DW problems!

Started 2 years ago by chocky909 in forum TechTech: Generic.


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DW problems!


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  • Started 2 years ago by chocky909
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    2 years ago
    #

    So I just got my DW working after removing and reassembling the head for transport, something which I'll have to do again in a month or so...

    Anyway, I've noticed a few problems, some minor (I hope) and some major (I hope not).

    1) The Time Expander seems to be malfunctioning at the countdown phase. It keeps counting down a lot after one hit and even a few times before it had raised. Also three of the inserts aren't lit.

    2) The right flipper doesn't come up as far as the left. It's strong and seems to be in the right starting position but it comes up a bit short about 1cm maybe.

    3) The lower bumper is a little unreactive. It does work but takes more of a prod than the others which are twitchy and strong.

    4) Several lights are out including, the three Time Expander inserts, the first and last Doctors under the DMD (Hartnell and McCoy), the "C" and the "A" of "ESCAPE" and also there is one bulb missing on behind the backglass but when I swapped it with a working one it still didn't seem to work.

    5) The open/close door sensor/switch seems to be glitchy, not recognising when the door is open and ehen it is closed. I usually tap it with my finger until it works.

    6) Last one, a biggy and it's different because it was fine until we'd had a few games but now the plunger has lost power and struggles to fire it into play. It actually seems to be getting weaker each time it attempts it.

    So that's it so far I reckon and I still had some fun games until the plunger problems. I'm wondering how many of these problems were existing before and how many have developed since the dismantle. I'm going to ring the seller and see if he remembers. It'll also be a good way to let him know how it isn't perfect and I might get some money back... I doubt it.

    So, any advice appreciated. I'm going to have a look at some resources too in the mean time and hopefully figure some stuff out myself - I don't want to have to come running to the forum for every little thing...


    2 years ago
    #

    1) I believe those are optos. You may need to clean them. There is also a piece of paper that blocks light getting to the optos, yours could be damaged. Also make sure the grey nubs that the ball hits aren't sticking...

    2) I'd just rebuild the flips, new sleeves, new bushings, new coils stops, etc. You could also just loosen the bat, line it up, then retighten it in line with the inlane guide. From the sounds of the game, I'd probably just do a full rebuild anyhow.

    3) Check the gap on the switch under the bumper, adjust it as necessary, compare it to the other 2.

    4) Replace the lights, check wiring. Clean sockets.

    5) Clean the switch, probably just gummed up

    6) Check plunger coil sleeve, also make sure its hitting the ball squarely.

    This stuff sounds like it was there BEFORE you got it IMO...

    Good luck with the repairs...dig in there and look around, most stuff you can see with your eyes

    Did you buy it from a dealer or private?? Just curious...


    2 years ago
    #

    Private. It's my first buy so I'm still green. I also don't have a car so can't go looking at tables before I buy really. I did play on it briefly a couple of weeks ago but I wasn't really paying attention to it and I only found it was for sale the next day. I remembered it playing well and looking OK so I made an offer. I think I paid too much and he thinks I paid too little compared to some past ebay auctions. Probably means it was fair. I was hoping for a couple of little things to work on but hopefully these won't cost me much money or take too long to fix.

    Thanks for the advice too! I'll try those out. Cheers.


    2 years ago
    #

    I sold my Dr Who to a friend for 1500CAN. It's probably worth 1000 on the low end, maybe 2000 for a VERY nice one....but prices vary ALOT depending on 14 different factors...


    2 years ago
    #

    The 'factors' are the main problem right now. I've had a good root around under the playfield and managed to fix the plunger problem which was just a loose screw and housing.

    So the main problem now is the time expander 5 targets. Only two of them seem to work, the 2nd and 4th. Also when you hit either it counts down from 14 to 3 by itself. Does this sound familar to anyone? Is it possible that it is linked to a connection on the backboard? I'm sure this wasn't a problem when I played the game 2 weeks ago at a tournament. Is it possible that transporting it caused the problem?

    I've also looked at the flippers and it all looks fine and I think the reason for the height difference is the left and right flippers are differently numbered coils. Also the top flipper is the same as the right. Part number FL 11630 for the left and FL 15411 for the right and top. Does it sound like someone reassembled incorrectly at some point. The table does have standard flippers ATM which suggests some fiddling was undertaken although it would make more sense if it was the left and top that were the same.

    The C and A of Escape don't seem to be simple bulb replacements as swapping with their neighbours didn't help as didn't wiggling nearby connections. I guess there is a test I can do in the service menu?

    The red inserts beneath the time expander look like it'll be a huge job to change the bulbs being as there is a huge subway tray in the way.

    The lower bumper is still a bit unresponsive and it's not that obvious what's causing the problem but I'll have a further explore.

