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Author Topic: Super Scooper claw / crane game restoration advice  (Read 695 times)

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xybot

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Super Scooper claw / crane game restoration advice
« on: April 26, 2022, 08:12:48 am »
Hello! I'm in the process of restoring a Super Scooper claw / crane game and I'm hoping to get some insight before I forge ahead any further. Also, I'll share any insight I gain during the process which will hopefully help others. I was lucky enough to get a manual with the machine, which I scanned and is attached. I was contemplating reviving the old Help with vintage Super Scooper crane topic, but figured it was probably better to start a new one.

After burning out several 5V and 12V bulbs then watching this "The Old School 80's Crane Machines Used Relay Logic To Work, Check it Out! Plush Claw Game Repair" YouTube video

where the guy mentions at 1:09:55 that his similar machine uses 28V bulbs that I didn't even know existed, I wised up and took some readings. Sure enough I have 21V going to the button lights and 22.9V going to the coin insert lights. No voltage drop here!

I was initially deliberating whether to get cheap old school bulbs or put in a little more money and use LEDs with 24v to 12v step down converters.

If I go the incandescent bulb route not sure which one of these to pick:

CEC Industries #655 Bulbs, 28 V, 5.6 W, W2.1x9.5d Base, T-3.25 shape (Box of 10)

CEC Industries #657 Bulbs, 28 V, 2.24 W, W2.1x9.5d Base, T-3.25 Shape (Box of 10)

CEC Industries #656 Bulbs, 28 V, 1.68 W, W2.1x9.5d Base, T-3.25 Shape (Box of 10)

I'm leaning towards using #657s which will put out a little more light than the 1.575w #555s I'm familiar with from working on pinball machines. I'm just not sure if any of the bulbs above would burn too hot for the push buttons.

I had purchased this 24v to 12v Step Down Converter Voltage Regulator to experiment with for the coin insert lights since I already have red 12v LEDS (I had assumed that the push buttons had reduced voltage and could handle standard 12v bulbs - nope!), but haven't done anything with it yet. This one has a 5A output, but I'm seeing similar ones with other outputs ranging from 3A to 30A so I'm not sure whether it would even work. And since I posted this I discovered the automotive LEDs that can handle 24v so this option seems somewhat silly at this point if I decide to go LED.

Any advice would be appreciated. The incandescent bulbs would be the cheap and easy solution, but I've gotten so used to using LEDs in my pinballs it's hard to go back to them! :D
« Last Edit: April 26, 2022, 09:30:55 pm by xybot »

xybot

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Re: Super Scooper claw / crane game restoration advice
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2022, 09:49:30 am »
I didn't realize LEDs that could handle voltages higher than 12v existed until I found this LED bulb cross reference and compatibility guide after my first post. It seems like using 194 automotive LED bulbs might be another viable option. These 194 (T10/168/158) WEDGE bulbs say "Operating Voltage: 12 - 24v DC" and I'm seeing many on Amazon with the same range. Too bright though? Anyone have experience with these?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2022, 09:18:31 pm by xybot »

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Re: Super Scooper claw / crane game restoration advice
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2022, 06:17:11 pm »
Here's my repair, restoration and upgrade log to date. Hopefully it will help others who pick up this machine.

WD-40 Specialist Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant Spray - I had this on hand and used it to lubricate all of the pulleys on the gantry after cleaning everything up. Some of them were completely seized with grime so the motors couldn't move the trolley at all. I'm not sure if this was the best lubricant for the job, but it worked. If you have any better suggestions please share.

Crane Machine Replacement Claw - Though the original claw was working and fit the theme of the game, I felt that it was too easy to win so wanted to replace it with a classic claw. And since I'm considering leaving the game with no glass on the front, it seemed too deadly - that thing could chop a finger off! I ordered both a small and a medium claw, but went with the small one. I think it's perfect for this game. The red wire on this new claw is the same as the black wire on the old one. The string on this claw is thicker than the original so I had to drill a slightly larger hole in the pulley to feed it through. When fully wound on the top pulley it goes just a tad past the lip of it, which makes it prone to potentially slipping off, so I should probably cut it to be shorter. Also, the cord on this claw is much longer than the originalís, so if you drop the claw directly into the hole you will have problems. More on that later! Also, this eBay seller was nice enough to throw in some rubber sheaths that can be put on the tips of the claws to make them grip better. They arenít necessary for plush animals, but would be helpful for smaller items.

