Finding and Replacing the Batteries

Copyright 2006 - 2014, all rights reserved.


To access the batteries, turn off and unplug the game, and unlock the backbox and carefully remove the translite or backglass. If the batteries are removed while the game is on, all the settings and high scores will be lost. It is possible to replace these batteries with the power turned back on, but this should be attempted only by qualified personnel. Note that several hundred volts are present on the surrounding boards below. See the caution at the beginning of this article. Do not attempt to replace batteries with the power on if you are not qualified. The voltages present are potentially lethal.

     
The location of the batteries in a Bally pinball machine from the late 70's to the mid- 80's. These batteries are located in the back box, behind the translite or backglass. Originally, there was a nicad battery located here. If it is still there, it has leaked and damaged the circuit board. In this machine, the battery has been replaced with a high capacity capacitor and it will never need to be replaced.

    
A close up of the capacitor used to replace the batteries. A capacitor like this may be used in any of the machines. Capacitors work by storing a charge when the machine is on. If the machine is left off for a long period of time (months?), the memory can be lost. Capacitors do not leak like batteries and cannot damage the circuit board.


This is the location of the batteries in Bally / Williams games manufactured in the 90's. If these batteries leak, they will damage the circuit board, usually below the batteries. Once this circuit board is damaged, it may become unusable. Change these batteries at least annually.

To access these batteries, it is necessary to unlock the backbox and remove the translite. On some models, it may be easier to remove the display / speakers below the translite and carefully place it, display down, on the railings of the playfield.

If the batteries are removed while the game is off, all the settings and high scores will be lost. It is possible to replace these batteries with the power turned on, but this should be attempted only by qualified personnel. If the display is also removed and placed display down on the railings of the playfield, be certain that no wires or circuit boards short or make contact. Several hundred volts are present on the display. See the caution at the beginning of this article.

Some hobbyists remove these batteries and place them in a separate battery pack located elsewhere, usually below the circuit boards in the backbox. This protects the circuitry in case the batteries should leak.

After you have replaced the batteries, it is a good idea to mark the date on them with a sharpie. That way, you can tell at a glance how old they are. If you are removing batteries that are only a year old, don't throw them out! They are most likely still good. Keep them and use them in your remote controls or other applications. You just don't want them sitting in your pinball machines for years and years.

Note that it is a good idea to go into the service menu and write down all the settings on a piece of paper. That way, in case memory is lost, it is possible to return your pin to the settings you are used to. Store that piece of paper with your settings in the user manual.

 

Return to the Introduction to Pinball Repair and Maintenance

This is a personal homepage and doesn't represent the opinions of my employer, family members, friends, or anyone else.