Black Knight issues

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by HPR Pinball »

IDC connectors are a really a big problem with Williams games from this era. I changed all those connectors from my vidz and they are now working like new.

Most problems with arcade game from this era are:
Connectors
Cold solders
Most boards problems are usually visible, burnt component, broken traces, corrosion etc ... first suspect is usually power supply.
Boards problems that are not visible is the lower probability in my experience.
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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by gstanczuk »

All the boards have been rebuilt and are ready for installation. The MPU has new 40 pin interconnects, new game ROMs and the 9 pin molex 1J2 ( power feed to coils) as well as a lithium battery upgrade. The driver board had several transistors replaced and both boards tested. The power supply board had all the capacitors replaced. All three were tested and are 100% OK. I have a replacement coil for the pop bumper as it looks burnt and from the board repair upgrade the transistor for the pop bumper was replaced. The switch for the pop bumper will also be replaced as it does not look to be correct (waiting on new switch). Not sure where to start but thinking the coil first, then the boards and the switch last when it arrives. Suggestions?

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by luch »

it doesn't really matter what you do first , just remember to turn off the power and unplug the game

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by sylvain »

With the machine unplugged, as recommended by luch above:

1-Make sure you replace the coil - confirm it is the same coil number and check the diode orientation on the coil / wires position; do not overheat the lugs during soldering;
2-install the repaired boards with all their screws, reconnect all connectors carefully in their proper positions;
3- confirm the solenoid fuse is proper, e.g. proper type and amps, and not overfused;
4- make sure the pop bumper spoon switch is not stuck on/closed.

Check everything over twice more to ensure nothing is connected backwards or not all yet connected, especially the new coil just installed, its diode and its wiring.

Then, and only then, plug the machine in and turn it on. Hopefully all works now, providing there are no harness/wiring issues - but I understand you already checked that earlier
(fixing all boards would NOT fix an issue with connectors/wiring harness/under playfield issue).

Best of luck!
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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by gstanczuk »

All the boards are installed and verified the connections are correct, double checked. The coil finally arrived the description is correct but the diode is not in the same place as the original. Looking at the other coils the power wires are at the banded side of the diode. The new coil is opposite. Do I simply switch the power wires or switch the diode. The connection at the diode also has the thin coil wire attached in the same place.

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by sylvain »

What is important here is the orientation of the wires to that coil, compared to the diode across its lugs.
As you noted, 'Looking at the other coils the power wires are at the banded side of the diode',
so you need to do the same with the replacement coil that has its diode already installed but reversed compared to the other existing coils.

I would simply reverse the wires to the new coil to ensure the above rule is maintained, whilst leaving the diode as-is.

-Sylvain.
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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by gstanczuk »

Frustrated again. The Pop bumper coil and switch were replaced with new units. Double checked the board and pop bumper wiring, all good. Plugged in and turned the BK on. No smoke no smell all good. Did the test procedure and everything except coil power again. Three balls in the machine and it starts a game but no eject or any coil power other than flippers. I shut the game off and inspected every wire, traced and used a meter to test continuity. Everything checks out. Looking around the rest of the insides I noticed several wires that have been cut and taped up by the past owner at the coin door. There is a black with red trace taped up and two whites soldered and taped together. Page 21 of my manual shows that the black red and the white are for a memory protect interlock. I do not see this switch anywhere. I don’t know if these wires were connected to a switch at one time or even if this is meaningful. The game did work previously. Help please!!!

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by gstanczuk »

Further investigation I found evidence of a switch but no switch. The black red trace wire and the white wires is it possible that this is simply a reconnection of the two wires?? More research indicates that when the memory protect switch is open that the MPU will not allow power to the coils as a safety circuit for service personnel.

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by cap »

The memory protect switch is open when the coin door is open and it is pushed closed when the door is closed.
The idea is to make it safer by cutting off higher voltage to the coils when the coin door is open.
Some operators disliked that feature so much they simply removed the switch.
If the switch is absent, the circuit must be connected to make it appear the switch is closed.

This is what a memory protect switch looks like
https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinbal ... 80-5000-00
I don't know if that's the exact one in Black Night, this is just an example.
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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by sylvain »

Are you sure the memory protect cuts power to the coils in that generation of Williams pinball games?
Seems I remember it does not, and is only present to protect the memory/audits/settings and not the coil power.
More recent games do have the coil power disconnected via the coin door switch for safety though.
If I am wrong, please let me know.

Just curious, is the ground strap from cabinet to head connected?

-Sylvain.
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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by gstanczuk »

Yes the ground strap is connected and I have traced it around the cabinet. It is all intact. I will join the wires together with aligator clips and see what happens.

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by ToMMy »

Memory Protect Switch does NOT switch the coil power on/off for this generation of games as sylvain pointed out.
You need to follow the 38 volt Coil B+ from the Power Supply Board down to the playfield.
It's not really difficult since it's only ONE red wire.

Start at the Power Supply connector 3J3 pin 6. Should be a heavier red wire on this pin.
Use your meter and check for +38 volts (red meter lead) on this 3J3 pin 6 to ground (black meter lead), any ground point. The aforementioned braid is fine.
Doesn't matter if the game is in play or attract, the voltage should anyways be present.
If you see this voltage, then follow this red wire down to the rectangular block molex connector that joins the head to the playfield.
Take the connector apart and check the pins for the red wire. Should be pin #36 if you know how to read the counts. Should also see +38V here too.
If good, follow the red wire to the playfield. It will connect to one of the solenoids (first solenoid coil in the chain), check the +38v here next.
Is it there? probably not. Gotta figure out where that red wire is broken. Once you find that, your solenoids will have +38V and they WILL work again.

