(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over


By HeighwayPinball

4 years ago



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  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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#23451 8 months ago
Quoted from Oneangrymo:

Hey thanks for the reply!
I dont think the coil is binding feels free to me. I will check when I get home to make sure its striking the middle of the ball. If not maybe I should try that washer fix that someone else mentioned? I hope its that easy because I dont want to get into removing boards and stuff!
Mo

You are having the same problem that many of us had - you need to adjust the angle of the plunger and/or ajust the "cliffy" protector it may be causing the ball to go off center when launched.

#23452 8 months ago
Quoted from WeirPinball:

You are having the same problem that many of us had - you need to adjust the angle of the plunger and/or ajust the "cliffy" protector it may be causing the ball to go off center when launched.

Man you guys are amazing ! That fixed it ! I put one washer and now it’s better then ever ! Awesome ! Now I just a replacement side panel some nuts missing from left plastics and I’m done !

#23453 8 months ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Getting there with the replacement sensors. I have the micro worked out.

Nice!
Could you share some information how these sensors work? Are you willing to share the schematic of it?
These types of inductive sensors could be very interesting for homebuild pinballs.

#23454 8 months ago
Quoted from DDDwingmaster:

Nice!
Could you share some information how these sensors work? Are you willing to share the schematic of it?
These types of inductive sensors could be very interesting for homebuild pinballs.

I will release schematics once I have it working. Bigger issue is the code on the micro. It's toggling the LED and doing the ADC work. I can see the chip through my PIC programmer but the code protection is set on so you can't lift the code directly. I have to replicate its functionality and hope I can get it to work. That's in progress now.

#23455 8 months ago

I am not familiar with electronics, but in the german community they had also to copy a pic from a Stern CPU. They tried several CPU´s and .... voila ... one was not protected. So maybe you should try several sensors, maybe you get also an unprotected.
Good luck and happy code hunting !!

#23456 8 months ago

New Acrylic speaker mounts arrived.
Going to fit 2 JBL speakers in and eliminate the dark patch either side of the lower screen

458BD266-3B0A-48DE-AD24-FE14AE910B11 (resized).jpeg
#23457 8 months ago

After I play for a few minutes, I keep getting balls launched one after another. After about two minutes of doing this, the flippers stop working.
Once all balls drain, it then goes to ball two and does the same thing all over again on every play.

Anyone know what could be the issue and fix it?

Thanks, Brett

#23458 8 months ago
Quoted from Beowulfz07:

New Acrylic speaker mounts arrived.
Going to fit 2 JBL speakers in and eliminate the dark patch either side of the lower screen
[quoted image]

I was thinking the same thing.
I would like to see the resault !!

#23459 8 months ago
Quoted from brett:

After I play for a few minutes, I keep getting balls launched one after another. After about two minutes of doing this, the flippers stop working.
Once all balls drain, it then goes to ball two and does the same thing all over again on every play.
Anyone know what could be the issue and fix it?

Thanks, Brett

I had similar issue,
Only had machine for 2 weeks but I believe it to be trough related.
The balls either get magnetised so the trough board thinks it’s a ball short, or if the first ball is having difficulty going to the shooter lane, when it drops back down another ball is already on the trough coil.
If you open the coin door there are 6 green leds on the trough board in a row.
They go off when a ball passes them and with 6 balls in the trough should be all off except for 2 green leds above them.
One is for trough jam and the other when ball fires into shooter lane.
I cleaned the balls and the Opto sensors on both boards.
You should also check all your usb cables are seated correctly

#23460 8 months ago
Quoted from pascal-pinball:

I was thinking the same thing.
I would like to see the resault !!

Thanks
I will post results here,
With a before and after pic from the front, and how I fixed them.
I am using JBL 4” speakers, they will just fit.

#23461 8 months ago
Quoted from Beowulfz07:

I had similar issue,
Only had machine for 2 weeks but I believe it to be trough related.
The balls either get magnetised so the trough board thinks it’s a ball short, or if the first ball is having difficulty going to the shooter lane, when it drops back down another ball is already on the trough coil.
If you open the coin door there are 6 green leds on the trough board in a row.
They go off when a ball passes them and with 6 balls in the trough should be all off except for 2 green leds above them.
One is for trough jam and the other when ball fires into shooter lane.
I cleaned the balls and the Opto sensors on both boards.
You should also check all your usb cables are seated correctly

I’ll do that. Thank you.