MOLEX .062" 2 Conductor or Pin Free Hanging Set with Terminals - Youíll need to crimp pins onto the clawís wires (I recommend using this HT-225D Full Cycle Ratchet Crimping Tool) and insert the pins into a connector that will clip into the existing one. Make sure to use the right pins! There are 2 types - male and female. Mine used the female pins. Look inside the other half of the connector to be sure. I put red wire on the the side of the clip with flat non-beveled side - which is where my original clawís black wire was. On my game this is on the left if you are facing it. I also draped the cord over the zip-tied wires on the back of the plate so that the weight of the coiled cord is not stressing the connection since the wires are pretty thin.

Uxcell 49x33 Rectangle 12V LED Illuminated Push Button with Micro Switch - The tabs on my original push buttons were broken so I had to replace them. I was able to pop the yellow rectangles with the arrow decals on them out of the original buttons and put them in the new ones. Iím using #657 bulbs in these, but I think I should have went with the brighter #655 bulbs. WARNING: Only bulbs that can handle 24v will work here. Others will burn out, including the ones that come with these buttons.

Qoope 194 LED Bulbs, Super Bright Red T10 175 LED Bulb 3014 Chipset 18SMD 12V-24V - Iím using these for the coin door lights. They are super bright for sure. Unfortunately, the yellow version of these bulbs did not fit inside the buttons. I detached the coin door switches and rigged them behind the buttons using brackets, tape and binder clips so that pushing them will add credits. WARNING: Only bulbs that can handle 24v will work here. Others will burn out.

Under Monitor RGB Light Bar, LED Light for Desk Gaming Setup, USB Powered Keyboard Light, 12 Inch 5V, 353 Color Change Modes, Wireless Remote - I trashed the original fluorescent light fixture and used 2 of these inside the game. In the back right above the mirror, and in the front right above the metal track. They aren't super bright, but look cool and have synchronized animated effects. The front one reflects on the crane mechanism and the back mirror which looks cool. There are many of these an Amazon that appear to be identical, so add a bunch to your wish list and keep an eye on them. I got both of mine for $20 total after discounts.

Amazon Basics USB 2.0 Extension Cable 2-Pack - A-Male to A-Female Adapter Cord - 3.3 Feet (1 Meter) - The cord for one of the interior lights was too short to reach the power supply so I needed this to extend it. Since this is only for power, no need for USB 3. I will also use one of these for a mini disco light in prize pickup hole mod.

LED T-Molding Housing (0.80in, 20mm) - The expensive part. My game came with scuffed up gold chrome t-molding. Didn't like it. I replaced it with this containing RGBIC LED strips. In the end it came out great, but the curves on this game are tighter than the modern games that this is intended for, so the molding buckles inward on tight turns so you can't feed the LEDs through afterwards. You have to cut the spine of the t-molding at each curve so it doesn't pop out of the groove (videos are on YouTube). I killed 2 sections of the LED strips I had on hand whacking the t-molding into the groove too hard with a mallet and had to start over. I had to use a hair dryer to soften up the molding in order to get the dimples out of the turns so I could get the LED strips back out! When I redid it, I was VERY careful and only pressed the molding in by hand, making sure that no LEDs got pinched around the curves. Make sure you pull the strips through to the exact same point on each side so the animations are synchronized.

Ronan Molding Cutter - Worked great to cut the t-molding (and a shower sweep as an added bonus) and was cheaper on t-molding.com than Amazon.

LED Housing Pull String - 12ft - Used to pull the strips through the molding. I use painter's tape to attach to the strips to the line. Worked great.

Govee RGBIC LED Strip Lights, 32.8FT Bluetooth Segmented DIY Control Color Changing LED Lights with Music Mode, Timer, App and Remote Control - I picked these RGBIC LEDs because they can be controlled with the included remote or an app, which I havenít yet messed with. They look great with synchronized animations on both sides. I taped the extra to the back of the machine to light up the wall behind the game.

