I recently got a call from a customer wondering if I would come and look at a Gottlieb (System 1) Cleopatra pinball machine. The owner bought it at an auction years ago. The owners stated that the auctioneers turned on the game, and it started to smoke. The owner won the auction with a fairly low bid :).

I gave the owner a quick inspection and told him what I thought it was going to need to get it up and running again. The MPU had battery corrosion along with a burnt chip. I think this must have been what was smoking at the start of the auction. I mentioned getting a Ni-Wumpf board instead of dealing with the original. The next thing I noticed was original capacitors on the power supply and none of the ground mods were done.

Power Supply

The owner was fine with me taking the game home to my shop. Once I had the game in my shop, I checked all the fuses along with the bridge rectifiers on the bottom panel. All tested fine, and then moved to testing the power and power supply. All of the voltages checked out on the power supply except the +60 volts and +42 volts. My guess was this was due to either a bad C9 or C10 capacitor. I installed all new caps, re-soldered the header pins, added a trace for the ground mod, and installed the power supply back in the game. I tested voltages again, and now all were the correct value.

Testing the power supply:

Remove all connectors from the power supply. Check the power going into the power supply (A2-P1 Connector)

Make sure DMM is set to AC for these voltages.

  • 69 Volts should be seen on pins 6 and 7
  • 14 Volts should be seen with red probe on pin 4 and black probe on pin 3
  • 14 Volts should be seen with red probe on pin 5 and black probe on pin 3
  • 11.5 Volts should be seen with red probe on pin 1 and black probe on pin 3
  • 11.5 Volts should be seen with red probe on pin 2 and black probe on pin 3

With good voltages, then plug in A2-P1 connectors and test voltages on the power supply.

  • The voltages are labeled on the board. Just make sure to use A2-J2 ground (pin 4 or 5) for the +5 volts (A2-P2 pin 1 or 2), -12 volts (A2-P2 pin 6), 4 volts (A2-P3 pin 7), and 8 volts (A2-P3 pin 8). Use A2-J3 ground (A2-P3 pin 5) for the +60 volts (A2-P3 pin 1) and +42 volts (A2-P3 pin 3). They are NOT the same ground.

Now with these voltages all good, I moved on to the driver board.

Driver Board

Now having two good boards (Ni-Wumpf and power supply), I started to look at the driver board. I could tell that a resistor was bad and tested all of the transistors. The led to finding one bad transistor and replaced it. I added extra traces to complete the ground mod for the driver board. With all three boards repaired (or new), it was time to move to the connectors.


There was quite a bit of corrosion (and damage) on the connector pins. I ended up replacing A1-P5, A3-P1, AJ-P1, Al-P6, and Al-P7. This took some time, but needed to be done. With all of this work done, I could finally turn on the game!

Powering on the Game

I slowly brought power to the boards and game. I started with the power supply, then added the MPU, then added one display at a time, and finally added the driver board. With everything connected, the game booted fine, and had no problems with the game power on. I checked all lights (replaced some bulbs), switches, and solenoids. They were all working.

I ran into a few problems on the playfield. One of the chimes was really making a wimpy sound. I took apart the chime unit and redid some previous work :). I also adjusted the unit to get a better sound. The next problem was the left flipper would remain upright after it was pushed up.

wood hack
Replaced wood block with foam tape 🙂

This was a mechanical issue. I ended up taking the unit apart and cleaning everything. Added a new coil sleeve and the reassembled the flipper. Now it was moving smoothly.

As a precautionary measure, I added three fuses to the little transformer. If CR1 or CR2 shorts, it will take out this transformer.

Finally, shopped out the game with new rubbers, lights, cleaned and waxed.


It took quite a bit to get this game back up and running. I haven’t worked on too many System 1 games, and was good to see another one in the shop. The last one I worked on was Totem. The game play on this is pretty simple. You try and get the same color roll-over and drop target to get the corresponding bonus. You need both to have the bonus added at the end of the ball. The left and right outholes will give you double bonus if both are activated. This was Gottlieb’s first solid state machine and had a very familiar EM feel to it. This was the first time playing this game, and it was more fun than I originally thought.

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