PinGizmos' Remote Battery Kit
Review by Kevin Steele
One of the things that can really ruin your pinball machine's day is a leaky battery.
Most pinball machines use batteries to save the machine's settings and high scores. The batteries used in many pinball machines are ordinary AA alkalines, but that doesn't mean they are any less vulnerable to leaking. And if you've ever had a battery in a flashlight or electronic game leak, you know the mess they can cause.
In the case of pinball machines, however, a leaky battery is much worse. There is no battery compartment to shield the circuit board from the leaking acid, and you can imagine the damage a leak can cause on delicate traces and components.
With all the damage that can be done, many pinball experts recommend that you mount your pinball's batteries away from the main circuit board. You can desolder the main battery holder and relocate it, or you can use a product like PinGizmos' Remote Battery Kit, which is designed for Williams System11, WPC, WPC-S and WPC-95 pinball machines.
Designed to make moving your batteries a "plug and go" affair, the PinGizmos' kit consists of an external battery compartment wired to a special adapter that plugs into your existing battery holder.
The adapter itself is a bit unimpressive — it's basically two dowel rods held together with some posterboard, capped with metal plates on two ends that make contact with the existing terminals in the battery holder. Not very sturdy, but then again, you won't need to remove it again once it's installed.
The new battery holder compartment is certainly a lot easier to insert and remove batteries from. It comes with a little plastic bag you can affix inside the backbox to hold it away from the main circuit board.
So, is the kit worth $19? There is something to be said for a remote battery kit that is plug-n-play simple. That said, it's an awfully cheap construction, something that you could whip up in your basement for a few dollars. I'm glad they've developed the kit, but the price does seem out of line with what you actually get.
If you're all thumbs when it comes to wiring, I'd definitely recommend you pick up a PinGizmos remote battery kit for each of your machines. If you're a bit more handy, you can easily build one yourself for much less.