Jump to content

Allen Schweitzer

New Members
  • Content Count

    53
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Allen Schweitzer


  1. I believe he did paint over the gold trim.  I bought some "limestone" paint once to try to make a "faux" whitey.  The paint had a rough texture, which was actually kind of cool, but after applying about 18 coats, I finally gave up.  I was never happy with it, but I didn't do much prep work on it before I started.  The wood grain was messed up, and the gold trim was 1/2 gone, so I was out (I think) 2 cans of fairly expensive spray paint!  :) 

    Still that black one looks pretty bad-@$$ to me.


  2. I know a lot of people think that Bally's are very expensive, and the truth is - THEY ARE.  I'm not a fan of that.  This post got me ruminating some old thoughts I've had for a while, now, and I decided to just put them here so maybe they'll be off my mind.  (FAT CHANCE)

    It agitates me that people are listing consoles at the same price I try to sell mine for.  It shouldn't, but it does....  Most of these consoles are untested, and yes, I'm sure some of them don't work.  These people pick them up somewhere for probably very cheap, and try to make a quick few hundred bucks with a quick flip on e-bay.  Many of them sit there for a very long time "untested".  That doesn't really affect my feelings of disdain.  What irks me, is that so many sellers price their items at or above what I try to sell mine for.  Lately, I've just decided to raise my prices to meet theirs.  And why not?  Why would I spend $400 on an untested Bally (or even a working one, for that matter) to put my time into it and break even or lose money?

    I'm willing to bet that most of the Bally's that sell on e-bay have not been full taken apart and cleaned.  I clean the keyboard, EJECT and RESET buttons, console top and bottom in warm water with Dawn dish soap and a hard bristled toothbrush, or a nylon brush.  I don't wash the outside of the bottom of the console case, as water and serial number stickers don't get along with each other, but I do use water and a brush inside to get out the dust.  Do these other people take over their wives' kitchen sink to do this?  Do they let all of the components air dry for 24 hours under a ceiling fan on their family's dining room table sitting on fresh paper towels?  Do they clean the keypad with a q-tip and Everclear to get 40 years of dead skin cells and dirt scrubbed off?  Do they blow air on the motherboard to remove dust particles?  Do the replace all the old capacitors in the board to help keep it running another 40 years?  Do they glue a monster heat sink onto almost every data chip to help prevent it from failing?  Do they wipe the RF cable and power supply cord with warm water and a paper towel?

    Or do they just throw everything in a box, and pass it on to the next guy?  Too many times, I've seen a power supply with the plugs bent after it gouged the console top and/or scratched or broke the plastic top that sits over the cart storage area during it's joyful, bouncy trip to my doorstep.

    Do they use an 18K Gold Krylon leafing pen to touch up the gold trim on the console?  RESET button?  EJECT button?  Keyboard?  Controller badges?

    Do they make sure every game has a decent label on it, or even attempt to test the games?

    And how about the controllers?  Do they take the controllers apart, and use a nylon brush on them to get the gunk out of the texture on the handles?  Do they test the functions of the controllers?  Do they repair issues with broken wires?  Probably not.  That's a 30-40 minute job, if you do it right.  Do they use electronic contact cleaner on the shaft to free up the pots?  Do they take every pot apart CORRECTLY, and clean the resistor plates with Everclear and Goo Gone, and put just the right amount of a 50-50 mix of white lithium and di-electric grease on the pots to keep them working correctly for years to come?

    I put a TON of time into every unit I refurbish and sell.  I probably average 5 hours per console (and all the components)...maybe more.  The sad part is, I probably put more time into the cosmetically deficient ones than I have to the nice ones, and they don't bring as much.  I try to get them as close to what they were new, and as clean inside and out as I can.  I kind of feel sorry for the buyer when I see some Bally's sell for a lot of money.  It's fine if someone doesn't buy one from me, but I try to give every one of my buyers as close to a "new Bally out of the box on Christmas morning" experience as I can.  I want them to know what the Bally was to me when I was a kid.  I've bought "working" Bally's that arrived at my house with broken pieces, or not working.  Try finding a listing on a Bally that offers returns.  Even I don't do that.  BUT if you have any problems with a Bally or controller, game, UM, LWR... whatever you buy from me, you will have my attention until I can get the situation resolved to your satisfaction.  No, I do not accept returns, but I have occasionally had items shipped back to me if something was damaged during shipping, or some other issue arose.  And so far, I've never charged to look at or fix anything for anybody I've sold to.  Good luck getting that level of service out of the "Estate Find" sellers.  I did replace a bad chip on a unit I sold once...2 years after the guy bought it from me, and it failed.