#23462 8 months ago
44155129_1896237940453491_7561511540625506304_n (resized).png
#23463 8 months ago

I didn’t get the bolts for the backbox with my Alien and didn’t like the way the backbox moved and creaked when resting the table against it, so I found these wing bolts which fit perfectly and thought I’d share in case anyone else wanted some.
They are 60mm M6 wing bolts.

BC4B6A79-F559-467D-9B84-58FA2E168353 (resized).jpeg
#23464 8 months ago

Also found this Alien money box on Amazon for £20 and it fits on the backbox perfectly.
Will look awesome when my beacons arrive, was going to illuminate it but think the beacons will make it look more menacing !!
And my facehuggers arrived today,
Thanks to Daniel at Freeplay
But waiting until my sling lights arrive from Timebandit before I fit them

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#23465 8 months ago

I plan to replace the 70Volt switching power supply in my Alien with the "original" toroidal transformer to stabilize the coil power and reduce HF noise. Afaik no other pin uses a SPS for the coils and the lack of coil power (e.g. during multiball) was already mentioned.
The cabinet board includes all necessary components except the bridge bridge rectifier (see picture).
Could any owner of a Full Throttle or early Alien check the specified output voltage and currents of his transformer? There should be a label somewhere on the outside of the transformer. Based on the fuse chart I expect 2 x 50 V and 600-800 VA. The manufacturer would also be interesting, if stated.
Thank you!
Per

Full Throttle power supply (resized).jpgTT Label (resized).jpg

#23466 8 months ago
Quoted from Per_:

Afaik no other pin uses a SPS for the coils

Every modern machine uses switchers. They just put capacitors on them. Changing the PS would be a mistake in my opinion, just add the caps.

#23467 8 months ago

Switchers are used for everything besides the coils. All JJP machines for example have an ATX power supply and a separate transformer for the coils. And I am sure they also checked if they can save some money using a switcher instead. But yes, I also want to try the capacitor solution (with inrush current limiter) and compare all alternatives.

#23468 8 months ago

I have an original wound transformer.. it doesn’t fix the HF issues, and I can’t say there is any benefit. I actually think it may be causing problems with the later model xeno heads. But just a theory at this point.

#23469 8 months ago
Quoted from Beowulfz07:

New Acrylic speaker mounts arrived.
Going to fit 2 JBL speakers in and eliminate the dark patch either side of the lower screen
[quoted image]

A great idea!!!...anxious for pics....

#23470 8 months ago

My early FullT has an Antek AS-3450 toroidal.
http://www.antekinc.com/as-3450-300va-50v-transformer/
No other markings on the windings or conductors exist, just the sticker as shown.

antek_as3450 (resized).jpgatec-as-3450 (resized).jpgmore_antel (resized).jpg
#23471 8 months ago

Mike, would the FullT sensors be the same? The code on the I/O boards is not protected and I have a Pickit 3.

Quoted from TimeBandit:

I will release schematics once I have it working. Bigger issue is the code on the micro. It's toggling the LED and doing the ADC work. I can see the chip through my PIC programmer but the code protection is set on so you can't lift the code directly. I have to replicate its functionality and hope I can get it to work. That's in progress now.

#23472 8 months ago

IO board code is not the issue its the code on the Sensor boards

#23473 8 months ago
Quoted from shaneo:

Mike, would the FullT sensors be the same? The code on the I/O boards is not protected and I have a Pickit 3.

It's worth a shot! If you can lift the code and send it I can test immediately. Pickit at the ready. And I changed the chip on this sensor to a blank.
6578AA1C-4AEB-4382-8163-30AD800A04ED (resized).jpeg

#23474 8 months ago
Quoted from Ballypinball:

IO board code is not the issue its the code on the Sensor boards

I was hoping "IO" was just a misnomer and he meant sensor.

#23475 8 months ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

I was hoping "IO" was just a misnomer and he meant sensor.

