(Topic ID: 95704)

Bally EM Flippers weak.


By Arcade

5 years ago



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  • 20 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Arcade
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 5 years ago

Got a strange problem with my Captain Fantastic.
Out of the 4 flippers on the game two are very weak and just kind of push the ball.
They don't snap up hard, they just shove the ball around.
I have replaced the flipper coils, sleeves, plunger rods and pawls. They move very freely by hand.
I have also cleaned and adjusted the EOS contacts until I am blue in the face.
The strange part is that it is the upper right flipper and lower left flippers that are the problem. So that should rule out the contacts on the flipper buttons as they are just a single switch and one flipper on each side works great.
Any ideas are appreciated.
Here is the only photo I have of the underside right now.

IMG_1300.JPG
#2 5 years ago

I'm leaning towards the EOS switches. Specifically the normally closed on the left and normally open on the right. For a quick test short across them and see if it helps.

#3 5 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

I'm leaning towards the EOS switches. Specifically the normally closed on the left and normally open on the right. For a quick test short across them and see if it helps.

Do you mean to take the normally open ones and short them to always closed?
Sounds like a good idea, just not sure which ones to jumper.

#4 5 years ago

I think he mans to jumper the NC switch. if power increases, then the EOS switch is flaky. Sometimes the switches can partially break/crack inside (or at the edge of) the stack and barely make contact. Shorting them (by jumping the wires leading to the NC switches) can bypass the switch and be a quick check to see if the switch is not passing full current between the wires. Of course, DON'T hold the flipper up when testing this, as it can burn out the coil--just try a quick flip to see if it has proper force.

I don't think that jumping the NO switch will matter, as that switch doesn't conduct during the power stroke anyway. In fact, I'm not sure what the NO switch does at all.

I was going to suggest checking the flipper button switches, but you are right, those should be OK if one flipper on each side is working well.

#5 5 years ago

Thanks. That makes sense.
Maybe the NC switch is not really making good contact even though it looks like it is.
I will give this a try in the morning.
Thanks a bunch for the ideas. Much appreciated.

#6 5 years ago

Yes, short the normally open switch to always closed. It will just make both flippers engage at the same time instead of the upper waiting until the lower is fully engaged. It adds a little more stress to the power supply, but is really no different than pressing both flipper buttons at the same time. With the NO switch shorted you could also put a piece of paper in the NC switch so only the upper flipper engages.

#7 5 years ago

Ah, that's what it does--the NO switch activates the second flipper on that side. Jumping the wires to the NC switch where they attach to the switch will indicate whether the NC switch is working correctly for the weak lower flipper. Jumping the NO switch for the weak upper flipper side will check that switch.

#8 5 years ago

Replace every EOS switch Those contacts are probably trashed. Best 6 bucks (each) u will ever spend. Makes a world of difference.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from rstrunks:

Replace every EOS switch Those contacts are probably trashed. Best 6 bucks (each) u will ever spend. Makes a world of difference.

Still test them first by jumpering before you replace them. No reason to throw parts at it that can be easily diagnosed.

Mike O.

#10 5 years ago

Jumpering the EOS contacts had no effect. Arrrrrrgh.
We did measure voltage on all 4 flipper coils.
Oddly enough the two weak coils measure 69 volts and the two stronger coils measure only 52 volts.
Seems backwards to me but that is what they are getting.
We jumpered the EOS at the solder points to be sure no blades were broken but the two flippers were just as weak as ever.

#11 5 years ago

I know this may not make sense since two of the flippers work solidly but have you inspected the fuse holders? The Bally fuse holders from this era are notoriously bad quality.

Competent fuse holders are $1 at Radio Shack.

Mike O.

#12 5 years ago

We will check that out. Thanks

#13 5 years ago

Do the springs have proper tension? Just a bit of vertical play (1/16" or so) on the flipper shafts? Are the bushings (plastic that goes thru the pf) unbroken? (OK, you might notice flipper rag with the latter 2 issues, but doesn't hurt to check.)

So an upper flipper and a lower flipper are weak, with higher voltages, and the other 2 are stronger with lower voltages? Seems like the weak flippers have higher resistance, less current. But you replaced the coils already?

#14 5 years ago

We did not replace the springs and the bushings did not look worn or cracked.
It is a very strange problem. Tomorrow we are going to replace the 5 amp fuse holder in the center of the playfield. When we tried to clean it up one of the sides just cracked off.
But it was getting late and we did not have time to run to Radio Shack for a new one.

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from Arcade:

We did not replace the springs and the bushings did not look worn or cracked.
It is a very strange problem. Tomorrow we are going to replace the 5 amp fuse holder in the center of the playfield. When we tried to clean it up one of the sides just cracked off.
But it was getting late and we did not have time to run to Radio Shack for a new one.

I barely touched it to see if I could clean some of that yellow residue that builds up on them and the jones plugs. It just bent over and is cracked at the base. MikeO sure could have been on to something if the fuse wasn't getting good contact.

#16 5 years ago

There are 6 high power switches that need to be working for the 4 flippers to work correctly. Check the 4 EOS switches by checking the resistance across them when closed (power off). Touch your test leads to where the wires connect to the switch. If more than 1 ohm resistance, replace that switch. Also check the 2 lower NO switches. Hold them closed with you fingers and check resistance. Again, more than 1 ohm resistance, replace. PB resource sells the NO switches and the correct EOS switches.

On the weak upper flipper, it's likely either the lower NO switch or the upper EOS switch. On the weak lower flipper, it's likely the lower EOS switch. Checking resistance on all the switches should narrow it down.

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from KingNine:

I barely touched it to see if I could clean some of that yellow residue that builds up on them and the jones plugs. It just bent over and is cracked at the base. MikeO sure could have been on to something if the fuse wasn't getting good contact.

My suggestion was intended to be the next step after you had eliminated the EOS switches by jumpering past them.

Bad fuse connections are one of those basic items that we often take for granted that can have an effect on the game function.

Phishrace has given you a definitive approach to address to confirm if these switches are the cause of your problem. Replacing marginal fuse holders is just preventative maintenance.

Please report back with details of your results on checking the 6 flipper switches.

Mike O.

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from MikeO:

Please report back with details of your results on checking the 6 flipper switches.

We will get that checked today.
Going to buy the new fuse holder now.
Also just to be sure, when checking resistance I should use the Diode setting on the meter?

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from Arcade:

We will get that checked today.Going to buy the new fuse holder now.Also just to be sure, when checking resistance I should use the Diode setting on the meter?

No, you want to read on the resistance setting - OHMs.

#20 5 years ago

Problem solved!!!!
After installing the new fuse holder, and making sure everything had the correct Ohm's we discovered the real culprit.
Turns out the two coils in question were wired wrong.
Yes, one was my fault but the other coil was wired wrong in the first place.
I always take before photos before doing any work. One clearly showed my mistake which is the left side flipper in the first post photo.
The other (not shown) flipper was wired just like the old one was, but my brother noticed the wiring looked wrong when compared to the other upper flipper.
All flippers are now at full power with only a small amount of embarrassment.

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