(Topic ID: 304115)

1976 Gottlieb Pioneer startup completes then no power to playfield

By deltaf508

2 years ago


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  • 21 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by HowardR
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Pioneer PU (resized).jpg
Pioneer AX reset relay (resized).jpg
Pioneer power rail (resized).jpg
#1 2 years ago

Hello all. I have scoured the internet for what might be the issue with my machine. It's been in our house for about 30 years now and has always played fine until the past few years. When it first started having hiccups the startup sequence wouldn't finish and would just keep repeating over and over. I've gotten that resolved by looking at relay's (specifically Ax) and adjusting. Seems to be starting just fine now, kicks out a ball and nothing (Exactly, like what's going on with the thread I'm linking below). Startup routine now runs fine, ball kicks out, playfield is lit but no targets work. no points can be made. If ball is ran through it just kicks it out again and Ball number is not incremented. Tilt is not turned on and all other relays I've looked at look to be adjusted well. I'm technical, but not electrical engineer technical. Hoping someone can point me to a direction here. I've ordered the schematic (figured i've owned this machine for 30 years I should have it), but in all honesty reading schematics is not my thing (but I'm hopeful I can learn more in this area).

Here's what I've looked at:
Ax, Bx, Cx relay's confirmed and/or adjusted.
looked at other relays in researching issue. Tilt hold, etc. Every other one I've looked at looks to be functioning properly with right make, break, or make/break.
A few of these look like they are brown (from heat) on the plastic piece that sits by the relay coil (what I would call it). Is this normal? They look to be working when starting though (at least what I "perceive" to be working}
reseated and used wire brush on all the "jones plugs" I could find (even the ones in the back of the cabinet).
checked all fuses, reseated and cleaned if needed

I'm out of ideas and hoping someone has come across this? Thanks in advance for those reading.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1976-gottlieb-sure-shot-fires-up-but-then-nothing

#2 2 years ago

Welcome to Pinside. After reset three switches must all be closed so power can travel through the highlighted path to reach the playfield and the scoring parts of the game:
Pioneer power rail (resized).jpgPioneer power rail (resized).jpg
When you drain without scoring the game returns the ball to you without advancing the ball count for another chance.

/Mark

#3 2 years ago

Ok so this is where I get a little lost. Can you tell me how to read the image and where to look. Does open/close refer to the relay state (white plastic peice up/down), or does it refer to the individual switches. I know where those relays are, but what does it mean that ALL the "switches" on those relays have to be closed or the relay itself? If it's the individual switches, which ones? I see 1a, 1b, 1c on your image is that the individual switches? And lastly what is "interlock vs. Ag"? as well as relay AXR (I don't see that)?

Thank you so much! I'll start looking at these today, but don't want to mis-adjust something.

#4 2 years ago

Each relay has one or more switches, as specified in the relay table. In this case the H or Tilt Hold relay for example has 1A, (one type A or normally open switch), 1B (one type B or normally closed switch) and 1C (one type C or make/break switch). When the relay activates all of its switches change state (e.g. a normally open switch closes).

An AG relay is a simple relay that activates when power is applied and relaxes when power is removed. It has no memory after power is removed. An interlock relay has two coils with interlocking armatures. When one coil fires it pulls the armatures to one position where they mechanically lock in position and remain even when power is removed. The other coil pulls the armatures to the other position where they remain even when power is removed. It's essentially a electromechanical single bit of memory.

The label next to any switch on the schematic tells you which relay or device drives the switch. The wire colors on the schematic will tell you which switch on a given relay you're after.

So in your case you want:
- the normally closed switch on the Q/Game Over relay between the red+white and red-yellow wires to be closed
- the make/break switch on the AX/Reset Control relay to connect the red-yellow and red-black wires
- the make/break switch on the H/Tilt Hold relay to connect the red-black and red-white wires

For more background you might want to browse through some of these materials:
https://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=EM_Repair#Schematics
http://www.backglass.org/williams/kordek_archives/introduction_to_bally_flipper_games_blue_cover_100.pdf
http://www.backglass.org/williams/kordek_archives/introduction_to_coin_operated_amusement_games_wms_100.pdf

Or join us for an online repair clinic or repair class:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/an-em-pinball-online-repair-clinic
https://www.funwithpinball.com/learn/pinball-machine-repair-class

#5 2 years ago

Progress! I'm one step closer...You sir are a pinball genius! That flipper sound has never sounded so good!

