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Williams - Star Wars Episode One - 1999 - Repair & Service Log

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  • Williams - Star Wars Episode One - 1999 - Repair & Service Log

    I'm a fan of the Pinball 2000 (P2K) games released by Williams and I'm excited to now be working on one - especially since it's my own. I have a little bit of down time while waiting for the Harley CPU board, so decided to keep my hands dirty and continue tinkering. The next machine to get a rebuild is a Star Wars Episode One. It was released mid 1999 and is the very last game to be made by Williams before they sadly closed. Interestingly, you can (or at least could) buy conversion kits for this and Revenge from Mars - meaning you could run both games in the same cabinet by swapping playfields, ROM's and shooter assembly. It's a bit of a manual process to swap them, but still nice to have two games taking up the one spot. There were sadly only two P2K machines made (with a couple more planned - Wizard Blocks and Playboy) and it's a shame they were not able to continue with them. I feel they are very underrated! There isn't much wrong with the game that needs to be sorted out. It mostly just needs the assemblies serviced and some cosmetic improvements. I'll be doing my usual rebuild of all assemblies and cleaning, along with some presentation fixes too. Time to get started!



    I'll start by sorting out the few issues I know about. The first issue I needed to address was the R2-D2 "sneaky lane" switch, which is used for earning an extra ball and awarding a skill shot. The problem is it gets stuck down once the ball rolls over it.



    The switch arm is pressing against the playfield, which is preventing it from lifting freely. Using my switch adjuster, I gave the arm a few tweaks to prevent it getting stuck on the wood. This was all it needed and now the switch returns to it's normal resting position once the ball passes over. The second issue to look at was the right drop target. There are two drop targets on the game, with one sitting in front of the left and right ramp entrances. The diagnostic report was telling me to check the switch.



    I found one of the wires barely hanging on.



    I clipped the remaining strands of the wire, stripped off some of the insulation and resoldered it to the switch lug again. I figured that was the problem, but there was still an issue with the drop target. When the target is hit, it doesn't freely drop down. During play you can use lasers to auto drop the target, but this too only has the target to drop to about half way. A second hit usually loosens it enough to drop the full way, but can take a third hit sometimes. This has some gameplay issues where you have to hit the target a few times to register. It also causes the game to fire the small coil on the assembly to auto drop the target multiple times until it drops. I lifted the playfield and manually tried moving the target. There was a lot of resistance preventing it from smoothly dropping, so the target was disconnected and removed from the game for a closer inspection.

    When the target is fully raised:



    When the target a takes a hit:



    On the second hit, the target drops all the way down:



    On some occasions it would take a third hit for the target to drop. On the rear side of the frame there was a build up of (what looked like) old grease that had hardened.



    The drop target assembly was disassembled and fully cleaned. A new coil sleeve and black target were purchased to replace the old ones. I love how easily these assembles are removed from P2K machines - everything disconnects, even the coil. Now that it was clean, the drop target was rebuilt and tested. The target now had free movement and dropped immediately when hit. I checked the left drop target and it was better, but still had some resistance when dropping. There was the same hardened grease on the target, so I repeated the same cleaning process and it now has free movement to drop as well. I played a few games and now the targets feel nice and responsive, so I can tick that off my list.



    The next playfield assembly issue I wanted to address was the "shield", which is the central target for the game. It's made up of a wide plate with some double star posts and rubbers. This lifts up and down during play via an assembly below the playfield. It works and does move up and down, but I've noticed on a number of occasions it does not drop when it should. As shown here with the machine off, it's still up and should be fully down. Perhaps it's a similar issue to the drop targets. This one currently has too many rubbers on it too - there should only need to be two. Lucky they are there though as the ball would be smacking into the base plate and star post bases when it's only half down.



    The assembly removes in two parts. Already I can see the spring is in need of replacement as it's broken and not giving much strength to pushing the plunger back down.



    Manually moving the plunger though revealed the real issue was more than just the spring. The plunger was in fact broken into two parts. There were still remnants of the roll pin that used to connect the two sections of plunger inside the join hole.



    This can be repaired, but I decided to first have a look online to see if a new plunger could be purchased. After searching through my parts suppliers, none had any left in stock. So repair it is. I grabbed an old used sling shot plunger from my parts box and tapped the roll pin out. I then used it to join the plunger back together again. A great example of why you don't throw old pinball parts out - random parts always come in handy! I found the plunger would not smoothly move through the coil tube. This was due to the top surface of the base plunger piece. It had begun to mushroom from being smacked against the top section while loose for who knows how many years. This needed to be filed back so it could move smoothly up and down through the tube to lift the shield.



    A new coil sleeve and rubber grommet were purchased, along with new star posts and rubbers. I have coloured Titan rubbers to install around the game, but here I will be using black. This is probably the only time you will ever see me put black rubber on one of my own pins. The shield sits below the display area, which needs to be dark - hence the black rubber. Two new bushings were also purchased and some new lock nuts will be used to replace the old rusty ones. The spring was also replaced and the rest of the assembly cleaned up.



    The shield assembly was rebuilt and installed back into the machine. The game was fired up and a few games played to see how the shield held up. It now dropped correctly as it should. It actually changes the game play a little, making it tougher. The ball now has more chance of rebounding back at you off the closed shield, instead of travelling through to the VUK when it was remaining open.