    I was also wondering where the best place to get spare parts from in the UK is?


    donjagra

    Pinball master
    3,000,000 4
    2 years ago
    #
    chocky909 said:

    So the main problem now is the time expander 5 targets. Only two of them seem to work, the 2nd and 4th. Also when you hit either it counts down from 14 to 3 by itself. Does this sound familar to anyone? Is it possible that it is linked to a connection on the backboard? I'm sure this wasn't a problem when I played the game 2 weeks ago at a tournament. Is it possible that transporting it caused the problem?

    Could be a problem with the connector, but.... could be a problem with the opto boards.

    The boards are about $50, but it might be a loose connection feeding power to the boards.


    2 years ago
    #

    Keep in mind that if you have the 7th Doctor activated any hits to the lock target will countdown the targets by 1. When the mid level is raised each hit is worth multiple when the 7th doctor is active.


    2 years ago
    #

    Before you get too far down the path I have a few questions.

    The first part of your note suggests that the DW was "working" and now it's not. So, while it's possible that you have some creative wiring it worked well before. Assuming that's the case, something changed when you were "reassembling the head".

    Head==Boards to me. Those large caps are really easy to bump. If you knocked one of the large caps and broke a solder joint you will have some unfiltered voltage passing through the circuit and that will cause weirdness. What's worse is there are a lot of through hole plates on the power board. Even though the cap is soldered on the back side, the circuit may continue up the hole onto the top side of the board. If the through hole plate pulled out it may not even look damaged. You would need to buzz the circuit.

    During a BR swap I bumped two of my caps with not a lot of force. This caused my mini-playfield optos to be dead, lower flippers weak, and I think the upper flipper to machine gun. Possibly GI and/or Sound was impacted.

    I ended up having to replace two through hole plates with a stitch and resolder the caps.

    All ended fine.

    Check all the test points. Make sure the voltages are up to spec. After that, prioritize the problems and attack them one at a time.

    faz


    2 years ago
    #

    Thanks for the replies. I'm starting to realise that asking for advice is only useful if you can understand it when it is given. There are quite a few terms that I don't really understand such as 'caps', I don't know what those are. I'm not really sure what optos are either.

    What I really need is a bit more specific advice. Should I be poking around under the playfield and the time expander unit or checking connections in the head? I think I may have a electrical testing kit somewhere but I'd need to buy a soldering kit.

    Can someone recommend some tests I should run in the operators menu that might pinpoint the cause of the malfunctions?

    Did anyone recognise a problem with my flipper setup? I've loosened a retightened the right flipper but it just doesn't seem to have the same arc distance as the left.

    Sorry for all the questions, I'm really coming face to face with the realisation that I don't know a lot of the basics. I am having fun rooting around under the hood though. I need some proper tools too.


    2 years ago
    #

    Sorry, lots to learn.

    "Caps", capacitor. In the head, the power driver board (big board on the right) has about 5 big capacitors. They are large cylinders about 4cm across and 9cm long...blue??

    "Opto" is a name associated with the infrared LED send/receiver pair. Each of the mushroom buttons has a separate pair. There are other optos in the mini-playfield and the flipper buttons.

    Lots of info here: http://www.pinwiki.com/

    I would run through all the menu of tests. Make a punch list.

    I still think you have a power issue. Try to do some reading and familiarize yourself with the basics. Board work may be beyond your skills. You may want to find someone to service the machine if it's too overwhelming. But we all had to learn at one time or another... take your time and have fun learning

    faz


    2 years ago
    #

    Cheers faz. I do need to do some basic research but I also want to get the machine running fully ASAP.

    Anyway I think I've found the problem as there is a wire that looks like it has broken near the time expander under the playfield. Looks like it was soldered into a connector and the solder broke so I'm going to get a soldering iron and fix it and we'll see where that leaves us.

    Can someone quickly tell me how to adjust the outlane posts on this game though. I thought it would be simple but I honestly can't see how. Please don't tell me I need to remove everything above them.


    2 years ago
    #

    Just remove some screws on the plastics above the lane posts, and then you can swivel them out to get to the posts themselves. It's pretty simple


    2 years ago
    #

    Ah I got it. Once I knew I had to move or remove the plastics I just did it. PITA though, especially the left side because there is a huge plastic ramp that goes all the way up and round the other side so removing that was not an option right now. I managed to get it eventually just bending a little. Thanks.


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    I've hit a big problem trying to diagnose what the problem is with my DW. The Tim Expander is simply all over the place. How can I figure out what the issue is withough taking it apart?


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    Reading through the thread, I'm going to assume you've now re-soldered the broken wire you found. Is that right?

    I don't see that you've done the basic switch matrix testing. Take off the glass. There is a set of 4 buttons inside the coin door. The right button will take you into a set of menus and drill down into them. The left button will back you out of them. The middle two buttons will scroll you left and right through options within a particular menu.

