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Very Sad Meteor, will one day be very happy Meteor

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Posted (edited)
Odd looking coin door..


yes it's been modified at some point, but after removing the credit button it appears to be original due to over spray, but don't believe it, maybe over spray from when it was modded.....

from pulling it apart it appears to have been done well.

maybe @Autosteve could shed some light?

Edited by Rich
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yes it's been modified at some point, but after removing the credit button it appears to be original due to over spray, but don't believe it, maybe over spray from when it was modded.....

from pulling it apart it appears to have been done well.

maybe @Autosteve could shed some light?


I'd say some operator had there door destroyed, believe me, some do get absolutely destroyed like folded in half. Machine is only making $100 a week and is no longer current so make a door to keep it still earning money. Throw in some cheap coin mechs in that only require a rough hole in wood to mount and it's back out earning money in a day or two.


I don't think anything was made like that.


Regarding the Meteor build, I read this piece I thought might be interesting to try.... To weaken the upper flipper you wire it in series with the lower flipper hold up winding.


Basically the lower flippers are powered by the full 43 volts but the top flipper only gets what's left after first going through the lower flipper's holdup winding. Certainly going to weaken it but I'm not sure how much, never heard of this before. Should just be which terminal you solder the second EOS switch supply wire to on the lower coil to convert from stock to try this method.


Be interesting to see if and how good this works.

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  • 1 month later...

@thegrunta666 was supplied a complete door, which is great, but it's to suit a later model Stern which meant the door and surrounds didn't fit into the original recessed area on the cabinet.

so plugging with dowel and filling of extra holes and removing some original cabinet timber to get back to original.....lots of time taken to get it right, and your right may not be mine so feel free to criticise.


the cabinet is coming along, but due to it being soooo cold here in southern Vic, the the drying booth has been the house.


so full sand back of cabinet inside and out, fill recesses with a fine filler from a tube and applied with an old drivers license, let dry, sand, prime/paint, let dry rinse and repeat not building up the layers too much so as to keep at a minimum......lots of leveling to get that uniform finish.


the ply was lifting in one corner so it was lifted, PVA glue blown in with a air gun and clamped. Then the same routine to bring it back to a uniform finish.


the headbox was missing a side so was remade but is still in the works and has been reinforced in the meantime as it was quite bad.


it is done in a matte black acrylic and using a gloss acrylic for the colours.....well that's the plan but may change, the goal is to get the colours to "pop".


so some pics if your keen?


remembering the inside of this cab had mouse crap and mud in it along with extra holes drilled, and the exterior was scratched quite bad and painted over, it's not until it's stripped back you get to see what your really dealing with.



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IMG_4350.thumb.JPG.3b5a744e4a2441ab2db8748ec39e132c.JPG IMG_4415.thumb.JPG.67c7ccd4c9944d5442a48760a692c5f1.JPG IMG_4424.thumb.JPG.411e54286656d2bffbad4e99d360b45e.JPG IMG_4526.thumb.JPG.6d83603e08048ec6acf6dcfcf44fc289.JPG IMG_4536.thumb.JPG.38e870ba9b952e8125b44a3f6db5ea2e.JPG IMG_4538.thumb.JPG.c6d5e5ede42b8a579e0aa8b302064fe0.JPG IMG_4540.thumb.JPG.d778b4851436cfb7073909daf391af06.JPG

the white dots on the rear are nail holes for the ID plate and the cushion stops, so intentional but will presumably get covered when spayed, but won't be filled.


the matte black you see on outside is the first coat so more to go, in case you picked flaws, not that there won't be any, just letting you know it's still early days ;)


yes there is a repeat of a pic of the front.

















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  • 4 weeks later...

a small update...


the backbox ground plane sheets..... they had discoloured and had burn marks on them.


a magic eraser with windex made a noticeable difference.


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the magic eraser started out new, but it doesn't take much to tear them up running over staple holes and raised screw holes from the self tappers.


the aluminium sheets have been cleaned and masked up ready for the new headbox surrounds to be fitted, as one side was missing the decision of new hardwood ones was made, more to come.


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  • 3 weeks later...

display trays washed and ribbon cables for sound board

cables tested and are fine.




display board/door got a tidy up with a freshly zinc plated hinge, and latch






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the METEOR drop target bank side plates had the holes that hold the reset bar made bigger from repeated use, so the option was to add 1/4 inch nyliners, they work a treat. The oblong holes were carefully made round and in went the nyliners.





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the mpu when powered up had the LED on permanently.

at first glance the board may look okay, but the damage from the leaking ni-cad battery had traveled up both sides of the board, the reset section and up onto the 5101 sockets. You can see one side of a ceramic capacitor had popped off.

all removable IC's had badly tarnished pins, these were cleaned, one ROM had a broken leg and a fractured leg which were repaired.

the board was left to soak overnight in vinegar, washed, repaired and a clear put on both sides.

opted for a 1.5uF memory capacitor to hold settings.

total time spent on board was 10 hours minimum, "why" you may ask? -> for the challenge and to keep the pin original.

but 10 hours.....really? battery damaged solder is rock hard and time consuming to remove, consider removing all the bad components,  headers, sockets and pins soaking the board, neutralising the vinegar, washing again then drying with compressed air, then cleaning all the solder pads and through hole connections, refitting headers, components, trimming legs, cleaning all the legs of the other components, and the rear of the board also, then testing (including the dip switches) and coating with a clear carefully to not get inside any sockets.









the mpu also had 2 bad 5101's, a 6820/21 (AMI) and a 6810, all headers were replaced and the reset section replaced.

after turning on/off numerous times the LED failed to light, it went bad and was replaced also.

even though the board boots and LED goes dim, it won't be until the game is in operation to test it fully.




