(Topic ID: 85292)

Bally/Stern AS-2518 Club !

By mof

7 years ago


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There are 2,825 posts in this topic. You are on page 57 of 57.
#2801 16 days ago

I have my moments.

20211116_165033 (resized).jpg
#2802 16 days ago
Quoted from gdonovan:

I have my moments.
[quoted image]

Very nice!

#2803 16 days ago

Looking for guidance on a solenoid issue with my Stern Meteor rebuild. Quick background:

- Machine was working (but tired and cosmetically challenged) before tear down
- Playfield was swapped for CPR and the wire harness was cleaned and moved from the old playfield to the new one
- All connectors have been re-pinned
- SDB was re-capped and tested good in another machine
- Original Rectifier board was replaced with a new X-Pin
- All test points on the Rectifier board show the expected voltages
- All test points on the SDB show the expected voltages
- All test points on the MPU show the expected voltages

Pin boots to attract mode. I've got some lamp issues to work out but that's further down the priority list. What I'm looking at now is that no playfield solenoids fire at power on or during Self Test. During the Self Test, the Knocker does work and I can hear the relay on the SDB click at the appropriate time as well.

All tabs on all coils on the playfield show only 6.25 VDC when I'm expecting 37.6 to 48.4 VDC. The Knocker coil tabs show 43.20 VDC.

Something is causing the low voltage at the playfield coils but I'm not sure where to start. Thanx in advance for any next move suggestions!

#2804 16 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Looking for guidance on a solenoid issue with my Stern Meteor rebuild. Quick background:
- Machine was working (but tired and cosmetically challenged) before tear down
- Playfield was swapped for CPR and the wire harness was cleaned and moved from the old playfield to the new one
- All connectors have been re-pinned
- SDB was re-capped and tested good in another machine
- Original Rectifier board was replaced with a new X-Pin
- All test points on the Rectifier board show the expected voltages
- All test points on the SDB show the expected voltages
- All test points on the MPU show the expected voltages
Pin boots to attract mode. I've got some lamp issues to work out but that's further down the priority list. What I'm looking at now is that no playfield solenoids fire at power on or during Self Test. During the Self Test, the Knocker does work and I can hear the relay on the SDB click at the appropriate time as well.
All tabs on all coils on the playfield show only 6.25 VDC when I'm expecting 37.6 to 48.4 VDC. The Knocker coil tabs show 43.20 VDC.
Something is causing the low voltage at the playfield coils but I'm not sure where to start. Thanx in advance for any next move suggestions!

Check the connectors on the rectifier board and SDB. Make sure the right colored wires are going to the right pins. I had one connector that was off by one, and the coils weren’t getting power. It could be you accidentally put one on wrong or repinned wrong.

#2805 16 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Looking for guidance on a solenoid issue with my Stern Meteor rebuild. Quick background:
- Machine was working (but tired and cosmetically challenged) before tear down
- Playfield was swapped for CPR and the wire harness was cleaned and moved from the old playfield to the new one
- All connectors have been re-pinned
- SDB was re-capped and tested good in another machine
- Original Rectifier board was replaced with a new X-Pin
- All test points on the Rectifier board show the expected voltages
- All test points on the SDB show the expected voltages
- All test points on the MPU show the expected voltages
Pin boots to attract mode. I've got some lamp issues to work out but that's further down the priority list. What I'm looking at now is that no playfield solenoids fire at power on or during Self Test. During the Self Test, the Knocker does work and I can hear the relay on the SDB click at the appropriate time as well.
All tabs on all coils on the playfield show only 6.25 VDC when I'm expecting 37.6 to 48.4 VDC. The Knocker coil tabs show 43.20 VDC.
Something is causing the low voltage at the playfield coils but I'm not sure where to start. Thanx in advance for any next move suggestions!

Check the J1 connecter at the rectifier. I’ve done the same thing before.
96B0899E-C6C8-4743-A729-F9E63B6A611F (resized).jpeg
FB39A626-4ED2-4FA2-95BD-3725DC1FC1C8 (resized).jpeg

#2806 16 days ago
Quoted from Nokoro:

Check the connectors on the rectifier board

Thanx for forcing me to look at that! The original TA-100 rectifier J1 is 8 pins and the XPin J1 is 9 pins and when I re-pinned that connecter, I put the last three (GI Bus, Feature Lamp Bus, and Sol Bus) wires on the end instead of counting 1,2,3 from left to right (which would have made it obvious on my bench during the re-pinning session). Oy.

Quoted from bigguybbr:

Check the J1 connecter at the rectifier.

