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New Owner of Old Black Knight

lothian

Pinball Player
My kids presented me with a Black Knight (1980) for Christmas, Obviously pinball machine ownership includes maintenance; thus joining this forum completes my first bullet as a new owner of an old machine.

The thing plays but it has issues, of course. I'll itemize and investigate problems as they present. I have the Instructions Manual, Operators Handbook, and Schematic Diagrams. Hopefully most problems are mundane and the various Williams' documentation provide resolution. I'll use online resources for any vexations that stump me.

I suspect much of the playability and weird game logic issues are due to dirty contact switches, and I'll address each as my first maintenance chore on this machine. Sluggish performance, flaky illumination, and other miscellaneous whatnots I'll take on after some research. I'll likely remove and rebuild each of the 15 solenoid actuators as a casual activity when time permits. And one day... I really, really want to install a new hardtop, perform a full cosmetic fresh, and install a few mechanical modifications that complement gameplay.

I'm a child of the 80's. Black Knight was my favorite pinball machine. Tempest was my favorite video game. I now own both. My collection is complete, to the bemusement of my family.
 
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Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
a true classic!
i actually first played that game via simulation in the early 80's, i.e. 'david's midnight magic' on c64 and apple2.

anyway, welcome! :-)
 
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lothian

Pinball Player
I'm pretty certain I'll have plenty of maintenance issue posts. I've already posted a general query--actually four questions rolled under one heading--into that forum.
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
I'm pretty certain I'll have plenty of maintenance issue posts. I've already posted a general query--actually four questions rolled under one heading--into that forum.
good timing.

as soon as i noticed you did that, i trimmed my post above, and of course, you immediately replied to the trimmed part, lol.

anyway, nice. look forward to dave replying.
 

xenonph

I have Pinball Dementia!!
Staff member
Site Supporters
Black Knight was my brothers favorite table!!
I am not certain about this, but he said when he worked in arcade in 80's, that there was a bracket inside that could be changed to award coins back! I remember winning coins from that table, but this was back when I was a teenager, so the memory is fuzzy.
Back when they started painting the quarters, because of new gambling laws, they then moved on to tokens.
His favorite arcade game was Tempest also!! Amazing those 2 games are your faves too!! What are the chances??

Welcome, and don't hesitate to ask questions. There are many friendly community members here to help!!
Carry on.
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
I am not certain about this, but he said when he worked in arcade in 80's, that there was a bracket inside that could be changed to award coins back! I remember winning coins from that table, but this was back when I was a teenager, so the memory is fuzzy.
Back when they started painting the quarters, because of new gambling laws, they then moved on to tokens.
His favorite arcade game was Tempest also!! Amazing those 2 games are your faves too!! What are the chances??
Whoa. oO

So that's a Washington state thing, it sounds like?

For all the uproar over the years about pinball being 'gambling devices,' it's amazing to learn that they may actually have been, in some places.
 

xenonph

I have Pinball Dementia!!
Staff member
Site Supporters
This was in Southern California in a town called Lake Elsinore.
I grew up there, and moved back to Washington state when I was 16.
Yes I remember going to the Circle K,(A mini market store). and would spend all my quarters that were painted in red.
I would go to the arcade everyday after school and play the hell out of all the games!!
Since my brother worked there, I got to play for free!!
I remember Black Knight table specifically was one that gave back quarters.
I asked my brother before he died about it, and he said yes there was some sort of thing he would slide over, (Maybe a coin chute), and it would reward quarters for something like High Score I think.
Speaking of Arcades...I loved the sound of arcades when walking in the door.
Check out this site that captures the arcade ambience, and you can download them as mp3.
I was going to add this to some of my tables a while back but never got around to it.

Carry on.
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
Okay, I'm not having much luck googling about it, but I'll certainly remember this. I wonder if maybe-possibly it happened on a small, local scale, and therefore didn't get in to the news much.

Making money off machines directly is certainly something I would have wanted in on, back in PA in the 90's!

Yeah, I like those arcade ambience projects on the whole. As a noise-sensitive person, I also remember plenty of times when walking in to an arcade was like walking in to a construction site, noise-wise. So it's nice to be able to adjust the volume, digitally.

Incidentally, there's a couple tables around the site that indeed use such ambience. I remember them being older VP tables (go figure), but can't remember which ones, now.
 

Pop Bumper Pete

Pinball Pirate
Site Supporters
I cannot imagine electronic pinball machines paying out money
there is nowhere in the door to hold coins

you drop a coin, the coin then gets checked for weight and size, and is then either rejected or passes through a switch which is an inch above the coinbox
unless the checking mech is jammed full of coins, and you happen to dislodge them, and they come out the return slot, without a game being played, there can be no payout
 

xenonph

I have Pinball Dementia!!
Staff member
Site Supporters
Yes I have tried googling info many years ago about this, but also found nothing.
Maybe it was just a dream.
But funny my brother remembered it giving back coins when he worked there, and I do have memories of spending those red quarters. Also When I asked him a few years ago before he died, he confirmed to me that there was some sort of plate he toggled.
It does seem highly unlikely, after searching for info on this and finding none.
Maybe a kids dream?? Maybe they were lodged in the chute, he just tapped the side to release them?
Maybe just an older brothers magic?
Who knows, but it will always be a very fond memory of mine.
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
I cannot imagine electronic pinball machines paying out money
there is nowhere in the door to hold coins

you drop a coin, the coin then gets checked for weight and size, and is then either rejected or passes through a switch which is an inch above the coinbox
unless the checking mech is jammed full of coins, and you happen to dislodge them, and they come out the return slot, without a game being played, there can be no payout
It sounds like the coin chute described earlier was a custom hack, and not really what you'd expect if you're thinking about vending machine mechs.

I'm thinking it would be pre-loaded with coins in a reservoir / stack, completely separate from the machine's coin trough. There'd be a mechanism wired to power and the game's replay logic which when triggered, would release a coin, which rolled down the chute in to the coin return.

The whole thing wouldn't be complicated and wouldn't cost much in parts, I think. Could have been a custom build (by almost anyone) or a kit sold somewhere.
 

Pop Bumper Pete

Pinball Pirate
Site Supporters
OK, but a solid state game will only trigger a solenoid if the software allows for it
sure, you might be able to replace the free game knocker with a coin dispenser, but this is Black Knight, no knocker, it has a bell, and the bell is also triggered during games with more than one player
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
so you pull the chute's trigger input from the bell line?

in any case, i'm just throwing out a theoretical. maybe the contraption's not as practical as i imagine, or maybe there's a different way of doing it.

honestly, the far bigger stumbling block to me is the legal issue. because i don't know how it was in other countries, but in the usa, pinball got kicked in the teeth for decades over the 'gambling' accusations. so it's pretty wild to me that someone may have rigged a machine to -actually- be a straight-up gambling device in the wake of all that.

i want to hear some industry insiders weigh in on this topic, lol.
 

StevOz

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Actually, there was a time here in Western Australia in the late 70s / early 80s, when it was illegal for pinballs to award any replays, only extra balls were allowed because the replay award was thought to corrupt the youth of the day into the habit of gambling.
 

xenonph

I have Pinball Dementia!!
Staff member
Site Supporters
I remember a bar I used to go to, (When I was 16!! When I turned 21 and showed my ID to prove it was my birthday, they booted me, as I had been frequenting their business for years underage!! ), and they would refund quarters for any credits left on pinball machine at closing time.
Me and my friend Frank would always have about 2 dollars in credits built up by the end of the night!!
That's the only other time I ever got money back from Pinball Machine.
 
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