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(Topic ID: 236002)

Adding Knocker to Bally AAB / Added Ball kit models


By astyy

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 40 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by beadwindow
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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0MiniZag-Work-02 (resized).jpg
Rocket III knocker design 3 (resized).jpg
Rocket III knocker design 2 (resized).jpg
Rocket III knocker design (resized).jpg
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#1 1 year ago

A while back with help from pinside I made a DIY Added Ball kit K-313 for my Rocket III. It worked great, basically an extra relay with Jones plug that replaces a jumper plug on the motor board, it looks like this;

pasted_image (resized).png

The original thread is here - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-rocket-iii-apron-credit-lamp-wiring

Shortly thereafter beadwindow worked something very similar for Minizag - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-minizag-aab

These DIY kits have worked great and Added Ball/Shoot Again is a fun option in the home play environment. The problem is part of the fun has been lost as the Knocker doesn't function in Added Ball mode and knocker = pinball. This is by design as the knocker/sounder is driven by the Replay Unit End of Stroke and the Replay Unit is no longer in use once the AAB kit is installed as Replay/Credits are no longer awarded.

Would there be an easy way to wire a Knocker to the AAB kit relay to knock when an extra ball is awarded? The challenge is that the AAB relay is a hold type relay that holds when AAB is awarded (based on score threshold) until it releases when the added ball is shot via the top arch rebound gate nc switch. I can wire an extra switch to the relay to activate the knocker but then it would stick on (and burn up) until the AAB relay releases. How can I make the pulse to the Knocker momentary? If possible to extend the AAB kit and not alter original wiring.

The Rocket III schematic is available on IPDB the AAB Relay at B44;
https://www.ipdb.org/files/1989/Bally_1967_Rocket_III_Schematic_Diagram_continuous.pdf
I can provide a version with all AAB circuitry highlighted if that helps.

Thank you for any and all assistance.

#2 1 year ago

Here is the Knocker set up for my Gottlieb Flipper Parade. Not sure if it's adaptable to yours. D is the Reset relay.

Capture (resized).PNG
#3 1 year ago

This is an interesting design problem because you need to generate a single pulse for the knocker using a relay (the Add A Ball relay) that can stay active for a long time. Here is one possible solution:
Rocket III knocker design (resized).jpg
The circuit inside the dashed line is new. Everything outside of the dashed line is already in the game.

The new circuit requires two new relays. One to send a single pulse to the knocker and another to remember that the knocker has been fired and shouldn't be fired again until the next ball is launched. The way this would work is:
- When the existing Add A Ball relay (1) fires, the same signal that fired it is used to fire two new relays, the Fire Knocker (2) and Knocker Done (3) relays.
- When the Knocker Done (3) relay fires, it closes its own normally open (NO) lock in switch (4) to keep itself active, and it opens the two normally closed (NC) switches (5, 6) that allowed itself and the new Fire Knocker relay (2) to fire. This prevents either relay from firing again since the Add A Ball relay stays active until the next ball is played.
- The NO Knocker Done lock in switch (4) keeps the Kocker Done relay (3) active until the NC Rebound Gate switch (7) opens which releases both the Fire Done relay (3) and the Add A Ball relay (1).
- When the Fire Knocker relay (2) fires it closes its own NO lock in switch (8) which is in series with a new NC Score Motor switch (9) to keep itself active. It also closes a new NO switch (10) that sends power to the Score Motor to start it running, and another new NO switch (11) to enable the Knocker solenoid (12).
- At this point the Fire Knocker (2) and Knocker Done (3) relays are active and the score motor is turning.
- When the #7 cam on the Score Motor closes the new NO Score Motor switch (13), a pulse is sent to the Knocker solenoid (12) for the extra ball "knock".
- Shortly after that the #8 cam on the Score Motor opens the new NC Score Motor switch (9) and the Fire Knocker relay (2) relaxes. This will open the new Score Motor switch (10) which will allow the Score Motor to stop when it reaches its index position.
- Even though the Add A Ball relay (1) is still held active through its own lock in switch (14), the Fire Knocker (2) relay will not reactivate because the NC Knocker Done switch (6) is being held open by the still active Knocker Done relay (3).
- The Knocker Done relay remains active (to keep the Fire Knocker relay from reactivating) until the NC Rebound Gate switch (7) opens which will deactivate both the Add A Ball (1) and Knocker Done (3) relays.

