Arcade Collecting > Pinball

Eliminating pinball tingle


So, that other clown shoes thread got me thinking about my intermittent tingle I was experiencing when touching two of my pinball machines at the same time.  Was not something I did regularly and it kind of came and went so I never paid too much attention to it.

First thing I did was inspect the plugs.  Ground pin was fine on both, but one was a replacement plug and looked a little sketchy.  That was removed, cord was trimmed a few inches to clean wire, and new plug installed.  Tingle still there.

Next I break out the DMM and start buzzing out my cabinets.  Oddly, perfect continuity from lockdown bar to lockdown bar, but nothing on the side rails on my Firepower.

Now, the thing about this Firepower, you gotta realize I saved this game from a mud puddle.  It was actually on its side in the mud when I bought it.  I managed to turd polish it up so it presents pretty well, but yeah.  It had huge problems with grounding in the backbox, dirt dauber nests everywhere, etc etc. 

First attempt was to trim back the beer seal and bend up the playfield glass rails.

Sadly, the hammer did not completely solve this problem.  If you pushed down hard on the lockdown bar, you had continuity but it wasn't reliable.

So, I started looking inside the cabinet.

Well, son of a ---smurfette---.  Look what I forgot to reconnect when I replaced the shooter rod 10 years ago.

That bolt goes through the cabinet and over the siderail.  Reconnecting that got my right rail grounded again.

But the left rail was still ungrounded.  Everything was physically connected, but I decided to take a look at the bolt.

A-ha!  Anyway, this was hit with a wire brush, some copper wire wrapped around it, and reinstalled. 

Happy to report everything is tingle free now.


Mike A:
Nice detective work.

Good stuff like this makes me feel all tingly

Nicely done.

Had no idea those things had such a loop of grounds but makes sense given all the exposed metal.

What vintage is that Firepower machine?


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