(Topic ID: 127992)

1964 Williams River Boat ending game during start up sequence

By focusmediagroup

7 years ago


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  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by AlexF
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#1 7 years ago

Hi all, I am pretty new and trying to get my River Boat up and running. I think something is failing during the boot sequence and forcing a game over. When I plug it in and press the start button it resets the scores, then will step the free game counter once then turn off. This all happens in a couple seconds. Sometimes one of the score reels get stuck and it takes a while to get to zero, when this happens it will stay on until it finishes this sequence (sometimes 20-30 seconds) so I know it isn't just time related on the lock/hold relay. I recently replaced the lock/hold relay as it was pretty well dust and now that will kick off when it seems to fail it's start up process. Sticking wood in the switch to hold it on (did this while waiting on new relay) does work but I still think it's not completing a proper start up. The relay for the ball drop arm (this unit has manual ball loading) will stay on and make noise so the game is continuous (balls drop straight through). I thought it might be something with the free game counter since it seems to only step once no matter what number I start it on but I'm not exactly sure and don't really know what i'm looking for. Hopefully someone out there can make sense of my post. I can take video/photos if required.

#2 7 years ago

Did you have the lower mech panel out to work on it? There is a plunger that sticks through the bottom for the kick-off switch. I have had this happen where you set the mech panel on something and pushes the kick-off plunger up and jams the switch closed. Sometimes the kick-off switch is in a spot hidden from sight below the motor area and easy to miss. Not sure if this is what's causing your issue but it would create a similar problem.

#3 7 years ago

Alex, thanks for the reply. No I didn't have the lower panel out. I did check the kick-off switch and it's all fine as well as the tilt switch. They don't need to be the issue.

#4 7 years ago

seem to be the issue....

#5 7 years ago

It would be worthwhile to note that this pin is setup for free play (by original owner) so that could have something to do with the free game stepper only cycling once. There is permanent contact on those top switches.

#6 7 years ago

When you say free game stepper do you mean the credit unit. Modding it for free play shouldn't cause a start-up issue.

#7 7 years ago

It's in the backglass and labelled as a replay unit. It has a counter on it that goes to 20 and counts out the free games you would get. I assume this would also be used for money credits as well but I honestly don't know since the mechs are all destroyed. I don't see any other counter for coins. And I agree it shouldn't create a boot problem but may mean my original mention about this unit only stepping once instead of resetting itself could be because of this mod and nothing to do with the issue either.

#8 7 years ago

If I understand your post correctly, the replay unit shud step down one time for each press of the start button. and shud step up one time for each coin switch closure. It sounds like you have stuff not finishing during startup, and "game over" is result of it.
Did you go through all the step units and score reels? those are 90% of the startup.
The start relay, tilt relay, and game over relays also. And if it has a reset bank, all that too.
Do you have the schematics? you can follow lines to trouble areas.
Or, if no schematics, go through everything, and verify what is working. then you can deal with what is not.

#9 7 years ago

I don't have the schematics unfortunately. For each start button press it is down stepping the replay unit and the score unit is completing it's process. I am looking at the Tilt, game and game over relays but am not exactly sure what I am looking for. I don't have a multimeter handy but can get one later. I am pretty sure it is going to game over as a result of some failure late in the start cycle.

#10 7 years ago

Yeah. look at any of the relays... press on the plate "the moving part" and watch the switches. they either move open, or closed. 99% of them are the same. most problems are either dirty contacts, or bent damaged contacts. if it looks like it is not moving open and closed correctly, it prob needs adjusting. the same goes for the eos switches on the step units. they move when the plunger pulls on the arm. These are all simple switch close/open functions. if a switch does not open, it will not release anything," buzzes etc". if it does not close, it will not pass the signal to the next switch.

#11 7 years ago

Hi focusmediagroup +
please pull the Line Cord. Put the balls back onto the playfield, between the flipper-fingers (we try to give the pin the idea: "The last game ended normally, the player went to bed").

And now (a new day and) a new game. Manually set the replay-counter to 7. Push in the line cord - Do the lights go on ? (Please report). If not: Push the left flipper-button - Do the lights go on ? (Please report). Push the "start button" - What exactly happens, one thing after the other ? The replay-counter is stepped down to 6 ? The score reels reset ? The balls roll down into the tray ?
Do you get "Game Over" ? OR DO YOU SEE "ALL THE LIGHTS ARE TURNED OFF ? (Please report).

