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.
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.
Colour displays on pinball machines are awesome! That’s probably stating the obvious, but once you’re playing in colour, it’s hard to go back to boring old orange and be satisfied. The owner of this Apollo had been thinking of adding a colour display from ColorDMD and decided to go ahead with it. There are two versions of colour display you can get – LCD and LED. This one’s the LED version and comes with everything you need to get it installed – it’s designed to be simple to install. Let’s get that new Colour display installed and see how it looks!
The Apollo 13 overhaul has continued over the last couple of weeks. Sometimes progress can feel like slow going, but it’s surprising how quickly time gets sucked up as you work through sections of a machine. Plus, it’s getting cold at night time, so working on games once the sun has gone down is getting tougher. The previous update was heavily focused on the apron area of the playfield. Shifting my attention 30cm higher up the playfield, this update will be focusing on the next lot of assemblies – so things like the flippers, up post (ball save), ball return VUK and sling shots. Technically the VUK lives under the apron area, but i’ll ignore that fact for the sake of including it in this update instead of the last one 🙂 I also want to get the CPU controlled lamps switched over to LED’s as the kit arrived. So let’s get started and begin removing some parts!
Free time & empty space. Who needs it? Well, I do.. but I enjoy working on pinball machines too, so those things have to wait. I didn’t get to enjoy 5 minutes of free space this time before the next game arrived for me to work on. In fact, I had a small shuffle around to create some extra space for this additional machine to work on. The freshly cleared area was instantly filled with a beautiful Apollo 13 from SEGA. I say beautiful because the condition is actually really good, with only a few small spots that need addressing. It’s Australian delivered and spent most of it’s life in a home. The game was released towards the end of 1995 and has so many balls (13) it needs two troughs to store them all. You’re up for a slab of beer every time you need to replace the set. That’s something to think about 😉 The game arrives with one known issue (sound not working), which will be my first item to address before I begin working my way through the game like I normally do. Although the game is reasonably clean on top, it looks like it hasn’t been given a good service in a long time (if ever) as there is a nice build up of black coil dust across all the assemblies below the playfield. I’ll be going through cleaning each one and replacing parts where necessary.