Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Have questions on how to fix your machine or what products to use? This is the place to ask for help.
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Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:22 pm

Greetings to all,

I thought that it would be a great idea to post about repairs that are done at the Bluffs Pinball League HQ. This way, maybe the tips can be used to help others as well!

So... let us begin!!!

EPISODE 1: ALIEN POKER

So, we had a few issues with this beauty. First issue:

DISPLAYS ALL DIM, OR PRETTY MUCH OFF, AND GAME ACTING GOOFY INTERMITTENTLY

OK, systematic approach. The WIGGLE TEST! I started with the harness at the display board... no change. Farther along the harness, no change. But when I got to the power supply and wiggled the harness at the top, boom, we have bright displays!

DIAGNOSIS: cold solder joints on header pins.

REPAIR
: I removed the power supply and resoldered ALL the header pins. Some on other header pins were cracked as well, so it didn't hurt to do it. And since I had the board off, I refreshed the power supply by replacing the 12000uF cap, the 2 100uF caps, and the 2 large diodes with new 6A4 diodes that are overkill. These diodes are notorious for failing and causing issues, and same goes for the old caps, which causes bad voltage.

I put the board back in, and everything works great.

Second issue: BAD BULBS HERE AND THERE, ESPECIALLY IN "SPADES" POP BUMPER

DIAGNOSIS
: some dead bulbs, and some bad sockets, including pop bumper

REPAIR: Pop bumper sockets, especially the old-style with #44-type bulbs tend to loosen up. I take a socket cleaning stick (give Rob or Ben a call at Player One to buy one... this should be an essential tool in your pinball home repair kit), clean the metal off a bit, then take a pair of small pliers to pich the socket closed a bit and test the bulb in it. Bulb must be snug. If it is somewhat loose, it will flicker.

I will have to do a short video on this. Always a good trick for anyone beginning in the hobby.

More episodes soon!!!
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:30 pm

EPISODE 2: FIREPOWER

First issue: GAME WON'T START, STUCK IN ATTRACT MODE

So the game turns on, but nothing in the coindoor seems to work. Game won<t start even with 15 credits on it. But.... I did notice a ball in the right-side eject hole. And as soon as I lift the playfield up, the kicker activates... Hmm...

So I start with the basics and check out the switch. If I press on it, it does activate the coil.

DIAGNOSIS: dirty-ass switch, causing the game to think it is missing a ball, hence not starting a game.


REPAIR
: I cleaned the contact by inserting a business card between the 2 contacts, slightly pushing on the contacts and pull the card out. This wipes clean the contacts. A few card strokes, and the switch registers every time. I also cleaned the other two hole switches and trough switches for good measure. Now, all is well in Firepower land!
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:42 pm

EPISODE 3: FIREPOWER 2

First issue: BALL WON'T COME OUT OF THE TROUGH

The game simply doesn't kick out the ball all the time. Sounds like a bad trough switch contact... So I lift the playfield up and check it out. Bingo...

DIAGNOSIS: Trough microswitch has a bad contact, and blade not adjusted.


REPAIR
: I adjusted the contact and blade, and the trough now works 100% of the time... but...

Second issue: RAMP DOESN'T ALWAYS SCORE POINTS

Yup, the ramp scores only about 30% of the time. The way it works is that the MPU detects 2 switches... one at the entrance of the ramp, and one at the exit. If they don't simultaneously get triggered, no points. The swithces use a spinner-type of blade contact with swivel gates...

DIAGNOSIS: Contact gaps on both switches were too big.


REPAIR
: I adjusted the blade contacts to be as close as possible. Now the ramp scores 100% of the time.

and last but not least...

Third issue: ALL POP BUMPER LAMPS ARE DEAD

This is the same issue as discussed in Episode 1 on Alien Poker...

DIAGNOSIS: 2 dead bulbs and 2 loose light sockets


REPAIR
: I adjusted the sockets the German way... Guudentite. Installed new bulbs and now it is a miniature Pink Floyd concert light show!!! ... well... not really, but you get the idea... LOL

Now, both Firepowers work well. Fucking kickass!!!
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Postby brewmanager » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:12 pm

Thanks Ian! We literally cannot get enough time in there, your help is invaluable along with the knowledge you share!
HS, RS, OXO, WW, Argosy, STTNG, EATPM, BSD, Scorpion, Big Guns, Galaga (412-1), Rowe R84


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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Sparky's Tech Talks!!

Postby Dave W. » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:01 pm

Thanks for sharing Ian. Your repair logs remind of the Pinball Ninja site, where I've probably learned more about troubleshooting than anywhere else.
Keep them coming ! !

