Archive for the ‘maintenance’ Category

Doctor Who Tournament begins!

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Today is the first day of the two-week long pinball toutnament at Docking Bay 93, being played on the newly-restored Doctor Who pinball machine.  Scroll down a few posts for details, and we hope everyone has fun!

The lack of posts yesterday was because it took longer to get Doctor Who working properly than anticipated.  As of when it left for the shop (pictures of the leg bolt that delayed the pin being returned to the shop Thursday coming after I’ve had a good night’s sleep), the only thing wrong with it was a light in the lowest pop bumper is not installed.  I had the wrong replacement parts for the broken socket.  Not a bad tradeoff for a fully functional time expander, though.

Addams Family has left the arcade briefly, for VERY much needed work.  I won’t be giving any estimates for how long until it returns until I’ve had a chance to catalog what all needs fixed.  I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks for reading, and again, hope you have fun with the tournament!

Quick update

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

No pictures, I left the camera out in the shop, but re-assembly has started on Doctor Who. All of the targets on the Time Expander test as working, but I won’t know for sure until I have it all reassembled and play a few games. The right lock is refusing to work atm, but with luck it’ll just be a loose wire.

As promised, links!

First, a slightly slow, but very informative promotional video for the game. I recommend watching this to anyone who hasn’t played Doctor Who much and wants to compete in the tournament.

And second, a page I found a few days ago that contained a lot of information about the game that I hadn’t known, from Bally/Williams pinball programmer Pfutz. I actually like the origional cabinet better, but that’s me speaking as a Doctor Who fan. As an operator, the cabinet they used would be much more eye catching in most arcades.

More news tomorrow, if not sooner!

Doctor Who, in progress

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Work continues on the Doctor Who pinball machine. Most of the work is just basic cleaning, replacing of bulbs, and whatnot. The faulty circuit board has been replaced and no problems have been found.

And then there are the repairs.  I started rebuilding the pop bumpers, which have over the years become badly chipped, as you can see below:

New bumper skirts are being installed, and a new light in the lower bumper (which was already removed when I took this picture).

And the other repair, and a major one, is that I am rebuilding the Time Expander, installing a new set of optos in the switch bank, which will make the Dalek Bump targets work properly for the first time since before we bought the game.  Here is the Time Expander removed from the playfield:

And here is the gaping hole it leaves behind:

After the playfield is torn apart, cleaned, and put together, I will also check the wiring under the playfield for loose or broken connections, replace lightbulbs, and clean the under-playfield ramps.  If you’ve ever wondered how the pinball works, this may give you some idea:

In other news, as you have no doubt noticed, we we removed Doctor Who for repairs, we replaced it with Tales of the Arabian Knights.  The game will be filling in for the other pins as we rotate them out for repairs and maintenance.  Currently, the skill shot is broken (we replaced the broken ramp with a good one, and we think a wire broke in the process), but that should be fixed within the next few days.

With any luck, I should be back Tuesday night/Wednesday morning with pictures of a newly repaired Time Expander and a clean and bright game, ready for the upcoming tournament!  I’ll also post links to the Doctor Who programmer’s blog, where he talks about designing the game, and to the Bally promotional video for Doctor Who on YouTube.  It’s a little slow, but has a lot of great gameplay information.

Pinball Tournament

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Friday, Sept. 19 – Sunday, Oct. 5th
Win a Data East Laser War pinball machine!

How do you win? Register your initials with Dan, then play the Doctor Who pinball machine any time during the tournament period. The high score on the game at close of business October 5th wins! The only entry fee is the 25 cents per game, and you may play as many times as you like!

An information sheet will be provided on the starting date of the tournament with some basic gameplay information for the Doctor Who pinball machine, tournament rules, links to internet sites related to the game, rules that will be in effect in the event of mechanical failure of the Doctor Who pinball machine, and suggestions for what to do if you want to compete, but don’t have the space to own a pinball machine.

About the Laser War machine: A fun, laser-tag inspired game from Data East. The specific machine is working (see note below), in average condition for a game of its age, due to damage to the spaceship toy and some wear, fading, and discolouration on the playfield and artwork. Game will be cleaned and checked for burned out lights prior to being awarded. The game currently has an electronic problem, causing it to occasionally reset during gameplay, which means it is not suitable to operate for money, but for most people will not affect their enjoyment at home. Included with the game will be the operator’s manual and an information sheet with a list of internet resources for parts and repair, should you wish to repair the game or have it professionally repaired, as well as basic maintenance information.