I did look up in ipdb - the best I have found is "Soccer, March 1964": http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=2232 -> down to "Documentation 349 KB PDF Schematic Diagram". To have a look at the schema I MUST make a copy onto my computer (Right-Mouse-Click -> Save Target ... ) -> then I can look into the schema.

I am not familiar with "Williams-Early-Sixties 1 Player Pins with REAL 5 Balls to lift" - my tip "Look up in schema of "Soccer" is about all I can contribute".
(((Maybe You want to put a heavy weight onto the anchor-plate of the Hold-Relay - to have it permanently closed ?)))
Greetings Rolf

#12 7 years ago

Hello Rolf, Please see below for my answers to your questions.
I set the replay to 7, and put the balls back ahead of their barrier.

When I plug in the power cord nothing happens (no lights). When I push the left flipper I get lights. the Lock relay is activated until I release the left flipper.

When I push the start button this is what I see happening;
lights come on, motor for moving target comes on, the score reels will reset themselves back to zero, the replay counter goes to 6. The balls do not roll down to the space where they would be loaded from. The light then go out. If I press start again everything stays the same except the replay will count down again to 5 and so on.

#13 7 years ago

Once you hit the left flipper the lock relay should pull-in and stay in. If it releases after releasing the left flipper I'd start with that lock relay. They commonly burn up from heavy use, or it may need some switch adjustment/cleaning.

#14 7 years ago

I just bought a brand new lock relay and installed it. Any common reasons it wouldn't be performing properly? I bought the right model.

#15 7 years ago

How do I find out what the switches should look like. Are the black meant to be closed and the white open by default (this is the colour of the fibre that separates them)? I feel like the lock relay is the only one that is different than the rest in the bottom of the cabinet. All the rest are open by default and all white.

I just got it to stay on longer playing with the switches.

#16 7 years ago

Could be switch adjustment, misaligned armature plate, dirty armature plate, spring tension issue, switch blades in the wrong slots. Can we see a pic?

#17 7 years ago

Here are a couple pics.

DSC_0037.JPG DSC_0035.JPG
#18 7 years ago

The person I bought it from had a piece of wood wedges in for the relays. It could have damaged them. Im not sure exactly what they should look like. My thoughts were the bottom two should be closed by default as they are on a smaller black spacer and the the top two should be open.

#19 7 years ago

Well, it doesn't look out of the ordinary. The switches looked like they may be gapped a bit tight but that may be to your benefit in this case. I'd clean them again and play around with the adjustment.

I could be barking up the wrong tree as well. It just seemed like an obvious place to start. You may want to follow the Wiliams start-up sequence on Clay's guide. He doesn't really specify which era this is for but it still should give you some insight.
http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm#start

#20 7 years ago

Hi focusmediagroup +
AlexF (post-13) is right: You push the left flipper button -> the Hold-Relay gets current -> gets active -> closes its "Self-Hold-Switch" (for to have current forever) and stays active (pulled) permanently the whole day long - until in the evening you pull the line cord to save energy / to save lifetime of the bulbs. If the Hold-Relay is not active (not pulling): YOU CAN NOT PLAY.

You have "Direction-A" to go to solve your problems - or you can go "Direction-B" to solve your problems (I would like You to go "Direction-B").

Direction-A: We find out why is the Hold-Relay getting inactive when You let go the left flipper button / start a game ?
Direction-B: We manipulate the Hold-Relay to be "active forever" / "stay pulled forever" and look if You can play a nice game (after that manipulation).

The reason / the "use for" the Hold-Relay is 1): To turn on / off the pin for playing - and 2) If a player is rude to the machine: He shall be punished with a SEVERE TILT.
You do not want to be rude to Your pin - so You do not need the "Severe-Tilt-Function".

