Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

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Fifty
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

Yeah, so I'm not a big fan of flexstone. It seems to be hindering rather than helping. Maybe it's because it is so gritty?

I have been in a bit of a funk trying to fix this game so I decided to fix something simple that was just irritating me. Some of the old lamp sockets were flickering on me and some were just not working. They all need to be replaced, but I went the cheaper route and just soldered everything. More time consuming, but I didn't have the parts on hand and I wanted instant results. Anyway, all my GI lamps are now working;
IMG_20191019_124457.jpg
I have the 500 points & bonus counting sporadically again, but I'm still having other issues. The U relay (1st ball relay) isn't releasing when I start a game. As a result, the Player 1 lamp doesn't light up, and a ball doesn't kick into the shooter lane. If I manually place a ball on the PF the game will score, but the ball count doesn't show on the backglass and if I drain it doesn't go to ball 2 and a new ball won't kick out.

Closer to working, but I still need to dig.

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Fifty
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

Taken from xmission.com;

"8. Place the ball in the out hole. The ball return switch closes and completes the circuit to 'O' relay through the normally closed switches on zero position 'Bonus' unit, motor 1C, motor 2B, 'Q', and 'AX' relays. 'O' relay locks-in. Through switches on motor 4C, motor 1A, 'BX' and 'O' the ball return coil actuates kicking the ball onto the runway."

This is where I am at. Something in this sequence is not proper.

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amona
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by amona »

What I do at a time like this is roll up a little tube of paper or folded business card and close the outhole switch - don't want it kicking the ball into space when I have the playfield up but I do want to know when the circuit works.

Then at each of the points listed above I place a small flat screwdriver between the two switch blades and twist it to touch both blades. When the ball kicker kicks you have found the spot - clean or adjust. if you get to the end then clip a test lead to the beginning of the circuit and touch the end. Kicker should kick. Then work your way back until it doesn't kick. Clean and adjust. Could be two or more spots that are the problem so starting at the end and working back this way should catch them all.

I saw flexstone once, never really owned any I don't think. I did have a sheet of some very fine sandpaper (320-400 grit?) kicking around. Folded it in half and glued it together. Cut it into strips and use it on those occasions a business card and alcohol won't cut it.
"Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia." Corey McPherrin, FOX Chicago News

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Fifty
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

amona wrote:What I do at a time like this is roll up a little tube of paper or folded business card and close the outhole switch - don't want it kicking the ball into space when I have the playfield up but I do want to know when the circuit works.

Then at each of the points listed above I place a small flat screwdriver between the two switch blades and twist it to touch both blades. When the ball kicker kicks you have found the spot - clean or adjust. if you get to the end then clip a test lead to the beginning of the circuit and touch the end. Kicker should kick. Then work your way back until it doesn't kick. Clean and adjust. Could be two or more spots that are the problem so starting at the end and working back this way should catch them all.

I saw flexstone once, never really owned any I don't think. I did have a sheet of some very fine sandpaper (320-400 grit?) kicking around. Folded it in half and glued it together. Cut it into strips and use it on those occasions a business card and alcohol won't cut it.
Thank you for this. I will definitely try your method out. I already have the outhole switch closed. I used one of my kids old toothbrushes that my toolbox inherited. :)

I noticed my O relay is not energizing at all, so I believe I need to start there.

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Fifty
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

Fifty wrote:The ball return switch closes and completes the circuit to 'O' relay through the normally closed switches on zero position 'Bonus' unit, motor 1C, motor 2B, 'Q', and 'AX' relays."
Something is wrong with this statement. According to my schematics the zero position 'bonus' unit should have normally open switches.
a260ad987bf874e6320249579e2c35231d046d48.png

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sylvain
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by sylvain »

The statement is correct: The Bonus unit has two zero position switches mechanically tied together,
one normally open that is highlighted in the red path in your diagram above,
and the other one just above it is a normally closed switch on the path towards the O relay...

Good luck!
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Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

sylvain wrote:The statement is correct: The Bonus unit has two zero position switches mechanically tied together,
one normally open that is highlighted in the red path in your diagram above,
and the other one just above it is a normally closed switch on the path towards the O relay...

