(Topic ID: 163305)

1965 bowl a strike- crazy at startup

By BarryMulvihill

7 years ago

Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats


Linked Games

Topic Gallery

View topic image gallery

#1 7 years ago

When I power on the table the score motor, kick out holes, and pop bumpers all start running continuously. When I hit flippers they move and then the 15amp fuse blows and everything except the lights stops working.

Any leads as to where to start my hunt?
Thanks in advance.
Barry m.

#2 7 years ago

Bump please help.
I have now cleaned both step units and confirmed they move freely and aligned. I have visually inspected everything. Only glaring issue is a suspected burnt coil for left flipper along with some bent switches on left flipper. There is also a missing contact on one switch connected to one of the score wheels.

When I power it on a bell chimes and then all parts (kickouts, pop bumpers, score motor) fire and turn in a rhythmic nonstop manner.

The fuse did not blow since cleaning and adjusting steppers. It was the 15 amp 24volt fuse that blew before tho if that is any clue.

Any hints at all would be so appreciated. Thanks.

#3 7 years ago

I should also note that someone previously split power cable to connect a power switch. Everything seems to power up fine but I'll put that out there..

#4 7 years ago

Hi Barry
one of the problems is: It is a "True Add-A-Ball Pin" - from these years the ipdb has just the schema of palooka: http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=1743

Do You have a schema ? Could You play - and all of a sudden: The mystery ? Did You buy it "as it is now" ? What does / did the seller say ? Do You know the different units / relays ? Are there paper tags in Your pin telling "this is relay XY etc." ?

I show the bottom panel of my "Shangri La" --- just look at "E" - my "Game-Over-Relay" - an "Interlock-Type" of a Relay - it has TWO Coils mounted - they work one after the other - usually a long time in between. Both "states" the can be in are "stable positions". Most Relays are of Type "my letter D" - they are active as long as current flows and so the coil pulls.

Good, You wrote "somebody mounted an main power switch - so the pin is altered somewhat.

Your pin probably has TWO Interlock-Type (my letter "E") Relais: "Game-Over-Relay" and "Game-Relay". Toggle-off the pin - manually set one of these into "other state" then toggle-on. Try out all 4 combinations (in setting these two relays).

Usually there is a "Switch mounted on Game-Over-Relay" - and this Switch CUTS power to Flipper-Bats etc.

When You toggle-on: WATCH-OUT for "Relay pulls-in" Example: "Lock-Relay". Write about Your "findings" - greetings Rolf


#5 7 years ago

Rolf thank you. I will check what you said this evening.
Game was acquired in this state. I took on fixing it for my brother in law. I think seller just powered it on for him but didn't play it. They noticed feeling shocks when touching it but I think I fixed that issue.

I do not have the schematics. Some of the parts are labeled but not all of them.

#6 7 years ago

Alright. It's def got something to do with those two relays. Switching the relays positions got it to start up once and seems to be resetting scoreboard and ball number, but then went into its repetitive clicking once again. I have yet to recreate that scenario again.
The two relays are labeled tilt relay and game relay. The tilt relays farthest left switch was bent away, I bent it back to where it works as a make/ break switch. I can only assume that's how it should be.
When powered on the tilt relay moves a little in the same repetitive manner as everything else. It does not fully switch tho to its other state. Is that what it's trying to do?
Thanks again.


#7 7 years ago

Further observation:
On power on the tilt relays latch coil pulls in. And then keeps pulling in, in a rhythmic manner. The game relay stays in whatever state I put it in before powering on.

#8 7 years ago

And another observation:
If I bend tilt relays furthest left switch out of the way like I had found it, the game powers on silently, and when I press the start button the game relay pulls in, and the repetitive chugging begins. The game relay keeps pulling in repetitively as well..

#9 7 years ago

This could be part of the problem. It's one of three similar relays I think are part of score reel in headboard. The contacts gone and switch bent.


#10 7 years ago

Let me just say, Rolf is the best!!! He has been helping me thru a problem with a pinball machine I have. He is more than willing to help. A great asset to our hobby!!!

#11 7 years ago

Hi Barry
in the ipdb-schema-Palooka I do find the "Tilt-Relay beeing also an Interlock-Type relay". BUT: Palooka DOES have an "GAME-OVER-Interlock-Type-RELAY". Please look everywhere - Cabinet, underneathside of playfield, Backbox for INTERLOCK-Relay "Game-Over-Relay". It does not make (much) sense to look-up in Palooka (having an Game-Over-Relay-INTERLOCK-Type) trying to figure out "problem on Bowl a Strike NOT having an Game-Over-INTERLOCK-Type-Relay" --- another pinsider must help OR You (can) buy a schema.