To manipulate the Hold-Relay to be "active forever" / "until You pull the line cord":
The left flipper switch is made of two switches: http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=1094&picno=54117&zoom=1
Danger, current !!! Pull the line cord -> NOW put a stripe of (insulating) paper into one switch (between the contacts). Also put a stripe of paper into the other switch (between the contacts). Push in the main cord -> push the left flipper button -> pull out one stripe of insulating paper -> do the lights go on ? -> THIS IS OUR SWITCH. Do the lights do NOT go on ? -> THE OTHER one IS OUR SWITCH. Pull the line cord.
Now bend a blade of "OUR-SWITCH" so these two blades of "OUR-SWITCH" ARE PERMANENTLY CONNECTED (even when You do not push the left flipper button). Do NOT fumble around with the other switch - You do not want the left flipper to have current "all the time" !
Push in the line cord -> push the left flipper button -> the lights stay on forever ? -> start a game -> what is happening ? Please report in detail. Greetings Rolf

#21 7 years ago

I am pretty sure it's still a lock relay problem.

Rolf,
I might be able to figure out direction A. I played around with the switches a bit and was able to get the game to stay on by pressing start and playing a game. This time is the first time I have had the ball latch close down so it doesn't just keep feeding balls. It only let me play the five balls. I hit start and was able to start another game but this time the ball latch didn't come down during play so I could just keep puling balls. Also the left flipper seemed it may have continuous power as it was buzzing and behaving slightly different than it has in the past.

For you instructions on B you mention two switches but my understanding is that there are four? check photo. Am I wrong?

#24 7 years ago

I noticed something else. See the photo under "Soccer / IPD No. 2232 / March 23, 1964 / 1 Player for INSIDE CABINET" (too new to post link). It shows another wire going from the relay to the switch. Mine only has the one wire. I wouldn't harm anything trying to add a wire there would I?

#25 7 years ago

Ok I think I have it so the lock relay will stay on now, switches have been adjusted enough its working all the time. Both the left flipper will activate the game full time and start game will start a new game and release balls to be loaded.

The only issue now is that on the start of the new game the relay for the ball load stays activated and doesn't release. This means continuous play is happening and I am end a game. One time this worked perfectly. Any ideas?

#26 7 years ago

The next thing I'd check is the trough switches. Clean and adjust...

#27 7 years ago

Yeah I checked all of them and they seem to be in good working condition. They are making proper contact. Is the latch meant to drop down at the point the first ball hits the first contact in the trough? I'm not sure how it's meant to work.

DSC_0038.JPG
#28 7 years ago

Hi focusmediagroup
in this post I ONLY write about "How to write a post in the forum" - about "River Boat" see my next post.

I am anxious about "the forum will "Log-Off" me after 10 minutes - I write and write and all of a sudden I am "logged-off" (by the system) and "all I have written so far": IS LOST.
I do not want this to happen to me, therefore:

A new post I write in a MS-Word-Document. When finished (and saved): I "Log-In" in the forum -> to the subject -> I mark my text (MS-Word-Document) -> make "Copy" -> switch to the forum -> make "Paste" -> click on "Preview post" -> read my text one more time -> click on "Send post" -> I LOG-OFF MYSELF (and smile (well done)).

When I want to copy a ipdb-link into my MS-Word-Text: I have my MS-Word-Document open and I am also in ipdb.org (for example: "Soccer": http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=2232 ). I click on a picture (for example: http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2232&picno=28521 ) -> I make a "Left-Mouse-Click" into / onto that "line-of-text" -> the "line-of-text" is marked in color "Blue" -> on my keybord I press down the button "Ctrl" -> keep on pressing "Ctrl" and press the letter "C" -> I let go both -> I switch to my MS-Word-Document -> "Left-Mouse-Click" (where I want to have it) -> Press "Ctrl" -> keep on pressing "Ctrl" and press the letter "V" -> Now I have the link to the "picture-in-ipdb" in my text ...

"Ctrl" and "C" is useful to COPY (a marked text) - "Ctrl" and "V" is useful to PASTE (the copied text). Greetings Rolf

#29 7 years ago

I think it drops down after the first point is scored.

#30 7 years ago

Is there a first ball relay in this game?

#31 7 years ago

I think I found it! I found a reset relay in the back corner and it is making changes to the arm when I hit the switch. Need to pull up the playfield entirely to get at it, will clean and report. I think i'm getting close now!

#32 7 years ago

False alarm. I clean it all up and they seem to be making proper contact. The only thing I was doing to make the arm drop back down was ending the current game. Any other ideas?

