Bally logo Steve Kulpa's
Bobby Orr Power Play
Pinball Machine
Bally logo

I bought my first pinball machine, Bobby Orr Power Play (Bally), on December 15th, 2000. I found it on eBay and ended up winning it. It was in OK condition, but was screaming for an overhaul. I didn't even plug it in, it looked so bad, not to mention the power cord had several places where it was worn through to the wires. So I just wheeled it into my basement and got to work on it. Since this was my first machine, I was not so interested in restoring it to like-new condition as I was just bringing it back to life. So I did not touch-up the playfield or cabinet. I did fix everything that was broken and made it look as nice as possible. Maybe in the future I'll try to restore one, but this one I just want to play! I also bought the Power Play manual and a couple of Bally repair guides too, just in case.

I spent the rest of December and most of January working on it in my spare time. The first thing I did was take a quick survey and ordered parts that were obviously in need of replacement, such as burnt coils, missing coils, broken pop bumper bodies, lamps, spare fuses, etc. The playfield was in pretty good condition, probably 7 or 7.5, with some paint worn off near the sling shots and by the saucer. All the plastic was intact except for one broken piece, and all were warped. Any non-plated metal was rusty, all the rubber was gone. What little rubber that was left was completely deteriorated. The backglass was in pretty good shape, with only minor flaking here and there. I'd rate it as 7.8, or maybe an 8. The cabinet was OK but had a few nasty scratches that dug deep into the wood.

The backglass is in pretty good shape, although I wish it were better:

Click on these links for some playfield "before" photos:

before
playfield
(populated)
before
playfield
(stripped)

Next it was time to survey the head. I removed the backglass and stashed it away for later. I did not want this to get damaged by me so I put it way far away from where I was working, so there'd be no accidents. I then opened the door and looked to see if the MPU board was acid damaged. It was not!!! What a relief since I've been reading so much about Bally MPU boards and acid damage from an on-board nicad battery. After a careful inspection, I noticed a few things that led me to believe there once was some damage. First off, the MPU board had "Space Invaders" written on it, so it was not the original board. Next there was some corrosion on the MPU brackets and the metal sheilding in the box behind the MPU board. I removed the MPU board and it's brackets, and cleaned all the metal with a wire brush. Then I gave the MPU board a good going over just to be sure. Then I cut the battery off, since I had ordered an off-board battery pack. This pack holds 3 alkaline batteries and comes with velcro so you can mount it somewhere in the head.

The lamp driver and solenoid driver boards appeared to be OK, but the power distribution board looked bad. Lots of burn marks and signs of past work by someone who was not the world's greatest with a soldering iron. Right then I ordered a new power distribution board from Tom Callahan which was very nice. I bought the "Dual Plug" version which comes with Molex connectors to replace all the original connectors. The Molex connectors will take the high power better than the original pin connectors, so it seemed like a good idea. Click Here to see a photo of both power supply boards. Notice how burnt the bridge rectifiers are on the old board. Tom realized this and put better ones on his board, especially the top one. On my original board it was quite toasted. On his, it has a heat sink. Thanks Tom! It took me about an hour to cut off the old wires and attach the Molex plugs that came with Tom's new board. He supplies excellent installation instructions, and I triple-checked my work to make sure I didn't mess up. It worked great.

After the general survey, I got to work stripping the top of the playfield. I removed all the plastic pieces, posts, supports, etc. I took photos of each section before I removed the parts, then put the parts for each section is it's own baggie, along with a piece of paper telling me where it came from. This was very helpful several weeks later, when I put stuff back (my short term memory is shot!). After removing all the plastic off the playfield, I flipped it over and removed all the sub-assemblies. Again, before doing anything, I took a picture of each sub-assembly installed in it's normal place. I then labeled all the wires going to the things I was going to remove so I could remember where they came from too. I did not remove rollover switches, lamp sockets, nor the wiring harness, but everything else came off, one-by-one.

As I removed each sub-assembly, I overhauled it. Click Here to see my work bench. This involved taking it completely apart (taking more pictures as I went along), cleaning everything about it (even the screws and c-clips, everything was rusty), and taking notice of any part that needed to be replaced. Not much needed to be replaced, two flipper bushings, all three pop bumper bodies and bases, and 4 coils. Everything else was either intact, or repairable, but man was it dirty!!! Rust and coil dust was everywhere. Here's an example of before and after pictures of a rusty switch plate. I basically had to wire-brush any non-plated parts, such as switch plates, solenoid plungers, screws, you name it. I also buffed the pop bumper rings so they were nice and smooth. A wire wheel and a buffer wheel on my bench grinder saved me hours of work. I used a Dremel tool for the hard to reach places. It took me two weeks of spare time to overhaul and rebuild all the sub-assemblies, but I'm sure in the long run it was the proper thing to do, especially given the amount of rust and corrosion that I found. As I finished each sub-assembly, I put it in a baggie with a label (remember my memory?).

