Adding Magnet Feature to a Bally Centaur

Hold SpotBally’s Centaur pinball machine came from the factory with an electromagnet, installed in the top-right corner of the playfield. It would hold the ball in place after it hit the “release” target, which initiates the multi-ball mode.

Unfortunately, as time passed and these electromagnets burnt out, it became more difficult and expensive to find a replacement magnet. Most games no longer have the magnet installed, as it was likely removed to be sold.

On our machine, we had no idea if the magnet was still there, and one day decided to look under the playfield to see if there was one. It turns out there was, but it didn’t work.

Magnet Close

After verifying the electrical side was fine, we took out the magnet to find that a screw had gone through the playfield, and through the coil!

Screw Through Playfield       Original

The price of a replacement electromagnet is upwards of $100! Thus, we decided we would remove the old coil wire and wrap our own. After all, how hard could it be?

› Continue reading

Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, January 26th, 2013 electronics, pinball, projects 4 Comments

Ottawa Pinball and Gameroom Show ’12

This year marked the second annual Ottawa Pinball and Gameroom Show (I tend to call it the Pinball Expo). On Friday, September 7th, 2012, over 50 pinball machines were installed at the Hilton Garden Inn by the Ottawa Airport, and by Saturday, there were around 60+ tables. The show spanned from September 8th to the 9th.

As per last year, I made a video of the show, but I was much more ambitious this year. I ended up creating something more documentary styled, incorporating multiple interviews, to find out the more personal side of pinball. The video is indeed a bit un-conventional, but I am pleased with it.

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, September 21st, 2012 life, music, pinball, video No Comments

Restoring a Bally Medusa

I’ve talked about electronic maintenance on our pinball machines before, including some fairly serious refurbishing. One type of restoration my father and I were hesitant to try was cosmetic, since we aren’t exactly artistic.

Well, we did it anyway! Read on for a full, detailed account of our journey restoring a Bally Medusa.

› Continue reading

Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, August 25th, 2012 pinball, projects 5 Comments

Ottawa Pinball Expo – 2011 (Video)

Here is my video of the first ever Ottawa Pinball Expo! We brought three machines to the show, and I am pleased to say I played every free-play machine there! It was great fun, and I can’t wait for next year!

Filmed, edited and soundtrack composed by myself.

Tags: ,

Sunday, July 31st, 2011 arcade, life, music, pinball No Comments

Pinball Party Timelapse

As it was my birthday Friday, I invited the Electronics Kids over for a night of pinball. I thought it would be cool to do a timelapse of the entire night, to see if there were any patterns in what machines people played and what areas people hung out in.

In the end, I discovered that it really depends on the people you have over. Last time the MAME cabinet was the main attraction, but this time it got almost no use. Hurricane remains the most popular machine (odd, it isn’t even in my top 3 favorites).

Tags: ,

Saturday, July 9th, 2011 life, pinball No Comments

Video Blog – Gorgar

Alright, there are a lot of videos recently. I apologize. In this one, I am showing off how Gorgar is now 100% functional!


Monday, January 24th, 2011 pinball No Comments

Video Blog – The Arcade

Since getting the new camera, I’ve been getting around to filming a lot of things I’ve wanted to do in HD. I apologize for the jiggle: I learnt the hard way that image stabilization should always be enabled.

Tags: ,

Friday, January 21st, 2011 arcade, pinball 1 Comment

Gorgar: We Finally Fixed Him!

If you remember, some of my earliest posts are about Gorgar. My dad picked up this pinball machine for next to nothing, rescuing it from the scrap yard. During this winter break, we moved the machine over to my dad’s house, in order to have more room to work on it. Today, we made a breakthrough: we fixed the biggest issue, and now it is 99% functional (all we need is a solenoid coil to fix the center drop targets.)

Read on for a timeline detailing the work done on this machine since we received it.

› Continue reading

Tags: , , , , ,

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 electronics, pinball, projects 8 Comments

The Arcade

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about pinball, so I figured I’d share some photos of his arcade, the “Silver Ball Arcade”!

› Continue reading

Tags: ,

Saturday, October 9th, 2010 pinball 2 Comments

Pinball: Meet the Machines

A very basic photo post: all sorts of photos of my dad’s pinball collection. Awesome 😀

Pinball: Left of Garage
Left of garage

Pinball: Right of Garage
Right of garage

› Continue reading

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, January 29th, 2010 pinball 2 Comments