Mr. Pinball Tip:

I repair pinball machines in my spare time and see this simple-to-solve problem all the time. For some it might be an obvious thing, but you would be surprised to see how many people ask for help when their general illumination doesn't work the way it is supposed to.

Assuming the bulbs are okay and no fuse is blown, the following might be your problem. One or more of the connectors used for the general illumination might have gone bad. This usually happens after a few years as the dirt and dust starts to build up on contacts and makes a kind of resistor in the connection. This results in the connector heating up and gradually starts to burn up and give you the problems that can be very irritating.

You do not have to be an expert to see which one and do not need any technical background. Just take off the backglass and look for that black or partially black connector and replace it. Before you put the new connector back in it's place make sure to clean the pins on the board or you'll be starting all over very soon.

Replacing a connector is very easy. Make a drawing of all the wires and mark their position on the connector. Take out the wires and fit them in their right position on the new connector just by pushing them in with a small screw driver or something. Use some fine sandpaper to clean the pins on the board. If you now connect the new connector and turn on the machine the general illumination should work again.

This is by no means the only thing that could go wrong, but in many cases this is the solution that's right for you.

Good Luck.

Marcel Bogert

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