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Pinball Warehouse
19th May 2009, 06:55 PM
I have been playing around with pinballs for almost 20 years now. Today, two things happened to me that really made me think about all the newer pinball owners working on their own games.

Having 2 very young children, I try and be extra careful, working around electricity.
I was working on an older Williams solid state game today, I was removing a burnt out knocker coil with the playfield raised and the power turned off at the cabinet switch. The knocker is located halfway down the lefthand side of the cabinet beside the power line filter. Not thinking, I started removing the knocker assembly screws with screwdriver when the assembly fell and pushed the screwdriver onto a live 240v terminal. Lucky for me, I have a very good safety cutout switch in the fusebox. This is dangerous location for the knocker assembly and I should have unplugged the power at the wall.

Then less then 20 mins later, I was rebuilding a pop bumper on an old em pinball, these have very old and thick solder, heating the solder to remove the gi wires was taking ages, I pull the wire as I heated, flicking hot solder into my eyelid. What a stupid thing to do, it really hurts when that happens, would have been bad if it burnt my eyeball.

It goes to show, that we all must be very careful working on our games, if in doubt about any live wires, just unplug and be extra safe to live another day.

Arcade King
19th May 2009, 06:58 PM
And wear safety goggles when soldering ;) All sound advice.

Fish Tales
19th May 2009, 07:16 PM
I allways turn off at the mains, I didnt allways, and have learnt by a small buzz lol

Arcade King
19th May 2009, 07:17 PM
Woka just tests it with his mouth.

narf_
19th May 2009, 07:20 PM
i always unplugg at the mains

ive learnt to never trust a switch recently

poindexter
19th May 2009, 07:25 PM
Unplug from the mains, don't trust anybody.
Who knows if the switch or the machine are wired switching neutral.

bigdaddy
19th May 2009, 07:26 PM
Great message. Just when you think your an expert at something it sneaks up and bites you on the arse. Or flicks you in the eye...

Safety begins at home an really there is really no such things as accidents just events that were not under control.

Pop Bumper Pete
19th May 2009, 07:26 PM
Tony you are simply getting old
I will take all your machine off your hands so you do not injure yourself again :)

IMPURE
19th May 2009, 07:28 PM
Woka just tests it with his mouth.

BAHAHAHAHA id forgotten about that :lol

MrMaloo
19th May 2009, 07:50 PM
Glad to hear that you're OK Tony ....

Yes electricity is an invisible danger that you usually only get one chance with (lucky for you , you had a RCD installed ). Good reminder to us all to be extra vigilant and remove all sources of power by unplugging machines before maintenance.

You should go and buy a lottery ticket Tony .... And if you win a million $ then you can shout all of us 1 pinny each ... :lol

stuba
19th May 2009, 08:01 PM
shit T
hope that wasn't a disco fever that nearly cooked you ;) had a couple of close calls myself lately. RCD's! or residual current devices save lives - install them if you don't have em guys and I also use one of those live wire buzzers, it's a good habit to get into into.

Fair Dinkum Dan
19th May 2009, 09:17 PM
Thanks for posting this Tony. Some very good advice by other members too.

Working on pinball machines must always be treated with caution and safe working practices.

Cheers,

Dan

Pinball Warehouse
19th May 2009, 09:51 PM
Glad to hear that you're OK Tony ....

Yes electricity is an invisible danger that you usually only get one chance with (lucky for you , you had a RCD installed ). Good reminder to us all to be extra vigilant and remove all sources of power by unplugging machines before maintenance.

You should go and buy a lottery ticket Tony .... And if you win a million $ then you can shout all of us 1 pinny each ... :lol


Yes I will do that tomorrow and if I win it will be drinks and pins all round.


shit T
hope that wasn't a disco fever that nearly cooked you ;) had a couple of close calls myself lately. RCD's! or residual current devices save lives - install them if you don't have em guys and I also use one of those live wire buzzers, it's a good habit to get into into.

No Stu, it was the World Cup thats now on ebay. I haven't got to those ones of yours yet.


Thanks for posting this Tony. Some very good advice by other members too.

Working on pinball machines must always be treated with caution and safe working practices.

Cheers,

Dan

We all can't thank you enough Dan for all your help to any body in need. Also a big thanks for posting all those pictures from the weekend. I'm disappointed that I missed catching up with everybody.

candyflip
19th May 2009, 10:26 PM
No Stu, it was the World Cup thats now on ebay. I haven't got to those ones of yours yet.