    What you are looking to do is go into the "tests" menu. You will find that there is a test option for the mini playfield (I believe it's the last in the list). In this test, you will use the flippers to move the mini playfield up and down (this is a little different than most tests, I think it's a safety thing). Once you have the targets exposed, back out of the mini playfield test and go into the first test, T1, which will be called the switch edge test.

    People have been talking to you about the optical switch pairs in the mini playfield...what happens when those plastic button targets are hit is that each breaks a beam of light between an emitter and receiver. It sure sounds like those are flickering and convincing the game the targets are being hit. This is common. There are two boards that house the optos, an emitter board and receiver.

    While in switch edge test, you will see dots and squares. The places on the grids corresponding to the optos should start as squares. Press the round targets and see if they change to dots. You'll hear a noise. If they are changing back on forth on their own, you've found your problem. Also bang on the main playfield near the targets and see if that will get them to flutter. That'd be a problem, too.

    The problem is likely to be that a.) they need to be replaced b.) there is a loose connection or c.) that light is leaking into the receiver and causing them to flutter. Do the switch edge test and report back.

    Also, to answer another earlier question, you'll find that there is indeed an "all lamps" option in the test menu. You can use this to identify broken bulbs.


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    Hi c3trey and thanks for your reply. Sorry I haven't got back til now but I've been really busy.

    Anyway, I'd actually tried everything you suggested already but I just went through the switch test again. Basically only the 2nd and 4th targets activate the switch test and the other 3 are totally dead, no flickering or anything. Also, banging the surrounding area doesn't make anything flicker either. This makes me think the problem is not with the actul unit but with some connections when I reassembled the head. I checked some pictures from before I disassembled and I notice that at least one of the dead lights was working. The game was also played in a league meeting just a week before I bought it and as far as I could tell it was working perfectly maybe just some GI out.

    That loose wire didn't make a difference when I soldered it so either that's not the problem or it's not making a connection.

    I'm pretty sure I connected something wrongly because as well as the Time Expander being weird, there are several bulbs out that simply aren't powered as I've swapped them with working bulbs.

    So the problem is, how do I identify the connection issue?


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    I'm having problems with the right lower slingshot on mine . . . the leaf is somehow turned and it won't register hits. Love DW, great theme and great deep game with the funnest video mode I've ever seen, wish mine was working fully.


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    Switches and lamps use different wiring in the game, so it's probably best to focus on the issues one at a time. If you haven't yet downloaded the operations manual for the game from ipdb.org, do so and take a look at page 3-3. That's the switch matrix.

    Back in switch edge test, walk through each of the switches in the game and make sure each works and displays the correct number on the DMD. This will help isolate any connection or switch matrix issues.

    When you say only the second and fourth targets activate in the test, the screen shows them as activating switches 72 and 74, is that right? Are the other three targets (71, 73, 75) always dots or squares?

    What connector was the wire you soldered loose from (and are you sure it's making a connection now)?

    To trace the connection in question, the first place you are going to want to look is at the 10-opto board. This is located under the playfield, mounted right next to your upper flipper mech. J1 and J2 on that board connect to the mini playfield target optos. Trace those. J3 connects back to the cpu board in the backbox at J206 and J208. Check those places for loose connections/wires/cracked solder joints, etc.


    Atomicboy

    Pinball guru
    5,473,250 2
    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    I haven't read all this, sorry, I'm lazy as hell with long threads.

    If it's the main 5 targets that are the issues, you have a big job of taking out the time expander, removed the receiver and emitter boards, and dealing with these. There are wire header solder joints and bulbs, all of which get cracked on this machine, due to the close proximity pounding they take.

    What I would recommend is re-flowing all the headers, and replacing all the emitters and receivers (under $10 in parts), or if that is out of your league, buy replacement boards, or further send yours to someone to do.

    If you don’t do this, again from the proximity to vibration, these parts go bad faster than others, and you may end up having to do this again several times.

    I don’t screw around with anything opto anymore. If there is a problem with one, there will soon be a problem with them all. Replace everything on both boards, whatever boards they are, and re-flow the headers. Done.

    Good luck.


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    I just replaced the opto board set for the mushroom targets in mine. There is a guide that faz wrote that details taking out the time expander assembly. Makes it super easy...


    Atomicboy

    Pinball guru
    5,473,250 2
    1 year, 11 months ago
    #
    tomdotcom said:

    Makes it super easy

    Super easy? I don't know about that... It was a bit of a pain in the ass, even me as someone who has ripped apart about 50 different machines to date.

    Regardless, that is the issue. And make sure you get the smaller receivers. Someone tried to fix mine before I owned it, and used the larger ones, which actually cased the interrupters to get stuck between the two bulbs.