I've made a video of what it's doing now which is much better. It was the Ax relay after all which is where my search started from! I've probably looked at this relay 10 times. I pulled it again and there was one contact that it was hard to tell if it was touching or not. I also used a tiny bit of sandpaper (I know, but was left in the machine when I got it so was handy) between each contact. If you could watch my video and tell me what else I might need to check. It's working, but it only works one out of every few times without a manual intervention to stop the relay. Can those springs get weak? Maybe the "pull part of the switch" needs more adjusting so it wants to pull back more? I'm up for thoughts.

#6 2 years ago

Interlock relays like your AX relay have the least amount of travel and tightest tolerances and are therefore among the hardest to adjust properly.

The AX Reset relay (the reset half of the AX relay) should fire once the reset sequence has completed, generally after all of the score reels, bonuses, targets, etc. have been reset. In this case that is when the Player Unit in the backbox rotates until the 5th cam activates its switch stack:
Pioneer AX reset relay (resized).jpgPioneer AX reset relay (resized).jpg
Note that the BX Reset relay should reset at the same time so you might try tripping that relay before you reset the game and see if it behaves the same as the AX Reset relay.

Included above is part of the reset sequence from the game manual, the Score Motor chart and the Player Unit chart to help identify switches you'll need to check.

Like last time you'll want to check all the switches in the path to the AX Reset relay. My copy of the schematic shows that there is a Motor 1D switch in the path to the AX Reset relay that has been crossed out and replaced with a Motor 2C switch. Similarly the Motor 2C switch below it in the schematic has been replaced with a 1D switch. Perhaps you can check your game to verify which switch is in which location using the wire colors.

#7 2 years ago

I think I might be getting closer now. Your post about the player unit makes sense...when the machine is in one of it's states where it won't stop the reset cycle. I can help it complete by Nudging the finger thing on the player unit along. It's almost like the solenoid thing isn't strong enough to push it along. Once it makes it all the way around to the zero position (p5a closes circuit). What I'm noticing is that each time the ball is returned it's not incrementing the balls properly either. Soooo..I think the Ax relay might be now adjusted properly, but the failures I'm now having could be due to the player unit not incrementing properly? Does that sound right. I'm up for what I can check on that part of it, but it looks intimidating to me (but hey...I've gotten this far, right). Here is a video I took showing how my player unit is operating....

#8 2 years ago

It looks like your Player Unit has a mechanical issue. It should advance exactly one step each time that solenoid in the back fires. You can hear the four pulses it's getting each time the ball drains. That's what it will do on a one player game.

During game play the positions of the Player Unit are:
Player 1 Ball 1
Player 2 Ball 1
Player 3 Ball 1
Player 4 Ball 1
Player 1 Ball 2
Player 2 Ball 2
etc.
So if players 2-4 aren't playing it needs to skip over them back to player 1.

If you remove the screw in the upper right corner of the frame the entire unit should tilt outward so you can get a better look at the escapement mechanism driven by the solenoid plunger. If you push the solenoid plunger completely in and then let it go the spring that was stretched should advance the gear, wiper disc and cams one step. Do that manually a few times to see if you can figure out how it should work and why it doesn't work.

Beware that old, hard, dirt impregnated grease is a common problem with steppers. You can remove the grease fairly easily with mineral spirits.

#9 2 years ago

Thanks so much! I'll check this out today and report back.

#10 2 years ago
Quoted from MarkG:

It looks like your Player Unit has a mechanical issue. It should advance exactly one step each time that solenoid in the back fires. You can hear the four pulses it's getting each time the ball drains. That's what it will do on a one player game.
During game play the positions of the Player Unit are:
Player 1 Ball 1
Player 2 Ball 1
Player 3 Ball 1
Player 4 Ball 1
Player 1 Ball 2
Player 2 Ball 2
etc.
So if players 2-4 aren't playing it needs to skip over them back to player 1.
If you remove the screw in the upper right corner of the frame the entire unit should tilt outward so you can get a better look at the escapement mechanism driven by the solenoid plunger. If you push the solenoid plunger completely in and then let it go the spring that was stretched should advance the gear, wiper disc and cams one step. Do that manually a few times to see if you can figure out how it should work and why it doesn't work.
Beware that old, hard, dirt impregnated grease is a common problem with steppers. You can remove the grease fairly easily with mineral spirits.

MarkG - Not to hijack the OP's thread, but quick question about this. On a 1 player game, what tells the player unit to skip P2, P3, P4 to go to ball 2?