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby cait001 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:06 pm

subscribed!
BLY Mousin' Around, WMS No Good Gofers, WMS Triple Strike (loan), DE Jurassic Park (loan)
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:01 pm

Thanks for the comments, but there is WAY more coming!! Stay tuned!! I will also post about repairs I have on machines at home, which is technically the Bluffs storage area. Lol
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby tombiosis » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:14 pm

great thread! great info! thanks...following...
Pins: 8BDlx, Stern Elvis, World PokerTour, Centaur II, Frontier

WTB: Fish Tales, Fathom, TSPP, BSD.


Quit talking and start chalking!

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby WARLOCK » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:04 pm

Thanks Sparky. A great thread and what a learning curve. Even though I was present for the most of these fixes, documenting symptoms and solutions in written form afterwards helps me better retain this troubleshooting info. for future fixes.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:45 pm

EPISODE 4: GRAND PRIX (WMS EM)

First issue: Ball won't kick out of the top saucer hole

This was a fun one. If other machines around it were on and playing, I wouldn't have caught this easily. Turned out that there was also a coil buzzing on the game, and the score jumped immediately to 100 points when a game was started... OK, stuck switch! But why the ball not kicking out? Well, if you play a game and hit a spinner hard and then drops in the top hole, the ball will only kick out when the spinner stops scoring, permitting the game to register the saucer hole points.

Lo and behold, the saucer also scores 100 points. And what do I see? ...A spinner not completely pointing down! If I hadn't heard the buzz, I would have spent time adjusting the saucer hole switch for nothing... So the 100pt coil was stuck on because it was being activated by a spinner switch with a tight gap.

DIAGNOSIS: Right-side spinner needs adjustment

REPAIR
: I adjusted the switch gap to have a bit more space, and I put Teflon grease on the spinner pivots, resulting in less drag. The game now kicks out the ball from it's saucer hole every time.

Now that spinner goes faster than Niki Lauda's Ferrari with James Hunt's McLaren on his ass (subject and period appropriate for all you classic F1 fans).
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby WARLOCK » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:36 am

Frickin Rollergames next please bro....

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Re: Bluffs Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:46 am

WARLOCK wrote:Frickin Rollergames next please bro....


Not done yet on it. LOL I told you, we need to replace the EOS. But soon.
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby trueno92 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:07 am

Great idea for a thread.

Real games, real problems!

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:13 am

OK, so, Rollergames it is!!


EPISODE 5: ROLLERGAMES

Kinda fitting that this one is the same episode as The Empire Strikes Back... dark and evil. LOL.

The issue: DEAD LEFT FLIPPER

So I get on this machine after a few guys had a crack at it. The coil had been changed and wires were just clipped on. So I started by measuring the coil resistance... all good. So I soldered the wires back on the tabs properly. So then I checked the power on the grey wire.

A side note, for those who are not sure how to measure the power on a coil, here is a few pointers.

1- Power is always on the banded side of the diode. You have a painted band on the diode(s) on the coil. The power is always where the band is. If you have 2 diodes, the power is on the farthest band.

2- put the ground side of your multimeter on the ground braid in the cabinet.

So... we had no power. Next step, check the fuse! And sure enough, it was dead. So I replaced the fuse with a new 2.5A slow blow and game then played fine... for a few minutes. The fuse blew again, but not instantly.... This would be indicative of parasitic resistances in the coil circuit.

A flipper circuit has a few components in line before completing the circuit... connectors, coil, end-of-stroke switch, more wire, cabinet flipper switch, more wire, more connectors, the board and finally the ground.

If the fuse would have blown instantly, this would be indicative of a short. But a slow fuse burn means that something down the line is resisting to give a good contact, so effectively drawing more current by creating voltage drops.

And a main culprit for this is often old-ass end-of-stroke switches and flipper switches. I happened to have a cab switch on hand, so I replaced it. The old one was carbonized.

Result? The fuse lasted... 15 minutes instead of 2. OK... improvement...

And in comes Scott last night performing some extra tests.

DIAGNOSIS: worn out EOS switch, causing resistance as it heats up during gameplay due to poor contact

REPAIR
: NOT DONE YET.... someone needs to replace that EOS. Chances are I will do it on Jan.15th during my next trip. I will also replace the others for good measure. A flipper rebuild kit would be a good idea here. The linkages look tired.

Image
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby cdnpinballer » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:07 am

Sparky wrote:I adjusted the sockets the German way... Guudentite.


Ze only way to do eet Sparkee!
This space left intentionally blank.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:26 pm

How about a bit of a follow-up!!


