(Topic ID: 242433)

A Pecos Puzzler: Diagnosing EM Pin Problems


By Pecos

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 166 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 days ago by rolf_martin_062
  • Topic is favorited by 37 Pinsiders

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oxo_score_reel_switches_after_cleaning (resized).jpg
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There are 166 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 4.
#151 39 days ago
Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

Hi
a constructed story --- I like to play my XYZ-Pin - I can make 10 points, 50 points and 1000 points and there are five targets on the playfield I can make 100 points. I do get my 100 points when the ball hits the target "bulls eye shot" - but now and then on a "grace shot" I do not get my 100 points. Why ? Greetings Rolf

The weak target switch contact and short dwell time leads to the 100s relay coil not being energized long enough, and the score reel switch on the relay doesn't fully close. It could also show up as the 100s chime not firing. So you would tighten the gap on the target switch if you can, but also on the 100s relay switches.

#152 38 days ago

Hi
to my question (post-146 and on) "Bulls Eye Shot / Grace Shot" - pinballdaveh wrote "true" explanations, (in post-151) CaffeineSlug is very close - if we do all he suggests then the fault would be / is fixed - not a miracle but what exactly did / does fix the fault ? CaffeineSlug - pardon me - I am not fully happy with Your text in post-151.

In the original description I had the problem on 100 Points. For me it is more comfortable to have the problem on 10 Points (I do test on my Space Mission and there it is simpler on the 10 Points). So here I show the wiring for "resetting 10-Points-Score-Drum of Player-1" and the wiring for "Player-1 makes 10 Points". As a hint towards the solution on my question "Bulls Eye Shot / Grace Shot": See on top of the JPG "hypothetical timing (length in time Score-Motor-Switch-1A is closed when doing the resetting)" --- what would we encounter when the Score-Motor-Cam "A" (1A) would be built matching this hypothetical timing ? And the answer then gives the hint to my original question / problem. Greetings Rolf

0Far-Out-Work-36 (resized).jpg
#153 38 days ago

Hi Pecos
shall we do talk "samfart" - "s.a.m.f.a.r.t" - "stuff. added / made. for. arcade. rooms. times." ? Example "Ball-Roll-Tilt" - here http://www.stevechannel.com/tiltmechanism.htm last picture. Another example "Key / Lock" on the Coin-Door: To open we turn the key clockwise and to close we turn the key counter-clockwise --- this is opposite to a house / door / lock / key turning. Was this made to hinder an "hobby thief" to use an "picklock /lock pick / skeleton key" on the Coin-Door trying to open and steal the money --- and he applies a lot of force / power - turning counter-clockwise ... Greetings Rolf

1 week later
#154 29 days ago

Post#139
Asks what type of bonus unit has 2 coils but doesn’t have a step unit or playfield ladder bonus lamps?
Answer: backglass animation , plastic balls used in a troft bonus unit used in top score , soccer etc.

#155 25 days ago
Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

shall we do talk "samfart" - "s.a.m.f.a.r.t" - "stuff. added / made. for. arcade. rooms. times." ?

"s.a.m.f.a.r.t" ?? For you, Rolf, sure! I'm pretty sure that I have seen that page before and the plumb bob tilt trick.

So, you probably think you understand everything you need to know to clean and adjust a relay. It wasn't until recently that I learned of some tips and tricks to make an EM relay work just like the day it was made.

Next Challenge: Explain, from start to finish, the best way to clean/adjust/repair a relay and it's switches, contacts and other parts.

#156 25 days ago

Hi pecos
I assume Your (post-155) "Next challenge ..." is meant as "Next challenge to everybody ..." ?
I throw-in the precious "Self-Cleaning of switches" --- read text (towards the end) from "A general rule ..." and see the JPG here https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1965-bowl-a-strike-crazy-at-startup#post-3231326 --- and to adjust the blades (if neccessary) I use an adjustment tool. (Late again in Switzerland - time to go to sleep.) Greetings Rolf

#157 24 days ago

Hi Rolf,

Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

I assume Your (post-155) "Next challenge ..." is meant as "Next challenge to everybody ..." ?

Of course!

Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

I throw-in the precious --- read text (towards the end) from "A general rule ..." and see the JPG here https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1965-bowl-a-strike-crazy-at-startup#post-3231326 --- and to adjust the blades (if neccessary) I use an adjustment tool.

