MOONRAKER FRUIT MACHINE



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As the 10p coins are put into the machine they are sent to a coin tube where they sit in a horizontal position, stacked on top of one another. Once this tube is full to the top, the next coins then roll over the top coin and go into a tube which sends them to the coin boxes at the bottom of the machine. As the machine pays out, it has a plunger that pushes the bottom coin in the tube out into a chute that the player can retrieve it from. All the coins in the tube drop down one position, and the next 10p inserted will fill the tube again, and then future coins rollover it again until the next payout.


Now that I had adjusted the coin mechs to accept new 10p coins this presented a problem. The new 10p coins being smaller than the old ones did not always stack neatly in the tube and some would fall down the side and sit vertically, so when they dropped to the bottom of the tube the plunger could not cleanly shoot a coin out into the chute and would stick and jam up the whole mechanism, so I would have to change the coin tube to one with a narrower bore.

I headed off to B&Q and found that a piece of plastic draining tube had the right bore and I just had to cut it to length and make an opening in the side for the switch mechanism to go through.


What this switch does is tell the machine when there are a certain amount of 10p coins in the tube. If the switch is triggered, then the 50p slot is activated as it will be able to kick out five 10p coins in exchange, but if the switch is not triggered then there may not be enough 10p coins in the tube to be able to exchange a 50p coin for five 10p coins so the 50p slot is disabled. With the new tube in place the 10p coins all stacked up nicely and it has not jammed up again even under heavy use.



Sometimes a machine in an arcade under heavy use would also need the top of the payslide chute changing as well as that can also jam up but mine never has done, and under home use is not that likely to see enough wear and tear for it to become an issue.

So now my machine was working and usable I noticed a couple of smaller issues:
(1) I adjusted the token slot to also take 10p coins and it accepts them and trips the microswitch but it does not add a credit.
(2) The machine says it will pay £1 wins in tokens which is an issue because I don't have any tokens, so I need it to pay in 10p coins instead.

The token slot is actually disabled by a switch thatís connected to a key operated switch on the front of the machine, and once I switched it on it worked as normal, and there are a couple of ways around the Jackpot payout problem:
(1) Fill the token tube with 10p coins and replenish it when it empties.
(2) Move the wiring from the token payout slide to the 10p coin payout slide so the machine may still trigger a token payout but it will actually payout from the 10p coin tube.

When I looked into it and my daughter finally won the Jackpot, it paid out from the 10p coin tube so somebody had already made this change which helped.

Some research and some more helpful people on MPU Mecca told me that there are a couple of common faults with this machine, it would constantly keep running out of tokens, which is not an issue for mine as I donít use tokens and it isnít paying out the Jackpot in tokens, and the middle reel will sometimes stick when nudging.



Iíd noticed some issues with the reels sticking a little or more often not stopping straight away. The reels are held in place by a locking bar connected to a solenoid, and when at rest a spring holds the locking in bar in place so the reel canít spin. When the Start button is pressed and the reels need to spin the solenoid fires and pulls the locking bar away from the reel so it can spin, and then it release the bar so the spring can pull it back into place and lock the reel again.

If these solenoids are failing or the piston is not moving freely then the spring may not be effective enough and the reels will not come to a clean and immediate stop, they can stutter a little or even stop in the wrong order if only one is failing. I dismantled the mechanisms and cleaned them which seems to have helped a lot but if this were a restore project then I would just replace the solenoids as part of that project.

For now though, and for occasional use it is fine. Weíll all use it until it breaks, and when it does, if I canít fix it Iíll move it on like the previous owner did. I think a fruit machine has earned its place in my home arcade though and I would always pick up another to replace it should it be moved on in the future.

As one astute forum member noted ďNot bad for a freebie machine.

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