MOONRAKER FRUIT MACHINE



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The machine has three reels, and the unit comes out as a whole and contains all three reels. Once this was out I could see that down one side of each reel are a set of brass wipers that touch a series of contacts on the reel, and as the reel spins the wipers touch different contacts and complete different circuits so the machine can tell what position the reel is in at all times.

The reels themselves are reset by rotating them until the wipers are in the same horizontal position on each reel, and then the reel paper also needs resetting to its home position on each reel. Once the reels are in position, the symbols on the win line should have the end of the paper reel strips directly above them.


The reel strips are paper rather than the plastic I expected and were originally stuck down with double sided tape, but over time the adhesive on the tape dries and the strips break loose and slide around the reel. To stick them down again I used a dab of glue from a glue gun and replaced the mechanism in the machine.

Next up, the coin mechs. The S1 coin mechs in the machine determine whether or not to accept a coin based simply on diameter and thickness of the coins. Any coins not accepted are simply returned to the reject slot so I had to remove all the mechs from the machine to make adjustments to them. In total it has 4 coin mechs; a token slot which adds 2 credits, a 5p slot which adds 1 credit, a 10p slot which adds 2 credits and a 50p coin slot which doesn’t add credits but pays out five 10p coins that you can use to play.


Once out of the machine I could access the adjustment screws on each mech and it was simply a case of trial and error, making adjustments and then dropping a coin in to see if it was accepted or rejected. The height adjustment bar must allow the coin to roll free in an upright position along the coin ramp. If the bar is set too high then the coin will tip over in the gate, if it is set too low the bar will 'nip' the coin and stop it from rolling. The coin thickness adjustment also has to allow the coin to roll down the ramp. If it is set too wide the coins will drop into the reject slot, and if it is set to narrow the coin cannot roll down the coin ramp.

The token mech, the 5p mech and the 10p mech were fairly straight forward, but the 50p mech was not because it contained a rocker inside it, so if the coin entered was not a genuine 50p then the rocker would also reject it. This rocker did not like new 50p coins at all, so I had to remove it and use a fairly primitive but effective replacement, a coin and a piece of tape.


The 50p mech has 2 exits and the genuine coins had to drop out of the front one, but with the rocker removed they would always fall through the back one, so I put an old 50p piece in the back exit and used some tape to stop it from falling out, and now the genuine coins pass through the first part of the mech, hit this old 50p and then fall forwards into the front exit and down into the coin box. Quite rudimentary but very effective and not a single coin has got stuck in it or failed to fall into the right place yet.


Having the coin mechs working meant that I could play the machine properly but it did however present a new problem: The coin tubes and the payslide mechanism.

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