EPISODE 5-B: ROLLERGAMES

Issue: DEAD LEFT FLIPPER, part deux
Last I looked at it, it kept blowing the fuse after a short while...

DIAGNOSIS: old-ass flipper mechs, burned out P.O.S. E.O.S., and probably bad cap on the flipper

REPAIR
: Time for a flipper rebuild kit! I installed the kit I got from Player One. Time: 1hr. The game now plays great.

So the point is, don't be stingy when it comes to flippers. No one likes a limp flipper... It kills a game.
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:04 pm

EPISODE 6: RETURN OF THE FUTURE SPA

This machine at Bluffs took a few interventions, and is still ongoing. All stuff that needed to be addressed with time...

Issue numero uno: G.I. out in backbox, and intermittent power issues
So, this machine suffered from a bad ticker. LOL. The power supply was original and some connectors looked kinda toasty. After taking a closer look, I found MANY header pins were dark and crispy, if not heavily corroded.

DIAGNOSIS:Power supply board is due for retirement Bad header pins, 39-year-old power components, and barely stable. It was a damn miracle that the machine even managed to work at all.

[b]REPAIR
: I replaced the power supply board with a new one, and repined every single pin in all 3 connectors. The result was the GI now working, and the pin, instead of locking up after 2 minutes, was now staying on ... for 10 minutes. LOL

Onwards!!!

Issue part deux: GAME RESETTING AFTER A 10 MINUTES

So, we go down the line for the power. Next easy step, the large filter capacitor on the solenoid driver. This bad boy essentially smoothes out the 5V so that the MPU doesn't have a brainfart. There is an easy way to test this. Take a multimeter on DC voltage and put the red lead on the + side of the cap, and the black lead at ground. If you have 5 volts, awesome, the large transistor on the solenoid driver (the one in that mega black heatsink) is doing it's job.

Now, with the leads in place, switch your multimeter to AC voltage. If the capacitor is doing it's job, the multimeter should be reading near zero. But... if you measure over 0.25V AC, that means that the filter is no longer good and is not smoothing out the voltage. I measured 0.45V AC.

DIAGNOSIS: Filter cap has shit the bed

REPAIR: I replaced the filter cap with a brand new one. The result was that instead of the pin locking up after 10 minutes, was now staying on ... for an hour! LOL PROGRESS!!!

So, on we go with part 3: GAME RESETTING AFTER AN HOUR

So, we have one other bad mofo in the circuit. I checked the heat on that 5V regulator transistor wedged Inside the heatsink from hell and found that it got ghost-pepper hot after a while. Once a game locked up, we would shut it down for a couple of minutes, long enough for that transistor to cool down.

So... I found that the 5V circuit went apeshit erratic when that transistor got hot.

DIAGNOSIS: 5V regulator has a bad temper

REPAIR: I replaced the regulator with one I had in my stock (bought in 2003 LOL) and left the game on for over 2 hours... EUREKA!

Image

Man, the excitement is too much!!!! LOL

Issue 4: NO COILS WORKING ON THE PLAYFIELD

So this appeared this week... I go to the machine and no coils are working. Hmm... OK. first step, check the fuse! But which one? Well, easy... I heard the coil activate in the coindoor... so, check the one Under the playfield!!

...uh-oh....

I see the fuse is blown. OK. But... it is an 8A fuse! I checked the manual and it is supposed to be a 1A fuse!!! Another redneck fix!!!

Image

OK, and I see that the left slingshot coil looks roasty-toasty... So I measured it's resistance after cutting the single wire off it's tab (wire going to the solenoid driver to control it), and lo and behold, we have 0 ohms... essentially shorted.

DIAGNOSIS: The coil essentially fried because something happened on it's circuit and the power was overfused, which ended up killing the coil.

REPAIR: Well, the coil simply needs replacing, which will be done soon. With the wire cut to the solenoid driver, and installing a 1A SB fuse, I turned the game on and started to play, and the fuse never blew. BAZINGA!!! But... why did it fry? We MUST investigate!!!

Issue 5: SHORT ON THE LEFT SLINGSHOT COIL CIRCUIT

So, I checked that wire I cut to see if it was being grounded...and sure enough, I have continuity with the ground braid. Now we have to figure out where. Well, an easy way to eliminate the wiring? Check the continuity again with the connector removed on the solenoid driver. If still shorted to ground, then it is the wire rubbing somewhere. If not, onwards to the solenoid driver.

Result? No short on the wire. So, on to the board! I remove it and after downing a couple of cans of liquid courage while attentively listening to Warlock sing the gospel of pinball (CAN I GET AN AMEN?) and looking at the schematics, I find that Q16 is the TIP102 transistor controlling the slingshot coil. So, I checked it out.

