Data East Star Wars Repairs

24 January, 2011 (13:08) | Pinball | By: admin

Last year (2010) I bought a Data East Star Wars pinball machine. Overall it was in great condition but there were a few little things that needed to be fixed. One of the stand-up targets was broken and R2D2′s head wasn’t rotating. Fortunately the seller included a new R2D2 motor and stand-up target.

The general illumination lighting was also not working. That was the first thing I fixed. This is not uncommon at all on these games and many other pinball machines. The connectors fail due to heat over time. Below you can see the connector that I replaced. It was quite burned and the general illumination lighting wasn’t working at all. I replaced the plastic connector housing, the connectors and the male header pins on the PCB.

Next I tacked the R2D2 problem. His head should rotate back and forth during game play and it wasn’t doing anything at all. I started by checking for voltage at the motor and found that I have the correct voltage with the relay energized. If there were no voltage at the motor I would have checked my way back through the circuit starting with the relay. The motor is powered by a relay that is powered by a driver transistor in the solenoid driver section of the MPU.

I opened up his head and this is what I found inside. Everything looks to be in place so I suspected the motor was bad.

I removed the whole R2D2 assembly from the machine to replace the motor. It was pretty simple to remove. There are 2 nuts holding the assembly on springs and a couple of connectors under the playfield.

In this picture you can see the 2 nuts that need to be removed in order to remove the R2D2 assembly. They are a little tricky to get to. I didn’t remove any plastics but I can see how it would be easy to damage a plastic if you were not careful.

This picture shows the connectors under the playfield. The R2D2 connectors have been disconnected.

Here are a few more pictures of the mechanism and motors.

Next was replacing the broken stand-up target. Most of the targets are cracked but this one was the worst and the seller included one new target so this was the one I chose to replace. I also moved the one to the right of the broken one to another position that had a less damaged target. Basically I moved the best 2 targets to the center where they are most visible. I’m considering replacing all of the targets with translucent blue at some point because the original yellow targets are hard to find and can be expensive.

This target will look much better.

Here’s a picture of the wiring for the middle target bank.

The playfield was clean with fairly new rubber but there were a few small details that needed attention like the drop targets. They were really dirty so I removed them and cleaned them.

They came out looking really good.

This is what the drop target bank looks like with the targets removed.

Once all of this stuff was done I spent a couple of days playing and tweaking the game. This revealed a couple of other little problems and at one point a bunch of the solenoids stopped working. I was able to trace the problem to a broken wire at a solenoid pretty quickly and repair the problem (Thanks to eagle eye Ross Herman!).

At this point I think I’m just going to play the game for a while and decide if I want to keep it and do a more complete restoration at some point. I’m really liking this game so I don’t see it going anywhere any time soon.

More pictures in higher resolution can be found in the photo gallery.


Comment from stangbat
Time January 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Here’s how I repaired the drop targets on my DE SW. I ordered my parts from Bay Area Amusements.

-Two Deep 3D square yellow targets, BAA part no. TG-03-8304-6, $1.50 each
-Package of 20 tubular brass/nickel rivets, 1/8″ x 5/32″, part no. TN-R0532BN, $3.75/bag

Remove the target and disassemble. Drill out the rivet holding the yellow target in place. Put the new target and rivet in place, smack the back of the rivet with a punch, flatten the rivet with a flat punch, and you are done. Total cost of $6.75 + shipping for two targets. Sure beats $12 ea for the entire yellow target assembly. Plus as you mention, the yellow assemblies are getting hard to find.

Comment from admin
Time January 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Thanks for the great info!

Comment from stangbat
Time January 29, 2011 at 9:40 am

Sorry, I didn’t mean drop targets, I obviously meant stand up targets. Oops!