Good luck!
-Sylvain.
Thanks Sylvain. It is difficult troubleshooting this issue in the evenings. No one is usually online and it's the only time I have to try. My kids just went to bed so I have a couple hours. I'll take a look at the other switch on the bonus now.

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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

It was my Ax again. I tried the screwdriver method amona mentioned and traced the O relay wiring as per Sylvain's suggestion. The switches on my zero bonus unit were definitely open, and the other was definitely closed, but I stuck my slotted screwdriver in there anyway to be sure. I decided to follow the rest of the O relay. The first switch on O should be closed and it was, as proven with my slotted screwdriver again. I followed the BRN-BLK off my O relay over to Ax (my new nemesis relay) and the switch it was connected to was closing but not making good contact. When I stuck the screwdriver in the Score Motor started to turn and the Outhole kicked. The dreaded Ax again!!! I pulled out the cotter pin and examined it closely. The spring/snap action was good. Dare I say great, but I turned off the game adjusted the switches again to make it even better and to top it off I used some 400 grit to clean up the contacts (and remove any Flexstone sand).

I re-installed the Ax relay, and re-install the cotter pin. Turned on the pin, and pressed the Replay Button. Full Reset Cycle. Outhole Kicker fired. Woohoo!

So I'm back to the game being playable again. My next goal is to clean up the Score Reels. I cleaned up Player 1, but I didn't do Player 2 yet and it's been bothering me when I play a game against my son. The hundreds are causing the thousand Score Reel to count up so if he ends up getting 100 points he actually scores 1100. If he gets some good pops going he rolls the game without any problems and I can't have that! Ha!

Thanks again for the help. I will post in here again with some new progress/problems shortly!

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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

Okay, onto the next problem. Points are not counting. More specifically, the 500, and 5000. 10's are working, and 100's are working. It seems the 500 and 5000 are not.

The top rollovers should score 500 points each, and the drops should also score 500 points each with the entire bank giving you 5000. None of these are counting. Under the hood, the relays I'm looking at are;

D - 500 Point Relay
E - 500 Point & Add Bonus Relay
G - 5000 Points & Target Bank Relay

If I take my handy wooden chopstick and manually activate each of these relays the score motor begins to turn, but points are not counted on the score reels. The 500/5000 points were counting when I started working on this pin but now, nothing. I am guessing the problem is going to be common to all 3 relays. I am focusing on the D relay first. This seems to be the least complicated of the bunch.

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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by amona »

On the bottom of the score motor are cams/cogs/teeth that will count up those 5’s. those 5 pulses might not score if the contacts are out of adjustment.

Is where I would look next
"Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia." Corey McPherrin, FOX Chicago News

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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by sylvain »

amona wrote:On the bottom of the score motor are cams/cogs/teeth that will count up those 5’s. those 5 pulses might not score if the contacts are out of adjustment.

Is where I would look next
I agree. This is the common source for the points impulses.
Unless the 500/5000 relay contacts are also mangled.

-Sylvain.
Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
Collecting & repairing electro-mechanical and solid state pinball machines with quality and care for over 35 years.
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

The 500/5000 relay contacts look pretty solid. I'll take a look at the cams/cogs/teeth as you guys suggested.

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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

The cams/cogs/teeth look good guys. I mucked around with 1A and 1C a bit more and I have points counting again. The 500/5000 are counting. I am not sure what corrected the issue, or if it is solved permanently but for now I will consider it "fixed". The points are pretty solid if I use my finger on a switch to make contact, but with a ball it is somewhat hit and miss. For example, the top rollovers count 500 when I place my finger on the switch and activate it manually, but with a ball it only adds 500 points to the score about 80% of the time. The contacts on the rollover switch looked decent enough. Gap was good, but I tightened it up anyway. I even gave it some 800 grit love, but still it still only works about 80%.

Could this still be related to the Score Motor? All of the top rollovers are the same. They trigger the 500 points about 8 out of 10 times.

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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by amona »

On that bottom row of cams (I looked it up!) I think it is that do 5 pulses every time the motor starts see if those switches make a good connection. Just tap the rollover slightly see if you can duplicate the issue then try again while pushing in the end of the outer switch see if it doesn't score 500 more often.

But it sounds like you did that
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

amona wrote:On that bottom row of cams (I looked it up!) I think it is that do 5 pulses every time the motor starts see if those switches make a good connection. Just tap the rollover slightly see if you can duplicate the issue then try again while pushing in the end of the outer switch see if it doesn't score 500 more often.

