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Valley Spectra IV Pinball Game:

It's been a while since I worked on any serious electronics projects - either construction or repair - because most modern electronic devices are pretty much throw-away - 'No user serviceable parts'.

So when a friend of mine asked if I'd look at an old pinball machine to see if I could get it running, I jumped at the chance. Here is technology I understand and enjoy and an opportunity to get my hands dirty once more. I love machines and electronics and this vintage of pinball combines them in a form that is still accessable ( read: 'repairable').

Troubleshooting and Repair.

  • First Pass (2012):

    Repair notes and pictures showing progress bringing one machine back to life. Many of the BLOG's and chat sites list this machine is 'Better left alone and used as a card table.' I think it's a great machine and well worth bringing back to life. There aren't many around and if you have one - either working or used as a coffee table - please let me know (with pictures).

    Click here for more information:
  • Second Pass (2022):

  • I haven't worked on these machines for a while but I've received reports from a few folks who have gotten these machines to run.

    • Pin WIKI: Here is a web site by a fellow in Michigan who has a lot of experience working on archade games has successfully rebuilt one of Spectra IV machines.
    • Flip Projects in France: This is an outfit in France that has also solved the Spectra IV challenge I have heard of at least one person who has sent them their MPU board for referbishing. It took them 2 1/2 years to return it but ...


Since originally posting this I have had calls and email's from others with similar machines and/or problems ( I must be coming up on Goggle - sneaky me). There isn't a lot on the web about some of these less common machines and I welcome the chance to dig in and share what I learn.

Are there other options to recovering the original brains of these things?

It seems like I'm getting more and more contacts regarding these Valley Spectra IV machines. Most of the enquires I get are like:

  • "Do you have the ROM listing that I could get?"
  • "I have a few of these processor boards laying around, would you consider combining our stock to see if we can get one that works?"
  • Why not just re-design the motherboard? How hard could that be? It's just sensing contact closures and then turning on a switch (to fire the solenoid), with a background set of counters to keep track. And another circuit - and process - to drive the displays with the scores, etc.

So, I'd be interested in hearing what anyone is doing in reverse engineering these things.

Some links to pinball sites of interest (in no particular order):