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Shipping boards to us for repair?
Test equipment for sale
Technical Tips - general, and an explanation of the Diode Test for checking parts in-circuit!

We service most any pinball game board, and many of the classic video game boards. Please contact us for details of estimated cost (our shop/telephone consultation rates are $90/hour - plus parts), and methods of payment. Most common game board repairs are done within 1 - 2 hours, multi-processor boards take a bit longer, and corrosion problems can be quite expensive-up to four hours to sort out. We typically have a two to four month waiting period for board repairs. Also non-CPU run boards (mid to early 70's) can cost more to repair due to added time to analyze the problem. A CPU allows us to use higher level of diagnostic tools (our high-tech Fluke 9010A and corresponding CPU Pod), but boards without a CPU require schematics and use less informative test gear usch as Logic Probes, Logic Comparators, and Video Probes.

Repair Policy

All board level repairs come with a 90 day parts and labour warranty only on parts we installed - if a part we installed fails we will refund your return postage costs, contact us about return shipping instructions! Please understand that we can not be responsible for problems on the circuit board that may develop after leaving our shop due to original parts failing, static electric shock to the PCB (We seal your board in antistatic bag/bubble pack - you are responsible to make sure you are static free while handling board(s)) Note too that many of the boards that we are asked to work on are over 25 years old and are thus not as reliable as newer boards due to the age of the original parts. We do our best!

For example, we typically will leave a board on the test bench running from two to eight hours after it is repaired to burn it in. During this final testing phase we flex the board to see if there are any additional issues that might show up in handling and shipping back to the customer. Unfortunately this flex test can sometimes show up additional errors - mostly bad IC sockets, and we also run into situations where previous board repair has been less than successful and the actual solder connections at the replaced parts is damaged by the previous repair attempt. The flex test also can turn up some of the intermittent problems that can plague a board. 

Telephone {604-872-5757} or email technical assistance (other than board repair questions) is available for $90 Canadian per hour (payable by VISA, M/C or AMEX) if you did not purchase the game from us. You must ask for John R. or setup an appointment time for YOU to call back if he is busy, and we do NOT return these calls. Normal shop hours are 9 - 5:30 Pacific Coast Time, Tuesday to Saturday. Best times to reach John R. is 10 - 12AM  or 4 - 5:30PM Tuesday to Saturday

Some of the games we service include:

  • Pinball game boards, including Allied Leisure, Atari, Bally, Fantastic, Game Plan, Gottlieb, Stern, Williams...

  • Silver Age video games: From Computer Space to Space Invaders . Included are: Sprint 1,2,3,4,8, Midway's B&W games (Sea Wolf, Checkers....), Pong and variations,  79 Ambush...

  • Colour video games up to the JAMMA boards, and some of the JAMMA boards we fix as well. 

  • Vector Graphic games including Asteroids, Space Duel, Star Wars, ESB,  Vectorbeam/Cinematronics games, etc..

  • Jukebox amplifiers and rebuild the machines from the 30's up

  • We restore pinball games, artwork restoration, and mechanical repair or overhaul.

  • We do NOT service any of the food/drink vending machines, nor cigarette machines!

Packing game board for shipping


If there are batteries on the board, then it is best if you can find some antistatic bagging or antistatic bubble pack to wrap the board. If no battery (check with us if you are not sure), then you can wrap the board in aluminum foil and then place it in a box that has either crumpled newspaper or "chips" for protecting the board.

Please note that when you are sending game boards to us for service and you are from outside of Canada you MUST send by AIR MAIL or EXPRESS POST,( United States Postal service) ONLY and be SURE to put a customs declaration sticker (sample picture) that states:

"Electronic Circuit Board(s) for Repair"

This will ensure that no customs clearance charges entail (not like the $30 extra UPS charges us!)

Send to:

John's Jukes Ltd
7 - 3979 Marine Way
Burnaby, BC V5J 5E3
Canada

Phone (604)872-5757

If you wish to join some mail-lists that are devoted to specific topics:

Vector games:
  To SUBSCRIBE to vectorlist, send a message with "SUBSCRIBE" in the message body to vectorlist-request(at)synthcom.com.

Raster video games:
To SUBSCRIBE to rasterlist, send a message with "SUBSCRIBE" in the message body to rasterlist-request(at)synthcom.com.

Jukeboxes: To SUBSCRIBE to jukebox-list, send a message with "SUBSCRIBE" in the message body to Jukebox-list-request(at)lists.netlojix.com  

Technical tools discussions:
  (Test equipment-Fluke 9010A, Data I/O programmers, etc.) To SUBSCRIBE to techtoolslist, send a message with to: "majordomo(at...)flippers(dot...)com" and in the message body put only "Subscribe techtoolslist" Leave the subject blank...