I mentioned the unreliability of the AMI brand 6820/1's to @thegrunta666 but for the time being it will stay on the board.

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  • 2 weeks later...

and a trial fit of the  front door and surround plates.

this door is from an earlier model Stern as you notice there are fewer coach bolts.

one of the side plates had an extra hole drilled in it so this was filled thanks to @OzBlackKnight 

the door and surrounds were sandblasted and powdercoated for a whopping total of $35- thanks to Dandy South Powder Coating.

and a huge "Thanks" to @Budgie for all his running around and picking up stuff and dropping it off 👍

i believe the legs will be done in the same finish.


the door was stripped and severely rusted metal parts on the rear were semi prepped for zinc plating.



the rear of the door parts were soaked in mineral turps, then cleaned up and loom cleaned up with Windex.









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  • 2 weeks later...

a little bit more.

if you've ever had to remove the adhesive vinyl on the side rails you'll know what a hassle it is.

i tried once, a hair dryer then turps with a scraper, never again.

these were quite bad so the option to was to replace with tassie oak, then a similar vinyl, buying online was tricky, trying to find something to replicate a 40 year old product, so after $50- down the drain the decision was black varnish which has the colour and clear to protect in one.



but what you buy is a few millimetres too tall, so the excess was planed off to match the originals, and holes drilled to match also.




as the original vinyl has a grain to it the hardwood worked a treat, as it also has a grain.

tried brushing lightly, sanding between coats....that sucked so tried airbrushing, but the air brush was too small to deliver enough for coverage, so went a small bottom feeder.

photos later will show it, but by the time the varnish had cured, they came up a treat.


the pic of the one on it's own had just been sprayed, hence the gloss look, pin hole and no grain.


photos later will show it, but by the time the varnish had cured, they came up a treat.



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Fuc*king reproduction crap.

Have taken into account, maybe, that as the ball can sit in the cut out, they remade the original tombstone drops, with the added ledge, but not take into account how the graphics may look, gee guys you've dropped at least 3mm from the top HELLLLLO!!!

I understand the added ledge on inline targets, but only just on not correctly adjusted parallel ones.

I'm stumped at the stupidity of people that remake pinball parts that aren't up to spec. it's becoming more obvious/frequent as time rolls on.

There's no duty of disclosure here stating that your replacement targets graphics will sit below the playfield and look different from the original hence look wrong.

Yet again the affect is a hassle to the buyer.

As far as I know @swinks is the only person to remake better original blank drop targets that you can then apply remade decals to suit.

Here's the new version that obviously has a main flaw, they haven't raised the graphics to accommodate for the addition of the ledge.



But it can be rectified, it's in the process, more to come.




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Is the playfield thicker ?

the fathom was and also the targets the print in them was also lower 

why cant they  make part correct or a the just rushed to get them produced?

Edited by Pinoffski
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22 hours ago, Pinoffski said:

Is the playfield thicker ?

the fathom was and also the targets the print in them was also lower 

why cant they  make part correct or a the just rushed to get them produced?

the playfield is thicker by the amount of clear that was put on after it was purchased.

the original Fathom targets had a 'hood' on top, the reproductions I've seen are the same as the original, I did not notice the print being lower, but it was a few ago now, I don't have the answer as to why the all the reproduction Meteor drop targets were made as they are, with a ledge and hood. The original METEOR drop targets had a 'hood' on them, but not a ledge as they are now.

@swinks remakes the original blank Stern drop targets with and without the hood that are reinforced and as per the 1,2, &3 drop targets for Meteor and were considered getting but it would have been around $300, some modifications will be done that 'should' work to have the aftermarket targets sit nicely.   

it could be a topic for another thread but i've come across so many reproduction parts that are not up to spec and would also like to know why. Maybe a sign of the times where it's just about the money and not about the quality?

way way back, like 20 years ago i contacted Steve at PBR regarding parts i purchased from him that were faulty, now Steve can have his days, like all of us, but i got him on a bad day and he wasn't happy with my legitimate complaints and back then he called me "the fussy Australian" and since then i can't email PBR, i have to call Steve personally if i want something, i got email banned.

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hey @Rich a little bit of info on the targets, even my repro's are not exact in the way that the surface finish as slightly textured as Laser Sintered 3D printing (solid nylon particles joined together with a laser) is not like the injection molded parts but is a better than nothing. Also many of the reproductions I have to offer are made by Shapeways in the US as no one in Australia can match the price and when a part is sold I get 15-20% of the sale and almost all my parts were designed and made available to help pinheads and friends out and not for profit reasons - I think 95% are still in the red - if I looked at get my time back in sales.