Your observation in post-7: The Tilt-Relay latches when You power-on (OK) --- and then ?
AAA: It stays latched - just the coil gets intermittently power and therefore pulls (again and again) - but the Tilt-Relay IS latched (What does the Tilt-Lite in the Backbox show ?).
BBB: First it latches but then (intermittently) trips and latches and trips and latches etc.

I look at JPG in post-9 --- (well, blades are "bent / wrinkled") - Top-Switch looks good (a Normally-Open Switch beeing open when the Relay is not pulling), also third switch looks good. I assume the bottom-Switch is also good (upper blade has contact to middle blade when relay is not pulling and (probably ?) the middle blade looses contact to upper blade and makes contact to lower blade AS THE RELAY IS PULLING-IN.
BUT the SECOND Switch looks faulty - to me: It should be OPEN when relay is not pulling.
What is "headboard" ? Is it in the Backbox ? The paper-tag says M-29-1000 --- in Palooka the "X-points-Relays (in the Backbox) are M-29-1100 relays (1100 !) - Palooka has M-29-1000 for: Tilt-Relay-TRIP, Game-Relay-TRIP, Game-Over-Relay-TRIP.

To post-8: You can power-on the pin SILENTLY - then You press the Start-Button and THEN the repetitive chugging begins --- toggle-off the pin and manually put some points on the Score-Reels - then toggle-on and start a game --- do the Score-Reels RESET ?

I still believe: You (must) have an Game-Over-Relay - either it is faulty (pulling or latched) or a blade is bent so the playfield-features get "power too early". (((And another fault: a "Playfield-Switch worth 50 points" is faulty-closed causing the Bell to sound)))

I "wait/ hope for" for "Game-Over-Relay found", Greetings Rolf

#12 7 years ago

Yes in post nine when I said headboard I was talking about the backbox. Learning everyday lol.

I've looked the whole thing over. There is no third interlocking type relay. Nothing labeled game over or anything like that.

The pic in post nine was one relay in a series of three relays that all look the same. They are next to the 1000-9000 unit (the thing with numbers,scorewheel?) In backbox.

I'd like to get schema if I can find one..

A side question. Is there ever an instance when switches should be closed when switch is in both states?
Thru lookin this over I'm noticing a few switches that are always closed. I don't want to go bending things unknowingly. But it just seems strange to me to have the switch if it doesn't change state.

#13 7 years ago

Hi Barry
Want to ask here for a schema: http://www.pbresource.com/mansch.html#manaval ?

You have THREE relays sitting next to each other sitting near the Score-Reels --- http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=363&picno=27288 --- probably the 1 point / 10 point / 100 point Relays (the 1000-point Score reel is actuated by "pos-9-switch on 100-point Score-Reel AND the activated 100-point-RELAY). Question: Does ONE of the THREE relays intermittently fires when You have "repetitive chugging" ?

"Switches beeing closed in both states / Switches beeing open in both states": NOT in a "fully original pin***".
(Interlock-Relays later) A simple relay has a Normally-Open-Switch. I can see this by looking at the relay "non-pulling" and "(simulated by hand) pulling": A blade is moved - it moves towards another blade - it would like to get in contact. So I adjust the STATIONARY BLADE*** so the switch is securely open when relay is not pulling (and closed when relay is pulling).

A simple relay has a Normally-Closed-Switch. I can see this by looking at the relay "non-pulling" and "(simulated by hand) pulling": A blade is moved - it moves away from another blade - it would like to get away - loose contact. So I adjust the STATIONARY BLADE*** so the switch is securely closed when relay is not pulling (and open when relay is pulling).

A simple relay has a Make-and-Brake-Switch. I can see this by looking at the relay and count three blades ... I adjust one or both STATIONARY BLADE(S)*** so the switch does what it is supposed to do (a tricky adjustment).

A simple relay usually has not "Make-and-Make" Switches. This is a blade moved and making contact - both blades having contact are moved further so they make contact with/to a third blade --- in the end: ALL three blades have contact (I know this type of switch from Replay-Counters).

STATIONARY BLADE***: The "moved blade" is hooked-in into / onto the "Nylon-Ladder / Nylon-fence, pawling", so we adjust the other blade(s).

Interlock-Relay: We think away the trip-side and look at the rest as a normal, simple relay.

Barry, adjust the switches - write down "on what relay You have adjusted which switchblade(s)".

A general rule - On a "Normally-Open-Switch": At 50% of travel of moved blade: The two blades meet (and travel the other 50% having contact). (((You can do: At 30%, 40%, 50%)))
On a "Normally-Closed-Switch": The first 50% of travel the two blades travel together - having contact - then the moved blade travels alone. (((You can do: At50%, 60%, 70%)))
On a Make-and-Brake-Switch: I am happy when I can adjust it to "functioning" ...