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    Ok not super easy, but with faz's guide it was a simple step by step procedure. I also have taken my fair share of machines apart, so it would be harder for a rookie obviously....


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    I know of that white paper and if I thought that would help then I would do it but I'm quite sure that there is a wrong connection somewhere and it would actually be a waste of time.

    I removed the head when I bought it and the guy who sold it to me helped label up the connections and did a half arsed job so a few of the connections had illegible labels. After reassembling we got it working but these few issues won't go away.

    c3trey said:

    Switches and lamps use different wiring in the game, so it's probably best to focus on the issues one at a time. If you haven't yet downloaded the operations manual for the game from ipdb.org, do so and take a look at page 3-3. That's the switch matrix.
    Back in switch edge test, walk through each of the switches in the game and make sure each works and displays the correct number on the DMD. This will help isolate any connection or switch matrix issues.

    All the switches work. Checking all the playfield switches correspond to the numbers in the manual too.

    c3trey said:

    When you say only the second and fourth targets activate in the test, the screen shows them as activating switches 72 and 74, is that right? Are the other three targets (71, 73, 75) always dots or squares?

    That's right. The other three targets are always dots. I occasionally get some action from 73 which I think is why it counts down itself but nothing for 71 and 75.

    c3trey said:

    What connector was the wire you soldered loose from (and are you sure it's making a connection now)?

    It's in a bundle of connections near the Time Expander unit under the playfield. It's a connector block with 4x2 wires one side and 2x1 wire the other one of which is the broken connection. Nothing changed when I soldered it and I've tried a few times redoing it. Not sure if it's my soldering that is the problem. I have a multi meter so maybe I could check the connection somehow?

    c3trey said:

    To trace the connection in question, the first place you are going to want to look is at the 10-opto board. This is located under the playfield, mounted right next to your upper flipper mech. J1 and J2 on that board connect to the mini playfield target optos. Trace those. J3 connects back to the cpu board in the backbox at J206 and J208. Check those places for loose connections/wires/cracked solder joints, etc.

    I'm struggling to trace the wires back as they merge with the huge bundles.


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    If your switch matrix is healthy, and those two targets work correctly, I'm having trouble seeing how a connection in the wrong place could be your issue. Those target optos all route to the same board (the 10 opto board I mentioned before) and we know that the connectors to that board, and from that board to the head, are in the right place because 72/74 work.

    You are likely right that 73 is causing your countdowns, and that's a classic flaky opto symptom. It sounds like you are looking for an easier answer but at this point I'd recommend getting access to the opto boards in the time expander and replacing the optos that are failing. You could try cleaning them first, but it's enough of a pain to get that thing out and apart that I'd go ahead and replace the transmitter bulbs, at least. You could also take the easy way out and save yourself some future pain by ordering the improved replacement boards that are available.


    Atomicboy

    Pinball guru
    5,473,250 2
    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    As I said, replace ALL optos on both boards, and reflow all headers if you're taking out the boards. If you can't do that or know anyone that can for you, replace the boards.

    These are you only options.


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    OK well thanks for trying to help me. I think I'm going to get a guy to come look anyway considering the other problems with the lights.


    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    BUMP

    OK, I got my DW working with a lot of help from Andy Netherwood. It turns out each element was a seperate problem which means it wasn't a misconnection like I suspected. Luckily the optos were fixable without having to remove the Time Expander and everything else was a matter of broken connections and solder. Looks like it's just an old piece of junk and has been patched up a lot. Ah well you live and learn. At least it's working well and plays well. The only remaining problems are the switch for the ball trough is wrong so the ball sometimes doesn't push it all the way down. Hopefully I'll source a lighter switch and swap it out. Also, the Time Expander is a little wonky being higher on the left and a bit low on the right. It's not a huge problem and I think it only causes the ball to get stuck on the right ridge very occasionally. Top left bumper bulb needs changing but it's a big job to move the ramp so I'm happy with it now if I can just sort out that trough switch.

    I did a factory reset. What are the basic recommended settings? Also, I've got the outlane posts in the lowest positions but they don't seem to help side drains. Would it actually be better higher up so I have more room to bounce off the side because the lane doesn't have a rubber post? Also, playfield angles... I'm not sure the best playfield angle but I get a lot of outlane drains and also I'd like to stop the ball from going SDTM after bouncing back out from the bumpers top left. It's quite steep right now but I haven't got a proper measure. I could download an app..

    Anyway, this is so much better with the Time Expander working properly. Thanks again for everyone that gave me advice. I really appreciate it. I'll post a gameplay video soon.


    Atomicboy

    Pinball guru
    5,473,250 2
    1 year, 11 months ago
    #

    I prefer the game fast, 6.5 or higher at least. Plays faster and more fun. The side drains are brutal on this game, try to keep the shots controlled to avoid.

    Have fun, great game!



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