Multimeter in hand, you want to put it on diode testing. Once done, flip over the board and you put the black lead on the center pin of the transistor and the red lead on either side. You should be getting anywhere between 0.400 and 0.600. And if you reverse the leads, it should be blocked (OL on the multimeter). In my case? 0.00.

DIAGNOSIS: The transistor is shorted internally.

REPAIR: I replaced the TIP102 with a new one but I have yet to test it, as I will get another coil for it soon enough. SHE WILL BE REPAIRED. THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE...
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:14 pm

BONUS BORDERLAND EPISODE!!!!

EPISODE 7: EIGHT BALL DELUXE, LIMITED (and mute) EDITION

Issue: IT REALLY DID QUIT TALKIN'

Here's a little one from the Borderland files. Stardate: 1-14-2018. Place: Chris Silver's freshly opened up gameroom.

The Borderland Wrecking Crew dropped in for a visit. Chris mentioned that his EBDLE would sometimes lose the sound, and speech was non-existant. For a Squawk & Talk board that barely squawks and doesn't talk, usually the first thing is to install new caps on the board. But... oddly enough, once I pressed on a couple of chips, she started to chirp a bit. So, I took a small flathead screwdriver and proceeded to slightly lift out and reseat every chip that was socketed.

DIAGNOSIS: Bad chips don't chirp!

REPAIR
: The second I reseated the chips and plugged it back in, EBD took out it's southern twang, told me to shut up and play.

Image

So, the sockets may need to be changed or at least cleaned and so do the chip legs for a more permanent fix...
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:00 pm

The fun never ends in my world!!!

EPISODE 8: SCORPION

Issue 1: IT AIN'T BRIGHT

So, Warlock and Brewmanager tell me about Scorpion which has no GI.

"YOU NEED TO REBUILD THE G.I. CONNECTOR" they say...

Odd thing though... there were 3 LED G.I. bulbs still working at the top of the playfield, behind the left-side drop targets... Hmm... So I checked the power at the fuse. All good. And then I check the power directly at a light socket... Power is there too... Hmmm...

DIAGNOSIS: ALL the bulbs are blown to smithereens!!! Well... A-HA!!! Warlock fesses up! He "might" have put a connector in the wrong place.

Image

REPAIR: I replaced all the bulbs on the playfield... and it is now brighter than Warlock. ROTFLMAO!

Bah... we all do dimbulb mistakes sometimes. Guilty as charged... LOL Ask me about Af-Tor... now THERE is a complete story right there... soon...

Image

Issue 2: IT CAN'T REMEMBER ANYTHING

Man, this Scorpion gets a bad rap. Stupid pin. The damn thing has Alzheimer's. LOL So it doesn't retain any settings. I checked the battery holder on the board.

Image

DIAGNOSIS: Bad battery holder on the MPU

REPAIR: I removed the holder from the board and installed a remote battery holder with some connectors for easy board removal, and installed fresh batteries.

Doctor, we have memory!
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:10 pm

BTW, I promise to take more pics next time. I know Scott can put some up here, as he did follow me with his cellphone.

I hope everyone can benefit from these little tips.
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Re: Bluffs Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby cait001 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:54 pm

I love these updates, btw. Thanks for posting them.


Sparky wrote:DIAGNOSIS: ALL the bulbs are blown to smithereens!!! Well... A-HA!!! Warlock fesses up! He "might" have put a connector in the wrong place.


LOL
BLY Mousin' Around, WMS No Good Gofers, WMS Triple Strike (loan), DE Jurassic Park (loan)
backglasses wanted: Fairy, Fire Queen, Dimension, 2001, Out Of Sight
marquees wanted: R-Type (w/ship), Strider, Astro Invader
Pinball Women Ottawa -- Ottawa Pinball Map -- repair blog -- game ratings

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby cait001 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:11 pm

Since this is logging the Bluffs games, I should document what I found while there after xmas:

Firepower II
Issue: a second ball would randomly kick in to shooter lane while playing, and kickout from said hole would often kick numerous times.
Diagnosis: tight switch on the ball lock hole

I first checked for any matrix errors causing it, but we soon found that it was the lack of play in the hole switch that was susceptible to solenoid vibration

Repair: bend the switch slightly to increase the gap
BLY Mousin' Around, WMS No Good Gofers, WMS Triple Strike (loan), DE Jurassic Park (loan)
backglasses wanted: Fairy, Fire Queen, Dimension, 2001, Out Of Sight
marquees wanted: R-Type (w/ship), Strider, Astro Invader
Pinball Women Ottawa -- Ottawa Pinball Map -- repair blog -- game ratings

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:07 am

cait001 wrote:...but we soon found that it was the lack of play in the hole switch that was susceptible to solenoid vibration


REPAIR: Improve your pinball playing skills so that the hole switch gets more play.

