Just when I say I’m not doing anything extra to one of my machines, I decide on an additional something to fiddle with. I’ve been keen to add lighted flipper buttons on a machine for a little while and I’d really like to do it on Pinbot. I’m going to use LAH as the guinea pig and give it some flashy looking buttons. I’ve seen people discuss kits online, but it’s much more fun to try it yourself (and pretty cheap too). To start with the buttons need to be transparent – I have transparent red ones on LAH already, so will run with those.
Last Action Hero – DataEast (1993)
Repair and service log of a 1993 Last Action Hero pinball machine.
It’s time to look at the last set of assemblies on the playfield that have not yet had my attention – the three pop bumpers. These guys get a decent work out in just about every game played on the machine, so their assemblies are crying out for a clean.
One of the final assemblies to look at on my Last Action Hero is the drop target bank. Located on the left side of the playfield, it contains 5 targets, spelling the word crane. It’s use for the skill shot to begin each ball and also to activate the crane during the game. It gets a fair bit of use during play and I have no doubt can do with a clean.
Following on from where my previous update finished, I want to get the remainder of the playfield components cleaned and installed once again. I got through a lot in the last update, with just the ramps, rails, crane and tar pit to go. First thing to look at in this update is the large clear ramp at the top of the playfield. It makes sense to get this on first, as the rest can then be installed around it. The ramp had been set aside a few days ago, waiting for it’s turn to be cleaned. There are a few things attached to it and I plan to remove and clean also. Thankfully the plastic has not broken and it simply needs a good clean.
Before I stripped and cleaned the playfield on my last action hero, I had a phantom ball drain occur a few of times. When I say phantom drain I mean the flippers go dead, end of ball music plays, you are awarded a bonus and then the next ball is served up. I suspected at the time it could be a trough switch needing adjustment and since I was going to look at the ball trough as part of the playfield cleaning, I didn’t bother looking closer at it. Fast forward to post cleaning. I had the playfield back together and began to test. After a couple of games I noticed that the phantom ball drain was now far more common – in almost every game it would occur. I also began to notice other side effects where some playfield features would be activated without hitting the corresponding switch.
After some additional testing during a game, I found a direct relation between the phantom drain and the “R” drop target. When this target was hit, it would instantly believe the ball had drained, award a bonus and continue to the next ball.
Now that I had a suspect switch, I went into switch test mode and explored the switches to see what I could find. This is the switch matrix from the LAH manual: