Spectra IV    Repair Journal

Purchased on Jan. 22, 2010 for $160 from a thrift store. According to the store owner he had purchased it at an auction for $80. This machine is a Spectra IV rotating cocktail table pinball made by The Valley Company. It seems that the Kidde corporation that makes the fire extenquishing equipment we are familiar with decided to dabble in the arcade market and created this pinball and a video arcade machine. As far as I know, these are the only gaming machines made by this company. Manufactured in 1978, this in only one of two known models of rotating solid state pinball machines made. There were approximately 2,600 of these machines made.

It is extremely rare to find this machine in working order as a design flaw has rendered many inoperatable. In the design of the CPU board, the engineers used three NiCd batteries to power the volatile memory that preserves the game settings and high scores. Unfortunately, the designers put these batteries on the CPU board itself creating an environment where once the batteries begin to leak (as all will do over time) the corrosive molecules would then migrate down through the circuits and if left unchecked (as many were) would slowly destroy the CPU board. This is exactly what was happening to my machine.
This journal will document my progress as I attempt to repair my machine. I have no idea if I will be able to get her in playing condition but hopefully my exploits will help others who are attempting to resurrect their machine. This should also pose as fair warning to anyone who might be considering purchasing one of these machines, if the CPU board is fried... pass on it! One should also be aware that the lights and solinoids are driven off of separate circuit boards and thus even if the CPU is fried, the machine will power on and 'light up' giving the appearance of something that is 'almost working'.

Obviously, parts for these machines can be scarse as many were condemed to the land fill once they quit working. If you have one of these machines I will be happy to help you in anyway I can short of scavaging off of mine, or possibly find someone willing to purchase parts from you. Please use the email link above for any questions or more information!