Rescuing a Whirlwind

Over the past year or so I’ve gotten far more into pinball. I’m not really sure what it is about it, but I’ve grown quite fond of it. One of the games that has been on my hit list has been a Whirlwind, which I’ve been looking for since August. As of a couple of weeks ago I finally got one! Though, that being said it is quite rough:

Thankfully the playfield is pretty nice 🙂

I do most certainly have my work cut out for me though. My shortlist is:

  • Rebuild the cabinet
    • Fill all of the chips
    • Find a paint match and do touchups
  • Strip and paint the coindoor and hinges
  • Rebuild the power supply
  • Clean and wax the playfield
  • Replace all plastics
  • Replace all bulbs with LEDs.
  • Fix the display (Currently the third segment is out entirely)
  • Polish all metal bits. I have a tumbler on the way for this one. Pro tip, searching “metal vibrator” on Amazon doesn’t really get you helpful results in relation to polishing metal bits.
  • I am certain I will run into more issues as I progress 🙂

Day One!

So…the first day I got this thing I actually accomplished way more than I thought I would!

First up….fix the display. This was actually quite easy. I pulled the display out of the pin and tested all the resistors, they all tested just fine. Next up, I checked out all the pin headers. They were all pretty solid! So what gives, why is a single digit not working? Well, I next tested every trace on the board, until I found one specific trace that was being quite finnickey. In comes my super pro soldering skills:

What do you think, is this all it is?

Yep 😀

Well, that was easy. What else should I do today? Maybe rebuild the power supply? Check, I next replaced the majority of components on the power supply. All caps were replaced, the bridge rectifier, and the high voltage section. I then, finally, installed an NVRAM.

And that’s the end of day one.

Day Two!

Well, today was mostly painting. But hey, I fixed up the super rough parts 😀

Sanding and painting all of these was fun, though it left my arms blue for what I imagine will be the next month of my life. Tomorrow I will attempt to get a good paint match from Home Depot, I have a few codes to try out. Though I probably won’t do more work on this until next weekend, unfortunately.

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