1a. Getting Started: An Introduction to DataEast/Sega Pinball
      DataEast pinball (then Sega pinball, and now Stern Pinball!) is really a Gary Stern company. Mr.Stern is a very smart businessman. His approach to business is, "copy the industry leader". At the time when DataEast started out in 1987, Williams was the industry leader of pinball. Hence Mr.Stern copied Williams. So closely, that DataEast's system of pinball circuit boards resembled Williams' system at that time (System 11). Keep this in mind when repairing any 1987 to 1995 DataEast/Sega pinball. Stern (DataEast/Sega) is the industry leader now!


    1b. Getting Started: Experience, Schematics
      What Repair Experience Is Expected?
      Little experience in fixing pinballs is assumed. Basic electrical knowledge is helpful, but not necessary. It is assumed you can solder and use the basic features of a Digital Multi-Meter (DMM) such as measuring voltage and resistance. Please see http://marvin3m.com/begin for details on the basic electronics skills and tools needed. This document should help if you just bought your first (or second, or third) pinball "as-is", and hope to fix it.

      Got Schematics?
      Having a schematic for the game would be ideal, but sometimes it can be fixed without it. Schematics can be ordered from one of the sources on the suggested parts & repair sources web page. Note this repair guide is NOT a replacement for the game manual and schematics!

      Schematics are available on the internet too. Adobe Acrobat is needed to view most files.


    1c. Getting Started: Necessary Tools
      Fixing electronic pinball games will require a few tools. Luckily, most are not that specialized and are easy to get.

      Non-Specialized Tools Required:

      • Work Light: clamp style lamp
      • Screwdrivers: small and medium size, phillips and flat head
      • Nut Drivers: 1/4", 5/16", and 11/32"
      • Wrenches: 3/8", 9/16", 5/8" required, other sizes suggested
      • Allen Wrenches: get an assortment of American sizes
      • Needle Nose Pliers
      • Hemostat. Handy for holding parts and springs. Best to have both the curved and straight versions if possible.

      Specialized Tools Required:

      • Soldering Iron.
      • Rosin Core 60/40 Solder.
      • De-soldering tool.
      • Digital Multi-Meter (DMM).
      • Hand Crimping Tool: Molex WHT-1921 (part# 11-01-0015), Molex part# 63811-1000, Amp 725, or Radio Shack #64-410.
      • Alligator clips and wire.

      These are electronics tools needed for most repairs. Please see http://marvin3m.com/begin for details on the basic electronics tools needed.

      Cleaning "Tools" Required:

      • Novus #2 (for cleaning playfields and ramps). The recommended cleaning product by DataEast/Sega, as described in service bullentin 38a.
      • Novus #3 (for polishing metal parts)
      • Johnson's Paste Wax or Trewax (for waxing playfields and cleaning rubber)
      Novus can be purchased at many places (my local grocery store sells it), or from any good pinball vendor. Novus2 is the recommended playfield cleaner for all DataEast/Sega games. See their service bullentin #38a for details, by clicking here. Millwax is not recommended because it uses harmful solvents, but some like it (mostly because they have been around for a LONG time and are used to it). Do not use any Wildcat products! They react with acrylic plastics, with which most DataEast/Stern playfields and ramps are coated. Johnson's paste wax or Trewax can be purchased at a local hardware store.


    1d. Getting Started: Parts to Have On-Hand
      When fixing electronic pinballs, it is highly recommended having some parts on-hand to make things easier and cheaper. All these parts are available from a pinball retailer.

      Parts to have:

      • #47/#44 light bulbs: have 20 or so around. Fifty is plenty to do most games. Number 47 bulbs are suggested instead of #44 bulbs, as they consume less power and produce less heat. They also put less stress on illumination circuits and connectors. Since they are less bright, a good compromise is to use #44 bulbs for the computer controlled lights, and #47 bulbs for the general illumniation.
      • #555 light bulbs: have 20 or so around. Fifty is plenty to do most games.
      • #906 or 912 flash bulbs: have 10 or so around.
      • #89 flash bulbs: have 10 or so around.
      • Fuses: have five of any needed value on hand at all times.
        Get 250 volt fuses, not 32 volt. Radio Shack sells fuses for a decent price. Slow-blo fuses are known as MDL fuses. Fast-blo fuses are known as AGC fuses. At minimum: 1/4 amp slo-blo, 1/2 amp slo-blo, 2 amp slo-blo, 4 amp slo-blo, 5 amp slo-blo, 7 amp slo-blo, 8 amp fast-blo.
      • Nylon Coil Sleeves: the longer 2 3/16" length (Stern part# 545-5388-00, Wms part# 03-7066-5) are used when rebuilding flippers. The 1.75" length (Stern part# 545-5031-00, Wms part# 03-7066) are used for pop bumpers, etc. Sleeves with a lip (Stern part# 545-5076-00, Wms part# 03-7067-5) and tubing on each side (known as an "inline" sleeve) are used on kickers, knocker, etc.
      • Flipper Plunger/Link: used when rebuilding flippers. Stern part# 515-5822-00, Williams part# A-15847 or A-10656.
      • Flipper Link Spacer Bushings: these small bushings go inside the flipper links. Stern part# 530-5139-00.
      • Flipper playfield nylon busing: Stern part# 545-5070-00.
      • Entire flipper plunger, link and flipper pawl. Stern part# 515-5051-00 (same for both right and left side). This is the "old style" flipper pawl; the new style flipper parts (starting with Apollo13) are not interchangable with the older style parts.
      • Flipper Coil Stops: used when rebuilding flippers. Stern part# 515-5346-00.
      • Flipper Plastic Actuator: high wear part, activates the EOS switch. Stern part# 545-5084-00. Not included with the flipper pawl (515-5051-00) assembly.
      • Flipper EOS Switch: Stern part# 180-5124-01.