Game Kit Installation Instructions
It can be helpful to do your installation in three stages. Thankfully, Grief is not one of them. You’ve got your General Illumination (GI), Backbox (skip this for modern Stern machines), and Inserts. Your bags should all be labeled with one of these three categories (though for some inserts, you may just see lamp numbers). Consider sorting these bags into their respective categories, and let’s get started!
For games where the GI sockets are screwed into the playfield, you'll want to do almost all of the work from under the playfield. Don't forget to remove the balls! The tool you'll need is a ¼” nut driver (magnetic, ideally). For the GI, just unscrew the socket, replace the bulb, and screw the socket back in place. These can be the toughest bulbs to find, but once you identify a string of them you can just follow the wires to all the other GI bulbs connected to that string. There are usually 2 or 3 GI strings total. The GI bulbs in the ball guides near the flippers probably won’t be able to be accessed from underneath, but they are easily uncovered from above, usually with just a screw/nut driver. For EMs & Early Solid States (and Segas) the GI sockets will likely be stapled or soldered to the playfield. If this is the case, avoid the Grief stage by removing the plastics from the top side of the playfield to access the bulbs. (To prevent flickering in WPC games turn “Allow Dim Illumination” to “No” in your Standard Adjustments menu)
Time to take a break and tackle the easiest bulbs to access...usually. (In some mid/late 90s Bally/Williams games you’ll find annoying and fragile plastic sockets that need to be pinched). The odd colored sockets (usually black) are either for flashers or blinking bulbs. If you find some of your wedge-based bulbs are flickering or not working, try bending out the wires to create a better connection. This fixes the problem 99% of the time. For EMs and Early Solid States you’ll see some bulbs that are boxed off. These are the controlled backbox lighting and illuminate the player number, tilt, etc. (To prevent flickering in WPC games turn “General Illumination Power Saver” to “Off” in your Standard Adjustments menu)
After installing the GI, the inserts should be easy. But not as easy as the backbox. But also, let’s be honest - there are a lot of inserts! Your insert bags should be labeled with both a lamp number and a description (or just the color of the insert). We try our best on those tiny bags! For modern games, you can find the lamp number by scrolling through a Single Lamp Test or by looking at the Insert Map. Sometimes it’s easiest to just install the bulbs based on the color of the insert plastic. If you’re having trouble determining color and the bulb isn’t otherwise labeled, shine a flashlight through the top side of the playfield to see the color. For your bayonet inserts, you can likely just bend out the socket, replace the bulb, and bend it back into place. The wedge inserts use those black sockets on the circuit boards affixed to the bottom of the playfield. For these, just twist out the socket, replace the bulb, and twist the socket back in. It's worth the time to bend the wires out on the wedge bulbs to create a better connection.
These are installed in the larger sockets throughout your game. Just like the inserts, you can find the flash lamp numbers by scrolling through a Flasher Test or by looking at the Flash Map (which is like a treasure map, but way less cool). If your game has an interlock switch to the inner left of the coin door, you’ll need to engage it to get the flashers to illuminate with the coin door open in test mode.
We do our best to ensure our kits are accurate and complete, but we do occasionally make a mistake or miss a bulb. Good thing it’s only pinball! If you have any questions or concerns about this kit please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!