#11 2 years ago

On Pioneer, a combination of Player Unit switches and CX (2nd Player relay) control the advancement of the PU. Once the trough switch is crossed, P is energized and motor 2C will allow the second (of five) motor 1A pulse through to increment the PU once (to Player 2). Then, based on CX (in this case, a one player game) and switches on the PU itself (P1C and P2A M/B), 3 more motor 1A pulses will pass through (to Player 3, Player4 and then Player 1 Ball N+1). The first of these three (P2->P3) is enabled by the lower leg of the circuit and the other two pulses (P3->P4->P1) are enabled by the upper leg. In two player mode, CX is open and the lower leg is disabled.

Pioneer PU (resized).jpgPioneer PU (resized).jpg
#12 2 years ago

Excellent.. Thanks for the explanation.

#13 2 years ago

Thanks for that explanation. I had wondered that also.

As far as my player unit goes, that was the issue! Once dropped there was some grime in some of the connecting levers preventing the right "action" needed to engage the cogs on the wheel. Once cleaned this thing is working flawlessly in that regard, but now that I'm playing it I found another issue. the "tens" is failing to chime or count any points at all. Even if I press something one the field that should be a tens point manually...nothing. In the back when I manually engage the tens relay I can get points though? It's almost like on the play field there is no power to anything that could score 10 points. Any thoughts there?

Overall though I'm so happy. Very much appreciate your guidance on this!

#14 2 years ago

Sorry for the delay in answering @bubbak's question, and thanks to DaMoib for answering it. I was working on a more generic answer that I might be able to use again:

https://www.funwithpinball.com/resources/gottlieb-player-unit-animation

As for the 10 point thing. Do all players have the same problem? If it works for some players the issue is likely in getting through the Player Unit. If it doesn't work for any players, do the drop targets score anything (they have a switch in common)? If the drop targets work then I'd suspect the connection, maybe at the jones plug, between the playfield targets and the 10 point relay in the backbox (a slate-white-red wire).

#15 2 years ago

Wow @ MarkG... Thats great info. There is a lot of info to digest. Thanks for putting that together.

#16 2 years ago

Yeah, all players can't score anything that is 10 points - which admittedly isn't a lot on this playfield. Mostly some "bounce off" targets that are on the edges (and) once all the drop targets are down bouncing off the rubber there is 10 points (I think based on the color of the wires I looked at). The drop targets themselves are 1000. So it's not a lot of scoring. over the course of a game might end up to be a couple hundred - 1000 max if it was a long game. just a guestamate. But yeah, no player, even in 2 player mode can score 10 pts. But again when I manually hit the relay the score real works for 10 pointers. And at the end of the game resets just fine. So, my hunch is it's somewhere prior to the relay???

Thanks for any thoughts.

#17 2 years ago

My suspicion would be toward the wire bundle and Jones plugs that run between the cabinet and the head.

Also R U confident that the coil on the 10-pt relay is functional?

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

My suspicion would be toward the wire bundle and Jones plugs that run between the cabinet and the head.
Also R U confident that the coil on the 10-pt relay is functional?

I have cleaned and reseated the jones plug there several times as that was a thought.

How do I know it's functional or not? If I press the "white plastic part" of the relay switches it does count 10 points, but now that you are saying that it's not using the relay...it's manual intervention. Hmmm. How do you test a relay?

#19 2 years ago

Check the relay coil resistance with a multimeter. Then Google “pinball coil chart” and see if it’s close. You may have to unsolder the coil first to get an accurate reading.

#20 2 years ago

I was just wondering if the coil for the 10-pt relay might be burned out or have a broken wire?

Do you have jumper cables with alligator clips? If so, you could try jumping 24 V from the terminals of the coin door lock out coil and see if the relay energizes. In a pinch, you could even jumper from the terminals of a 9 volt battery, which should be just enough to make the plastic yoke of 10 point relay twitch. That would allow you to rule out whether the 10 point relay coil is at fault.

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from deltaf508:

How do you test a relay?

Attach one end of an alligator clip jumper wire to the Red-Green wire on the 24 volt feed's 15 amp fuse, and tap the other end on the Slate-White-Red wire on the N relay coil.
Another way is to swap coils with another relay that has the same part number.

Inspect and diagnose with Alligator clip jumper wires
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gottlieb-big-shot-repair#post-6305153
http://www.planetimming.com/Pinball/troubleshooting/EM%20Troubleshooting.pdf
http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm#features
Example of a pinsider actually doing this https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/red-baron-tech-question#post-5858156

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