Mr. Pinball Tip:

You may substitute a DC coil (one with a diode) on an electromechanical AC circuit by clipping off the diode. Otherwise you will likely blow a fuse or the diode!

Here's the reason why the diode is needed on a solid state machine. When a DC coil is switched off the magnetic field in the coil collapses and generates a spike of current back towards the drive circuitry. This spike is brief, but can be in the hundreds of volts! The diode blocks the spike, protecting the drive circuits.
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