Technical Tips and useful servicing information for games

Battery Corrosion?, Here are some tips...
Cinematronics tips from rec.games.video.collecting
Gottlieb ground problems and more...
Jukebox mug shots to help identify yours..
Jukebox tips and transistor subs..
Pachinko Help page
Pinball Troubleshooting tips, etc rubber ring chart and more
ROM/EPROM CheckSums Page
Transistor and electronic component testing and additional links (ECG, etc...)new
Some (evolving) tips for Video Game repairs, including the sub for Ampliphone HV transformers



Technical tips - how to test transistors, some basic theory, and other tidbits.

Integrated Circuits, transistors and diodes can be checked with a digital voltmeter if it has the "Diode" test function as one of the settings, otherwise you will need an analog meter movement style.
For analog meters (Meter Movement style) be warned that they can supply high voltage and current to the device under test, it would be advisable to check the voltage at the probes with a digital meter to make sure that it is no more than 2.00 volts and about 500 milliamps current. If the voltage or current is higher, then I would not recommend the use of that meter for testing solid state devices.

You can do a static test of TTL input and output gates with the diode test feature of most digital multimeters. Just follow these instructions:

DIODE TEST (Digital Multimeter symbol "--|>--")

You can run a Diode Test on the I/O gates of the PIA (after replacing damaged TTL ICs) - all readings should be consistent with others of the same 8-bit group.
Procedure for Diode Test:

1) Check Vcc to Ground first - this will give you a reading for shorts to Vcc (around 0.3VDC)

2) Check leads of suspect IC, in most cases the Diode Test will show something of the order of 0.5 to 0.8VDC relative to ground with the probes in one orientation (negative lead to device, positive to ground) and open (or a minimum of 0.8 or higher) in the other orientation (positive lead to device, negative to ground). If you see a very low resistance (0.0 to 0.3VDC) then it is likely that either the device is blown or there s a solder bridge or another device is damaged (perhaps the replaced IC is bad). You may find that the test works better if you use the Vcc line as your reference point (Positive to Vcc, negative lead to device leg).

After a few checks of known to be good IC's you are then ready to use your new skills on suspect parts. This test is particularly good with IC's that have had voltage shocks as the faults show up real fast!

Transistor theory is covered elsewhere on the 'net (if anyone has other good examples please let me know so I can link it here  Send to:JRR). Typically transistors used in coin-operated amusement machines (pinballs, jukeboxes, videos, etc) are of the "Bi-Polar" style. These are either NPN or PNP with a "Base", "Emitter" and "Collector" as the three leads. There are many styles of transistors (plastic, metal, metal tab "T0-220",..) but the three leads is usually a giveaway that the device is a transistor. Sometimes the "Third" lead  (Collector) is the metal case as in the style referred to as "T0-3" metal cased transistor, or a metal tab as in the "TO-220" style devices.

If the reason you are looking here is because, say, a coil is not working in your pinball game, then there is a simple way to test that circuit. Once you have identified the transistor in question, by consulting the schematics or tracing the circuit, then you have an option to try shorting out the "Emitter" to the "Collector" to see if the device under question is going to work. On Bally, Stern, Gottlieb and Williams games you can short the tab of the T0-220 Transistor to the metal ground frame of the headboard to manually turn the coil on. Be SURE you are shorting the correct transistor! As you can severely damage some circuits if this is not the case. In Bally, Gottlieb and Stern games the T0-220 transistors are normally only used for coils, so you are pretty safe, however in Williams games they use this type of transistor to controls the lights as well as the High Voltage so BE CAREFULL!
Do not do this power test in monitors or any other game component, this is ONLY for pinball coil checkouts...


If you have a coil that is always ON, then the driver transistor is probably shorted, you can check this, measure between the tab of the transistors to ground when the board is installed in the game. If you see a very low resistance, then the transistor is probably shorted and needs replacement.

Some other links of interest...


Testing of Flybacks FAQ
Sci.Electronics Repair FAQ - Table of Contents
The ECG cross reference guide
Directory of books on IC's

(jrr-at-flippers-dot-com for those who do not have their browser set to open their email client)
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All information on this site is Copyright (©) 1997 through 2019 by John's Jukes Ltd.
MOVED(as of May, 2017)to 7 - 3979 Marine Way, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5J 5E3
(604)872-5757