(Topic ID: 242342)

1974 Gottlieb Playball


By James-EM-Pin

11 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 13 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 months ago by Runbikeskilee
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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There have been 7 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

Playball Ball Count 2 (resized).jpg
Playball Ball return (resized).jpg
PB-Vari-Target-2 (resized).jpg
PB-Vari-Target-1 (resized).jpg
PB-Stepper-Ball Count-5 (resized).jpg
PB-Coin Mech-Front Plate-1 (resized).jpg
Capture (resized).PNG

#1 11 months ago

Hi Pinsiders!

I am new to this forum and fairly new to Pin repair and resto. My ladyfriend asked me if this hobby was a colossal waste of time or a fascinating activity.
I just said Yes!

Anyway, I have been perplexed by the ball kick-out not stopping to kick. The game is new to me and I have been cleaning and spotting some issues using some great on-line resources. I have the Schematics and am learning how to read them. My skills are getting better, but I am not advanced as yet. Previously on start-up the score motor would also not stop running. I adjusted one errant leaf switch on the motor and I cleaned and adjusted the score reels. I found one switch that was supposed to close which wasn't. This seems to have satisfied the score motor.
When I push start, the game resets, however when I place a ball in the kick-out home it kicks the ball out and keeps kicking and flippers don't work. (this game has no plunger to start the game. You have to hit the right flipper button to start the game and launch the ball) I can get it to stop kicking sometimes and play until it hits drains and the kick-out starts running again. Not sure why it stops kicking, but sometimes it just does. I probably need to check the kick-out switch, which I haven't. maybe it is shorting or making poor contact?
The coin door relay keeps twitching too, so I pulled the jones plug to shut it up for now. I am told these issues might not be related, but?
I went thru the ball count stepper and the extra game reel. Things work well. Game is in great shape. I haven't ventured into the A/S relay bank (I think those are the small relays with tiny throw which get persnickety). Fuses OK. Like I said, game plays correctly except for what I mention.

Thoughts on where to look next?

Thanks,
James

#2 11 months ago

Make sure stepper units freely move and non binding from old grease, coin switches not stuck closed. Get a manual schematic from pinballresource.com

#3 11 months ago

Check this circuit for O (Ball Return) And read this for help on schematics: http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm#schematic

Capture (resized).PNG
#4 11 months ago

Could it be as simple as the switch under the kick-out needs adjusting? Maybe its stuck in the closed/open and not opening/closing after it kicks out.

#5 11 months ago

Thanks for your ideas. I checked the switch and it functions fine. Steppers seem to function fine. I have done a light cleaning and teflon lube to the faces and they seem to be in good order. I am thinking it might be a relay, but that is new ground for me. Haven't fiddled with those critters yet.

The O relay is under the tipped up play field so it's hard to get to. I guess I will have to disconnect the playfield and remove for full access to the relay? I was able to look in and see that, when I push on the white plastic slotted plate of that relay, all switches open which are normally closed and vice versa. This prolly isn't the only diagnostic, but if we know the game eventually does 'start', then can't we assume the config is right?

The funny thing is, the kickout will stop after a minute or two and the game will be ready to play, so either something is sticky or a contact is not solid.

Does anyone know of a link to a vid which shows the operation of a relay and it's corresponding schematic?

Thx,
James

#6 11 months ago

I have a few other issues and questions:

1. The coin mech front has three lamps. The middle socket is not used on this game. The other two sockets have a red plastic sleeve. Is this meant to be positioned over the bulb to cast a red glow thru the 25C plate or is it meant to protect the base of the socket and happens to be red?

2. On the Ball Count Stepper, there is a missing jumper from two mushroom head pins. You can see the loose wire at the base of the cab. I assume I need to solder a new jumper wire between these two, right? (I clipped a jumper on it and it did not affect my main kickout issue)

3. The Vari-Targets will not extend to the last position, the Home Run. There might be too much spring tension, yet the vari-targets are also sticky in resetting themselves. They move freely, so I am confused what to do to allow them to extend to the back easier, but also spring back nicely. I have been searching for a vid on this. Any ideas?