    Next thing I wanted to do was update the software version. The game arrived running V1.0. Looking at IPDB, there were additional versions released up to 1.5 that contain various bug fixes and feature improvements. Version 1.2 has the bulk of the changes I'm interested in, containing some extra features and rules for the game. I was keen to get get that installed so looked into the process. While the software is not available from IDPB, it is available for free on the Planetary Pinball website- <a href="http://www.planetarypinball.com/mm5/Williams/tech/pin2000/software.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">http://www.planetarypinball.com/mm5/Williams/tech/pin2000/software.html</a>. Here you can download up to version 1.4 for both the serial port method and PUB (Prism Update board) method. I'm not sure why the 1.5 version isn't there, but the PUB file for v1.5 is on IPDB. The Revenge from Mars updates can also be downloaded from the same link above.

    It's not as simple as a ROM swap like on most machines though. To actually do the update, you need an old PC or laptop that has a serial port which can connect up to the Pinball 2000 machine. I don't have a PC or laptop old enough with serial ports, so had to look at other options. I purchased a USB to Serial adapter and also a 9 pin female to female serial cable, which would let me connect up the oldest laptop I have to the SWEP1. A quick note: there is a second method for updating the software, which is via the PUB method. This requires you to have a prism update board (PUB), which you plug into your old PC, upload the update file to it, and then plug the PUB into the P2K machine before turning on. The game will detect it at start up and update the software.



    Just inside the coin door is a 9 pin serial port, which you connect the laptop/PC up to for performing updates. This then runs a cable from the coin door up to the PC in the headbox.



    The next step was the grab the update manager software, which is also available on the Planetary Pinball page - <a href="http://www.planetarypinball.com/mm5/Williams/tech/pin2000/manager.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">http://www.planetarypinball.com/mm5/Williams/tech/pin2000/manager.html</a> and install it onto my laptop (which is running Windows XP).

    The USB to serial adapter driver was also installed and Windows now detected it. By default, it configures it as COM4, but the P2K update manager seems to only work with COM1 or COM2. Starting the manager up gave me an error saying it could not detect any available COM ports. Going in to device manager in Windows, I was able to easily switch the adapter to identify as COM1 instead. Now, the update manager started correctly.



    Next step was to press the "Connect" button to have the update manager begin communicating with SWEP1. Once the connection was made, I had to scan the laptop drive for update files. I copied the update files from the link above into C:\temp. You leave it as a ZIP file - no need to decompress it. After a minute or so, the update manager reported any updates it found and was ready to go. It seems to scan the whole drive, instead of allowing you to select a specific folder, which slows the process down a little.



    I ran in to an issue at this point. When I selected the update and pressed "Update", the screen on SWEP1 would change to the update progress but fail immediately. It didn't give any helpful error messages, other than "Fatal Error" and reboot the SWEP1 game. After some trial and error, I found that dropping the connection speed got it working. I had to drop to 38400, but this finally got the update process started. On the SWEP1 screen, it changed to a progress bar and timer (counting up). Due to using a slower speed, this took 40 minutes instead of the expected 10 minutes. This may be because I'm running through a USB to serial converter, or my version of windows. I'm not sure. But setting the slower speed made all the difference.



    Once the update completed, the game automatically restarted and was now running version 1.4. I went in to the settings and enabled ball save on a 4 second timer (which was one feature I was looking forward to having with the update). I played a few games to make sure everything was fine and the game held together without issue. I noticed a few little extra things during play as a result of the update, so it was worthwhile doing.



    One presentation issue that stands out the moment you look at the machine is the state of the t-moulding around the headbox. It's cracked in many places around the edges and also coming away in some spots too.



    Both sides suffer from it, so I was keen to remove the old lot and install fresh t-moulding. The old stuff is quite brittle and snapped in many places while removing it. The only difficulty in removing it was where the spine had snapped away from the surface, which then had to be dug out of the slot (without damaging the cabinet).



    The cabinet uses the 18mm wide variety of t-moulding and I decided to go with green, matching with the light saber. I purchased a 3 meter length and that was enough to get around both sides with minimal left over. The new t-moulding looks so much better!



    Under the lock down bar was a small strip of black t-moulding, which I suspect is there to protect the glass from scratches as you remove it. I had just enough green left over to replace it.



    Next item on my hit list was the coin door. It's not terrible by any stretch, but has some wear around certain spots I'd like to clean up. The coin entry slots are a bit mangled from its time out on site and I'd like to get rid of the coin door lock brackets.



    The coin door and lock brackets were removed. The brackets were put away in a parts tub, probably never to see the light of day again. The wear spots on the coin door were sanded to remove any remaining flaking bits and smooth it out. I then gave the door and it's parts 3 coats of gloss black, followed by gloss speckle and 2 coats of clear. Since there is free time between coats on the coin door, I decided to press on and rebuild the shooter rod.



    The shooter rod was disassembled and cleaned. A new coil sleeve, barrel spring and washers were purchased. A new green Titan rubber shooter tip will be used too, matching with the light saber. Light blue would probably work well here too since the apron is a nice transparent light blue. But I wanted to work a few bits of green in to match the light saber.



    The shooter rod was reassembled and looking excellent again. It was now ready to go back on to the front panel of the cabinet.



