STERN RAWHIDE 1977

IPDB link

( Rawhide Pinball Schematic - not a good version )

This is the "Stern Rawhide" pinball I bought at the pinbal auction. The playfield and backglass are very good. This machine was made in 1977 and looks very good for a 30 year old machine.

When I got it home the first thing a saw was small parts falling out of the head. Hate when that happens.

The parts that fell out are from the score reels. Four,in all, of the wipers were damaged. Since this is a four player game I stole the good parts from player four to make players 1,2, and 3 work. I had to jump the appropriate traces of the player 4 score disc to fake the machine into accepting a reset. What a pain in the ass.

When I first plugged it in it was dead. I took about 4 hours to find all of the 25 or so bent contacts + the coin switch was stuck. Also the flippers were jerry rigged. Whoever fixed it before tried to use coils and plungers from other models. Would you believe the End Of Stroke switch was put in backwards. It looked intentional so the switch would never open. This is an electromechanical game and doesn't need diodes on the flippers but the replacement coils had diodes. Wouldn't you guess one diode was shorted causing the machine to blow fuses. Of course there was the obligatory piece of wire wrapped around the fuse holder... I just cut the diodes out and that problem was solved. Unfortunately to make thing worse the flippers were mis-wired anyway placing full power on them all the time. This would blow a fuse after 3 seconds of holding the flipper.

After re-wiring all was well except the flippers would 'chatter' alot. This was due to the number of turns on the Williams coils vs the proper Stern/Chicago Coin coils. Rather than rewrap I ordered the replacement coils from http://www.marcospecialties.com/. I can always use the Williams coils in another project.

Prior to even getting to the flippers, however, the machine would not start. It would continue to go through the reset process ( chug, chug, chug, chug, chug,....chug, chug, chug, chug, chug,....,chug, chug, chug, chug, chug,....). Of the 16 score reel units all but 2 were so dirty and gunked up that a reset could not take place. It took 2 hours to clean all 16 score reels.

The next issue was that now matter how many players you played the machine always thought it was in four player mode. This turned out to be a broken wire on the ball count unit.

After Many hours of fussing around the machine is now very playable. I need to orders rubbers and clean it.

August 15, 2006

What excitement - I saw a 'rawhide' like mine sell on Ebay last week for $900. Woo Hoo!. It's either a rare machine or just a fluke!. In either case I'll keep mine for a while...

Rubbers came in some weeks ago. I finished the machine. This is a fun machine to play when adjusted. The pop bumpers are responsive, the two bell chimes ring loud and clear and, when you score enough, that distinctive 'POP' sound is heard loud and clear. One thing I will not do is attempt to restore a worn playfield or backglass. I may try to preserve it with wax but everytime I've seen a restore attempt it's so obvious that you'd really prefer it were never done. Certain things like cabinet repaints can be done well - just mask it as the side art is usually simple. I have some score reels on order to get player four working. That's another day. Anyway, opinions aside, Here's the machine to date - everything up except player four: