1976 Blue Chip- Ball Count Unit Keeps Running

(Topic ID: 228192)

1976 Blue Chip- Ball Count Unit Keeps Running


By pindude80

23 days ago



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There have been 9 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

Blue Chip Reset Sequence (resized).jpg
Blue Chip Adjustments (resized).jpg
IMG_20181031_094708 (resized).jpg
Blue Chip Coin relay 3 (resized).jpg
Blue Chip Coin relay 2 (resized).jpg
Blue Chip Coin relay (resized).jpg
IMG_20181028_164956 (resized).jpg
IMG_20181028_150547 (resized).jpg
Blue Chip Ball Count SU (resized).jpg

#1 23 days ago

I've had this Blue Chip for a few years. Every once in a while when you go to start a new game on the backglass it would count the balls up to 10 and the stepper unit kept going. You could just power it off and try to start a new game and it would work but now the stepper keeps running no matter how many times I power the game on and off.

I thought it was a problem with the ball count unit so I just now took a look at it. If I manually activate the step up and down coils it steps up and down cleanly. Everything looks clean and I'm thinking I serviced it when I first got the game. I'm not an EM tech but any stretch of the imagination so I could have done something wrong but it worked correctly for a while so I'm thinking it's something else telling the ball count unit to keep stepping.

Does anyone know what I need to look at next?

Thanks in advance for any help or guidance!

#2 23 days ago

There should be a post sticking out that goes around to the limit and activates a switch, which fires the second coil and returns it to start. I think.

#3 23 days ago
Quoted from pindude80:

I'm thinking it's something else telling the ball count unit to keep stepping.

That'd be my guess too. There's a lot of math that goes into firing the Ball Count Unit Step Up coil:
Blue Chip Ball Count SU (resized).jpg
Ignoring the details for the moment, the circuit breaks into three basic parts:
1: counting up at the start of a new game
2: counting up on an extra ball due to reaching a certain number of points
3: counting up because of a playfield Special
Fortunately it's easy to disable 2 and 3 by just unplugging the adjustment jones plugs which effectively removes those parts of the circuit. So try unplugging them one at a time to see if you can identify which of the three circuits is causing the problem.

phil-lee is right that these steppers often have some kind of electrical limit switch or mechanical limit like a missing gear tooth. I didn't see a limit switch in this schematic though.

/Mark

#4 23 days ago

There is a post that sticks out, but when the stepper keeps firing it's on the opposite end of the spectrum- see pic. This is the position when I turn it off and it says ball # 10 on the backglass.

I found the extra ball jones plug, unplugged it, no change, even switched it over to "credit" then "novelty" positions but no change. I cannot find any jones plug labeled special; I looked all over the mechanical panel, underside of playfield and in the backbox. Do you know where I can find it?

IMG_20181028_150547 (resized).jpg
#5 23 days ago
Quoted from pindude80:

There is a post that sticks out, but when the stepper keeps firing it's on the opposite end of the spectrum- see pic.

The switch at the 6 o'clock position on the gear is a limit switch, but it opens when the Ball Count unit reaches zero. Often there is another limit switch that gets opened at whatever the upper limit is. Apparently in this game the upper limit is enforced some other way - that isn't working at the moment.

Quoted from pindude80:

I found the extra ball jones plug, unplugged it, no change, even switched it over to "credit" then "novelty" positions but no change. I cannot find any jones plug labeled special; I looked all over the mechanical panel, underside of playfield and in the backbox. Do you know where I can find it?[quoted image]

The two jones plugs shown on the schematic may be different parts of the same jones plug. How many pins does the jones plug you found have? You could also check the wire colors against the schematic to double check.

#6 23 days ago

The Jones plug that I found has 6 pins and the connector has two pins on it. I have attached a picture of it.

IMG_20181028_164956 (resized).jpg
#7 23 days ago
Quoted from pindude80:

The Jones plug that I found has 6 pins and the connector has two pins on it. I have attached a picture of it.
[quoted image]

Look closely at the wire colors of the two plugs. One is grey-yellow and the other is grey-orange. Those match the wire colors of the plugs in the schematic from reply #3. So the plugs are combined in the game but separated in the schematic.

The good news is that if you unplugged this plug and the problem persists, we can ignore most of the schematic from reply #3 and look into just the bottom section which has just three switches.

So as the Ball Count unit is counting, are the Coin relay and Reset relay stuck on?

#8 23 days ago

Yes, both the coin and reset relay are pulled in as the ball count unit continues to step.

#9 23 days ago

The Coin relay is probably keeping the Reset relay on. So you need to figure out what's keeping the Coin relay on.
Blue Chip Coin relay (resized).jpg
If you block the switch in the red box on the Coin relay that connects the red-white (R-W-1) wire to the green-white (G-W) wire with a small piece of paper, does the Coin relay let go? If so, the problem is in the bottom portion of the schematic. Otherwise the problem is in the more complicated top portion.

#10 23 days ago

I blocked the switch you are referring to and the ball count unit is not stepping. When I go to push the start button the coin relay just makes a buzzing / vibrating sound.

#11 23 days ago

Ok, let's assume that the Coin relay fires when it should, but doesn't release when it should. The Coin relay switch in the red box above holds the Coin relay active until one of the switches to its left opens and breaks the holding circuit. It's possible that one of those three switches is holding the Coin relay indefinitely. Here are a few things to check:
Blue Chip Coin relay 2 (resized).jpg
- Make sure that the switch on the Game relay that connects the yellow wire to the red-white (R-W-1) wire opens
- If you're set up for 3 ball games, check that the score motor switch 3A can open and that there are no shorts on its solder tabs
- If you're set up for 5 ball games, check that the score motor switch 5B can open and that there are no shorts on its solder tabs

The score motor 3A switch is on the 4th cam counting from the score motor and the 5A switch is on the 6th cam from the score motor.

#12 23 days ago

Make sure the wipers on the other side of the unit are clean as well as the circuit board for good connection, and wipers not touching the next trace when advancing
check to see if you have enough pressure on the wipers
Does the score motor keep running?
Here is some information on the game https://www.ipdb.org/files/325/Williams_1976_Blue_Chip_Instruction_Manual.pdf

#13 22 days ago
Quoted from MarkG:

Ok, let's assume that the Coin relay fires when it should, but doesn't release when it should. The Coin relay switch in the red box above holds the Coin relay active until one of the switches to its left opens and breaks the holding circuit. It's possible that one of those three switches is holding the Coin relay indefinitely. Here are a few things to check:
[quoted image]
- Make sure that the switch on the Game relay that connects the yellow wire to the red-white (R-W-1) wire opens
- If you're set up for 3 ball games, check that the score motor switch 3A can open and that there are no shorts on its solder tabs
- If you're set up for 5 ball games, check that the score motor switch 5B can open and that there are no shorts on its solder tabs
The score motor 3A switch is on the 4th cam counting from the score motor and the 5A switch is on the 6th cam from the score motor.

Thanks for the info! When i get a chance I will check the switch on the game relay you mentioned. The game is currently set on 5-ball so I will find/figure out what switch 5B is and check it out. Would it make sense to move to 3 ball to see if the problem follows?

#14 22 days ago
Quoted from northstar-:

Make sure the wipers on the other side of the unit are clean as well as the circuit board for good connection, and wipers not touching the next trace when advancing
check to see if you have enough pressure on the wipers
Does the score motor keep running?
Here is some information on the game https://www.ipdb.org/files/325/Williams_1976_Blue_Chip_Instruction_Manual.pdf

I went over the ball count relay when I got the game; all of the wipers and contacts are clean. I will check the pressure on the wipers and to make sure they aren't touching the next trace.

Yes, the score motor keeps running.

#15 22 days ago
Quoted from MarkG:

l Here are a few things to check:
- Make sure that the switch on the Game relay that connects the yellow wire to the red-white (R-W-1) wire opens
- If you're set up for 3 ball games, check that the score motor switch 3A can open and that there are no shorts on its solder tabs
- If you're set up for 5 ball games, check that the score motor switch 5B can open and that there are no shorts on its solder tabs
The score motor 3A switch is on the 4th cam counting from the score motor and the 5A switch is on the 6th cam from the score motor.

The switch on the game relay that connects the yellow wire to the red-white wire does open.
I'm set up for 5 ball. Score motor switch 5B does open and I see no evidence of any shorts.

I thought I would try switching the jones plug from 5 ball to 3 ball. The first time I went to start a game it counted up to 3 balls and stopped on ball 3 instead of going to 10. I completely forgot the game did this- it counted the bonus up on the playfield to max and everytime it counted up the bonus I noticed it also fired the outhole kicker. It only did all of this once, then I went to start another game on 3 ball and it the ball count unit kept stepping. I changed it back to 5 ball with the same results.

#16 22 days ago
Quoted from northstar-:

Make sure the wipers on the other side of the unit are clean as well as the circuit board for good connection, and wipers not touching the next trace when advancing
check to see if you have enough pressure on the wipers
Does the score motor keep running?
Here is some information on the game https://www.ipdb.org/files/325/Williams_1976_Blue_Chip_Instruction_Manual.pdf

I believe the wipers to be clean; I had gone over the unit a few years back. I did check with a mechanics mirror to make sure the wipers aren't touching the next trace. The wipers seem to have pretty good pressure on them.

Yes, the score motor keeps running.

#17 22 days ago

There still could be a path somehow from the yellow wire to the red-white wire that keeps the Coin relay on once it's been fired. The Coin relay is what keeps the Reset relay on, which keeps the score motor running, which keeps the ball count counting.

If you have a meter, put it on the lowest resistance range, shut off the power to the game and clip the leads to the yellow and red-white wires. You should read about an ohm or so of resistance because there is a path through the score motor 5B switch (if you're still on 5 ball play). Double check that the Game relay switch is open. Then slowly rotate the score motor cams. At some point the 5B switch will open. What resistance reading to you get then?

#18 21 days ago

I tested it with the switch open that has the red/white and yellow wires. At first I got .8 ohm then I spun the score motor, when 5B opened it got an open circuit, no continuity.

#19 21 days ago

Ok, then the Coin relay must be held on by the upper part of the circuit:
Blue Chip Coin relay 3 (resized).jpg
There could be a stuck switch in the upper part but before checking them all individually, try to eliminate some of them.
There are three jones plug adjustments, probably on the bottom panel near the coin box. They're the:
- 10 cent adjust
- 5 cent adjust
- 1 coin 1 play/2 coin 3 plays adjust
Try unplugging them one at a time to remove their part of the circuit and see if anything changes. Also try them in combinations.

#20 20 days ago

Can you tell me which plug is for the 1 coin 1 play/2 coin 3 plays adjust? I did the 5 and 10 cent adjust, a couple of the others plugs in the front that I thought might be the 1 coin/2 coin, tried in different combinations, but no change in behavior.

IMG_20181031_094708 (resized).jpg
#21 20 days ago

Sorry, I don't know where the various adjustments are. You could figure that out with the wires colors on the schematic and a multimeter, or maybe asking other Blue Chip owners.

But if you removed the 5 and 10 cent adjustments with no changes we can eliminate those circuits too. That just leaves a few switches you could examine and test in the middle of the schematic from reply #19.

How do you start a game? With the credit button on the cabinet or by tripping a coin mech switch? That might help narrow down which circuits are being used.

Something else you could try might be to dim the lights and look for arcing when the Coin relay fires. If you're lucky you might see a spark where power is getting to the Coin relay. Don't just look at the Coin relay, look all over.

#22 20 days ago

Ok, I can ask fellow blue chip owners where the 1 coin 1 play/2 coin 3 plays adjust is if you think it will help us diagnose.

I have the game set on free play and I start a game just by the start button.

Last night I noticed a spark on one of the switches on the score motor but I can take a closer look tonight and report back.

I really appreciate all of the help you have provided so far!

#23 20 days ago

Found the Blue Chip adjustments in the manual on ipdb.org:
Blue Chip Adjustments (resized).jpg

#24 20 days ago

Cool! I think that is the one to the left of the fuses in my picture. I tried unplugging it and several combinations with the 5 and 10 cent jones plugs but it acted the same way the whole time.

#25 20 days ago

If it behaves the same with all those jones plugs removed we must have missed something. Go back to the Coin relay switch in the red box in repy #9. Start a new game and check if the Coin relay is stuck on. If it is, slip a piece of paper between the contacts of that Coin relay switch. Does the Coin relay let go? If you remove the paper, does the Coin relay reactivate?

Try again only this time when the Coin relay locks on, slip the paper instead between the contacts of the Game relay switch to the left of the Coin relay switch in the schematic. Does the Coin relay let go? If you remove the paper does the Coin relay reactivate?