    With still more free time between the coin door coats, I decided to do something about the flipper buttons. The old ones were dirty and the right one scratched a bit from its years of service. A new set of housings and buttons were purchased. The flipper PCB's that attach to the back of these were still good though and didn't need replacing.



    Eventually the coin door and it's components were done and ready to be rebuilt.



    Before I put the door back together, I wanted to create some new pricing inserts for the coin reject buttons. I tried two designs, a light saber and Darth Maul, with the later winning out.



    The coin door was installed back into the cabinet, along with all of its components. The bolts used for for the lock bar brackets were installed again too. A new lock on the coin door was also installed, along with new coin slot plastics.



    The Darth Maul coin inserts light up nicely. I switched to using orange LED's here. It's a shame they didn't go with red plastic like on DE and Sega machines - it would have suited the Darth Maul insert perfectly! No matter though, this is way better than seeing 500 Lira.



    The CPU fan was a little noisy, so I decided to replace it with a brand new one. The old one has been there a long time and done it's job. I went to Jaycar and picked up a new 50mm PC fan.



    The new fan has a different connector from the original to source its power from. No matter though as the motherboard has header pins for this.



    I vacuumed out as much loose dust and filth as I could from the case and replaced the fan. I also used a couple of small isopropyl alcohol swabs to remove some of the caked on dust around the heat sink and motherboard. The new CPU fan is now nice and quiet. To close out the first update, a very good mate of mine helped me out with an excellent deal on some P2K hardware. A spare complete working PC (with working prism card - you can almost buy a small country for the value of these things ), along with a spare working monitor, chassis and some other misc pieces. These will be kept safe in case ever needed.





    That's it for the first update on the SWEP1 progress. There was more presentation work done than I normally do this early. But that's mainly because I'm having a lot of fun playing the game, which makes me reluctant to take it offline and pull it apart. Next up I'll be getting under the apron to clean the ball trough and ball serve assemblies. I'll also include the flippers, return lanes, sling shots and saucer assemblies in the next update too. The 'newness' factor will wear off in the next couple of weeks, which should make easier to take offline for a complete clean.
    Eschew the standard. Turn the paradigm upside down.

  • #2
    Thanks for the run down on the P2K operating system. Never seen one or worked on one to tell you the truth.

    Shame Williams/Bally pulled the pin on development as it is said this operating system had so much to offer and the two machines they made were merely scratching the surface of it's true potential.

    A bit like comparing a Bally 8ball compared to a Bally Vector using basically the same boards but allowed to develop.

    I also love the cabinet design as it offered so many variables compared to the original cabinet design and playfield layout that in my opinion is now the limiting factor of pinball design.

    Makes me wonder what they intended for that cabinet several machines down the track.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was going to advise on the fix for the centre back gate but you found it. Funny my game had the same plunger issue. By memory mine was hacked to kind of work. I bought a new plunger I think?? I'm a bit like you I have nearly a spare machine in parts, cpu, prism, drive pcb, rom pcb and chips, the list goes on. Lol

      - - - Updated - - -

      Btw you know you can only get swep1 conversion kits as rfm was the only game that could take them at the time and then they closed shop.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jesder View Post





        Manually moving the plunger though revealed the real issue was more than just the spring. The plunger was in fact broken into two parts. There were still remnants of the roll pin that used to connect the two sections of plunger inside the join hole.



        This can be repaired, but I decided to first have a look online to see if a new plunger could be purchased. After searching through my parts suppliers, none had any left in stock. So repair it is. I grabbed an old used sling shot plunger from my parts box and tapped the roll pin out. I then used it to join the plunger back together again. A great example of why you don't throw old pinball parts out - random parts always come in handy! I found the plunger would not smoothly move through the coil tube. This was due to the top surface of the base plunger piece. It had begun to mushroom from being smacked against the top section while loose for who knows how many years. This needed to be filed back so it could move smoothly up and down through the tube to lift the shield.



        A new coil sleeve and rubber grommet were purchased, along with new star posts and rubbers. I have coloured Titan rubbers to install around the game, but here I will be using black. This is probably the only time you will ever see me put black rubber on one of my own pins. The shield sits below the display area, which needs to be dark - hence the black rubber. Two new bushings were also purchased and some new lock nuts will be used to replace the old rusty ones. The spring was also replaced and the rest of the assembly cleaned up.



        The shield assembly was rebuilt and installed back into the machine. The game was fired up and a few games played to see how the shield held up. It now dropped correctly as it should. It actually changes the game play a little, making it tougher. The ball now has more chance of rebounding back at you off the closed shield, instead of travelling through to the VUK when it was remaining open.
        Something in that design doesn't look right to me....

        A coil normally works by pulling the metal part of the plunger completely inside the coil so how exactly does this coil make the plunger move when it already has metal completely through it?.

        The bottom half of the plunger is exactly the same as a standard ball save setup but on a ball save it has a nylon tip so the bottom half being metal is drawn inside the coil as the nylon end is non magnetic but this design has a metal end on it that is magnetic so how exactly does the plunger move?

        I'm thinking the top half of the plunger should be made of nylon or a similar non magnetic material.