I was thinking all the while fixing it that someone is going to post before me "hey...Xpin has an extra pin on J1 that goes unused on older Sterns" or something like that. Sure enough...

Solenoid test now works for all coils except the O and R in the METEOR drop target bank. I'll look into that later tonight along with a couple of lamp issues.

Thanx guys!

#2807 16 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Thanx for forcing me to look at that! The original TA-100 rectifier J1 is 8 pins and the XPin J1 is 9 pins and when I re-pinned that connecter, I put the last three (GI Bus, Feature Lamp Bus, and Sol Bus) wires on the end instead of counting 1,2,3 from left to right (which would have made it obvious on my bench during the re-pinning session). Oy.

I was thinking all the while fixing it that someone is going to post before me "hey...Xpin has an extra pin on J1 that goes unused on older Sterns" or something like that. Sure enough...
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Solenoid test now works for all coils except the O and R in the METEOR drop target bank. I'll look into that later tonight along with a couple of lamp issues.
Thanx guys!

Glad my mistake helped!

#2808 16 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Thanx for forcing me to look at that! The original TA-100 rectifier J1 is 8 pins and the XPin J1 is 9 pins and when I re-pinned that connecter, I put the last three (GI Bus, Feature Lamp Bus, and Sol Bus) wires on the end instead of counting 1,2,3 from left to right (which would have made it obvious on my bench during the re-pinning session). Oy.

Yep, I had that same 8 vs 9 pin issue, and my whole connector was over by one. The 43v that were supposed to go to the coils went to the controlled lamps instead and blew them all out.

#2809 16 days ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

Audio question for the gang:
After reassembling my xenon I seemed to have lost volume. It’s about half as loud as before.
I thought it was because of the replacement speakers so I swapped the originals.
I tried adjusting the 1k pot on the board to see if I might have lowered the volume there by accident but all that did is made things sound worse.
I changed the volume pot on the board and now that adjusts smoothly but there’s no improvement. The pot in the coin door is new as well.
Where should I start on trouble shooting low volume? Any thing I should measure or consider replacing?

Quoted from mrm_4:

Update on voltages
TP1 = 15.4 DC 33 AC (schematic says 11.9DC 0.1 AC)
TP2 = 4.9 DC = OK
TP3 = 0.11 DC 0.01 AC (not sure what it should be, looks like it’s ground but when I do a continuity test on anything grounded the meter makes a distorted pulsating sound, only on TP3 no where else in the game)
TP4 = bounces between 0.19 to 0.33 DC (schematics say 2.5 DC with sound I tested during game)
TP5 = 2.5 DC = OK
TP6 = .33 AC = OK
Also during attract I get a high frequency sound when the high score is displayed
Just a quick EEEEEP ———— EEEEEP ———— EEEEEP as the displays change from last game to high score.

Quoted from mrm_4:

Also when I removed the vocal board my ground tests normal and I get the correct voltage on TP4.
TP1 is still testing high.
Plug the vocal board back in and I get wonky reads and a funky ground.
I’m ordering the cap kits for both boards for good measure but it seems like there’s a grounding issue on the vocal board. Any thoughts?

Just wanted to circle back about this to see if anyone has a suggestion. Im more interested in the proper way to track this down than just shot gunning things if anyone is willing to help I appreciate it.

#2810 16 days ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

Just wanted to circle back about this to see if anyone has a suggestion. Im more interested in the proper way to track this down than just shot gunning things if anyone is willing to help I appreciate it.

I assume you have already reflowed the solder on the board pin connectors? Then install the caps you have ordered. Do you have an oscilloscope?

#2811 16 days ago
Quoted from JethroP:

I assume you have already reflowed the solder on the board pin connectors? Then install the caps you have ordered. Do you have an oscilloscope?

Pins are reflowed, and I cleaned up some previous repairs to make sure there wasnt any solder bridges. The caps are on order. I do have a hand me down oscilloscope and I also have a probe.

The caps havent come in yet. I plan on recapping the vocal board first to see if it changes anything then recapping the main sound board.

Before hand I think it would go a long way to test something and say "aha! its this little guy right here causing the issue!" Im just not that experienced yet. Or know a proper way to test with a multimeter other than measuring voltages.

#2812 13 days ago

Replaced all caps on the vocal board and main sound board and also replaced the voltage regulator on the vocal board. No difference. I’m measuring 16 volts on all my test points in the game that is supposed to be 12 DC. Is this normal? And why do I get a whine for the duration the high score is displayed? This constant EEEEEEEE WHOMMMMMMM EEEEEEEEE WHOMMMMMMM is driving me nuts.