#26 20 days ago

I messed with it a little at lunch. I stood the playfield up so I could see the relay bank mounted under the playfield and look for sparks there and elsewhere. The only sparks I saw were on the score motor relays. I then unplugged the jones plug for the 1 coin/1 play and something interesting happened when I tried to start the game next time. The score motor and ball count unit ran for about 15 seconds then one of the chimes rang, the score motor quit, it was on ball 5 on the backglass and I heard a coil stuck on. I figured out it was the coil for the 10,000 score reel. I tried it a few more times; it wouldn't do it everytime, but maybe every 3 out of 5 times.

Does what I described above indicate anything or should I go ahead and do the procedure you described in the above post?

#27 20 days ago

It could be that the game reset as it should (did it?) and was ready to play and since you had the playfield up one of the playfield switches for a 10,000 point target was stuck closed.

What happens if you remove the jones plug, put down the playfield and start a game? I thought you said earlier that it didn't change anything.

#28 20 days ago

I'm not sure if it reset correctly; I'm guessing it did. I figured out what was going on with the 10,000 score reel- it was what you said; one of the spinners was stuck on from the playfield being stood up.

I was messing with it more and it appears to have something to do with the bonus unit. I figured out that most of the time if the bonus unit is at the home position and I go to start a game it will go to 5 ball and play normally. Sometimes the bonus unit will keep counting and so will the ball count. Sometimes the bonus unit will keep counting and if I drain the ball it will end the game. Sometimes at the start of a ball it will count up to a random amount of bonus and it will play normally unless the bonus maxes out.

I manually stepped up and down the bonus unit and it operates cleanly.

Any ideas on this? I do kind of remember it adding random bonus amounts, but not sure if it maxed out or not.

#29 20 days ago
Quoted from pindude80:

I was messing with it more

Did you do any of the things I described in replies #25 and #27?

#30 19 days ago

No, sorry. I got carried away with the whole bonus count discovery.

When it starts a 5 ball game the coin relay does not lock on so I did not do as described in reply # 25. I can try unplugging the jones plugs that mentioned in 27. I'm guessing you want me to unplug all 3 that you mentioned in reply # 19 and/or try them in different combinations?

#31 19 days ago
Quoted from pindude80:

Yes, both the coin and reset relay are pulled in as the ball count unit continues to step.

Quoted from pindude80:

When it starts a 5 ball game the coin relay does not lock on

I'm a little confused. We've spent 20+ replies trying to figure out why the Coin relay locks on and now it doesn't? Can you elaborate?

#32 19 days ago

The coin relay was locking on when the ball count unit wouldn't quit stepping. Yesterday the ball count unit started working somewhat regularly; sometimes going to 5 ball and sometimes going to 10, sometimes it would keep stepping as before so inconsistent results. I believe this is due to the bonus unit which is what I was trying to get it at in post # 28.

I don't know if it's supposed to do this or not but when the ball count unit continuously steps so does the bonus unit from what I observed last night.

#33 16 days ago

I think it's more likely that the Coin relay which fires very early in the reset sequence is affecting the Ball Count and Bonus units rather than the other way around.Blue Chip Reset Sequence (resized).jpg
The schematic and game manual are on ipdb.org.

I'd go through all the suggestions made so far and methodically see what does and doesn't affect the Coin relay. You may need to do things several times since the failure isn't consistent. Make notes of what affects the failure and what doesn't. That should help narrow in on the problem.

#34 13 days ago

I had some time to mess with the game tonight. For a while it would not do like it originally did to where the score motor would keep running and the ball count unit would keep stepping. Eventually it went back to this and I did as suggested in post # 25 and inserted a piece of paper between the switch on the coin relay. The score motor stopped and so did the ball count unit. When I removed the piece of paper the score motor and ball count did not activate again. I'm pretty sure the coin relay let go when I put the piece of paper in there and that's why it didn't reactivate.

I had a couple different results when I checked the continuity as we did in post # 17. With the relay pulled in and the switch open at first I got 63 ohm then got 0 ohm when I rotated the score motor. I switched the jones plug to 3 ball and got 1.7 ohm, spun the score motor and got 0 ohms. I then went back to 5 ball and I got 0 ohms with the score motor in both positions, not sure what was the cause of this. Last time I checked this I got the correct reading of right around 1 ohm and then 0 when I spun the score motor and it opened 5B.

#35 12 days ago
Quoted from pindude80:

I did as suggested in post # 25 and inserted a piece of paper between the switch on the coin relay. The score motor stopped and so did the ball count unit. When I removed the piece of paper the score motor and ball count did not activate again. I'm pretty sure the coin relay let go when I put the piece of paper in there and that's why it didn't reactivate.