Note that the Fire Knocker relay (2) can be almost any relay coil since it fires for less than a Score Motor cycle. The Knocker Done relay (3) however should use a high resistance coil similar to the Add A Ball relay since it can remain on for an extended period between earning the extra ball and starting to play the next ball.

Note also that this is a first draft and may need correction and/or optimization.

/Mark

#5 1 year ago

Hi
I wrote my text not knowing about post-3 and post-4

Hi astyy
Bally used for Tilt-Stuff the so-called "Delay-Relay" - actually pulling-in immediately then after a while "automatic Shut-Off" --- using an 455-Flasher-Bulb / 455-Blinking-Bulb. The 455-bulbs normally are used in 6VAC-Circuitry (example: Game-Over blinking) - used on a Relay on 48VAC: Quick reaction. On later EM-Pins Bally had the "Over the Top" function - a buzzer buzzing when the pin is turned over (Score-Drums) - buzzing for a while then turned-off due to usage of such an 455-bulb-delay-relay. ipdb has to Night Rider the schematics and the manual. The only remarks on the 455-bulb I found is on the last page in the manual --- I did not find information on the buzzer - in the schematics around 20-A/B/C I see the buzzer and a switch on "Over the top Delay Relay". And this relay (coil and the wiring is shown at 6G (schematics).

Want to shop around for information on "Over the top buzzer" - and use such in Your AAB-Pin ?
Want to be modern --- using such things: https://www.finder-relais.net/en/finder-relays-series-85.pdf Greetings Rolf

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from currieddog:

Nicely thought out, Mark!

Thanks @currieddog.

Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

Bally used for Tilt-Stuff the so-called "Delay-Relay" - actually pulling-in immediately then after a while "automatic Shut-Off" --- using an 455-Flasher-Bulb / 455-Blinking-Bulb.

The Delay relay is a very clever design for generating an extended pulse for something like a tilt or buzzer. Gottlieb used an RC delay circuit for similar reasons (like waiting for the spinner to stop before awarding the lit card on Flip A Card) but I think Bally's 455 bulb solution is more elegant.

In this situation the Delay relay could be used to fire the knocker, but I think you'd still need a 2nd relay to remember that the extra ball has been earned, and that the knocker has already been fired and shouldn't be fired again.

#7 1 year ago

Hi MarkG
a thing comes up into my brain --- I always (kind of) wonder that this function works: Many Williams pins have the feature "when toggling on a pin / pressing the left flipper button and the Game-Over-Relay happens to NOT beeing tripped (Game before toggling-off has ended abnormal / premature) : Through a switch on the Lock-Relay current flow to the Game-Over-Relay-TRIP-Coil so it trips - the switch on the Lock-Relay opens when the Lock-Relay is pulling-in. This short period of time "Coil on Lock-Relay gets current and the Lock-Relay pulls-in the armature and the switch opens" --- this short period of time is enough so the Game-Over-Relay-TRIP-side does actuate. We can see it in the ipdb-schematics "Fun Fest" at schematics-4-CDE (Lock-Relay) and schematics-13/14-CDE (Game-Over-Relay-Trip-Coil) ---
Space Mission has also an Lock-Relay and also this activating the Game-Over-Trip-Coil.

See the analogy to the AAB-Knocker-problem --- can we let current flow to the "coil on Knocker" and also to the "coil on Extraball-Relay" - and a switch on the pulling-in Extraball-Relay cuts the connection to the "coil on Knocker" (?) Greetings Rolf

#8 1 year ago

Hi Rolf,

I think the circuit you describe would look like the one on the left below, which would simplify to the version on the right:
Rocket III knocker design 2 (resized).jpg
In the version on the left both the Add A Ball and Knocker Fired relays fire simultaneously under the same conditions. The initial pulse that fires the two relays also gets through the NC Knocker Fired relay switch to the Knocker solenoid until the Knocker Fired relay activates and opens that switch. The result is a short pulse to the Knocker only when the Add A Ball relay first activates.

