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Williams Dirty Harry pinball repair (#004)

Went to a gentlemen’s house in Las Vegas with a Dirty Harry pinball. The problem was, the kicker that loads the gun on the playfield would not stop kicking (with or without a ball.) And when it did stop, game play ended if the playfield gun was to be loaded, like the game did not know the ball was loaded into the kicker.

Lifting the playfield and examining the ball kicker unit, it was obvious that the optical infra-red switch (which tells the game the ball is inside the kicker unit) was damaged. The optical switch has two parts, the transmitter (essentially an infra-red flash light), and the receiver (the reader of the infra-red light.) In this case it was the transmitter that had failed. This made the game think that there was always a ball inside the kicker unit (blocking the infra-red light beam), hence the game was trying always kick the non-existent ball out of the kicker.

Replacing the infra-red transmitter fixed the problem (and yes we carry these with us of course!) Now when a ball entered the kicker, the coil would kick. And when there was no ball in the kicker assembly, the kicker was quiet and idle, as it should be. Finally Dirty Harry was ready to apprehend pinball criminals once again!

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