    I'm not sure I'll feel any better about submitting this after I do, but I do wish the best of luck to every Bally buyer out there, whether they buy from me or not.  Earlier this year, I started a collection of items removed from consoles.  I wish I would have started doing this long ago.  There are no guarantees in life, but I would like to think I can guarantee I won't be shipping someone a Bally with 1/2 of a bean, a random loose screw, a fake fingernail, a Monopoly house or any other piece of junk inside of it.

    p.s.  If the Monopoly house is your, p.m. me.  :D

    IMG_0991.JPG

    • Like 4
    • Thanks 1
    • Haha 1

  3. On 11/2/2020 at 9:36 PM, cowbells said:

    Do all of the consoles have this jumper wire inside?

    I'm assuming you are taking about the jumper at the bottom left of the board next to the TIP 31.  Page 24, next to Q1.

    https://ballyalley.com/documentation/misc_hardware_docs/Bally/full_size/bally_service_manual.pdf

    Only the earlier 15V systems had that jumper wire.  The later 12V versions (more common) had a 24 Ohm 1/2 W resistor installed there.


  4. Very sorry to hear about this.  I know the name very well, but sadly, I never knew the man.  He was for certain one of the legends in the Bally community!  I repair Bally system's, and build some external hardware for the system (Lil' WHITE RAM and Ulti-Multi).  I will try to answer some questions:

    3 hours ago, cowbells said:

    security chip inside the console

    There is no security chip.  The zif socket just allows you to change games without switching cartridges.

     

    3 hours ago, cowbells said:

    the 0066-117XX currently doesn't have a replacement

    That is correct.  It is one of 3 (or 4 if you count the ROM) custom chips in the system.  This is the I/O chip, and mostly controls things like hand control movements.  It also has data lines and "controls" audio.  If I'm not mistaken, GORF uses 2 of these.  The other 2 custom chips are 115XX (Address) and the 116XX (Data).

     

    3 hours ago, cowbells said:

    There's 4 consoles, I haven't opened them up yet, but at least 2 of them have been modified, one is missing the entire top. I also haven't tested them yet.

    I would be interested in all of them, working or not.  If you end up with a nice looking system that works, you would be better off selling it to someone other than me.  I cannot offer too much for several systems.  But I would be able to restore any that need cleaned up, and likely repair any that are not working.  I would want someone else to determine a value for you.  I absolutely hate pricing someone else's stuff.  Get some opinions, and I'll decide if I'm willing to pay your asking price. 

    3 hours ago, cowbells said:

    Rick also worked on a port of the computer game 'Life' for the Astrocade

    As far as I ever knew, he was the father of this game.  It was 100% developed/programmed, and finished by him, and if I'm wrong, someone can correct me!

    Again, I didn't know the man, but wish I would have.  He took a wealth of knowledge with him.  Were there any interviews done with him that may have been recorded?


  5. Can anybody tell me if it's possible to refurbish a driving controller, and what I need to do to make that happen?  I opened one up today that I got recently because it has jitter, and I assumed it had a pot like a paddle controller.  When I opened it up, I saw this, and I'm not sure what to do with it.

    100_6002.JPG


  6. https://ballyalley.com/documentation/misc_hardware_docs/Bally/full_size/bally_service_manual.pdf

    There's a direct link for ballyalley to the parts kenzre is talking about.  Parts list starts on page 19, and parts layout starts on page 24. 

     

    I'm very curious to know what you find if you are able to fix this.  I have a unit that does pretty much the same thing, and I'm thinking of making it my bench/tester unit until I can figure out what's causing it.  I have too much other garbage going on to dig into it at the moment, but I've been wondering for months what's causing the issue.  If I can get into mine and figure it out, I'll let you know, and I'd appreciate the same.  I am going to try putting in new capacitors and seeing if that would do the trick, but I'm WAY more hopeful than I am optimistic that will fix it.


