ath of Adventure
- For a cheap replacement motor for the PoA, read Clay's $2.99 PoA motor repair document. Note that I have been unable to find that particular Radio Shack part-number recently, so please let us know if you locate a suitable replacement.
- Read about getting your gearbox assembly rebuilt here.
- I have received several reports that Steve Young at The Pinball Resource is selling exact replacement PoA motors for roughly $28. Note that this is JUST the motor and not the entire gearbox/motor assembly.
- The PoA microswitch that is positioned right above the Mode Saucer entrance sometimes gets nailed by the ball. This might cause the switch's contacts to bend and short together, thus shorting the entire row. If this happens, carefully separate the contacts. I would suggest placing heat shrink tubing over these contacts the next time you have the soldering iron out. This will help prevent the shorts, but will not stop the problem. I am going to try constructing a "ball shield" to mount over this exposed switch and end the problem entirely.
- If your PoA seems to "stutter" when you're playing a game, but seems to work fine in the self-test mode, check the flipper optos. A marginal opto is often the cause of otherwise unexplainable PoA movement problems.
- If you can never seem to get the ball to roll down the right side of the path, see if this tip from Gary Hoh can help:
The "Lite Jackpot" plastic sign on the left ramp was positioned on the back set of screws that serves as the opto mounting, and the PoA would hit the plastic when tilted to the right. I moved the plastic to the front set of screws and the PoA now has a free range of motion and I can get the ball to either lane more consistently now! The flyer shows that the plastic in the prototype was mounted in the back, but it makes no difference to the plastic where it's located.
- Order a couple of extra yellow ball release gates (part #03-8844) to be safe. See page 2-34 in the yellow IJ Operations Manual.
- Read about getting your gearbox assembly rebuilt here.
- The symptoms of trough opto failure can be quite strange. Basically, the game gets confused about how many balls are in the trough. This can cause two balls to be shot into the plunger lane, the ball in play to end while still being played, or the opposite: the game might think the ball is still in play when it has drained.
- When an opto failure occurs, the problem will often be intermittent. The self test might pass, but when you're playing, the symptoms above will present themselves. When this happens, swap-in a known working opto board and see if that fixes things. Hint: Keep an extra set of opto boards handy. I kept the boards left over from installing the trough upgrade kit for this purpose.
- In the self test, the trough optos show-up as a square when they are not interrupted (no ball present).
- Make sure you have the upgraded to the opto boards with the rubber grommets in the mounting holes (part #A-18244). The original design for the boards called for direct mounting of the PCBs to the trough. This causes the parts on the PCBs to break their solder connections because of the constant banging and vibrations present in the trough. The upgraded opto PCBs have rubber shock mountings which isolate the board from the trough thus increasing reliability. You may need to upgrade the trough itself also to hold the new opto boards (or you may want to fix the divot problem below). The new trough is part number A16809-2 and replaces A16809 on page 2-21 in the yellow manual.
- If you don't want to upgrade the trough opto boards, try reheating the solder connections on the boards to fix any cracked joints. Most commonly, you should pay particular attention to the emitters/receivers and the large 270 ohm 2 watt resistors as they are the most common problems (especially on the detector board).
- If you're having trouble getting the balls to feed through the trough, check for small indentations in the bottom of the trough where each ball rests. After time, the soft metal in the bottom of the trough becomes slightly indented at each ball's resting place and the balls cannot roll down the trough to the solenoid. You can fix this several ways, but here's one idea: Very carefully grind the indentations flat using a Dremel tool or other means. Do not remove any more metal than necessary! To help prevent the divots from forming, you can carefully line the bottom of the trough with mylar. This keeps the balls from wearing directly on the trough metal and as a bonus, keeps the metal "filings" from being carried onto your playfield by the ball and scratching things all up.
- For LOTS more information on the trough, check-out Garrett Lee's excellent IJ Trough Document. Note that this is a mirror of Garrett's documents.
- This tip is from Mark Schey:
If all the optos on the Idol lock fail at the same time, look to the Opto PCB Assembly (A-13901-2) located next to the left flipper. When you lift the playfield, it will be the most upper-left PCB. (It's actually nowhere near the Idol lock, so it could be easily overlooked.) Check the wire connections and the solder and you should be back in business. For more information about the board, check out page 3-20 of the operations manual.
This happened to me right after rebuilding the flippers. It's easy accidently move a wire on the Opto PCB when you're rebuilding the left flipper.
If I had known this before I wouldn't have taken apart the entire Idol assembly and resoldered all the connections. At least I know they're good for a while... :)
ode Start Saucer
- To make the Mode Saucer more "sticky," bend the deflector so it is curved and directs the ball down into the saucer. After extended playing, this deflector tends to get bent straight up from getting hit by the ball. This causes the ball to "bounce" out of the saucer.
- For long-term reliability, drill the saucer's deflector screw holes through the playfield. On the underside of the playfield, install some T-nuts or nuts with washers and bolt the deflector down using these. This will prevent the factory screws from backing or stipping out from repeated banging by the ball.
- If the saucer (mode start kicker) ejects the ball irradically (not to the left flipper everytime), then the red plastic shield is probably chipped. The part is easliy replacable and runs about $2.00.
- If you're ready to perform a very thorough "shopping" of your Indy (or just want to see how it's done), check-out Garrett Lee's excellent How-To Note that this is a mirror of Garrett's document as he no longer seems to be hosting it himself.
