Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

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tinyrodent
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Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:17 pm

This problem started spontaneously. One day the displays were fine, and the next nothing - without moving or opening the game.

Following the pinrepair guide I tested the voltages at A2J3 with the connector removed and got:

  • pin 1 - 60.7 VDC
  • pin 3 - 42.6 VDC
  • pin 7 - 0.02 VDC
  • pin 8 - 0.02 VDC
So it looks like the main voltages are good but the "reference" voltages of 4 and 8 VDC are missing. I'm not sure where to look next. All of the fuses on the bottom board seem to be intact (continuity beep). Any ideas?
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby Blackghost4 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:37 pm

Check this Brett.


System 1 Power Supply with A2J3 highlighted





At this point, plug the game in, and turn it on. Using a DMM or volt meter, check all of the voltages at A2P3. For the +60VDC (A2P3-1) and +42VDC (A2P3-3), pin 5 of A2P3 must be used as the ground reference. Using any other point for a ground reference will result in incorrect voltage readings. Pin 5 is marked "COM" on the board. If the +60VDC is a little low, it can be adjusted with the potentiometer located on the right of the board. The +42VDC is derived from the +60VDC. If there is +60VDC, but not +42VDC, The 18v CR12 zener diode or the R18 resistor may have failed.


If the +60V only has 15V, check capacitor C10 for a short.

If the two high voltages test all right, it's time to check the two offset voltages. The offset voltages are +4VDC (A2P3-7) and +8VDC (A2P3-8). This may seem odd, but either A2P2-4 or A2P2-5 must be used as a ground reference to test these voltages.



If all the display voltages are satisfactory, it is time to move onto the next step of visually inspecting the display boards for obvious defects.
Gottlieb Amazing Spider-Man (1980) Gottlieb Bad Girls (1988)
Gottlieb Genesis (1986) Gottlieb Force II (1981) Gottlieb Card Whiz (1976) Gottlieb Striker (1982)
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Gone: Williams F-14 Tomcat, Gottlieb Operation Thunder, Williams Expo, Williams Lucky Ace, Gottlieb Buck Rogers, Gottlieb Swing Along

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tinyrodent
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:24 pm

Blackghost4 wrote:This may seem odd, but either A2P2-4 or A2P2-5 must be used as a ground reference to test these voltages.

Thanks I didn't realize that. Will test some more tomorrow.
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:41 am

I tested the offset voltages again using A2P2 4/5 for ground and got more reasonable results:

  • pin 7 - 3.49 VDC
  • pin 8 - 8.65 VDC
The connectors appear to be in good condition. All of the displays have black corners. They were working fine and now none of them work at all. I'm not sure where to look next.
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:50 am

There is another problem with this game - maybe related? Sometimes when powered on, it doesn't boot properly. Instead it fires a coil and makes a loud buzz from the speaker. I was just going to try measuring the voltages again with connectors in place, and got this symptom. Guess I will let it sit and try again later.
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:09 pm

I got the game to boot up after a few tries, and remeasured the voltages with connectors in place. The main display power pins are very low. What does this mean? The pinrepair guide doesn't say. They test fine if the connector is not attached.

  • pin 1 - 1.65 VDC (should be 60)
  • pin 3 - 0.40 VDC (should be 42)
Last edited by tinyrodent on Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby Sparky » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:12 pm

Hmm... blown small transformer?
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby sylvain » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:22 pm

Make sure you always turn OFF power on the game before disconnecting or reconnecting any connectors.

From the initial problem description:
Could be a shorted display (inside the glass), issue with power supply regulator section for display voltage, or connector issue on the power supply.
Or cold solder joints under the header pins on the power supply.

Does the game go into attract and plays with no displays when it successfully boots?

For the game not always booting - make sure the +5V adjust potentiometer is properly adjusted to +5.1V.
And that the power cable from power supply to MPU (and MPU fingers power connector) have clean & strong pins to make good contact.
And that the power supply does not have cold solder joints under the header pins - try wiggling the connector and see if it pinpoints the problem.

Good luck!
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:24 am

Thanks for the reply Sylvain!

Power is always off while disconnecting or reconnecting any connectors.

If there is a shorted display, won't it blow the 1/4 A fuse? I have checked the fuse for continuity and correct rating.