One Beat Surge Protector, 5 Outlets Extender with 4 USB Ports - Snipped the tab off the back and put in the outlet on top of the power supply. I needed 2 USB ports to power the inside lights and will use another for the disco light mod. Iím using the regular outlets to power the LED lights and a HypnoCube on top of the game with plenty of room for more.

Bergen Industries Inc PS613163 3-Wire Appliance and Power Tool Cord - The third prong on my power cord was broken off so I used this to replace it. The power supply is a beast. Mine had so much dust inside that I literally used a leaf blower to clean it out. To get to where you have to wire in the cord you'll have to remove a bunch of boards. I almost completely disassembled mine to clean it and rewire it, color coding the parts and screws with Sharpies as I went. This took longer than any other step in the restoration!

GorillaGlides CB503 2 Inch Furniture Sliders / Screw On Glide Floor Protectors - My game was missing the leveler legs underneath. I used these instead so I can slide the game around easier on the carpet. Otherwise I would have used MAGIC SLIDERS L P 4600 4 Pack 2-3/8" Concave Discs which I use on all my pinball machines and arcade games.

Stuff left to do:

4W USB Mini LED disco stage light - I have this on order and plan to put it in the prize pickup hole. Maybe I can hook it up to a sensor so it is only on when the sensor is blocked. Or maybe I can use a pressure switch of some sort.

The trolley still struggles a bit going horizontally. Might need to clean and lubricate more, replace the belts (where to get?) or itís just a weak old motor.

I donít like the unfinished wood edges around the hole and how the plastic chute just floats in there at an angle. I plan to fix that up.

Iíd like to replace the gold plate the buttons are in with something nicer looking. I was pondering covering it with metallic contact paper, but Iím on the fence. Designing an overlay would probably look cooler.

I will likely make my own marquee that can slide into a retainer bracket so I donít destroy the original art, lit if possible.

The plexiglass panels that came with my game are too scratched to use. Iím not sure that Iíll bother replacing them and might just keep the game open. If I do replace them, do I go with two sliding pieces or somehow rig it to use a single sheet on a hinge? Iím curious what others have done.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2022, 06:38:35 pm by xybot »

xybot

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Re: Super Scooper claw / crane game restoration advice
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2022, 06:19:37 pm »
Here are my insights on the dreaded string winding backwards issue.

If the crane string winds backwards it will pull the claw all the way up and seize. I donít know if leaving it like this will burn the motor out eventually or not. The kids left it like this for about an hour and itís still working, so maybe it has some sort of safety mechanism to prevent that. When this happens, you have to turn the game off and either forcefully turn the pulley the other direction (Iím guessing that this is bad, but I had to do it a couple times), or remove the bottom left pulley if possible (sometimes itís wound too tight to do this) so you have enough slack to unwind it and put the string back on the pulleys as shown on page 13 of the guide attached to this post.

There are multiple causes of the string winding the wrong way:

1. The claw dropped into the hole and kept going. 



If the cord is not short enough to stop the crane, it will keep going down until the string fully unwinds then starts going the other way on the top pulley. The cord on my new claw is MUCH longer than the old one so I had to figure out how to rig it. I wound up repurposing an elastic black cord that came with sneakers (to keep them a pair) and a couple little clips from some clothing tags. I stretched the cord to the length that would allow the crane to drop into the hole but not too far, fed it through the center of the coiled cord, tied it to the little clips, and clipped them to the ends of the cord outside of the coiled part. Just tying them would have worked too. Now the crane returns when that cord is fully stretched. After I had done this I saw a crane game in an arcade that had a spring going down the inside of the coiled cord so apparently I was on the right track!


2. A coin switch is stuck down. 



I wouldnít have guessed this, but luckily had the manual and page 9 states ďMake sure coin switches are returning to upright positions.Ē My first attempt to rig the coin switches to the buttons was a little sloppy and one of them got stuck.


3. The string jumped a pulley and things got fouled up. 



Which is why I should consider shortening my new clawís string a bit.

xybot

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Re: Super Scooper claw / crane game restoration advice
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2022, 06:22:14 pm »
I have a mystery part that came with my machine. I'm not sure where it goes. If you do, please let me know! The trolley does wobble a bit when it goes from one side to the other, so perhaps this is part of that.