I did misnomer. It's late and I'll get to this first thing in morn.
If I have no luck on that ave, I can sort out SSH to the FullT's Utilite if you believe that may assist you.
Avrdude is bitbaked into FullT's Yocto image, and I have seen it do stuff, but have but too lazy to log external, but they will be there somewhere.

#23476 8 months ago
Quoted from shaneo:

I did misnomer. It's late and I'll get to this first thing in morn.
If I have no luck on that ave, I can sort out SSH to the FullT's Utilite if you believe that may assist you.
Avrdude is bitbaked into FullT's Yocto image, and I have seen it do stuff, but have but too lazy to log external, but they will be there somewhere.

The sensor code is nowhere on the images for Alien or Full Throttle. They were not designed to be field-upgradeable.

#23477 8 months ago

All,

I still have a few of the Alien IO boards left for sale. $250 ea shipped in the US, a bit more for international. Shoot me a note if you're interested.

Thanks,
Chris

#23478 8 months ago
Quoted from bcd:

The sensor code is nowhere on the images for Alien or Full Throttle. They were not designed to be field-upgradeable.

I shall order some spares then, as Mike works his magic......was there a post in here that some stock available for sale? (lazy, but I'll scroll back to see if I can find it)

Edit - found:

https://www.free-play.se/en/playfield-parts/switches/group-1707858/alien-full-throttle-inductive-switch.html

#23479 8 months ago

Thanks a lot for sharing! Interesting to see, that they also got the 12V DC from this source. Newer models (with 12V SPS) seem to use the same transformer, the 15V ist taped and not used then. 300 VA is less than I expected...

#23480 8 months ago
Quoted from shaneo:

Mike, would the FullT sensors be the same? The code on the I/O boards is not protected and I have a Pickit 3.

I've just checked Code protection bit on the sensors is set to on. Hmm.

IMG_20181028_101217 (resized).jpg
#23481 8 months ago
Quoted from shaneo:

I've just checked Code protection bit on the sensors is set to on. Hmm.[quoted image]

Yeah, I don’t think we will get the original code, but we should be able to replicate what it does. It’s toggling the LED and doing the ADC work. I can see the clock cycle and level shifts on the scope.
I may be naively optimistic, but as long as there isn’t some secret handshake message between the sensor and the IO board we should be able to get something going.

#23482 8 months ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Yeah, I don’t think we will get the original code, but we should be able to replicate what it does. It’s toggling the LED and doing the ADC work. I can see the clock cycle and level shifts on the scope.
I may be naively optimistic, but as long as there isn’t some secret handshake message between the sensor and the IO board we should be able to get something going.

You need an electron microscope. Then you would be the coolest kid on the block.

The Utilte's are excellent for serial debug, and the I/O boards do not have the code protection bit enabled but the sensors do. I'll look at activity between all 3 this arvo after smoko. No CRO however so it will be manual logging.

#23483 8 months ago

Update on my acrylics -
Re-run the existing led’s,
Acrylic blocks cut and fixed.
The original block was 15mm thick and couldn’t cut Speaker holes out that thick so was going to use 2 x 8mm thick acrylic blocks each side.
However I’ve now had another idea about a grill, so will hopefully have it finished during the week and let you know what it looks like.
I’m using better quality JBL speakers so looking forward to seeing how they compare to an already great sound.

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#23484 8 months ago
Quoted from bcd:

The sensor code is nowhere on the images for Alien or Full Throttle. They were not designed to be field-upgradeable.

I would agree with this statement. The /game/fw/ folder does contain hex files for updating the IO boards, but nothing for the Xeno jaw board or the sensors. The Xeno jaw board doesn't have the protection bit, as we dumped it.

avrdude_output.PNG
#23485 8 months ago

I just finished the installation of a playfield protector on my Alien. It removed a lot of parts and took the chance to fix / optimize many "details". Both ramps were stuck in the playfield so bad, that I preferred to cut the outer loop of the protector instead of damaging something. I like the result and I know my Alien much better now
The protector is made by Playfield-Protectors and as you can see by the picture it fits very well. Currently they offer a Halloween special (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-protectors-halloween-special).

