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(Topic ID: 94851)

1974 Chicago Coin "Dolphin"- 3 captive ball issue

By jrgifford67

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 14 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by CactusJack
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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#1 6 years ago


The above is not my machine, but the same type. Note the 3 captive balls w/ 3 orange rollover lights, in the center of the playfield.

Like the CCM Showtime, if you hit the 3 captive balls in the pockets, the "same player shoots again" light comes on for the free ball. The rollover lights outside the captive balls light up, as you hit each in the pocket. But, this feature stopped working. I've cleaned and check all relays, even changed all 3 pocket relay coils to be sure. No deal....

When it last worked, all 3 lights would blink at the bonus collect / countdown, and you'd get the free ball (same player shoots again). But now, it just doesn't work and the 3 rollover lights don't come on. I even cleaned a few contacts on the score motor, just for kicks. Each pocket has a relay (3) and the light comes on when you press them by hand, so I know the bulbs are good.

I have the schematic and manual, and have learned a bit by tinkering. Still, all seems fine and I see no reason why the captive ball feature shouldn't work. Otherwise, the machine works perfectly. The "same player shoots again" feature does work when you hit the higher / pre-set scores (65K, 76K, etc.), so I know the "extra ball relay" is working. You get the "same player shoots again" light on the backglass and by the flippers (yellow light). All this used to work when you got the 3 balls in the pockets. Until recently

I know the Dolphin or 4-player version (Showtime) are rare, but if anyone out there can help???? I'll be in your debt. Thanks......

#2 6 years ago

Part of the schematics, if it helps. This is also posted on the other EM forum.....



1 week later
#3 6 years ago

Any help would be appreciated!!

#4 6 years ago

Still hoping for some input, thanks in advance!

#5 6 years ago

Unless I am dreaming it, I gave a response and you gave a reply, both of which are gone? Or was it a different thread?

Anyway, the reply was that none of the hole relays energize when a ball is in the hole. Therefore, the thing they all have in common is the Normally closed switch on the Outhole relay. No replay as to whether you checked it. If you did clean and re-gap it, then try installing a jumper across the solder lugs. If that doesn't work, then you can try using the jumper to jumper from the main line (that feeds the Outhole relay contacts) and the common to the three relays and see if they will now energize when you close the hole switches.

Post edited by CactusJack: Corected Game Over relay to Outhole relay

#6 6 years ago

Thanks.......yes, that was a similar thread in the EM hangout forum. I appreciate your advice. I'm a novice at repairs, so your suggestion may be beyond my skills. But, maybe, and thanks again......

#7 6 years ago


jumpering is easy... just crimp alligator clips onto both ends of a piece of wire...

#8 6 years ago

Okay, I get the jumper. But I just don't understand how to get these 3 relays working. I don't want to mess with things too much, unless I'm sure what I'm doing. Maybe this is beyond my skills......Thanks anyway people

#9 6 years ago

Well, it certainly doesn't help when I reference the wrong relay for you (Game Over vs Outhole). I edited my post above.

So, it is a switch on the outhole relay that can prevent all three of the Pocket relays from getting pulled in by a ball closing the hole switch.

If you are unfamiliar with reading a schematic, then a Normally closed (or Break) switch is represented by two parallel lines with a diagonal slash through them. A normally open switch is just the two lines. A coil is represented with some curly loops (like windings on a coil bobbin).

In your first scan of the schematic, there is a Grey wire down the left side. That is a common feed that goes to a number of things in the machine including one side of a switch on the Outhole Relay. On the other side of that Normally closed switch there is an Orange wire with a Red trace color. That wire goes to all three Pocket Relay coils. What we would want you to do is to place your jumper from a Grey wire on the outhole relay switch to the orange/red wire on one of the pocket relay coils. The problem is, the Outhole relay may be located on the bottom relay board and the 3 pocket relays are probably located on the underside of the playfield. So, you may need a long jumper or combine two of them to reach.

If the relays now energize when you close a pocket/hole switch, then that shows why they are not working. It could then be as simple as cleaning or adjusting the switch points on the Outhole Relay or it could be a bad connection from that switch up to the playfield. In that case, the wire goes through a jones plug that may need cleaning.

#10 6 years ago

CactusJack- thanks again for the advice. I was wondering how the Game Over relay, could be tied to these 3 relays. I did some quick cleaning of a few contacts there, but I didn't want to mess with it too the Game Over functions work fine.

It makes sense now that you correct yourself. I've only had a machine since last August, have changed some coils, bulbs, had the playfield out, etc.. I'm no pro, but learning what controls what. I had a pinball guy do an initial tune up, since then, fixed things myself. He's too pricy anyway, and too far away. I'm learning how to read the schematic, but it's still a learning curve. Thanks for your detailed reply. I did clean a few contacts on the outhole relay, but it gave me a scare and didn't reset at first. Since the 2nd etc, just fine. I'm learning that these contacts are sensitive, so I'm cautious not to create a new issue trying to fix the current one

I'll take another look at the machine, taking your advice. I'll let you know. Thank you again!

#11 6 years ago

The late Russ Jensen published a book (more of a spiral notebook) about learning to service EM machines. It may help you understand the basics and how to better read a schematic.

As he has passed, unfortunately, the book is no longer "self" published. I believe Rob Hawkins has the okay of the family to continue to produce one off copies. You might want to try to contact him.

#12 6 years ago

CactusJack- thanks for the tip on the book and for helping me FIX my machine

The normally closed contact on the outhole relay had a gap, so small that I couldn't see it even with my worklight. But when I manually pressed the relay, I could see they didn't touch. A slight adjustment and now all 3 relays energize and my issue is solved!!

Thank you again, I've made a small donation to pinside, in your honor!

#13 6 years ago
Quoted from jrgifford67:

CactusJack- thanks for the tip on the book and for helping me FIX my machine
The normally closed contact on the outhole relay had a gap, so small that I couldn't see it even with my worklight. But when I manually pressed the relay, I could see they didn't touch. A slight adjustment and now all 3 relays energize and my issue is solved!!
Thank you again, I've made a small donation to pinside, in your honor!

good find! switches that "look like" they are making but really aren't are the cause of many problems...

#14 6 years ago

Glad you got it fixed. And very nice of you to donate in MY honor!

This is one reason for what is called "over travel". A set of points should not only touch but should also move a small amount after they touch. This not only insures they are actually touching but also helps provide a wiping action that ends up being a sort of a self cleaning.

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