Thanks,
James

PB-Coin Mech-Front Plate-1 (resized).jpgPB-Stepper-Ball Count-5 (resized).jpgPB-Vari-Target-1 (resized).jpgPB-Vari-Target-2 (resized).jpg
#7 10 months ago

If your game is similar to my Big Hit, maybe check out the P relay switches to resolve your ball kick out issues.

As far as that black wire for the ball count unit, I think the game will work without it, but it shouldn’t hurt to reattach the missing wire.

As far as being a colossal waste of time...as long as you are having fun, your time is never wasted.

#8 10 months ago

There was some discussion about this very circuit recently at https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playball-doesn-t-wait-for-flipper-to-shoot-ball-except-on-1st-ball. That topic might provide some insight into how it should work.

If your kicker keeps kicking it's likely because the Score Motor runs longer than it should, which repeatedly closes the Score Motor 2C switch that fires the Ball Return:
Playball Ball return (resized).jpg
The other normally open switch in the Ball Return circuit is on the O/Ball Return Control relay which is activated when the ball drains and remains active until points are scored, so that switch is probably closed.

To figure out why he Score Motor keeps turning you need to check all the relays that can close switches that can start the Score Motor (W, E, P, S, etc.). It could be that either one of those switches doesn't open reliably, or that the relay that closes the switch is active longer than it should be, which keeps the Score Motor running.

/Mark

#9 10 months ago
Quoted from James-EM-Pin:

2. On the Ball Count Stepper, there is a missing jumper from two mushroom head pins. You can see the loose wire at the base of the cab. I assume I need to solder a new jumper wire between these two, right? (I clipped a jumper on it and it did not affect my main kickout issue)

These spring loaded pins are sometimes called snow shoes. They may be connected by the solid wire soldered between their sleeves but a flexible jumper soldered between these two pins would be more reliable. Fine solder wick works in a pinch. These two are likely represented by the symbol in the red box:
Playball Ball Count 2 (resized).jpg
which is used after the last ball drains to award a replay through the match circuit.

#10 10 months ago
Quoted from James-EM-Pin:

3. The Vari-Targets will not extend to the last position, the Home Run. There might be too much spring tension, yet the vari-targets are also sticky in resetting themselves. They move freely, so I am confused what to do to allow them to extend to the back easier, but also spring back nicely.

The Vari Target won't reach the Home Run when hit by the ball, or won't reach even if you push it back with your finger? Either way, if it's sticky you should clean both the contact board and the wipers. You should be able to push it back with your finger and have it lock in any position, and also have it completely reset if you push in on the relay armature that locks it in place. There's a video here: https://www.funwithpinball.com/exhibits/small-boards-page-2#VariTarget

#11 10 months ago

Hi Mark,

The Vari-Target does go all the way back, with a finger. And the mechanism seems to move freely and unstuckily (yup, that's a real word). I even tefloned the stepper contacts. Spring won't cooperate going either direction. maybe I should replace the spring? Come to think, if it won't spring back after releasing the coil, then maybe there is gunk in the mechanism I can't see. maybe I take it all apart and be SURE it is moving as freely as possible.

Is there a tension reference as to how much force should be required to move the target to Home Run? None of the vids I have seen so far address this issue

Thx guys

Jason-Yea, I love this contraptions, so I see it as time well spent preserving history and having fun!

#12 10 months ago
Quoted from James-EM-Pin:

if it won't spring back after releasing the coil, then maybe there is gunk in the mechanism I can't see.

If your Vari Target ever worked properly it's unlikely that the spring is bad. If it won't return under its own power it's more likely that there's some mechanical reason (dirt, grime, too much tension from the contact wipers, rubbing or binding against the frame, mounting bolt is too tight, etc.). Other Gottlieb steppers usually need about 4 turns of the spring for appropriate tension on a clean mechanism. Not sure about Vari Targets though.

#13 10 months ago

There should be 3 positions for adjusting the anchor point of the return spring on the Vari target. I recall having to play with those to balance the return action with the ease of pegging the vari target.

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