Friday, July 22, 2011

Whitewater adjusted

Opened up my Whitewater pinball machine this evening - someone was looking for a part and I still had it. I keep my game-specific spare parts inside the cabinet of the game so they're always together.

Now I had taken off the glass, I thought of having a look at the left side of the playfield. Slow or fast balls sometimes take a different path, sometimes they nicely bounce onto the flipper, sometimes they just drain. It seemed to depend on the speed but not always.

I was certain it had to be with the end of the metal rail that goes all along the back, at the left side of the playfield (somewhere along the middle) it ends, there's a post and then there are the blue river targets.

I remember when I shopped the game a few years ago that I had bent the end of the metal so the ball would nicely go onto the left flipper.. so why didn't it stay consistent anymore ?

I pushed against the metal.. and it moved.
Wow - wait, let me try that again.. hmm.. moved again ? that's not good !

Partly removed the long ramp, removed the mountain plastic underneath it and I could finally access the part behind the metal guide.
Seems the screw hole at the end of the part was too large, the screw could move around a bit.
Put some parts of a toothpick in it, secured it again.. and now it's tight.

Let the pinball roll by hand a few times, slow, fast, and it always ended nicely on the left flipper (or could just be caught by the tip of the flipper). But certainly no more drains SDTM !

Assembled the mountain and ramp again, played a few testgames, and my Whitewater suddenly behaves. It's like a total new game !

I know adjusting and fine-tuning a game is important and I always try to do it as good as possible (although I have to admit most of my games can need a little bit more of tuning), but this is the first time that one little half loose screw made such an important change to gameplay.

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