In the simplified version on the right the Knocker Fired relay is removed and a NC switch on the Add A Ball relay cuts power to the knocker.

This may very well work but there are a couple of things about it that led me to my earlier, more elaborate solution.
- This is known as a race condition where you count on the fact that the Knocker solenoid will get a pulse before the NC switch opens, and hope that the pulse will be long enough to effectively activate the Knocker.
- While it may work just fine, it's hard to know ahead of time if the pulse will be long enough to fire the Knocker before the switch opens.
- I wasn't aware that Williams or anyone else did this sort of thing so I wasn't comfortable suggesting a race.

Opting for the more conservative approach I went with the more elaborate solution that uses a Score Motor pulse which was designed to be long enough to activate any relay or solenoid.

/Mark

#9 1 year ago

thanks Mark, Rolf, and Curriedogg for your input on this. If I were to wire up the scenario on the right in post 8,

what would that look like? In other words where does the knocker coil get its power from? I'd like to try this and report back on the results.

#10 1 year ago

Here is the simplified circuit from reply #8 with a little more context.
Rocket III knocker design 3 (resized).jpg
The top and bottom lines are the power rails for the relays and solenoids. In this version the only added component is the Normally Closed switch between the Add A Ball relay and the Knocker solenoid. That switch is activated by the Add A Ball relay and fires the Knocker for an instant before the Add A Ball relay opens it.

Remember that when you add a new switch to any switch stack, you're likely to need longer screws to hold the extra switch, but not screws that are so much longer that they interfere with the relay.

If you just want to wire it up as an experiment you could find a spare relay with an NC switch. Use alligator test leads to clip the solder lugs of the new relay to the solder lugs of the Add A Ball relay so they fire together. Then clip the NC switch from the new relay between the solder lugs of the Add A Ball relay and the Knocker. (Two solder lugs will already be connected together to the common power rail. Be sure you add the NC switch between the other two solder lugs.)

#11 1 year ago

I have an existing unused NC switch already on my aab relay. I hooked up a lead from one lug of the NC switch to the proper lug on the knocker and another lead from the remaining NC switch lug to the proper lug on the aab relay coil lug.
Manually activated the aab relay and nothing happened and also activated it by the hitting the feature as if playing a game and no dice.
I put the settings back on replay and verified that the knocker is working.
Did I miss something on the electrical connections?

#12 1 year ago

Probably not. If you have a bulb tester, wire it up to the Knocker coil to see if it flashes at all when the Add A Ball relay fires. It may be that the pulse is too short to get the Knocker to do anything but it might still flash the bulb briefly.

#13 1 year ago

Don't have a bulb tester. I suppose I can hook a multimeter up to the knocker and see if it registers anything when the AAB relay activates.

#14 1 year ago

Another bit of info: I connected both lugs of the aab ball relay coil directly to the lugs of the knocker and got no movement from the knocker. Not sure what to think of that.

#15 1 year ago

Hmm. I was about to suggest that if you're comfortable poking around in a live game, you could trip the Add A Ball relay, then short the two leaves of the new switch together with an insulated screw driver to effectively close it. That would fire the knocker if you've wired it correctly.

#16 1 year ago

How is that different than the switch closing?
Also, wouldn’t directly connecting both coils w/o the switch being part of the circuit cause it to fire?

#17 1 year ago

Yes, shorting the switch is effectively closing the switch. Since it didn't seem to work when you wired it up the possibilities are that 1) the pulse that fires the Knocker is too short or that 2) there's something wrong with the wiring. By shorting the switch momentarily I thought you could prove that it's wired correctly (if the Knocker fires), which would leave the short pulse as the reason it's not working.

#18 1 year ago

I see, some process of elimination action. In this set up, could it be that there’s not enough “power” to supply both the relay and knocker coils?
I’ll do the shorting of the switch blades tomorrow. Also, I’m not confident that my alligator clips are really getting a good connection-there’s not much spring tension on the jaws.