#2813 11 days ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

EEEEEEEE WHOMMMMMMM EEEEEEEEE WHOMMMMMMM

Congrats; welcome to the bally club.
Seriously; that is normal. No one has really admitted to finding the cause of the Soundcard humm.
I suspect a ground loop; but haven't done much to find a solution.

#2814 11 days ago

Try floating the sound board. Worked on my Kiss.

1 week later
#2815 2 days ago

So what can be done about intermittent "lazy pops"? And I don't mean a father who sits around watching TV. Lazy Pops is the best short description I can come up with for how the pop bumpers occassionally behave in my '84 EBD.

I've had this behavior on my EBD since I bought it a few years ago. I've since done a restoration on it which included, of course, a rebuild of the pop bumpers with all new parts (rings, bodies, plastic caps, springs, skirts, coil stops, yokes, lamp sockets, plungers, and spoons). The only things original are the funky Bally/Midway bases and the leaf switches, which have been cleaned. For fun, I've also put in new coils but no change in behavior. All board-side connectors were re-pinned. The schematic does not call for caps on the pop switch stacks, but I added some anyway (100v, 0.047uF) which eliminated instances of dead pops where the ball moved the skirt stick in the spoon, closed the switch, but the coil did not fire.

Despite the fact that all voltage test points on the rectifier and SDB boards are at the expected values (as is the voltage at all the coil tabs on each pop bumper), this "lazy pops" syndrome rears its ugly head a couple of times during each 3-ball game. Most times, the pops are pretty zippy and active. But sometimes the bottom pop bumper gets so lazy, the weak pop action isn't even enough to send the ball up top to and actually reach the rollover lanes.

The slings don't seem to exhibit this, but then again they don't get as much of a workout as the pops.

One thing I haven't done yet is figure out a way to test/record the voltage levels DURING gameplay and see what they look like at the times the pops are "lazy". This feels like a power-related issue but not sure what to look at next. While I've swapped out the SDB as a test for that board (no change in pops behavior), I do not have a spare rectifier board to try and swap out. The one in there now is an aftermarket one that was in the pin when I bought it - a very clean looking Gulf Pinball power module board that measures properly at all test points.

Rectifer PCB (Gulf Pinball) (resized).jpg

Check out this 50 second video. First half is "normal" behavior and the second half is the "lazy pops". Am I just being too picky on a 38 year old pin and this is all normal behavior, or is there something I could do here to address what sometimes appears to be weak thumper action?

#2816 1 day ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

So what can be done about intermittent "lazy pops"? And I don't mean a father who sits around watching TV. Lazy Pops is the best short description I can come up with for how the pop bumpers occassionally behave in my '84 EBD.
I've had this behavior on my EBD since I bought it a few years ago. I've since done a restoration on it which included, of course, a rebuild of the pop bumpers with all new parts (rings, bodies, plastic caps, springs, skirts, coil stops, yokes, lamp sockets, plungers, and spoons). The only things original are the funky Bally/Midway bases and the leaf switches, which have been cleaned. For fun, I've also put in new coils but no change in behavior. All board-side connectors were re-pinned. The schematic does not call for caps on the pop switch stacks, but I added some anyway (100v, 0.047uF) which eliminated instances of dead pops where the ball moved the skirt stick in the spoon, closed the switch, but the coil did not fire.
Despite the fact that all voltage test points on the rectifier and SDB boards are at the expected values (as is the voltage at all the coil tabs on each pop bumper), this "lazy pops" syndrome rears its ugly head a couple of times during each 3-ball game. Most times, the pops are pretty zippy and active. But sometimes the bottom pop bumper gets so lazy, the weak pop action isn't even enough to send the ball up top to and actually reach the rollover lanes.
The slings don't seem to exhibit this, but then again they don't get as much of a workout as the pops.
One thing I haven't done yet is figure out a way to test/record the voltage levels DURING gameplay and see what they look like at the times the pops are "lazy". This feels like a power-related issue but not sure what to look at next. While I've swapped out the SDB as a test for that board (no change in pops behavior), I do not have a spare rectifier board to try and swap out. The one in there now is an aftermarket one that was in the pin when I bought it - a very clean looking Gulf Pinball power module board that measures properly at all test points.
[quoted image]
Check out this 50 second video. First half is "normal" behavior and the second half is the "lazy pops". Am I just being too picky on a 38 year old pin and this is all normal behavior, or is there something I could do here to address what sometimes appears to be weak thumper action?