Here's some photos of some of the sub-assemblies. You can get a good idea of just how bad off some of these things were.

rebound
bumper
rusty
drop target
dirty
pop bumper
post w/
burnt coils
dirty
post assy

After I was done with all the sub-assemblies, I worked on the playfield. It was gross! Dirt, dead bugs, and what appeared to be old cleaner from a previous owner. If you didn't look at the before picture of the stripped playfield above, Click Here and Here and take a look! The old dried-up cleaner was was in cracks and slots, and everywhere. What a mess! I finished removing what was left, wire rails, rebound bumper, wood side rails, etc, and gave it a good cleaning. I first cleaned the surface with Wildcat playfield cleaner. I was not very impressed with the results, so I cleaned it again with Novus #2 - much better. I also removed the mylar under the pop bumpers because the edges were lifting up a little and there was dirt and gunk under it. Removing the mylar was tough, and in hind-sight I probably should have left it on. I used a hair dryer to heat it up and verly slowly peeled it off with a pair of pliers. Some paint lifted up with it, but very little. You can see where I messed it up by the pop bumpers in the "After" pictures below. Then I took some toothpicks and Q-tips and cleaned out all the holes and slots. Power Play uses the star-shaped rollover buttons and after removing the buttons, cleaning out the star-shaped hole they fit in was very difficult, but made it look a whole lot better. Finally, I gave the entire playfield surface a nice coat of paste wax.

By now all the parts I ordered arrived, so I finished rebuilding the sub-assemblies that were waiting for parts. Then I removed every lamp and cleaned out the sockets with one of those things that looks like a long pencil eraser with grit in it. I put it in my drill and man did that make a difference. The ones under the playfield were a little harder to get at, so I did those by hand. Then I got the shop vac and made sure all the grit was removed from the sockets. I then replaced the lamps with new ones, all around. I can't believe it took over 100 bulbs to replace them all. I had to buy more. Here's a hot one, I bought 100 bulbs from Marco's for $15.00. Since I was about 10 short, I went to Radio Shack to get a few and they wanted $1.19 for TWO lamps!!! Needless to say I ordered more from Marco's.

Here are two pictures of the playfield (populated and stripped) after I finished with it (compare these to the two "before" pictures at the top of the page):

after
playfield
(populated)
after
playfield
(stripped)

OK, so I get all the parts I need put everything back together, cross my fingers and fire it up. At first things look good, but I only get 6 flashes from the LED on the MPU board. The repair manual at www.marvin3m.com/bally says I should get 7 and suggests I check the power supply fuses and the under-the-playfield fuse (btw, this manual is GREAT. If you're not an expert at repairing pinballs and you want to do it anyway, you must go and read the appropriate manual from this site first. They're very well written and I could not have fixed mine with them, and the help I got from the folks at rec.games.pinball.

Rather than fill up this page with details on how I fixed it, Click Here if you really want to read about it. To make a long story short, I found the problems, fixed them, and now the machine works great. I then took a good look at the lamp driver board, and found a few bad parts there too. After replacing the parts, and fixing a couple of solder bridges that the previous owner had created, things got a lot better. The machine used to reset whenever a tilt occured, that's fixed. The drop target value lights were messed up (3x and free-ball both lit at the same time), but now that's fixed too. I had a problem with one of the pop bumper lamps where it would all of a sudden get real bright, then burn out. I found a couple of bad transistors on the lamp driver board, replaced them, and all is well. Since there was a lot of rust under the playfield, I'm also having to replace lamp sockets now and then. I guess the rust gets in-between the outer housing and it's solder lug and causes a bad connection. I have a few lamps that flicker or are dim, and that's the problem. Replacing lamp sockets on a populated play field can be a real pain. Bottom line: The machine works and it's up and running. To date I have over 300 plays on it and it's already time to clean and re-wax the playfield. Plus the rubbers are already getting dirty. I guess the work will never end!

I made my own rules and score cards making them as close to the originals as I could. Get them from the link below. Right-click to download or left-click to view them. You can find lots of other instruction cards at The RGP Archive.

Check out the cool "Hanson Brothers" topper I got from StompS
 

If you're looking for parts for your Power Play, or other Bally machine, you might find some here.
I also do Bally board repair work. If you need some work done, look here

Here's some more information on Bobby Orr's Power Play, if you're interested. If you own a Power Play machine but do not have a manual for it, some of this stuff may be of use to you.

Rubber Ring
Chart
Rules of
Play
Power Play
Features
Dip Switch
Settings
Coin Door
Adjustments
Diagnostic
Procedures
Fuses Solenoid and
Lamp Info


Don't forget the Flyers:

Thanks to An Ugly Flyer Reference Site for their nice collection of pinball flyers, including Power Play


Reproduction Power Play instruction cards:



Here's a custom score card I made for my machine. I printed it on my color printer using photo paper and it actually looks pretty good.


If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader, then go and get it.



If you own a Power Play, I'd love to hear from you and share info/parts/etc. Just send me an e-mail Mail Icon by removing the NO_S*P*A*M_ and tell me all about your machine.



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Created 2/28/01 - Last Modified 8/31/10 - Steve Kulpa Mail Icon Nolensville, TN
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