"Precious Self-Cleaning of contacts": Look at the JPG - The "center-point of circular moving" of the two blades are "off-setted" - see the two curved lines ? When a relay does activate / de-activate: contact-points move sideways = Self-Cleaning.
Greetings Rolf


#14 7 years ago

Rolf thank you. I will adjust observed switches an take note of the changes.
I will check asap of miss firing and report back.
Last night I did turn machine on with lights out and did notice a switch on one of the three backbox switches and also a switch on either the tilt or game switch were both missfireing (making a spark) in rhythm with everything else.

#15 7 years ago

Could it simply be that the Jones plug connectors are not installed correctly?
I've seen games do all kinds of crazy stuff as you've described when the connectors are plugged in the wrong way.
Of course if these issues began after the game had been behaving normally and the connectors had not been disturbed, that's not causing the problem. Just wondering.

#16 7 years ago

The Jones plugs seem okay to my untrained eyes. I've wire brushed them clean. And each ones a different size so they can only go in one spot correct?

And the game did arrive like this. I have yet to see it behave correctly.

I will look over all the Jones plugs to be sure tho.

#17 7 years ago

I just resolved a somewhat similar issue on my Aces & Kings where the game would stay in reset, firing the trip bank, bonus unit resets and a number of relays. Try this: take the ball out of the outhole. Does the game stop cycling? If so, check your outhole relay. In my case, the outhole relay was not firing the ball release coil so the game just kept cycling trying to get the ball out to the plunger lane.

#18 7 years ago

Just my 2 cents worth, I would replace the bad coils, flipper and that double one...the one ion the right , you said it did not move well?
and fix the mangled one in pic #9
everything has to be ABLE to do its thing, or you will be chasing tail forever.
Rolf is your spirit guide, follow his lead. there IS cheese at the end of the maze!

#19 7 years ago

Toyguy: I'm messing with this without the ball on play field, but I will check out the outhole relay. PS grand prix is flawless now!

Drofstyle: def agree. I think I'll be picking up a flipper coil and some switches and stuff at pintastic this weekend.

I will check back soon with updates. I'm wrapped up in so much right now that I sadly can't work on this as much as I want. Everyone's help is very much appreciated. You guys are great.

#20 7 years ago
Quoted from BarryMulvihill:

Toyguy: I'm messing with this without the ball on play field, but I will check out the outhole relay. PS grand prix is flawless now!
Drofstyle: def agree. I think I'll be picking up a flipper coil and some switches and stuff at pintastic this weekend.
I will check back soon with updates. I'm wrapped up in so much right now that I sadly can't work on this as much as I want. Everyone's help is very much appreciated. You guys are great.

Looking forward to Pintastic as well. Steve Engel at Mayfair should be there as he was last year. He should have any parts you might need for your game, and if not, hopefully there's some flea market action where you can pick up a parts unit like a Williams motor board.

#21 7 years ago

Lot of folks going to Pintastic! Be sure and print yourself a Pinside badge from your account page and wear it around the show.

#22 7 years ago

The short and positive news is that I seem to have gotten this thing running great. Over the last week I've read all that I could find over at pinrepair.com. I got familiar with what proper switches should look like and function properly. I looked over the whole thing meticulously and made sure all switches look proper. It now powers up, resets, and plays game as it should. There are still issues, flippers need new coils I think and some switches are broken, but what looks correct seems to act correct.

I will add a another comment with the specific relays I corrected and the other changes I made soon. To help anyone else who may have this startup issue in future..

Thank you all for your help.

3 weeks later
#23 7 years ago

just an update, things still crazy, (replacing every malfunction i can find, as dr_of_style recommended) and it seems ROLF's first assumption may be the main culprit. still hunting for the game over switch. but mr ROLF, good blessings. you are a genius.

#24 7 years ago

my "pin reset" relay stays pulled in now on power on. everything else seems to work but theres a constant chugging. There is a switch on my "Game Relay" which seems to be connected to problem. blue sparks on both parts ocassionally.. any hints..

#25 7 years ago

Stuck playfield switch that triggers the motor would cause the motor to run continuously.

#26 7 years ago

a note, the "Game relay" is a latch/trip relay, and "pin reset" is a single coil relay in a set of five on the other side.

#27 7 years ago

"Lock relay" stays pulled in an buzzes on power up. Any guesses? Switches are looking better an better. It's funny what you can miss right in front of you tho.

#28 7 years ago

Alright, another question. Two of three pop bumpers, and two bumpers not firing. Fuses look okay and so do switches. My question is Any hint as to wether it's most likely a fuse cause multiple things don't work, or is there a switch I should be looking for that may control all of these parts? Any general/vague idea may help. I don't have schematics :/
Thanks in advance. I do plan on posting a big list of all changes made once things become clearer.

