I had planned to begin this update with a really bad pun, but I’ll save you the anguish and get straight in to the good content! This update will be focusing on the assemblies in the lower section of playfield, along with cleaning up the drop target areas. I’ll also the look at the upper orbit shot as some screws that attach the metal rail to the playfield live under plastics in the mid section – so easier to do that all now in one go. The game has been played a lot over the years, with broken plastics across most areas of the playfield. The sling shot and return lane plastics are cracked or missing a few pieces. The bikes are still in one piece though, which is good news.
There was a time where I would have weeks (often months) between pinball projects. Not any more though. As one machine goes out the door, the next one rolls right on in. This time it’s back-to-back SEGA’s with a Harley Davidson replacing the Apollo 13. The last SEGA game before Stern took over. It was released in 1999 and there ended up being 3 editions released. The first from SEGA, which Stern then continued once it took over. That was followed by 2 additional editions a few years later by Stern. The game powers up, but has a few issues to look at. It needs a really good clean, but that’s typical of most games that come my way. The main issue I’m concerned about is (seemingly) random resets, which I will get to shortly. It has some mechanical issues, but those won’t be a problem to sort out. Let’s get started!
Time to wrap up the work on Apollo 13 and get it back into one piece for testing. First item on my to do list in this update is the rocket assembly, as it’s the last outstanding part of the playfield to get a clean. Then I can go through the process of getting everything back together (which is mostly the rails) and test the game. The end is in sight, which is exciting as I’m keen to play (…test) it. Time to get started! The rocket ship is the shot responsible for working towards the 13 ball multi ball mode. There is a ramp you shoot the ball up and a small assembly at the top which traps the ball, updates the countdown and then returns the ball back to the player. It is connected to a motor below the playfield, which performs a lift off and drops the ball into the large red ramp below the playfield.
I’ve been so busy lately working on other peoples machines, I decided to set aside a few hours this week to work through a few “to do” items on my own games. One of the things I’ve been really looking forward to doing is installing the Aux flipper switch upgrade board to my BoP 2.0. What is this? At present, when you’re in the profile menus or video mode, where the flippers would be disabled in modern DMD games, they are still enabled in BoP 2.0. So as you play the video mode, the flippers are still flipping away when you press the buttons. Scott Danesi created a small upgrade board which hooks in to two extra switches on the P-ROC board (CPU board supplied with the BoP 2.0 kit) and allows the flippers to be disabled while still registering presses. The kit is really straight forward and can be installed by anyone.
Having worked through the lower and middle sections of the Apollo 13 playfield in previous updates, it’s time to turn my attention to the upper section. There aren’t that many assemblies to get through, but quite a lot of parts to remove, clean and then install again. So it’s still a time consuming process. My first area of interest in this update will be the pop bumpers. But before I can get there, I have a few things to remove. In previous updates I had already removed a couple of the blue rails, but now it’s time to remove the rest so I can get to the pop bumpers.