When the game successfully boots, it will go into attract and play normally without score displays. We played it like this for a few hours using paper and pencil to record scores. :D

I will check the 5V adjustment and those other things tomorrow.
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:45 pm

The 5V adjustment was a bit low at 4.7V so I set it to 5.1V as suggested. However, it didn't affect the boot problem.

It seems to have more trouble booting when "warm".

For example if I walk up to the machine after it has been powered off for a while, it usually boots successfully.

However if I play a game, then turn it off and back on again, it usually fails to boot.
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby sylvain » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:08 pm

4.7V was way too low, I am surprized it booted at all.
Are you measuring the +5V voltage on the power supply, or on the MPU across the electrolytic cap near the power connector
(this is where I typically measure the +5V to see if the power harness/connector has good continuity without excessive loss).

For the board not booting reliably at +5.1V, or not immediately after a power down.
Check AC ripple on the power supply +5V out, voltage arriving on the MPU, then check the power reset circuit on the MPU.

For the dead displays, with the power off, I would try reseating a few times the large J3 connector on the MPU's right side,
and see if there could be corrosion in that connector causing an issue for the digit drivers output at the MPU (and the +5V/GND) feeding all displays.
If not that, perhaps a digit driver chip went on the MPU - hopefully not.

Good luck!
-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: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:26 pm

Huge thanks to Sylvain for checking the health of the power supply and giving it a little tune up. :) Sadly it didn't affect the symptoms. So I returned to pinrepair, pinwiki, etc. looking for some explanation. But I shouldn't always just trust what is written... finally I tested with each score display one by one (a slow process due to warm boot problem), and discovered that only #4 is faulty. The other displays including credit/match work fine as long as #4 is not plugged in.

Using DMM diode test it seems that both UDN6118A chips on the #4 display are bad. Is there any hope of repairing this?
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby semicolin » Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:23 pm


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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:37 am

Ok but why would those chips fail? Is there a way to test the integrity of the score glass? There is no visible damage. One page I read suggested the resistor could fail but still test ok in circuit, so I guess it would make sense to replace that too.
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:07 pm

There is another problem with this game. Two of the controlled lamps are not correct. Apparently when it was on location at North Star, they used a Rottendog driver which required the change, then they forgot to change it back.

Two of the wires connected to the driver board have to be swapped.
countdown-driver.jpg

It's a simple fix - if you have the tool to extract pins from a Gottlieb edge connector. Unfortunately I don't. Anyone local have it, can loan? Or maybe there is an improvised solution I haven't thought of, to remove the pins. I tried my smallest screwdriver but the round part of the shaft is too fat. I tried cutting a tool from plastic but it wasn't strong enough. I really don't want to cut and splice the wires.
Image
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby tinyrodent » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:26 pm

I finally found a suitable piece of scrap metal to make a pin extraction tool. It was excess trimmed from a pop bumper lamp socket with flat leads like this:
Image
I saved that little scrap for years thinking it might someday be useful and voila! :D
newtool.jpg

Worked perfectly, the lamps are now correct. And while I had the game open, installed a fresh beer seal.
newbeerseal.jpg
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
http://www.pinballowners.com/tinyrodent

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cap
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown score displays not working

Postby cap » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:19 pm

Good trick. I had some success in a similar situation using the iphone tool to push out the SIM tray.
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Re: Gottlieb Countdown shop log

Postby tinyrodent » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:22 am

This thread has turned into more of a shop log than a single issue but I don't see how to change the title. Anyway today I got fed up with the sticking right flipper and decided to figure out what's going on. It was pretty obvious, though I couldn't get a good photo. Here's what a flipper EOS assembly should look like:
Image
There is an insulated blade at the top of the stack in this photo, which is used to push the actual switch blades. This prevents any electrical connection between the flipper assembly and the EOS assembly. But it's a metal pawl on a metal blade, which eventually wears out. Here's the actual blade removed from the stack:
worn-blade.jpg

Yeah there's not supposed to be a hole in it... luckily I have a bunch of switches salvaged from parted out games. It wasn't hard to find something similar:
replacement-blade.jpg

And trim it to match:
blades-done.jpg

Now the game plays great with no flipper sticking. :D
Playing: Recel Lady Luck, Stern Flight 2000, Stern Avengers, Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb Countdown
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