        It would definitely allow more flex than the roll pin is capable of used as it is now but I think the best idea would be to use a similar setup to a bumper as in twin rods each side of the coil and the rods attached to the lower plate instead of a normal bumper ring.

        Plunger would be a standard bumper plunger as would be the attachments to the plunger connected to the twin rods. The variation would be the rods. They would need to be cut to size and threads tapped on the cut ends and holes drilled in the low plate to suit.

        Overall a far better design that allows massive amounts of flex and pushes the lower plate in two locations rather than the current one in the middle.

        It would do exactly the same movement but like a bumper ring actuator, have a lot more give in the mechanism and no roll pin to fail.

        I may be wrong but I can't think of another coil that has a metal plunger going completely through it like this coil has.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pinball god View Post
          I was going to advise on the fix for the centre back gate but you found it. Funny my game had the same plunger issue. By memory mine was hacked to kind of work. I bought a new plunger I think?? I'm a bit like you I have nearly a spare machine in parts, cpu, prism, drive pcb, rom pcb and chips, the list goes on. Lol

          - - - Updated - - -

          Btw you know you can only get swep1 conversion kits as rfm was the only game that could take them at the time and then they closed shop.
          Interesting yours had the same issue. The roll pin hole was a bit worn, so I wonder if it's a weak point in the design as Autosteve talks about above. The shield gets a lot of use during play and has a pretty powerful coil on it. It's also a jarring lift and release action, which no doubt puts pressure on that roll pin. I looked to buy a new plunger, but no one has any stock If anyone has a spare in their stash, let me know

          I think it's a smart move having spare parts tucked away for these. There are some alternatives out there in terms of PC setup and LCD screen, but i'd rather not have the hassle. I love the plug and play design around P2K, so swapping things over should be easy.

          I didn't realise there was no RfM kit, thanks for the info. I just assumed there was because of the SWEP1 kits. Looks like i'll just have to buy a full RfM machine then as that's a cracking game too
          Eschew the standard. Turn the paradigm upside down.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jesder View Post
            Interesting yours had the same issue. The roll pin hole was a bit worn, so I wonder if it's a weak point in the design as Autosteve talks about above. The shield gets a lot of use during play and has a pretty powerful coil on it. It's also a jarring lift and release action, which no doubt puts pressure on that roll pin. I looked to buy a new plunger, but no one has any stock If anyone has a spare in their stash, let me know

            I think it's a smart move having spare parts tucked away for these. There are some alternatives out there in terms of PC setup and LCD screen, but i'd rather not have the hassle. I love the plug and play design around P2K, so swapping things over should be easy.

            I didn't realise there was no RfM kit, thanks for the info. I just assumed there was because of the SWEP1 kits. Looks like i'll just have to buy a full RfM machine then as that's a cracking game too
            Yep thats what I had to do and now have both.

            - - - Updated - - -

            Originally posted by Autosteve View Post
            Something in that design doesn't look right to me....

            A coil normally works by pulling the metal part of the plunger completely inside the coil so how exactly does this coil make the plunger move when it already has metal completely through it?.

            The bottom half of the plunger is exactly the same as a standard ball save setup but on a ball save it has a nylon tip so the bottom half being metal is drawn inside the coil as the nylon end is non magnetic but this design has a metal end on it that is magnetic so how exactly does the plunger move?

            I'm thinking the top half of the plunger should be made of nylon or a similar non magnetic material.

            It would definitely allow more flex than the roll pin is capable of used as it is now but I think the best idea would be to use a similar setup to a bumper as in twin rods each side of the coil and the rods attached to the lower plate instead of a normal bumper ring.

            Plunger would be a standard bumper plunger as would be the attachments to the plunger connected to the twin rods. The variation would be the rods. They would need to be cut to size and threads tapped on the cut ends and holes drilled in the low plate to suit.

            Overall a far better design that allows massive amounts of flex and pushes the lower plate in two locations rather than the current one in the middle.

            It would do exactly the same movement but like a bumper ring actuator, have a lot more give in the mechanism and no roll pin to fail.

            I may be wrong but I can't think of another coil that has a metal plunger going completely through it like this coil has.
            The gate is normally in the down position and when open is in the up position. Hence why plunger is used.

            Comment


            • #7
              Awesome mate. Love the green T-molding. Really looks good. Top job once again.

              Comment


              • #8
                There was a small hold up on the Harley pin progress during the last few weeks, so I took advantage of that to continue working on SWEP1. In this update, I wanted to focus on the apron and lower playfield areas. That way I wouldn't need the game to be offline for long periods, allowing me to continue playing. First up will be the apron area. SWEP1 has an awesome transparent blue apron. The decals are in excellent condition except for one small spot on the shooter power gauge.



                The apron removes easily enough and the playfield surface below is reasonably clean. A very thin layer of dust covered the surface, but not much. The main area for cleaning will be inside the ball trough. I want to get all the metal parts off this section of the playfield though for cleaning.



                The only assembly that lives under the playfield in this area is the ball trough. It's fairly straight forward in design and is very simple to remove. There are opto boards on either side to detect the presence of balls, so no switches. I love how the coil disconnect with the spade connectors, so you don't have coils dangling around inside the machine while their assemblies are removed.