So the World Cup is 'used' and perhaps 'dangeous' now, and you can let me have it for half price! :D

coolspot
19th May 2009, 10:52 PM
there's a big danger working on ems getting hit on the head by the playfield

hamish_nz
20th May 2009, 07:08 AM
nothing like the tingle of 240v

I love how some of the old EM's had 240v at the coin door

Fish Tales
20th May 2009, 07:24 AM
nothing like the tingle of 240v

I love how some of the old EM's had 240v at the coin door

yep, and how scarey is that!

Talby
20th May 2009, 07:59 AM
I've had a couple of those buzz's but stupidly thought, **** what was that and touched it again to make sure I was getting buzzed. Checked the switch was off....yep it was so checked it again....BUZZ. :o

At that point I thought better of it and totally unplugged the machine and walked away for a couple of hours. Only took three hits but hey I'm a slow learner.

I wasn't aware that there could still be live bits and pieces under the playfield even when the machine is switched off.

Good to hear everyone is safe and sound and hopefully a little bit wiser at the end of the day.

P.S. Good to hear that there was no damage to the machine either. :)

stuba
20th May 2009, 08:23 AM
I've had a couple of those buzz's but stupidly thought, **** what was that and touched it again to make sure I was getting buzzed. Checked the switch was off....yep it was so checked it again....BUZZ. :o

At that point I thought better of it and totally unplugged the machine and walked away for a couple of hours. Only took three hits but hey I'm a slow learner.

I wasn't aware that there could still be live bits and pieces under the playfield even when the machine is switched off.



shit yes! sometimes the ops rewire them to bypass the on/off switch (and line fuses even). never trust that the wiring you are working on is to orig spec especially in older machines (EM's).

Talby
20th May 2009, 08:31 AM
shit yes! sometimes the ops rewire them to bypass the on/off switch (and line fuses even). never trust that the wiring you are working on is to orig spec especially in older machines (EM's).

Funny you should mention that Stu.........

This was one that I stumbled across a while ago. You may notice a nasty little wire bypassing the fuse that wasn't in there. They are out there so just beware.

stuba
20th May 2009, 08:38 AM
Funny you should mention that Stu.........

This was one that I stumbled across a while ago. You may notice a nasty little wire bypassing the fuse that wasn't in there. They are out there so just beware.

looks like they used fuse wire to do it but 'dodgy as'. those line fuse holders are crappy units, i prefer to be able to see the fuse like in the older machines. the prob with that is that you have to cycle it (pull out and re-insert) to check the fuse. I guess its safer because it lives in a box and no danger of dropping something on it but the prob with that is unsuspecting joe pulls the line fuse to isolate something and its not really isolated....

pieces
20th May 2009, 08:54 AM
I wouldnt take the RCD for granted Eg I can be slack and it will save me .

You might find you self at a site that dosnt have a RCD one day .:059:

Ric
20th May 2009, 09:15 AM
I got zapped whilst working on my Roller Disco

the machine was off but plugged in

scared the living crap out of me.

I never work on machines plugged in now unless I absolutely have to to diagnose a problem - just not worth the risk - and the first thing I had inmstalled in the workshop was a safety switch - you only get one life

poindexter
20th May 2009, 11:21 AM
My Dad takes the cake.
The globe in the fridge blew.
He took the globe out and stuck his finger in the hole. He said he knew it was a bad thing to do, but did it anyway and of course got booted. Makes you wonder, he is a Principal of a large School.
Luckily he has an RCD.

TheYellowDart
20th May 2009, 12:19 PM
While it is good to see the message of safety reinforced in this thread I think it is important to point out that an RCD/Safety Switch will not protect you from all types of electric shock. They only protect against faults which return via earth but not faults which return via the neutral or adjacent phases. As far as an RCD or Circuit Breaker is concerned in these fault situations you would appear as quite an insignificant balanced load and it would not trip.

Also as has been said, unless absolutely necessary always unplug the cord from the socket outlet. This will protect you in case of switched neutrals which would leave a live active inside your machine even with all switches turned off. It will also protect you against a rise in earth potential if your MEN link is faulty, though this is unlikely unless you happen to be working on your machine during an electrical storm or a large earth fault occurs nearby.

WOKA
20th May 2009, 06:00 PM
Yep, I won't settle for turned off anymore.. Even if its turned off at the wall, the plug still comes out of the wall..! Been zapped too many times.. ;)

Oldskool1969
12th April 2012, 09:05 PM
FANTASTICALLY good advice about completely isolating equipment by pulling out plug from the GPO .:023:
Way too many people put far too much emphasis on the RCD ( safety switch ) they do not give you 100% protection . Don't be complacent when you have this device installed .
Common sense must always be taken .