  7. If you're going to add a heatsink to any of the custom IC's, I would only add it to the data chip.  If you ever need to pull them, you won't be able to tell which is which if you get them mixed up, and the data chip is the one the really puts off the heat. 

    Console5 builds the best heat sink:  https://console5.com/store/dip40-heatsink-glue-on-thermal-epoxy-on-style-dip-40.html

    I install those on every data chip that doesn't have an aluminum pad on it.  Every unit I sell gets that heat sink if there is nothing on the data chip.  They can send me an atomic fireball for the plug, if they see fit. 
    They also sell a recap kit, but theirs uses radial caps for some of their replacements.  I only use axial's.  They are more expensive, but for me, it's a matter of convenience, and getting it right the first time.  I had that kit on e-bay, because someone wanted to buy one from me, but as soon as I posted it they fell off the face of the earth.  So I took the ad down, because I don't want to be the guy that sells recap kits.  :)

    • Like 1

  8. I remove my RF shields, but there are plenty out there that still have theirs and are working today.  Recently, I'm finding the C10 capacitor failing on a few units.  If it ain't broke, you sure don't have to fix it.  I've not found where over-heating has ruined a data chip on any of the broken unit's I have purchased (YET).  I know they are out there. 

    When I recap a unit, the voltages and sometimes the uf's on the caps I use are higher than factory spec's.  Michael Matte, in an article on ballyalley.com, recommends using a surge protector, leaving your unit switched on, and using the surge protector to turn it on...if I'm not mistaken.  He also recommends using a 35V 100uf cap for C10 to slow the hit when the unit is powered on.  The service manual calls for a 16V cap here, and I was using 25V caps, but since his recommendation, I will now only use 35V caps when I do this for a customer. 

    I have swapped the RAM's out on some boards (usually for customers) to 4164's.  By doing this, you can eliminate the 12 volt (or 15 volt) circuit from the board, and the -5V is limited to the RF only.  This reduces power draw, and should generate less heat, and prolong the life of your wall wart.  Again, there are many units out there still going after 40+ years.

    DO unplug the power adapter when not in use!

    I'm not recommending this particular model, but one of these under your Bally sure couldn't hurt!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Laptop-Cooling-Pad-12-17-Cooler-Pad-Chill-Mat-4-Quiet-Fans-LED-Light-FREE-SHIP/173896890981?hash=item287d0ffa65:g:m8oAAOSw-pBcb3i4

    • Like 1

  9. https://console5.com/store/dip40-heatsink-glue-on-thermal-epoxy-on-style-dip-40.html

     

    I believe these are the ones you are both referring to.  Crossbow is right, and turned me on to these.  I use a little Gorilla glue for adhesive.  The over heating issue in the Bally would usually cause the data chip only to fail.  I would not recommend putting a heat sink on the address or I/O chip.  If anyone ever pulls them, you may have some fun playing musical chips trying to figure out which order they go back in, and screw something up.  I only heat sink the data chip.  Since you run yours with the top off, touch the data chip, and you'll see it's by far the hottest.  If there is a "factory" heat sink on there, you should be good.  I don't think they are as effective, but it should work.

     

    One thing I would highly recommend is NOT REPLACING the top RF shield.  RF interference from video games should be a non-issue these days.  Removing the top RF shield and tossing it in the dumpster would be a great start.  I've heard people call the top RF shield a "heat shield", which today is probably a more appropriate term, as the only thing it accomplishes is shielding the heat from being able to escape the components on the board...especially your 12 (or 15) and 10 V regulator, and the data chip.  I've NEVER had a problem running any of mine with the top RF shield removed.

     

    I mount it slightly left of center, hanging off a bit, so you can see the "notch" and the pin 1 indicator.  100_4569.thumb.JPG.1fa86c516d9cfbf707813074ac56022f.JPG

    • Like 1

  10. You can relocate the big caps. I do that on most of the ones I recap. The pics are horrible, but I'm going to start using a 2200 uf 25V axial instead of the 1500 uf radial in the pics (after I run out). I use them on both the Bally and Atari 2600's I recap. If you can't see what's up here let me know. I know for sure, Michael told me to use a 16V on the 100 uf lytic. But I'm tired, and so I might not be putting my thoughts down here very clearly.

    post-52595-0-30502300-1534821905_thumb.jpg

    post-52595-0-85137600-1534821910_thumb.jpg

×
×
  • Create New...