                The trough was completely disassembled and all parts cleaned. A new blue rubber pad was purchased to replace the old one, along with a new coil sleeve and rubber grommet. All other metal parts were scrubbed clean by hand with steel wool to remove all the filth that had collected on the surface. Some markings still remain on the surface, but since it's all hidden under the playfield, i'm not fussed. The goal is to remove the filth that tends to collect here and be pushed around the playfield.



                One of the really cool little features on pinball 2000 machines is the gate which sits in front of the ball trough. This closes when the playfield id lifted up, covering the trough exit and preventing the balls from spilling out. How many times have we (and continue to..) lift the playfield without removing the balls, only for them to go spilling out! Such a small piece of metal and basic design, but very welcome. I'm not sure why it took so long for companies to add one!



                Since the playfield surface under the apron was now clear of metal parts and assemblies, it was wiped down and cleaned up to give it a nice shine. The bulbs were replaced with frosted blue LED's which should light up the transparent blue apron nicely.



                There is a very small wear patch just at the exit of the ball trough. After the area was cleaned, a small mylar patch was installed to help protect against further damage.



                The apron area was rebuilt with the ball trough and guides installed once again.




                With the apron area complete, the next step was to turn my attention to the playfield area above the apron and look at the flippers and sling shots. The first step was to remove the return lane and sling shot plastics. The lower corners of the sling shot plastics had snapped off some time in the past, but I have purchased new ones to replace them.



                The flipper assemblies were next to be removed from the game for cleaning. The flippers still have plenty of strength, but are really filthy so will get a rebuild. Since I had a spare rebuild kit, I decided now was a good time to use it.



                The flipper assemblies were completely disassembled and the flipper kit used to replace several of the parts. New transparent flipper bats will be used to replace the old ones, along with new green Titan flipper rubbers. The remaining metal parts were cleaned up, ready to be rebuilt.



                The flipper assemblies were rebuilt and set aside to be installed again shortly. The sling shot assemblies were next on my hit list and both were removed from the game for cleaning.



                Both assemblies were disassembled and the parts cleaned. A new coil sleeve will be installed on each assembly. Everything else cleaned up fine though and there were no broken parts to replace.



                Before I start putting the assemblies back into the game, I wanted to clean the playfield up. There was a thin layer of filth across the playfield surface.



                With a gentle clean, the playfield surface cleaned up nicely.



                The sling shot and flipper assemblies were installed once again. New star posts and light blue titan rubber rings were installed. The metal posts were all cleaned and went for a session in the tumbler before being installed. Clear washers will be used on the sling shot plastics to protect them from damage. White frosted LED's were installed into the GI sockets and two orange flashers were installed on the return lanes.



                The return lane plastics were cleaned up and installed again. The broken sling shot plastics were replaced with a new set. The old lock nuts were replaced with new ones too. I didn't order enough light blue mini post rubbers on my last Titan order, so have had to use some spare dark blue and red min post rubbers until I do my next Titan order.



                The game has two saucers to lock the balls in, one on each side of the playfield. There is a random reward for locking a ball in each one and they are also used to achieve one of the two primary multiball modes in the game. Both assemblies are working fine, and only need a clean. The assemblies were removed from the playfield and like everything else on the game, disconnect easily to get the whole assembly out.



                Both saucer assemblies were removed from the game and disassembled for cleaning. The transparent red bases are riveted on to the frame, so can't easily be replaced. Thankfully they are not broken. New coil sleeves and rubber grommets were purchased to replace the old ones. Everything else was cleaned up.



                The last assembly to look at in this update is the VUK, which lives just behind the shield assembly (which I covered in the previous update). This is working fine and only needs a clean.



                The assembly was disassembled and the parts cleaned. A new coil sleeve and rubber grommet were purchased to replace the old ones.



                The last thing to do for the playfield in this update was convert the inserts to using LED's. I've had great success with using the premium non ghosting LED's from Pinball Life, so have again gone with these for SWEP1. I had a batch of the PL LED's left over from converting other games of mine, which is good as it means less to buy. After going though the game and working out what I had and what I needed, some LED's were ordered. Something important to note is on P2K machines, putting an LED into the game will be reported as an error in the diagnostic menu even though the lamp works correctly. As I went through installing the LED's, I also took time to clean the underside of the inserts. Many of them were filthy, with black dust covering the underside of the inserts.







                The surface of the lamp boards were also covered in the black dust.



                Spending a few extra minutes here is well worth it as the inserts and boards both clean up nicely and will let more light through.







                During play I had noticed that the hotdog insert on the left side of the playfield was dimmer than the one on the right. I hadn't got around to looking at it yet, but since I was swapping the globes over, now seemed like a good time. My first thought was the globe, but the error report from the P2k diagnostics didn't show any issues. Watching the globe while the game was in attract mode showed that it wasn't lighting up. The socket was missing the diode that sits between two lugs and looked like they had been bent together in some sort of dodgy fix.



                I fished through my components tub and turned up a spare diode. The game was switched off, the solder cleared away and the lug bent back into position. The diode was installed and then the game started up again. Now in attract mode, the lamp lights up and functions correctly.



                The apron is a really nice transparent blue and looks great lit up with frosted blue LED's for the GI. I decided to add an additional 4 LED's to give the apron even more glow, mainly through the middle and rear sections as the standard GI is mostly along the front of the apron. These were hooked into the nearby GI sockets using some spare sockets and wiring I had.



