More On Replacing
Williams Leaf Switch Buttons
by Bob Roberts
The Labor Day holiday ended a few hours ago & I had hoped to get caught up much earlier in the day to get started on this, but it seems a majority of y'all spent the holiday home working on your projects.
Williams classic games such as Defender, Stargate, Robotron, Make Trax, Joust & others used short leaf buttons on the control panel instead of the typical long buttons when the CP was made of wood. They accomplished this by using leaf switches with a larger than normal molded base & mounting them directly to the wood underside of the CPs with one inch screws.
Note: I've been told by a half dozen collectors in Europe that their versions used long buttons, so I'll put a lead-in pic here of measurements.
Notice how much thicker the molded plastic base is compared to standard leaf switches.
Here you can see a long button on the right & if you look at the leaf switch you can see that the button is much higher, although this didn't stop many ops back in the day as they would just bend the blades up on a twenty to thirty degree angle if they didn't have the short button.
If you want to use long buttons the easiest & most aesthetic way is too use the newer leaf switch with the wood mounting nylon holder.
Too costly... you can shim up the switches with either a small piece of wood under each one or make an appropriate shim across the whole button field drilling the 5/8" holes for the long buttons to come through. The pal nuts will hold your full shim in place, so there is no need to nail, screw or glue it down. You may have noticed that Home Depot supplies free shim material of the right size :-)
I used a fiber leaf switch above clamped to a Williams leaf switch clearly showing the difference is almost double the body thickness.
If you need to replace leaf switches & cannot find any of the obsolete WMs type in good used condition, and you don't want to use the newer more modern holder combos, you can use standard sized leaf switches with either long or short buttons by varying the thickness of your shim material.
Naturally, the large pieces of shim material are only for demonstration purposes & you'll have to come up with your own layout per CP whether it be for small single pieces or a couple larger multi-switch pieces.
I intended to do more here, but all my pics did not turn out well & time is spread pretty thin, so it'll have to do.