That's a very good post, Rolf, well worth the time for someone to carefully read it.

Quoted from Pecos:

Next Challenge: Explain, from start to finish, the best way to clean/adjust/repair a relay and it's switches, contacts and other parts.

So far, we have this as part of the answer:

#?? ... "Self-Cleaning of switches"
#?? "adjust the blades (if neccessary) I use an adjustment tool."

Guys, you don't need to come up with all the steps, one, two or more is good enough.

#158 24 days ago

Tighten down switch stacks.
File clean switches ( I like to use a ignition file) 3-4 swipes is usually enough.
Adjust the long blades to be straight or adjust to have a slight pull against the spring.
Adjust the NO blades so that the points close about halfway of the relay arm movement. The rest of the arm movement the points will wipe against themselves giving a cleaning effect.
Adjust the NC blades so that the switch opens before the halfway movement of the arm and has wiping when closing.
Inspect the mechanical movement of the arm and spring.
Mechanically operate the relay and check for proper switch operation.
Inspect all switch and coil wiring connections.
Blow off fillings and dust from relay.
Re-install relay

#159 21 days ago

Hi pecos +
in the end of post-155, "next challenge" You asked about relays, switches --- I did throw-in the precious Self-Cleaning --- pinballdaveh made a list of stuff. I am just curious: How many of You pinsiders actually DO TIGHTEN screws on switchstacks (?) (((I may check with an screwdriver - but seldom actually tighten))).

In this "relays / switches stuff" there is a general rule "50% of 'distance travelling' BOTH blades shall have contact (among each other / the two)" --- brooding on relays / switches - ANOTHER question to ask came up into my mind:
In Williams and Bally pins there is an specific relay - and on that relay is a specific switch - and THIS switch I do adjust (not the 50% but) "70% (to 80%)". Which relay ? which switch ? Greetings Rolf

#160 19 days ago

That’s a tough question. Can you give any hints?

#161 19 days ago

Hi pinballdaveh
have You noticed the hint in the first couple of words in the question (post-159): "In Williams and Bally Pins" implies "... but not in Gottlieb Pins". Another hint: The relay in early pins had about four switches --- towards the end of making EM-Pins the relay may have just (only) one switch. Greetings Rolf

#162 19 days ago

Hi Rolf
Thank you for the hints.
I think I have the answer.
Both Bally and Williams have a lock relay, gottlieb has a hold relay.
And the lock relay has decreased its number of switches to the end of EM production.
The last remaining switch is in the game over circuit, the NC switch gapped to 70-80% sends a longer pulse to the game over latch/trip relay’s trip coil.
This is to insure the machine goes to game over when the on/off switch is pushed once or twice.

#163 19 days ago

Hi pinballdaveh
great, in post-162 You wrote "comprehensive / thorough" answer - the last sentence I would write a bit different to point out: When toggling on the main power switch and the (Interlock) Game-Over-Relay HAPPENS TO BE IN "latched is 'in play' " position --- the Game-Over-Relay is made to trip. Greetings Rolf

1 week later
#164 6 days ago
Quoted from Pecos:

So, you probably think you understand everything you need to know to clean and adjust a relay. It wasn't until recently that I learned of some tips and tricks to make an EM relay work just like the day it was made.
Next Challenge: Explain, from start to finish, the best way to clean/adjust/repair a relay and it's switches, contacts and other parts.

Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

Hi pecos +
in the end of post-155, "next challenge" You asked about relays, switches --- I did throw-in the precious Self-Cleaning --- pinballdaveh made a list of stuff. I am just curious: How many of You pinsiders actually DO TIGHTEN screws on switchstacks (?) (((I may check with an screwdriver - but seldom actually tighten))).

In this "relays / switches stuff" there is a general rule "50% of 'distance travelling' BOTH blades shall have contact (among each other / the two)"

Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

I throw-in the precious "Self-Cleaning of switches" --- read text (towards the end) from "A general rule ..." and see the JPG here https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1965-bowl-a-strike-crazy-at-startup#post-3231326 --- and to adjust the blades (if neccessary) I use an adjustment tool. (Late again in Switzerland - time to go to sleep.) Greetings Rolf

Quoted from pinballdaveh:

Tighten down switch stacks.
File clean switches ( I like to use a ignition file) 3-4 swipes is usually enough.
Adjust the long blades to be straight or adjust to have a slight pull against the spring.
Adjust the NO blades so that the points close about halfway of the relay arm movement. The rest of the arm movement the points will wipe against themselves giving a cleaning effect.
Adjust the NC blades so that the switch opens before the halfway movement of the arm and has wiping when closing.
Inspect the mechanical movement of the arm and spring.
Mechanically operate the relay and check for proper switch operation.
Inspect all switch and coil wiring connections.
Blow off fillings and dust from relay.
Re-install relay

Good answers guys!

Electricity is to a pinball machine as blood is to the human body. Restrict the flow of blood by a blood clot and the body will function poorly or fail. Likewise, oxidized contacts impede the flow of electricity in a pinball machine and the game will be sluggish or parts of it will fail to work.

The Relays are the heart of a pinball machine. Like the heart, they are what make the pinball go. Since all EMs are 42 years old, or older, it is important to thoroughly clean and adjust them so they can work almost like they were new again. Here is what I have learned to be the best way to clean and adjust Relays so they stay adjusted for many thousands of games.

Parts of a typical Leaf Switch Relay:

relay_parts_close_up (resized).jpg

All Relay work should be done with the game off. I like to remove the Mech Board or Playfield when working on the Relays. Your back will thank you.

  1. Remove the screws holding the Relay to the Mech Board. Some Relays are tied together with a wire. All of these Relays will need to be removed at the same time so you can get to the bottom of the Relays with double Switch Stacks.
  2. Clean the Mech Board and any labels that were beneath the Relays. Remove dust and dirt first with a dry cotton pad and then clean with 91% Isopropyl alcohol on a cotton pad. Be careful when cleaning labels; the ink might come off.
  3. clean_under_relays (resized).jpg

  4. The following Contact cleaning instructions are for EMs only! Solid State pins have gold plated Contacts and should ONLY be cleaned with 91% Isopropyl alcohol and a Q-Tip!
    The bottom Switches on the Double Level Relays will need to be cleaned and adjusted. Clean the Switch Leafs and the Contacts of the bottom row of Switches with 91% Isopropyl alcohol and a Q-Tip. Use a Dremel with a #443 wire brush, the 'Magic Brush', to polish the Contacts. I use a small regular screwdriver to open the switches and then brush away.

    I heard of the 'Magic Brush' from nicovolta and have become an avid devotee. Warning! Little bits of carbon steel metal are spit out of the brush when being used - use eye protection!

    DSCF4410 (resized).JPG

    Clean the Contacts with 91% Isopropyl alcohol and a Q-Tip again. Tungsten Contacts may be pitted and blackened and need extra polishing or even some light sanding with 500 grit sandpaper. If you do not have a Dremel Tool and don't want to buy one, you can use a burnishing tool.

    The Pinball Resource has a Plastone® Flexstone burnishing tool. "An emery like flexible file for cleaning regular contacts from Plastone®."

    http://pbresource.com/tools.html

    I do not recommend sandpaper. It will remove some of the Contact metal.

    The Switches of an OXO before cleaning with a Dremel Tool and a #443 wire brush:

    oxo_score_reel_switches_before_cleaning (resized).jpg

    After cleaning:

    oxo_score_reel_switches_after_cleaning (resized).jpg

  5. Straighten out all Leaf Switches. These often get mangled and are hard to adjust if not perfectly straight. Use one screwdriver as a fulcrum and the other small regular screwdriver to straighten the Leaf. Continue until the Switch Leaf is straight. Sometimes a mangled or fat-fingered Leaf Switch will come out of the Actuator Slot. Before straightening, put the Leaf Switch back into the Actuator Slot.
  6. DSCF4404 (resized).JPG

  7. Tighten the Switch Stack screws on the bottom Switch Stack Only.
  8. On the bottom Switch Stack only, adjust the Switches so the movable, longer Leaf Switch is touching the Actuator (Ladder), biased TOWARD the Armature. You want the Switch to be just touching the Actuator. Too much bias may hinder the movement of the Actuator.
  9. properly_improperly_biased_switches (resized).jpg

  10. On the bottom Switch Stack only, adjust the stationary Switch(es) so there is a 1/16" or a little less gap between the Contacts.
    I used to use a Leaf Switch Adjuster Tool, like this one at Pinball Life:
    https://www.pinballlife.com/ultimate-leaf-adjuster-tool.html

    But it broke - it seemed to be made out of pot metal - and I never replaced it. This is the best tool to adjust Switches and if you can find one that is made out of steel, buy it! I now use a small regular screw driver.