                The yellow flipper bats weren't winning me over, so I switched to a crystal set I also had. With the LED's installed and cleaned inserts, the game was looking nice and bright. I still have GI to switch across through the middle and upper sections on the game, which i'll do once I remove the ramps in the next update.



                In the last update, I replaced the noisy CPU fan which was on its way out. It's now time to replace the loud power supply fan. When you turn the game on, it sounds like the machine is sitting in the middle of a run way and preparing to take off. I went to Jaycar and picked up a new low noise fan as a replacement. The old fan was removed from the power supply and the new one installed in its place. It's so much quieter now that I've removed the rear panel a few times after turning the game on just to make sure the fan was actually working!



                The final thing I wanted to cover in this update is a little bit of work I did to the rear of the game. It's not in terrible shape, but can certainly be improved. There is a little bit of paint damage, some rust showing on the door bracket and those old gliders can be replaced.




                The door panel was painted with two coats of gloss black. The metal resting bracket and bolt heads had some small rust sections sanded and then sprayed with satin black. The lock plate was sprayed with satin black too.



                The warning label on the door had been coming off and was unfortunately damaged in a few spots while trying to carefully remove it before painting. I decided to recreate it. To match the font I used a small app on my phone called "Find My Font", which allows you to take a photo and then have it match selected letters to return a list of possible font matches. I then downloaded the font and recreated the decal in Inkscape.



                The rear of the cabinet was masked up and a few small holes filled, along with the rough spots sanded. It was then given two coats of gloss black. The old gliders were replaced with new ones and the bolt heads painted separately. The warning label was stapled onto the door and the lock installed again. I plan to clean up the legs too, but will leave that for a future update. The rear of the game was now looking much nicer. A bit of effort for something that faces a wall and no one ever sees - but it's worth doing and a good example of making improvements on a game without having to spend much.




                That's it for the second update on my SWEP1 progress. The last assemblies to look at on the game now are the pop bumpers. To get access to these I'll need to remove the ramps, which means I may as well clean through the rest of the playfield at the same time. So I'll be taking the game offline for a week or two while working on the rest of it. Thankfully the playfield isn't cluttered, so working through it won't be a long process and may even mean I have it all completed in the next update. Until next time!
                Eschew the standard. Turn the paradigm upside down.

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                • #9
                  Once again mate, sensational detail.

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                  • #10
                    Having already made good progress on my SWEP1, I was keen to keep going and complete the remaining work. It's no good having a half clean machine, so I made the decision to take SWEP1 offline for a couple of weeks to address the remaining playfield areas and assemblies. The lower playfield area around the apron and sling shots was covered in the last update and now I need to look at the middle and upper sections of the playfield. This means taking both ramps off to get access to everything on the playfield in these areas. The only assemblies I need to look at are the pop bumpers, so most of the work is cleaning at the playfield level and getting the parts back on.



                    First step was to get the light saber and shooter lane ramp off the playfield. There was some filth under the lane guard, which should clean up no problems.



                    Next to be removed was the main ramp that runs almost the length of the playfield. There are a couple of connectors that needed to be removed and some screws. It was pretty simple to take off the playfield and now gave me access to the blue ramp and plastics.



                    Removing the plastics was the next step. The left side of the playfield was first up. The star post group in this section has two rubber rings around them, but it should only be one. The playfield surface isn't too dirty and will only need a light clean. The foam pads on the targets will need to be replaced.



                    The right side of the playfield had its plastics removed next. The star post group on this section also have two rubber rings on them, but should only be one. Again the playfield isn't too dirty and will only need a light clean. I'll be replacing all the bulbs with LED's when I start putting everything back on to the playfield.



                    At the top of the playfield, the blue ramp was next to be removed, along with a few more of the plastics and star posts.



                    Last to be removed were the metal rails and the remaining star posts. Everything was now off the middle and upper playfield areas except for the pop bumpers and shield. I've already sorted the shield out in an earlier update, but the pop bumpers i'll deal with shortly.



                    Around the top sections of the playfield the surface is a little more filthy. Nothing too bad though and I expect a light clean will get most of it up. Before cleaning the surface however, I got the vacuum cleaner out and sucked up all the loose bits and dust.



                    With the playfield stripped and ready for cleaning, the first area to receive attention was the rear panel of the playfield. It was given a fresh coat of black paint. The plastics were removed and cleaned. New flasher domes will be installed, along with yellow #906 LED's. The black posts and screws were cleaned up. Once the paint dries, these will be rebuilt and installed again.



                    Several metal posts and rails went into the tumbler for cleaning. New blue rubber pads were purchased, along with light blue Titan rubbers. New light blue star posts will replace the old ones. The large metal orbit rail was scrubbed clean too.



                    Before I could install anything back onto the playfield, I gave the surface a clean to remove the filth that had collected there. As expected, it lifted easily. The star posts were installed back on to the left side of the playfield, along with the rubbers and clear washers to protect the plastics. Fresh black pads were installed on the stand up targets. The metal ball rails were also installed again. LED's were installed to replace the globes. I'm keeping it pretty simple with the GI LED's in terms of colour. I always use the frosted style for GI lighting. I'm going with cool white under most of the plastics, and I'll be using warm white around the top where the display to minimise any clarity loss of the glass display. The only other GI colour will be blue under the rear ramp.



