This post follows up Fireproofing Pin*bot and Other Early System 11 Games, which was posted a few weeks back. In covering this fix, I will revisit to note that that Pinsider Inkochnito has now introduced a “Bridge Board” which he designed to solve the same problem that is normally corrected by installing two fuses in line with the +18 and +25 volt power supply regulated by two bridge rectifiers on System 3 thru 11 Williams games (and some Data East games too).
Inkochnito, who may be better known for making available faithfully reproduced apron cards for our classic games, has spearheaded the production of this board which can replace parts that already exist in the backbox. To use my Pin*Bot as an example, I would need to remove the fuse blocks I installed (obviously), the two mounted bridges and the large capacitor that sits near the bottom of the box, all indicated in the first picture of the gallery below. These parts are all “on-board” the new unit. Screw-down connectors are used to affix the wires (which I’m not all that fond of) so no soldering skills are required for installation and the board has two LED lights to alert you when exit power is present for the two line voltages. The bridges are mounted to the back of Inkochnito’s board so that they retain the same cooling properties from the metal backbox plate as the original bridges. Mounting the board is achieved using the original bridge mounting holes. Installation couldn’t be simpler. Installation notes can be found here (pdf).
The “Add Two Fuses” fix has been the standard for years, and I don’t see much reason for my Pin*Bot to have a whole new board installed in it, even though the price is affordable at $49.00USD+$7.00USD economy shipping within the US. If I notice lights dimming (sign of a bad cap) or if my installed fuses blow (sign of a bad BR) perhaps then I would consider this board as a suitable replacement. Even at an affordable price, the game could be fixed with suitable replacement parts for much less, but as I understand, some of the Data East caps are pricy and hard to find, so in that case, it may be cheaper to use the board. Folks doing a complete overhaul or restoration of games from this period may want to jump straight to this solution, as it looks much cleaner and may save you a few steps down the road anyhow. Restoration of this era of game is normally done for the love of the game rather than profit (after dealing with a blown out playfield, new plastics, cabinet repaint, board fixes, etc. there really isn’t all that much meat left on the bone). What’s another $49.00 when you are doing it for the love of pinball in the first place?
The Inkochnito Bridge Board is available in the US from North American distributor Big Daddy Enterprises, and directly from its creator in Europe by emailing inkochnito (at) kpnplanet.nl.
Big Daddy Enterprises – Inkochnito’s Bridge Board
Pinside – Bridge Board Available for Williams Games
Inkochnito’s Pinball Score and Instruction Reproduction Cards