I must really love punishment, because here I am again fixing another EM pinball machine. I can’t help it though, their tendency for faults aside, EM’s are beautiful machines and every line up should contain at least one. This time I’m looking at another baseball themed machine by Gottlieb, appropriately (maybe boringly?) named “Baseball”. It was released in 1970 with around 2350 units shipped. It came out about a year before Playball (which I fixed up recently) and both machines share a very similar playfield layout and feature set. This isn’t my machine and I’m simply repairing it for someone else (the same guy owns the Playball I fixed up and documented recently). It’s not a restoration, just a fix up for the issues it’s having.
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With some more progress made on Mariner, it’s time to drop past with another update showing off which assemblies have been pulled apart, serviced and cleaned. First up on the list this time are the flippers. Both flippers work, which is always a nice starting point to have. Unlike other old machines I’ve worked on, the rubber here isn’t hard and cracking (same for the rest of the playfield rubbers actually). The flipper bats are still reasonably white too. So I think the machine has been looked after over the years and likely to have had some replacement parts put in along the way.
First task on the to do list after my last update was test the carry switches on all score reels for each player. Previously, I tested that the score reels all advanced when the 10, 100 and 1000 point relays were manually triggered. These work and the score reels advance. This testing was done in game over / attract mode, so only the 1000 point carry switch could be tested. I now wanted to expand my testing to check the carry switch on the 10’s and 100’s too. These can only be tested with a game started. I finished the last update with the machine successfully running a game – so I’m was ready to begin.
During my initial inspection of the machine in the first update, I had noted down a few things to look at before I attempted powering it on for the first time. This update will focus on these items. First on my list is the fuse panel. Located just inside the coin door, there is a small panel which is home to 4 fuses. My understanding is that the fuse clips on Bally EM’s are crap and a common source of problems as they often break. One of the fuse holders has already been replaced, with the new fuse holder being installed over the old one. The fuse holder on the far right (8A line fuse) is missing one of the clip arms, so this will have to be replaced.
One of my favorite times has arrived again – it’s NEW project time! Just as good as NEW pin day in my book 🙂 This time around, I’ll be performing a repair and service on a 1971 Bally Mariner machine that has made it’s way here from Germany. I’m stepping outside the comfort zone I developed while working on solid state machines and diving into an EM project. All of my Pinball projects to date have been solid state machines that were built between 1979 to 1986. I’m pretty excited about this project as it’s a chance to look at something different and gain more experience with EM’s.