball machines use several different circuit boards, all tied together in some way shape or form. In the back cabinet of Phoenix, there are three: The Power Supply Board (right), the CPU Board (left-top), and the Driver Board (left-bottom). Standard molex connectors are used throughout the game. Most are 9-pin connectors going from the . . . → Read More: Phoenix: The Dreaded "Interboard Connector"

Phoenix: The Blanking Signal

The day after I thought I had fixed my Phoenix Pinball’s problems and had a working machine, that solenoid fuse blew again.

This time, however, I could work around it by removing the fuse before I powered on the game, and only inserting it after powering it on.

Not having a clue as to how . . . → Read More: Phoenix: The Blanking Signal

Phoenix: Getting it working

The Phoenix pinball machine, before it is even playable, needed working flippers and solenoids. After I purchased it, in all the excitement, I decided to just power it on and see what happens (the previous owner did power it up in his garage for me, so I knew nothing catastrophic would happen).

The CPU booted . . . → Read More: Phoenix: Getting it working

Pinball: Williams System 4 "Phoenix"

I recently purchased a ‘non-working’ 1978 Phoenix pinball machine by Williams. The previous owner said it was blowing the solenoid fuse on power-up and the left flipper didn’t work. Also, the backglass was flaking pretty bad, and the machine shows tons of signs of wear and age.

As this is my first pinball machine, . . . → Read More: Pinball: Williams System 4 "Phoenix"