Don't Miss

Phantom of the Opera pinball machine by Data East Repaired

By on June 15, 2015
pinball machine repairings








I went with my friend Sav to look at this pinball machine as he valued my input. One of the displays wasn’t working so we got the machine cheaper than the advertised price.

 pinball machine repair

I tested the power supply line going to the display board and found the 5v rail was down (around 4.6v)

pinball machine repairs

This wasn’t the culprit. I then checked the 100v+ 100v – lines and found them to be slightly down.


So I rebuilt the power supply. Replacing around 6 resistors. This did improve the voltages, but didn’t fix the display problem. pinballmachinerepairs

Now you might wonder what the 100v lines are used for. Well this pinball uses VFD(vacuum florescent display) displays for scoring and other information.


These displays are an alpha numeric display type that use a udn7180A to drive the displays, these are getting to be very rear to find. I have found them for $50 each and we may need 2-4 of them. If you do the math these IC’s would end up costing $200 & the VFD cost is $170,so that’s $370.

What we did in the end was order a new display from


 This was around $200 delivered from Germany to Australia. This is all solid state and looks just like the old one. With the new display you don’t need the -100 +100 volts, it only requires 5v. This display is all electronic and when put into the backboard you can’t tell the difference.

This has fixed the Phantom of the opera Pinball machine.

 pinball machinerepair

 pinball machinerepairing

This article was contributed by Lee Davey from Hobart Tasmania Australia. He has been doing repairs on electronics and PC’s for around 30 years.

Please give a support by clicking  on the social buttons below. Your feedback on the post is welcome. Please leave it in the comments.

P.S-  If you enjoyed reading this, click here to subscribe to my blog (free subscription). That way, you’ll never miss a post. You can also forward this website link to your friends and colleagues-thanks!




  1. Robert Calk

    June 15, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Good job, Lee. The pinball machine should operate more efficiently now.

  2. Albert

    June 15, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for your article Lee.
    If I ever repair such a Pinball machine with Display problems, I will know what new display to look for!
    (I always wanted to repair these machines as a professional electronics job but in our part of the Country they don't exist).

  3. Yogesh Panchal

    June 15, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Congratulations! and thanks for sharing.

  4. RobertyBob

    June 15, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Thanks for the valuable info for a hard to find part. A replacement for the gas discharge (plasma) display. Vacuum fluorescent were blue coloured in the old Gottlieb games and operated at 63V.

  5. Humberto

    June 15, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Very interesting your repai Lee Davey, keep up and congratulations.

  6. Lee

    June 16, 2015 at 6:44 am

    I've always wanted to repair a pinball machine.
    This turned out to be an fairly easy repair.
    This machine should last for another 30 OD years.
    Thanks for your remarks.

  7. JohnW Lynch

    June 19, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I still repair an Industrial Computer that was designed in the 1980s... I'm the only one left that still repairs it... The designer told me it was designed to last 15 years... He designed the first ATM for Dibold... I've repaired this computer for 33 years... Who'd a thunk!
    John W Lynch
    SWORD Electronics LLC


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.