Make SURE the game is OFF when you disconnect and reconnect ANY connectors. DON'T short anything out with your Meter Leads!!!

Brent

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by sylvain »

Thanks ToMMy, good input. I assume you are the one who fixed his boards.

I have been suspecting an issue with connectors/harness or wiring as posted back on Oct.30, according to the described symptoms at the time.

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by Chnillapoil »

When the coin door is opened, inserting coins does not increment the electronic bookkeeping coin meters for each coin chute. This way, when a service tech or coin collector for the route operator clears a coin jam, they test the coin chutes running several coins through to make sure credits are placed onto the credit counter of the game.That's it.
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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by gstanczuk »

Thx all will start testing and let you know. BTW connecting the wires didn’t change anything.

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by gstanczuk »

Good day all. Checked at pin 6 and at molex red wire, there is 35.6 V there. Checked each coil and the voltage at each coil varies slightly but it is at 30.1 V. Removed the head ground strap and reinstalled ensuring a good connection. The coils do not fire. The flippers all work and the game goes into play mode. All displays and sounds work as they should. Still stumped as to what the issue could be.

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by HPR Pinball »

Did you try the solenoid test in the machine?
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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by ToMMy »

gstanczuk wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:23 am
Good day all. Checked at pin 6 and at molex red wire, there is 35.6 V there. Checked each coil and the voltage at each coil varies slightly but it is at 30.1 V. Removed the head ground strap and reinstalled ensuring a good connection. The coils do not fire. The flippers all work and the game goes into play mode. All displays and sounds work as they should. Still stumped as to what the issue could be.
That red wire carrying the +38V from the power board to the playfield is not making a decent connection someplace.
Either at pin 6 at the power supply board, or the rectangular molex plug, or the wire is pinched off somewhere.
You can't simply lose 5-6 Volts between the PS and Coil without any load on the wire whatsoever.

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by ToMMy »

HPR Pinball wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:01 pm
IDC connectors are a really a big problem with Williams games from this era. I changed all those connectors from my vidz and they are now working like new.
^^^ My money is on this also. ^^^
HPR & Sylvain have pointed out early on in this thread that the connectors should be suspect on these 40 yr old games. Specifically the IDC type of connector 3J3 on the power supply.
Maybe it's time to stop chasing the unknown and repair the known issues. Replace the IDC connector 3J3.

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by gstanczuk »

Any suggestions on where to purchase the connector. The wires look like they simply push into the block

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by HPR Pinball »

If a short occurs in this circuit, those chips can be bad now.

From Marvin repair guide:
Introduction.
In a working game, the first thing to remember on all coils and flashlamps is power is *alway* present at all coils/flashlamps. All these devices are waiting for is the backbox driver board to complete the their power circuit to ground, causing the coil or flashlamp to energize.

Essentially the driver board is a big computer controlled grounding plane. Through the game ROM program, the CPU, and the PIAs (Peripheral Interface Adaptors), the game can control which driver board transistor can "sink" a ground, and hence complete a particular coil's power path (causing the coil/flashlamp to energize for a short period of time).

The way the driving logic works is as so: the CPU, which is running the game ROM program, wants to energize a coil. It tells the a PIA (Peripheral Interface Adaptor) to turn on the appropriate coil. This in turn drives a 7408/7402 chip, which then turns on a small "pre-driver" 2N4401 transistor. So far this is all done with "logic level" 5 volts. Then the pre-driver transistor turns on a much bigger TIP120/TIP102 transistor. This final link in the chain is what ultimately completes the coil's path to ground, causing the 28 volt coil to energize momentarily.

A potential problem with this system is if ANY part in the chain shorts, everything else down the chain turns on, and a coil locks-on. Typically this is last link in the chain, the TIP120/TIP102 driver transistor, becoming "shorted" internally (because this device is in direct line with the 28 volt solenoid voltage, where the other devices are "buffered" from this voltage). But it could be any of the other parts too! (the 2N4401 pre-driver transistor, the 7408/7402 chip, or the PIA chip!) It could even be ALL these devices short on!

So instead of the CPU controlling the driver transistor (and hence its associated coil/flashlamp), the coil/flashlamp becomes lock-on (permanently energized), because the path to ground is shorted inside one or many of the controlling devices. So if a coil (or several coils) or flashlamps are locked-on, the TIP120/TIP102 is at minimum is usually the cause. But the big problem is if the TIP120/TIP102 driver transistor shorts, sometimes the "backlash" can ruin the parts behind it (2N4401, 7408/7402, PIA) that control the transistor.
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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by HPR Pinball »

gstanczuk wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:09 pm
Any suggestions on where to purchase the connector. The wires look like they simply push into the block
For testing purpose, just use a small screwdriver and push them inside the connector, that's ok for a short time repair.
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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by cap »

gstanczuk wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:09 pm
Any suggestions on where to purchase the connector. The wires look like they simply push into the block
Just to be clear, you wouldn't buy a new IDC connector. If you need to replace an IDC connector, might as well replace it with something else more reliable.
The manufacturers used IDC connectors originally to save money.
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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by gstanczuk »

Good day finally. A great suggestion to replace the IDC with another connector. Happened to have a Molex 9 pin and pins in my pinball hope chest. Replaced the connector and it’s alive again!!! Thanks to all for your help.
The pop bumper needs a slight adjustment and scoring switch, otherwise only the bell doesn’t work. I do have a coil for it, it doesn’t work during the coil test. Other than that very happy to have it alive again. Many thx again to all that chimed in.

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Re: Black Knight issues

Post by luch »

well done !

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