2003 Stern Ripley’s Believe it or Not… Repair

Have been really tied up lately and actually sold several of my personal projects to reclaim my garage spot for the new car, but still plugging through games as time allows.

Was contacted by a fellow pinball owner regarding a 2003 Stern Ripley’s Believe it or Not that was giving him some trouble with the left flipper and auto plunger as well as an odd boot-up issue.

The boot up issue ended up being a connector that wasn’t fully seated on the CPU board. Always nice to find bizarre boot behavior to be something easy like that. I also found the idol opto connector unseated underneath the playfield.

For the auto plunger and left flipper, he had replaced the associated Q2 and Q15 22NE10L transistors on the I/O Power Driver board, but neither coil was firing in play or test. These transistors come down from HCT273 chips at U1 and U2, connect to ground on one leg and then output from the third leg.

Checking off the schematics with my DMM on continuity, I found the Q2 auto plunger was missing continuity to resistor R2 which goes back to the U1 chip. I ran a jumper to complete continuity between the proper leg and R2 which corrected the auto plunger issue.

For the left flipper, oddly everything buzzed proper on the top side of the I/O board; however, on the solder side, the ground continuity wasn’t there. I strengthened the solder side connection to ground and that got the flipper firing proper.

Here’s a video of the game and all associated components working properly:

About Matthew Mandarano

Matthew is a cinematographer and video specialist by day and pinball fanatic at night. Somewhere in between he also finds time to play the guitar, collect vinyl records and watch a good deal of movies and TV shows.
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