I'm sure you have probably checked this out, but when I've had some issues with my pops in the past, and a lot of the time it is the spoon is adjusted poorly. If you have your playfield raised to get access to the underside of the playfield, gently pull the spoon back. If you see the point of the pop bumper skirt move at all, your spoon needs to be adjusted to the right position. Once you have that right, try to press on the skirt from all sides to make sure the tip of the skirt doesn't slide off the edge of the spoon anywhere, and that the switch is making good contact from all directions.

On the old Sterns (like our Meteors), there are a couple of brass washers that go on under the plastic spacers. If those are missing, the skirt sits too low in relation to the playfield, and doesn't actuate the switch properly.

#2817 1 day ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

I'm sure you have probably checked this out, but when I've had some issues with my pops in the past, and a lot of the time it is the spoon is adjusted poorly. If you have your playfield raised to get access to the underside of the playfield, gently pull the spoon back. If you see the point of the pop bumper skirt move at all, your spoon needs to be adjusted to the right position. Once you have that right, try to press on the skirt from all sides to make sure the tip of the skirt doesn't slide off the edge of the spoon anywhere, and that the switch is making good contact from all directions.
On the old Sterns (like our Meteors), there are a couple of brass washers that go on under the plastic spacers. If those are missing, the skirt sits too low in relation to the playfield, and doesn't actuate the switch properly.

Thanx, bigguybbr, and you're right....I've already adjusted the spoons so that the skirt stick is dead-nuts center. I'm suspecting that this isn't an activation issue, i.e. the switches are making contact 100% of the time when the balls hit the skirts. It "feels" like an intermittent power drop.

#2818 1 day ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Thanx, bigguybbr, and you're right....I've already adjusted the spoons so that the skirt stick is dead-nuts center. I'm suspecting that this isn't an activation issue, i.e. the switches are making contact 100% of the time when the balls hit the skirts. It "feels" like an intermittent power drop.

I'm sure with an Oscilloscope you could get your answer, but they are pricey, and I don't have one (yet!). I wonder if there is a cheaper data logger that could help you. I'd built them out of an arduino when I was doing some testing on drone motors and different propeller configurations (I'm a mechanical engineer, but I can do just enough instrumentation work to get by).

To be able to record the voltage you just need some resistors to make voltage dividers to be able to get the voltages from each coil and a few clip on hall effect transducers (I2C are easy to use) to get the current flow. Since it's DC you know P=V*I, so it is easy to get your power value. I'm guessing using the serial monitor to directly output the data might be too slow. Coding it to have a deadband and trigger an event that writes to a matrix of lets say 200x2, then writing that post event to the serial monitor might be faster. You can then graph it to see if there if a difference between your normal and lazy pops to determine if the issue is electrical or mechanical.

#2819 1 day ago

You *could* do all that, but looking at it I can tell you that there's likely just an adjustment issue with the switch. Double-check your spoon adjustment and drag a clean dollar bill through the contacts. Then, take a proper switch adjustment tool - NOT pliers - and adjust the contacts so that they're a hair apart.

The "weak" throw happens when the skirt has to move too far. When the gap is maladjusted or dirty (or the switch is vibrating loose from the bracket) then the ring won't be timed right to get a good "grip" on the ball.

#2820 1 day ago
Quoted from semicolin:

You *could* do all that, but looking at it I can tell you that there's likely just an intermittent issue with the switch. Double-check your spoon adjustment and drag a clean dollar bill through the contacts. Then, take a proper switch adjustment tool - NOT pliers - and adjust the contacts so that they're a hair apart.
The "weak" throw happens when the skirt has to move too far. When the gap is maladjusted or dirty (or the switch is vibrating loose from the bracket) then the ring won't be timed right to get a good "grip" on the ball.

That was my first guess too, but he says he's done that.

I've been known to disassemble my switch stacks and go over the contacts with a Dremel that has a felt buffing wheel on it. It works awesome for cleaning contacts without wearing them down. I learned this when overhauling an old EM, and all the intermittent issues those switch stacks create.

#2821 1 day ago

Well, there isn't a whole lot that can really go wrong with those solenoids, although connectors at the rectifier board could be failing/heating/resisting. In this case though it seems to be straight-up misfiring. That's not a solenoid issue, that's a timing and adjustment issue.

#2822 1 day ago
Quoted from semicolin:

You *could* do all that, but looking at it I can tell you that there's likely just an adjustment issue with the switch. Double-check your spoon adjustment and drag a clean dollar bill through the contacts. Then, take a proper switch adjustment tool - NOT pliers - and adjust the contacts so that they're a hair apart.
The "weak" throw happens when the skirt has to move too far. When the gap is maladjusted or dirty (or the switch is vibrating loose from the bracket) then the ring won't be timed right to get a good "grip" on the ball.