Alien01-086 (resized).JPG
#23486 8 months ago
Quoted from Per_:

I just finished the installation of a playfield protector on my Alien.

Yeah....but look at that picture! Now you can't see the artwork!

#23487 8 months ago

What is the best way to hit the right facehugger (mini loop) and the chestbuster?
Do you succeed to shot chesbuster with left flipper consistently?

#23488 8 months ago

I've hit the right facehugger (mini loop) with the left upper flipper but it's a tough shot.

The best way I hit the chest burster target is with the upper left flipper. It can also be made with the lower left flipper but it's a very tight shot.

On my machine, the metal guide leading to the chest burster target was directing the ball to the left of the target. This caused well hit shots from the upper left flipper to go too far to the left and miss the target. After removing the guide, elongating the holes with a dremel and repositioning the guide a little to the right, the shot works as expected and is much easier.

Fixed
Alien Chestburster Guide Fix (resized).jpg

Original
Alien Chestburster guide original (resized).jpg

#23489 8 months ago
Quoted from Per_:

I just finished the installation of a playfield protector on my Alien. It removed a lot of parts and took the chance to fix / optimize many "details". Both ramps were stuck in the playfield so bad, that I preferred to cut the outer loop of the protector instead of damaging something. I like the result and I know my Alien much better now
The protector is made by Playfield-Protectors and as you can see by the picture it fits very well. Currently they offer a Halloween special (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-protectors-halloween-special).
[quoted image]

Hi,
I received the same protector but after speaking with Helmut he said that there shouldn’t be a cutout for the magnet.
So I spoke to them and they are sending a replacement without the cutout.

#23490 8 months ago
Quoted from Per_:

I just finished the installation of a playfield protector on my Alien. It removed a lot of parts and took the chance to fix / optimize many "details". Both ramps were stuck in the playfield so bad, that I preferred to cut the outer loop of the protector instead of damaging something. I like the result and I know my Alien much better now
The protector is made by Playfield-Protectors and as you can see by the picture it fits very well. Currently they offer a Halloween special (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-protectors-halloween-special).
[quoted image]

Are those adhesive or do they just lay on top?

#23491 8 months ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

What is the best way to hit the right facehugger (mini loop) and the chestbuster?
Do you succeed to shot chesbuster with left flipper consistently?

Right Facehugger (Vent 2): either from the upper left flipper after a saucer eject, or from the lower-left flipper by aiming for the weapon target above that lane, or even from the LL flipper by aiming for the right side of the post at the tip of the upper-right flipper -- that ricochets into Vent 2 more than you might expect.

Chestburster: either from the upper-left or lower-left flipper, as you'd expect. Both are possible, it's just a tight shot. (BTW, Vent 1 -> Chestburster is called a Host Combo, and is kind of like an End of Line Jackpot on Tron... can be rather valuable.) If you haven't already, I'd suggest going into adjustments and turning "Chestburster Lane Difficulty" to Easy... this eliminates the requirement to actually hit the standup target, and allows just the inductive switch in the lane to award this shot. It's only a couple centimeters difference, but in my experience this makes it a fair bit easier.

As for consistency of hitting the Chestburster... once just for fun I tried it 100 times in a row and tallied my success rate... I got right around 33%. I don't know what the success rate for an "average" shot is, but I'd consider the Chestburster to be fairly difficult but doable.

#23492 8 months ago
Quoted from Zablon:

Are those adhesive or do they just lay on top?

They just lay on top, don’t move and don’t damage the playfield when you remove it.
I don’t normally use them but due to rarity of machine I’ve decided protection better than cure

#23493 8 months ago
Quoted from Ferret:

Right Facehugger (Vent 2): either from the upper left flipper after a saucer eject, or from the lower-left flipper by aiming for the weapon target above that lane, or even from the LL flipper by aiming for the right side of the post at the tip of the upper-right flipper -- that ricochets into Vent 2 more than you might expect.
Chestburster: either from the upper-left or lower-left flipper, as you'd expect. Both are possible, it's just a tight shot. (BTW, Vent 1 -> Chestburster is called a Host Combo, and is kind of like an End of Line Jackpot on Tron... can be rather valuable.) If you haven't already, I'd suggest going into adjustments and turning "Chestburster Lane Difficulty" to Easy... this eliminates the requirement to actually hit the standup target, and allows just the inductive switch in the lane to award this shot. It's only a couple centimeters difference, but in my experience this makes it a fair bit easier.
As for consistency of hitting the Chestburster... once just for fun I tried it 100 times in a row and tallied my success rate... I got right around 33%. I don't know what the success rate for an "average" shot is, but I'd consider the Chestburster to be fairly difficult but doable.