                    The right side received the same treatment. New star posts, rubbers and clear washers were installed after the playfield was cleaned. LED's were added too. The orange stand up targets were cleaned and polished.



                    The blue ramp was next up for cleaning and the smaller metal parts went through the tumbler. The larger ones were cleaned by hand. Some of the upper playfield plastics were also cleaned.



                    The remaining upper playfield plastics were cleaned and polished, ready to go back onto the game.



                    More posts and rubbers went back onto the playfield, along with the blue ramp. It was starting to come together again, looking nice and clean.



                    More parts were cleaned up, ready to go back onto the game. New rubbers from Titan and new star posts. All small metal parts went through the tumbler for cleaning.



                    I had to stop putting parts back on to the playfield and take care of the pop bumpers at this point.



                    The pop bumper assemblies were removed off the playfield and set side to clean shortly. I always start with the coil bracket under the playfield first, as that then clears the way to unsolder the pop bumper lamp wiring. The playfield surface was cleaned up to remove the filth and ball trails that had collected. Thankfully the area is covered with a mylar patch that has protected the area from any damage over the years. Overall the playfield on this game is in excellent condition, with very minimal damage.



                    With the area cleaned, the new star posts and rubbers were installed again, leaving the area looking like new.



                    It's now time to look at the three pop bumper assemblies that were removed from the playfield. Spade connectors make it easy to remove the entire assembly at once without the coils left dangling around under the playfield.



                    Two of the metal yokes were snapped in half, although still managing to stay in place. This is pretty common and I always replace these regardless as they are a cheap part and get heavy use.



                    Two of the skirts have also had some chunks snapped off from years of use. As a rule I always replace these too as they are another cheap part and brand new skirts always look nice. When I was working on a Whitewater a little while back, I had accidentally purchased some teal skirts to use on the pop bumpers when ordering parts. I ended up ordering white ones and then putting the teal ones on the shelf in case ever needed. They will come in handy here!



                    The metal parts went into the tumbler for cleaning. New metal yokes, fiber yokes, spoons, caps, bodies, coil sleeves and lamp sockets were sourced to replace the old ones. The pop bumpers were now ready to be rebuilt and installed back into the game.



                    The pop bumper assemblies were installed back on to the playfield and many of the plastics were installed again too. Lit up, the game is really looking nice!



                    The inside panels of the cabinet were given fresh gloss black paint which helps lift the presentation of the game.





                    The playfield was really coming along nicely and not far off being done. Next up is the main ramp and shooter lane ramp. They were completely disassembled for cleaning. The small metal parts went through the tumbler. All plastics were cleaned and polished.



                    There are two lamp shades on the game. Each one is attached to the main ramp just below where the Jar Jar and Watto characters are attached. The old ones look quite crappy. The wiring was cut from the old lamps and transferred to the new ones.



                    The old characters were looking dirty and tired, so new ones were sourced. You can still buy them quite cheaply. It seemed like a great chance to remove Jar Jar off the playfield, but I decided to leave him since he sits above the market ball lock and just outside Gungan city. It is tempting to look for a Darth Maul figurine though to install somewhere on the playfield. Both figures come with an accessory to hold, which i'll use some hot glue on to attach as I expect they will be knocked loose within 10 minutes of play otherwise.



                    A minor annoyance with the apron is a mark on the shooter lane decal. I had originally planned to leave this alone, but it was starting to bug me enough that I decided to do something about it.



                    The decals can still be purchased cheaply, so a replacement was organised. The old decal was heated up and removed. The surface wiped clean and then the new decal applied. I sometimes wonder how many people actually look at the gauge to judge their ball launch. Personally, I always go on feel.



                    The final cabinet thing on my to do list was clean up the legs. The legs were removed, rough spots sanded smooth and then resprayed with 3 coats of hammertone black. Nylon washers were added.



                    The ramps and light saber were installed back on to the playfield and the wiring connected up again. Any old screws and lock nuts were replaced with new ones. Finally the game was back together again and ready to play









                    For comparison, before and after:





                    With the game fully back together, I spent the next few days playing to test out all the work done. One switch on the right sling shot needed adjustment as it was too sensitive and one of the out lane switch arms also needed a slight adjustment. Otherwise, the game held together great and continues to play without issue. The game is a lot faster now, which increases the difficulty. That concludes my work on SWEP1 (..until something breaks of course). Progress came along very smoothly, thanks to the simple playfield layout and also having many of the parts on hand. The only other thing I may do is tweak the brightness and/or contrast settings on the monitor to improve the image quality. It's not terrible, but I know it can be better. If it's already on my mind, it's only a matter of time before it bugs me enough I have to say that SWEP1 is a fun game that probably doesn't get enough credit due to the movie tie in. If you haven't checked out P2K yet - give it a shot. There's only the two games in the series, but both are very enjoyable and something a bit different to play.
                    Eschew the standard. Turn the paradigm upside down.