LOL Just kidding...

Yeah, I adjusted the ramp switch for the same reason. The machines don't all get regular play. Happens.
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.

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Slacker
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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Slacker » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:21 am

I love the detailed repairs, gives me idea's of what to check when I have problem's.
I'm no electronics guy I tend to blow shit up so the comments like "With Multimeter in hand, you want to put it on diode testing. Once done, flip over the board and you put the black lead on the center pin of the transistor and the red lead on either side. You should be getting anywhere between 0.400 and 0.600. And if you reverse the leads, it should be blocked (OL on the multimeter). In my case? 0.00."
This helps me test stuff properly without blowing other shit up. I'm a great parts swapper, cleaner, general repair kinda guy, I can replace flipper Prawl's, sockets fixed old wiring generally shop a working pin even adjust it and make it play like it should hell I even re-flowed all the headerpins on all my bally displays last weekend but as for diagnosis board issues no way, lucky I "Know a guy" Thanks to guys like him and Sparky I don't have dead pins with board issues down for long.
Thanks for the tips I have some sound chips to re-seat ;-)
Cheers keep it up.
Playing.... SST, Buccaneer, Bally PB, Data East PB, Stern PB, TFTC, ACDC Pro, Hook, Totem
Gone. Magnotron, Bally Ticker Tape Bingo, Haunted House..... My Money and sanity

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Re: Bluffs, Borderland and beyond... Pinball Tech Talks!!

Postby Sparky » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:00 pm

EPISODE 6-B: RETURN OF THE FUTURE SPA, PART 2...

So... how's about a breakdown of the results!! Well, I am happy to say that the pin worked FANTASTIC for over 4 hours last night, beating down almost everyone's hopes of mastering it. LOL So, here we go...

Issue numero uno: THIS MACHINE IS A B*TCH!

DIAGNOSIS: It is tough and we are all not worthy of it's awesomeness.

REPAIR: Moving along. LOL

Part 2 of Issue 5: SHORT ON THE LEFT SLINGSHOT COIL CIRCUIT

FULL REPAIR: I have replaced the coil and double-checked the continuity between the single wire on the coil (the ground side) and the ground braid. If there still was a short to ground which would lock the coil up again, the multimeter would beep... and I got "OL", so no continuity. we are good to go! It played solid all night...

Image

Issue #6: DON'T COME A' KNOCKIN'...

In issue 4, I also mentioned that the knocker was not working along with the slingshot. This coil was also fried. I also replaced with with a new one (same coil as the slingshot, except the coil sleeve is a bit different). The coil test would not make it fire (nothing happening on #3), but if I grounded the single wire (opposite the band on the diode), it fired just fine. So it is a control issue.

At that point, it was 7pm and people were starting to come in for the Bluffs evening. But.....my next step would be to ground the metal tab on Q3 to see if it fires the coil. If so, then the problem might be a diode, resistor, or a bad CA3081 chip. Or could be something as stupid as a bad connection between the MPU and solenoid driver.

And for the people not familiar with the coil test on any Bally between 1977 and 1985, it is done through the test button on the back of the coin door... yeah... that little red button!

Press it once, and you go through the lamp test... find your bad bulbs!!!

Press it again, and it goes through the display test.

One more time, and the MPU will make the solenoid driver activate each coil in order. Many coil circuits might not be used, so nothing will happen. But the coil number will cycle on the score displays. Super easy test.

And if you happen to feel adventurous, press it again and you now go into switch tests. So, every switch that is activated will display on the score displays. When you are in this test, make sure that your ball(s) are out of the trough, and all targets are up. You should then have no switches activated. This is a great test to go through if you have a pesky stuck 10-point switch somewhere, or if a switch gap is too tight. Slap the machine around a bit to see if it activates a switch (other than the tilt... LOL).

More shit to come... More shit to play.... more shit to break... more shit to fix!!!

Keep on pinballin'

Sparky, OUT! (No Phil... not retiring again... LOL)
Now playing in Sparky's Power Station: Jungle Lord, Sorcerer, Flash, Grand Lizard, Time Fantasy, Freefall, Big Game, BSD, Genesis, Totem, X-Files, Bumper, Marathon, Queen of Hearts, Lady Luck (Recel), Slapshot retheme pin, Zombie Walk retheme pin, Wizard of Wor, Major Havok mame, Mametendo redtent, Pintendo virtual pinball, and lots of others in restoration.



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