Thanx....I've triple-checked the spoon adjustment and done the dollar bill (and business card) thing with the contacts. I always use my real switch adjustment tools, too....never pliers.

Having said that - the switches look original and are a bit tarnished...is there a solution I could use to actually clean the contacts? 99% Isopropyl alcohol perhaps? The bottom bumper is "lazy" more often than the other two, and I think I have enough brand new switch parts to remake at least one switch stack. I may try that tonight....the spoon is already new, but not the leaf switches themselves.

#2823 1 day ago

They're probably had their plating worn off. Replace.

#2824 1 day ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Having said that - the switches look original and are a bit tarnished...is there a solution I could use to actually clean the contacts?

Like I said, if you have a Dremel with a felt wheel, take apart the switch stack and go over them. The black em dust works like a polish and shines them up nicely.
amazon.com link »

#2825 17 hours ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

So what can be done about intermittent "lazy pops"? And I don't mean a father who sits around watching TV. Lazy Pops is the best short description I can come up with for how the pop bumpers occassionally behave in my '84 EBD.
I've had this behavior on my EBD since I bought it a few years ago. I've since done a restoration on it which included, of course, a rebuild of the pop bumpers with all new parts (rings, bodies, plastic caps, springs, skirts, coil stops, yokes, lamp sockets, plungers, and spoons). The only things original are the funky Bally/Midway bases and the leaf switches, which have been cleaned. For fun, I've also put in new coils but no change in behavior. All board-side connectors were re-pinned. The schematic does not call for caps on the pop switch stacks, but I added some anyway (100v, 0.047uF) which eliminated instances of dead pops where the ball moved the skirt stick in the spoon, closed the switch, but the coil did not fire.
Despite the fact that all voltage test points on the rectifier and SDB boards are at the expected values (as is the voltage at all the coil tabs on each pop bumper), this "lazy pops" syndrome rears its ugly head a couple of times during each 3-ball game. Most times, the pops are pretty zippy and active. But sometimes the bottom pop bumper gets so lazy, the weak pop action isn't even enough to send the ball up top to and actually reach the rollover lanes.
The slings don't seem to exhibit this, but then again they don't get as much of a workout as the pops.
One thing I haven't done yet is figure out a way to test/record the voltage levels DURING gameplay and see what they look like at the times the pops are "lazy". This feels like a power-related issue but not sure what to look at next. While I've swapped out the SDB as a test for that board (no change in pops behavior), I do not have a spare rectifier board to try and swap out. The one in there now is an aftermarket one that was in the pin when I bought it - a very clean looking Gulf Pinball power module board that measures properly at all test points.
[quoted image]
Check out this 50 second video. First half is "normal" behavior and the second half is the "lazy pops". Am I just being too picky on a 38 year old pin and this is all normal behavior, or is there something I could do here to address what sometimes appears to be weak thumper action?

That does not look normal to me. The switch on a Bally is a logical input to the MPU, there is no connection from it to anything in the solenoid firing circuit. So the switch is either triggering or not, and the MPU fires the solenoid or it doesn't. I did not see any dead hits, just weak solenoid action. Does this happen only after the machine has been on a while? I assume you have checked the coils don't feel oddly warm? Does this lazy mode suddenly come as well as go? You could rig up an external push button with alligator clips to the lower bumper's switch so you can fire it at will. I would monitor the solenoid power voltage at the coil. Hammer away at the button and try to induce lazy mode or play until it happens and keep firing it manually. I would have suggested a weak power transistor or the primary transistor on the SDB but you have replaced that board. Feels like a power connection somehow given what you have tested already.

A cheap USB scope is not expensive, if you had one you could watch how long the solenoid is being fired. The solenoid power is rectified following half-sine looking pulses. The coil is fired for something like 3 pulses. If that changes the MPU is somehow doing it but that would be pretty strange.

What is the history of the MPU? The reason I ask is the two PIA (U10 and U11) chips directly drive the data lines going to the SDB or to the switch matrix. I have a FutureSpa that could not read the stand-up target at the end of the 4 inline drops. All 5 were on the same switch matrix strobe and the PIA's internal driver had become weak, it could only handle 4 of 5 switches closed and still successfully read the switches. Swapping the PIAs got it working. In your case U11 pins set the solenoid addresses, if they misbehave you could get a result like that. You could swap them and see if the weird issues move to the reading of switches.

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