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                    • #11
                      Since my SWEP1 arrived, the lightsaber Neon has been unreliable. Some days it works and others it won't start up at all. In other cases it might finally kick in part way through a game or just stop working during a JEDI battle. It was a little random. The general work around for it was to adjust the two wires coming from the lightsaber, which would usually get it working again. At least for a day or so before it stopped again. This gave me hope it was a connection issue instead of a driver board issue. Last week the Neon completely stopped and no manner of wire adjusting would get it back on. Enough is enough - time to fix the damn thing properly. There are two probable causes - an issue on the driver board or the 12V transformer inside the lightsaber. I disconnected the power connector for the lightsaber and using my DMM, tested the voltage it was receiving. The driver board was doing it's job properly and the correct voltage was coming in. I was fairly confident the issue was with the lightsaber, but this at least clarified it. So the lightsaber was removed for a closer inspection.



                      It isn't easy to get to the transformer inside the lightsaber. The handle is closed together with several rivets. The 5 rivets were carefully drilled out from the casing so I could access the transformer. I had hoped to find a loose wire being the cause of the neon failure, but both power wires from the game fed inside the transformer. Another two wires that connect to the neon tube come from the transformer and they lead inside the transformer too. So looks like a replacement is what's needed.



                      A new 12 volt transformer was purchased to install. These aren't plug and play and it will need some tweaking to get it into the lightsaber. There are two mounting tabs which allow the transformer to be screwed in - these will need to be cut off. The power supply cable will need to be cut and joined with the connector from the old transformer. The two wires coming out of the transformer will also need to be joined to the existing wiring on the Neon tube.



                      The power wiring was transferred from the old transformer so the new one could plug straight in under the playfield. The two out wires from the transformer were hooked up to the Neon tube. It was ready to be put back together.



                      The lightsaber housing was joined up again and hooked into the game. Once the start up sequence completed and the game entered attract mode, the light saber lit up brightly and was working once again.



                      In the end it was a pretty straight forward fix. Not a cheap one though ($80AU for the transformer vs. $3 for a driver board chip) - but you can't have an awesome Neon light saber on a machine that's not working. You just can't Pinball often throws us new problems for us to solve, so there's the positive with the information and knowledge gained. Now, back to playing it
                      Eschew the standard. Turn the paradigm upside down.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There are some things that remain on my pinball "to-do" list for quite awhile before I get around to them. Addressing the picture quality of my SWEP1 has been one of these things that I keep pushing back. In the current state, it's not terrible and the game is very playable which is why I've considered it a low priority. But, I know it can be SO much better as much of the detail in the video and playfield animations is lost. The issue is the contrast. The contrast dial (which is responsible for the "white" level) is already at max and cannot be increased further. That's where the small video amp board from Ultimarc comes in. This little board sits between the PC display output and the monitor, boosting the video signal. It's available here, along with some additional information: http://www.ultimarc.com/vidamp.html



                        The PCB is tiny and has two small holes for mounting. The package comes with a new VGA display cable, but you are required to make your own cable to run from the board to the chassis. There are a series of screw terminals, which is what the cable will connect to. This connector is firmly in place and a challenge to remove.



                        I have a spare monitor and chassis, which I had a look at to get an idea of the connector required and also the pin layout.



                        The original cable is a VGA to molex connector and runs direct from the P2K PC to the monitor. Rather than butcher this one to work with the video amp board, I'm going to leave this as is in case I ever want to remove the video amp board.



                        The video amp board isn't quite plug and play as you need to create a cable that runs from the video amp output to the chassis. The connector and wire were purchased from Jaycar for around $5 in total.



                        With the new cable built, it was time to install the video amp board in to the machine. The PCB was mounted on the two feet the right side of the headbox. The new cable wires were screwed in to the terminals and connected to the chassis. The new video cable from the P2K PC was installed and connected up to the video amp board. The video amp board requires a 5V power source to run. Some P2K machines supply this 5V on pin 9 of the display cable. If you have a P2K machine that does not do this, you will need to create an additional cable with a molex connector that joins to the one of the free 5V plugs inside the P2K PC. I didn't need to do this as I was getting 5V to the board from the display cable.



                        Once everything was connected up, the game was switched on to see what sort of result the video amp board would have. I was blown away by the difference the video amp board makes to the display. The contrast dial had been at max, so I lowered this and left with a display that was clearer than I had ever seen it. The improvement was across the board and I wish I had taken more before photos of the different game modes to show just how much of a difference the video amp board makes. Now I'm wishing I had done this earlier!




                        The letters for initials entry used to be barely visible.



                        But are now clearly visible.



                        In the light saber dual, it turns out they are fighting in a room - I couldn't see much of the background before.




                        The holoprojector can now be seen!




                        The match sequence at the end of the game was always so dark. Now I can actually make out the droids walking and more detail on the pod.




                        As I said, I wish I had taken more before shots. The visuals in every mode are now so much clearer and much more detail can be spotted. It's awesome! I'm going to fine tune the contrast dial a little more as I think it can be turned down a bit further. After playing a few more games, I really am blown away just how much the video amp board improves the display and the extra things you can see while playing. There are a few other options available to help improve the display. You can also get the tube rejuvenated and chassis recapped. But those are not something I can do myself. At approx $35AU + shipping for the video amp board, it's a very affordable upgrade that has a big impact on the display. If you own a SWEP1 or RfM with the original CRT - this is certainly worth considering.
                        Eschew the standard. Turn the paradigm upside down.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No need to look for 5v on swep1, rfm is another story. That's when you need to get it from the pc.

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