I got this repair from one of my favorite customers. He mentioned that it was working when it was placed in storage and shouldn’t take too much to get it up and running. Just a warning…be leary of statements similar to that last one 😀.
The initial problem was the game was basically dead. If he hit the start button, coin switch, or left flipper nothing would happen. He did noticed that if he manual engaged the LOCK RE the game would light up, but would not do anything else.
I started by looking at the top part of the schematic and trying to figure out why the game wasn’t powering. If the left flipper button is engaged (or technically the LOCK RE, 10¢ RE, 25¢ RE, or the COIN RE), the main power should go to the transformer and “turn” on the game. There is only a fuse and the flipper switch to check. It turned out that the fuse was fine and the flipper switch was closing. I noticed that a different coin door was installed and the wiring was rather sketchy. I found that the white wire was not connected to the left flipper and other other items highlighted below.
The wire was simply cut and put in bundle. This is really scary since a 120V wire is loose by the coin door ⚡. Once I added a jumper the game would now light up if I hit the left flipper button. However, the game would not react to the start button.
Looking again at the schematic, the start button needs to do something when pressed.
I started at the left end and checked all the switches, made sure the game had a credit on it, and still the COIN RE wasn’t engaging. Upon looking at the COIN RE, I noticed that the black wire had come loose from the coil. I should have started on the right side of the circuit and would have found this a lot quicker. The COIN RE is important as it is key in resetting the machine.
Once the wire was soldered back on, the game now was able to reset.
There was a few more problems to sort out as the ball would not kick out and some inconsistent scoring. I kept finding myself checking the score motor switches. I finally just removed the motherboard to clean and adjust the motor switches. This fixed the majority of problems that I was having.
The last problem was getting the bagatelle to score correctly. Sometimes it would score correctly, other times it would only score 20 points or 100 points when it should have scored 50 and 300 respectively. I noticed if I manually activated these switches in the back box, the game would score correctly. The other clue I found was the game would end on ball 5 before the bonus was added in the bagatelle feature. The problem was a constantly closed switch on the backbox. This would engage the small ball kicker, but immediately would engage the OUTHOLE RE. The machine can’t do both operations at the same time and would cut out the scoring on the bagatelle. The OUTHOLE RE also is used to end the game, which explained why the game was ending before giving the bonus. I adjusted this switch and now everything worked on the game.
The ingenuity on this feature is so cool. Basically the small ball is kicked up to the bagatelle and the OUTHOLE RE has to wait until the small ball is back in the resting position. Once that happens then the OUTHOLE RE is able to engage.
This is a great game and super glad I had a chance to repair it (and play it). I read many comments stating this is one of the best games during this time period, and I can believe it. The game takes quite a bit of skill along with strategy to maximize your score and ability to rack up a free plays.
Here’s a video describing the rules along with some poor game play by me.
2 thoughts on “Williams Apollo EM Pinball Repair”
Very useful. I have similar start up ìssues
Good to hear. Good luck. It’s a great game.