(Topic ID: 263962)

**FIXED** - $100 Challenge - Help me Fix my TAF


By NPO

83 days ago



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  • 33 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 79 days ago by NPO
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 83 days ago

All right, I've gone a week trying to fix this issue, so now I'm opening it up to everyone. $100 via PayPal if you can help me find the problem(s).

Problem #1. When I am playing TAF, if I hit the "A" in mid-game, the game triggers BOTH the "A" switch and the #4 Opto in the Bookshelf.
Problem #2: When the center trough switch has a ball tripping it, I get switch 12 "Not Used" tripping on its own.

I have:

1. Performed PinWiki 6.24.3 Switch Matrix Problem with the jumper wire and triggering the switches one at a time. Doing that, all the switches function correctly one at a time. This is evident in video #2 below.

2. Swapped MPU boards with BSD to make 100% sure it wasn't a board issue.

3. Swapped 7-opto boards with JM to ensure it wasn't an issue there.

4. I have clipped one end of each diode of the switches marked with green circles in the below image. All measure 0.480 - 0.720 volts and operate properly when the test leads are swapped. All of the same switches function properly when triggered by hand (except of course "A" and Opto #4)

5. I have swapped the "A" target out entirely with a new switch and new diode.

6. When the center trough switch has a ball tripping it, I get switch 12 "Not Used" tripping on its own. I have swapped the "center switch" with another one of the trough switches to see if the problem followed the switch to its new location. Nope - stayed at the center switch. Reference video #4 to see what I am talking about.

7. I have pulled nearly every molex/IDC connector off the power driver board and underneath the PF in so many combos I couldn't type nor remember them all.

8. I have check the diodes for each bookshelf switch - both read solid readings and operate as expected.

9. I re-soldered the leads to the bookshelf optos on top of the bookshelf - no change. All wiring looked ok going to the PCBs as well as underneath the bookshelf assembly.

I dunno what else to check. I really feel like I've run the gamut of possibilities. So, if anyone can suggest something to me and TELL ME how to do it if I ask "how?", $100 is yours. I have all the usual tools including a brand new logic probe, DMM, soldering iron, etc.

$100 - on the line, AND I'll make a Pinside+ donation.

Let's see who can get it. I'll be honest, I am eager to see who can find this issue. I don't mind repeating the things I have already tried - maybe I performed those tests wrong. Fact-check me if you think I might have done it wrong.

YT videos in chronological order of troubleshooting the problem. All of maybe 8 minutes combined:

Video #1:

Video #2:

Video #3 - Bookcase Closed vs. Open (only 2 switches tripped in Open vs. 3 switches in Closed):

Video #4 -

#2 83 days ago

Most problems like this are “created” meaning someone has done something and caused it. Couple questions
-Did you recently purchase the machine and just noticed the problem?
-What was done recently to the machine if anything?

Often times I fine that a problem is created and it goes unnoticed for a period of time, then through the process of elimination you can find it. In my experience I think you have either a diode orientation problem or switch wiring orientation. I have seen very similar problems in the past. I had a Funhouse years ago doing the same thing, the operator had replaced a target with a “generic” and the diode/leg orientation was different. Problem only showed up when the center trough switch was opened in game play due to multi ball. Take a real hard look around all the switches in that row for any “pecker” trails of solder, sloppy work, etc. Feel free to Pm me with any questions.

Scott

#3 83 days ago

Repin the molex connectors associated with the switches. Have you verified power at the optos? Is the voltage changing if the beam is broken? Broken wires are the last thing to id and find.

#4 83 days ago

Very interesting problems.

Analysing the matrix, I would look into Right outlane, Bookcase closed and Grave A switches.

Do not test the diode directly. Put meter in diode test but put test probes on the white and green leads solder points. Should measure diode voltage with positive on white and switch closed. Otherwise (positive on green as well as switch open) "open circuit" like when the meter is not connected. Do it with either the row or the column connecter removed (CPU board).

The reason for testing this is to test not only that the diode is working. But also that the switch is correctly wired up.

A strongly suspect the Grave A to be bypassing the diode.

Is no 2 problem depended on whether the coin door or the bookcase is open/closed.

The no 1 problem could be the ULN2803 switch column driver IC gone weak.

#5 83 days ago
Quoted from soren:

Very interesting problems.
Analysing the matrix, I would look into Right outlane, Bookcase closed and Grave A switches.
Do not test the diode directly. Put meter in diode test but put test probes on the white and green leads solder points. Should measure diode voltage with positive on white and switch closed. Otherwise (positive on green as well as switch open) "open circuit" like when the meter is not connected. Do it with either the row or the column connecter removed (CPU board).
The reason for testing this is to test not only that the diode is working. But also that the switch is correctly wired up.
A strongly suspect the Grave A to be bypassing the diode.
Is no 2 problem depended on whether the coin door or the bookcase is open/closed.
The no 1 problem could be the ULN2803 switch column driver IC gone weak.