1 week later
#29 7 years ago

heyo im back lol. so im at one more road block. think everything else is working great. I noticed the three "spare" lights do not light up, and the "strike" lights don't reset once all lit. open it up and i found this bad boy labeling basically everything goin on. my question is a two part... the fuse connected to part is the only one not labeled, (the one in there "looks fine" and is a "buss mdl 5"), do you think thats the correct fuse for this part? And also looking back to a while ago while cleaning, i found a little two inch black wire not connected to anything. I can only assume one of the two is the culprit. without a schematic i dont know if fuse in there is the correct to replace and where the heck would little connector wire go? i cant see any obvious connector missing a wire.

im looking for any general advice at all to lead me to my gaming destination. thank you in advance. also a note that the "big arm" of this piece does move at powerup. its not totally dead, just during gameplay..

as for previous fixes its basically been correcting bent switches. its funny to find all the solutions to be glaring once you notice them.
-barry m.

ps. mr Rolf: i found the game over relay.


#30 7 years ago

Bump for help. Any idea why this "module" won't fire relays but "big arm" fires at turn on?

#31 7 years ago

I changed fuse, doesnt seem to be culprit.

#32 7 years ago

Hi Barry
how do I write it ? It is not "pleasing / likeable" guessing on an "Bowl a Strike, Nov 1965" by looking at the ipdb-schematics on a "Palooka, April 1964" - what if Willams made major changes in wiring ?

Rolf (german version of Ralph) is my first name, Martin is "middle initial", 062 is the area code within Switzerland - ifever You want to make an stationary phone call.

Your post-30 "module won't fire relays but big arm fires at turn-on" ? Not sure if I understand the questions - in the JPG (post-29) I see a "Relay-Bank / Reset-Bank". Outmost left sits the Game-Over-Relay. This fact tells me " This Relay-Bank is resetted by "big arm moving" ONCE at start-up - You then play through the balls and finally get to "Game-Over" - thats the time the "Game-Over-Relay in this Relay-Bank" TRIPS / its armature moves.
I see "1st, 2nd, 3rd Spare, 10Strike Relay(s)" - I would like to look-up in the schematics "when is such a relay tripped ? Through what wiring / switches does such a coil on these relays gets current ?" About fuses - I also would like to look-up in the "Bowl a Strike" schematics. Greetings Rolf

#33 7 years ago

rolf thank you for responding. if i understand you correctly, the "big arm" resets the "game over" relay. if so, that seems functional, so i guess my problem is that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd spare relays, and the 10 strike relay to do not fire at all during play. i can manually trip them, and they function, but again they do not fire/trip normally during play. yes i also agree schematics are probably necessary.

to describe further, you collect strikes from different targets, and there are ten "strike" lights that light up. when all ten light up "ten strike relay" should fire, resetting the strike lights.
also there are three "spare" lights that should light up when collecting spares from different targets, which would fire the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd spare relays.
-barry m.

#34 7 years ago

Hi Barry
Yes, You understand correctly - this kind of "Relays mounted side by side in an (Relay) Bank": All Relays are resetted when the "big arm" is moved.

The rest of this post - I do not know - I am guessing.
Gottlieb liked to have an huge Relay-Bank - resetted ONCE at start-up. From the fact "Game-Over-Relay in Your pin is mounted in the Relay-Bank" I clued: The logic in Your pin is the same - resetting ONCE at Start-up.
But Williams also had Relay-Banks beeing resetted at start-up AND every time the pin stepped to next player / next ball, see the JPG - the Relay-Bank in my Shangri La (10 relays in this Relay-Bank).

IF (if) there is one switch on "1st Spare-Relay" and one switch on "2nd spare-Relay" and one switch on "3rd Spare-Relay" and one switch on "10 Strike-Relay" AND NONE of these switches tell the brain of the pin: Hey brain, I HAVE TRIPPED - next time You want to step to next ball YOU MUST reset the Relay-Bank - none of these relays has tripped - no need to reset a Relay-Bank that already / still is in state "resetted".

To look-up on questions like "when does this Relay-Bank reset ?" or "what makes these relays trip ?": We need the schematics. Greetings Rolf


Promoted items from Pinside Marketplace and Pinside Shops!
$ 3.00
Playfield - Other
Rocket City Pinball
Great pinball charity
Pinball Edu


Wanna join the discussion? Please sign in to reply to this topic.

Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

Donate to Pinside

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, subscribe to Pinside+!

This page was printed from https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1965-bowl-a-strike-crazy-at-startup and we tried optimising it for printing. Some page elements may have been deliberately hidden.

Scan the QR code on the left to jump to the URL this document was printed from.