What about the other question on reply #25 about the Game relay switch?

If the Coin relay locks on and opening the switch with a slip of paper as you describe makes it let go, the problem is in the left half of the circuit shown in reply #11. Somehow the circuit between the yellow wire and the red-white wire is closing and staying closed.

Quoted from pindude80:

I then went back to 5 ball and I got 0 ohms with the score motor in both positions

That supports the theory that something isn't opening when it should. If you don't see the problem in 3 ball games the problem is likely in the make/break switch at 5B on score motor from reply #11. Somewhere there's likely an intermittent problem with the switch leaves, or the solder tabs, or bare wires or something having to do with that switch.

#36 12 days ago

Another possibility is that there's an intermittent short between the red-orange wire and the white-black wire either on the score motor or at the 3/5 ball adjust jones plug or socket. That would be possible if you're seeing failures in 3 ball games too.

#37 12 days ago
Quoted from MarkG:What about the other question on reply #25 about the Game relay switch?
If the Coin relay locks on and opening the switch with a slip of paper as you describe makes it let go, the problem is in the left half of the circuit shown in reply #11. Somehow the circuit between the yellow wire and the red-white wire is closing and staying closed.

I will have to double check the game relay switch to see if it releases the coin relay. I messed with it last night, but I was only able to get one switch to do anything on the game relay and it made the ball count stop stepping when I opened it. I am going to say more than likely it did not release the coin relay because the score motor kept running and the score motor stops when the coin relay releases.

Quoted from MarkG:

That supports the theory that something isn't opening when it should. If you don't see the problem in 3 ball games the problem is likely in the make/break switch at 5B on score motor from reply #11. Somewhere there's likely an intermittent problem with the switch leaves, or the solder tabs, or bare wires or something having to do with that switch.

It behaves the same way when I move the jones plug to 3 ball

#38 12 days ago
Quoted from MarkG:

Another possibility is that there's an intermittent short between the red-orange wire and the white-black wire either on the score motor or at the 3/5 ball adjust jones plug or socket. That would be possible if you're seeing failures in 3 ball games too.

It sounds like this is more likely the culprit since I do have the same problems in 3 ball games. How would I go about testing this, run a test wire from the jones plug socket to where it goes on the score motor for both wires?

#39 12 days ago

Intermittent shorts can take a fair bit of poking around. You could go back to the experiment in reply #17. Clip in your meter, turn the score motor cam, etc.

If you can get back to the point where opening the appropriate score motor switch doesn't increase the resistance that would tell you that the problem is happening. Leave the score motor where it is with the switch open, watch your meter and start poking around or tugging at the two score motor switches, their solder tabs, the 3/5 ball adjust plugs, etc. to see if anything you do changes the resistance.

Do this for both jones plug settings:
- on the 5 ball setting opening the score motor 5B switch should increase the resistance
- on the 3 ball setting opening the score motor 3A switch should increase the resistance

#40 12 days ago

I tried for about an hour and twenty minutes to get back to where I was yesterday when opening the appropriate score motor didn't change the resistance but I couldn't get it do it today; I tried both 3 and 5 ball settings. I tugged on and moved around the wires on both switches on the score motor and the 5ball / 3ball jones plug but no change of any sort that I noticed.

I thought I would shoot a video to show you what it's doing and how it usually won't act the same way twice in a row.

Do you think this a problem at start up or during game play also?

#41 12 days ago

I suspect there are multiple problems. Next time your game starts and the score motor won't stop, remove the ball, lift the playfield and investigate. Which relays are active? Can you stop the resetting by slipping paper between the contacts of some of the switches we've covered? You should probably also look for someone local to come have a look.

#42 8 days ago

I have both problems figured out and kind of fixed. When staring at and checking things this weekend I noticed the bonus relay stayed pulled in even after the power was off then it would release. By manually engaging it I could get it to stick. I put a piece of electrical tape behind the armature plate and the bonus unit quit acting so erratically. I still get 5000 points, the minimum bonus, lit at the start of a ball, but I will probably start a separate thread on that. I suspected maybe the same problem on the coin relay even though I couldn't really get it to stick manually so I put electrical tape on that one and it helped, but upon reset I still get some weird behaviors, but much much better than before.

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