#33 7 years ago

Well, usually when I get a game like this I go through and check everything. Check the contact gaps, clean them all, rebuild the steppers and score reels. That irons out about 95% of any issues. Sometimes just taking the time to inspect everything is how you discover those quirky issues. Colder solder joints, missing switch contacts, broken switch blades, loose wires, burnt coils, missing or wrong springs, dirty gummed up assemblies etc.

If you want to fast track it you'll need a schematic.

#34 7 years ago

Hi focusmediagroup, AlexF +
I studied the schema "Soccer" and I found a little fault in the schema (see at the bottom of this post).

In later games ( ONLY ONE BALL, but a Ball-Count-Up-Unit) there is a relay named "Ball-Index-Relay" - to tell the machine "the player REALLY is playing a given ball". The Ball-Index-Relay starts pulling with the first Point the player makes. The Ball-Index-Relay is pulling (keeps on pulling) until the player looses the ball. The machine changes to the next Ball and cuts the "Self-Hold-Circuitry of the Ball-Index-Relay -> The player launches the new ball -> make a point -> Ball-Index-Relay starts pulling and so on.

In the early days - with REAL 5 BALLS the manufacturer made an relay with the same functionality and named this Relay: "GAME-RELAY". Please do not mix "Game-Relay" and "Game-Over-Relay" - the "Game-Over-Relay" is to tell the machine "The game has ended".

In words: You start a game. The Game-Relay is not pulling. A "Make and Break Switch" on the Game-Relay is in the state "Make connection for / to let current flow to the "Ball-Release-Coil"". Therefore (at start of the game) the Ball-Release-Coil starts pulling and keeps on pulling and by this the 5 Balls can roll down into the tray. The player launches his first ball -> the Ball makes a point (on the counter-Unit) -> The Game-Relay starts pulling (and keeps on pulling until the end of the game). When the Game-Relay is pulling the "Make and Break Switch on the Game-Relay" opens the Holding-Part (of this switch) -> the Ball-Release-Coil looses its current and gets inactive (no more pulling) -> played balls will be stopped. As the Game-Relay is pulling it closes the other part of the switch -> when the player has lost ALL his 5 balls -> through some switches: Current can flow to get the "Game-OVER-Relay" active.

In short: Line cord is pulled, so all the relays are inactive -> line cord pushed in and Left-Flipper-Button is pushed -> the Hold-Relay starts pulling. You start a game -> The Ball-Release-Coil starts pulling and stays pulling until the player makes his first point -> the Game-Relay starts pulling (and stays pulling until the game ends) and the "Game-Relay-pulling" cuts the current for the Ball-Release-Coil, this coil stops pulling -> played balls will be stopped.

focusmediagroup: Do the relays in your pin have tags with text-written-on ? Find the "Game-Relay" -> does it pull (AND STAY PULLED) when You make the first point ? Can you find a M&B-Switch on the "Game-Relay" (3 blades, the middle blade either has contact with the upper blade - OR: has contact with the lower blade). Check this M&B-Switch (clean, working, wires solderd on ?) and look if the Game-Relay STAYS PULLING after You have made the first point (on the counter).

The "Little fault" in the schema ? -> The text "Game Re." on F-9 is wrong to me. I believe there should be written: "Game OVER Re.". With "Game-Over-Relay" I understand the schema. Greetings Rolf

#35 7 years ago

Rolf - if it helps... Soccer's "Game Relay" is on a trip bank along with Tilt, Game Over, and some others.

Quoted from AlexF:

Well, usually when I get a game like this I go through and check everything. Check the contact gaps, clean them all, rebuild the steppers and score reels. That irons out about 95% of any issues. Sometimes just taking the time to inspect everything is how you discover those quirky issues. Colder solder joints, missing switch contacts, broken switch blades, loose wires, burnt coils, missing or wrong springs, dirty gummed up assemblies etc.
If you want to fast track it you'll need a schematic.

^^^ That. ^^^ It looks like this here River Boat has been beached for a long dry spell. It might need more than just a few switches cleaned to get chugging again.

Step 1. Call Pinball Resource and get the schematic.

Step 2. Print yourself out a copy of the "Clay Page" - http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index.htm

Study it while you're waiting for the schematic to show up. (makes great reading for in the can) Do the stuff in the "Before Turning the Game On" section. If it still doesn't work, then try to figure out which switch isn't right.