#19 1 year ago

It's possible that your test leads may be a factor. I suppose it's also possible that the AAB circuit can't supply enough current to fire a relay and a solenoid, but it seems less likely unless the switch contacts are marginal. The game itself should have no problem supplying enough current. Pop bumpers, score reels and chimes fire together all the time.

If you suspect a current limit, you could try to fire another relay coil instead of the Knocker. That would reduce the required current. We're just experimenting to see if the pulse can accomplish anything so it doesn't really matter at first what it activates.

#20 1 year ago

Ok, thanks Mark.
I’m gonna try a few things and report back tomorrow.

#21 1 year ago

Wow great information amassed here, thank you all for contributing and for the clear circuit diagrams MarkG.

I too will attempt the simple circuit in post #10 first. I'm thinking the existing Knocker has it's own short lead and 2-pin Jones plug so could be neatly unplugged from "existing" to connect to DIY AAB knock circuit. In AAB mode "existing" shouldn't fire the Knocker, but if it should it looks like it would pull the AAB too incorrectly.

I'm keen to approach this an a non-invasive, easily reversible way.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from beadwindow:

Also, wouldn’t directly connecting both coils w/o the switch being part of the circuit cause it to fire?

I got a bit of time on my machine. Unfortunately I only have a single 4 slot "ladder(?)" fitted on my AAB relay so fully occupied for the moment. (Not sure how to sort replace with an 8 slot ladder?)

What I did try though is directly jumpering the knocker coil off the AAB coil and they both definitely pull together. I didn't get a knock as such as the knocker didn't quickly release and recoil but you get the idea.

#23 1 year ago

I got it to work after doing a continuity test on my alligator clips. Turns out that they had zero continuity because the insulation was never adequately removed from the crimp. That wasn’t obvious until I removed the cover to expose the crimp. Made in China Syndrome. I cut off the clips and made new ones and am happy to report that the knocker is working properly with this modification. However, The knocker’s two leads are still plugged into its Jones plug. Now to do something about the relatively anemic sounding knocker.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from beadwindow:

Now to do something about the relatively anemic sounding knocker.

Good stuff. I have a later knocker off an early Stern SS I may try, alternatively this thread is interesting
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/want-a-loud-knocker#post-4020122

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from astyy:

Good stuff. I have a later knocker off an early Stern SS I may try, alternatively this thread is interesting
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/want-a-loud-knocker#post-4020122

Did you do the bridge rectifier mod?

#26 1 year ago

I have an original AAB Bally game. Would it be useful to you to see how they wired it up at the factory?

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from drsfmd:

I have an original AAB Bally game. Would it be useful to you to see how they wired it up at the factory?

Yeah, that would be interesting, thanks.
My Op Pop Pop came from the factory with AAB capability-there’s no extra kit that had to purchased. It’s just a one pin jones plug that switches from aab to replay but it also doesn’t fire the knocker when in AAB mode.

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from beadwindow:

Yeah, that would be interesting, thanks.
My Op Pop Pop came from the factory with AAB capability-there’s no extra kit that had to purchased. It’s just a one pin jones plug that switches from aab to replay but it also doesn’t fire the knocker when in AAB mode.

Mine is not convertible-- it's AAB only. A convertible version would not have been legal in NY. I'll pull out the schematic and post the relevant portion.

#29 1 year ago

Hi astyy
see the JPG --- it is the same as MarkG shows in his post-10. The new Normally-Open Switch on the AAB-Relay MUST open when the AAB-Relay pulls-in - but the switch shall open very late***. So one side of the switch has a wire to either A1 or A2 or A3 (whatever is convenient) - the other side of the switch has a wire to either B1 or B2 (whatever is convenient). (((When You try it the first time: Be ready to toggle-off the pin)))
open very late*** - When the coil starts pulling and the armature starts moving and so the "moved blade" starts moving: The stationary blade follows the moved blade --- towards the end of moving the moved blade moves away from the stationary blade so the switch OPENS. Adjust the stationary blade --- try a couple of times having the line cord unplugged and manually actuate the armature on the AAB-Relay - does the switch securely opens ? but opens late ? Greetings Rolf

0MiniZag-Work-02 (resized).jpg
#30 1 year ago

Bear in mind that if the extra ball is awarded on score, it may occur at a time when the score motor is already turning (e.g., 50 points being awarded). Specifically, it could occur on the motor pulse that you have chosen to be the knocker pulse. You need to test that timing.