If the 2803 was weak, it wouuld have shown in the game he swapped boards with. He can always confirm this again by re-swapping boards. He can also use the logic probe on the 2803 to see what the chip is doing logic wise. Read this link for info in testing the circuit.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/terrybs-guide-to-logic-probes

#7 83 days ago

You probably have a switch lug touching something metal or bent over touching another switch lug. Another issue can be a switch wire rubbed through the insulation on some metal bracket under the playfield somewhere.

I typically remove the green center wire on each switch one at a time until the problem goes away. Then you know where the problem is.

#8 83 days ago

Sounds like you haven't swapped driver boards, so take a step back and check your +12Vdc on your driver board for any AC voltage. Check at J116 or 118.

I had a similar switch problem on a Roadshow that drove me nuts. Discovered it was a cracked trace between BR5 & C30.

Good Luck!

#9 83 days ago

I have just verified my theory. All you troubles ARE due to the Grave A switch bypassing the diode.

So if the diode measures correctly, it is the switch wired incorrectly. Or lugs bend and shorting.

#10 83 days ago
Quoted from soren:

I have just verified my theory. All you troubles ARE due to the Grave A switch bypassing the diode.
So if the diode measures correctly, it is the switch wired incorrectly. Or lugs bend and shorting.

Most likely due to the diode on the switch backwards, or the row wires soldered to the wrong end of the diode, therefore meaning the diode isnt being used.

Seen similar issues on other games because of this many times, even some switches that look to have been factory soldered wrongly.

#11 83 days ago

I had a weird issue with a switch matrix on a DE MNF and I found that one switch wire was soldered to the wrong end of the diode. I had looked at it probably a dozen times before I realized what was wrong. See more information here:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tech-de-monday-night-football-switch-matrix-issue

#12 82 days ago

I don't know, buy a new TAF. Go ahead and paypal me the $100

#13 82 days ago

All sound advice. I'm not in the running for the cash because these have already been offered but I highly suspect a bad diode on the row.

1. Inspect each switch. Make sure wiring is consistent and diode is in correct direction. Look for non-factory type soldering (operator or previous owner repair). Most of these operators are hacks that just want the game up and running. They don't give a shit about performance.
2. Remove the A switch from the matrix. Problem go away? If not, work your way down the line. Better to remove one at a time then all at once. I would exclude removing the opto for now. Most likely a symptom of a diode on a microswitch down the line.

#14 82 days ago
Quoted from applejuice:

Most likely due to the diode on the switch backwards, or the row wires soldered to the wrong end of the diode, therefore meaning the diode isnt being used.
Seen similar issues on other games because of this many times, even some switches that look to have been factory soldered wrongly.

Does anyone have a good, solid picture of the "A" stationary target and its wiring?

17
#15 82 days ago
Quoted from soren:

I have just verified my theory. All you troubles ARE due to the Grave A switch bypassing the diode.
So if the diode measures correctly, it is the switch wired incorrectly. Or lugs bend and shorting.

Quoted from applejuice:

Most likely due to the diode on the switch backwards, or the row wires soldered to the wrong end of the diode, therefore meaning the diode isnt being used.
Seen similar issues on other games because of this many times, even some switches that look to have been factory soldered wrongly.

You each get $50 for coming up with this together.

The fricking diode was on backwards......

Took me a week, countless hours of frustration, more tests than I ever thought I would learn how to perform, and $100, but now I have learned two very valuable lessons:

1. Don't overlook the most simple stuff.
2. Bring out triple digit rewards, and the good ideas come out of the woodwork.

Both of you, please PM me your PayPal emails. I'm a man of my word, and I will happily pay up.

Pinside+ donation made!

Thank you, everyone : ).

#16 82 days ago

This was the picture of the old switch that verified the diode was backwards. I compared it to the one I put in...man....last year right before I deployed for 6 months - hence - why it seemed to appear out of nowhere.

Man, can't believe I did that....

Learn from me, everyone - DOUBLE CHECK your work....

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#17 82 days ago

Thanks. But, reversing the diode is not the problem. The problem is that the diode is shorted - or bypassed. The latter meaning that the switch itself has a short internally. Or the diode is bypassed due incorrect wirering.

Trust me. When you replace these leaf switches, the replacement one is not always construct the same way in terms of what blade in the blade/insulation stack that is what. Which of them is the neutral one where the diode is soldered to a wire.

Finally. The insulation may crack and have the blades shorting. Can be via the wood screws.

I made this video demonstrating the consequence of bypassing the diode. The proof.