I just finished for fun to help a US pinhead create a custom nylon rod and ring to replace the Gen 1 Stern Drop pop bumper as the metal rings are NLA and included a custom Jet Bumper base and while not cheap and took about 15hrs for the various parts I earnt $15USD - so it is for the love and fun of it.

When I did these drop targets repros an aussie pinhead sent me his mech and some original targets and I reverse engineered the targets with the 2 different  ledges and discovered that some games had the metal bracket reversed hence the different ledges. I like to do upgraded version of parts if I see a way to make it stronger and then last a lifetime - so with these drop targets I filled in the back. I typically add a "U" to the part number which signifies that I have strengthened the part like the Bally Ball Launch Arm. The photo with the 2 arms is the original and the photo with 3 arms is filled in and larger internal radius.

Also I learnt through the modelling is that the Bally and Stern brackets are almost identifical BUT one brand has a extra nub on the bottom which lifts the targets up higher when ready for play. Hence most of the repro Meteor drops with the hood are Bally's with the stamping and not true Stern repros. Some people when reproducing don't research the other parts and do the comparisons. While it does take an average of 10-12 hrs to design one part and then get samples you start to see the minor / major differences. Not everyone does this and this is where crappy reproductions creep in.

Hope my discoveries and info helped.

Here is  link to current repro's






Edited by swinks
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I found a image of the comparison of the Stern Tombstone against a Hooded Bally Drop. The rod mounted point in relation to the spring and even the shelf are all the same dimensionally but the Stern tombstone stands higher and does not have the nub on the bottom where the Bally has the nub on the bottom and hood and shorter in the top.

But I suspect when installing a Bally target into a Stern game they will sit differently.

hope that helps

Stern & Bally Comparison.png

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i meant no offence regarding cost @swinks, it was almost decided that your targets would be the way to go as CPR didn't router out enough on the playfield for the number 3 drop targets to fit. Well original ones may have fit but the number 3 cut out is smaller in length/width opposed to the 1's & 2's.


it is stated online that a Bally drop target cannot be used in a Stern and vice versa.

the first early Bally drop target banks had the switches on the bottom of the assembly, the nub went through a hole in the bottom bracket to actuate the switch.

Bally then changed to side mount switches.

This may already be known, but Bally and Stern drop targets aren't interchangeable due to where the target rests upon reset.

With Bally the top bracket of the assembly sits flush with the playfield and the target when raised/reset rests on the rectangular cut out.

But with Stern the top bracket is the opposite to Bally, say upside down hence the long finger on the drop target on the underside of the face.

It has been going around in my mind wondering if I swap the bracket to be the same as Bally and have it sit flush with the underside of the playfield if a Bally drop target may in fact work in a Stern drop target assembly? As all the rebuilt drop target banks have to be stripped down again to do the modifications :classic_sad: I will put my question to the test.



as dirty as the assemblies may look, it's just visual, they have all be washed down and cleaned up leaving their original look, and are smooth to touch.

Edited by Rich
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2 hours ago, Rich said:

i meant no offence regarding cost @swinks, it was almost decided that your targets would be the way to go as CPR didn't router out enough on the playfield for the number 3 drop targets to fit. Well original ones may have fit but the number 3 cut out is smaller in length/width opposed to the 1's & 2's.

No offence taken mate, all good, just thought to explain

That is disappointing that CPR missed that with the 3's

Thanks for the explanation - great to know

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  • Super Moderator
14 hours ago, Pinoffski said:

I know sometimes a thread can get side tracked..

It Is good that issues with restoring a pinball gets posted as it helps us all  that take on the challenge. 

Just saying thanks....

Hey Dave, I think a good proportion of the problems people solve on AA are due to pics and info found in restore threads.  That is the great value of AA (and forums) over Facebook, the info stays online in searchable form for uses to access for YEARS, not just as long as it takes for the discussion to drop down past the third page of the feed.

Keep it up mate, the effort is appreciated!

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So did you sort this problem out?. Also, your problem was the targets appeared to be to low by about 3mm in the up position but the targets were flush in the correct position with the top of the playfield in the lower position especially the meteor targets?.

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sorry @Autosteve, sort which problem out specifically?

all the drop target letters and numbers being seen correctly is coming as per post.....can't find post numbers? anyway i mentioned the problem hopefully being rectified by a modification to come, waiting on stainless steel. Post posted Wednesday 6:45pm, mentioned in between pics, easily overlooked. "But it can be rectified, it's in the process, more to come."


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a few more pics, thought it was all cool until i saw it again in sunlight, after the fix then after another coat..... so it had to be fixed.

so firstly undercoat then now 2 litres of matte black have been used, on the headbox and cabinet, inside and out.

whaaaaaat? 2 litres? this cab was a mess and it took multiple coats to get it to its current stage.

many hours of filling, sanding and spraying to get it level. No spray putty used.

I've noticed that some Meteor's weren't painted fully on the inside, but this LAI was.....maybe all LAI were?





Edited by Rich
added a 'y' to man, meant to be many
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