In a replay game, the hundreds relay --> hundreds reel --> hundreds reel end-of-stroke switch sequence is presumed to provide a long enough pulse to get a good knock, and we know *that* works.
.................David Marston

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from dmarston:

Bear in mind that if the extra ball is awarded on score, it may occur at a time when the score motor is already turning (e.g., 50 points being awarded). Specifically, it could occur on the motor pulse that you have chosen to be the knocker pulse. You need to test that timing.

Agreed. If I recall the schematic showed one event that could fire the Add A Ball relay that used a score motor pulse which I avoided. But there were other events that I think could happen at any time that might end up conflicting with the Knocker circuit. Those would have to be better understood to prove whether the knocker would always work.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from MarkG:

If I recall the schematic showed one event that could fire the Add A Ball relay that used a score motor pulse which I avoided.

Yes Rocket III additionally awards AAB on the "Advance" feature (spell R-O-C-K-E-T) via the Advance Relay and Score Motor switch 5B. MiniZag doesn't seem to have an equivalent just the hi-score thresholds.

I like that your circuit just relies on the AAB being pulled, so I assume if that's working the knocker should work. For simplicity I'll probably disconnect from the Replay Unit EOS too, or use a spare knocker positioned near the AAB relay.

@rolf_martin_062 thank you for the diagram and advice re "late" switch closing. Do you mean "The new Normally-Closed Switch" in your second sentence.

#33 1 year ago

I’ll double check my machine on the score thresholds. Minizag does have an advance feature- spell g-r-o-o-v-y on the playfield. Every time all the letters are lit, one of the spotlights on the backglass is lit. An extra ball can be awarded at any or all of them.

#34 1 year ago

The score thresholds do fire the knocker.
My remedy for the faint sound is going to be to install a stronger bally coil in a gott knocker bracket.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from beadwindow:

Every time all the letters are lit, one of the spotlights on the backglass is lit. An extra ball can be awarded at any or all of them.

I stand corrected I can see the "Spotlight" adjustment on the schematic at 19E. It's depicted differently to Advance on Rocket III.

Some of the feature names on MiniZag are brilliant - Zagger Lane Kicker, Wayout Relay, Groovy Unit so 1960s

#36 1 year ago

yeah, i love the 60's aesthetic.

#37 1 year ago
Quoted from beadwindow:

My remedy for the faint sound is going to be to install a stronger bally coil in a gott knocker bracket.

Have you adjusted the new Normally Closed switch that fires the Knocker as rolf_martin_062 suggested in reply #29? That switch should just barely open when the Add A Ball relay activates. That will give you the longest possible Knocker pulse. The earlier it opens in the relay armature's travel the shorter the pulse will be. It's an easy thing to try before you start swapping coils.

#38 1 year ago

Thanks and will double check that switch but the knocker was very weak sounding even before this mod. From reading threads on here, it seems it’s not uncommon on these old Ballys.

#39 1 year ago

also from what i can tell, the design of the knocker mechanism also limits the sound. on a gottlieb, the plunger rests in the down position and sets on the coil stop. on this one, the plunger rests in the up position supported by a spring beneath it. when it fires, i'm guessing the plunger is pulled down against spring pressure and then the spring alone drives the plunger into the plate. it sounded decent when i manually pulled in the aab relay but during a game, it's hard to discern with the score bells and all the other mechs making noise. i don't think it would be heard at all in an arcade. after decades of shooting, my hearing isn't what it used to be so that doesn't help either.

#40 1 year ago

A huge improvement and is easily twice as loud if not more than the factory setup plus you can feel it as well.
I used a Gottlieb knocker bracket and plunger with a Bally flipper coil.

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