And Super satisfying just like the Gem shot on Tron
Love Quora / right ramp combo too which is similar to chestbuster / hyper sleep.
Very satisfying but the sound / animation for chestbuster is awesome and never gets old like bear kicks on TAF, I could hit them all day and always made me smile.
Such a pity more people can’t enjoy this fabulous machine

#23494 8 months ago
Quoted from Ferret:

Right Facehugger (Vent 2): either from the upper left flipper after a saucer eject, or from the lower-left flipper by aiming for the weapon target above that lane, or even from the LL flipper by aiming for the right side of the post at the tip of the upper-right flipper -- that ricochets into Vent 2 more than you might expect.
Chestburster: either from the upper-left or lower-left flipper, as you'd expect. Both are possible, it's just a tight shot. (BTW, Vent 1 -> Chestburster is called a Host Combo, and is kind of like an End of Line Jackpot on Tron... can be rather valuable.) If you haven't already, I'd suggest going into adjustments and turning "Chestburster Lane Difficulty" to Easy... this eliminates the requirement to actually hit the standup target, and allows just the inductive switch in the lane to award this shot. It's only a couple centimeters difference, but in my experience this makes it a fair bit easier.
As for consistency of hitting the Chestburster... once just for fun I tried it 100 times in a row and tallied my success rate... I got right around 33%. I don't know what the success rate for an "average" shot is, but I'd consider the Chestburster to be fairly difficult but doable.

I would try to aim these specific targets to succeed vent 2 from left lower flipper.
The left outlane is a bit cluttered. So Shots from upper left flipper are more difficult to succeed, I think easier for a taller player? I don’t know if anyone has thought to experience something and see better this area.
Another point, maybe already said, I estimate there is no enough ball coming to right upper flipper from bumper. Does someone has tried to shut the left rejecting lane to bring the ball to right side and then flipper. I mean there no way to shot bumpers by this way in any case, correct?

#23495 8 months ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

The left outlane is a bit cluttered. So Shots from upper left flipper are more difficult to succeed, I think easier for a taller player? I don’t know if anyone has thought to experience something and see better this area.

Not sure I understand your comparison between the left outlane and the UL flipper. If you're shooting something from the UL flipper, the ball is not near the outlane. In fact, with a properly leveled game, if you completely ignore the UL flipper, a shot to Vent 1 (saucer) should drop nicely to the left inlane when ejected... and that is indeed a strategy in itself, allowing saucer ejects to drop into the left inlane without flipping at it. Regardless, ejects from the saucer should not normally go into the left outlane... if it does, check the level of your machine, and perhaps tweak the strength of the left saucer coil.

Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Another point, maybe already said, I estimate there is no enough ball coming to right upper flipper from bumper. Does someone has tried to shut the left rejecting lane to bring the ball to right side and then flipper. I mean there no way to shot bumpers by this way in any case, correct?

Again, not sure of your question here. The pop bumpers should bounce the ball around randomly... eventually, roughly 50% of balls will bounce out to the left, while roughly 50% of balls will fall to the right and feed the upper-right (UR) flipper. I don't know if these ratios are exactly correct, but I don't believe that it's expected for balls to exit significantly more one way or the other, if the machine is properly leveled.

