In Progress F14 project

stationfire

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#1
I have put off starting this one for a little too long, and as I had a question from another member, I thought "now is the time".

I don't have many pictures yet of the outside - here are some from when it was being moved.
As you can see, cabinet art is terrible, but the wood itself is reasonably solid, needs plenty of filling, clamping etc before even starting on tackling paint/art etc. That's way off into the future - tackling the mechanical and electronic issues first...

It's an early production one, so has the extra flashers on the top-right of the playfield, clear back flashers, clear centre beacon, and (unfortunately) the older display - more on that in the near future..

After the initial wiping and cleaning the inside of the cabinet a little (microfibre cloth and hand-helf vacuum only), I tackled the beacons. The belts missing and bulbs were both the wrong type and also blown, which isn't surprising as someone put 12v bulbs in there. That worked out nicely as you can see. The beacon covers need more cleaning but I'm quite wary that the plastic may have become brittle over the years, so may be safer not to do any more with them.
 

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stationfire

stationfire

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#2
Here are some pictures of the beacon assembly. Initially I thought I should be removing the covers themselves, then take the motor off and sort out the belts, but that rapidly seemed like the wrong option. So, I cleaned the covers anyway, put them back on, then took the whole assembly off from inside the backbox. Easy enough, and someone seems to have done some work on this over the years with that connector block...

The motor is mounted on the wide sheet of metal with a series of metal cylinders as "standoffs" and 3 screws. Those remove easily... then you use your imperial size allen keys (a must) to remove the threaded screw/pin which is holding the motor to the centre beacon. Once that's done it's an easy task to clean things a little, add the belts, then add the motor back to the metal sheet and reconnect it to the centre beacon using that threaded pin.

Hopefully some of the pics may be of some help @PBrookfield - I can get you some more in the coming days if there's something specific you need.
 

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PBrookfield

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#4
Cheers for those photos of the beacon mechanism, they are actually pretty damn helpful. The whole thing is simpler than I imagined and I think I could fabricate all of the parts I needed if I get hold of the motor and the pulleys.
 
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stationfire

stationfire

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#5
This might help also when you're fabricating- see the exploded diagram. I can grab measurements for you on specific items with calipers if needed @PBrookfield

https://www.tiltedpinball.com/tilted-pinball-shop/f-14-beacon/

The motors seem to be readily available in the US (marcos etc) - not ideal, and I reckon a bit more of a google search might locate one in Europe. Otherwise a wanted here maybe? I'm always surprised at how quickly things can be located with so many great people here on pinballinfo.
 
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stationfire

stationfire

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#7
And some after - nothing more so far than the microfibre cloth wipe and a light handheld vacuum with soft brush. I won't clean further until I have plasics off for cleaning and re-rubbering. The inserts aren't bad and not faded like I have seen with others. Most of the markings on the decals are intact, so with the mylar over them I expect they'll lightly "novus" and wax (gerlitz wax) quite well. I'm not doing the mylar removal - it's just too much. The planking is unfortunate but I have seen so many torn up F14s on various forums I don't think this is at all bad.
 

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stationfire

stationfire

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#8
The unfortunate consequence of not having any mylar at the top...
I would be interested to hear any ideas on how best to protect this and stop it getting worse.
I have considered perhaps having an artist friend touch it up in these specific areas, but I'm unsure - still has to be protected with something afterwards.
Any thoughts?
 

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stationfire

stationfire

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#11
Spot the difference - clue: one of them is not the correct bulb for the backboard flasher. It is for a car... didn't stop someone popping it in there ("it fits, must be ok"). Somewhat like the 12v bulbs someone put in the beacons, which obviously blew.
 

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stationfire

stationfire

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#12
One of the first things did was to check the fuses and ratings, make sure they were all the correct type per the tech chart. I'm rather glad I did, as 6 were the wrong rating. This wouldn't be so bad if they were slighty lower than the original rating, but how about 6A in a 4A? yes, had that for the flipper supply, as an example.

I found pretty bad corrosion on these fuse holders, but limited to only these. Had an order to go to CPC anyway, so added some chassis mount fuse holders and plenty more fuses for the parts supply. The fuse holders won't look the same, but they are rated correctly and for the correct size. These are so bad that the fuses are rarely getting a decent connection, so are for the bin. That explained the GI being out in a couple of areas but then working again intermittently after I checked fuses.

Check those fuses and ratings first folks!
 

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stationfire

stationfire

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#13
Got the corroded fuse holders swapped out - pics to follow when I have time to upload from the camera.
The fuse holders from CPC did have pin/hole on the plastic base to allow them to be tehered/ "grouped" together for mounting, but I felt they were a little too close together compared to the original separation of the fuses, so I mounted all 4 separately in the same area as the original fuse holder. Popped in the new fuses, all good now with GI .

I also added a "special solenoid saver" board which I sourced from a pinside member - have a read up on these, they seem worth it given the add an extra diagnostic possibility, but most importantly an extra level of protection for the MPU board. Yes, you could make your own, but this has the connectors, cable, fuses included (need to use mainly 1A as opposed to 1.25A) for a reasonable price. Shipping from the US was $13 or so, but still reasonable overall.

I'll probably add one of Inkochitno's bridge boards in the near future also.

Anyone else go for the SSS board or bridge board? I'm pretty much just trying to ensure that I don't get hit by the very real issues that can occur, especially as I'll be rebuiliding the 4 flippers, popper and 1 sling.

All 4 flipper coils are also the wrong type (completely..). - again more pics to follow...
 
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stationfire

stationfire

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#14
Pic is at a bit of an angle so things look a little slanted, but they're straight! - tidy up to be done on the cabling to the fuse holders with a velcro tie I expect. Would have been nice to get the exact spacing of the original 4-way fuse holder, but these are appropriately rated and definitely safer than the corroded ones that were in there.
You can see the SSS board to the right of the MPU board. With a much longer cable it could have gone on the side of the head, but I saw a pinside member had used this space (it's mounted about 1cm to the right of the MPU board), and I took a look and thought it made reasonable sense. Mounted it, triple-checked how it should be connected (board is designed for sys3-7, but works on sys11a also). Once I was sure, connected it, popped in the fuses and fired it up - all special solenoids still working, so now have that extra protection level (and will be less stressful as I'm working on the flipper, pop bumper and slingshot rebuilds. The single fuse sitting diagonally was like that when I started - figured it was far enough away and it meant that it gave a little extra clearance to the SSS board.
Have since grouped the cables together more cleanly and placed in the original cable hooks - this photo made it easier to see the SSS board.
 

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