But it sounds like you did that
If I tap the rollover switch down the points do not count on the score reels, but I hear the score motor rotating.
If I hold down the rollover switch the points do count on the score reels and will continue to do so for as long as I am holding it down.

It doesn't seem to make a strong or long enough connection to trigger the scoring with just a tap, albeit a slow draw out tap.

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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by sylvain »

Sounds like the Normally Open 'Hold' contact on the 500 pts relay itself (contacts should close when relay activated)
and/or score motor contact 2B (perhaps - I do not have a Surfer schematics here) are wrongly gapped or dirty.

-Sylvain.
Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

sylvain wrote:Sounds like the Normally Open 'Hold' contact on the 500 pts relay itself (contacts should close when relay activated)
and/or score motor contact 2B (perhaps - I do not have a Surfer schematics here) are wrongly gapped or dirty.

-Sylvain.
I will take a look at these areas tomorrow early evening and report back. That's the only problem with troubleshooting an EM machine, too much noise keeps the kids awake!

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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

I am officially throwing in the towel on this EM. I turned it on today to continue troubleshooting and pressed the Replay Button. Nothing. Again! I have lost count of how many times I have fixed this issue! Frustrated, up goes the playfield, I stab a slotted screwdriver into the Ax relay. I press the Replay Button and it starts working again. Full reset. Great. Drop the playfield. Put the ball into the outhole. No kick. Again! Even more frustrated, up goes the playfield again. Slotted screwdriver again stabbed into the Ax relay. Outhole kicks. Drop the playfield again, place the ball in the outhole. Ball kicks over to the shooter lane. Scoring is still messed up, but I play the ball anyway. Ball drains. No kick. Frustrated I give the pin a solid shove. Ball kicks out. Even more frustrated I just turn the damn thing off and walk away.

I can't figure out why the Replay Button and the Outhole Kicker stop working after the pin sits for a few weeks. I'll have them both working perfectly, resetting brilliantly, the pin playing good (not great) and then I get busy for a few weeks and I am back to where I started.

PM sent to Sylvain.

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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

So over Christmas break Sylvain contacts me and we make arrangements to bring over my pin. Long story short, he has it for about a week and fixes the issue. It turns out that corrosion on score motor switch 2B was causing my intermittent (and maddening) problems. He added a bit of solder on the rivets side to force the contact point to make good positive contact and voila! At the same time he also replaced a bad coil, cleaned up my Ax, and gave the rest of the machine a thorough going over.

Since bringing the pin over to Sylvain's we had started renovating the basement ceiling. New drop ceiling grid, new LED lighting, new paint. Of course all of these renovations took time so it wasn't until last weekend that I finally set the pin up. I dove right in, starting a 2-player game. Everything worked as it should. It was so nice to have a working, properly scoring pin in the house again! I even managed to flip the score on the game, something I had never done before!

All in all, I am very proud of myself for getting this pin working again. I was so close to having everything working myself, but knowing I was defeated, I am even happier I brought the pin over to Sylvain for his help. I would never have discovered the score motor issue. I had looked at it before, even adjusted some of the switches, but it is just a beast to work on and 2B was pretty much buried on the bottom of the switch stacks. When I look back on this thread and see all I have learned about EMs I am very happy to be at this point.

Now I can do the fun, and easy stuff like rubber replacement, flipper replacement, spinner smoothing, and deep dive into a good cleaning, along with replacing any broken plastics to make it really shine!

I would like to say thank you to Sylvain, and thank you to the entire community that helped me within these forum walls. I also want to thank everyone that reached out to me IRL and offered assistance and provided guidance using their own EMs. MAACA truly is a fantastic place!

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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by sylvain »

Thank you Tim, I was glad to help.
Enjoy your machine!

Best Regards,
-Sylvain.
Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by semicolin »

Pretty soon you'll be ready to take on another project with even more gremlins!

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Fifty
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Re: Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Post by Fifty »

semicolin wrote:Pretty soon you'll be ready to take on another project with even more gremlins!
Ha ha! Next project is to strip down the cabinet and head and re-decal it. Summer project though. For now, I'm just going to enjoy it!

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