#23496 8 months ago
Quoted from Per_:

I just finished the installation of a playfield protector on my Alien. It removed a lot of parts and took the chance to fix / optimize many "details". Both ramps were stuck in the playfield so bad, that I preferred to cut the outer loop of the protector instead of damaging something. I like the result and I know my Alien much better now
The protector is made by Playfield-Protectors and as you can see by the picture it fits very well. Currently they offer a Halloween special (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-protectors-halloween-special).
[quoted image]

I had my ramps stuck in similar way, so I decided not to remove them, when I put the PF protector in. The protector went a bit too far up to the mystery hole and blocked the ball once in the hole, so I had to cut the PF protector a bit shorter. I also did not manage to remove the ramps on the left above the orbit that would lead ultimately to the pop bumpers, so I made a cut in the PF protector and reattached the PF-protector pieces with mylar. Did you manage to do it, or did you make a cut as well?

#23497 8 months ago
Quoted from Beowulfz07:

They just lay on top, don’t move and don’t damage the playfield when you remove it.
I don’t normally use them but due to rarity of machine I’ve decided protection better than cure

They are held by the flaps etc. and adhesive effects. They should not be fixed entirely to allow temperature depending length changes.
I decided to add mine on the new machine for the same reason (in particular to protect the playfield monitor cover). Ball movement may change a little bit but I can live with this. JJP even offers factory installed protectors.

Quoted from Nepi23:

Did you manage to do it, or did you make a cut as well?

I also did one cut behind the airlock screen and put the stripes together with mylar (from behind). There will always be some "fine tuning" with the protectors as no two machines are exactly the same (especially from Heighway )

cut (resized).jpg
#23498 8 months ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Yeah, I don’t think we will get the original code, but we should be able to replicate what it does. It’s toggling the LED and doing the ADC work. I can see the clock cycle and level shifts on the scope.
I may be naively optimistic, but as long as there isn’t some secret handshake message between the sensor and the IO board we should be able to get something going.

I believe I can you get you the code you need, and I have no reason to doubt my source.
If you PM me I will give you the details as I know once you have the code that you will be able to make them.

#23499 8 months ago

Here is the production GI bulb. If you have a look around your games you will find 10-12 spots where the light pipes are fully visible and would be appropriate places to replace.

The neck is narrow to allow for some play in each of the playfield holes as the alignment to the board underneath is not 100% consistent. Mine all seem to fit with the given clearance.

I am doing some more testing here and the Wayland Yutani boys will do some as well. If nothing blows up they will be available in 10-12 days.

2CD973EE-3E65-43AA-A869-9914490EEC56 (resized).jpegAD649789-6960-4E98-B121-25715F7D95A2 (resized).jpegE8928619-6FEC-462E-BD03-9E2A780E5366 (resized).jpeg
#23500 8 months ago
Quoted from Ferret:

Not sure I understand your comparison between the left outlane and the UL flipper. If you're shooting something from the UL flipper, the ball is not near the outlane. In fact, with a properly leveled game, if you completely ignore the UL flipper, a shot to Vent 1 (saucer) should drop nicely to the left inlane when ejected... and that is indeed a strategy in itself, allowing saucer ejects to drop into the left inlane without flipping at it. Regardless, ejects from the saucer should not normally go into the left outlane... if it does, check the level of your machine, and perhaps tweak the strength of the left saucer coil.

Again, not sure of your question here. The pop bumpers should bounce the ball around randomly... eventually, roughly 50% of balls will bounce out to the left, while roughly 50% of balls will fall to the right and feed the upper-right (UR) flipper. I don't know if these ratios are exactly correct, but I don't believe that it's expected for balls to exit significantly more one way or the other, if the machine is properly leveled.

The first part is not very important as I was just stating that shooting with UL flipper may be easier for tall player as he can see better this cluttered area and in particular when ball is rolling on this UL flipper. It is also easier when you need to bounce a little to avoid draining in the game, not in particular when ball is coming from UL flipper.

The second part is more important for me as I think your ratio is wrong. I estimate that at least 80% of the balls coming from bumpers exit to left side and so only 20% to right side and UR flipper. As there is no other way to go into bumpers than by loops ( I mean can you hit theses bumpers from UL flipper?), what this left exit from bumpers is used for? It is just a design game, correct? If I want 100% balls exit to UR flipper, what it should be in my opinion as there is no other way to feed it, i need to install a wireform to get it as I would like. That makes sense to you? What this left exit was used for when it was designed?

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