#18 82 days ago

So I guess my “buy a new TAF” advice didn’t work?

#19 82 days ago
Quoted from soren:

Thanks. But, reversing the diode is not the problem. The problem is that the diode is shorted - or bypassed. The latter meaning that the switch itself has a short internally. Or the diode is bypassed due incorrect wirering.
Trust me. When you replace these leaf switches, the replacement one is not always construct the same way in terms of what blade in the blade/insulation stack that is what. Which of them is the neutral one where the diode is soldered to a wire.
Finally. The insulation may crack and have the blades shorting. Can be via the wood screws.
I made this video demonstrating the consequence of bypassing the diode. The proof.

Truth be told, I think I also had the wires on the wrong blades on the switch, so I was totally hosing myself. I took pictures from last year, compared wht I had to what was in that picture before I had to change the switch, and got both the diode in the correct orientation as well as the wiring on the right blades.

I need your PayPal email : ).

12
#20 82 days ago

I do not think a reward is what made people assist you. People a generally pretty helpful. But sometimes topics on the forum drown and is not seen by the right people.

Now the evidence is on film, I might turned this into a proper instruction video on these ghost switches.

#21 82 days ago
Quoted from soren:

I do not think a reward is what made people assist you. People a generally pretty helpful. But sometimes topics on the forum drown and is not seen by the right people.
Now the evidence is on film, I might turned this into a proper instruction video on these ghost switches.

Please do. Thank you!

#22 82 days ago
Quoted from NPO:

You each get $50 for coming up with this together.
The fricking diode was on backwards......
Took me a week, countless hours of frustration, more tests than I ever thought I would learn how to perform, and $100, but now I have learned two very valuable lessons:
1. Don't overlook the most simple stuff.
2. Bring out triple digit rewards, and the good ideas come out of the woodwork.
Both of you, please PM me your PayPal emails. I'm a man of my word, and I will happily pay up.
Pinside+ donation made!
Thank you, everyone : ).

Excellent thank you! Will pm you now. I'm glad we helped fix your problem. I will use the cash to help develop more pinball products

Jim

#23 82 days ago

I think I was the first to point this out. Check my post “diode orientation”

#24 82 days ago

What he ^^^^^^^said.

#25 82 days ago
Quoted from Pinballemporium:

I think I was the first to point this out. Check my post “diode orientation”

PM'd you waiting for your Paypal addy. I'll happily take care of you as you did say exactly that.

I keep my word.

#26 82 days ago

These "diode orientation" shots from the hip really baffles me.

Please try and reverse a switch diode and tell us what the result is.

#27 82 days ago
Quoted from soren:

These "diode orientation" shots from the hip really baffles me.
Please try and reverse a switch diode and tell us what the result is.

It’s fixed...

C5204E25-6267-42B2-9856-9429E9D16C70.gif
#28 82 days ago
Quoted from soren:

These "diode orientation" shots from the hip really baffles me.
Please try and reverse a switch diode and tell us what the result is.

You're going to have to walk me through what you want. The diode on the switch in question was soldered on wrong by me. I reversed it to the correct orientation per my photo from the original switch last year, and all is good. My initial soldering of the diode occurred nearly 10 months ago before I deployed, so my machines were in storage and this "seemingly new" problem was present since last year, I just didn't know until now.

What exactly do you want me to do? I need a walk-through. Please remember, my knowledge base is not as advanced as yours, and common knowledge/procedures to you may be unknown to me.

#29 82 days ago
Quoted from soren:

These "diode orientation" shots from the hip really baffles me.
Please try and reverse a switch diode and tell us what the result is.

I really don't understand why you think a reversed diode won't cause havoc on the switch matrix. I recently got a Last Action Hero (different manufacturer but same switch matrix design) that had all sorts of craziness. I tracked the issue down to two reversed diodes on two different switches. Having a diode on backwards can backfeed the signal through the matrix and cause phantom switch hits, which is exactly what the OP was experiencing...

Thanks,
Kevin

#30 81 days ago
Quoted from NPO:

The fricking diode was on backwards......

I could have swore I asked you to check the the diodes on switch 86 and 82 five days ago.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/addams-family-multiple-switches-tripping#post-5515104

at least you finely got it fixed.

#31 81 days ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

I could have swore I asked you to check the the diodes on switch 86 and 82 five days ago.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/addams-family-multiple-switches-tripping#post-5515104
at least you finely got it fixed.

You were correct. The problem was I didnt compare pictures from June 2019, as I had forgotten about them.

Big oversight.

#32 79 days ago

Giving it back to the community...

#33 79 days ago
Quoted from soren:

Giving it back to the community...

Man, that was fantastic. Well done - thank you for taking the time to do this!

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