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Data East Back to the Future Repair - Starting with the Display

rkeefer

Pinball Nudger
Hey everyone,
I'm new to the forum, and unfortunately, my first post has to do with repair.

I bought a Back to the Future pinball machine about a year after I graduated from college, back in 2001. It's a German re-import. The coin slots take Deutschmarks. Anyway, pinball machine worked pretty well, but every once in awhile would reset if jostled wrong. I had a guy come in and look at it, and he put too large of fuses into the machine, and it fried a bunch of components.

I've slowly replaced the faulty stuff including the power supply, and just last month, the main CPU board with a new Rottendog MPU.

Machine powered up for the first time in like 15 years! But, it's not without problems. The first is the original score display:


The ribbon cable is seated properly, and pins are the right way at both ends. Should I try buying a new cable, or do you think the display is damaged and I just should replace it with a LED display?

Thanks, everyone. Appreciate any help, and appreciate the forum.

It's in pretty good shape for its age and lack of maintenance over the past 15 years, but here are the other things I need to do it in short order:
1. Diagnose and repair the weak right flipper
2. Left top ramp doesn't seem to be registering balls going through
3. Do a thorough cleaning of the cabinet and playfield.
4. Eventually, figure out the intermittent resetting it's done since way back when.
 
Last edited:

pinballdaveh

Pinball Technician
Staff member
Site Supporters
I would replace the ribbon cable first. It looks like the display has a data problem . The display is alpha numeric and if one of display glasses is bad, changing it will take long and be expensive if they’re still available. The rotten dog replacement looks like the way to go. The flipper problem could be on the flipper board , check it’s fuses first
 

rkeefer

Pinball Nudger
Wanted to give an update here. I bought a new ribbon cable, and the display was still garbled. I've since gotten the Rottendog LED display and it works like a charm, but have a couple of dumb newbie questions.

The new score display works great, plugged in, but it's not installed in place yet. The old original plasma display is installed with four white plastic "offsets." I can't figure out how to remove those/the old display board. They're in pretty bad shape too, and likely need to be replaced once removed. Where do I find new "offsets?" Local hardware store?

The new MPU board also didn't come with new screws, and it seems the old board was literally in there by a few screws. What size are the screws for a Data East MPU? Is it a standard size I can find somewhere locally?
 
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