YOU MAY BE COMPETENT BUT ! THE BLOKE WHO HAD A GO FIXING IT BEFORE YOU MAY HAVE DODGIED IT UP ! :realmad:

Ah electricity , you can't see it or smell it BUT you will definitely feel it

amutechservices
13th April 2012, 08:11 AM
agreed,even some of the resto's we see here on AA makes me shudder,especially when guys are rewiring their cabinet AC,it will take a death to bring home the reality of how important it is to have a qualified person to checkover some of the games prior to them being operable,
i tell everyone,earth everything! it's you and your family that will be playing these games and the one's who will suffer if you get it wrong.

figgi77
13th April 2012, 09:33 AM
Thanks for sharing such important advice Tony and co.!!! That plug is definitely getting pulled from now on

Problem is, I will now have to go home and admit to the misses her 'paranoia' was right.

Not to diminish the seriousness of the issue, but it was kind of funny seeing Norbet accidentally zapping himself from a 50v solenoid and then admitting afterwards that after all his years "he kind of enjoys it". :lol

boskie
13th April 2012, 12:11 PM
Not to diminish the seriousness of the issue, but it was kind of funny seeing Norbet accidentally zapping himself from a 50v solenoid and then admitting afterwards that after all his years "he kind of enjoys it". :lol

:lol - Sounds like Norbert indeed!

Dedrok
13th April 2012, 12:20 PM
I generally switch off at the machine, the plug and then sometimes test with a multimeter to check. Especially when it has been a non working machine and some things are unplugged. Never assume that because the lights arent lit up that there is no power.

But i always leave it plugged in so it at least has another earth, not just me as one.

Arcade monitors on the other hand, feel the burn.

@lien_Zed
13th April 2012, 07:28 PM
holy thread revival batman:o

camaro
13th April 2012, 07:37 PM
Some old threads deserve to never be brought back, This is not one of them given the huge dangers involved.

So thanks to the OP and the "bumper"

Dyson
13th April 2012, 08:51 PM
Thanks for sharing such important advice Tony and co.!!! That plug is definitely getting pulled from now on

Problem is, I will now have to go home and admit to the misses her 'paranoia' was right.

Not to diminish the seriousness of the issue, but it was kind of funny seeing Norbet accidentally zapping himself from a 50v solenoid and then admitting afterwards that after all his years "he kind of enjoys it". :lol

What is a Norbet?

Homepin
13th April 2012, 08:55 PM
hahahahhahah - you ARE a newbie aren't you......

Dyson
13th April 2012, 09:06 PM
hahahahhahah - you ARE a newbie aren't you......

Assuming that is aimed @ me... Pull your balls up over your head and pretend to be a dimsim Mike.

On reflection of my reaction to this post - perhaps you could have some real info you old Bastard?

WOKA
13th April 2012, 09:15 PM
Norbet is a player (a big dimsim it would seem) in the Aussie Pinball scene..

A good guy.

Dyson
13th April 2012, 09:19 PM
Norbet is a player (a big dimsim it would seem) in the Aussie Pinball scene..

A good guy.

Don't hate the playa hate the game. :laugh:

breck
28th April 2012, 08:37 PM
Nice reminder, thank you.
Best to wear protective goggles when soldering. When you see the molten solder fly, goggles are a must.

Gemini2544
18th May 2012, 08:41 PM
When I was servicing at Golden West I earthed against the filter Caps on a Space-wars vector x-y, the shock threw me to the ground. Mean while the tech working on the pinny next to me couldn't stop laughing so much blew a fuse on the machine he was repairing.. Ahh those were the days.:lol:laugh::lol

outzone
18th May 2012, 09:13 PM
Jesus, cant be too safe these days, i've been belted burned and smacked out as well, learnt the hard way so im extra specially alert when it comes to safety. Glasses are a priority, i even wear a crash hemet when im driving down to the local shops.:o
Reminds me of my Father who was a ham radio enthusiast for 30 years, When i was about 10 years old i spied him wiring a spark plug to earth on the mast of his radio antenna one day and said what you doin dad? He replied to me "oh just some insurance son", i never thought about it again when one afternoon a huge thunderstorm rolled in when he was working his radios in the shack. A huge bolt of lightening took out the antennae while he was in there and you should have seen the new hair do when he emerged unscathed from it all. The bolt went strait to earth and the spark plug copped the brunt of it, nothing was damaged.

Kind regards Ray