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

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.

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

Gorgar: Photos

All photos about Gorgar. If there is anyone out there who is into pinball machines, who has any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Yes, the next two are photos from another post, but there are new ones after the break!

Gorgar Sideview

Gorgar Playfield

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Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 electronics, pinball, projects No Comments

Winter Break: Projects

Over the break I’ve got a few projects on the go. Whether I finish any/all is another story, but at least, I don’t have an excuse if I find myself bored. I hope that all of your Christmases were enjoyable. My mom got me the following, which I had mentioned I wanted not too long ago:

Wire Tracker

A wire tracker. Perfect for checking phones lines, network cables, car wiring, coax cabling, and, most importantly, following wiring in pinball machines!

There are giant harnesses of wires in pinball machines that make it very difficult to track individual wires. This will make it so much easier for me to track where they go, rather than dealing with the two-colour wire coding system.

Gorgar Motherboards

Another neat tool I got for Christmas was the following. Can you guess what it is (after the jump)?

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Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 electronics, life, pinball, projects, school No Comments

Obligatory Christmas Post

Alright, so it isn’t really obligatory. Merry Christmas to you, reader, and a happy new year to you as well. Next semester starts January 18th, 2010, so there should be plenty of new projects. In fact, we are apparently building a robot!

During the break, I should be getting around to photographing and making posts for all my projects this semester (that I’ve not yet covered).

Gorgar Relay Board

Oh, and as for Gorgar, I’ve located the triac responsible for the second drop-target solenoid not firing. (Notice to missing one above, 3rd row of triacs, 3rd triac in: right in the center!)


Now to locate a replacement. Shouldn’t be too hard. The way I located the defective triac was pretty awesome. I put the multimeter on continuity, and put one probe on the pin that triggers the malfunctioning solenoid, then, with the other probe, I touched the back-plate of all the triac, under the hopes that it was the pin attached to the back-plate (I assume ground, or perhaps the base, of the triac) would be the same pin that provides the power to the solenoid. Well, I was lucky, and found continuity between one of the triacs.

I checked on the intertubes for how to test a transistor/triac, and went about checking the hi-lo values on this one. Nothing. As a control group, I tested all the other triacs on the board, and all of those ones were fine, this was the only one that had no continuity anywhere. Safe to say, she has blown.

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Thursday, December 24th, 2009 life, pinball, projects No Comments

Gorgar: Speaks.

The opening lines of this pinball machine. And now, my father, running out of room to store new (old) pinball machines, has let me take this one home to work on as my own project. Thanks, Dad!

Gorgar Sideview

As promised, here is a picture of the actual machine, and not some picture from the Intertubes. Again, it’s missing the backglass, but it is still awesome. The play field is interesting, it’s not empty, and it’s in good shape, too!

Gorgar Playfield

Scary. One of the feature I find the most interesting about it is the electro-magnet at the top left. The “snake pit”. The ball gets caught for a bit, then gets let go of and rolls down. I’m really hoping that I can fix this machine up, maybe it is something as simple as dirty contacts (after all, it is over 25 years old, and antique, if you will). Here is a video of me playing it. Not a great angle at the beginning, but you can hear the sounds of the game. One of the first electronic pinball machines, with electronic sounds. Before, all the machines used bells!

Note: Sorry for the, ahem, shitty video. Using Windows 7, I no longer have the well designed, fully functional, and advanced Windows Movie Maker found in Windows XP, as such, I have no control over export options, and the transitions and titles are all different (and quite frankly, nowhere near as good).

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Sunday, December 6th, 2009 electronics, pinball, projects 4 Comments

Pinball Machine: Post #1

Well, my dad has recently become a pinball machine collector. In August, he bought his first machine, Riviera, and soon, he had acquired 4 more machines. Most recently, he acquired his first electronic pinball machine, Gorgar, by Williams, based in Chicago. Here is a brief description: released December of 1979, 14,000 units were made, it has a jungle theme to it, with a heartbeat sound in the background that speeds up as game-play intensifies. It looks to me like it will be a LOT of fun once we get it working properly.

Gorgar: Playfield

The machine mostly works, the lights all flash, points are counted, the ball is served (one set of solenoids isn’t working right now, that bring up the GAR letter targets), however it doesn’t allow you to play more than one player (it is a four player game), and it doesn’t stop at 5 balls: you get infinite plays. › Continue reading

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Monday, November 23rd, 2009 electronics, pinball, projects 5 Comments