#36 7 years ago

Im absolutely learning along the way it's an all encompassing issue with lack of care. I am going to spend some time understanding these schematics (they mean little to me as is) and I will go through a full restore. I have in the meantime had the game play through a couple games now with five balls and a game over light finish the sequence. I think I fixed the meat of it but it could create faults along the way. It's in pretty great condition considering so I am expecting a full recovery. Thanks to everyone for your diligent help and if I run into anything more along the way (and after better attention to care and cleaning) I will be sure to repost. It's been amazing to see the help pour in given my lack of knowledge. It's great to see there is such a interest in helping people keep this art alive.

#37 7 years ago

Hi focusmediagroup +
When writing Your "post-34" You did not "mark this topic as solved" - I allow myself to write again.
Use extreme caution when working on the pin - ALWAYS pull the line cord, push in the line cord for testing / playing: The schematic "Soccer" shows: Some coils operate on "Line Voltage" - solder points are open an can be touched by You (Do not !): "Relay-Bank Reset-Coil", "25 Cent Relaiy-Coil", "Coin-Relay-Coil", Danger !. ALSO some switches as example: The "Replay-Button-Switch (to start a new game)", the "Anti-Cheat-Switch inside the Coin-Door", Switches on the Score-Motor, Game-Relay, Coin Relay. And Your "Riverboat" ??? Beware of line current !

balzofsteel, thank You for writing "rolf_martin_062 (me) was wrong" - the text (schema "Soccer": F-9) "Game Re." is RIGHT, the Game-Relay is in the Relay-Bank !
You also mentioned "(Game Relay and) Tilt-Relay and Game-Over-Relay and more Relays are in the Relay-Bank" -> YES, the Game-Over-Relay (after having played 5 Balls) will NOT have current until "Start of the next game": By "falling" the Game-Over-Relay opens a switch in the "wire back to the transformer" (Schema C-8). The same with the Tilt-Relay.
Well, I have "Shangri-La" and pins from the 70ies - These machines have an "Interlock-Type" Game-Over-Relay and a "Self-Hold-Circuitry-Type" Ball-Index-Relay. With this topic (Riverboat) I learned several things.

I have a long time project - put together another Shangri-La. About the "Kick-Off-Switch / Knock-Off-Switch" to turn off the pin (Shangri-La, Soccer, Riverboat (?) and other Williams "not having a Main-Switch underneath the Cabinet (near the Player)": These pins you can turn off with a "kick onto the plywood upwards with the foot from underneath the cabinet (at the place the kick-off-switch is mounted inside)".
In my picture You see the bolt (jumping upwards because of the kick) - the bolt will open an Normally-Closed-Switch and by this the "Lock-Relay" looses current, the relay gets inactive and the pin is turned off. Some Pre-Owner has taken away the original switch - I laid down another (too short) N.C.-Switch to get an idea. Here: http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2110&picno=64764&zoom=1 the switch-blade lays over the "Upper-End-of-the-Bolt" (near the Nylon-Wheels of the Score-Motor).

focusmediagroup - Want to start a new topic ? Specific questions ? Kick-Off-Switch ? Left Flipper Button ? Hold-Relay ? Tilt-Relay ? Thanks and Greetings, Rolf

Shangri-La-Kick-Off-Switch-Bolt.JPG
#38 7 years ago
Quoted from focusmediagroup:

Im absolutely learning along the way it's an all encompassing issue with lack of care. I am going to spend some time understanding these schematics (they mean little to me as is) and I will go through a full restore. I have in the meantime had the game play through a couple games now with five balls and a game over light finish the sequence. I think I fixed the meat of it but it could create faults along the way. It's in pretty great condition considering so I am expecting a full recovery. Thanks to everyone for your diligent help and if I run into anything more along the way (and after better attention to care and cleaning) I will be sure to repost. It's been amazing to see the help pour in given my lack of knowledge. It's great to see there is such a interest in helping people keep this art alive.

Focusmediagroup I found this presentation by Chris Hibbler about schematics a terrific help:

http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Ftinyurl.com%2Fcur9jvq&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNFplbCEy4MtBkzMUYLd_cOWQnfACw

#39 7 years ago

Thanks everyone I have marked it as resolved. If I do run into anything else after doing a full clean/adjustment I will create a new post.

#40 7 years ago

Sounds good. Enjoy it, River Boat is a pretty neat game.

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