  11. On the bottom Switch Stack only, manually move the Armature and Actuator toward the Coil as if to simulate the Coil being energized and pulling the Armature toward the Coil. All Make (Normally Open) Switches should be gapped to 1/16 of an inch or a little less and should close, touch the stationary Switch AND you should see a small deflection of the stationary Switch. All Break (Normally Closed) Switches should open to about 1/16th of an inch and when closed should deflect the movable Switch.
  12. relay_close_up_move_actuator (resized).jpg

  13. Optional. Polish the screws removed from the Relays. You can use a tumbler if you have one, but I clean them manually.
    This doesn't take that much time and the screws can be polished and ready in a few minutes and not hours.
  14. clean_screw_heads (resized).jpg

  15. Put the first Relay removed back onto the Mech Board with your newly polished shiny screws.
  16. Now, repeat steps 3-8 for the Single Switch Stack Relays or the top Switch Stack on the Double Switch Stack Relays.
  17. Optional, but recommended. Clean the entire Relay. These get very dirty and look horrible. Clean everything with 91% Isopropyl alcohol - spacers, plastic lug protectors, metal base and wires. This is a good time to clean the Leaf Switches, if you haven't already done so.
  18. The wires to the Relays get matted down. Pull the wires out so they are in-line with the lugs and form a loop with the wire. This not only looks better, but gives you a chance to check for loose wires that need to be resolderd, wires that have fallen off or wires that have their insulation frayed. Look for wires and lugs that are touching.
    In the pic below, the wires to the left Relay have been straightened and checked for loose/missing wires. Notice how jumbled and matted the wires are to the Relay on the right.
    DSCF4407 (resized).JPG
  19. Check for other problems. The steel plate that is pulled into the Coil, when energized, is called the Armature. The Armature should be properly seated into the Relay Metal Base so that is moves freely. The spring may be weak or missing. There may be other mechanical issues.
  20. DSCF4383 (resized).JPG

    There is something wrong with the leftmost Relay. Notice how the Actuator is at a different angle than the Actuators on the other Relays.

    DSCF4398 (resized).JPG

    Bally tended to use more short style Leaf Switches. Williams tended to use more long style Leaf Switches, but, they too, used the short Leaf Switch Relays. The short Leaf Switch Relays require more care getting the Switches adjusted - TLC required!!

    After you have followed all of the steps above, check the Switch adjustments a second time by manually moving the Actuator. This is especially important for the short style Leaf Switch Relays. After the Mech Board or Playfield have been put back into the cabinet, check the Switch adjustment a third time! I have checked, rechecked and reverified switch gaps only to find one or more that I have missed.

    If you get anything out of these instructions, please remember 'BIAS' and 'DEFLECTION.' These are the keys to having Relays that will stay adjusted for tens of thousands of plays. If you have no bias, the Switch deflection will be reduced and the Actuator may not return to 'Home' position. If you have no deflection, your Contacts will not have the all important self cleaning action! Pay special attention to these important tricks when properly adjusting your pinball machine's Relays and you will have a very reliable EM pin for years to come.

#165 6 days ago

I want to point you to another resource that you might find valuable. nicovolta has posted a video showing his method for bringing a Relay back to the land of the living. It is more thorough than my method and he discusses two other problems you might encounter - a loose Contact and a sticky Armature.

https://www.facebook.com/nicholas.schell/videos/10156172583066806/

Quoted from pinballdaveh:

Adjust the NO blades so that the points close about halfway of the relay arm movement. The rest of the arm movement the points will wipe against themselves giving a cleaning effect.
Adjust the NC blades so that the switch opens before the halfway movement of the arm and has wiping when closing.

Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

In this "relays / switches stuff" there is a general rule "50% of 'distance travelling' BOTH blades shall have contact (among each other / the two)"

Nic does a good job of explaining the 50/50 rule. It is a better way to determine how much to gap switches than the fraction of an inch method that I use.

#166 5 days ago

Hi Pecos
thanks for post-164 and post-165. Seldom we have to adjust the stationary blade(s) on a relay. (I believe) "Clay" shows in the video this adjusting, here http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm#axrelayvideo . Greetings Rolf

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