In other news, unless anything else is found wrong with it (when I’m done, something on that pin will work that hasn’t worked since before we owned it, which I will post about tomorrow night!), Doctor Who will be returning to the arcade Wednesday, at which time Addams Family will rotate out for some MUCH needed work. Then either Simpsons or Lord of the Rings, depending on which needs tlc more.

I will be catching this blog up over the week (things have been a little hectic, with the amount of things around the house I need to do before fall weather sets in), and probably posting updates daily while I finish up Doctor Who and work on Addams Family. Anyone curious about what the inside of a pinball machine looks like, tune in tomorrow!

(please note, links to the Internet Pinball Machine Database might not work intermittently for a few days, as their physical site was in the path of Hurricane Ike.

Catching up

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

First of at least two changes in the arcade this week, as Dig Dug leaves (and is available to play on the Namco Classic Collection Volume 2) to make room for Captain America and the Avengers!

Captain America

Finally, a comic book related video game!  Cap is a personal favourite of mine (and anyone who knows me knows I generally don’t like side scrolling beat-em-ups), costing me a small fortune in quarters when it was new.

In other news, still no word on the replacement board for Doctor Who.  As soon as we have an eta on the board arriving, I’ll post an update.

Finally, the Namco Classic Collection volume 2 control panel will be going in before Monday.  There was a defective part in the joystick, so getting it done has taken longer than expected.

Next post should be this week-end (Monday at the latest) with an update on the Namco controls and the upcoming pinball tournament. 

Doctor Who

Monday, July 28th, 2008

As you may have noticed, Doctor Who is out of order.  Again.  Not finding anything obvious wrong with the board, so going to call around and see about getting it looked at by someone more qualified, or even professionally repaired.  Too many people like that pin (myself included) for the amount of downtime it has.

Beginning work on Captain America and the Avengers in the afternoon.  Should be quick to get up and running, but I’m working on a broken toe, so it might take longer than I want.  I’m also going to try to finish up the replacement wiring for the Namco Classics with Pac Man (so it can finally be played two player…hooray!) today as well, since I can do that sitting down, assuming the cat lets me.

Finally, if you havent seen the news, visit  It should come as no suprise that I’m excited about this one!


Monday, April 21st, 2008

Change for the better for Phoenix Nest, as more games are up and running.  In the last few months, we have added a Neo Geo and Arkanoid (a personal favourite game), as well as replaced the joystick on Donkey Kong and fixed Tron.  Now, after a few nights of work, I am pleased beyond belief to announce the following:

 Robotron / Joust

A combined Robotron and Joust machine. Robotron is the single most requested game to be added to the arcade, and Joust is one of the best two-player games ever made. Remember, you can play Joust cooperatively OR competitively!

Defender / Defender 2 (Stargate)

Defender and Defender 2 (which many will remember by the original name Stargate). I have never had good luck keeping Defender running, so being able to add it back to the arcade with more reliable technology, as well as the additional ability to play the even harder sequel, made me very happy!

Chase HQ

Chase HQ is now working again as well, although it is having some sound problems. I hope to have those figured out soon.

We have also replaced several marquee lights and made some minor repairs.  Over the next few weeks we will get more repairs and cleaning done, give the pinball machines the TLC they need, and maybe a few surprises!

Thanks for playing!


Monday, February 4th, 2008

Welcome to the online home of Phoenix Nest.  As I get up to speed with this, expect posts related to maintenance and game rotation in the arcade, reviews of classic games, news from the arcade world, and anything else that bubbles to the surface of my brain as being in any way relevant.

Currently, the maintenance on the games is not what we would like, and really hasn’t been since we sold the store.  As many of you know, we also personally moved around the time we sold the shop, and weren’t adequately prepared for the logistics of living farther away and not coming in every day.  As soon as we are not snowed in we plan to rapidly address some of the outstanding issues, and go from there.  If all goes as planned, and these are mostly classic games we’re talking about here so keep that in mind, it should take one to two weeks to go from the 7 non-working games we have now to four (the three vector games, and Laser Wars).  Then we will start addressing cosmetic issues, minor issues, DK3′s monitor, and fixing the vectors.

 Last, because I don’t want to start boring you just yet, please welcome our ‘newest’ game, Arkanoid.  This is not the one I was restoring, because I went on Craigslist to look for a cabinet for another conversion and instead found a working Arkanoid.  The cabinet that was going to hold Arkanoid will hold another game (or two), which should be announced soon.

Next post will not be until I’ve done more work on the front page, as well as a great deal of work for the Docking Bay 93 website for Dan.  Unless we get more games working, in which case I’ll be posting here as fast as I can.