- Stefan Ljungstrom has written some docs on how he built and installed a lighting board that goes behind the jackpot plastic on the DMD panel. Check under "Indiana Jones" on his site. Also of note are some instructions on how you can protect your plastics as well as a well-built pinball site for IJ, TZ, and others.
- To help prevent breakage of the slingshot plastics, use fender washers. Fender washers are large washers with small holes (as opposed to a normal washer where the hole size is related to the washer diameter). I found 3/16 x 1" fender washers at the local hardware store for $.29 each. This size appears to be a close fit for IJ (a little more sticks-out on the sides than I'd like, but they work). Place one washer under each slingshot plastic on the post nearest to the flippers. This will prevent the ball from striking the plastic and breaking it as the washer is slightly larger than the corner diameter of the plastic.
- Buy some extra drop targets (part #03-8750) for the 3-target bank.
- Buy some extra drop targets (part #03-8033) for the captive ball drop target.
- If you have trouble with the switch on the captive ball drop target, try replacing it with a wire actuator switch instead of the lever actuator version.
- IJ's diverter is powered by a dual coil like the flippers use. If one of the coils dies, you lose the diverter. These coils are driven from the FlipTronic board just like a flipper -- with "power" and "hold" circuits.. When replacing this coil, you should use a FL-11753 flipper coil as described on page 2-33 in the yellow manual.
- A reader informed me that the drop target stickers are Williams part number 31-1784. Cover your shiny, new drop target stickers with cut-to-fit mylar before you even touch them with a ball. This will help them lead a long, unmarred life.
- If you've had the experience (and survived the resulting heart attack) of your IJ suddenly and without warning setting the sound volume at 100%, you should upgrade your ROMs. Version L-3 of the sound ROM fixed this mildly exciting bug.
inball in General
- As your #44 lamps burn-out, replace them with #47 bulbs. They are not quite as bright as #44's, but that also means they operate at a lower temperature.
- Never use any kind of lubrication on the flipper mechanisms. Doing so will only cause the graphite dust to coagulate into a gooey mess which needs to be continually cleaned. Use a can of compressed air and blow the parts clean periodically.
- Periodically check the connectors on the power driver board. They have a tendancy to build-up a layer of oxidation which increases the resistance of the contact. This generates heat, which causes more oxidation, and so on. If you let this get too bad, the plastic connectors will overheat and burn, possibly damaging the driver board itself. At the very minimum, you'll have to rewire all of the wires into a new connector. You can put a new connector/contacts on the wiring harness to remedy this, or if you're feeling adventurous, you can solder the wires directly to the power driver board. Obviously, this removes the convenience of just unplugging stuff when you need to pull a board, but it will completely eliminate the heat build-up! One fellow IJ owner suggested using Trifuricon connectors in place of the standard silver ones. The Trifuricon inserts cost a little more, but supposedly have better conductivity and don't build-up oxidation. The trick is finding them -- Digitkey and Mouser didn't list them last time I checked.
- Clean the playfield often to keep it in the best shape possible. If you let the gritty dirt build-up on the playfield, it will act like sandpaper and prematurely wear the DiamondCoat/Wax/paint. For DiamondCoat games, I highly recommend Novus plastic polishes and cleaners. Use Novus #2 to remove dirt and fix very minor scratches. After that, use Novus #1 for light duty cleaning. Blow the playfield with clean compressed air when you're finished for that "out of the crate" look!
- Never forget about those 3 AA batteries on the CPU board! If they leak their corrosive contents onto your circuit board, you'll be sorry. Change the batteries every year and write-down when you changed them to avoid forgetting.
- To fix stripped screw holes in your playfield, try this: Get a box of round toothpics (not flat!) and a bottle of wood glue (Tite Bond or similar). Break the tapered end off of a toothpick and discard it. Spooge some wood glue into the stripped hole and insert the thick end of the toothpick all the way into the hole. Now, break the toothpick off against the side of the hole. Replace the screw and allow the glue to dry. Wallah! As good as new...
- I've been using bamboo skewers to fix my stripped holes recently and I believe that they work better than toothpicks (as above). The bamboo is very fibrous and really lets the screws bite. Try it!
- When you're giving your machine its annual (or whatever) thorough cleaning, take the time to do it right. In addition to removing the ramps, also remove the under-playfield passageways/ramps and clean them. Since they are *under* the playfield, dirt has a real tendancy to accumulate in these hidden pathways. If you don't get the dirt out of these devices, you'll find your playfield getting dirty very quickly.
- When performing a thorough machine cleaning, use a Q-Tip moistened with Novus #1 to clean the playfield inserts from the UNDERSIDE. Also wipe all light bulbs to remove dust and dirt. You'll be amazed at how much better your game looks with these items sparkling clean.
- This tip comes from Mike Russell on how you can clean-up dirty ramps with good results:
When I got my IJ, the steel ramps were in bad shape. They looked like they were dirty and rusted. At best they were horribly discolored. I posted this on RGP and had one guy respond that novus 2 and a ton of elbow grease would fix this. So I took out the ramps and went to it. Well, This guy meant a lot of elbow grease and a ton of time with poor results. Turned out after trial and error with many cleaning products that I had a bottle of copper cleaner for my wife's Revere Ware pots lying around. I decided to give it a try and within minutes the ramps turned to new. It was amazing. So with a toothbrush I applied the stuff for about ten minutes to each ramp then scrubed, rinsed with water. then dryed them. I had brand new beautiful ramps. It was incredible. I am wondering if this would helped on the legs too. Mine were refurbed before I bought the machine so I can't test it.